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Demountable box body Bedford or Daf

robin craig

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On one of our Bedfords has one of these bodies.


We have been dealing with a number of issues with it and last wednesday night we tackled two of them.


First was water getting inside, ie a leak. We have had the problem from the begining. The roof has various pieces of light gauge chequer plate riveted on top of th roof as walkways we presume. They are in an even pattern and in a a uniform layout so we believe that they are genuine.


My mate Gerry has a wondeferful low pressure smoke generator that is powered by 12 volts and shop air and runs at 1/2 psi and uses baby oil. We used painter's tape to seal as much of the obvious cracks as we could. As the van body has a through fitting on the left hand side we stuffed the smoke hose in through there and started it up. The body did fill with smoke but it soon settled to the floor and we were not getting anywhere.


Time for plan B. We mixed up a soapy water solution in a spray bottle and attached a shop vacuum on "blow" to the same fitting. Gerry then went carefuly over the whole roof and found two positive leaks. We also found that the left rear vertical corner angle was also leaking big style down it's whole length.


We also found that all the chequer plate on the roof has likely either had the smallest of beads of sealant when fitted or none at all.


As all the surfaces were now soap covered we moved on to the next problem which was putting back on the stair brackets at the back.


We had a set of stairs but from previous enquiries on here it had the latter DAF attachment points we believe. By now our second but heavily damaged set of stairs had arrived and it had the correct style and the two were swapped over. Sadly one of the brackets was bent and using a file we determined that it was some kind of bronze or like substance and snapped like glass when warmed and forced. Gerry made up a very passable replica in mild steel.


When we had taken the stair brackets off we noticed quite a lot of corrosion on the bolts on the right side bracket. Even cleaning the bolts wasn't going to work so we bought new ones. Threading those in by hand revealed that the captive plate inside the rear cross member was tapped but the threads were suspect. So we went for a Helicoil repair. If you do this, the outer cross member holes have to be enlarged so you can drill and tap for Helicoils. Add to that the thickness of the captive plate is only about three full threads. Rather than trying to put the Helicoil in and break off the tang we used a longer insert and the bolt end will push the tang out of the way.


As we proved on a trial run it is a fiddly finickey task putting in the inserts so we slathered on some Loctite to secure them in place.


For those of you who have never used Helicoils there is an explanation video here


After the invention of pre sliced bread, Helicoils are right up there as a useful item in life.


Once all that was done we could mount the stairs.


So success on finding the leak and we are pondering what to do, there are ton of rivets to take off if we are going to re seal each item on the roof, we are looking at a patch material in a can that can be rolled / slopped on but I have not made any decisions as yet. The stairs look grand and work well, now to decide how to mount them for travel. It looks as if there was something to hold them vertical to the left of the rear door but we don't have brackets. For the foreseable future we will pitch the stairs inside on the floor.



Bedford stairs.jpg

smoke generator.jpg

Edited by robin craig
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looking at your ladders they require the brackets fitted to mount 2 handrails onto as the type you have are obsolete and deemed hazardous - troops slipping on them when wet, nowhere to hold onto on descent etc, hard to see in dark when tactical etc etc.


also to mount onto the body, depending on what body it is there are different places they were mounted, some vertical on back, seen some horizontally mounted and also on front of box etc. I am sure someone on here will have the right reports and paperwork regarding same.


If I can find photos of same will post- funny enough I have a set of ladders complete with handrails sitting spare in a garage but it is 40 miles away at moment.



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