10365 pic

10366 pic

Thanks to Colin Mackie for the above photo taken in the Gulf. The tyres are not the usual run flats any one know why? Colin also sent some other photo's which l shall try and put in future issues.

Staying on photo's some members have sent in pictures of their Ferrets to me and l am starting to assemble an album so if you can forward a picture of your 'beast' l would appreciate it. Thank you to those of you who have already done so.

Andy Deacon has now been given the title of 'Entertainment's Officer' and will soon be getting in touch with you all to arrange some get together's probably centred around The Evil drink Alcohol (this was added by my son after having a bit too much, perhaps the first and last time ha ha after Seeing it again all over the hall floor)

Issue 5 Page 1

Poppy Appeal

Earlier this year l was approached by my local branch of the British Legion to help them with their Poppy appeal. At first it was just for them to use my Ferret as a centre point for a collection day. But later turned into a request to borrow the Ferret for a week to use in the local shopping centre (Mall for American readers).

Arrangements were made to put my Ferret into the shopping centre on a Sunday afternoon. The requests from the shopping centre manager was 'A', could the vehicle have the minimum amount of petrol aboard and 'B' could l remove the contacts to the batteries.

Request 'A' was no problem as l am renown for trying to run my Ferret on the smell in the petrol tank, and as it turned out, true to form, it ran out on the drive to the shopping centre. As for request 'B' being l had just brought two new batteries, l had already decided to disconnect them and bring them home anyway.

Andy Deacon brought his Ferret along on the Sunday for the drive but when we got to the centre we discovered that their door opening was 6' and Ferrets are 6'2'' wide. Now l know l could have got my Ferret through those doors, but the rebuilding cost of double swing doors is probably more than the poppy collection was likely to raise. It turned out that the centre manager was an ex. Black watch regular and he was really disappointed that the Ferret wouldn't fit because he had driven and commanded MK 1 Ferrets and was looking forward to having a good reminisce whilst the Ferret was in his centre. The manager then suggested putting the Ferret on the concourse in front of the centre and l agreed that l could bring the Ferret down each day through out the week but the British Legion declined the offer as they couldn't supply enough people to stay with the vehicle every day. On the Saturday morning 13th of Nov. We did however use mine and Andy's Ferrets in Eastleigh's town centre for a poppy collection with the British Legion in attendance and raised £90. Mr Norman Brown who organised the Legions side of this Saga, has since written and thanked Andy and myself for our help but I feel next year perhaps as a club we might do more for this worthy charity so any ideas or comments?

Issue 5 Page 2

Driver’s Handbook/stowage Diagram.

Colin Cook has produced replica Drivers handbooks copied from samples held by the Tank museum. These handbooks are available for £1.50 + postage, (and can be ordered on the order sheet enclosed.) Colin also has photo copies of stowage diagrams for MK 1 and MK 5 vehicles at £1 .00 per set + postage (also available on the order sheet enclosed).

Help offered

As you can see from the article sent in by John Pearson on 'Fluid fly wheel fixes' we have members with a wealth of knowledge, so don't forget to have a ring around if you have a problem.

Two people who have offered their help/Knowledge are:

John Dews - 20/30 rebuilds under his belt.

Nigel Chandler - Former SSGT.(Artificer) REME.

Both these guys are listed in the members list but please phone at reasonable times.

Membership renewals and Beltring 2000

lf you haven't yet returned your memberships form and money, then please do so and also the Beltring 2000 trip.

Order form.

Drivers Handbook
Number of ----------------------- @ £2.00 each including postage.
Stowage Diagrams
Number of MK 1 --------------------------- @ £1.50 a set including postage.
Number of MK 5 --------------------------- @ £1 .50 a set including postage.

Issue 5 Page 3

2 or 4 wheel Drive?

There are a number of ferrets around that have apparently been converted to two wheel drive by removing the sun and planet gears in the hub, usually, although not always, the front ones. There are also Saladins Saracens and Stalwarts similarly modified. A number of benefits are supposed to accrue; greater mile per gallon, better handling and a reduction of mechanical noise. If all of that is true, I wonder if the benefits are significant and if they are then why did not the Army do it?

Most people who drive Ferrets have probably had at least some experience with other four-wheel drive vehicles of the Land Rover type. These of course have selectable 2 or 4 wheel drive and commonly have lockable front hubs. Transfer of the lessons from this type of vehicle to the Ferret I believe has led to some misconceptions. If you leave a Land Rover in 4-wheel drive (high or low ratio) on tarmac you will inevitably get steering twitch. A Ferret can also exhibit the same sensation on hard going and removing the drive from the front wheels will stop it. This is true but it is not because it is in 4-wheel drive that you get it but because the tyres are different sizes. The tyres inevitably wear unevenly and as on the Ferret the front and rear wheels on each side are geared together they rotate at the same speed but if the circumference is different then they are trying to go different distances per revolution. This twists up the components in the drive train until one tyre slips slightly - hence the twitch. The solution is to regularly match the tyres. (This is true .. do you know any one who has ever done this with a Land Rover?) If the problem only occurs occasionally (after a right angle turn for example) then just bounce the wheels by going up the kerb etc to momentarily lift the wheel from the ground. The wind up in the transmission will release leaving twitch free steering. If it happens more often the you need to match the tyres (see the end of this article)

Issue 5 Page 4

If the front hubs of a Land Rover are unlocked and it is in two-wheel drive then you will expect a better mile per gallon because the front axle’s components are not being rotated. If you remove the sun gearing from a ferret then all the parts are either being rotated by the propeller shaft or by the road wheel, except for the gears themselves and they are pretty free running so I think that the savings would be minimal. The lessening of the mechanical noise would also be pretty small unless the components themselves were worn under load.

Reducing a Ferret to 2-wheel drive is not the same as doing it to a Land Rover; for a start the Land Rover is designed for the torque but a ferret is not. You will be applying twice the torque to the rear driveline components that they were meant to have in each gear and in the case of the first gear twice as much as they were designed to withstand in total, this has to reduce the reliability.

If you must reduce a Ferret to 2-wheel drive then it is probably easier to remove the front propshafts and carry them with you. Then if you get stuck with a bit of unexpected off roading you can fit them and pull yourself out. It is also a good idea to blank off first gear to prevent accidental overload of the transmission. You could do this with a nut and bolt tightened up in the gear change gate then that is easily removable if you have to fit the propshafts in a hurry.

Issue 5 Page 5

I suggest that the best way to go is to leave it in 4-wheel drive and match the tyres. The easiest way is to go to a garage and pump up all 5 wheels to the same pressure. Then jack up each wheel in turn and measure all the way around the out side with a tape measure. As you do each one then chalk the size on the side. Do the same with the spare if you have one. What you then have to do is put the 2 largest on the one side and the two smallest on the other, with the middle one as the spare. That is of course the opposite of what you do with most other vehicles where you would normally put the best tread on the front.

By the way you can not take a short cut and look at the depth of the tread to make your pairs, sometimes the carcasses are different sizes and the new one might be in fact smaller than a part worn. The measurements should be as close as possible to being the same each side and certainly less that 2 inches / 5 cm difference front and back, the difference between side to side is irrelevant because the side to side differential will take care of that. If you can get the difference down to ½ in/1cm it will be even better. If you cannot match to less than 2 inches then you will have to try to swap with another owner in a similar predicament.

Issue 5 page 6

Fluid flywheel fixes

Further to Derek Gardner’s article about fluid flywheel leaks in “Ferret New” No4….

There is a simple way to “check “ the level of fluid in the flywheel that may not be widely known, as it should be. It is particularly useful where a radio is fitted as it dose not require any dismantling or tools. You check the level by checking the effect rather than physically checking the amount of oil visually, it is called the “Stall check” With the engine running, reselect and then engage 3rd gear but leave the hand brake on. If the handbrake is a bit suspect - fix it! - But in the mean time put your Left foot firmly on the foot brake. Make sure no one is directly in front of the vehicle and press the accelerator to the floor for an absolute maximum of 5 seconds. While doing that check the rev counter reading.

If it stays below 750 rpm, then the fluid level is full and it is safe to drive, if it goes above, try in 4th gear, again for an absolute maxim of 5 seconds. If it now reads below 750 rpm then the level is OK but the brake band for 3rd gear is slipping. If the reading is the same as with 3rd gear the level is low and there is no alternative to removing all of the radio gear and the bung so you can top it up. As a get you home by the way you can use automatic transmission fluid which is available at most garages but it is a bit expensive. Do not use engine oil, gear oil or certainly not brake fluid under any circumstances.

If the fluid is low and cannot be toped up for any reason .. DO NOT DRIVE. The flywheel is designed to have about 2% slip and that means wasted power and thus heat to get rid of: about 2 ½ bhp at maximum, that is say 2Kw. If it is driven with say 15% slip, which would be hard to recognise, then power wasted would be say 20 bhp or about 15Kw. Now a 4 Kw domestic immersion heater can BOIL 50 gallons of water in about an hour………..

It is a good idea to do a “Stall Check” at each start of a journey and it can become a small add on task to “pedalling up” or operating the gear change pedal 6 times in each gear in turn as I am sure we all do so that the auto adjusters can do their job, along with radiator and engine oil checks.

One thing I noticed about Derek’s article was that he intended to remove the engine to fix the flywheel. I would suggest it is far quicker to move the gearbox.
Firstly pop off both escape doors but leave the turret (if any) alone, Remove the gearbox tin covers, the batteries, their wiring and boxes.
Unbolt the drive shafts universal joints where they join the transfer box and mountings and all the bellhousing bolts. After checking every thing is free, using two long leavers through the side doors to “walk” the gearbox forward to leave the flywheel exposed.

Do not just replace the centre seal (Just and ordinary commercially available oil seal by the way) but also check the joint between the halves. If it has been excessively overheated you should check for cracks.
A REME bloke told me that if there is a paper gasket between the halves, do not waste your time trying to get or cut a new one. RTV instant gasket is both quicker and better.

A real perfectionist would make a fitting and pressure test after assembly to say 10 psi to see if there are any leaks before full re assembly. I didn’t check the joint or pressure test so I had to do the job twice!!

Happy ferreting

John Pearson

Issue 5 page 11

Will I ever get it right ?

I have been driving ferrets for quite some time now and Saracen and Dingo for longer but it seems to me that there is an unlimited number of things that I can and do get wrong and the little tricks the Army do not put in the books.

First: FIRE! Not a big one but leaves get trapped down behind the silencer. Being a bit wet they do not burn immediately but as soon as they dry out a bit ……. Whoosh! They burn before they are fully dry so there is lots of smoke. Good exercise for the driver to see how fast he can react to the call of “EVACUATE” By the look on the drivers face (my Son) when it happened I think he thought I meant his bowels. You can also do the same trick with a cammo net so we tied ours up away from the exhaust. Did not stop it being sucked into the engine compartment, being eaten up by the fan and being blown into the radiator: result one unexpected instantaneous boil. DO NOT TAKE THE CAP OFF UNTILL TEMP IS BELOW 200 DEGREESS FAHRENHEIT. (yes I did. Radiator contents went about 7 feet in the air and I got out of the way quickly before it came down again. My sons testicles did not move so quickly, at least they did not until the hot water hit them. Be careful, you might be just as lucky as him)

Second: Always check oil dipstick to see that there is some oil in the tank, then run the engine to pump sump contents back to oil tank. Stop the engine for a second proper check of oil level. If you fill up after it has been standing for some time and then start it up where will all the oil go that has drained into the sump? All over the Bl**dy every thing that is where. By the way, you are supposed to check the radiator level when warm so that the coolant has expanded, sounds a bit dangerous to me but I suppose you will get away with it if you do it well below 200 degrees. I think you should top up with hot.

Issue 5 page 7

Third: If you loose the square key to the turret and engine doors how do you get in? simple this one. Use a 3/8 drive socket extension bar and put it in “backwards” i.e. female end first. This is a good fit on the square lock shaft and leaves the male end out which you turn with a 3/8 open ended spanner or an adjustable. If you get such an extension off the market for a few pence, get it red hot in the middle and bend it, it makes a cracking replacement for the proper tool. You can also make one from a bit of square tube with a tommy bar through it but it is not as strong as even a cheap bent socket extension bar.

Fourth: Why the hell is the Ferret not fitted with a battery isolator switch like most other vehicles? It only takes an interior light on dim to run even the largest battery down eventually. I have fitted one that I got from a car accessory shop for a few pounds. It is not big and I have been able to hide it inside the left-hand battery box. It has a removable red plastic key that is a small addition to security but it is more useful to make absolutely sure that no child “just looking” can cause major problems. It also means the beast will go next time you try it. For me the thing I most often leave on is the “I” box in the intercom. For anyone not familiar with this larkspur box does the amplification so the intercom works with none existent or duff radios. If you do run the batteries down do not forget that you can jump start with 2 cars and 2 jump leads. It is a lot safer to connect each car battery to each ferret battery rather to wire it all in series. If you get that wrong you will certainly need a fire extinguishers or the fire brigade.

Last: Having suffered a number of road side breakdowns over the years it is a good idea to be a member of a Breakdown Rescue Club but do a check do they handle the weight. In any event it is a good idea to carry literature even if you would not like

Issue 5 page 8

To try and fix it yourself because it will help the repairman who will almost certainly never have seen the inside of a B60 engine before. In my experience, if you are Certain it is not that you have run out of petrol it is almost always dirty or incorrectly gapped ignition points. (Are you sure you were not on reserve originally and now trying to restart on main after running out?)
If offered a tow REFUSE TO ACCEPT (except for a few meters, across a road junction for example) The gearbox is pressure lubricated from the engine side and if the vehicle is towed with a stationary engine and the box in neutral then the internals are being rotated but not lubricated and will seize in short order. In the most dire emergency you might risk it for a very short distance at low speed (less than 15 mph if possible) with the transfer box in neutral (i.e. put the forward/reverse lever in the middle of its travel) NEUTRAL IN THE GEARBOX IS NOT ENOUGH WEATHER NEUTRAL IS PRESELECTED OR ENGGED. I did not do this bit of stupidity to a ferret but a Saladin. The transmission was damaged even though the transfer box was in neutral because I towed too far and/or fast.

Issue 5 page 9

FIRE DOWN BELOW! Soon after I bought my Ferret (Mk 1/ 2) I decided to take her for a short run up the drive. She went very well and everything seemed to work. I then went to put her back in the garage and was sat inside with the engine idling. Suddenly l heard a “whoomph'' and felt heat on the back of my head. l turned round and the left hand side battery was on fire. Suffice to say l didn't sit there very long! l don't remember turning the engine off or diving out of-the driver's hatch (thankfully open) - but l did, incurring huge bruises on the way. I ran into the garage, grabbed the fire blanket and placed it over the battery box. Unfortunately l didn't cover my right hand properly and burnt my third and fourth fingers and the back of my hand. l phoned my wife, who recalls me saying, "she's on fire'' -just as well she realised I meant the Ferret rather than our daughter! She then phoned her parents who live nearby, who phoned the emergency services. First on the scene was the fire engine, but by the time they appeared the fire was out. Next to arrive were the police. The firemen realised l'd burnt my hands so got me to put it in a bucket of water. The policeman wanted a statement for his records and found the whole situation very funny, as did the firemen who were climbing all over the Ferret and asking me questions about it. An ambulance then arrived, complete with paramedics who were all for taking me to hospital - for two burnt fingers - but l didn't go. To add to this happy band my mother- in-law appeared with a camera and was taking pictures! The cause of the fire was that l had previously taken off both battery box covers to clean and re-spray, but hadn't replaced them. The rubberised cork seal behind the petrol tap had perished, which allowed petrol to seep from it straight onto the battery terminal.. ... The damage amounted to the main distribution box; all the battery leads; the wires leading to the starter motor and the main cable going from the alternator to the regulator box. l had to replace all of these but luckily l had a friend at Budge called Baz who got me all the cables l needed from one of their derelict vehicles. She's now up and running, no problems, looks really nice and runs well. The moral of this story is - don't remove your battery box covers before driving and check your rubberised seal behind the petrol tap. Oh yes, and always keep a fire extinguisher handy! !

Colin Cook

Issue 5 Page 12


Ferret parts list
Vigilant Mk2/6 instruction l ; emer v629/1
Cheap bits, exhaust silencer, bins ha!
Turret locking ring Mk2/3. Mark Simmons.
Information on Clansman Radio Installation Tony Bardwell

For Sale 1 Army reconditioned brake servo unit, 1 petrol tank, 1 starting handle, set of generator belts. Colin Cook.

Lots of odds and ends offered by Mark Simper phone him for his list.

Mk1/2 tech handbook, base repairs Part 2 £6.00
Mkl '' '' unit repairs £6.00
Mkl and Mk2 maintenance schedule £5.00
'' '' tech handbook, inspection standard £6.00

all the above are first generation copies, ideal for workshop use. Mark Simmons.

Complete 'Take out' engine Tony Caldwell.

questions and Answers
ls there a tool to replace the two springs which hold the carriers in place on the brake shoes '? The ferret has a brake adjuster on each wheel, each adjuster has two nuts side by side, by holding one nut and turning the other it adjusts the upper or lower brake shoe against the drum visa versa etc. These two nuts turn cog like wheels in turn moving the adjuster. They seem to be riveted in place, but in some cases the cog does not turn no matter how much l turn the nut. How can I solve this problem? Or do I have to replace this part which looks like it involves the whole back plate? C. Abraham.

Issue 5 Page 13


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