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WW1 Peerless lorry restoration

Great War truck

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15 minutes ago, andypugh said:

It's easier to make hex-head bolts out of hex-head bolts, and they are available in the same grades as cap screws. 


2 hours ago, radiomike7 said:

Would metric cap screws be a good starting point, they are available in UHT 10.9 and 12.9 versions?

UHT  =  milk  ,  you must mean  UTS   ?

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5 hours ago, radiomike7 said:

My abbreviation, Ultra High Tensile although I have heard of bolts described as being made of cream cheese......

Last year I renewed the rear suspension  'lower arms' on a Focus diesel  (19 year old but I intend running it into the earth).  A kit off Ebay , the arms were German made & probably off same tools for Ford branded, however the bolts must have been  "Property Class"  5.8 , but ISTR the  PRC lowest cheese is more like 4.2 , needless to say I should have used a SO short series instead of a OEXL  , stripped the bolt threads before I even got the torque wrench on (40+ round trip to Ford agent for proper bolts).

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I have been over to Grantham today to see CPA Radiators and pick up a set of tubes and gills for the radiator. They can do 15/16" dia and turned the lot around in two weeks from order so I am very pleased. They can also do 15/16" square gills if anyone needs them.

13000 gills which I now suspect is not enough! Oh well.


126 tubes.


I had to try one! All is well and I just need to put the hours into the remainder.



Must get on with salvaging the tube plates so I can return the lot to CPA for soldering up. More progress!

Steve  🙂

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been pressing on with threading gills onto tubes and have completed 111 with 15 to complete. Unfortunately, I am short of gills and so must order some more. It is an unfortunate break but at least it will give my fingers a rest! When I take the tubes back, I will see if I can get some pictures of the dipping process.


Dad has taken Barry's advice and has spent a lot of time salvaging the tube plates. Fist job was to remove the bottom tank from the chosen core.



Looks like the mice managed to get inside the tank!



He then attacked the tubes with the disc cutter.


This rad had been buried next to one of the Peerless chassis somewhere down on the south coast. As a result, the core was very rusty and full of filth.



The plates don't look too bad.



He attacked the muck with a nylon brush in the drill which was quite effective.


A few odd gills remain soldered to the plate so I will have to get them off later.



The soldering is curious. I wonder if those tubes at the edge were a repair job at aome time?


All cleaned up and ready to have the tubes drilled out.


Dad is coming to visit soon so he will bring them up for me to finish. Should save a few quid in brass anyway!

Steve   🙂


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I might be inclined to put a blow torch  on them, melt the solder and then just tap the remains of the tubes out. A job for your under cover black smithing facility, where there is plenty of fresh air as we wouldn’t like you to catch ‘fume fever’.!

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Thanks Barry. Might be worth a go.

Looking at these photos this morning, I have just realised that there are ten more tubes in this plate compared with the one I counted before placing my original order! Will have to get some more tubes as well. Oh well. That's a job for later. I am on Dennis radiator castings today!

Steve  🙂

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

A bit more progress on the Peerless. Dad has continued painting the cylinders.




The valve guides remain to be reamed and new valves obtained but after that, they can go back on the engine.

Dad has been to visit and brought the radiator tube plates with him. We decided to see how easy it would be to just melt the tube ends out and found, much to my surprise, that it was effortless.


Once warmed up, the ends could just be tapped through.




I turned out that they were not a close fit in the plate at all but were really quite sloppy so there were no problems. A quick dressing back afterwards followed by putting a 'W' drill through to clear out the gobs of lead and they are ready for final assembly.



I am off to Grantham again on Monday to pick up the extra tubes and gills. Once they are assembled I shall go again to deliver the kit for final assembly.

Steve   🙂

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My trip to Grantham was successful and I picked up the extra ten tubes and 3000 gills. They are now all threaded and ready for another trip to deliver them for soldering.


136 tubes and 16000 gills with a few left over. All threaded by hand one at a time. My fingers are sore!

Steve  🙂

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One of the jobs we have been doing in parallel is to take a look at the clutch. This is a cone clutch with the female shape machined within the flywheel. The male part is an iron casting with a lining.201.jpg.825f6167e15ad03278537ca5b006cf54.jpg

As you will observe, the lining has seen better days. Interestingly, the lining is attached to a steel band, bolted to the casting.



Father removed the lining ring and had the centre sand blasted before painting both.



He removed the lining from the steel band and found that it is of quite interesting construction. It is, in fact, a leather band with plugs of cork inserted at regular intervals.



The chances of us finding such a material are slim so we have elected to simply replace it with leather. One of my lorry friends came up with a piece of leather for us, the right thickness and just big enough. What you can't see is that it has been stored in a very dry environment for a very long time and was absolutely as hard as a board!


Mark, our leather working friend, was contacted for some advice and he suggested painting it with Neatsfoot oil, letting it soak in until it would accept no more. Dad bought a pint and I started painting the outside. I couldn't get inside as it would not unbend, initially. However, after a week of treatment, I managed to get to the other side and carried on. Eventually, the sheet absorbed almost the full pint of oil that we had and had softened apprecialy. You still couldn't wear it but it was flexible enough for our purposes.


I cut out a template so that when cut, it could be wrapped around the conical liner ring.



Half an hour with a Stanley knife saw the strip cut out.


Dad has now taken the strip home to rivet to the lining plate so we are still making progress!

I am delivering the radiator components to Grantham tomorrow for solder dipping and soldering into the tube plates.

Steve  🙂

Edited by Old Bill
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On 9/15/2021 at 8:13 PM, Old Bill said:

My trip to Grantham was successful and I picked up the extra ten tubes and 3000 gills. They are now all threaded and ready for another trip to deliver them for soldering.


136 tubes and 16000 gills with a few left over. All threaded by hand one at a time. My fingers are sore!

Steve  🙂

.ooh know that feeling

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