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CVRT Scorpion restoration.

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Here begins the restoration story of our ex-Belgian Scorpion. It is intended to restore it to British Gulf war 1991 spec as per the owners wishes.


It was acquired several years ago and has been sitting in a field awaiting its turn to be restored. It is basically nothing more than a hull with tracks on at the moment, but we do have a re-con british turret for it (minus main armament) and about 85% of the parts to complete the rest.


All the major automotive components are present, but much of the wiring has been cut out of the hull front area including the dash board. There is also a hole cut in the right hand side, and I am informed that this hull was used to trial hole cutting methods for the diesel engine conversions.


We have been fortunate enough to be offered undercover storage for this restoration so given the recent frost, we decided to use this to our advantage and extract the vehicle from the back of the field where it has lain. The plan was to try and move it to a position where it could be towed or low-loaded to it's new home just under a mile away.


It has been parked at the end of a track at the back of the field, and only a land rover sized vehicle could be used to extract it (one had been used to put it here about 4 years ago). The frosty ground made a difference from the usual quagmire conditions sometimes associated with fields. You have to time your movements according to the ground conditions in this yard, as 4x4 and 6x6 vehicles have failed to make it up the slope to the yard road when muddy!


First problem of the day was the new tracks for the vehicle had been placed on a pallet (rolled up on their side) in front of the Scorpion, and no amount of cajoling or easy start would persuade the yards rather worn out Eager Beaver forklift to start. However, ingenuity was the order of the day and we used a land Rover and tow rope to pull the tracks to a vertical position and between three of us, managed to roll them clear. (My back let me know this was bad thing to do the next day!)


We then backed the landie to the Scorpion and attached an A-frame, and away we go....or not. A couple of weeks previously, we had re-fitted a few track links to the left hand side (they having been "borrowed" for another vehicle years ago) and the Scorpion rolled quite happily when the track was pulled over the sprocket. This time however, the left hand sprocket was refusing to rotate. After a bit of head scratching, levering and hammering, it was still not moving, so we decided to remove the track in order to continue. It seems that the final drive had got water in it which had now frozen. To pr-empt silly questions, there is no handbrake or transmission currently fitted.


Forward movement of the vehicle did not encourage the wheel-top side of the track to come off, so we drove a couple of ground stakes through the track and pulled the vehicle clear. We did not have a lot of space to do this, as there was a tight left turn to be negotiated between a recently painted truck and a dead Militant. Thankfully the turn was negotiated safely, and the vehicle parked in a safe spot for further movement.


Feeling on a role and being ahead of schedule, we considered options for further movement. There is a very tight right turn from the yard into the road, and turning left is not an option. It normally takes 2 shunts to get a truck out of the yard, and due to the position of a couple of driveways you cannot push a tank in to the road with a truck then drive down the hill (we tried this with the previous one). The ideal thing to do seemed to be to pull the tank round the corner into the road with the landie, as there is just enough space at that point for other vehicles to pass, then recover it from there using a truck. Unfortunately, there was a car parked in the space we wanted to use!


Some of you will know TootallMike (not around lately due to work, change of lifestyle and having a rest from the hobby). I had persuaded him to come and assist me for the day, and we decided to use his Ward LaFrance to drag the tank to its new home (little persuasion needed for that!). The Land Rover would have been capable of towing a bare CVRT hull to it's new home, were it not for the VERY steep down hill leaving the yard.


Mikes truck has not been used since returning from Bethune last September, but due to the fastideous nature of his servicing (some would say "inssecant fiddling") , the truck started first time (not bad for a freezing day and 4 months without being started) and after moving the spare WLF axle from in front of the truck and having a quick tidy up, we headed off to fetch the tank.


By the time we got to the yard, the space in the road was free, so we used the landie to tow the tank into the road (just made it in one go), hitched the truck to the tank and away we went, sending our third man to the cafe for a round of bacon butties.


I might add at this point that the CVRT still only had one track fitted, and due to the freezing temperature of the road surface and the short distance involved, we decided that the risk of damage to the road wheel rubbers would be minimal.


We stopped just short of our destination, dropped the tank in the road, ate our bacon sarnies, the used the land rover to tow the tank the rest of the way into the yard to it's temporary parking space in front of the WLF (tight manouvering involved!). All road wheels had survived the journey.


Next job will be to move vehicles around in the shed to make space for the restoration to begin.









Edited by Grasshopper
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I still have the other CVRT in bits for winter servicing, my old Disco to fix, a WLF front axle to re-build, a ferret to fettle and a Series 1 clutch and gearbox to replace, so should have no problem fitting you in Mr H!


Nice to know you're keeping busy Vince :cool2:

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Not wishing to sound petty and pedantic, a CVR(T) is not a Tank. It is exactly what it says on the tin, a Combat Vehicle, Reconnaissance (Tracked)


It is if it a Scorpion Light Tank... Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) Fire Support (Scorpion)

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I know that a CVRT is not technically a tank as you say Baz, but most people would call it one anyway. I do have in my possession a book which refers to it as "Scorpion light tank".


That's what the British Army call them :-D

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I'll be following this one with interest. Sounds like you've got plenty to do with the interior stripped out and holes in the hull, but sometimes it's best to start form scratch.


Good to hear the frosty weather was helping out for once with the solid ground conditions. Probably couldn't have got away with moving it at any other time of year not without chewing up the land anyway.


Hope Tootallmike returns soon, I've got plenty of Ward La France questions for him :-)

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I heard a theory that when, in the mid-90s, some arms reduction was required, NATO needed to reduce the number of "tanks with main armament in the range 75mm - 105mm". Having already decided to sunset Scorpion on account of the carbon monoxide emissions during firing, it was a simple trick to designate Scorpion a tank and then scrap it. RESULT!


But to those of us who gave life blood to Scorpions, it was NEVER a tank. END OF.

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And of course if you go and read the busy threads on ARRSE (I am thinking something like "Afghanistan: are tanks an irrelevance"), you'll see that the troops on the ground are screaming for a tank with a gun somewhere between the peashooter 30mm of Scimitar, Warrior, et al and the sledgehammer of CR2.


If only we had a tank, like Scorpion ... which was really never a tank but that's beside the point.

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Some of you may be wondering why El Diablo (aka Grasshopper),works on other peoples vehicles, this is due to a number of reasons.

1.Not having any of his own.

2.It’s a part of his “community service”,for the horrendous crime of leaving the driver’s seat forward on one of my other CVR(T)s.So the more handsome & taller (not hard to be)owner was stuck,not all being as “vertically challenged” as Vince,all because he “forgot” to put the seat back.After 15mind of struggling & swearing I manage to work my hand,down towards the seat release lever,not Vince’s finest hour!

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This should be very interesting!


We almost bought a Striker recently in need of restoration, lovely bit of kit. I know dad regrets not buying it, but we were on the verge of a house move.... So to say the least that made things all the more difficult.


I wish you the best of luck, looks like you'll need it!


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. Vince should have this one done for Beltring!


My enthusiasm for this project is currently quite high while sitting on my new sofa in a warm lounge. The cold outside does tend to put a damper on things!


Realistically (knowing how we work) I reckon it will be a couple of years to finish it. We do have the advantage of undercover storage for the first time so we don't have to stop as soon as it gets dark or starts raining, but I think that working on the rest of our little fleet will make it a 2 year job.

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