Ken Fieth's Ferret MK2/3


Ken's vehicle.

Ken has learnt "hands on" that Ferret ownership can have its joys as well as its heartache. I think that all in all he is glad he bought a Ferret, it has been a learning experience. Had he known what he does now, he would probably have bought his vehicle from a different dealer and been glad to pay more for the privilege, but that is probably true of most of us.
He struck one "trick" that it is well worth being aware of: the dealer had repainted the inside of the vehicle, in silver. The original Daimler factory silver paint is actually a fire resistant paint and to my knowledge is okay. What had been used on Ken's vehicle is probably the cheapest rubbish available in order to "tart the vehicle up" to make it look presentable. Ken discovered this to his cost when he climbed in the vehicle wearing a suit; this paint does not fully dry. He was far from amused.
Should you wish to read of other of Ken's experiences and the learning curve of someone who had not previously owned an armoured vehicle then have a look towards the bottom of the article titled:

Click here -> Ferret 

Or go to Area 3, Section 1, Vehicle Specifics - Ferret FV701 series.

Ken has just had to replace his transmission as the existing one was slipping in 2nd gear and although they had followed the workshop manual and adjusted it, it was still slipping. So Ken decided to take on the job of changing the transmission for a new one:

Ken's comments

All in all, it went well. Not easy, but straightforward. Now I see what Ken Nixon (my mechanic) meant about everything being heavy. (When I was considering a Ferret,he told me that on armored vehicles everything is oversize and heavy--I didn't understand his comment until now).

I am keeping the old one. I had trouble with second gear slipping. We adjusted it as much as possible but the pad had worn very thin. I called around trying to find the pads but most dealers here sell only large parts--no bits and pieces. So, the opportunity arose and I bought the rebuilt tranny.

There are some scans attached for your enjoyment. I apologize for my bald head, frightening how thin my fur is getting. I guess that's why I feel every bump when hit by projections in the Ferret. Ever notice how it seems that everything in the interior has a sharp edge and is usually in the way of your forehead or temples?

I went to a display and noticed that the batteries were running down quickly. Another visit to Ken and the Generator panel was on the fritz. So, another generator panel. She runs fine and the batteries are being charged, but now they drain dead over night.

I guess there is a current leak somewhere. For now, I just disconnect the negative cable and all is well. Any ideas on what might be draining the current? The batteries are new and are each 1100 amp, 12 volt. (Doug - mine did the opposite and boiled the batteries - wrecking them in the process - I managed to get the last original regulator in Australia. What the dealer is doing now is having an auto electrician gut the regulator box and install modern components on a trade-in basis. From what he says, these regulators are a known weak point on British vehicles. Better the regulator as a weak point than something that will immobilise you far from home.)

I just got back from a WWII Reenactment. We do Russian and British. This year was an Eastern Front event. I took the Ferret and had a great time. The battle was a tactical event with about 200 in attendance. The Russian forces held a bridge and the surrounding woods. Teh Germans were trying to take it.

The Germans had a made up German 222 roaming around also. From a volkswagen beetle frame, it looked good although sounded like it's progenitor--and only two wheel drive. A few pictures were taken of it, and when developed, I'll send them.

The Ferret did very well off road. It rained the week before and the rather primitive road net was perfect for me. Didn't get stuck once. Threw mud everywhere and in general had a good time. I would chase the 222 (the turret didn't traverse and his 20mm cannon only pointed to the front, so I would try and maneuver around behind and fire the 1919 at it. Eventually, the situation would change and I found myself being targeted. Once, I ran pell mell across a clearing weaving all the way. I heard the 20mm firing but the judges ruled the 222 had missed.

I was stopped by the State Police about a month ago. Returning from a display and I forgot to put my regular vehicle license back on the fender. Didn't get a ticket, but a lecture and of course, all my paperwork was examined carefully. It took about an hour, so a good tip would be to always do a "pre-flight" check before hitting the road with your vehicle--and always take whatever paperwork you even THINK you might need. If I had had my plates on, I would have made it home before dark.

As an aside, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms regulates the ownership of Firearms. In their delightfully charming way, they will not share any information from their databases to other depts or individuals, INCLUDING legimitate law enforcement agencies! So to be on the safe side, I always carry the original signed paperwork with me. If someone dosen't accept a photostatic copy, and you don't have the original, you're out of luck.

I enjoyed the Canadian story. How stupid can people be? Run up the capitol steps in an armored vehicle? That's all we need.

I work in the shadow of the state capitol in XXXXXXX, YY. I would never dream of running around the capitol like that. I drive a lot in town. I don't try and hide or anything, just use common sense around sensitive areas.

When I go to displays at schools, I always make sure that everyone knows what is going on the day before. Principal and adminstration, security, etc., it's a pain to explain myself so much but in the long run, it's worth it. Never had a problem.

XXXXXXXX is big and growing rapidly in ethnic, economic, and regional diversity. I figure that if the police patrols near my home are familiar with me and the Ferret and the ones most likely to be called have met me before, any situation can be diffused before it starts.

In XXXXXXXX I have been stopped on occasion. Just be calm, respectful and have your papers in order and all goes well. I asked a friend of mine that is a policeman to do the most critical walk around he could to see what violations might be stoppable--even the most miniscule. Majors things were fixed (stop light out, etc) and minor things were related to driving habits (don't drive in fast lane, etc...)

With that said, recent stops are obviously out of curiostiy which is really a gray area legally anyway. Such statements as "Well, you looked lost so I stopped you to see if you needed directions." (Doug: In a way you can't blame the cops for wanting to "suss you out", they have a job to do, if they have a chat to you, {and I always give them a "tour" of the vehicle,} they have then satisfied both their professional and personnal curiosity, can see for themselves that you are not foaming at the mouth and about to start WW3 and usually walk off with a bemused smile on their faces. I find that quite a few of them are ex-military and once they are satisfied about your intentions they will tell you this and then drop the official attitude and are freindly.)

The Ferret ready to start on the transmission job. The LHS escape hatch has been removed as has the engine decking.

10104 pic

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10105 pic

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Mark on the left and Ken (mechanic) on the right about to start on the heavy stuff.
10106 pic

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Ken water-blasting away the much hated silver paint.
The intercom unit mounted on the inner left is an American AM-1780 which is part of the AN/VIC-1 system. Though not correct in a Ferret, they are easier to obtain in America than the correct British one. Neither system can be obtained in Australia and as both my other vehicles are American I too installed an AM-1780 in order to have commonality of parts. Both Ken and myself have installed our intercoms in the same location in our vehicles but without knowing the other had done so until I got his photos.
10107 pic

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What a Ferret transmission looks like ableat upside down!
10108 pic

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Ken Nixon with the turret and its attached adaptor plate; effectively any Mk1 Ferret can quickly become a Mk2, just add what you see here, (there are some parts of the hull that are different on a factory MK2 from the Mk1).
Although the turret looks quite small and light, it is still nearly 1/4 ton in weight and not to be treated as a toy.
10109 pic

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This is a really good shot of how the Mk2 goes together. Normally a Mk1 would have a short plate installed that roughly covers the first 1/3 of the hull top (ie above the drivers head only). The opening is then trimmed out with a padded strip.
10110 pic

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You will have read mention above of the infamous silver paint in Ken's Ferret, well here is a photo showing just how his vehicle had been painted. Note how the wheel and handbrake handle are painted red, when the wheel should be black plastic and the handbrake handle silver. The switches and lights immediately behind the upper part of the wheel are normally in a matt black painted box, not silver, as is the instrument cluster (just visible at the bottom right). Things like generator regulator and electrical boxes should be in black also.
10111 pic

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2 photo's of a shonky repair done to a gear in one of the bevel boxes, this failed and caused Ken much grief as access required removing the engine (they have now done it twice with the transmission replacement). There was also the problem that the replacement bevel box was the wrong model, all that we can figure is that there was a late and early version. The late fits those Ferrets seen with power brakes and alternators and the early for those seen with conventional brakes and 2 speed generators. Considering the length of time over which Ferrets were produced it is not surprising that there were significant variations.
The welding evident in the photo would appear to have been done in order that the vehicle would pass the "jack it up and see if both wheels turn on one side" test (you will find this detailed in the Ferret article mentioned earlier). No-one with any mechanical knowledge would do something like this as a genuine repair.
10112 pic

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10113 pic

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My thanks to Ken for the text and photo's.


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