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Saracen ownership - viable?


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I went through the same problem some years back:

 

On the plus side its a Saracen!

 

On the minus side its an old vehicle that is very complex, everything is very heavy, it drinks petrol, it takes up a load of space etc etc..

 

The plus side had too much going for it. I've still got it and taking it out for a spin is brilliant and makes up for all the stress. Fortunately mine seems to be in great nick, just started her after a month standing, a few turns with choke in to get the oil circulated then choke out and starts 1st time. I've replaced the fluid flywheel oil seal, that is almost certainly going to be a task that you will have sooner rather than later, but it is possible without taking the engine all the way out.

 

Otherwise about zillion grease points, loads of transmission fluid filler points, hydraulic fluid and of course the kick back on the kick down gear selector, never drive with light shoes, always boots, as big and heavy and tightly laced as possible.

 

Something else to consider is that it is perhaps a bit too big to take out without crew. I have at least one person in the rear on the intercom (clansman) to tell me what is going on behind.

 

Go for it, but do check why its being sold and ideally have a drive. Just like with buying a car!

 

Simon

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  • 2 weeks later...

BUY ONE!

My first MV was a MK6. Taught me a lot. Don't get spooked by false neutrals, wheel stations, transmission wind up etc. A jeep is easier but a Saracen turns those heads and is very do able. I had a trashed tractor joint and managed to change a wheel station, worked it right over and brought it up to really good nick. One downside is fuel consumption but if you want green buy an electric car!! They are great fun, very interesting, practical for jouneys up to 50 miles, British and relatively cheap. I still regret selling mine, it seemed such a good idea at the time!

Tobin

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Well, I'm still in discussion with the guy whose selling one, not seen it yet as a long way a way. But one thing that troubles me (due to total ignorance). It's been dry stored for a few years I presume that might/will mean that the pressure in the accumulators will be lost does that mean it won't have brakes and steering. Some explanation here would be appreciated.

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Strictly speaking if they are fully flat it may need re charging. Mine came from Ludgershall and had been wet standing for two years. Once bump started with an ARV it fired even with flat batteries and took half an hour or so to re charge everything including the hydraulics but it did so itself and I never had any more problems. Mine peed hydraulic fluid for the first few weeks that I owned it and I was sure that the seals had all gone. t got so bad that I was pouring fluid in at the top twice a week and catching it in a bucket where it came out. After about fifty miles on the road the leaking stopped overnight as the seals started working again and it used almost no hydraulic oil from then onwards. Batteries were replaced, all levels checked, oils changed (not cheap) and tyres inflated to size (rather than pressure as covered earlier). The brakes were good but I had some oil seepage onto two of the shoes and I ended up having to strip, clean and re assemble but after that the brakes were reliable and effective. It used to lose a little water for the first few months but after tightening the hoses that stopped. My most difficult experience was changing the wheel station. It used to "thump" from time to time and I jacked up the front nearside and was spinning the wheel trying to replicate the thump when I thought "hang on, this wheel should not be turning at all" and that was when I realised the tracta joint had gone. I had some ex army help and I had to find a new wheel station (NOS in a nice packing case) and it was fiddly and heavy but they were designed to be replaced and it all went smoothly. Never had any more wheel troubles. False neutrals were occasional but I found that pumping the pedal (15 times I think) in each gear before starting made no real difference. Using the vehicle regularly made it a pretty rare occurance and I got adept at not fighting it with my leg but swivelling in the seat (I am too tall) and locking my leg down with a mighty heave which reset it. It was less hard work to do than steering the old thing round a car park. That steering was heavy! Like lots of MV's you just learn to drive more slowly but with bags more anticipation and forethought for the road conditions. It was very rewarding. Feel free to bell me if you want any more info. 07966 154585. Tobin

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About two years ago I bought a Saracen. It made it seven miles from the dock before its first issue. A thousand dollars later got it home and this time it went about 15 miles before the next breakdown. Another three weeks and 1500 dollars I was able to drive it in the July 4th parade and it held up untill the way home leaking gear oil like it was a faucet

 

Feeling quite depressed a few guys on this forum tried to calm me down by saying "if it's not leaking, it doesn't have any oil in it". Not quite what I wanted to hear

 

Finally got tired of going 10 miles btw breakdowns and went for the bold plan. Complete power train swap out with a modern diesel an auto tran. 2000 miles later, not a single issue....it will go 70 and drives like a big truck. If you have the money you can do great things with one. If you look at some of my previous posts you can see how it came out. Good luck!

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  • 3 years later...

The Saracen is easy to drive and sits on a comfortable speed. It has limited left right visibility, but is easy to get into, compared to other FVs. If you have creaky knees and a bad back, the saracen is a lot better than a Ferret. As for maintenance, Im yet to find a FV that doesn require it. The maintenance and brakedowns is all part of the fun.

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  • 2 weeks later...
The Saracen is easy to drive and sits on a comfortable speed. It has limited left right visibility, but is easy to get into, compared to other FVs. If you have creaky knees and a bad back, the saracen is a lot better than a Ferret. As for maintenance, Im yet to find a FV that doesn require it. The maintenance and brakedowns is all part of the fun.

 

Agree with all the plus points on this thread and empathise with the bad ones, thirsty yes but if that phases you, you can't be serious about owning a Saracen. We don't talk about it other than to say ours does smiles to the mile ..........

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One of the patients in the asylum once had one before he was admitted. Since it has been sold he is slowly making progress.

That is very funny. In the words of a wise man, "If you buy a Saracen and your wife doesn't divorce you, you found true love."

 

I took the plunge, bought one from Bob Grundy, had it overhauled by Baz in Retford and it's now here in USA (I'm testing out the wife theory). I have very little time and even less mechanical skill, so I'm petrified that it will break down if I take it out.

 

On the other hand, driving it is great fun and people wave at you nonstop. Cars routinely pull over and start to take pictures. I drove it in the July 4th local parade recently and it was awesome. Here's a link, it makes its appearance at 6:05 mark and my 5 ton truck follows behind.

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