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Land Rover Wolf - History and unanswered questions


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For all you Wolf fans. The Dunsfold show at the weekend had 3 of the original Wolf engineers and they bought a small display and gave a great talk.

 

I chatted with them for a long time and finally after 14 years of waiting got some answers to questions I know many have asked previously.

 

They also indicated that the latest TUM in service projections are until 2030! There have also been suggestions the 90 fleet could be re-chassised to 110 TUM configuration but this hasn’t been decided.

 

None of the below is my opinion just facts I was told -

 

The Wolf name

 

It doesn’t mean Wheel On Left Flank. The name came up in an informal engineering meeting, the LR Engineering Director said “if we’re not careful this project is going to bite us in the arse” The transmission manager then said “well we better call it Wolf then”........ that simple.

 

Not using the TD5 engine

 

This was purely because of the electronics in a TD5 and complexity of managing in the field.

 

The 300Tdi on a Wolf uses a slightly different design of timing cover but standard ones work fine. The turbo is standard.

 

Reinforced rear axle

 

The testing was extremely rigorous and Salisbury axles kept breaking, the axle was redesigned using stronger internals, hubs and outer casing, making one of the strongest axles ever made.

 

Why a fibreglass roof?

 

Far simpler to manufacture over the raised height of the roofbars, production was outsourced.

 

Why a wheel mounted on the side?

 

Everywhere else they tried caused the mountings to break free and it was too heavy for the bonnet. There are 3 versions of mounting, soft top, hard top and quick release.

 

Chassis

 

The chassis is considerably different in design although it looks similar to other LR chassis. The side walls are standard, most of the rest is bespoke.

The additional rear load bed mounting was to take increased weights as the standard chassis kept punching big dents in the rear floor.

 

Chassis made after the production run (service chassis) are slightly different, later ones have a triangular reinforcement behind the front outriggers, none of them have the front round tube going through the main chassis walls as it is more costly to tool and produce although it is stronger.

 

The chassis wasn’t galvanised due to the additional weight it adds. There were also Health and Safety concerns about the gases involved in welding a galvanised chassis, can’t remember which gases they were...

 

 

WMIK chassis

 

WMIKS made from the factory had 2 outriggers in the middle unlike 1 on a standard Wolf chassis (look closely at that famous Irish Guards WMIK photo by the burning oil wells in Iraq) the second outrigger is to take the extra load of the gun mounting. Many WMIKS were converted from Wolfs and kept 1 outrigger due to the hassle of putting in another one, it seems to have worked fine.

 

Dinitrol

 

All Wolf chassis were sprayed internally with Dinitrol rust proofing. The general feeling is that the chassis are dealing well with rust, those studied after 10+ years of abuse show only surface rust.

 

Tyres

 

Goodyear G90’s were designed for the project and strengthened on the sidewalls in testing. The Michelin tyres were felt to be better but more expensive and classed as an approved second choice as used on Winter/Water Wolfs.

 

Side Lockers

 

Experience from the pre Wolf Military defender showed that full jerry cans were dangerous and too tight in the lockers, the unusual shaped doors were simply to take full jerry cans more easily. They were meant to be watertight but never were.

 

Foreign sales

 

Wolf was marketed in other countries but was deemed too expensive (apart from Dutch marines). The pre wolf defenders weren’t thrashed and tested to anything like the levels Wolf was subjected to, most military Land Rover procurement agencies therefore felt because the older models passed their own testing they were fine. Wolfs are therefore far stronger and capable than preceding models.

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Thank you for documenting that, although I heard a lot of what they said, I had forgotten much of it! Nice to have it tabulated & it might with time help displace some of the misconceptions that are churned out by certain "reference" sites.

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I enjoyed reading this thread and the W.O.L.F one is stupidly simple and amuzing.....

 

Having lived through many an MOD design / procurement meeting similar remarks have been used about bite back / getting it right.

 

Every day is certainly a school day in the Kennel of Life........Rrrrr! :cool2:

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Side Lockers

 

Experience from the pre Wolf Military defender showed that full jerry cans were dangerous and too tight in the lockers, the unusual shaped doors were simply to take full jerry cans more easily. They were meant to be watertight but never were.

 

They did not break from Land Rover tradition then:laugh:

 

Thanks for that, interesting reading.

Like Clive I was down there Saturday but most of what I heard got washed away with the rain.

 

Mike

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Regarding welding on galvanised material.

 

The zinc when heated gives off cadmium which is a heavy metal and builds up in the human body over a lifetime.

 

The symptoms of breathing in such fumes are a migraine headache and nausea.

 

Drinking milk is an old wives tale and doesnt do anything for you.

 

A 100% respirator is required when doing such work.

 

All zinc has to be ground off before welding as the weld metal will not bond properly to the base metal with any contamination.

 

As a welder that is what I know.

 

R

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Regarding welding on galvanised material.

 

The zinc when heated gives off cadmium which is a heavy metal and builds up in the human body over a lifetime.

 

The symptoms of breathing in such fumes are a migraine headache and nausea.

 

Drinking milk is an old wives tale and doesnt do anything for you.

 

A 100% respirator is required when doing such work.

 

All zinc has to be ground off before welding as the weld metal will not bond properly to the base metal with any contamination.

 

As a welder that is what I know.

 

R

 

Sorry to disagree Robin, but that just isn't correct.

 

Galvanising is a coating of Zinc on the steel substrate.

 

Cadmium is another, but totally different, metal protective coating, that has its own problems , Cadmium being one of the most Toxic dangerous metals any Engineer or welder will ever encounter.

 

As the Mediaeval Alchemists found you cannot change one metallic element into another, (well not without a Nuclear reactor anyway) . Welding Galvanising cannot give off Cadmium fumes.

 

Regarding Welding Galvanising, this appears to be the accepted current view.

 

It is widely accepted as being safe to weld, and non toxic.

 

The only caveat is that some galvanised components are dipped in Zinc that may contain small quantities of dissolved Lead (which is toxic).

 

 

Zinc Fumes -- A Safety Hazard?

 

When zinc vapour mixes with the oxygen in the air, it reacts instantly to become zinc oxide. This is the same white powder that you see on some noses at the beach and the slopes (in Sun Block creams) . Zinc oxide is non-toxic and non carcinogenic. Extensive research (1) into the effects of zinc oxide fumes has been done, and although breathing those fumes will cause welders to think that they have the flu in a bad way, there are no long-term health effects. Zinc oxide that is inhaled is simply absorbed and eliminated by the body without complications or chronic effects.

 

Current research (2) on zinc oxide fumes is concentrated in establishing the mechanism by which zinc oxide causes "metal fume fever," how its effects are self-limiting and why zinc oxide fume effects ameliorate after the first day of exposure even though the welder may continue to be exposed to zinc during subsequent days ("Monday-morning fever"). Other research (3) is being done using zinc oxide fumes together with various drugs which results in a synergetic effect for treatment of cancer and AIDS. Another area of research is use of zinc compounds as the active ingredients in throat lozenges that are recognized as significantly effective in reducing the duration and intensity of the common cold.

Typical “metal fume fever” begins about 4 hours after exposure, and full recovery occurs within 48 hours. The symptoms

include fever, chills, thirst, headache and nausea. All of these symptoms, pain and suffering, as well as lost work (and play)

time, can be avoided entirely by simply not inhaling the zinc oxide fumes. This can easily be done using any of the

methods described later.

Unlike other heavy metals, such as copper, lead and mercury, zinc is an essential micro nutrient. Zinc is essential to the

proper growth of plants and animals. Zinc forms part of the enzyme system that regulates biological processes throughout the

body. As shown on any multi-vitamin/mineral bottle, the recommended minimum adult intake is 15 mg/day.

 

(1) Walsh, Sandstead, Prasad, Newberne and Fraker, Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 102, Supplement 2,

June 1994, 5-46. Provides summary plus 471 references.

(2) Kuschner,D'Alessandro, et. al., Pulmonary Responses to Purified Zinc Oxide Fumes, Journal of Investigative

Medicine, 1995:43:371-378.

(3) Robert Sabin, Zinc Activated Profile, COPE, March/April 1995: 16,17.

 

Further reading on safety and practice of welding Galvanised material Welding Galvanised steel - Safely

 

Following these instructions, pre-cleaning of galvanising prior to welding is (often) unnecessary, and following the advice contained in this link, welding galvanised components without grinding does not affect final weld strength.

 

I am a professional welder and this works for me.

 

Cadmium is a totally different beast and is highly toxic. Those who suspect that a part might be cadmium plated and want to weld it should read Cadmium welding and then forget the idea! Note great care should be taken Grinding off Cadmium since as a dust it is still highly toxic.

 

See also Identifying various coatings including Cadmium Plating But note that the statement this link contains, namely that Cadmium plating is hardly used these days, is inaccurate. Cadmium Plating is very widely used to this date in Aviation and Military components.

Edited by antarmike
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One of the guys where I work was employed as a test driver for many years at Chertsey. He has lists of all the vehicles he was involved in testing. He was involved with the testing of WOLF in the development stage and was instrimental in the changes that were made to the WOLF before it went into service.

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Antar Mike,

 

are you a welder?

 

R

 

Yes , I am a professional welder, I have been welding 40 years, and have worked the last 11 years exclusively in the welding Fabrication environment. I have taught welding in a technical college over a twenty year year period, I have been an NVQ assessor for welding.

 

The problem is that being a welder is not the best qualification for knowing what is safe or best practice.

 

Therefore often the best advice about weld safety does not come from other welding artisans (believe me,I have read welding forums and discussion rooms....) but from medical journals, scientific researchers, of professional elements within the Industry determined to overcome the present poor culture of safety and inaccurate information. These have been the source of the links I have posted during this discussion.

 

So often the same Old wife's tales are passed from welder to welder that for them to get access to accurate reliable information about safety issues is difficult.

 

Working as an NVQ assessor, I had to interview and test welders, to assess their level of competence,. One thing I realised from this process was a weakness in the way welding safety is taught. Welders I talked to knew very little about specific risks from particular processes. Welders I spoke to as part of this job had all sort of erroneous ideas about where dangers lay.

 

People zoom in on Welding Galvanising because you see white fumes and smoke as the Zinc oxidises or burns off. This can get deposited on face shields in such a way you can't see through. It makes you fill sick for a day or two so exposure produces immediate observable symptoms.

 

Galvanising is highly visible problem but in reality the risk is relatively low, since Zinc Oxide is non toxic and not a carcinogen. There are no known long term heath issues following Flu like episodes when Zinc Oxide fumes have been in inadvertently breathed in. Recovery is complete within a few days, with no lasting side effects.

 

Other dangers such as welding Stainless steel, where Hexa-valent Chromium is emitted hardly get a mention, because you can't see smell or taste it, It does not give Flu like symptoms within a few hours.

 

Many Chromium compounds are proven carcinogens. But because they can't be seen we don't hear countless tales of "Beware welding Stainless Steel" or " Stainless steel welding should only be done with full extraction and an airfed helmet" or " be very very careful not to breath in Grinding dust from stainless steel"

 

If people want to worry about truly dangerous welding processes, they should give a little less airtime to Galvanised steel that just makes you feel sick for a few days and that is all, and worry instead about welding Stainless steel or any product with a Chromate finish.

 

For that matter they should also be worrying about alloys containing Manganese {including bog standard Mild Steels!!!}, another known silent hidden toxin associated with Parkinson's disease amongst other problems.

 

Neither Hexa-valent Chromium nor Manganese make you feel tangibly ill immediately after exposure, so welders don't identify any risk nor do they think of the consequences, but the health risks from either of these two types of exposure are far more real and dangerous than Zinc..

 

Welding Stainless Steels

Welding Mild Steel and Alloy Steels containing Manganese

 

Anyhow Robin, I am in danger of hijacking a good topic, so should we take any more to P.M.'s????

Edited by antarmike
Incorrect link suppliedwithin Stainless welding "Clickey"
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  • 1 year later...

In the first posting the Wolf engineers said that many Wolf 90s may be converted to Wolf 110s and that they could be in service for many more years to come, if this is the case why have Withams got 100s of Landrovers and loads of Wolfs for sale, not getting at any one just a question

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In the first posting the Wolf engineers said that many Wolf 90s may be converted to Wolf 110s and that they could be in service for many more years to come, if this is the case why have Withams got 100s of Landrovers and loads of Wolfs for sale, not getting at any one just a question

 

That may have been the viewpoint of Land Rover's Wolf engineers, but if the Army's casting policy is the same as it used to be, there becomes a time period when a vehicle has only so much that can be spent on it. It can be down to some small repair but if that tips it over the repair limit it has to be put up for Casting. Rebuilding may not be as cost effective as it was made out to be at the time.

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Clearly they decided not to rechassis the 90's as they are mostly 90's being released (occasionally some smashed 110s)

 

The 90s didnt have room for Bowman radio packages. A Wolf 90 is a great little vehicle.

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2013 Show in June we are hoping to have some of the WIMIK desginers doing a talk on both WOLF, Wolf Wimik and Wimik upgrade. Three of the Wolf programe team should be there also. We all know wimiks like hot weather so lets hope the sun shines this time!.Will keep you posted.

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  • 1 year later...
They also indicated that the latest TUM in service projections are until 2030!

Although I heard that said at the time, I've not seen official confirmation.

 

No doubt there is an Equipment Management Policy Statement somewhere, but I don't have access to such. But I do receive KiT! & the latest edition states:

"It is proposed to take the WOLF platform out to 2030 - to enable this we are doing obsolescence studies."

 

So there we have it, official confirmation in print.

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  • 1 month later...
Although I heard that said at the time, I've not seen official confirmation.

 

No doubt there is an Equipment Management Policy Statement somewhere, but I don't have access to such. But I do receive KiT! & the latest edition states:

"It is proposed to take the WOLF platform out to 2030 - to enable this we are doing obsolescence studies."

 

So there we have it, official confirmation in print.

 

And to go a bit further Clive, when I visited Witham's last week they stated they were expecting what they initially described as 'a quantity of wolf derivatives' to be arriving there soon. That tied in with reports from a DSG source that a number of Pulse are to be retired over the next couple of years and when I mentioned this they confirmed it was Pulse they were expecting.

 

Nick

Edited by nickp
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Ah just realised who you are :D

 

So what is to replace Pulse?

 

After our conversation at Warren Piece I bet you are watching carefully to see if a Commander's Wolf turns up :cheesy:

 

God knows what will replace Pulse and yes I will be keeping a careful eye out for a Commanders variant.

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