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BATUS Ferret 00CC78 Refurbish


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I thought I would share the Refurbishment of my latest purchase, 00CC78, a 1959 BATUS Ferret. I am the 3rd owner. It has been well preserved and relatively unmolested since leaving active service. Regretably, she suffers from the debilitating effects of non-use and old age. The Ferret came with lots of spare parts including a spare engine and transmission. As it had never been registered, my first priority was to get her ready for the 'Out of Province Inspection!' I knew that I would be doing the brakes but kept telling myself that the fluid flywheel leak was manageable (ominous foreshadowing) ...

Cropped Original Purchase.jpg

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The Ferret's brake system was in a poor state with the added bonus of seized park brakes. The hub seals were leaking oil onto the brake shoes, only compounding the problem. A big job just became bigger - off came the hubs along with the associated planetary gears and needle bearings - ugh! The master cylinder was re-sleeved, new shoe linings, hoses, seals, etc. were installed. All parts were stripped, cleaned and painted.



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The fenders and bins were removed and given to a very talented metal worker named Brent. In addition to being a real gentleman, Brent did a fantastic job beating the sheet metal to within reasonable parameters, replacing metal that was too badly damaged and aligning and repairing the hinges. Everything was re-installed for test fitting and small amounts of filler were used to finish things off - care being taken not to 'over restore.' One added bonus to spending it's life on the dry prairie is that there is no rust anywhere!




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Reality Check!

The fluid flywheel is leaking like crazy - so the decision was made to pull the power pack. My friend Dave 'the Ferret Whisperer' was brought in and quickly noted that we had a compression problem as well - Good Grief!

#5 exhaust valve was cracked but didn't mess up the valve seat and a light dressing was all that was required. Shout out to Richard Banister, a real gem to work with! Replacement parts ordered and shipped across the pond in record time! The engine had a rebuild tag of 1987.




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Cleaning, painting and repairing ....

A minor modification was the addition of an 'M' Series Throttle cable that activates the fuel pump primer leaver. A bracket was fabricated and bolted to the coil housing - priming made easy! The Jolley Electronic Ignition was also installed.





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The numbers went from 00CC78 through to 00CC99, then 01CC00 to 01CC99 before getting to 02CC00 etc, so a bit of a gap between the two. Also, with vehicles being moved about , repaired, re-issued etc, any adjacent numbering in a unit, once the vehicles were elderly would have been unusual.


The unit, by the way, appears to be Queen's Royal Irish Hussars if I'm not mistaken.



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You are certainly doing a cracking job on the clean up. It is something that everyone with a Ferret should do early n in ownership.


Look forward to seeing how the whole project progresses.




It is sure is a grand job but I like mine the way it is, meaning it is just as the last squaddie got out of her. All I'm doing is giving her a lick of paint on the outside. Inside is as it was from service. Gives me a sense of her history sitting in the drivers seat and feeling like I have just got in after the last lad got out, you can't beat that feeling. Each to their own but having a FV in showroom condition is not my cup of tea.

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I am often amused by the observation abut the factory finish versus in use. It is one on those things that is a matter of personal taste, and our veterans fought for our freedom to do just that.


Anyway, Albertamj has a high standard that many like me aspire to start off at and let the patina of usage allow the vehicle to end up clean and tidy and used as you like. Knowing the man himself and having seen pictures of some of his other vehicles this one fits in as being a very well loved vehicle.

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Thanks for all the comments gents!


We have a wide range of military vehicles in our local MVPA chapter, some restored to a very high standard, some just as they left the military. Some of the restored vehicles have certain 'creative liberties' taken yet all are interesting and contribute something to our many static displays and parades that we attend throughout the summer. What bonds us together is our common love of all things military.


My Ferret, as stated, needed work to get her back on the road, pulling the power pack was not an option and presented an opportunity to clean an paint the old girl. The smell inside the driver's compartment was very strong - years of gear oil, fluid flywheel oil and petrol made for quite the overpowering odor (as I'm sure many reading this post can attest to).


I might be inclined to 'over restore' and here's why; the quality of materials used back in the day compared to the flimsy plastics and thin metals used by our modern vehicles is dramatic. I like to emphasize these materials and let their natural (albeit clear-coated) beauty show. Regardless, whatever I do can be easily returned to it's natural O.D. state! The $1,100 radiator looks good after paint - notice how we installed a radiator cap in lieu of the pressure valve (which had ceased to function). Pressure relif valves just aren't that common around here ...


Today was a big day - she's alive! After priming the fuel pump and cranking her over for a couple of rotations and she came to life - no choke or gas pedal required! As we didn't have the radiator hooked up yet, we didn't run her very long but it was great to hear her purr like a kitten! Me thinks the Jolley ignition may have helped here ...




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I can't tell from the picture, but is that a pressure relief cap? If not, you're going to have problems. The Ferret is designed to overflow excess coolant out of the pressure relief valve on top of the radiator when it gets too high. The vehicle is not fitted with an overflow bottle. You're also not going to be able to access the cap when the armour is installed.




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Hi Terry,


As Dave mentioned, it is a pressure relief cap and we are using the original brass pipe with the filler and cap (it just wasn't installed when the pictures were taken).


I've attached some of the original purchase pictures showing some of the parts that came with the Ferret. In addition to the extra power pack, there were a number of NOS parts including brake drums, the windshield insert, driver's and commander's seats and bevel box housings. You can never have too many spares!




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850 Kms? That's impressive Starfire! I have the driver's seat bottoms but no extra seat backs. I think Khaki Imports may have some.


John, I asked about the waterless coolant and my distributor didn't have any - it would have been my first choice. Regardless, one of the keys to success will be regular maintenance and changing the fluids every couple of years is key.


We are going to run the Ferret later this week and get her up to operating temperature. If all checks out we will then transport it back to my garage where I will perform the exterior paint and start putting the final bits back on - exciting.


I've attached a picture of the 1987 rebuild sheet that was found in the motor, it appeared to have hardened valve seats with may have explained why we were able to easily clean up the exhaust valve seat on the #5 cylinder.


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  • 2 weeks later...

A bit of a setback ...


As the Ferret was warming up in order to be moved outside for paint, oil started dripping from the rear of the hull. To make a long story short, fuel was being pumped into the crankcase and was coming out of the breather. I guess the old girl just wanted to return her hull back to it's oily, greasy state.


We rebuilt the fuel pump when the engine was out but failed to use sealant on the diaphragm!


A perfect opportunity to switch to an electric pump. We used a Facet cylindrical 24 volt pump that produces 4-5 psi. We added a regulating valve and a return line. Using a gauge, we started at 2.5 psi and moved up to about 3 psi after it seemed to be starved for fuel around 2,500 rpm. Runs like a Swiss watch now and no more washing of the main bearings with petrol! The pump is not visible with the tin work in place. Paint tomorrow!


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