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The Project

 

Well it looks like I've been outed on a couple of threads, so here we go with an FV4101 Charioteer restoration :)

 

Outside Tank.jpg

 

I actually bought her unseen when Lance had to sell up, taking a bit of a risk in doing so. The priority of getting married that month saw me unable to visit, and a very understanding other half said "go for it". It still hasn't really sunk in. :wow:

 

I plucked up the courage to visit when I got back from honeymoon, wondering if I was looking at trying to recoup the pennies through scrap and sparing or whether I had a viable project. Luckily I have a reasonably good hull and a large collection of bits that Lance and Rick had managed to strip and/or collect together.

 

Why a Charioteer?

 

Normally I'd be all over the prospect of doing a wartime spec Cromwell, but this is an unusual beast.

 

It's a) one of the Charioteers that was sold onward and modified by the Jordanians, seeing action in the Jordanian-Israeli conflict, and b) it's an early Charioteer with no fume extractor fitted to the gun. This makes her a bit of a rarity.

 

Given the number of Charioteers out there, and with none apparently restored into running condition, I just can't bring myself to destroy a bit of history. We're both preserving the modifications and restoring her as a Charioteer. This includes the weird and wonderfuls that were done to her during the conflict.

 

What's the plan?

The plan is

 

1) Get the mechanicals sorted and get her driving, including restoration of the hull so they don't have to come out again. This should see her trundling around.

2) Overhaul the suspension and re-rubber the wheels.

3) Restore the turret and detail the vehicle.

 

Sounds easy doesn't it? :nut:

 

Inside tank.jpg

 

Luckily, professional Cromwell-wrangler Rick has agreed to carry on doing the major works, as he's both done it before on his own Cromwell and has the space and help to run though it.

 

The history

 

A decent collection of the work has already been done when Lance was intending her to be a Cromwell. You can see some of her history in the old thread here - http://hmvf.co.uk/forumvb/showthread.php?43059-MK-IV-Cromwell.

I'm not continuing that thread as when we looked at it, it was going to get *really* confusing now that she's going to remain a Charioteer.

 

 

Whats next?

 

I'm obviously now after a completely different collection of bits and information, so chirp up if you've got any. :thumbsup:

Edited by Lauren Child
wrong info
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WP_20150119_17_14_26_Pro.jpgok so we are back on with the resto all be it with lauren this time round . most of the engine compartment ancillaries have been done already and are pretty much ready to bolt back on with the exception of the rads which although had been restored by a local chap and held water, failed once I pressure tested them. I even had a spare of my own as an option and that too failed the pressure test (maybe just run it with the rad cap off) :-D anyway the rads will be sorted by hook or by crook !

this week we will tackle the engine bay with a view to getting it stripped, painted and maybe start fitting some of the nice shiny bits back in, this will include all new hydraulic pipes and unions which will be pressure tested before the engine and box go in.

there are plenty of other bits and bobs to do like freeing off all the hatches which are all rusted solid and general de gunging of the fighting compartment so we can at least see what we need to do to get it running and driving. the plan is to have it running and driving for war and peace (I didn't say which one). i'll keep the updates coming as the next 2 weeks should see a fair bit of progress.

 

rick

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today was more scraping and chiselling and blasting in the engine bay followed by a bit of light hatch fettling, all the hatches are now open but not freed off yet, some of them have probably been shut for over 30 years and did not want to budge, at one point me and marek (the one doing all the work) were holding onto the rafters whilst jumping up and down on a scaffold bar on the end of a 3ft set of stilsons trying to get the loaders hatch open. bit twitchy but it all went well in the end.WP_20150120_15_53_49_Pro.jpg

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that depends on your point of view ! personally i'd like to see a troop of cromwells and a firefly together. I don't know who but someone is doing a firefly this year and with mine and laurens we'd be mostly there but although the world will be a better place with a full Cromwell troop it is unlikely to ever happen. I could always chuck a Cromwell turret back on when lauren isn't looking :)

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carried on blasting the engine compartment today and it is finally ready for paint tomorrow, I freed off all the remaining hatches and started on cleaning the inside of the turret, whilst inside I thought I would have a crack at freeing off all the levers and hinges, whether by luck or skill I managed to get most working again and once the years of crud were cleaned away it became apparent that it was in much better shape than I thought. which is great news for lauren :) the bad news is the turret has to come off next week :( as the hydraulic pipes on the hull floor are rotted through and missing and besides the turret basket floor is goosed so the sooner it comes off the better. all in all another good day WP_20150121_16_42_27_Pro.jpg

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that depends on your point of view ! personally i'd like to see a troop of cromwells and a firefly together. I don't know who but someone is doing a firefly this year and with mine and laurens we'd be mostly there but although the world will be a better place with a full Cromwell troop it is unlikely to ever happen. I could always chuck a Cromwell turret back on when lauren isn't looking :)

 

I've got to have something to do for my next project if I'm going to build the Lauren Child Collection :D

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carried on blasting the engine compartment today and it is finally ready for paint tomorrow, I freed off all the remaining hatches and started on cleaning the inside of the turret, whilst inside I thought I would have a crack at freeing off all the levers and hinges, whether by luck or skill I managed to get most working again and once the years of crud were cleaned away it became apparent that it was in much better shape than I thought. which is great news for lauren :) the bad news is the turret has to come off next week :( as the hydraulic pipes on the hull floor are rotted through and missing and besides the turret basket floor is goosed so the sooner it comes off the better. all in all another good day [ATTACH=CONFIG]100850[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]100851[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]100852[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]100853[/ATTACH]

 

Holy cow Rick, that's looking pretty good inside the turret. Awesome job.

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"Holy cow Rick, that's looking pretty good inside the turret. Awesome job."

 

yeah I reckon you got pretty lucky there lauren, I don't think it would be beyond the realms of possibility to get all the systems working again :thumbsup:

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Figures....would have been my luck everything would have been buggered......glad to see that it is in a lot better shape then we thought...:cool2:

 

Is there any chance you could give us a bit of her history and how you came by it? You mentioned some in the other thread.

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This is what I know Lauren.

 

It was negotiated with the Israelis like 20 years ago and brought over to the UK, it ended up in the Isle of Wight museum where it sat for many years as a gate guard (from the pictures that I have seen). It was built in 1944, is a type F hull and was converted and sold to the Jordanians and then sold to the Lebanese and used by the PLO it was captured by the Israelis during the 6 day war. They Jordanian modified Charioteers used Sherman turret controls due to the heavier turret and gun, compared to the regular controls of the 75mm gun in the Cromwell. Other than that, hopefully some numbers will come up somewhere and it can be traced.

Edited by lssah2025
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They used Sherman turret controls due to the heavier turret and gun, compared to the 75mm.

 

Originally, Charioteer used the same turret traverse as Cromwell, i.e. an engine driven hydraulic system, albeit with a much heavier traverse box.

 

The Jordanian vehicles were modified to a pseudo Sherman system using a 24V (Charioteer was 12V) installation. It consisted of an Oilgear traverse motor, pump and controller powered by seperate batteries charged by a generator in place of the original hydraulic pump. This was all coupled to a Logansport hydraulic motor fitted to the Charioteer traverse box.

 

The complete system was put together by Chris Wilkinson using parts he had in stock. I remember him telling me about it all years ago. ISTR he sold them 50 sets or so.

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