Willys Hotchkiss Jeeps
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Progress on the sumb lorry

It has been a while since the last website update - this doesn't mean we haven't been  beavering on in the background.

The sumb has been dragged (kicking and screaming) into the workshop to start work.

It was given an initial power wash down, which dislodged much of the dirt, debris and plant life.. but unfortunately took a lot of the cab with it! This is feasibly the worst rusted sumb I have ever come across.. except one that was used in the sea to pull out boats in Cornwall... and that was rusty!  Infact so much so, I bought that one as well for parts! (picture to right) It looks ok in the picture, but its held together by paint and good will!

We took the hood off and the bonnet of the sumb recently purchased and started freeing off the clutch, brakes and cleaning out the fuel system. The hood was brittle and broke into 20 parts as we removed, and this exposed how the cab had been leaking and had its own covering of flora - mostly mosses...

The engine was all there and in fact the fuel lines were clear..the fuel tank was also in good shape.  The fuel filter bowl was surprisingly free of sediment, but we found the issue the previous owner may have suffered from, the fuel bowl wasn't sealed correctly so would have sucked air, weakening the fuel mixture and giving very poor performance under load.

We bypassed the fuel tank for now and fed fuel directly into the fuel pump and in to the carb.  Interestingly the carb used on the sumb is exactly the same as that use on our Panhard Armoured car, so we have spares!

We connected up two batteries and after doing a quick oil change (which involved removing 1 cm of sediment I the sump!) we were ready to try its first start.

The choke was pulled fully out and the starter hit.  The engine sluggishly turned over for a few turns then sprung into life.

The choke was immediately pushed back and the revs taken up on the accelerator.  Unfortunately the accelerator became stuck down and the engine raced off at very high revs.  This wouldn't be so disconcerting if it had an exhaust pipe.. the old one had completely rotted away under the cab and what was left of the pipe shot old debris and fluid all up the back of the cab (and driver!).  The engine control was regained, and the engine settled down into a good pattern and was extremely sweet.  With the new oil the pressure rose steadily up to 6/7 bar and as it warmed it dropped to 4/5 bar.

I had found a replacement oil filter on line with a Ford V8 restoration website and it was only 12.50.  Bargain of the week... but the small washer at the top of the oil filter housing was broken, so it started to develop an oil leak which dripped onto the hot exhaust , adding a fog of blue smoke to the cab...

All of a sudden there was a load 'crack' and this made me jump - but I soon realised this was the air valve venting - thank goodness, as the air pressure had risen steadily as it idled.

This was enough excitement for one day - so the engine was wound down and focus turned to the brakes and clutch...

We are not unfamiliar with Sumbs - check out some previous blogs.. but to remind you - here's a previous one, whilst being restored!

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