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Scorpion/Scimitar Restoration in New Zealand


philm1

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Hi Terry.  Compliments of the season.  We took your advice and tied in a spare toothed belt.  Found cable ties worked better than wiring it in as you could slowly tighten them in turn to make sure it didn't touch the clutch drum.

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Xmas break goals were to get vehicle moving under its own power for the first time in many years and also ready for painting.  Goals achieved with start up and running on New Year's day, 3.5 years from the start of the rebuild.

No major issues.  Did find the gearbox took more oil than what the specs said but i guess it was from bone dry and a certain amount stays in the system. We are not using the fuel bladder but rather an outboard boat fuel tank so we know we will always have fresh fuel.  Idle needed to be adjusted as it was running too fast.  No oil leaks, so all good. Once we had the engine running sweet (it had been started when installed back in April) we tested forward, steering, brakes and reverse.  The radiator hadn't been installed so we were mindful not to run the engine for too long.  

Then we installed the radiator and moved outside to fill it up with water.  No issues so we went for a drive.  

It was a hot day so excuse Brett in the hot seat not wearing a shirt in one part of the video.  Day 2 (at the end of the video) I took my 10-year-old son (Bryn) for his first drive.  He suggested the helmets.

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More pics of the installations.  Even have indicators, tail and brake lights working.  And the horn I spent so much time on.  

A couple of shake down items to sort.  2 small water leaks which replacement hose clamps have sorted.  Ignition light is not going out so charging syestem not coming online.  I will check the earths and wiring from the distrbution box to generator box.

The generator was rebuilt so I wonder if there is a way of testing that next to see if it is actually doing what it should?

Now plan is to get everything taped up so we can get a few good days in of painting everything.

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  • 3 weeks later...

3 very busy days painting.  A spell of extended hot weather was predicated so away we went.

Today we had 2 guns going and lesson learned 'bigger is better'. We treated ourselves to a gun with a big bucket which meant less mixing and quicker application.

Every thing back in the shed ready to be bolted back on.  

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  • 4 weeks later...

We were booked in for our first public outing on the 23rd Feb but another opportunity came along for an event the week before so it has been a busy time trying to get ready.

Although not 100% it was enough to take to a Defence Force family open day at the local military base.  

Still needs some more dressing up but we are happy with where we have come from to where it is at now.

In need of smoke discharger bases and tubes and turret basket if anything out there.

 

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Phil what a great looking machine, it will be a shame to get it dirty now. Kudos to you for the work done. As you sit now in the afterglow and reflect, what would you have done differently with the project and what spares did you wish that you had bought now that they are harder to find? I am interested to hear of other peoples experiences and learn from them, I am not in any way trying to criticise.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes a good question and with the benefit of hindsight. 

I guess the key to anything like this is your budget, availability of parts and, resources to be able to undertake a restoration like this.  If you want to drive a vehicle straight away then you need to budget for an up and running vehicle.  If you want the enjoyment of a restoration then you want to get as much as you can in the way of spares from the outset.  It would also be preferable to view what you are getting.

 Luckily we had reliable contacts in the UK to view the vehicle and the previous owner was also great to deal with.  We were also lucky to get a good amount of spares as in another set of track, road wheels and 2 engines.  Locally we sourced a reconditioned gearbox.  Also locally a full set of parts and reference manuals plus a local person’s experience of restoring armoured vehicles including cvrts.

During the restoration further spares have been sourced and we will store these hopefully never to be used.

Whilst the vehicle is not internally 100% complete we were happy from the outset that externally it would look the part.  Perhaps in time we will get a turret basket and other kit to fit it out.

When I embarked on this project I had no previous experience so was learning all the way.  Proves anything can be done when you set your mind to it. 

You do need good support from your beloved, don’t try and work to a strict budget (but do what needs to be done), and don’t rush things.

 I’m not sure in hindsight that there are any major regrets and I think we where we wanted to be. 

No worries getting it dirty as we want to have fun.  It has now done to static displays at show over 2 weeks.

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  • 6 months later...

I hope everyone out there is okay and this COVID thing isn't affecting you too much.  It has been winter here so a chance just to potter along with small bits and pieces.

A spotlight was found which I stripped down and rebuilt.  Now installed and working.

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A clansman intercom system has been installed and working.  Makes communication between the driver and turret so much easier.   

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Some replica smoke dischargers have been added.

 

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the latest project will be the renovation and installation of a turret basket.  I didn't think we would ever get one but Australia used them in the M113's that had Scorpion turrets fitted.  Missing some bits including the commanders seat so if you have anything for it please let me know.  This one was offered to me so I grabbed it.

The turret rollers were completely seized so I had to drill out the pins so as not to damage the alloy housing.  New bearings ordered today. 

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next project is to try and make up some dummy rounds either out of resin casting or alloy casting. Happy days.

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Edited by philm1
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  • 8 months later...

Over the past 9 months we have been to a few shows as well as continued to add more bits and pieces as they have become available.  

The turret rollers and basket were rebuilt and installed.

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In October we attended 'Tank Weekend' run by a local military vehicle club.  What made it special was 3 Scorpions in attendance before one of them went off to a new home in the South Island of NZ.

The first time we really got to stretch her legs over a good shingle track with lots of corners and ups and downs.  Performed well but I think it did suffer from fuel vapor lock later in the day when both the weather and vehicle were very hot.

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Fantastic transformation from what it was to what it is now

Do you know the origins of the other 2 scorps in the pic?

(and well done for keeping the Belgian identity!)

best wishes

Terry

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15 hours ago, terryb said:

Fantastic transformation from what it was to what it is now

Do you know the origins of the other 2 scorps in the pic?

(and well done for keeping the Belgian identity!)

best wishes

Terry

Hi Terry,  the center Scorp is ex NZ Army.  The other was imported into NZ perhaps up to 10-15 years ago and rebuilt.  I'll ask the owner if he knows any history on it.  We thought we'd be different and keep with the Belgium identity.  NZ Scorpions were originally a similar green before they went to the Merdec Cammo scheme.  We did think of going UN white as well.

Phil

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Fantastic work as always Phil.  Coincidentally I am also refurbishing the turret basket.  Looking at the pictures it seems that it comes out through the NBC pack - is it a difficult operation?

I've removed the bearing fittings and have replacement bearings but I cannot locate a source for the hollow pins.  I'd rather replace them than re-use the originals and wondered where you managed to get yours

All the best

Richard

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On 6/5/2021 at 10:46 PM, Cornishbloke said:

Fantastic work as always Phil.  Coincidentally I am also refurbishing the turret basket.  Looking at the pictures it seems that it comes out through the NBC pack - is it a difficult operation?

I've removed the bearing fittings and have replacement bearings but I cannot locate a source for the hollow pins.  I'd rather replace them than re-use the originals and wondered where you managed to get yours

All the best

Richard

Hi Richard, Reasonably straight forward to get the turret basket in and out.  Always helps to have a 2nd pair of hands and the smaller person in the turret.

The hollow pins I re made using a bit of hollow steel tube then a friend turned it down on his lathe to a press fit.  Couldn't find the exact size off the shelf.  

Now looking for fittings that attach the turret to the basket and the bracket from top of commanders seat to turret if you know of any sources.

Regards

Phil

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  • 2 months later...

Motor taken out of NZ Scorpion back in 1995. Conrod sticking out of sump. I have stripped it down to keep what bits may be good as spares and will scrap the rest.  443833655_SeizedMotor.thumb.jpg.e9dd20ee744b4a3b375c51c90020a29e.jpg

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