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  1. #11
    Might as well be part of the furniture.
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    Classy or what?

    Yep, classy and good in the summer. Everyone else has windows shut and the AC on, and you can smell the grass.You got to do a McDs in that and reach for the offending food from the windscreen.

    Oh and yella is a really good colour.
    Last edited by fad15; 12-10-16 at 06:37 PM.

  2. #12
    Metal-Glueing Idiot
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    So, where to start on the bodywork?

    Well, a battery-box that the battery doesn't fall through is probably a good start; so, without much further ado, I went and put one together with a leftover bit of 3mm at work.



    You can see the remnants of the old one in the background, just behind the wheel of the truck. At this point, the battery was being held up by the battery hold-down. Try not to think too hard about that.

    Some welding was performed, including via some slightly-too-small holes for plug-welds to attach the battery-box to the cab frame. It wasn't fully welded, because there's not quite so much on that side of the cab that's actually structural any more.


    I should mention that, by this point, the battery had actually fallen out of the truck, bounced off the wheel, and landed on its edge on the floor. No leaks, just a bit of cracked plastic, thankfully. I'd only just undone the battery leads, and went to grab the handle, and it just... disappeared.

    By the time I was done with that, it was 1900H, and getting dark in the workshop -- typically, that section right at the door is where one of the lights doesn't work -- so I decided I needed to move the truck outta there! Bearing in mind, this is on a Sunday night, which is about the only time of week I can borrow workshop space and a welder; and I really didn't want to leave the truck there for Monday morning. My supervisor already greatly dislikes me, and I think he'd probably explode if he found the door blocked by this thing...

    Especially since they'd not be able to move it... They'd have to figure out how to power up the fuel pump and the ignition coil, then figure out where the starter switch is, then figure out they'd need to bridge that with something because the switch doesn't work any more... then they'd have had to drive the whole heavy thing with no brakes, no mirrors, and HEAVY steering all the way back to the compound, whereupon they would've run out of fuel exactly where I did, blocking the gateway into the compound. Case in point:



    Sadly, this video doesn't include the following hour of slapstick that ensued, trying to get the truck shoved back into place with the forklift, getting the forklift stuck by dropping one wheel into a pothole and having the open diff do its thang, and shoving the forklift back out of the pothole with an Escort van.

    If I had that video, it'd make for beautiful watching. Oh, and we also hit the fence with the truck when I pushed it back with my friend steering. (Until that point, he'd never driven anything bigger than an LDV Convoy.)

    -----

    Quote Originally Posted by fad15
    Yep, classy and good in the summer. Everyone else has windows shut and the AC on, and you can smell the grass.You got to do a McDs in that and reach for the offending food from the windscreen.

    Oh and yella is a really good colour.
    I think I'd probably bring the drive-through down with the top of the jib, knowing my luck!
    Yella is a good colour, for sure; I'm going to do my best to keep it in the same livery.
    Not everyone's quite so sure about the colour; the paperwork from Crouch's Recovery has the colour as "Yellow-ish".


    Quote Originally Posted by english impala
    Excellent, always liked old recovery trucks so keep the updates coming.
    Plenty more hilarity to come!

  3. #13
    REV JIM RACING.
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    love it,trucks are ace.

  4. #14
    Might as well be part of the furniture.
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    Lovin' the story

  5. #15
    Metal-Glueing Idiot
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    So, getting annoyed at blowing chunks out of spanners, etc. bridging that starter switch to crank the engine, I ordered a starter solenoid, some battery cable, some new battery terminals, etc.



    From the original thread:
    Once I have all the wiring in, I'll make sure it's all properly protected from abrasion and the like; but it makes life easier for it to be out in the open for now. The twin brown wires on the battery side of the starter solenoid are the output from the alternator, the thinner red wire from that stud is the feed forwards to the fuse-box -- it'll terminate at one of two insulated studs that I'll use to feed the fuses; the other insulated stud will be ignition lives, connected to the battery live stud by a beefy relay that's switched by the ignition key.

    (I'll have to get the diagram drawn up, it should be a bit clearer then.)

    Started running the wires for oil pressure switch (black/red); alternator field feed (green/black), via the ignition warning light; the starter solenoid switch feed (green/red); and a nice large feed to where the new fuse and relay box will be.

    Then it really started hammering it down, and I decided I was too cold and wet to want to keep struggling with those wires as my fingers went numb; so I just draped them all off the carb and went home for some warmth.



    The drips/puddles on the floor (and inlet manifold) that you can see, aren't from the roof; but the seal around the top of the windscreen. However, there are a few places that the roof is now see-through; and inevitably, the drips will come through those just as your bare neck is placed right below them...

    The Next Day!


    First signs of life! Okay, it's only those lights, and the starter solenoid, but it's the start of a long journey. The engine cranks over much much better with the solenoid than it ever did with the old starter button; but I've yet to fire her up since I last parked her up last week.

    I also drained the fuel tank, and yuk! Came out looking like morning pee; and stunk something unmentionable.
    Also, since I brutally mangled the drain plug removing it, I now have a grease-nipple stuck in the bottom of the fuel tank because it happened to be the same thread. It's the little things...

    ----- end of copy -----

    Next on the list of things I did was to try take the wheels off to at least have a nosey at the brake shoes and cylinders. Well, that was an exercise in, er, well... exercise and frustration.

    I managed, with a great deal of struggle, to have all of the front offside nuts off one by one, and went to start on the other side. (Plan being to clean the threads off with a wire wheel, and make sure I could actually remove them easily when it came to jacking that corner up and removing the wheel & brakes.)

    Well, I twisted the old wheel-nut bar thing a good 1/8 of a turn as well as bending it. (And yes, I was aware they're left-hand thread... ) Got two of them broken loose; but the rest are incredibly tight. I resorted to desperate measures after reminding myself that my 3/4" drive impact isn't really strong enough, and managed to warp my 3/4"F-1"M adapter into another dimension by trying to use the truck's weight to loosen them off.

    (Breaker bar, adapter, socket; brace the breaker bar against the floor, and drive the truck forward... there was a lurch, followed by a clang. The breaker bar is undamaged, the socket was still on the wheel-nut, and the adapter has gone. *sigh*)

    I still haven't managed to find that adapter, five months later.

    I also managed to blow the oil pressure switch up by connecting power to the wrong wire; shorted battery to ground directly through the pressure switch.
    Some faffing about later, and some... er... gentle prodding that I was completely wrong on my guess of what thread it was.

    I came up with an answer of 5/16BSP. That's not even a thing. Turns out, 1/4NPT has the same thread pitch as 5/16 Whitworth.
    "I learned a ting!"

    I managed to get a replacement ordered. This stopped play, though, due to the oil squirting out of a 1/4NPT sized hole in the oil filter.

    Tangent Time!

    Around this time, I managed to scroll to the wrong place in the manual, and learnt something else...

    I landed in WSM Supplement #5, "BODY, TRACTOR, 3 TON, FIELD ARTILLERY, 4x4 BEDFORD"...


    Well, I'd wondered about that latch...


    ...and it does explain the handle above the passenger door.


    And, better still, there's a nice illustration in that section of the manual...


    ...that mostly matches up.


    The truck, as far as I can tell, has been shortened (presumably by Vass, when they did their conversion.); so that's where the doors in the side have gone, I'd imagine. So, in its former life, it was a field-artillery tractor; most likely towing a 25-pounder or something similar.

    Anywho, moving on!

    Work had a bloke over to change some tyres, so I asked if he could crack the wheel-nuts loose -- since he had all the right gear, a 1" drive impact and a big compressor -- and he quite happily obliged. It's impressive when the big impact struggles; but it did manage to get them all loose....



    I offered beer-tokens in return, but he was more than happy to just hear it run and get some pictures of him sat in the cab while it burbled away. This was a definite step forward in getting the wheels off to fight with the brakes.

    Then, because I'm jumping about all over the place with it, doing what I can when I have bits and time; I carried on with the replacement fuse and relay box I was building.



    Is it perhaps obvious that I do electrics a bit? A far cry from 4 35A fuses and a jar of magic smoke.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroFiveTwo
    You forgot the cigar lighter/phone charger socket!!

  6. #16
    Old enough to know better
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    Bloody marvellous. Great narrative style and a very interesting story. This'll keep me amused for ages..

  7. #17
    Metal-Glueing Idiot
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    -----
    I managed to open the tin of black magick today...



    Accelerator pump was stuck right the way down in its bore, but -- with a little fettling -- now works marvellously! The 300 seems a lot more lively when the loud pedal is pressed. Very tempted to take the big yellow beastie on a lap of the industrial estate to celebrate; but decided against it... (I really really don't want to cause trouble by being 6 tonnes of metal at 10+mph without brakes, which really should be next on my list now.) And, any month now, I'll actually have brakes.

    Decided I'd spend some fuel to bring her up to temperature and see what else leaks, dribbles, or seeps. Water pump leak has gotten a little worse, by the looks of it; the makeshift gasket for the float bowl gently seeps fuel out; and I have a bit of an oil-seep from the rocker cover at the back of the engine.

    -----

    Then it was time for another episode of ego meets metal

    I decided, over the bank holiday weekend, to jack one corner up, pull the wheels off, yank the drum and at least have a look at the condition of the brake internals.

    Someone who knows the old Bedfords better than I did at the time will now be chuckling and shaking their head. Because I was at this point, and trying to gently tap the drum free with no luck...



    ...before I decided I'd have to check the manual, and made the frustrating discovery that the whole hub has to come off, because the drum is bolted to it in such a manner that it won't come off the front. I guess they expected that, by the time the brakes were worn heavily enough that you needed to replace the brake shoes, you should be adjusting and/or replacing the bearings anyway.


    Wheels back on again, then. (Cue another hour of fighting, and having to borrow the forklift to get the wheels back on.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Grasshopper
    "If at first you don't succeed, give up and run away (then try again later)".

    Loving this restoration blog. Been there (some years ago) with my first truck which was a Matador. Having not learned that lesson, I then bought a 2nd...
    Also, as the coolant weep from the water pump was slowly getting worse, I snagged a NOS rebuild kit from the Bay of Flea.


    Well, wasn't I in for a whole hilarious sh*tfest. I took the pulley off and had a look at how much was weeping, then undid the radiator cap, and it turned into a fountain from the top weep hole.


    Once it'd finished draining, I quickly picked the remnants of the gasket from the front of the block and lugged the water pump into the workshop.


    A quick whip-over with a paint and rust stripping disk (expensive, but they're magic) cleaned it up nicely, but revealed it's not this water pump's first go around the block.

    Does jive with the comments in the other thread about the block perhaps being a re-manufactured one, judging by the really quite high engine number.

    Unfortunately, I could only just about get two out with anything that could be described as "reasonable force", so there was nothing for it; I resorted to welding nuts onto the remaining screws and they wound out with no fight whatsoever. Should've done that with all of them. Replacement screws were ordered from Ebay, as usual. (Countersunk socket-head 5/16BSW, iirc.)

    However, that left me with a water-pump that I needed a gear-puller to take the front off; and I didn't have a gear-puller. Typical.

    So, while I stood around, I did an auctioneer's rebuild on the pulley and fan.


    Red was used because it makes things go faster. This stuff should make it go really fast.


    I returned the next day, armed with a brand new gear-puller from Halfords. I hooked the gear-puller onto the pulley-mounting flange, struggled for a bit with a spanner on it, said sod it and plugged in the impact.

    And there was a snap.





    The flange on the shaft became a cast-iron jigsaw puzzle. The puller is totally unharmed. (Bet you didn't see that one coming! )
    However, it did get the damn thing off, even if it was in too many bits to go back on; and that let me dismantle the water pump, after dropping the jigsaw puzzle off at the machine shop with a sheepish grin and a "Could you please make me another one of these?"

    Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear




    The bearings were well on their way to becoming a breakfast cereal, with that much crunch.


    A few days later, my bag of replacement screws turned up; and I put the water pump together with its new bits as best as I could figure out sans instructions. Then I just had to wait on the machine-shop for the flange.

    It would prove to be a long wait, because the shaft was a weird size (35/64ths springs to mind for some reason.), and they were going to do it between actual paying jobs.

  8. #18
    Metal-Glueing Idiot
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    Quote Originally Posted by KerbyCrewGary View Post
    Bloody marvellous. Great narrative style and a very interesting story. This'll keep me amused for ages..
    Well, they said I could be anything when I grew up; so I decided to be a warning to others.

    While I was waiting for the water pump flange...



    A good afternoon was had swapping grease nipples out for modern ones, and forcing grease into things until it shoved all the old crusty bits out, which smoothed out the recovery gear quite nicely; I also managed to wind the drums back up a little bit more tidily than they were before.

    I still need to replace that cable, too; but it's not critical. It'll also probably lay back down a bit more nicely if I put some weight on the end of it, too. Considering making a new doo-dah for the A-frame that acts as a wheel-lift; rather than the style that's on there that I think is meant to pick up on truck hitch/towing points in the front.

    Also took a greasy rag to the plates on the gear, and shined them up quite nicely.




    Some cleaning and chassis painting also happened!




    And a section I hadn't yet gotten to, for comparison...


    Nothing magic in use there; Hammerite (Yeah, yeah, I know. ) Underbody seal with added Waxoyl. It seems to do a good job, and it's nice and gloopy; so should stand up quite well.

    I didn't hit the tank mountings with it, because I had something else in store for them. (To be entirely honest, I wasn't sure whether or not I'd be re-using them or perhaps swapping the tank out for a different one with different brackets.)

    I also made the most difficult choice of all...

    What colours to paint it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tamber
    • the yellow bodywork will be going BS 381C Golden Yellow, including the roof that's currently brown. (I did want to make the roof black; but I suspect that it'll be hot enough in the cab without turning it into a solar cooker. It's bad enough in full sun with it in brown!)
    • The recovery jib, in black; with some yellow at the top to make the height of it visible, so I have a chance of not accidentally hitting things with it.
    • Wheels; probably black. Maybe.
    It was also around now -- early July -- that the shaft on the water pump was pronounced to be some weird size they didn't have a reamer for; so it'd end up getting sat on the back burner...

    (It was quite amusing as he mic'd it up, frowned at it, mic'd it again, got the calculator out, mic'd it again, went over to the conversion chart... And pronounced it to be 35/64ths, so it had to be bored out rather than simply drilled and reamed. There's always something, isn't there?)

    Well, with the truck going to be stuck there for the forseeable future, I started on tearing up the bed floor; the plan there being:
    1. The boards were rotten and needed replacing anyway
    2. Pulling them out gave me better access to the inside of the chassis to clean it out and paint it up.


    The planks down the centre were the worst, and I'd already fallen through one of them. The ones that seemed good, and I was not so happy about pulling out, turned out to be rotten at the edges too; so eh, out they go!

    This exposed the inside of the chassis much more; and let me assess the paint situation.


    "Topcoat, screwed. Red lead primer: still as good as the day it was painted."

    Still plenty of scraping, wire-brushing, etc required, though...


    I had wondered why those cross-members flexed so much while I was prying on the boards!
    Yup, Vass gas-axed the C section so they could run the sub-frame for the jib through. And the end of the subframe that's hidden under the body is a nice wobbly torch cut, too. I'd be getting a shouting at for being too rough, if I did that.

  9. #19
    Metal-Glueing Idiot
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    Carrying on the theme of bits being removed, I took the storage rack off from behind the cab to give me some more room to work with the cab-back; and once again, BSW fasteners got my praise for being amazingly resistant to seizing due to corrosion. Metric stuff that's been exposed to crud for less than a year seems to seize utterly solid, but these things have been there for at least 30 years, and they came undone as if they were still brand new.


    Well, that let me take a good look at the front of the body.

    Ick.



    And the back of the cab. Which has what can only... very politely be referred to as "repairs".




    Then, I clambered up to inspect the known rust-holes in the roof, and leant on a bit I probably shouldn't.

    scrunch



    And the more I hit it with the wire brush, the more it looked like a teabag!


    So, thoroughly depressed by that, I moved onto the bit I was climbing up there to look at...


    Ominous, eh? Now, there was a Large tub of P38 in one of the side-lockers when I got the truck, and this is probably where the bulk of it has gone.



    Some hammering, and prying lat... Is that bloody newspaper!? Why, yes, it is!


    More hammering, scraping, and prying later.




    Let's see what's behind Door 38


    .


    .
    (You can tell what's coming, can't you?)

  10. #20
    Metal-Glueing Idiot
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    .


    .



    HA!


    Oh, good grief.






    Oh, there it is.


    Cleaned up as best as I could, then covered in a thick coat of primer -- just like all the other spots -- in the hope that I can stave off the rust long enough that I still have something to attach my repair patches to.

    In better news, I went to go do something about that strange peeling square of paint on the front cheek; and some scraping uncovered something. That red is too... red to be primer.


    It's the remnants of a flash. Red over blue would be Royal Artillery, which matches nicely with the "field artillery" fixtures and fittings that are there. But there's also some other little bits that look like remnants from perhaps an earlier marking; though there was so little there, it's hard to say what came first and what's over-painted with what.



    It would have been nice if it were in better condition, then I might be able to see more of it; but as it was, most of it was falling away in a stiff breeze, it'd curled and flaked off that badly. And, in the interests of avoiding it rusting again, I painted as much of the bare metal as I could.

    A few days later, I had one of those days. Y'know, the ones where you step back and go WHAT THE HELL HAVE I GOT MYSELF INTO?!

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