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another Diamond T 980 restoration


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evening every one finally got round to wiring the head lights in, got to say for someone who absolutely despises wiring and most things electrical, the electrics are one of my favorite jobs i hav

finally had a week off (last week) so had some me time with the diamond and it is amazing how much you can get done in a week. wiring in 7 pin trailer plug floor mat as the

got the refurbished bonnet fitted yesterday, nice to have the final big piece fitted. onto sorting out the hand full off little things like wind screen wipers which i have stripped down tonight and go

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large torque rod pin nuts finished just got to clean the split inserts up and the pins can be installed. rear pintle hook spring case has been stripped painted and re fitted. thank you to Andy Blackford for screw cutting the nuts, and showing me how easy it is to do.

 

large torque rod pin nuts being made from scratch, threads are screw cut as they are an unusual thread for the dia.

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rear pintle hook spring case being reassembled and fitted back to the chassis.

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large torque rod pin nuts finished just got to clean the split inserts up and the pins can be installed. rear pintle hook spring case has been stripped painted and re fitted. thank you to Andy Blackford for screw cutting the nuts, and showing me how easy it is to do.

 

large torque rod pin nuts being made from scratch, threads are screw cut as they are an unusual thread for the dia.

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rear pintle hook spring case being reassembled and fitted back to the chassis.

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lovey bit of old school machining.

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thank you for the positive comments every one, yes Mark the chassis is welded some by me and some during it's service life, i have welded two small sections into the top of the chassis rail's just under the ballast box as they had rotted right through plus building up other corroded area's. Also the British army cut a piece out of the rear cross member and welded a thicker piece in then welded webs in the back to make it stronger for towing the 50 ton Dyson trailers as post war the T's were grossing 90+ tons when they were only ever design'd for 60 ton during the war.

 

i have been told stories by T drivers from the 50 - 60's that rear cross members were ripped clean out of the chassis but i think this was more to do with the cross members being bolted back in after modification instead of being riveted.

 

regards sam

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  • 1 month later...

couple of late evening's after work has got the wire rope roller under neath the ballast box made and fitted, with thanks to Jason Jeffries for lending me his to copy as 1531's original wasn't good enough to get measurements from. today me & Dan Jones got the first NOS rear axle out of the box and got some clean oil in side it and know terns over very nicely by hand. so getting a bit closer to rolling on all 10 wheels again, have also made the decision to only paint the hubs/drums as the original 1944 olive drab paint is to good to paint over and i think it is always nice to keep good original paint were possible, but am open to peoples opinions on painting the axles. 

know the forum is back up and running i will keep the updates coming on 1531's progress.

 

regards sam

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thank you very much Pete i am not a fan of electric technology bad enough the diamond has lights etc to wire in!

got the first rear axle in today which is not as simple to fit as you would think specially when doing it single handed but got there in the end just need to top the oil level up and paint the hubs/break drums. the rest of the axle/diff i will leave as it is as it would be criminal to paint over all that original 1945 olive drab paint which has survived for so long so it will be painted with a oil/paraffin mix. 

the second axle needs reconfiguration as it is turned 180 degrees to the first axle so the left hub moves to the right and vice versa so i got to swap the hubs rounds so the right & left hand wheel studs are the right way round. also the drive flange needs removing and the bearing dust cap fitting then it is just the simple task of following the same process as the first axle. 

 

plan to have 1531 rolling on all 10 wheels by new year so should manage that goal.

 

regards sam   

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cheers John can't wait to get her rolling again.

lots more work done on 1531, rear axle hubs have been swapped around so the wheel studs are on the right side and very surprised at how clean the brake drums and shoes are in side as they have been sat in the box for over 70 years and never turned a single rev. started on the winch rope tensioner mechanism as it is completely seized up so will need a lot of work to get it back to a usable standard. 

finished the weekend off by getting the last rear axle in to 1531's chassis and really looking forward to breaking the 8 rusty rear wheels down for blasting & painting.   

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  • 4 weeks later...

not a lot of bolting parts to the truck at the moment as at the stage of just cleaning and painting various parts ready to be fitted, have sent the wheel rims off to be blasted and painted. last few days have been spent repairing the air tanks as there were some pin holes and small area's of pitting which i have built back up with weld.

this after noon i also got very lucky and a very nice gentleman, Graham Upchurch actually photographed 1531 at the 1991 Knowl Hill steam rally and boy doesn't she look so much better back then. 

 

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Is patching air tanks a good idea? How much pressure do those things have in them?

As far as I know, any pressure container must be "in test" just like a boiler has to be "in test" for

safety reasons.

I can't imagine that a patched air reservoir is in any way safe?

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the air system is 110 psi and is perfectly safe and if you go worst case scenario you would just hear air leaking out. 

the air system on a truck does not have to be in test, the air tanks on a truck are not pressure tested they either hold air or they do not.

i build steam engine boilers for a living and i have seen boilers hydraulic tested to 300 psi or more and even when they are down to 2mm of thickness and they don't leak or fail. worse they do is start to drip or hiss and not much more. 

trust me if i thought they were no good i would have scrapped them but having had a boiler inspector thickness test, put a camera inside and pressure testing them to 150 psi on air they are sound part from one spot were it had managed to make a hole which the inspector said to patch it as it is a very common practice. 

thank you for raising the questions though as it is nice to see someone taking an interest in these things. 

 

regards sam  

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Sam I am really surprised. Not that I have had anything to do with this subject other than own a typical compressor and religiously drain the condensate after each use.

In Australia any pressure vessel used commercially (I do not know about truck air tanks) must be tested every 10 years, this includes air compressors (which typically go to about 110psi). of any size.

I do recall a boiler failure a few years ago, I think in Melbourne, where 2 workers were killed and a building effectively demolished.

How do you patch? I can understand putting on a doubler plate. But your description seemed to indicate a flush patch? In which case how do you achieve uniform thickness without weld undercut on the inside of the tank?

Regards

Doug

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"110 psi is perfectly safe". No it is not. Even a gnat's whisker above atmospheric is a dangerous pressure. A 0.5 psi pressure is enough to penetrate the skin, an eyeball to cause an embolysm, usually fatal. Higher pressures than that, even under 110psi have proved fatal and I too have witnessed the aftermath of several fatality incidents where the blast from an unintended pressure release, three from air (receivers and tyres), another of nitrogen from a pressure vessel (and far to many from hydrogen, propane and acetylene - it's my core business, gas and pressure safety - but they don't call me in until its to late and after the event!). Pressure testing of vessels/tanks is a serious affair and, for certification purposes would normally be performed hydraulically (water) or with an inert gas (nitrogen). Air, with 21% O2 is not inert for this purpose.

Oil under pressure, easily defeats skin and eyes too, causing the most horrific of flesh-eating type injuries. Amputation normally required. Always make the effort to be safe, stay safe.

Perhaps a chat with someone from the DoT or elsewhere regarding Safety, Design, Construction and Use Regulations may prove advantagous. After all, you wouldn't want a catastrophic failure of your air receiver, I'm sure, especially if someone is nearby.

What a great job you're doing with your DT.

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to answer doug's question we use a steel plate equal in thickness to the original tank in this case 2.5mm and i make it big enough so that all the weld is on good thick base metal (tank). in this case a 2" x 2" patch which i curve so it matches the radius of the air tank and helps retain strength. then i just do a single run all the way around with a stick welder at around 35 - 40 amps which gives good penetration with out under cutting.

in the UK it is very common on older vehicles to see patched air tanks or brazed copper air lines etc. i know were BlueBelle is coming from but from working experiences with steam boilers which i have hydraulic tested old riveted boilers to 300 psi which have a working pressure of 200 psi in steam. these boilers have known thin spots like 2 mm thick or less and a hydraulic test does not make the boiler fail and that is fact they always fail when hot and when they do fail they just drip and hiss. 

either way i know the air tanks on the Diamond T are sound and i know to keep an eye and a ear on them as with any old vehicle. i have seen air tanks on another diamond t with braze repairs and never give a problem. of course a repair is only as good as the person who does it. besides a modern air tank is only 1.5 mm thick when new and the tanks on the diamond t are 2.5 mm thick and run at a lower pressure than modern trucks so i can't for see any issues.        

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Christmas holidays have started so have 2 weeks to spend on the Diamond and not wasting any time getting stuck into the long list of jobs. 

started with refurbishing all the different air valves and switches for the brake system which only needed cleaning as all were internally very good with no perished diaphragms or bad springs. also stripped the radiator as i am making one good rad out of two as i wanted the header tank with the "DT"  emblem but that rad had a bad bottom tank so a lot of work but worth it. lastly i started on the range box this evening which had water in it which is no surprise at all with these and the gear set is very good being the upgraded helical set which was fitted to most Rolls Royce powered Diamonds during the upgrade process in the 50's - 60's. hopefully it will be just a simple strip down, clean, paint and re build. 

that is 2 days down 12 more to go can't wait to get back into the shed.    

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