Jump to content

My Flying Control Jeep - The Ongoing Story

Recommended Posts

The small aluminium disc was baked for some time after being sprayed white and was then masked up for a red cross to be sprayed. Once dry, this would be mounted with the original bracket made for the RAF roundel. It is a 'T' shaped piece of wood with a threaded insert for a bolt. The Red cross disc and 'T' bracket clamp around the grill bars.



Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 738
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Test Drive - March 18th By mid March 2020, the coronavirus had caused the cancellation of the York Crank Up, "Against the Odds" at Elvington, Blyth Battery Goes to War, Heugh Battery and Barnard

Isolation Drive - May 16th Well, the government said we could now go out and travel......"to exercise or spend time outdoors for recreation" and "should continue to take particular care to minimi

It's the big day! Peace at last. USAAF on the left and RAF on the right.

Posted Images

Tanfield Railway 1940's Weekend - September 21/22nd

All three of my vehicles attended the Tanfield show across the two days. I've added a report with some pictures in my Dodge thread, but the full set of pictures can be found on my website here- 




Link to post
Share on other sites

September 20~27th - .50 Calibre Ammunition Crates

In early September, I made the first crate for camping gear. This was a single crate for when I go camping on my own. The next two crates were for when we go away as a family and so needed to carry more of everything. 

So the plan was to make two .50 calibre crates, but rather than buy a heavy repro, I opted for a lightweight thin ply crate. This would keep the weight down and create more internal space. A mock up was made from boards propped up to estimate the internal sizes needed for everything. I worked out that my crates could be close to the original size and so shouldn't look out of place, otherwise I would have probably marked them up as random parts crates.

The originals had a machined handle in the thick end plank. Since I was using thin ply, I needed to build a wooden box to create the slot. The rest of the boxes came together fairly quickly and were given several coats of paint mixed with waterproof PVA glue to seal, colour and waterproof the wood.



Link to post
Share on other sites

The lid was going to be the hard part of the project due to the recessed machining of the original for the fasteners. As I didn't have a suitable routing bit, I took a different approach. I used a wood bit to drill a centre hole, then a hole saw to cut half way into the depth of the wood. This was the centre of the hole where the wing nut would sit down into. A larger circle was drawn around the hole with would form the boundary of the tapered recess. 



To create the tapered depression, the centre part of wood was chiseled out and then the outer part was carved out with a very sharp scalpel While the pine was still quite hard to carve, the scalpel did a good job and was regularly sharpened. The hole was cleaned up with a mini drum sander before a hand sand to finish off.



Link to post
Share on other sites

The finished effect was very pleasing and a good representation of the lid of the original crates.


While the original lid had six wing nuts to fasten it down, I didn't want the effort of six nuts to open on each crate. Instead I added two dowels to one end that would slot into holes in the end of the box. The other end would use one wing nut to secure the lid.


The picture below shows the inside end of the box with the holes that take the dowels from the lid. So five of the wing nuts would be doing nothing, but they needed to be there.


I cut several pieces of studding, placed them in the holes and sprinkled fibreglass milled fibres down the holes. I then ran a few drops of thin cyanoacrylate down the hole with solidified thefibres around the studding, locking them in place. This allowed the five non-functioning wing nuts to be permanently screwed ont the lid.


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the fixings complete, I began to paint the lids, again using a paint/PVA mix. Adding the glue not only helped with waterproofing and adhesion, but it also had the effect to filling the wood grain to some degree.


One of the crates was to be left completely empty inside while the other needed some dividers. I had a trial pack to check what went where and marked up where the dividers needed to be. I still had some left over ply from the 8x4 sheet, so this was cut and glued in place to support the plates and cups, with the washing up bowl and other odds and ends.



Link to post
Share on other sites

With the insides sorted, it was time to make the outside look exciting! I used photos of real crates to work out a size for the text and graphics which were then redrawn and printed on normal paper. The paper was then covered in a layer of Sellotape which reinforces the paper and makes cutting delicate stencil bridges easier. They were all cut in one big session with a very sharp scalpel and then taped onto the box with masking tape.


With everything taped down, I began painting using a tin of Humbrol model enamel and a cut down brush to stipple the paint through the stencils. Two coats of paint were applied which gave a reasonable but not too even a coating. The largest side of the first box was done first.


After the stencils were dry enough to remove, I then touched up all the stencil bridges to fill in the gaps. This is because the original boxes were printed rather than stencilled. The end of the first box was done next.



  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The second box followed while the first was set aside to dry. The last stencils were on the lids and the boxes were then complete. They were left to harden overnight and the contents packed the following morning.



The three finished camping crates.


I've got quite a selection of boxes and crates now. In addition to the new .30 and .50 Cal crates, I have two astrograph boxes, two wooden crates made when I first got the Jeep, a .30 Cal tin and a first aid tin.


  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

September 28th - Windscreen Rust Treatment

At the Beamish event, I noticed a patch of rust at the lower corner of the passenger side windscreen. The paint was blistering badly and the frame looked like it had spread apart a little, allowing the rubber seal to come loose at the corner.

Other than a school visit in a few weeks time, the events are over for this year, so I have a bit of time to deal with it. At first, the inner screen wouldn't come out of the outer frame. It wouldn't lift up high enough to line up with the slot in the outer frame. I worked out that the bolts filling the holes where the original Hotchkiss screen supports were, prevented the screen opening enough.


After they were removed, the screen opened fully and was removed. I used a rotary wire brush to cut through the paint and grind away the surface rust on the outside of the frame.


It was then placed in an electrolysis bath to get deep into the rust, inside and outside of the frame. This is just the first step in the repair.


Link to post
Share on other sites

After further electrolysis, the screen was removed and cleaned inside and out, showing the extent of the rot.


The holes were filled with paint to try and seal the metal internally and the area was then baked in front of a heater. 


Originally I'd thought about using lots of small welds to fill the holes until I realised how big they were. I was also concerned about heat damage to the glass since it isn't removable. It was siliconed into the frame, probably by he French Army during its service rebuild. After getting a good look at the cleaned up holes, I opted for filling the area with a mix of epoxy resin and iron filings to reinforce the corner. This was left overnight to fully cure. 


Link to post
Share on other sites

The paint was left in front of a heater for a while to dry. Before fitting to the Jeep, I sprayed WD40 into the joint between the rubber seals and the frame, to try and get some behind the seals. The screen hinge was then greased and then it was slotted into place in the outer frame on the Jeep.



  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Blackfell Primary School World War 2 Day - October 22nd

It was a really cold morning and Jessie didn't want to start. On and off across the year, the starter gear wasn't engaging when the starter button was pressed. It took a number of goes, having to wait for the spin to stop before each try. Something to look at over the winter!


Lynne and I eventually got going and arrived at the school gates just before 9am. After being let in, we parked up behind the year 6 classroom as the field was fairly wet and being cut by the council. 


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since Tanfield, Jessie has taken possession of the new light coloured canvas roof as it seems to go better with the light olive of the bodywork. I'll leave the darker original roof canvas with Hope. Still wearing the Red Cross markings, this time Jessie was also wearing the RAF markings on the side, back and front bumper, giving yet another slight variation in the look of the vehicle.

Paul began the morning talks about the British airborne forces, taking the kids through the personal and field kit, before moving on to the weapons such as the Thompson, Sten and Bren guns. We finished off opening out a parachute which pretty much filled the school hall. That took us to morning break.



Link to post
Share on other sites

I had planned to have a talk about the German forces, but the guy had to drop out due to illness. Instead I did my 8th Air Force talk which I had prepared from previous years. 


This took us through to lunch. After lunch, John talked about ARP duties, evacuees, the home front, rationing, gas masks and the black out etc.


Link to post
Share on other sites

When John finished, he fielded a number of questions from the class for probably around another fifteen minutes. 


By this time we were half way through the afternoon, so we dressed up Miss Dodds in all my flying kit to give her and the class an appreciation of its weight, bulk and the effort needed to work wearing all of this.

From there, we spent the rest of the afternoon looking at the Jeeps outside, with the kids getting in a few at a time for class photos. I took Hope onto the field for a quick drive around to show them the Jeep in action, up and down the small hill between the two school fields, and leaving tram lines all over in the wet, soft grass!


We returned to the the class for the last fifteen minutes and I fielded a number of general questions about World War 2 to finish the day.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Once home, Hope was covered in mud and grass cuttings from the field, so I got the hose out for a wash down before putting both Jeeps away again. It had been another great visit and I'm fairly sure everyone enjoyed the day. I'm pretty sure this was my last event of the 2019 season.



Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

January 25th - Starter motor Overhaul

I had a fun few hours overhauling the Jeep starter motor. During the 2019 season, the starter motor pinion gear wasn't always being thrown out to engage with the flywheel, mainly when everything was cold and tight. The starter is down at the bottom of the bay, under the dizzy, coil, rear battery, voltage regulator and alternator. Fortunately just removing the rear of the two batteries gives just enough room to get it out.


It was all cleaned including the commutator and starter solenoid and its mechanical mechanism. This is a French modification and isn't the standard wartime starter where all the starting amps go through the foot switch. The only problem I had with the rebuild is that one of the studs on the solenoid, for the positive battery power, was copper and quite worn. The battery and ignition switch power come from this terminal. There was only enough good thread for the battery terminal, so the ignition wire was extended to the battery terminal instead. At some point in the future, I'm going to have to strip it all down again and try to replace the copper 5/16 UNC stud.



Link to post
Share on other sites

As I discovered in previous overhauls, the brushes, which are spring loaded, stop the end fitting back onto the starter. The wire to one gives around 1/2 free movement - not enough to put the cap on and hold the brushes out of the way. So some time ago, I drilled two small holes in the cap, through which I can insert two small L shaped pins.


These hold the springs outwards, allowing the brushes to clear the commutator while fitting the cap. Once the cap is in place, the two pins can be withdrawn and the brushes spring down to make contact.



Link to post
Share on other sites

End cap refitted and about to have the nuts fitted. After that, the brush pins can be withdrawn. Finally, the starter is fitted back to the engine and wiring reconnected.



The starter engaged straight away after the rebuild, but I need to leave it several days to get cold before I find out if it works properly after a period of inactivity.

Link to post
Share on other sites

February 15th - Fuel Filter Overhaul

I got both Jeep fuel filters stripped out for some work. Both Jeeps got a set of oil/fuel filter decals for Christmas last year, so it was time to make a start on applying them. Both filter bowls were quite scruffy on the outside. The one on Jessie had been untouched by me in 16 years other than being removed a couple of times to check for dirt.



The bowl was cleaned externally and then wet sanded. It also needed some small burrs removed from the top rim. The filter and spring were still in very good condition.



Link to post
Share on other sites

The filter bowl was sprayed silver and then left in my curing cabinet to bake the paint hard. Once fully hard, I can apply the decal.


February 16th - Fuel & Oil Filters

The paint on the filter bowl had hardened overnight so I prepared to apply the decal. It was cut from the sheet and a bowl of warm water was poured, with a little PVA glue diluted in it. The PVA helps with adhesion of the decal. After 30 seconds soaking in the water, the decal began to free itself from the backing paper.


A little of the water/PVA mix was brushed onto the surface and then the decal was positioned on the filter.


The water was then gently squeezed out from behind the decal until it was tight against the surface. After working on both fuel filters, I noticed the filter on the Ford version has a slightly deeper bowl. The filter was left to harden and I turned my attention to the oil filter.


Edited by Jessie The Jeep
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oil Filter Preparation

"Jessie" was still in the garage engine towards the door following the work on the starter motor. This also gave good access to the oil filter mounting.


The filter housing had been painted green fifteen years ago, following the original Hotchkiss green filter. It would however need to be repainted black before decalling and so needed to be removed. The filter pipes were disconnected and the filter removed without draining the oil. I couldn't run the engine to warm and thin the oil anyway as the fuel filter was still off.


With the filter in the workshop, it was opened up and the oil and filter placed in a clean plastic tub. The filter housing was placed in another tub with some petrol and scrubbed with a toothbrush to remove all the oil and mess.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...