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WW1 Peerless lorry restoration

Great War truck

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But all is not lost. We have two good rears on the second Peerless chassis and in the wheel store we have a pair of cast metal ones. The aim is to blast and paint the metal ones and then swap them for the wooden ones which will then need some restoration work before they go on to the first Peerless. As I may have mentioned previously, the second Peerless will be restored as one in service during the campaign in Palestine and the metal wheels are absolutely correct for this. Finally, we had another rummage in the stores and found four Peerless front hub caps and one Peerless rear. There should be more of rears so we will keep looking. It really is quite amazing how much stuff for the Peerless trucks which we keep turning up. Sadly, still only the one engine though, but we have time to find another one yet. 






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Just before we called it a day today and particularly remembering that so many of the threads that we have found so far have been UNS, I just wondered if the threads on the Pinch Bolts of the Hub Caps would perhaps be either UNC or UNF, just a little more ordinary or run of the mill and easy to obtain as the ones in the Hub Caps must be replaced because of corrosion or damage.

But not really any surprise again - they are 5/16" x 20 UNS- so they will have to be made in house!

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35 minutes ago, gordon44 said:

Hi , new to the forum , the hooks on the wheels look exactly like the hooks for agricultural tractors , for dual wheels on soft ground . Another wheel either side . Try google for Stocks or Opico dual wheels.

Hooks on the outside only would suggest dual wheels (The "Stepney Wheel" was invented prior to WW1, though clearly there is no need for such a device with a solid tyre)

If the hooks are on both sides then chains (or ropes) seem more likely. 


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The chains are ideal for mud, but cause a great of damage to the tyres on hard surfaces. Interestingly, we dont seem to have a single photo of a Peerless with chains. British Peerless trucks were generally photographed either outside a pub or a tea room.

Anyway, a busy few days in the Devon paint shop. Two coats of primer, now one undercoat and then the first coat of service green. After years of slow progress on the other trucks this one seems to be coming along in leaps and bounds.





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Dad is pushing on with the paintwork which is proving tricky as we normally use the space under and around the chassis to store 'stuff'. It is currently all over the place and generally 'in the way'!

In the meantime, I went to see Jones' Springs in Wednesbury yesterday to pick up the front springs which they have sorted out for us for us. They have done a really nice job replacing a number of leaves, a couple of new bushes and resetting them to be a matched pair. I got personal service, a genuine interest in what they are for and they took plastic on collection so really nice people to deal with. Here is the result:





Just going outside to trim the centre bolts and get the first coat of primer on them.

Steve  🙂

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The next step with the front wheels is to get the tyres on. As you will probably remember we have original tyres that were never fitted in stock since just after we bought the Peerless.

Steve took the wheels and tyres to our local press which we have used many times in the past. The first tyre could just not get to sit straight so Barry took a grinder to the tyre band and tidied up the edge. While he was doing that Steve and Co cracked on with the second tyre. This one sat nicely on the wheel and after much pumping was soon in place. It was a very snug fit, so wont drop off.  










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With that one done we put the second wheel up on the press and dropped on the tyre on which Barry had put a nice chamfer. This time it went on straight on but again was a very snug fit. The worry is of course that as the wooden wheels wont take such pressure you have to be very careful to ensure that the metal blocks are sitting on the wheel rim. Plenty of adjustment is necessary to make sure that it is right. After lots of pumping the second wheel was done and loaded for a journey back to Devon.  








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I have had a nice day today. Started off by getting the front wheels out of the car. Along with the springs, they have been doing a good job of keeping the back end down. They just need a bit of attention from the painting department and then they will be ready to fit.DSCN0214.JPG.eeec410e41825a81d5b9d943e49ee93f.JPG


We have been looking at the back springs and, whilst they are not too bad, there is some rust build-up between the leaves. We decided to dismantle them to clean out the gaps. Now, taking springs apart can be quite exciting, not to say hazardous due to the stored energy in the curved leaves. This needs to be released gently and under control so I started the day by making up some clamps using some box section and some studding. The screwed rod allows the tension in the springs to be released slowly and under control.


Fitting the clamps to the spring.



Next step was to release the centre bolt and then slowly back off the nuts on the studs.


This went without a hitch although the leaves did need some encouragement to slide over the centre bolt.



Then they just lifted off.


There are a lot of bits in a spring!


The inter-leaf rust.


Soon removed with a wire brush although we both ended up black as the ace of spades!


A bit of rod through the centre hole to keep the leaves in line and then it was just a case of tightening up the clamps.


Fit the cleaned-up centre bolt back in the hole.



Release the clamps and job done. It only remains to re-make the clips before the return to the paint shop.


The second rear spring is also coming apart ready for a clean-up tomorrow.


Steve 🙂


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Thanks for sharing this.

How to do the job safely without hurting yourself or anyone else.

I tend not to like a loud "Boing" followed by the inevitable search for whatever went flying round the workshop.


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