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Bruce McCanns Ferret Story



Bruce has been very co-operative and supplied me with text and pictures of the story of his Ferret #115120.

Ferret Scout Car Mk2


My name is Bruce McCann & this is my Ferret & its story. During the course of doing my rounds in December 1996 testing fire alarm panels in Appin N.S.W I came across this Ferret in an open sided shed. On talking to the caretaker he told me that it had sat there for 19 years apparently pushed there by the tractor after it ceased to start one day out in the field.

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Out of the shed and in sunlight.

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I of course got real interested & had to climb in for a look. It was missing lots of the radio cables but the vibratory power unit & the C13 radio were still there.

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The caretaker told me that others had tried to get this vehicle but always came unstuck when they approached the lady owner of the property as she wanted nothing to do with the vehicle but would not sell it as her estranged husband had bought it & she wanted nothing to do with it. After contacting the owner of the vehicle and telling him I was interested in restoring it he eventually (after numerous calls) decided to sell it. Now the caretaker told me if I came to move the vehicle the lady on the property would have me up for trespassing so he arranged for me to collect it when she was away. Keith Adam a friend & also a member of the Australian Military Vehicle Collectors Society moved the Ferret for me to his property and then to my place. The usual pulling down of bolted items began, later I wished I had photo's or better still videoed some of the pull down.


Looking from the front towards the rear, not a usual view as normally the fuel tank obscures the engine

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A gantry was obtained for the removal of the motor and gearbox; we suspected a seized motor. The motor was sent to a friend's garage for an inspection & on removing the starter motor found that it was seized not the engine itself. Geoff Dennis kindly pulled the starter apart finding a few problems to resolve. It was infact the starter letting go that caused the vehicle to be put away in the shed in the first place.


Looking in the rear end through the engine bay, note the octagonal hull plan.

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It was about now that I heard of a chap named Bob Watson for sand blasting, I introduced myself to him & we arranged for him to do the entire vehicle & all guards/bins etc. Bob also replaced the front right bevel box as it had a meltdown at some stage of its life

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When Bob had finished doing his work on the vehicle I had it transported back home so I could now install the running gear (as now an instant expert at things) this was done by myself as all my friends had shoes to Polish or something. That's why there are no photos of the engine going in. A $45.00 second hand electric sprayer that I was quite impressed with painted the exterior of the Ferret. My only problem was the final batch of paint I got was slightly off color, but not noticeable until applied, then dry, then when the sun was in the right angle & so on, I kept trying to convince myself that it was ok but it wasn't & I had to repaint the turret (now back on vehicle), engine cover, rear right guard, main side bin. I'm glad I did now but a nuisance at the time. I see what people mean by saying get all your batches of paint & mix together before starting.

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All the bevel box oil seals were replaced along with the tracta joint seals. The fluid coupling oil seal was obtained from Tim Vibert (Empire Trading) in Victoria (along with all other hard to find bits & pieces).

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A photo of the Ferret on its first outing: Bruce's Dad Bob, is on the left and Bruce is on the right.

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The unit signage is of the Australian 2nd/14th Queensland light horse (mounted rifles) in which this vehicle had spent some time with, back in the days when it was still (originally) a Mk.1 hence the 4 bridge plate. The name RUMANI is one I choose for the vehicle, as one could not be found during blasting.

In closing I would like to thank my wife Lisa (under duress crew commander) for her patience.
My father Bob for his cheque book
Bob Watson for putting the difficult jigsaw together
And the Australian Military Vehicle Collectors Society
And the Australian Armoured Vehicle Association.
August 99

 

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


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