10849 pic

Many thanks to all the contributors to this issue, please keep the articles and ditties coming in.

I have enclosed copies of some correspondence I have received regarding MOT's and obtaining exemption. All that remains to be said I think is good luck!

The Club and Subs 2001

Well we are now entering the third year of the ferret Owners Club.
Please find enclosed a renewal form for the year 2001. I am sorry to say that the fee has gone up to 7.00 per year (14.00 to overseas members) as postage and production costs have gone up. Please fill out the form and return it to me as soon as possible..

Last year we had a superb meeting at Beltring where I got to meet lots of members (some I can even remember) and this year I hope to be there again with ferret and visitor book..

I will continue to publish the members names and addresses in future News Letters as I think it is a good way to get access to other owners especially for the new members but will try to update it for the next issue.

If you have comments or requests then please let me know.

Happy Ferreting - Andrew

Questions - Answers

In the last issue I asked if anyone new what the 'lashing eyes' on the back of the hull were for, not all Ferrets have them fitted, the answer has been sent to me by Doug Greville, our member in Australia. These 'lashing eyes' were fitted to tie extra harnesses on to the vehicle when it was air dropped by parachute. (N 407-62 refers)

So here are another couple of questions for you - on some Ferrets, maybe only on the up armoured ones, there is a protruding bar welded onto the hull just below the escape hatch on the spare wheel side. Is it there to assist in putting the spare wheel back on to the vehicle and if so then how does it work?

So here are another couple of questions for you - on some Ferrets, maybe only on the up armoured ones, there is a protruding bar welded onto the hull just below the escape hatch on the spare wheel side. Is it there to assist in putting the spare wheel back on to the vehicle and if so then how does it work?
Does anyone know how to find out service history of vehicles whilst they were in UN service?

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Previous issues

For those of you with the knowledge and the access to a computer the past issues of the Ferret News Letters are now appearing on the web site Dougs Heavy Metal Gallery. This is a superb web site run by Doug Greville and thanks to Doug and Derek Gardener for arranging it.

For Sale

5 New Ferret tyres on alloy split rims
900 X 16 Dunlop Trackgrips, Run flats for Mkl & Mk2 dealers charge 75 - 100 Forjust the tyre.

A bargain at 300 for the whole set of Five
No haggling and byre collects (to heavy to post?)

1 Pair of Smoke Dischargers
Complete with rubber mounting gaskets and fixing bolts

100 no offers!

1 Stowage Bin exhaust side rear
No rust, dented but repairable, very good lid and hinge

30 good winter project

Telephone 01420 538140 (Hampshire)
Evenings 18.00-22.OOhrs and weekends
Ask for Neil.

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The M.V.T. have just passed a new rule which affects us Ferret owners and I thought that a mention in the news letter is warranted.

The rule states that all 'Turreted / Armoured vehicles shall be fitted with a kill switch which is accessible to the Commander of the vehicle'.

The reason the M. V. T. give for passing this rule is that they are concerned that the drivers of the vehicles are
[1 Of an age that makes them more prone to heart attacks!
[2 More likely to drive in a reckless and dangerous manor!

My thoughts on this with input from Derek Gardener and Nigel Chandler are

[1 Why only Turreted l Armoured vehicles, what reasons are there for making this decision?

[2 What happens to vehicles with power steering, servo brakes when the Commander decides to kill the engine - maybe half way round a corner or at a road junction?

[3 What insurance cover does the Commander have to have as he/she is now being given the power to take over control of the vehicle?

It appears the M. V. T. are taking a lot of flak over this ruling and I think rightly so as I can not see any justification for it what so ever. So I ask you to get in touch with your local branch and express your views even if you are not M. V. T. members because they might well stop you going to M. V. T. run events.

Please don't forget that these are views expressed by myself and I welcome your comments.

Andrew Noyce

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17 Woodside Crescent,
7 December 2000

Dear Andrew,

What a surprise meeting you at Malvern, the chances would have been zero if you were not wearing the ferret owmers' club cap and Andy Deacon his sweatshirt. How nice to fi- nally put a face to a name after speaking to you on the telephone. With members spread over the country and in other countries it means meetings are virtually impossible to ar- range.Wearing the Owners' club clothing at shows and events will help to identify mem- bers, even if the ferret is not at the show.
This meeting with you was useful as you were Iooking for Larkspur C42 parts. It just so happens I have some parts you're Iooking for and I'll be putting them in the post for you. ( I hope they work! This means I now have a bit more space in the shed for somethnng else to gather dust.
On the subject of members, at a local charity event Mark Simmons and myself met Ivan Pearson who is looking for a ferret. I asked if he'd like a go in mine and after a few drives around a field, probably his first in a ferret, he soon got used to the pre-selector gearbox. Now a few or not so few words on the subject of MOT's and ferrets. I have just gone through this process and hope this information helps. The story started last year when reg- istering the ferret for the first time. The date into service, obtained from Bovington, indi- cated it was dated post 1960. This meant it needed an MOT. I contacted the local Ministry test centre and, after explaining what type of vehncle it was, they suggested I contact the technical department at Swansea. They said it was classed as a motor tractor and did not need an MOT.I wrote a letter explaining this information and, along with all the forms, I sent it to my local licensing Office who subsequently issued a tax disc : MOT exempt. When I received the first renewal guess what ? I needed an MOT certificate! Time to contact Swansea again.They again explained that I didn't need one. Apparently they do not issue MOT exempt forms , the onus is on you to declare your vehicle exempt by ticking the appropriate box on the renewal form. I did this but the lady at the Post Office wouldn't accept it and gave me form V 112 (here we go again). This time I contaeted the Licensing Offie and explained that I'd previously obtained a tax disc without an MOT. They asked me to complete the V 112 form and-return it to them, on receipt they would send a tax disc. In the post they went. A couple of days later my wife had a phone call asking about a certain Daimler. She said it was an armoured car and they were best speaking to me. I con- tacted them the next day, but in the meantime they had contacted the MVT who had ad- vised a post 1960 vehicle required an MOT.Arrrrgh! I asked-them to contact tbe technical office at Swansea. They did and when they phoned back the lady said it was a bit of a grey area (understatement of the millennium ) but if Swansea were happy about it she would is- sue a tax disc. I asked if I'd have the same problem next year and she tbought I would. She was very helpful and asked me to mark next year's letter for her attention- as there are not too many armoured cars about she would try to remember about it! She wondered what it Iooked Iike and asked if I'd send a photo.



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8 Albert Road

19th January 2001

Andrew Noyce
1 Fordington Villas
Station Lane
Chandlers Ford
S053 4DE

Dear Andrew

The question about MOT "exemption" in the Newsletter is a bit complex because there are a number of different provisions that apply in different circumstances and different area Post Offices have different interpretations.

Firstly, the weight of actual vehicles varies between each other and varies from the specification. Secondly the driver is responsible if the vehicle is unroadworthy - this is true whether or not there is an MOT Certificate in existence. Thirdly, there is not really such a thing as an MOT Exemption - almost all wheeled vehicles aged three years or more require a certificate of roadworthiness. The only problem is that there is no official body that can issue them for vehicles over 3,500kg. The exceptions are oddities for example track layers, steamrollers, road menders etc. Finally, there is further confusion about road tax and driving licence applicability and this has somehow become confused in peoples minds with the MOT.

The ordinary MOT (Class 4J is for vehicles under 3,OOOkg so do nor really concern the ferret (but a stripped down Mark 1 might just make it). There is a further C/ass 7 MO T for vehic/es from 3,000 to 3,500kg which wil/ cover some Ferrets and there are a few testing stations about - normal tests, normal price, but warn them about testing brakes on a rolling road or the 4 wheel drive will mean the vehicle is propelled through the garage wall. Brakes need to be tested with a swingometer type of device. lf you can get an MOT then it is a good idea to do so.

If the vehiche is over 3,500kg and in private use, (ie most Ferrets) and made before 1960 then there is nowhere you can get an MOT from so you have to get a Form V112 (enclosed) from the Post Office and sign it under Part 1 (Section J). This signed form them becomes to all intents and purposes the MOT Certificate for all circumstances. If your Ferret is above 3,500kg and made after 1960 then you have a major problem. The date of manufacture for military vehicles can be taken as the date of Order but the Log Book will need to be changed or you take off the turret,

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spare wheel, stowage etc and become a Mark 1 and get a weight ticket for less than 3,500kg and then get a Class 7 MOT. I suppose you could register it as a commercial and get it plated if you want to, but you would have to modify the brakes etc to pass the very stringent regulations.

Driving licences have not been a problem for ferrets but if a vehicle is registered before 1960 for "good" or more than 25 years ago for a PSV then they can be driven with an ordinary car licence providing there are only a few people (up to 7 I think) aboard and no load or tow. There will however be problems as Licences issued more recently restrict the driver to not driving vehicles of over 7 1/2 tons which does not concern us here and in the last couple of years they have actually been restricted to 3,500kg so that might well catch new drivers.

Tax is free for vehicles registered before January 1st 1973. I think Ferret production had ceased by then hadn't it? Only a problem if vehicles are registered on a Q plate.

l hope that explains it: if your vehicle was built before 1.1.60 then it is best to be above 3,500kg get a Form V112 and free Tax. lf after 1.1.60 then it is best to be below 3,500kg, get a Class 7 MOT Certificate and free Tax. If you are a new driver then below 3,500kg is the aim no matter what the year.

Any questions? - ask Swansea!


John Pearson.

Page 7

A RESPONSE! Since the last edition I have had a bit of feedback on this column: in issue 6 I mentioned the idea of fitting a temporary heater for winter use. A friend who saw a draft of the article fitted an old hose from a cylinder vacuum cleaner with the floor fitting in the radiator air outlet to gather the hot air and led it forwards over the engine cover to the crew compartment. He says it worked a treat, especially if you put it down your overalls so you look like the Michelin man.

Note from Doug: I am VERY against this practice and recommend you follow this link and find out why you should not do what is suggested above:

Ferret - How not to heat your Ferret.

In the "Safety" article in the same issue I mentioned directing a vehicle with hand signals. I was told by someone I was wrong, at least when referring to tracked vehicles. That is not so, BUT they are DIFFERENT. When the signaller puts up his arm to the driver of a wheeled vehicle the driver turns the steerings wheel in the direction shown and when the arm is dropped he HOLDS THE SAME LOCK AND DRIVES IN A LINE until directed again. (As in the photoStat with the article) With a tracked vehicle, again one steers when directed, but when the arm drops you RELEASE THE STEERING SO YOU GO IN A STRAIGHT LINE. Certainly needs practice! (NOT on a rally field). By the way, some tanks steer the opposite way in reverse (eg Churchill, Comet, Centurion etc) So the driver needs to pull the opposite stick in reverse to the one apparently indicated so the tank moves in the expected direction. This is NOT the famed and feared "reverse steering" that appears on some accident reports: that was an effect noticed when using clutch steering only on a tank equipped with clutch and brake steering (eg Valentine), when going downhill. If you pulled the left stick on the flat or going uphill you went left, but if you did it going downhill you turned right! (Simple remedy was to pull the stick harder to the brake position then it went the correct way.)

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When I met folks at Beltring there were a few 'mutterings' that some people disagreed with my remarks in issue 5 about using automatic transmission fluid in fluid flywheels. I would like to stress that this was only offered as a "get you home" idea and is the best choice that is likely to be available on a garage forecourt at 8pm on a Sunday. If the correct OM 13 is available then of course you should use it but you will have to carry your own. That said however, I also discovered that OM 13 is not available in the US (but might be in Canada) and over there . ATF is used exclusively and successfully. I use it myself in my Ferret , Saracen and Saladin with no ill effects. I suppose you pays your money and takes your choice but I must admit that I will take some convincing that ATF is harmfull as it does the same job in mechanically identical gearboxes.

Not really feedback but follow up: in issue 5 I mentioned fitting a key operated battery switch. I have just renewed my insurance with the successor to A C Miles and noticed that the theft cover is cancelled if the vehicle has "no lockable ignition switch or other immobiliser." There was supposed to be a switch available which fitted into the ignition switch in the "lock" position but I have never seen one. Have you and/or do you know of a suppliers:

In issue 5 I suggested that you should carry a handbook even if you do not know how to do repairs yourself, and this reminds me of a story: There is a car by the side of the road, driver has not got a clue. Along comes the garage repair man and has his head under the bonnet (hood for US readers). Driver says "How is it going" mechanic says "No problem, just shit in your carburettor". ""OK" says driver, "how often do I have to do that?"

Does anyone read this stuff? See you, JOHN PEARSON

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The Ferret is just a bit too big for a lot of domestic garages (or maybe the car gets priority'?) and as a result it has to live outside under a plastic sheet. I certaiIily have to do this and corrosion is ever present. Regular maintenance helps (eg hatches), as does regulars running but it is a very good idea to leave a couple of hatches open and not tie the sheet too closely around the body to encourage airflow and thereby discourage condensation. Even with these precautions there will still be rust problems where you do not expect.

On the Ferret body there are a number of studs welded to, the plate, holding all sorts of things from stowage boxes to the silencer. Because of the way they are fitted they are frequently a bit thinner at the body end and this forms a natural neck point that focusses stresses. If you have to take one off that has the slightest possibility of being rusted, then do not risk it: sacrifice the nut with a nut splitter, clean up the threads with a UNF die and use a new nut with grease. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN as it is the very devil to reweld a replacement stud into the middle of an armour plate without. the right tackle and a lot of skill.

One of the worst things to undo is the exhaust system as of course it is always rusted. Working from the back, use a nut splitter on the small nuts holding the silencer to the bodywork. Where the silencer joins the body and the pipe on the inside are four big but short bolts. You are unlikely to get them off but you will do no harm trying, say with Hexagonal sockets, but if stubborn use the cutting torch carefully or a cold chisel and block to split the nuts. If you need to disturb the manifolds then PRAY! There are four manifold to pipe studs so the nuts can be split with a chisel if necessary but there are also two bolts which are very difficult to get at. The only real way is to grind down a ring

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spanner to fit and replace with allen screws upon reassembly. Only as a very last resort grind the head off as then you have the stump to remove.

If you do have the stump to remove or you need to replace the manifolds then you have to be very careful indeed; as the studs and the manifolds are both fragile. I got mine off by first grinding off the bit of stud showing through the manifold nuts. This is so that the nut does not have to push rust along the thread. Then you need to get the nut (usually brass) very hot by careful use of the welding torch. This job should NOT be attempted with the engine in situ because of the fuel tank. Turn the nuts carefully, watching the end of the stud to ensure it is not turning. If it does turn and unscrews from the block then there is no problem. but it might stick in the block and snap off and there is no way of telling which is happening until it comes off.

Once all of the nuts are off the manifold will still need tapping to free it as the studs rust into the holes in the manifolds. Once off, the job is still not complete as you may find varying numbers of gaskets at each exhaust port to make up for unevenness in the manifold machining. All in all this is a nightmare of a job on an old rusted Ferret so do not embark upon it lightly.

Exhausts themselves seem to have a short life and a high replacement price but the pipework seems to outlast the box. It might be possible to extend the life once by welding a sheet repair to the bottom (the usual place for rot to start) and a more extensive repair later on after more rust by grafting the original pipe to a short silencer from something else, relying on the exhaust shield to hide the result. (The shield contains asbestos so do not part the layers). JOHN PEARSON


WILL I EVER GET IT RIGHT ? 4 (or more thoughts about Ferrets: continuing drivel

Does your Ferret seem to run with a rich mixture all the time? This seems common and I think that it might be because the low grade of fuel it was designed for was reluctant to evaporate (ie had a higher boiling point) but modern fuels evaporate like mad. As a result I think more fuel gets through the jet than is supposed to. There is also the point that generally vehicles ran richer anyway in the 1950's because you got s bit more power with no carburettor flat spots and anyway HM the Queen was paying so who cared? Now the correct way to solve this problem is to replace all the carb jets with the correct smaller sizes but where the hell do you get them? Luckily the Ferret carb is fitted with a cunning device to compensate for the vehicle being used at high altitudes by reducing the petrol in the mixture for the whole throttle range because the air is less dense, that is it WEAKENS the mixture. Details are in the handbook. Could be worth a try but I will let you find out if it works. Good luck.

How do you engage reverse if you are trying to do it quick to demonstrate one of the best features of the Ferret? The books says "wait until the suspension rocks" which does not make a lot of sense. What it means is this apply brakes, preselect 2nd gear nad put your hand on the forward and reverse lever. As soon as the vehicle stops moving relative to the ground (although you will still feel yourself thrown forward) the suspension at the front rises. That is the moment, press gear change pedal all the way to the floor and simultaneously move the forward/reverse lever to reverse. Up with the gear change pedal and foot on the accelerator. Gear selector to 3rd and then you are ready to change up. For about 2 seconds you are as busy as a one armed paperhanger but the looks on peoples faces when you change gear in reverse is wonderful. For extra effect you can initially go into lst gear so as to give another gear change in the arena space available.

You have to work damned hard to get a Ferret stuck and it is usually on almost flat ground if you do. Why? . . because if it is uphill, then you should have reversed out at the first sign of trouble, that is why. I don't think you can get stuck going downhill can you? The usual thing is very soft going with a proportion of the vehicle weight being taken on the floor pan, allowing the wheels on one side to spin. In relative terms, the belly is flat and it will be easy to pull out with another (NONE FLUID FLYWHEEL) vehicle and this should be the first option. If none is available then you can try this but it is risky: as when going uphill, reverse is the favoured direction but try FOR A FEW SECONDS ONLY to use a high gear 3rd or 4th. This will supply a very gentle torque to the wheels and may enable you to pull yourself out. Why only a few seconds? That is because the fluid flywheel will be absorbing, in slip, all of the energy that is not being supplied to the wheels and will be destroyed by overheating very quickly. If it is not IMMEDIATELY effective then switch off and get a winch. If you have rope, an anchorage but no winch then you can use the hub as a


capstan winch: one loop of rope taken in the direction of rotation on the slipping side and vehicle will usually pull itself out because you then have about a ten to one advantage. Someone needs to keep some tension on the rope as it comes off the hub though.

When driving long distances in poor weather it can get a bit lonely (Oh shame!!) and a bit boring for the commander. The driver has plenty to do but on long stretches of "A" road or motorway the commander is shut inside to avoid the cold/wet and only has the periscope to look out of until it becomes too covered in rain drops to see. Of course periodically you can pop out of the top to look both ways at a road junctions and let in some of the rain just for variety. What you need to do is this: cut a piece of perspex (plexiglass) to the same shape as the rear part of the turret hatch (the bit you sit on when showing off) and attach a couple of elastic straps to the inside. Lock the rear hatch/seat down, get in and shut the top hatch. The perspex now fills in the gap left at the rear of the turret with the elastic hooked inside to keep it in place. Now reverse the turret and or you go with a "proper" windscreen for the cornmander, with a wide view but if you need to see to the sides it is easy to turn the turret back and forth. You can easily, fit a hand worked wiper blade to one corner to deal with rain. This windscreen will readily fit in the side bin when you arrive so the authenticity police will not arrest you and more importantly because it is only held in place with elastic it will not be a restriction if you need to evacuate quickly. I do not recommend any sort of glass, even Triplex, because of the possibility of breakage due to vibration but you must not use ordinary glass under any circurmstances because your face will be close to it and if a stone hits it at 60mph. . . . . . . . . . .

The very poor weather this autumn (and 'summer' come to that) means that rust and corrosion have probably taken their toll, particularly if your Ferret has to live outside under a tarpaulin. If you leave the periscopes in situ then the white metal they are made from will suffer galvanic corrosion against the steel. A good soaking with sugary Cola drink will probably free them, then wash, dry, remove loose paint and then repaint. Application of thick grease upon reassembly helps but removal from the machine when not in use is better.

There are a lot of hinges on ferrets and if any of them become stiff or seized I use a mixture of equal parts of deisel fuel and gear oil as a releasing oil if I can wait for it to soak in. The only remedy if you do not have time is heat, preferably oxy-acetaline to expand the outer part of the hinge to free the pin. Once free, a dose of deisel/gear oil will keep it that way.So far as the binlids go, these seem to rust up overnight. You open them a couple of times and they drop off. You need to apply the welding torch and carefully move it back and forth, ONLY using genuine movement in the hinge. Do not go too far in the early stages so that the hinge material bends instead or it will break.


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Ferret Owners Club

Membership Application Form 2001

Full name:


Post code:

Tel. No:

Ferret Army No:

Registration No:

Any other information:

Please return completed forms and enclose a cheque for 7.00 made payable to: -

Andrew Noyce
1 Fordington Villas
Station Lane
Chandlers Ford
5053 4DE

(023 80) 254314


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