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  #1  
Old 25-01-10, 05:00
derk derin's Avatar
derk derin derk derin is offline
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Location: West st. Paul,Manitoba
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Default Buried Mk 1 Bren carrier restoration

I am transfering more photos to my computer and thought I would post my Bren gun carrier recovery and restoration.The carriers (5 in total) were lined up on a beach to stop the waves from eroding the shoreline and threatening a log home back in the early 1960's.They were then covered with dirt and eventually trees were planted and large rock to assist in stabilizing the shoreline.The carriers became redundant and stayed underground until the Prairie Command president and vice president at the time followed up on the rumours of there being carriers there.They can add more to the whole story but this is #3 carrier which I was able to keep and restore.
There was a reporter there to do a story for the Winnipeg Free Press newspaper;

There are 5 carriers buried underneath the shovel in the ground;

After digging out all the dirt in and around the carrier to lift it out,this is the #3 carrier of the excavation;

The #4 carrier had to be removed first to get to my carrier;

The loader could not lift the carriers out of the hole so he dragged them out one at a time;

Once the #4 carrier was removed, the #3 carrier came out.Notice the sand beach in the bottom of the hole.That is how deep the fill was;

You can see the weight involved by looking at the loader tires;

After a bit of a struggle,the carrier was removed;

After a hard days work,Prairie Command members Rob Love,Gord Falk and myself are ready to haul away our treasure;
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1942 Ford universal carrier Mk 1
1943 Ford 60 cwt long CMP ambulance
1943 Ford GPW 1/4 ton stretcher jeep
1943 Bantam T-3 1/4 ton trailer
BSA folding airborne bicycle ser#R5325 (early)
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  #2  
Old 25-01-10, 05:33
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Jordan Baker Jordan Baker is offline
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Great pictures. I remember reading about this in the first Wheels and Tracks mag that I bought. I think too, that a few of the parts on my UC came from one of these carriers.
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RHLI Museum,
Universal Carrier MKI*, 1942
C15A-wire3, 1944
Willys MB, 1942
Dodge D23c, 1942
10cwt Canadian trailer
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  #3  
Old 25-01-10, 06:02
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derk derin derk derin is offline
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Default The restoration begins

One year after the recovery,I used 2 weeks of my holidays to go to Rob's house to start the restoration as I had stored it there until I bought my house.Rob was set up for restoring vehicles with torches and more importantly a place to do sandblasting.This is the start of it;

After sitting a year,poison ivy somehow started to grow in the carrier;

Rob pulled the carrier onto his lawn and started the stripping;

Rob was a big help as he was used to restoring carriers by now and I learned alot from him that week on the workings of the carrier dissassembly procedures which would later help me when it came time to put it back together;


After alot of hard work of stripping the parts out.We washed out the hull and prepared it for sandblasting;




I spent 5 days sandblasting the hull and I never knew how sand could work it's way into the crevaces of the body.I thought I was sealed up tight but sand will find a way in!
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1942 Ford universal carrier Mk 1
1943 Ford 60 cwt long CMP ambulance
1943 Ford GPW 1/4 ton stretcher jeep
1943 Bantam T-3 1/4 ton trailer
BSA folding airborne bicycle ser#R5325 (early)
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  #4  
Old 25-01-10, 06:03
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derk derin derk derin is offline
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With the hull sandblasted,Rob sprayed on a coat of primer for me so it would not rust on me until I got it home and into the barn where I could put a coat of paint on it;



I am all loaded up and ready for home;

With the carrier home and a coat of paint on the hull,Gord found me a parts carrier for the linkages and rear end to use for the restoration;

Now the fun begins.That pile of rusted parts may not look salvageable but most of them were restored and put back on the carrier;

One of the Prairie Command members gave me 2 gas tanks to use;

The tracks were a challenge because the carriers were placed on the sand and the bottom sections of the track seized solid.The top parts of the track were flexible and could be saved so I used the top section of my track and Gord gave me his track as he had a good set for his carrier and I used the top section of his tracks to make a working set.I broke the sections into 21 link pieces to sneak them into the sandblaster and cleaned them up.The stiff sections I threw into the wood stove in my livingroom and heated them up.It worked so well that when I removed it from the stove,I almost dropped it on the carpet.It sure brought back the flexibility but recommend it be done outside for anybody wanting to try it!

When it was too cold to work outside,the livingroom became the workshop;

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1942 Ford universal carrier Mk 1
1943 Ford 60 cwt long CMP ambulance
1943 Ford GPW 1/4 ton stretcher jeep
1943 Bantam T-3 1/4 ton trailer
BSA folding airborne bicycle ser#R5325 (early)
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  #5  
Old 25-01-10, 06:04
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derk derin derk derin is offline
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The kitchen worked great for working on the canvas seat cushions,etc;

I restored the linkages from the parts carrier and transfered them over;


The assembly of the running gear when it wasn't too cold out;


With all of the bogie wheels on,it became mobile again;




Once my tracks were reassembled,I jacked up the carrier on 2x6's and placed the tracks in front and started to roll the carrier back onto it's tracks;
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1942 Ford universal carrier Mk 1
1943 Ford 60 cwt long CMP ambulance
1943 Ford GPW 1/4 ton stretcher jeep
1943 Bantam T-3 1/4 ton trailer
BSA folding airborne bicycle ser#R5325 (early)
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  #6  
Old 25-01-10, 06:05
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derk derin derk derin is offline
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I went to alot of trouble to find an engine for my carrier and without any luck to find a runner (there is a story for another time!) again one of the Prairie Command members gave me an engine from his WWII generator trailer to use until I find a replacement for him.I am still running his engine in my carrier;
I wanted to have my carrier at the Winnipeg air show so took a week of holidays and finished off my carrier enough to drive it and show it off.The first day of my holidays I went 32 hours straight working on getting the engine and transmission installed.The paint on the decals were still wet when I hauled it to the site on the Friday night.I realized the star doesn't belong there where the numbers should go but that was a sleepless week and being in a rush,made some mistakes that were corrected later;



I can't thank the Prairie Command members enough for all there help and parts to complete this restoration for me.Especially Rob Love for letting me use his house,yard and equipment!A great bunch of guys!
Derk.
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1942 Ford universal carrier Mk 1
1943 Ford 60 cwt long CMP ambulance
1943 Ford GPW 1/4 ton stretcher jeep
1943 Bantam T-3 1/4 ton trailer
BSA folding airborne bicycle ser#R5325 (early)
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  #7  
Old 25-01-10, 06:21
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Jordan Baker Jordan Baker is offline
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Great pictures Derek

One question so far. Whats the part with the red arrow pointing to it?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 01.jpg (46.9 KB, 175 views)
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Jordan Baker
RHLI Museum,
Universal Carrier MKI*, 1942
C15A-wire3, 1944
Willys MB, 1942
Dodge D23c, 1942
10cwt Canadian trailer
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  #8  
Old 27-01-10, 04:55
maple_leaf_eh maple_leaf_eh is offline
Terry Warner
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: On the river flats in a poor part of town
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Default living room

Quote:
Originally Posted by derk derin View Post
When it was too cold to work outside,the livingroom became the workshop;
You're a bachelor, right?
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Terry Warner

74-????? M151A2 plated and on the road
70-08876 M38A1 ready for the road
53-71233 M100CDN trailer manufactured by MCI ready for the road

Wow! All three green beasties run!
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