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It's here! (Bedford RL)

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glad to see your chipping away at it and making progress. my matador restoration has slowed right down lately as I get the steam engine and the other matador ready for the rally season . but will be back on it soon.so its nice to see progress on on something I new of.

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Tamber, I've looked through my RL parts catalogues and I'm afraid I can't find a part number that I can reliably say is for your master cylinder.


However, I do have a spare complete assembly (used), master cylinder and air pressure servo; might be some use if you're stuck for parts.

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Thanks for that Sean; I'll keep that offer in mind, just in case.


I was planning to send the master cylinder off to Past Parts at the same time as the wheel cylinders, but it's probably better to send the master some time sooner; because it's going to be some time before I manage to get the wheels off to even get to the brakes. (Probably be more manageable financially, too. :D)


I've managed to have all of the front offside nuts off one by one, and went to start on the other side. (Plan being to clean the threads off with a wire wheel, and make sure I could actually remove them easily when it came to jacking that corner up and removing the wheel & brakes.)


I've twisted the old wheel-nut bar thing a good 1/8 of a turn as well as bending it. (And yes, I was aware they're left-hand thread... :D) Got two of them broken loose; but the rest are incredibly tight. I resorted to desperate measures after reminding myself that my 3/4" drive impact isn't really strong enough, and managed to warp my 3/4"F-1"M adapter into another dimension by trying to use the truck's weight to loosen them off.


(Breaker bar, adapter, socket; brace the breaker bar against the floor, and drive the truck forward... there was a lurch, followed by a clang. The breaker bar is undamaged, the socket was still on the wheel-nut, and the adapter has gone. *sigh*)


Speaking of clangers, I've also managed to damage the oil pressure switch by connecting the wrong wire to the battery while I was hooking up a brief test. Shorted the battery to ground via the switch, which has cooked something inside the switch, and now it doesn't work.


Gotten a new one ordered via LMS Lichfield (Thanks to the guys at ASL for finding that; even though they'd already done their best to find a switch in their system.), and I'll be more careful next time. I've also taken the opportunity to get the bits I need for Stage 2 of my Grand Rewiring ordered, as well as a nice little tachometer.


All in all, progress is still glacial. It should hopefully speed up a little now that the weather is a little better, though. (I would like to get the cab floor patched up and the battery box fixed in properly, but since it involves access to power and a welder, it's really only something I can do on Saturday/Sunday evenings after work. Oh! And also involves not having the truck puke all its oil out of that open hole that normally holds an oil pressure switch... :D Part of the reason I've kept the old one.)


I also have to fix the coolant leak at the water pump, but I'm struggling to work up the enthusiasm to attack that. Kicking myself for not pulling it out to check/replace seals while I had the radiator out; but hey, that's just how it goes.


Just making up a list of all the stuff I need to do, hoping that when I can see the project as a list of jobs that can be attacked in isolation, it'll feel less like an insurmountable challenge. Eating an elephant one bite at a time, and all that. :cheesy:

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Past parts get mentioned a lot on here. While I've no doubt they do a good job, and if they reline with stainless that might be an improvement over a cylinder which is prone to rust, from what I've seen they are very expensive, and the machining and re-lining process is not without risk. Personally I wouldn't default to using them without investigating other options, particularly if tight for money. That's my preference though, your view might be different.


Would a bit of heat help with the wheelnuts, or can you borrow a better impact gun?

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I'll try a little bit of heat, though I do need to be very gentle with it; and I'll keep putting penetrating oil on whenever I can. Might still have to get my hands on a proper impact gun at some point, though.


Completely un-relatedly, I've spotted something interesting in the WSM. Supplement #5, "BODY, TRACTOR, 3 TON, FIELD ARTILLERY, 4x4 BEDFORD"...




I had wondered about the latch on the left-hand door




and it definitely has the grab-handle above that door, too.




Also, there's this nice illustration...



...that looks very very close...



Although the truck has definitely been shortened, presumably by Vass when they modified it as it went into civilian life; which is probably where the doors in the side of the body have gone...




And, just for giggles...


Edited by Tamber
Added further pictures...
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  • 4 weeks later...

A thing happened today!




Work had a bloke over to change some tyres out, so I asked if he'd crack the nuts off, since he had all the right gear (Big compressor, inch impact, proper hoses). Even that big impact struggled a little bit, but now they're cracked off, I can start cleaning the gunge out of the threads in preparation for pulling the wheels off to get at the brakes.


And this greatly helpful service was performed for the princely sum of... him having a sit in the cab while it burbled away, and some pictures; I did offer drink tokens, but he turned them down. What a nice bloke. :)


I've also gotten a little bit further with the new relay & fuse box; though had a minor set-back. Got a little bit carried away TIG-ing the brackets for the relay holders, put waaaaaay too much heat into the ally plate it's all on, and melted one of my bus-bars.



I was only planning on tacking the damn things on; but was having too much fun with the TIG. :blush:

However, the new electrical centre is coming along quite nicely, other than that; I'll just have to order another bus-bar along with the rest of the stuff I need.




Relay holders only temporarily held in, until I can get all the wires in the bottom of them; then I'll bolt them all up neatly.


Perhaps I'm overdoing the electrics, but it'll be pretty fancy when it's all done. A far cry from the days of 4 fuses and a jar of magic smoke... :D I think it might be obvious I spend too much time doing vehicle electrics. :red:


Current list for fuses is:


  1. 15A Cab switches
  2. 15A Ignition coil, ignition & oil pressure warning, starter solenoid
  3. 15A Fuel pump
  4. 5A Interior lighting
  5. 5A Horn
  6. 15A Dip beam N/S
  7. 15A Dip beam O/S
  8. 15A High beam N/S
  9. 15A High beam O/S
  10. 15A Sidelights N/S
  11. 15A Sidelights O/S
  12. 15A Brake lights
  13. 15A Indicators
  14. 15A Fog lights
  15. 5A Panel Illumination
  16. 15A Washers/wipers
  17. 15A Worklamps (rear)
  18. 15A Spotlamps (front)
  19. 15A Aux (battery)
  20. 15A Aux (ignition) -- will probably be swapped for 5A and used for the reverse camera. (...well, my day job involves fitting reverse/blindspot cameras to stuff with better visibility from the cab, I may as well fit one here. :D )
  21. 15A Aux (ignition)



Relays, of which there are a few, will be:


  1. (maxi-relay, 70A) Ignition switching
  2. Sidelights -- with additional micro-relay for switching the panel illumination.
  3. Dip headlights
  4. High beam
  5. Brake lights
  6. Fog lights
  7. Worklamps
  8. Spotlamps
  9. Beacons
  10. Windscreen washer pump
  11. Indicator flasher unit
  12. Interior light delay unit (Never had one of these before! 's gonna be fancy!)


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You forgot the cigar lighter/phone charger socket!! :D:D:D


That's what the battery-fed aux fuse is for! :D


In other news, I managed to open the tin of black magick today...




Accelerator pump was stuck right the way down in its bore, but -- with a little fettling -- now works marvellously! The 300 seems a lot more lively when the loud pedal is pressed. Very tempted to take the big yellow beastie on a lap of the industrial estate to celebrate; but decided against it... (I really really don't want to cause trouble by being 6 tonnes of metal at 10+mph without brakes, which really should be next on my list now.)


Decided I'd spend some fuel to bring her up to temperature and see what else leaks, dribbles, or seeps. Water pump leak has gotten a little worse, by the looks of it; the makeshift gasket for the float bowl gently seeps fuel out; and I have a bit of an oil-seep from the rocker cover at the back of the engine.


I'll get there, slowly. :)

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And now, for the latest painful instalment of ego meets metal...


I decided, over the bank holiday weekend, to jack one corner up, pull the wheels off, yank the drum and at least have a look at the condition of the brake internals.


Someone who knows the manual better than I did at the time will now be chuckling and shaking their head.


Because I was at this point, and trying to gently tap the drum free with no luck...



...before I decided I'd have to check the manual, and made the frustrating discovery that the drums are mounted on the wrong side of the hub for them to come off without removing the hub! :mad:



Don't I feel a right idiot, now. Why couldn't it have been clamped on the outside of the hub, with the wheels?!


This is not the first, nor will it likely be the last, reminder to RTFM that I'm sure I'll skate happily past. :rolleyes: On the bright side, the threads on the wheel-nuts for that corner have de-gunged quite nicely and aren't as unpleasantly tight as they were; so I can rationalise the whole exercise as some sort of progress, however small.


In hopefully smarter news, I've snagged a water-pump rebuild kit from the bay of E, so I can hopefully solve that coolant leak. We shall see.

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Thanks! It doesn't feel much like there's much progress. Doesn't help that, so far, it's mostly things being taken off... :D


Having to keep reminding myself it's a process; things have to come off and make things look worse, before it gets better.

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Is it me being picky with the 'elf 'an safety, 'cos that axle stand looks a bit iffy


Not being picky at all! Yeah, it's a bit dodgy, I'll admit to that. I also had the jack under it most of the time, and the wheels set where they'd arrest any potential fall. (And positioning myself away from direction of fall as much as possible...)


I do need to get a proper stand, I know... :blush: The Health and Safety regulations are written in blood, as they say.

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  • 2 weeks later...

After the debacle with the brakes/bearings, I decided to tackle something a little easier; well, and it needed sorting before I could do much else with it.


The leaking water-pump.


Got a NOS pump rebuild kit (Quinton Hazell QW907) that's supposedly for that pump; and when that turned up...



...started removing the pump.


Well, I pulled the radiator cap off... and water gushed out of the weep-holes on the bottom, as well as turning into a tiny fountain from the weep-hole on the top. :shocked: Well, that answers the question of just how badly shot the seals are.




So out it came, with surprisingly little struggle; I only cut and/or bashed myself three times. The denuded block needed a little cleaning up, but most of the gunk came off via some gentle scraping with a screwdriver.




Then, into the workshop with the patient. A quick buzz with the paint-stripper disk (Those things are expensive, but oh so nice. Hits all the rust and remaining paint off while barely touching the metal.) revealed that this isn't her first go around the block...




...those screws have seen some action. And, try as I might, I could only get two of them to come out with anything resembling reasonable force; and even that left them in no fit state to be re-used in good conscience, so I welded nuts onto the other two...


I'm kicking myself for not doing it to the first two, because they came out like they were brand new. A mere fraction of the time I spent with screwdriver and impact driver trying to get the others out. :n00b: New screws have been ordered; we'll see if I managed to get the right ones, when they turn up.


Of course, while I had them out, I also just had to clean up and paint the pulley and fan; they were in such a dire state...




No reasoning behind the colour of the fan other than that's what I had, other than red oxide, and black. (...well, I also have a tin of a sandy yellow, but it's hideous :D)



That's where I left it, Wednesday, as I needed to go out and get a gear-puller. Which I did. Then today, I applied said gear puller to the flange... and promptly busted the flange. :argh:


I don't seem to have pictures of the cast-iron jigsaw puzzle that remained of it, but I've glued them together and dropped them off with the machinist next door to have a copy made in steel, as a no-rush project.


On the bright side, that freed up the rest of the water pump for disassembly; and oh dear. Oh dear oh dear.






The bearings were on their way to becoming a breakfast cereal, crunching as they were...




Reassembly with new bits will continue when I figure out which bits need to go in which order; because the rebuild kit didn't come with instructions, and I'm trying to figure out which new bits match up with what old bits.

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Well, I've rebuilt the water pump as best as I could figure out how to, and have a bag of screws freshly delivered this afternoon; so after I get the backplate put back on, I'm only a flange, some gaskets, and rubber hose away from reassembly!


If it still leaks after this, I'm going to be quite annoyed. :D

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I'll get somewhere with it eventually. :D Even if I don't manage to get it on the road, I'm hoping to at least leave it in better shape than when I started.


It's looking like that flange won't be done any time this week; the machine shop is swamped with work, as usual. The biggest problem this causes me, is not being able to fire the truck up for a while and move her. I would like to get cracking on with patching the holes in the bodywork -- particularly the roof -- but that requires access to a welder, and I don't have a long enough extension lead to reach from the workshop. :D

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Despite not being able to move it around under its own power, I've cracked on with some little bits today; mostly changing grease-nipples for modern ones that my grease-gun will actually stick to, and getting fresh grease shoved places. The Harvey Frost recovery gear now runs nice and smoothly, and all the cables for the lifting hooks are wound back onto the drums a little bit more properly, rather than the tangled mess they were before.




(Cleaned up the plates a little with a greasy rag, which brought them up quite nicely, I think.)






I've also gotten a little further with cleaning, wire-brushing, and painting the chassis with thick gloopy undercoat.






And, looking at a section I've not got to yet, for comparison...



It's nothing magic: Hammerite (Yeah, yeah, I know. :pfrt: ) Underbody seal with Waxoyl; I've had pretty good luck with it so far, probably since it stays somewhat flexible, so isn't as likely to crack and let water in to sit against the metal. Plus, it brushes on pretty easy, and -- being a nice thick gloopy stuff -- all the brush-strokes settle out quite nicely. :D


You may also have noticed I've not hit the tank mountings with it; that's because I'm not quite sure whether or not I'll be keeping those mounting brackets, yet.


I'm also still faffing about with thoughts for the paintwork, if I get around to that. :) Colours are roughly decided:


  • the yellow bodywork will be going BS 381C Golden Yellow, including the roof that's currently brown. (I did want to make the roof black; but I suspect that it'll be hot enough in the cab without turning it into a solar cooker. :D It's bad enough in full sun with it in brown!)
  • The recovery jib, in black; with some yellow at the top to make the height of it visible, so I have a chance of not accidentally hitting things with it.
  • Wheels; probably black. Maybe.


Oh, the choices! Maybe I should just do it all in DBG instead, saves me having to think too much. ;)

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The civilian ones had black chassis/axles etc when new. I would normally prefer that an ex military vehicle be restored to its original military colours and body style and any more modern 'improvements' be put back to original, but your truck is probably more interesting in its civilian guise and I think that gives you license to do more or less anything. I agree with you about having a light colour roof - maybe even white ? In hot weather the cabs do get a bit warm. Some nice period style signwriting would look good too.



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  • 3 weeks later...

It'd be nice if I had more progress to post about, right now. Pulley ...flange... bit is still in the machine-shop; they've turned it up, but weren't sure on the diameter of the shaft so hadn't drilled it yet. Dropped the pump off Monday for them to measure it, and apparently it's an obnoxious size that they don't have a reamer for.


(It was quite amusing as he mic'd it up, frowned at it, mic'd it again, got the calculator out, mic'd it again, went over to the conversion chart... And pronounced it to be 35/64ths, so it'll have to be bored out rather than simply drilled and reamed. There's always something, isn't there?)


I've also started pulling the rotten boards from the bed floor, to give me better access to the inside of the chassis (Scraping and painting ahoy!); and I've gotten a sheet of 1mm steel to start making repairs to the bodywork, in particular the cab floor.


(The sheet metal repairs would be easier if I could drive the big yellow hulk over to the workshop to do the welding. I shall, however, perspire and persevere.)


Also, check out my knob! :cool2:




Different to the old one, which was a flat mushroom sort of shape (and disintegrated anyway); but infinitely preferable to trying to shift by grabbing the sharp metal nut at the top of the lever.


While I was down at the unit, to do my car's annual oil-change, I thought I'd fit it and make a few brum-brum noises. Definitely going to need an elbow-pad for those changes into 2nd, it seems. :-D




Also definitely need to hoover up inside the cab, somehow; the mass of rust and paint flakes make it very difficult to see what needs urgent attention and what's just cosmetic.

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...and now I've found the pictures I took of what I've done to the bed floor. Some of the planks felt good until I pried up the metal stripping between them, and discovered the edges were soft and squishy. :( And, of course, all of the bolts are seized solid or merely unidentifiable blobs of rust.


As luck would have it, though, I've had plenty of practise fitting planks for a bed, over this weekend gone; so it shouldn't prove too tricky to sort this mess out, right? :-D




That's the worst of the rotten wood out; I'd already fallen through one of those planks as it was.




And there's definitely something to be said for the resilience of good ol' red lead. A wire brush and scraper has started to clean this up nicely, and then I can start prepping for re-painting.




This side will need a little more clean-up, but should turn out fine.





I had wondered why those cross-members flexed so much while I was prying on the boards! :shocked:

Yup, Vass gas-axed the C section so they could run the sub-frame for the jib through. And the end of the subframe that's hidden under the body is a nice wobbly torch cut, too. I'd be getting a shouting at for being too rough, if I did that. :-D

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It just fell off! Honest!





I was quite surprised at how easily the four bolts holding that rack on, undid. I was expecting to really have to fight them; but they just... unscrewed. Not used to that. That's all been set aside for cleaning up later, and I started poking and prodding around in the area that freed up.



Front of the body is a bit tatty, but shouldn't be too complicated to fix.


Moving forwards, the back of the cab has some... er... I'll politely call them repairs, for now. Judging by how the back of the cab is eaten away -- that skin, and the floor -- in those corners; I suspect they've just been slapped on over the top of rust-holes.






Then I climbed up to inspect the known rust on the roof; and in doing so, leant on the back of the roof.









It looks more and more like a teabag the further I hit it with the wire brush!



Then, on to the ominous sections of the roof. Now, there was a Large tub of P38 in one of the storage lockers when I first investigated the truck; and I think I've discovered where most of it has been used.






Some hammering and prying la... is that bloody newspaper?! Why, yes, it is! >:(




Yet more hammering, scraping, prying, and sanding...







Let's see what's behind door number 38






(You can tell what's coming, can't you?)








Good grief.





Mmm, crunchy!





Cleaned up as best as I could, and slapped some primer on it -- like I did with all the other spots I've brushed and sanded -- in the hope of delaying the rust a little longer so I still have something to attach repair panels to when I've made them. I forsee lots of cutting, joggling, welding, and fettling.

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