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  #31  
Old 22-07-18, 14:19
rob love rob love is offline
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Originally Posted by Mike Cecil View Post
I suspect, though, that what we are seeing is a Mk11 LR with a 20-pdr barrel fitted. Maybe the museum could locate an L7 105-mm barrel and do a swap?
The are lots of those 105 barrels out at the local milsurp scrapyard. But possibly the 20pr barrel is part of the tanks history. I have a spare breech ring for the Centurian as well.
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  #32  
Old 22-07-18, 15:25
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Originally Posted by Malcolm Towrie View Post
An old hand told me today the Cent came from St. Hubert Base in Quebec. We got it when the base was closed down. I see from Wikipedia St. Hubert was primarily an air force base, so this surprises me a bit.
CFB St. Hubert was a post-war Air Force base from 1946 to 1965. It was the HQ for Air Defence Command before ADC moved to CFB North Bay. In 1966 it became HQ for Mobile Command (later Land Forces Command) and the airfield was passed to the Department of Transport. It remained the HQ until it closed.

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Originally Posted by Malcolm Towrie View Post
I've only been at the museum for a few years but I'll go out on a limb and say that not much if any paperwork exists or changes hands when an old beater gate-guard is given to a museum willing to take it.
Well, that explains the paint job.

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Originally Posted by Malcolm Towrie View Post
He also told me he believed the CFR number painted on the tank, 52-S-100S (see photo) is a typo and should be 52-8-1008 (or was it 52-81008?).
As Rob confirmed, CAR 52-81008 is correct.

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Originally Posted by Malcolm Towrie View Post
He confirmed the upper glacis plate doesn't have the additional welded armour.

He confirmed there were 2 coax machine guns installed but he was surprised to hear this indicated a later Mk as he thought it was a Mk 5/2. His theory on the 20 pdr is that it was installed when the 105 was removed for use elsewhere.

There is a small control panel in the turret that refers to IR lighting.
So it's a Mk 5, without uparmouring, fitted for IR lights, fitted for a ranging gun, but with a 20-pdr Type A barrel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm Towrie View Post
He also suggested that the impecunious Canadian army was selective on what upgrades were installed, based on need and cost, so some cherry picking was done. Maybe that explains an unusual mix of upgrades?
Your friend is right about the Canadian Army being impecunious. Impecunious is a college word for cheap, and the Canadian Army was cheap. My theory is that, as St. Hubert was just across the river from the Army workshop in Montreal which was responsible for updating the Centurions stationed in Canada (I think it was 202 Base Workshop), when a gate guard was requested, the Workshop provided one made up from the bits and pieces available, and, as your friend suggests, accounts for the unusual mix of upgrades.

But that's just my theory.

Cheers,
Dan.

PS: The body and the turret may come from two completely different tanks. Again, just a theory.
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  #33  
Old 22-07-18, 16:10
Ed Storey Ed Storey is offline
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Default Centurion

Dan nailed the ID of this Cent. My list shows 52-81008 as a Mk 5/2 MBT ECC 118109 that was surplused out of CFB Montreal in 1978.

I think there are two things that need to be learned from this and the first is that the Ontario Regiment Museum needs to first spend some time and resources in accurately recording and preserving the historical data on the vehicles in their collection. Turning to internet forums may be a cheap and easy fix to answering a question but a museum should not be using this method as the primary means of obtaining information. A look at this thread shows that it took half a dozen dedicated enthusiasts analyzing the details to voluntarily crack this mystery.

Secondly the museum should have a library of books and documents which supports the vehicles in their collection. The Centurion has been documented in commercial publications and purchasing a copy of Weapons of War - The Centurion in Canadian Service - 2005 ISBN 1-894581-20-2 would be a good start to the library.
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  #34  
Old 22-07-18, 16:53
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Ed, that great to know what the tank started life as (or rather, finished its active Canadian army career as?). A positive aspect to work with. And I agree with you about getting hold of basic texts, handbooks and so on - they can be so informative.

A Mk5/2 was a 105-mm equipped version that did not have the IR or .50 cal L6A1 fitted, and was not fitted with glacis plate applique armour.
A Mk 11 did have both the IR and .50 cal L6A1 fitted, but was also fitted with the glacis plate armour (ie a Mk11 was an upgraded Mk6, rather than an upgraded Mk5/2. If a Mk5/2 was upgraded with glacis plate applique armour, it became a Mk6)

So maybe Dan has hit the nail on the head with this one - a 'bitzer' made up from:
- the lower half (hull with fittings) from a Mk5/2
- the turret from a Mk.11, (and not just the mantlet from a Mk11, as the turret has the IR control box fitted adjacent to the battery balance box)
- a 20-pdr barrel

Wouldn't be the first gate guard to be assembled from what was available in the workshop 'scrap'.

One way to ascertain if the lower hull was ever fitted with IR would be to look for the auxiliary battery mounting and heavy wiring in the lower right corner of the fighting compartment, mounted to the hull wall, with enough room below to operate the in-floor ammunition bin. Two batteries stacked one above the other in this mounting. There should also be a stowage box in the drivers compartment for the driver's IR periscope.

Mike
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  #35  
Old 22-07-18, 17:43
Ed Storey Ed Storey is offline
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Mike, before we go down the 'blitzer' gate guardian fabricated from Centurion parts rabbit hole, can you please tell this forum what a Canadian Centurion with Equipment Configuration Code (ECC) 118109 is?
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  #36  
Old 22-07-18, 18:37
eddy8men eddy8men is online now
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the barrel will be identified by either measuring the calibre at the muzzle, 20 pdr is 84mm or the stamps on the breech end.
it does seem to be a bit of a mismatch
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  #37  
Old 22-07-18, 19:30
rob love rob love is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Cecil View Post
So maybe Dan has hit the nail on the head with this one - a 'bitzer' made up from:
- the lower half (hull with fittings) from a Mk5/2
- the turret from a Mk.11, (and not just the mantlet from a Mk11, as the turret has the IR control box fitted adjacent to the battery balance box)
- a 20-pdr barrel

Wouldn't be the first gate guard to be assembled from what was available in the workshop 'scrap'.
I'm not sure that is so likely. To assemble a monument from scrap parts, when you have an entire fleet being disposed of, costs labour. Many/most went out as range targets, so it would have made more sense to use one of those for a monument.

Far more likely is that this cent had whatever kits and modifications it got scheduled for. There is also the possibility that there could have been the rotation of a tank from Germany for rebuild or 3rd line repair, and some portions got swapped and this is the result.

I think I may have the ELD at work for the Centurian...I'll have a look. Often they were more detailed with what the fleet was really like along with final disposition and disposal instructions.
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  #38  
Old 22-07-18, 19:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Storey View Post
My list shows 52-81008 as a Mk 5/2 MBT ECC 118109 that was surplused out of CFB Montreal in 1978.
ECC 118109 is for a Mk 5/2 fitted with IR and an RMG. This according to Equipment Characteristic Sheet serial 40-4-6, dated Sept 1970, published by the DG Ordnance Systems.

A Mk 5 had an ECC of 118105.
A Mk 5/2 had an ECC of 118107.
A Mk 5/2 with IR alone had an ECC of 118108.

I would think the vehicle part (What is the correct term for the non-turret part of a tank?) is from a Mk 5 or Mk 5/2. The only change for the turret not to be a Mk 5/2 with IR and RMG is the 20-pdr barrel, which, as Mike has pointed out, is a quick switch as both it and the L7A1 105-mm barrel were compatible.

I'm going to stick my neck out and say it is a Mk 5/2, but with a replacement barrel. I would think that at the time it was thought keeping an L7A1 barrel on a gate guard would be wasteful, as 105-mm guns remained on Canadian tanks even after the Centurion was replaced.

Now, how do we Fedex a Type B barrel to Oshawa?

Cheers,
Dan.
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  #39  
Old 22-07-18, 22:35
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Originally Posted by Dan Martel View Post
I would think the vehicle part (What is the correct term for the non-turret part of a tank?)
Cheers,
Dan.
It's called the Hull.
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  #40  
Old 22-07-18, 22:35
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So the Canadian Army (like the Australians) had series of mod suites all their own, divergent from the British standard. Interesting: I've learnt something new about Centurion, thanks to the knowledgeable Canadian contributors to this thread.

Given the above, I agree with Dan: this appears to be a Mk5/2 with IR & RG, but fitted with a 20-pdr instead of the L7 105-mm. Other than that change, it fits the description of ECC118109.

A Mk5/2 fitted with IR and RG is, in effect, a British Mk11 without the applique armour. With the rear armoured fuel tank added, the Brits added the suffix 'LR' to the nomenclature - was that the same in Canada?

So, if I understand the previous posts correctly, all the museum would need to do to bring the tank back to the Canadian build standard 118109, is switch the 20-pdr barrel for an L7 105-mm?

As an aside, was there a Canadian ECC for a Mk5/1 (a Mk5 with applique armour)?

Mike
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  #41  
Old 23-07-18, 00:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Cecil View Post
With the rear armoured fuel tank added, the Brits added the suffix 'LR' to the nomenclature - was that the same in Canada?
Yes. Remember that the Canadian Army's main focus during the 50's and 60's was NATO, and the Canadian Brigade Group was assigned to the British 2nd Division, so British nomenclature in terms of the Centurion was axiomatic. Also, third line maintenance for the tanks was undertaken at the British Base Workshop in Wetter, so commonality in parts description was preferable to having a British and a Canadian designation for the same thing.

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Originally Posted by Mike Cecil View Post
As an aside, was there a Canadian ECC for a Mk5/1 (a Mk5 with applique armour)?
Not that I've found. The document I quoted only lists the ones I provided, other than the command version of the Mk 5 which is 118203 and the Mk 5 fitted for IR which is 118205. It doesn't appear that uparmouring was a Canadian Army priority for the tanks stationed in Canada.

In the "Staff Data Handbook (Interim)" dated March 1975, it shows the Mk 11 ECC as 118305 and the Mk 11 command version as 118306. The Centurion bridgelayer was 118401 and the Centurion ARV was 118801.

For those unaware, the command version of a tank was exactly the same as a gun tank, but with a different radio set-up. In the case of the Centurion, a gun tank had two radios. A command tank had at least three, some four, radios.

Tony, yes, the hull. I knew that. I blame old age.

Malcolm, is your version fitted with the 100 gallon auxiliary gas tank at the back? It would look like the photo posted by Ed Storey at the beginning of this thread.

Cheers,
Dan.
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  #42  
Old 23-07-18, 03:29
Malcolm Towrie Malcolm Towrie is offline
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Originally Posted by Mike Cecil View Post

I'll likely be in your area in November, (considering heading to a history conference at RMC Kingston): maybe I can drop by for a peek?

Mike
Mike, we would be delighted to see you. Your reputation precedes you!
Malcolm
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  #43  
Old 23-07-18, 03:39
Malcolm Towrie Malcolm Towrie is offline
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Originally Posted by Ed Storey View Post
Dan nailed the ID of this Cent. My list shows 52-81008 as a Mk 5/2 MBT ECC 118109 that was surplused out of CFB Montreal in 1978.

I think there are two things that need to be learned from this and the first is that the Ontario Regiment Museum needs to first spend some time and resources in accurately recording and preserving the historical data on the vehicles in their collection. Turning to internet forums may be a cheap and easy fix to answering a question but a museum should not be using this method as the primary means of obtaining information. A look at this thread shows that it took half a dozen dedicated enthusiasts analyzing the details to voluntarily crack this mystery.

Secondly the museum should have a library of books and documents which supports the vehicles in their collection. The Centurion has been documented in commercial publications and purchasing a copy of Weapons of War - The Centurion in Canadian Service - 2005 ISBN 1-894581-20-2 would be a good start to the library.
Ed, I hope I have not maligned the museum, an organization I am delighted to be associated with. They may well have information on this tank. I simply haven't asked them! My first instinct was to call on the impressive knowledge available in this forum. And frankly, I think most of the people responding haven't minded adding their 2 cents.
Malcolm
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  #44  
Old 23-07-18, 04:08
Malcolm Towrie Malcolm Towrie is offline
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Originally Posted by Dan Martel View Post

Malcolm, is your version fitted with the 100 gallon auxiliary gas tank at the back? It would look like the photo posted by Ed Storey at the beginning of this thread.

Cheers,
Dan.
Dan,
Yes, it is. At the risk of offending the purists, for phase 1 of the restoration (get it driving) we are considering NOT installing the two large fuel tanks in the hull and using just the rear tank. This will give us better access to the engine for maintenance and repair, at least until we put a few miles on it and gain some experience. Keep in mind the engine we bought was rebuilt by Scottish Aviation in the mid-70's so, despite its good condition due to the excellent storage procedure, hoses, belts, and elastomers are 40 years old.
I am also considering not installing the auxiliary engine initially, and relying on warm weather, four 12v batteries in place of the original four 6v batteries to provide massive starting capability and using the 45 amp generator on the engine to keep them charged. One puzzle I have is our Mk 11? tank does not seem to have the voltage/current regulator dedicated to the engine mounted generator. Anyway, that is another topic for another thread.

Malcolm
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  #45  
Old 23-07-18, 04:17
Malcolm Towrie Malcolm Towrie is offline
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Originally Posted by Mike Cecil View Post

One way to ascertain if the lower hull was ever fitted with IR would be to look for the auxiliary battery mounting and heavy wiring in the lower right corner of the fighting compartment, mounted to the hull wall, with enough room below to operate the in-floor ammunition bin. Two batteries stacked one above the other in this mounting. There should also be a stowage box in the drivers compartment for the driver's IR periscope.

Mike
Mike, I'll check for this stuff.
Malcolm
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  #46  
Old 23-07-18, 19:18
rob love rob love is offline
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Turns out I do have the Equipment Logistics Directive here at the museum. Lots of good information. Date on the ELD is 1977, so very near the end.

Re radios: MK5-Mk5/2:
Gun tank: one C42 and one PRC510 or
one VRC46 and one VRC53

Command tank: two C42 and one PRC510 or
two VRC-46

Mk2:

Gun tank: VRC46 and one VRC53
Command tank two VRC46

ARV: a C42 or a VRC46
AVLB: 1 C42 or one VRC46 and one VRC53


Main Armament:
Mk5 20 pr TK mk1
Mk5/2 20 pr TK mk1 or Gun 105mm tank L7A1

Secondary Armament: MK5 C1 GPMG coax with main gun.
Ranging machine gun, Cal 50, L6A1 (mk5/2 only)

Mk2 Main Armament 105mm tank L7A1
Secondary Armament: C1 coax mounted with main gun,
Ranging MG Cal 50 L6A1
Commanders Machine Gun M2HB

There is a while chart showing the variations of the mkV in either Basic, w. RMG, w. I/R, w. RMG & I/R.

There is a chart showing the holdings between Gagetown, CFE, Borden, and LETE, as well as training aids. Then there is the Logistics stock, and total national inventory. Total holdings are as follows:

Mk5 136
Mk5/2 10
MkII 69
ARV 9
AVLB 4

A lot were excess to requirement, mostly mkV and mk2 variants, along with 4 ARV and one bridgelayer.

There is a chart showing CFRs for hard targets. This list was still early so only 11 are listed. All of them were cannibalized.

There is another chart showing 5 of them by CFR for monuments or museum pieces. It specifically notes that they are to be issued " as is" and no work will be undertaken to restore them to serviceable condition.

Later it mentions that the remaining 212 vehicles were going to be sold to Kraus Mafei, but that an option ofr another 14 might be made available as hard targets, which would reduce the number sold to 198.

Again re the main guns, there is a listing of
mkV with 20 pr gun (86, all in Canada),
mk2 with 105 gun (37, all in Europe and another 32 for later release, total 69) ,
mkV with 20 pr (36),
mk5/2 with 105mm gun (9, all from gagetown)

So lots of info for the Centurian fans. I could possibly scan this ELD and make it available to those diehards who want a copy.
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  #47  
Old 23-07-18, 20:15
John Genereux John Genereux is offline
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I spent my 27 year career at St. Hubert and I can tell you that there were 2 Centurion tanks there. One, as stated before, was in front of Mobile command headquarters (to the right of the building) and there was another one parked inside the gate on the right hand side as you entered. It was located in a small park with a ships anchor and a jet aircraft on a pillar with a dummy pilot inside. I don`t know my aircraft that well but it was either a CF-100 or an F-86. Back to the Cent, my buddy moved this tank to the Hillside Armoury in Montreal at least 10-15 years ago. Before moving, they had to see if a common practice back in the early 70`s had been done. The practice was pouring a few cubic yards of cement into an open hatch and then closing it up. My buddy was able to get the hatch open with the crane on a HLVW wrecker and looked inside. The cement was non existent and the inside was pristine and preserved. It looked like it had gone through a refit, driven to the spot and locked up. So somewhere out there is a very good condition Centurion with a complete hull and turret.
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  #48  
Old 23-07-18, 20:33
David Herbert David Herbert is offline
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Malcolm,
Good idea to just run off the rear tank and not refit the tanks either side of the engine. It will transform engine access and you would never have been able to afford to fill them up anyway.

If you have good battery charging facilities the aux gen is almost redundant as its primary role was to supply the radios and BV (kettle) without running the main engine.

David
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  #49  
Old 23-07-18, 21:15
Ed Storey Ed Storey is offline
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Default Lahr Centurions

It appears that the Mk 11 Centurions in Lahr got cut up.

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Name:	Centurions Cut Up.jpg
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ID:	101229
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  #50  
Old 23-07-18, 21:27
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Default ELD copy

Rob,

Yes please, would appreciate a copy of the ELD.

Thanks

Mike
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  #51  
Old 23-07-18, 21:40
rob love rob love is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Storey View Post
It appears that the Mk 11 Centurions in Lahr got cut up.

Attachment 101229
Perhaps Kraus Maffei decided they were not worth rebuilding, or else merely wanted to get them off the market. If the deal fell through altogether, perhaps that is why more of them made it to monuments or range targets.

I was with the Leopard Sqn in Gagetown back in 1980. I remember trainloads of the Cents waiting to leave. The story back then is that they were going to Switzerland for gun emplacements. I also remember two Centurions and two ferrets parked out on Shirley road waiting to go as hard targets.

Last edited by rob love; 23-07-18 at 21:50.
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  #52  
Old 23-07-18, 21:49
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Originally Posted by Ed Storey View Post
I see two kinds of track in the photos: What looks like all steel dry pin (dead) track, and what looks like rubber pads live track. Was the rubber pad track a direct replacement for the steel track, or was it used primarily on the ARV/AVBL? I note our AVBLs were purchased in the mid 60s, as opposed to 1952/3 like the rest of our fleet.

Last edited by rob love; 24-07-18 at 01:17.
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  #53  
Old 23-07-18, 22:35
Ed Storey Ed Storey is offline
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Default Track

Yes, there was two types of track in use, I believe the British called the ones with the rubber "Hush Puppy" track. It gave better traction on the roads and didn't destroy them.
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  #54  
Old 23-07-18, 23:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob love View Post
I could possibly scan this ELD and make it available to those diehards who want a copy.
Yes! Oh, God yes! Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!!!!

I mean, if it's not too much trouble.

Cheers,
Dan.
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  #55  
Old 23-07-18, 23:30
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Originally Posted by David Herbert View Post
...as its primary role was to supply the... BV (kettle)...
Which is why all British tanks are superior to all others.

Cheers,
Dan.
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  #56  
Old 24-07-18, 00:48
David Herbert David Herbert is offline
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Thanks Dan, we have our priorities sorted !

Rob, the 'hush puppy' track is not a live track, it is dry pin but with moulded on rubber pads to improve running on hard roads. The name is taken from a brand of footwear popular in the '60s or '70s. The two types of track were directly interchangeable, same sprockets etc. The rubber faced hush puppy track came in relatively late so in British service tended to only be used on the specialist versions of Cent as the gun tanks were almost obsolete by then.

We continued with dry pin track longer than almost every other country because they are lighter, easier to work on in the field and of course cheaper. On the other hand they have a shorter life and need constant tightening and can not be refurbished when worn.

David
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  #57  
Old 24-07-18, 01:16
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Looking at the photos, and the curl of the track, it almost looked "live". Just the way it happened to fall I guess.

I'll try to get the ELD scanned tomorrow, otherwise it won't be for another week. Then I'll put the notice on this thread for those who want it to PM me.

All the years I was in, I never saw the ELDs. It was just a couple of years ago when one of the units were divesting of paper copies of everything and going all electronic. I grabbed a truckload of manuals, and these were contained in the bunch. Everything was long obsolete, but the information in them is very down to earth. There are ELDs on the SMP vehicles, the mortars, some of the bridging, various radar and various electronic equipment.
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  #58  
Old 24-07-18, 01:47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Herbert View Post
The rubber faced hush puppy track came in relatively late so in British service tended to only be used on the specialist versions of Cent as the gun tanks were almost obsolete by then.
Obsolete to the British, but the cutting edge of tank technology to the Canadians for another decade. Hush puppy tracks were de rigueur on the Mk 11's in Germany.

Cheers,
Dan.

PS: Live track and dead track? Qu'est-ce que c'est?
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  #59  
Old 24-07-18, 01:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob love View Post
Everything was long obsolete, but the information in them is very down to earth. There are ELDs on the SMP vehicles, the mortars, some of the bridging, various radar and various electronic equipment.
You, my friend, have Gold! Any chance of you listing the ELD's you have?

I mean, if it's not too much trouble.

Cheers,
Dan.

Bet you didn't see this coming when you mentioned ELD"s.
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  #60  
Old 24-07-18, 02:49
Malcolm Towrie Malcolm Towrie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Cecil View Post
One way to ascertain if the lower hull was ever fitted with IR would be to look for the auxiliary battery mounting and heavy wiring in the lower right corner of the fighting compartment, mounted to the hull wall, with enough room below to operate the in-floor ammunition bin. Two batteries stacked one above the other in this mounting. There should also be a stowage box in the drivers compartment for the driver's IR periscope.

Mike
Mike, I took a look inside the tank for IR stuff on the hull. And I took some photos. As you can see my camera takes crap pics in poor lighting and the hull interior is a bit rough.

The first pic shows a mount welded to the hull at the right rear, just below the auxiliary engine air filter. Is it for the auxiliary batteries? It is welded so low on the hull it prevents the hinged bin lid below from opening. You can see two flex conduits on the mount. The next pic shows the ID on the conduits. Seems like IRDB PL4 and PL3 would be related to IR equipment?

The 3rd pic shows the one storage bin remaining in the drivers compartment. From the studs, it looks like there was another bin above the one shown and also on the left wall.

Malcolm

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