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  #1  
Old 04-09-13, 03:56
Andrew H. Andrew H. is offline
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Default Our LRDG Chev

G'Day,
I promised Hanno I would start a thread on our LRDG replica that we are creating from a Chev truck discovered in a barn. Its a joint project between three of us Kiwis who are interested in old military vehicles and particularly in the LRDG, in which so many New Zealanders served. The old Chev was given to us by the previous owner who is a Ford fanatic. He has a huge shed full of Ford trucks and tractors and said he was not interested in Chevs, so he gave it to us for nothing. That was in late 2010.

Here are the first pics showing the truck in its original condition before we started restoring it.
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Chev truck (reduced) (2)  2010.jpg   Chev truck dashboard (reduced) (3) .jpg   Chev November 2010  (reduced).jpg  
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  #2  
Old 04-09-13, 04:38
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Most unusual, I've not seen one before with a CMP or CCKW type steering column and wheel. Does it have its own mounting flange or does it use a clamp arrangement on the sector shaft boss.

David
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  #3  
Old 04-09-13, 08:07
Andrew H. Andrew H. is offline
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Actually I think these "miliatarised" civilian Chevs with that type of dash and steering wheel were not uncommon in New Zealand. Re your query about the steering box: I will try to upload a pic of it if I can reduce the file size enough. Here goes:
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Steering box (reduced).jpg  
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  #4  
Old 04-09-13, 08:21
motto motto is offline
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Thanks for that Andrew.
The steering box on that truck is definitely a heavier duty unit than what we got here on the L/L Chevs.
It's strange that they didn't then go the whole hog and fit a heavy front axle instead of the light duty front axle with the bicycle type wheel bearings that it's got?

Cheers

David
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  #5  
Old 04-09-13, 08:24
Andrew H. Andrew H. is offline
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We are limited in both time and money so the restoration process is taking a bit longer than expected. It was April 2011 before we started dismantling the old girl. Here is the cab being removed.
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Removing cab.jpg  
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  #6  
Old 04-09-13, 23:08
Andrew H. Andrew H. is offline
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I thought it best to show you what we are aiming for. These three pics were taken at a recent display of military vehicles at Karapiro, New Zealand. As far as we are aware this was the first time since WWII that such a group of Chev 1533X2 30cwt trucks in LRDG configuration were assembled together. When ours is finished it will bring the number up to 5.
Attached Thumbnails
First time since WWII (R).jpg   LRDG truck Tutira cab interior Karapiro 10th November 2012 (R).jpg   LRDG truck Tutira at Karapiro 10th November 2012 (R).jpg  
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  #7  
Old 05-09-13, 23:43
Andrew H. Andrew H. is offline
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The grill panels are a distinctive feature of the Chev 1533X2 LRDG trucks, with some of the vertical "battens" removed for better cooling in desert conditions. Purists may cringe at the modifications necessary to achieve LRDG configuration but we consider creating a replica to honour the New Zealanders who served in the LRDG outweighs other considerations. Anyway here are some before and after pics of the grille panels after bead blasting and priming.
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Chev grille rear view 1 (R).jpg   Chev grille rear view 2 (R).jpg   Chev grille rear view 3 (R).jpg   Chev grille rear view 4 (R).jpg   Chev grille trial assembly (R).jpg  

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  #8  
Old 06-09-13, 01:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew H. View Post
Purists may cringe at the modifications necessary to achieve LRDG configuration but we consider creating a replica to honour the New Zealanders who served in the LRDG outweighs other considerations.
Here, Here!
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  #9  
Old 06-09-13, 01:39
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Andrew, here is a small picture that was for sale on trademe. My apologies to the seller and buyer who ever they were.
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268799743.jpg  
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  #10  
Old 06-09-13, 01:48
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Default Bumper ornament?

Anybody know what that is on the front bumper?

David
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  #11  
Old 06-09-13, 02:22
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David, I tried to blow it up. The photo is not good quality. It looks like a Vice.
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  #12  
Old 06-09-13, 04:22
Andrew H. Andrew H. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Eades View Post
Andrew, here is a small picture that was for sale on trademe. My apologies to the seller and buyer who ever they were.
Thanks Lynn,
That is actually a well-known photo that appears on page 150 of "The Kiwi Scorpions" by Brendan O'Carroll. It is the same truck named "Te Aroha III" that we are modelling our replica on. All of the NZ trucks had Maori names representing the towns the men came from. That truck is particularly appropriate for us because we live in the town of Te Aroha, where at least 4 of the LRDG men came from. The truck had "Te Aroha III" painted on its bonnet (see wartime photo attached). It did not survive the Barce raid.
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Te Aroha III in wartime line-up.jpg  
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  #13  
Old 06-09-13, 06:19
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One of the most difficult parts of the restoration was the scuttle which was very badly rusted. Also it had a sharp curve up to the windscreen, which had to be flattened, as the LRDG trucks had the "flat-faced cowl" discussed in another thread. The job was made even more difficult by not having any previous welding experience! So it was straight into the deep end, doing what some would consider very ambitious work for a first attempt at welding.

First we had the scuttle acid-dipped to remove rust and paint (we tried molasses too, but more about that later). Then we made and inserted two patch panels. This all took many weeks, much exasperation and the invention of some new words for the English language.
Attached Thumbnails
Scuttle acid dipped (R).jpg   Chev lower scuttle rusted (R2).jpg   Scuttle front unrestored (R2).jpg   Inserted lower cowl patch (R2).jpg   Inserted lower cowl patch (R2B).jpg  

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  #14  
Old 06-09-13, 06:57
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Then we replaced the curved upper part of the scuttle (immediately below the windscreen) with a flat-faced cowl but as that involved compound curves we had it done by a professional panel-beater. Then we made up a flat dashboard out of 2mm steel to replace the original curved dash which is not correct for our truck. This involved also making a new glove box and a new instrument panel from scratch, as these are different on the 1533X2 trucks. We have about 6 books on the LRDG with many useful photos that help with authenticity. Finally we primed and painted everything ready to install on the chassis.
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Scuttle primed (4) (R).jpg   Flat dash installed (R).jpg   Scuttle completed (RR).jpg  
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  #15  
Old 07-09-13, 01:41
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We found that our chassis was not good enough so hunted around for a better one and were surprised to find one with the correct 134.5 inch wheelbase on a nearby farm. Then we did a mockup of the truck for an ANZAC day display at the local RSA, which caused a lot of interest.

Later we attached the front panels to the chassis for a trial assembly in the shed, with the steering column attached. All body panels have been bead-blasted or acid-dipped and have been given six coats of paint (3 coats of primer, two of gloss enamel and one final coat of mat finish).

We are aware of some minor inaccuracies in the shape and width of the front mudguards, but at this stage we are undecided whether to remedy that, as it will be expensive.
Attached Thumbnails
Chassis primed (RR).jpg   Steering column attached (RR).jpg   RSA display (RR).jpg   Trial assembly (RR) .jpg   Better chassis found) .jpg  

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  #16  
Old 08-09-13, 02:22
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Nice work, Andrew!

Are any family members/relatives of the men who served from Te Aroha still in the area? They would probably be thrilled to see what is being done to honour their ancestors efforts!

David
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  #17  
Old 08-09-13, 05:10
Andrew H. Andrew H. is offline
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We have made contact with one local descendant, who expressed interest and in due course we will contact the others. One of the already completed trucks has been made by the son of an ex-LRDG member. The father is still alive (aged 92) and has already had a ride in the completed truck. That's them in the attached pic.
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Tainui truck at Karapiro.jpg  
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  #18  
Old 08-09-13, 22:53
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That looks very promising, Andrew!
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  #19  
Old 09-09-13, 03:38
Andrew H. Andrew H. is offline
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Thanks Kuno,
How is your project coming on? Are you almost ready to take your Bagnold truck to Libya?
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  #20  
Old 09-09-13, 18:27
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Andrew - we are working on it and it is still the intention to put its tires on true Sahara-sand this year
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  #21  
Old 09-09-13, 22:20
Andrew H. Andrew H. is offline
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Great!
Can't wait to hear more on your great adventure!
Andrew
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  #22  
Old 10-09-13, 09:05
Andrew H. Andrew H. is offline
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Lately we have been working on the badly rusted floor pan. The seat riser was removed and the floor pan sent away for sand blasting. I love sand blasting because it works so well on thicker steel where there is no risk of warping and it only cost us $20 to blast both sides ready for priming.
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1 All panels removed (RR)..jpg   2 Rusty floor panel (RR) .jpg   3 Floor pan sand-blasted (RR).jpg   4 Floor pan primed (RR).jpg  
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  #23  
Old 10-09-13, 09:20
Andrew H. Andrew H. is offline
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Rust is the enemy!! The seat riser was not quite as bad as the floor pan, but still required some repair and rust removal before it could be primed, painted and assembled back onto the floor pan. The rear cross-panel was so badly rusted it had to be replaced with a new one. The petrol tank is also quite badly rusted, so it will be some time before we are ready to install it under the seat.
Attached Thumbnails
1 Rusted floor pan and seat riser (RR).jpg   2 Seat riser removed (RR).jpg   3 Seat riser finished (RR).jpg   4 Seat riser trial assembly (RR).jpg   Rusty petrol tank.jpg  

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  #24  
Old 13-09-13, 23:15
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Molasses for rust removal has been a revelation to us. Its great as long as you are not in a hurry. See attached pics
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1 Before molasses (RR).jpg   2 After molasses (RR).jpg   4 Floor panel after molasses (RR) .jpg  
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  #25  
Old 14-09-13, 02:28
Andrew H. Andrew H. is offline
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After attaching the seat riser to the floor pan, the next step was to make new "battens" for the rear cab panel. The original ones in pressed steel, "top-hat" section were too rusted and too expensive to buy new, so we used square section steel tube welded to a 50mm wide strip of panel steel. They will be stronger than the original and serve the same purpose.
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1 Seat riser & floor pan (RR).jpg   2 Battens on (RR).jpg   3 Battens on (RR).jpg  
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  #26  
Old 15-09-13, 01:33
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We found that the "feet" attaching the firewall to the chassis were rusted through in places, so the rusted bits were cut out and replaced with small, welded-in patches. This was "fiddly" work that required a lot of patience.

Also one of the "toe panels" was so badly rusted that it was not useable, so a new one was made from scratch. This was also quite fiddly work as it is a double thickness panel with lots of bends and angles. The yellow one is the original panel and the red one is the new mirror image copy. All the bending and folding was done in an ordinary vice, as we have very few tools. We have not done this type of work before, so it was a steep learning curve and some things have had to be done twice before we get it right.
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1 pin-holes cut out of firewall foot (RR).jpg   2 firewall foot ready for welding (RR).jpg   3 original toe panel beside newly made one (RR).jpg   4 toe panel is double thickness (RR).jpg  
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  #27  
Old 15-09-13, 01:51
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So that brings us more or less up to where we are today. The truck is now on its wheels, so we can push it around the workshop, but there is still a lot to do. The next items are to finish the panel work on the rear of the cab and then make a start on the rear Godfriedson "ammo" body. The motor is away being reconditioned.

We decided also to see if we could make a Vickers machine gun out of wood and I think we achieved quite good realism, at least from about 5 metres away.

Future posts will be less frequent, depending on our rate of progress.
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Wheels on (RR).jpg   Wooden Vickers (RR).jpg  
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  #28  
Old 21-09-13, 18:41
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Andrew - that looks really good; the Chevrolet and the Vickers. I hope your rate of progress is quick so that we can see the completed truck very soon...
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  #29  
Old 05-11-13, 05:18
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Our next job was to restore the petrol tank, which is quite rusty. We made an improvised molasses tank out of old boards and two thicknesses of heavy duty polythene sheeting. We submerged the petrol tank in the molasses at 6:1 strength for 18 days and this was the result. Unfortunately our molasses tank was not quite deep enough to completely submerge the petrol tank, so the exposed parts are still rusty. However we are still impressed by its effectiveness on the submerged parts. Its surprising more people don't use molasses, which is cheap, biodegradable, non-toxic and convenient, as long as you're not in a hurry .
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1 Tank before molasses.jpg   2 Petrol tank in improvised molasses tank.jpg   3 Tank after molasses .jpg  
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  #30  
Old 05-11-13, 05:35
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We also used molasses to get rid of rust on the seat springs. Here are three pics showing the seat before and after the molasses treatment and then after painting with RIPO and high-build "rust barrier red" primer. As we don't have a spray painting outfit it was a slow and laborious job to brush-paint the individual springs but that's how it was done .
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1 Rusty seat springs.jpg   2 Seat springs after molasses.jpg   3 Seat springs primed (R).jpg  
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