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Vulcan VSW 30cwt 6x4.

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Tony, I spoke to Father yesterday, yes he did quench it after heating.


I don't think that it is "quenching" in the traditional sense of the term in the case of aluminium or copper alloys. There is no phase change, so you can cool in water or not as the mood takes you. The part will stay hot longer and might end up slightly softer if left to cool naturally, but you can handle the workpiece and get on with the job quicker if you cool it.

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Thanks Tim.  At the last house, I had spare time but no space, now I have space but spare time is at a premium! 

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Another "trick of the trade" for annealing aluminium (which work-hardens when you bend / shape it) is putting some carbon on the aluminium with a sooty acetylene or propane flame, then heat up the aluminium until the carbon disappears from the heat.



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If there is no phase change, how does the annealing change the aluminium ?


The hardening of aluminium is caused either by work hardening (dislocations in the crystal structure start interfering with each other) or precipitation hardening (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precipitation_hardening)

Softening a precipitaion hardening alloy requires quite complex heat-treatment, and it seems fair to assume that this isn't what we are doing with soap and a blowlamp.


Instead the heat allows the atoms to move enough to "repair" dislocations and/or for tangled dislocations to combine into less-tangled ones.


At least this is my understanding, I confess that whilst I am a metallurgist, I am a ferrous metallurgist :-)

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  • 8 months later...

Some more work done on the rear axle.

To stop the axles going too low when driving over rough ground there are short lengths of cable attached at each end to the chassis and looping under the axle on either side.

To provide a bearing surface for the cable on the axle there are some grooved bronze bushes fitting on the axle tubes.

When I got these off, they had some sticky nasty tar stuff inside them which seemed to very old rubber, when this was cleaned out it left a good 1/8" of slack between the bush and axle, I guess its there just to take the shock out of any exuberant manoeuvres!

I managed to find some fast curing rubber compound and machined up an aluminium bung the same size as the axle tube with a small shoulder for alignment then cast each bush in two parts. it was easier in two parts as it prevented air getting trapped in side and also helped when removing the bung once the rubber was cured.


Quite pleased with the results!


















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Next were the half shaft oil seals.

These top hat shaped seals were made in 3 sections, tophat, leather washer and backing plate all riveted together.

The rivets were drilled out, old leather replaced then riveted back together again. The excess leather was trimmed off the outside.

To keep the centre hole concentric they were set up in the lathe and the sealing face cut using a scalpel blade in a parting tool holder. although the cut edge looks quite "fluffy" in the picture, it came out very well, the fluff is just the inside face of the leather.

















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There are some leather dust covers which fit between the bronze bump stop bushes and the axle mountings, also between axle mountings to brake shoe/bearing casting.

There was very little left of the originals so I had to make something to fit.

I made a forming tool out of 3/4" plywood then soaked some leather for two days in water then pressed it into the former and left to dry for two to three days. The centre was cut out and excess trimmed off the outside and the process repeated 8 times for all the seals required for both axles.


The blue leather in the pressing photos was a test piece, cut out of an old welders apron, I used some decent brown shoe leather for the proper ones, unfortunately I didn't take pictures of those. They turned out to be quite a good fit.


The original clips were still in place and were Jubilee type clips, anyone know when these started to be used? They must have been on there from the very early 30's. I couldn't reuse the originals so I replaced them with new.


















The Brake shoe/bearing castings were then refitted.



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The original clips were still in place and were Jubilee type clips, anyone know when these started to be used?


Wikipedia knows: "The original Jubilee Clip was invented by Commander Lumley Robinson of the British Royal Navy, who was granted the first patent for the device by the London Patent Office in 1921."

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Thanks Andy.


Hi Steve, it took a fair bit of thinking about! I got the rubber from these people:




This is the stuff I ordered:




It comes out opaque, so I got some black dye from the same people.

It's quite good stuff, goes off in an hour or so and makes a good dense material. Similar to the sort of rubber you get in suspension bushes.

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Next I made a set of new leather hub dust seals and fitted them along with the backing ring.




I relined the brakeshoes. 12 rivets per shoe, 4 shoes per hub.




Refurbished pins, brake actuating tubes and links, brake shoes and new return springs fitted.

These guys were really helpful with the brake linings and rivets and half the price of everyone else:









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I thought that the original wheel bearings would be reusable, however some of them were a bit pitted and one inner race was cracked from being fitted badly years ago.




The original size bearings are no longer available, however I found some that were the same internal and external diameter but are 1/8" thinner. Some spacers were made (thanks Dad!!) and it all went back together very well.









The brake drums were quite pitted and ridged so we borrowed a friends large lathe and skimmed them. Again, many thanks to Dad!



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The top set of rear springs originally had some steel bushes moulded in rubber on either end.

I machined up some new steel bushes and hound some radiator hose that was a good tight fit, then pressed it all together.







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I've been looking at the rear wheels, I thought they would be useable but a couple of them are very crunchy and the rust has got right in to the seams. They may be repairable with a lot of work.


Does anyone know if these wheels were fitted to anything else? I think they may be Dunlop wheels as I have seen some similar ones on living vans and trailers, however they have the wrong offset.


Does anyone have any kicking around that they don't want? I've tried asking on the British vehicle section, but no joy so far.


They are 20" rims for 7.50 20 tyres. 8 stud.


A wheel as new...









Rear view.




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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Hi Keith,


Thank you! There may well be a few rims over our favourite yard, having a wander round there is on my to do list now that the vegetation has died back for winter.

I shall have to come over and have a look at your new projects one evening.

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