Australia's Universal Carrier     Ver 3 

These can be divided into 2 main models: the LP1 and the LP2.
Due to wartime shortages and shipping problems it became necessary for Australia to produce her own carriers. Until that time we had been almost exclusively supplied with English products. Australia basically copied the English models but did so using CMP (Canadian Military Pattern) parts where possible. The clearest give away of an Australian carrier is the 3 bow plates with the bottom one set roughly at -70 and the middle one at + 45 they then go to the 3rd one set at 0 (ie a flat horizontal plate) before meeting a vertically set group of glacis plates which form the front compartment. An English carrier has a bow plate on the other hand and a single glacis plate set at a shallow angle which intersects the vertical group of glacis plates.

These vehicles are right hand drive.  

With thanks to Tony Smith (Australia) below is a break up of the Ford side valve V8 family (as I had made a mess of correctly I.d'ing which V8 suits a carrier in the original version of this article)

Ford made four basic versions of the sidevalve or flathead V8

1. 21 stud (Headbolts) from '32 to 35. Water pumps mounted onto heads with triangular gasket. 80Hp, 221ci.
2. (1st) 24 stud, '36 to '41. water pumps now on block, radiator hose outlet in centre of head points up. Dizzy is modified from "BB" model 4 Cyl truck, basically 2 x 4 Cyl dizzy caps together on a dizzy looking like old Diver's Helmet, integral coil. Fitted to cab 11 or cab 12 Blitzes (called Monkey Face or Desert Blitz) and early British Brens and Aust LP1. 85Hp, 239ci.
3. (2nd) 24 stud,'42 to '48. Much the same as above. Big end bearings now bigger. Dizzy looks like a Crab, 8 terminals point outwards, 1 up. Fitted to cab 13 Blitzes (most common type, like your Chev) and LP2, LP2a and LP3 Brens, also used in Gensets! This dizzy much more reliable, adjusts just like modern one.Still rated at 85Hp, 239ci.
4. (3rd) 24 stud, '49 to '53. One most sought by hotrodders! Radiator outlets at front of head, Dizzy is same as modern one, comes out at right front of engine. Does not have integrated bellhousing at back, needs adapter to fit Blitz or Bren. Some versions (Mercury) had long stroke crank, 255ci.Ford version rated at 100Hp, 239ci.

For any non-Aussie, a "Blitz" is the Aussie name for a CMP vehicle.

LP1 (Local pattern [AUST] model 1) hydraulically stick-steered, using 2 brake masters and 2 slaves. 1 set per side. Bloody awfull vehicle to drive as the moment you make a steering correction you are applying brake to that side. This in turn loads the engine and slows the vehicle. I was instructed that due to the gross lack of engine power any steering input should be accompanied by full throttle. The diff., is a standard CMP diff., so there is no tank like regenerative action.  

LP2. Inital steering by the way of a steering wheel controlled, cam actuated, sliding centre axle, to effect track warping, so that no power wastage because of steering corrections whilst running down a straight road. Very sensible. Further turning of the steering wheel then by a system of rods applied the brake on the approriate side in order to tighten the turn. Braking by conventional pedal.

In general. 

As one bloke said to me 'the poms spent 30 years developing the carrier and just as they had finally go it sorted out it was obsolete'. I will however point out that from this design and the lessons learned from it the APC came about as a consequence, sometimes they need to get it wrong to learn how to get it right!  

Riding in a carrier strongly reminds me of riding a rocking horse. That long track overhang before the first road wheel gives for a different ride than anything else you will have encountered! It sets up a rocking motion over even slightly rough ground and gives a very pronounced nose up on accelerating/nose down on braking effect. My experience does not indicate any sea-sick effect, more so just a "this is unusual" reaction.

Front view LP2 Carrier - Photo 1

Note the 2 part glacis plate as detailed above. The reference to the location of the tool rack is due to jungle experience showing that a tool rack on the side of a vehicle, does not last very long, but whilst it is there, collects every bit of foliage it can. The latter model carrier had all it's tools on the rear.

Download the big pics by clicking on the small pics...

Front pic


Rear View - Photo 2 

Note the large storage boxes. One of the harder items to find. The jack is another.

Rear pic

Operators Manual - Photo 3

These are A5 size and are bound with something that looks for all the world like a boot lace - a very good idea as the manual is easily dismantled for updating. Or in the modern era, for ease of photocopying.
I especially like the little silhouette on the cover of Commonwealth manuals, it makes for far easier recognition of what vehicle the manual suites - unlike American manuals which have only a confusing array of TM numbers to wade through.

Op pic


Spare Parts Manual - Photo 4

Spares pic


Workshop Manual - Photo 5

Workshop pic

In these manuals can be found the very handy information (for the restorer) of what CMP parts are used and how they are modified, if at all.


Track detail - Photo 6

This scan shows a break down of the track components. The domed screw head appearing things are nothing more than some strange cast shape; they are definetly NOT screw or bolt heads on any track I have seen.

Track pic


Track Limits - Photo 7

What to look for so that you know how usefull a track is.

Had it pic


Track Maintencance - Photo 8

Track maintenance considerations.

Track Maint pic


Download the big pics by clicking on the small pics...



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