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1942 Commer Q2 30cwt Restoration.


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So, I have been pondering for quite a while now about posting about my Commer. I haven't really got very far with its restoration due to work and lockdowns etc but things are moving slowly.

I have posted before about the trouble we had getting her running, that took a long time and eventually we serviced or replaced pretty much all the electrical side and the fuel system. She now runs fine but we have trouble actually starting her sometimes, we find that the starter jams and we end up having to remove it to free her. 

Long story short, when the starter was out just before Christmas I noticed swarf in the bell housing, after carefully running a finger against the starter ring I found that many teeth were worn so I decided then even though its a big job we needed to strip and replace the starter ring. This in itself meant dropping the prop shaft, making a nice trolley to drop the gearbox / bell housing onto and removing all the cab floor to get access and then tend with bolts that had been in place for 70-80 years. You all know what I mean.

So, below shows the starter ring on the flywheel, its actually welded in 3 equally spaced slots

50831366116_3bac311d51.jpg

All looks fine there but take a look at the wear on the teeth below! We couldn't believe how awful the teeth are, its not restricted to one place but many sections around the ring. It made me very glad in the decision to strip and replace it.

50830621163_86bf99656c.jpg

You will also notice that the starter ring does not sit flush all round the flywheel, it actually has bowed out between each of the welds!

Edited by Rootes75
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So, a bit of a throw back. This clip is from before Christmas when we finally got the engine running and starting each time. At this point we were fine tuning the running and the exhaust was fitted bu

Very pleased, picked up the refitted starter ring on Friday. The garage were so helpful and I had a really good chat with the Mechanic who did the work. I was also surprised at the bill, £54 all in! 

We had a very good weekend, re-fitted the securing wire on the flywheel bolts, that was a very tedious job.  Next we re-fitted the clutch which was straightforward as we have an alignment tool. T

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2 hours ago, Rootes75 said:

 

You will also notice that the starter ring does not sit flush all round the flywheel, it actually has bowed out between each of the welds!

I would think that starter ring has been changed before, because it is unusual to weld them in place, you normally heat them and shrink on. I wonder if it was the correct ring?

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Yes, the ring should be heated and then let cool into place. We were very surprised to see the weld when we removed it. 

The weld could have been a wartime fix maybe?

Edited by Rootes75
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So, I contacted Speedy Spares last week to ask about getting a new Starter ring. I was asked if I could count the teeth as there are two types that would fit. 

The Commer Q4 has a ring with 146 teeth and the Starter pinion has 10 teeth.

The Commer Q2 has a ring with 115 teeth and the Starter pinion has 9 teeth.

Guess what, we counted the teeth yesterday and we have 146 teeth on the starter ring and 9 teeth on the starter pinion!?! So its a mix of the Q2 and Q4 and no wonder that she has a problem starting!

I am lucky, they have a starter ring with 115 teeth in stock.

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It does make sense now Richard.

But, upon taking it apart you could see this was a very old fix so this was done a long time ago, I would imagine previous owners must have had trouble too.

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On 1/13/2021 at 8:48 PM, Rootes75 said:

So, I have been pondering for quite a while now about posting about my Commer. I haven't really got very far with its restoration due to work and lockdowns etc but things are moving slowly.

I have posted before about the trouble we had getting her running, that took a long time and eventually we serviced or replaced pretty much all the electrical side and the fuel system. She now runs fine but we have trouble actually starting her sometimes, we find that the starter jams and we end up having to remove it to free her. 

Long story short, when the starter was out just before Christmas I noticed swarf in the bell housing, after carefully running a finger against the starter ring I found that many teeth were worn so I decided then even though its a big job we needed to strip and replace the starter ring. This in itself meant dropping the prop shaft, making a nice trolley to drop the gearbox / bell housing onto and removing all the cab floor to get access and then tend with bolts that had been in place for 70-80 years. You all know what I mean.

So, below shows the starter ring on the flywheel, its actually welded in 3 equally spaced slots

50831366116_3bac311d51.jpg

All looks fine there but take a look at the wear on the teeth below! We couldn't believe how awful the teeth are, its not restricted to one place but many sections around the ring online casinos canadiancasinos-online.com. It made me very glad in the decision to strip and replace it.

50830621163_86bf99656c.jpg

You will also notice that the starter ring does not sit flush all round the flywheel, it actually has bowed out between each of the welds!

Well done!  Is there a chance to see a full work?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bitterly cold down in Somerset this weekend but we started to ramp up the strip down of the body. All the wings, fuel and oil holders are now off and the U bolts are off. We are planning to jack prop the body just a little higher and then simply push the lorry out.

In doing this we can get much batter access to rubbing down the chassis and also we can replace the rotten cross members and the complete floor on the body.

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So, a bit of a throw back. This clip is from before Christmas when we finally got the engine running and starting each time. At this point we were fine tuning the running and the exhaust was fitted but without a gasket. It took an awful lot of work to get to this point.

Obviously, since then we have dropped the gearbox and removed the flywheel in order to replace the starter ring.

Edited by Rootes75
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Starting the long process of stripping things down and removing old paint etc.

Upon rubbing down the rear wings we found its various layers of paint from over the years. But interestingly, look a the very pale green / beige that's the original paint layer. Its hard but not impossible to make out in the photo. 

50945140563_ac28b91db8.jpg

1942 I would have expected SCC2 Brown or similar, not a light colour. Would it maybe imply first use was overseas?

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When it was demobbed it was used by a garage as far as we know, thats the red layer of paint. Then by a builder, thats the blue layer of paint. After that it was re-painted up in green as a military truck. 

So, either the garage rubbed it down and painted or just slapped the red on top of the existing? We will simply never know I think.

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It may be that the mudguards were made by an outside contractor and delivered in that colour as that was the paint available to them. They could even have been diverted from a civilian order. They could have been replacements many years ago. Anything is possible.

David

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So, after phoning round over 10 garages locally and in the town where I work, finally one of them has said they can fit the new starter ring to the flywheel on the Commer.

I have dropped the flywheel and new ring gear off to the garage and had a good chat with the elderly garage owner. It was nice to see some vintage cars being worked on in their workshop, not many garages are sympathetic or have some of the old skills needed when working on older vehicles.

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Very pleased, picked up the refitted starter ring on Friday. The garage were so helpful and I had a really good chat with the Mechanic who did the work. I was also surprised at the bill, £54 all in! 

50969056106_03225c8012.jpg

Then on Sunday we refitted the flywheel with the intention of refitting the clutch and gearbox next weekend. Its nice to be moving forward. We have been rubbing down the rear wings recently and I did wonder about the layers of paint on the front wings. I rubbed down a small patch and you can see the layers of paint its had over the years. Best of all though and you can see it in the photo is the layer that looks very much like SCC2!!

50968351168_0af8c87eb4.jpg

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If the base colour is SCC2 Brown, and then there are blue coats over it, this could indicate post war RAF service. It is not unusual for vehicles of that period to have been transferred from Army to RAF or Navy. Do you know the Contract number for this Commer?

 

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So there are 437 Q2 Fixed sided lorrys for the Ministry of supply dated between 1939-43 and mine was built in 1942.

image.thumb.png.01aca9bbb189f284c1c32030343a31ad.png

 

And as you say Richard, a lot more were built for the air ministry but the 5000 or so were supplied as chassis cabs.

image.png.8110cf724a0eb0140f6f4758acbb50a0.png

 

 

 

Edited by Rootes75
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1 minute ago, Rootes75 said:

 

So there are 437 Q2 Fixed sided lorrys for the Ministry of supply dated between 1939-43 and mine was built in 1942.

 

And as you say Richard, a lot more were built for the air ministry but the 5000 or so were supplied as chassis cabs.

 

Supplying as chassis/cabs is not unusual as the MoS would have contracted another company to make the bodies.

What you need to find is Q2 parts lists as Commer / Rootes usually listed the range of chassis numbers for the particular contract, then it will narrow your search down. Usually a different parts list for each contract.

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