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M16 Halftrack restoration/build. A long long road.


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Hopefully next week I’ll have chance to ring around the wholesale traders.

 

Today I managed to get the seized bolt out of the bogie frame and get it removed. I then made a start on removing the rear cross member. Some bolts I had to grind the heads off and some I had to chisel the nuts off. One nut was so thin it was like a washer and practically fell off.

It got dark before I could remove the last bolts so that’s tomorrow’s job.

 

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Got the rear cross member removed and then moved onto the job I’ve not been looking forward to, removing the idler posts. 

As the split pin was corroded to the point the head was gone, I couldn’t pull it out. The access is so limited there was no way to get a punch in there to push it through, so I decided to  just remove as much exposed split pin and just undo the nut. It needed 2100N of pressure but it went in the end, it’s damaged the threads at the end but they aren’t really needed and the post is that worn that I think I may need new ones machining up anyway. A cheap Chinese 20 Tonne bottle Jack braced against the opposite post soon had the first out. I’ll attempt the second tomorrow.

The post fits into a bracket on the out side of the frame and then passes through the frame into another bracket attached to another cross member. The photos below will hopefully explain it better.

 

Sorry the photos are out of sequence as some failed to upload correctly.

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Edited by Chris Hall
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Got the second post off today. It was a lot harder than the first. It took the 20T Jack pumped until I physically couldn’t pump it any more. And then it took 10 minutes of heating with propane before it gave up with an almighty bang. It moved about a 1/4” but the rust chunks flew about 6’! Scared the pants off me, I actually thought the bottle Jack had exploded.

so that’s the whole back end stripped. Next is the front and then repair the frame. 

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On 10/11/2020 at 8:25 PM, Chris Hall said:

It was a French scrapyard that the previous Dutch collector bought it from. I had it shipped here on a Dutch trailer with an English tractor unit and a Polish driver. A truly European effort.

I think this yours as well, pictures taken back in 2012. There were lots of interesting things there but back then nearly impossible to buy anything. Quite a few people must have watched the site as I know of several items that found a good home after the owner passed away.

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I’ve not achieved much recently but I pulled the tarp off to get to some other parts. This photo shows where I’m at, at the moment. Next step will be to get the cab floor out so I can look at what I need to replace (I suspect the whole floor and supports). And after that, remove the whole cab.

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I also broke down the bogies as far as I could but 2 arms are seized and 2 cluster won’t split down but I will win.

I will try and get a photo of the right idler as it has some battle damage, namely a bullet hole with a corresponding strike mark and then another strike mark a few inches further on. I thought at first that something solid had got into the idler wheel but the hole and deformed steel leaves me convinced it’s battle damage.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Again, nothing much to report. Had to drop the kids off with Grandparents for 1/2 term last week and this weekend they’re back. I did manage to remove the radiator and it’s not looking too good. I think it may be making a one way trip to radiator heaven.

I also pulled the carb and it’s not looking too good, I think it may be making a one way trip to Carburettor heaven.

I also pulled the exhaust and it’s not good, it’s definitely going to exhaust heaven.

I also pulled the water pump and it looks pretty good! I think I can save this piece!!

 

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Today’s efforts involved removing the cab floor and the bulkhead. There’s been some really strong winds recently and it’s been pulling on my tarp. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts to cover sharp edges with pipe lagging, it didn’t work and I’ve got some big holes. So those sharp edges needed to go.

 

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In Holland there was a firm that installed overhead power lines, they had several of these halftrucks with winches on the back. Good luck with yours.

Edited by Citroman
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I've not managed to find 1/4 plate in lincoln.  Using 6mm as its only for some mounting brackets, that are hidden away on the Loyd.  If its a small enough plate you need you can use 7mm and have it surface ground down to 6.5mm or as Adrian recommended to me order some from the USA.  Nice Half Track.

Edited by ajmac
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Yeah I’ve had no luck with 1/4” plate, everyone says they have it until you ask if it’s really 1/4” or just 6mm.

im in the states next year so may buy some big sheets and bring it back in our ISO containers.

 

Today I got some more of the floor out and the front track armour off. I think I need to remove the Hydrovac unit to get to some of the armour bolts and then I can get the cab side armour off. Then it’s the engine to cab bulkhead assembly and that’s a heavy chunk!

 

You can see in the photo below how rusty the floor is. Luckily that has protected the chassis underneath but I’ll have to buy the floor parts that I can and make the rest.

It amazes me that some parts are rotten but only inches away you find something pristine. I can literately have a nut that is so corroded there’s only a thin collar left and yet an inch away there can be a pristine identical nut. It’s bizarre.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/5/2020 at 9:27 PM, Citroman said:

In Holland there was a firm that installed overhead power lines, they had several of these halftrucks with winches on the back. Good luck with yours.

Yep, I've seen one when a Apache severed high tension lines near me. It was in rough shape, all gauges broken etc. Still it did the job as a off road winch truck.

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That ones an international harvester which was the version sold to the commonwealth. The armour is welded rather than screwed and there’s a lot of minor differences such as the dashboard. It may be tired but it’s another survivor!

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Not much of an update, the storage yard has been closed for some new gate posts going in and when I have been able to work on it, all the screws have been badly corroded. 

so all the floor is now out and the side armour has been removed. I was going to lift the front firewall/bulkhead off as one lump but I realised 1. It was heavy and 2. I would need something that lift quite high. The yard owner is happy to loan me his telehandler but I found some cracks in the windshield supports so decided to play it safe and dismantle the dash and windscreen from the firewall and remove as 2 separate and lighter items.

Splitting them in theory is a case of simply undoing a load of screws and removing the top and side armour. That’s never the case though and many lock nuts are now just lumps of iron ore. Some of the space available is so small it can take a 1/2 hour just to chisel the nut off. My back hand hammer action is developing well.

2 screws I’m not looking forward to are blind with captive nuts. I’ve not removed one screw yet by using a turn screw, I would normally just hold the head with the turn screw and undo the nut. I have a feeling I’ll be drilling these out.

So here is the result.

 

 

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A good day today but it doesn’t look like I’ve done much.

Got the windscreen and top armour off and removed the foot boards to get to the firewall mounts. I didn’t need to bother on the left as the mount had sheered so does absolutely nothing. 
 

unfortunately it was about dark when I took the photo and it was pitch black by the time I left. 
 

 

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