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WW1 Peerless lorry restoration

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You could try putting the ram diagonal between the second and third x member from this end and pushing, this might just get the bend out. But a lot of care and checking needed as you go, not sure if it would cause problems with the rear axle mountings which might go askew.


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Can't leave Dad to have all the fun! Now that the front wheels are on along with the track rod, king pins and stub axles, the king pins need some greasers. We are fortunate to have the remains of

Guy, a forum member put me on to a recent auction in case there was anything there that caught my eye. Something most certainly did, four Peerless front wheels. I put in an on line bid and was delight

A Genie! Gosh that made me laugh. Nothing quite so exciting really. Here is a picture of the store room.

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You should be able to find photographs of Bedford 3 / 4 tonners cross-axled & lots of flex on the chassis & I suppose it must have returned to normal.   However - I think this is much different and a 1" banana will have the truck crabbing down the road and this will not go unnoticed by followers..   I think you need to aim for perfection (it is the project foundation) - I don't know how much £ a carbon analysis would cost , knowing the 'chemical & physical' would greatly help , I would only be guessing at grade - they would aim for lowest acceptable on £ cost..   Probably at WW1  BS Spec's were not even available.  I think they knew all about fully killed & semi-killed steels - empirical on deflection at centre span (and return) proof testing  ?

Edited by ruxy
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Many thanks for all of your thoughts and comments. We seem to be reaching a concensus that 1" of deformity is probably OK but that we should still try a bit harder if we can. We decided, to quote a dear friend, to give it another 'good dose of looking at'.

We decided to check the engine bay for squareness and found it lozenged by about an inch. I put in a bottle jack and a piece of wood and found that we could square it up but it wouldn't stay. This could give us problems with the engine mounts.



Whilst playing this game, we realised that the front shackel pin casting was showings signs of extreme wear as the pin had gone right through the bush and into the casting. That couldn't be fixed in situ so we removed it by first cutting the heads from the rivets with the disc cutter.


Tim punched them out at great risk to his knuckles.





Tim then ventured into 'stores' and came back with a better one! Dad gave it a good brushing and clean up and it is ready to fit!


This forced us to have a closer look at the first crossmember and we realised that it had a bend towards one end. Also, one end was out of line with a missing rivet and a sheared rivet. The direction of the bend was such that it forced the lozenge shape into the front section so we decided to remove the crossmember.



More cutting and punching rivets!




As soon as the rivets were out, it sprung by 1/2" and the chassis relaxed slightly.


After removing the rivets the other end, Tim lifted it out.


Well, what do we do now? we could have tried to straighten it but Tim again looked in the stores and came out with another crossmember!


After some cleaning up and removal of loose rivets, it was fitted into the chassis.


The lozenge shape meant that the bolt holes didn't line up properly so we bolted one end and then pulled it around with a ratchet strap. Amazingly, we dropped bolts into all of the holes.


Once tightened up, the effect looked promising.


Very promising in fact. We are about 1/4" away from perfect which we are very pleased with.


Thank you all for your kind thoughts and suggestions. Smaller bits tomorrow!

Steve   :)

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With the success of the crossmember change, we are now pushing on to get the frame ready for blasting and painting. The jackshaft carriers each have a gland to prevent water from getting into the bearings. The gland itself is bronze with a steel lock-nut behind to prevent it from unscrewing. Unfortunately, the steel nut corrodes and expands until the bronze hex is sheared off as has happened here on the left hand side.



Usual trick. Get it hot and then unscrew.


The surprise was that it had a left hand thread and it took us quite a while to figure that out!



Heat again on the other side.


Dig into the face with a cold chisel remembering that this side would have a right hand thread.


Fortunately it moved quite easily so that was good. Now we need a replacement.


Tim had a dig in the stores and came up with a replacement which still had the hex attached.


Heat again.


Get it moving with the stillson wrench.


And then unscrew.


Tim fitted the replacement shackle casting.




I punched out a few more rivets.


There was a bend in a crossmember so a bit of heat and an adjustable spanner resolved that.




Finally, our pal, John, came over with his welding set, repaired a crack and then built up an area where the engine mount had fretted half way through the top flange.


This dressed back nicely with no notches or inclusions to set off any more cracks.


The frame is all but ready to go now so it is just a case of arranging transport. The next step will be to get wheels axles and springs fitted so we are going out to identify the components we want to use and start preparing them.

Last day today and back to work on Thursday. It's a tough life!

Steve   :)

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8 hours ago, MatchFuzee said:

I like the method of spanner size reduction 😊

Yes. That cost me a gashed finger when it slipped! The trouble is that my selection of spanners over 3" AF is a bit limited and I have to resort to the stillson which I consider brutal. A cold chisel is, however, beyond the pale on good bits.

Steve  :)

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We have been tidying up loose ends today and considering our next steps. Once the chassis frame is painted, the next steps will be to fit wheels and axles. To that end we have selected a pair of rear springs and I have spent some time removing the shackles and pins so that they can be blast cleaned.


I spent some considerable time trying to shift rusted-in split pins but to no avail.



In the end, I gave up and cut the nuts off with the disc cutter. The nuts are quite thin and lightweight so we can make some more if necessary. I don't like destroying otherwise sound components but my patience was wearing thin!


The two rear springs are now ready for blasting.

The final task before the chassis can be sent for cleaning was to remove the remaining worn-out spring shackle bush. Dad made a plug with a hole for some studding and with a tube on the other end, jacked it out.




The bush is pretty tired!



Father has found a piece of bronze in stock to make a new one so that will be his next task. Fitting it should be a reverse of the removal exercise.


We are going to need some wheels. Tim has selected two fronts which look pretty good so I proceeded to cut the tyre bands in order to remove them.


The tyre had already started to peel from the first so I didn't have to cut the rubber. A gentle application of the disc cutter and the band split. It split with quite a bang and made us both jump!


The wheel looks very nice indeed.


The second wheel had a band but no rubber at all so splitting this was quite painless and we have two good wheels awaiting a clean up and painting.


Now, we have old tyres to get rid of. The steel is easy enough but the rubber is a pain.


We stripped the rubber from the steel by heating the inside. Anyone want ten feet of rotten old rubber with lumps of Bakelite attached?


Home tomorrow and back to reality on Thursday.

Happy New Year everybody!

Steve  :)

Edited by Old Bill
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Yes, they are classic wooden artillery wheel construction, brought up to date by pressing a solid tyre around the outside. The tyres can be quite tricky to fit as the press must act on the steel band and not the wooden wheel. We have the front tyres in stores so, just as soon as Dad has finished cleaning the wheels up and priming them, we will visit the tyre press and get them put on.

Got to keep Dad busy now that he is retired and has all the time in the world!

Steve :)

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Isn’t the construction method here wooden spokes and felloes, with a steel band shrunk onto them, THEN the rubber and steel are pressed onto that?

Presumably you cut the bands off because you have NOS tyres ready to go on *(in preference to saving them for making new tyres). When Dad cut the bands off the Garrett front wheels 30 years ago, he used the old bands (suitably shortened and with a clamp arrangement) as a press tool for the wheel.

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Hi Ed.

That's right. There are two steel bands involved. One is part of the wheel and is shrunk on as a plain band, holding the wheel together. On a horse drawn vehicle, this would also be the tyre and in contact with the road. Solid tyres were made by first attaching a layer of bakelite (or it may have been ebonite. Someone correct me here!) around 1/4" thick to a steel band and then vulcanizing the rubber to that under pressure and heat. The tyre is held on by an interference fit between the two steel bands.

We cut the old tyre bands off because, as you say, we have some complete tyres in stock and these bands were very corroded and not good enough for re-use anyway.

Steve   :)

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1 hour ago, Old Bill said:

Hi Ed.

That's right. There are two steel bands involved. One is part of the wheel and is shrunk on as a plain band, holding the wheel together. On a horse drawn vehicle, this would also be the tyre and in contact with the road. Solid tyres were made by first attaching a layer of bakelite (or it may have been ebonite. Someone correct me here!) around 1/4" thick to a steel band and then vulcanizing the rubber to that under pressure and heat. The tyre is held on by an interference fit between the two steel bands.

We cut the old tyre bands off because, as you say, we have some complete tyres in stock and these bands were very corroded and not good enough for re-use anyway.

Steve   :)

I don't think Bakelite or Ebonite would be a suitable material for the application.  I think it may be the hard form of Gutta Percha , I think it would be most suitable for vulcanization to natural rubber, to early for ersatz Buna. Apparently bricks of virgin Gutta Percha are still being washed up from a shipwreck off the South West ISTR.

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The machining of the replacement bronze bush for the front spring shackle and pressed in successfully. The other corresponding front shackle pin bush is sound and does not need replacing. Dad test fitted both front spring shackles to the chassis and all satisfactory but still has to drill through the new replacement bush to accommodate the Greaser,







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Always planning a few steps ahead we will be looking at getting it on to wheels this year (soon I hope). It was time to rummage around in the stores for a pair of axles. They were rather buried in other stuff so it took some effort to find them. The first back axle we picked out had the bearing surfaces protected but everything else was rather corroded and would take some time to disassemble. Time is always against us so we rummaged around until we found a second back axle in much better condition and completely disassembled already. The front axle we elected still has the wheel hubs in place but is quite corroded. A bit of work will be required to bring that one back to life. 






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I see that you have prepared the springs for cleaning. Do you not dismantle them and clean all the leaves? We are at this stage on our 1918 International project, and I had thought we should take them apart. It does of course involve a lot of additional work. Would you recommend any form of lubrication between the leaves if they have been disassembled - we had to replace several leaves of our front springs?



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