DOUG'S 'HEAVY METAL' GALLERY

 

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Andrews' Adventures - Saracen
   (Ver 3)

Andrew lives in England and judging by the photos he has sent me, lives an "interesting" life. Too interesting for me.
He has 3 vehicles.

A Ferret called "Fezz"
A Saladin called "Sally"
A Saracen, predictably called "Sarry"

Andrew has been very co-operative and even supplied me with sufficient text that I have mostly used his own words for this page.

Saracen Mk 6 - comments

I bought Sarry from Whithams Specialists. in November 1994. Its a Mk. 6 (up armoured, with reverse flow cooling). It was converted from a Mk 3 in Feb. 1972 and went to Ireland. In 1974 it was taken out of service. Don't know why I bought it, suppose it just fitted the mood that I was in at the time. Plus I needed something else to restore. As a vehicle its very good. Easy to drive, though you do need a good left leg for the gear change peddle. False neutrals are nasty though, I need both feet on the peddle to get it back in gear. Visibility is very good both forward and rearward. (I have put lorry mirrors on for road use, this means that one person can drive without the need for a commander). The rear doors make it easy to get all our kit in when we go to shows at the weekends and sometimes the full week. To find good points for these is very difficult, to find bad points is easy!! Too remove a wheel on your own is easy. Too put it back needs two of you. It takes one person about two hours to grease up all the nipples. ( this is done every month). Maintenance in the engine and transmission is an absolute nightmare. There just isn't the space to work on anything properly. We had the pulley on the fan belt come off, it sheared all four bolts but luckily it did no damage. This means the front cowling has to come off, the radiator grill needs removing, the radiator taking out and the fans removing. Replacing 4 bolts took about 10 minutes:-) its just the four hours or so needed for the rest of the parts :-( , (of course, they still have to be put back before we can test ). To remove and clean the carb is a major task, the same goes for the sparkplugs.

These are trivial compared to the BIG problem we had with the transfer box. After removing the seats out the back, lifting the floor, draining the tank and lifting that out the way. You find that the steering gear has to be taken out !! Simply unbolt the gear box from the engine and pull back. The gear box and transfer box go back 2 inches. Theres still the problem of the one inch still in the fly wheel :-( In the end we took the engine out (found all the lost spanners that we'd dropped) and striped the inside completely and resprayed and/or serviced the lot. Well, may as well 'cos we're now 4 months behind.

After all the problems we’ve had with Sarry we still do about one thousand miles in her every year. 400 of those are down to the Great Dorset Steam Fair at the beginning of August. No we don’t and wont use low loaders unless its a break down. Cost is prohibitive. E.g. cost of fuel for Sarry and Sally from home, the Much Marcel (Wales border to go see a rock band) then onto Dorset and back home a week later was about 900 UK pounds. 3 Quotes 2 years ago were 500 UK pounds each, each way!! I don’t keep a record of fuel costs, I just hand over a piece of plastic and sign on the doted line. It just seems better that way;-)  

These first pictures are of the vehicle when I first bought it from Withams in November 1994.
The dog is Khalanan, he likes helping by taking tools and things that your using out of the way ;-) Bloody pain if you're in a tight spot.

sarry-a pic

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sarry-b pic

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sarry-c pic

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When we first got Sarry going it didn't go very well. After some investigating we found it was number 8 exhaust valve which was not closing fully. So that we could work in the rain and dark we put up a bit of a tent (one of the many ‘tents’ we put up when working. Note the engine covers (we call them chimney pots [don’t ask!]) on the roof.

sarry-d pic

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Martin is holding the "chimney pot" while Carl unbolts it.

sarry-e pic

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The engine block after cleaning and regrinding the valve seats. Working on engines when in the vehicle is a nightmare. All spanners need to be tied to bits of string so you don’t lose them in the bottom of the enginebay.(the swamp of doom).

sarry-f pic

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The cylinder head after cleaning and replacing inlet valves.

sarry-g pic

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This is Martin and Carl looking as though they're doing something (ha ha ha ) I find that the brakes need servicing at least every 500 to 700 miles to keep there efficiency up to scratch.

sarry-h pic

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The one thing the three of us are good at is leaving things till the very last minute. When we went to the Cromford steam rally on Saturday morning, Sarry was red oxide all over. We took paint and brushes with us and got to work whilst on display. This photo shows the progress we made in the two days. Even after the drive home the paint is still wet in places.

After we got back from Cromford we have two weeks to prepare Sarry and Fezz for the drive down to The Dorset Steam Fair. We have a list as long as your arm and no time.(Wots new) This is a five day show, so is worth the effort. The drive there and back is about 400 miles. Sarrys not done 20 miles yet without braking down.

sarry-i pic

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This is about 25 miles from home after the journey from Dorset. What’s happened is that both the drive belts for the generator and water pump have broken and also split the high pressure hydraulic pipe from the pump. This meant that we lost power for the steering and a and a total loss of foot brakes. Not good :(

My thanks to the company ‘hoseman’ for coming out to fix the hydraulic side of the problem. We still had to call on the services of a low loader to get back though because the 51" ‘C’ section fan belts are not avalible from the normal outlets in the Derby area. ( You can fit 52" belts but it leaves you with no adjustment for slack).

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Doug - This is my worst nightmare, having an AFV immobilise itself on the road, even worse, in the middle of an intersection. Andy's experience goes to show that AFV's are just another mechanical device with all the normal problems and have to be dealt with as such.

sarry-j pic

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sarry-k pic

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Well I’ve got a few more photos for you. These were taken at the Chasewater military tattoo in July 1996. It was a weekend that will always be remembered. We turned up in Fezz and Sarry on Saturday morning, which really was a mistake because nothing was happening at all.

About mid afternoon we had got bored and were looking for something to do. In my wisdom I decided to take Fezz for a wade in the lake. Carl came with me and videoed us both driving in water that was freely coming in though the drivers hatch. After about ten minutes I drove out only to see Sarry being driven towards the lake by Martin. This is bad news. Water and Martin do not mix, he should have been born with a health warning stamped on his forehead. The following pictures prove that a Saracen has the wading capabilities of an anvil.

Although my Ferret is like a sieve on wheels and I got very wet, it is remarkably good at getting out of the mud with little effort.

We were getting worried when the right hand side wheels finally sank below the water line.

sarry-l pic

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My thanks to Pete Lander for winching sarry out with his Diamond T 980.

sarry-m pic

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Carl obviously knew what was going to have to be done on Sunday. He had the bright idea ofgetting totally bladdered on Saturday night drinking cider. He was of no use at all forremoving the wheels so that we could clean the brake drums and pads before the drive home.

sarry-n pic

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When going to I think it was Chatsworth house for a small show we got that horrible whining nose that associated with a diff thatís not very happy. It got so bad that we stopped to have a look. Took the floor up and the heat that escaped was unbelievable. You couldnít put your hand near it. Oil was almost non existent. Though a nice pool of oil was forming under the vehicle on the road. We fill the transfer box up and carry on to the show. Took it steady on the way home and put it in the field and left it there in disgust. The time comes when you just have to do something. This photo is a general shot as we removed all the insides.

sarry-o pic

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To split the engine from the gearbox, the engine has to be moved forward. This is because the bar from the gear change pedal goes between the bell housing and the gear box allowing only 1 1/2 inches of movement backwards. You need about 2 1/2 to get the splines out of the fly wheel.. Here the engine is shown ready for removal.

sarry-p pic

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Dodgy crane MK3/4. No one knows why, but for some reason if thereís a slight hint that somethingís not totally safe then Carl gets the job of being closest.

sarry-q pic

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No wonder we were having problems. One of the bearing cages has collapsed. This has totally damaged the two helical spur gears on the input shaft. All 12 roller and ball bearings had to be replaced including all sealís and needle bearings. Oh, and the oil pump was beyond repair because it tried pumping metal aswell as oil!! Changed the bronze bearings in the diff unit just for the sake of it. Amazingly , the bevel gears were in very good condition. No damage at all. All went to gether reasonable well. As normal we were working till after midnight getting it ready for its MOT the next day.

Regards,
Andy.

sarry-s pic

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All the effort is worth it in the end. This is the fist time that all three vehicles have been to one show at the same time. This was at Chasewater military show in July 1998. Problem is, weíve sill more to do. Just when you think that its all going well, the Ferret gets jealous of the other two and gives starter motor problems :-( .

Regards,
Andy.

sarry-t pic

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Update July 2001
Here are some Sarry photos while I've been servicing the exhaust. We're getting ready for the yearly trip to Dorset for the steam fair in a couple of weeks time.

This pic shows her on axle stands, this makes it easy for hub box maintenance consisting of bevel box oil change, hub reduction oil change and brake pad checking. I made my own stands, there are 5 of them under there.

10578 pic

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Thats my brother, he was cleaning down ready for a new coat of paint.

10579 pic

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This next pic shows the first exhaust repair I made when I first got Sarry. I have had to reuse these parts as I cannot find any supplys.

10580 pic

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The pic below explains its self. The cracked part came from inside the hull. Thats why the driver was suffering a bit from fumes. This part was bought in the end, though I was going to fabricate a new one up. I've turned up stainless studs and nuts so that it comes to bits easier than with the angle grinder.

10581 pic

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After Carl has put the black paint on.

10582 pic

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The Saracen is a very useful portable shed!!

10583 pic

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Andy's laws of tank restoration:

1) If it doesn't fit, bend it.

2) If it still doesnít fit, thump it with BIG hammer.

3) If it still donít fit, weld it in place.

 

My thanks to Andrew for the photo's and story.


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