Unserviceable Lorries - Jul - Sep 44

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Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Unserviceable Lorries - Jul - Sep 44

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 19 Nov 2013 21:08

Thanks for the technical stuff - I think I need a lesson in engine design!

BTW if an Austin K5 could keep 40 m.p.h. up for any time I would be very surprised!

I have had another thought (that's two in two days 8O ) - what was the assumption made about the wastage rate of 3-ton 4x4's during Op NEPTUNE?

Oh, and I found a letter from 21 Army Group G(SD) re waterproofing failures before D-Day which suggest that waterproofing failures in "B" vehicles were a huge problem for the Assault Force (and that is "less Austin lorries"!). Apparently the time-table for issuing pre-waterproofed vehicles was published by 21 Army Group Q(AE). Which is my next port of call at Kew. :thumbsup:

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Tom

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Re: Unserviceable Lorries - Jul - Sep 44

Post by phylo_roadking » 19 Nov 2013 21:33

If you could provide me with evidence that Austins were using War Office or MoS defined test procedures, dictating test fuels, oils etc., I will then take you seriously on this.
Actually - on here it works the other way round; you've been insisting that Austin's wouldn't have used HD30, it's up to you to show this didn't happen.

But remember -
A representative of D.M.E. attended a meeting between T.T.2, C.I.E.M.E. and the Manufacturers on 8.11.44. The manufacturers offered new and completely interchangeable piston rings, both for new production and re-working of "frozen" stocks of new vehicles. Tapered Compression rings (2 off) in D.T.D. 485. Scraper rings (1 off) in D.T.D.233. Tests on three vehicles fitted with these rings show satisfactory oil consumption and a steadily rising m.p.g. at 2,500 miles. It was agreed that in view of the satisfactory preliminary results and complete interchangability of rings, the new rings could be introduced into production as soon as supplies are available. It was also agreed that if the test results continued to be satisfactory after 5,000 miles re-working of the "frozen" bank of vehicles with the new rings might commence. The tests will thereafter continue up to 8,000 - 10,000 miles."
...that looks as if the tests were done in K5s in normal running and maintenance environments, no? Or else those test results regarding m.p.g and oil consumption wouldn't have been relevant to service conditions...
No - the valve problem was fully manifest after 450 miles - the rings were ok, "reasonable compression could be felt on all six cylinders"
But the valve problem was due to contamination of the lubricant due to ingestion of blowby, was it not? Even if the rings were giving reasonable compression, they were still not performing their task properly.
...and/or the known overheating that MT 80 could cause. We don't know which problem contributed the most to the valve damage. As I noted before we're assuming the rings were regarded as the worse problem because that was the resolution identified, tested and approved...
That said, the vehicles must have had notably poor endurance for them to have been frozen at depots.
....or frozen because of what they were? We have so little to go on we don't know if vehicles were frozen as they went u/s....although we DO know that attempts were still being made to repair numbers of them as they went down as late into the problem as halfway through September...or some direction was ordered to take K5s out of service. But remember the across-the-board investigation in September recorded in the 21st AG Admin History that sidelined 1,400 and all their spare engines...
Besides, Austins would have had a significant number of test beds (I would conservatively guess at least 20 for their engineering department alone) where they could have increased loading to accelerate testing, while testing multiple causes and possible solutions simultaneously, so however long it took to test engines in the field, it could have been done much quicker by the manufacturer themselves if this was a priority.
And yet - that wasn't what was done, was it? What we see instead is the three-vehicle test. So does that argue that it wasn't a priority - or as was done elsewhere at various times during WWII, that the testing regime was cut to the barest bones that was practical to "prove" the revised spec? There's avery broad hint of the latter in the minutes above... :wink:
If there was any testing done IN British Army K5 4x4s, it would have been tests done using HD30 - because that is what those trucks had been running on for two years past.
I would guess that any putative test was conducted on a test bed with a dynamometer mimicking the load. That's just a guess though.
Do you really think that given THIS -
Lorry, 3-ton, 4x4, and 6x4, Austin - Excessive oil consumption.
A representative of D.M.E. attended a meeting between T.T.2, C.I.E.M.E. and the Manufacturers on 8.11.44. The manufacturers offered new and completely interchangeable piston rings, both for new production and re-working of "frozen" stocks of new vehicles. Tapered Compression rings (2 off) in D.T.D. 485. Scraper rings (1 off) in D.T.D.233. Tests on three vehicles fitted with these rings show satisfactory oil consumption and a steadily rising m.p.g. at 2,500 miles. It was agreed that in view of the satisfactory preliminary results and complete interchangability of rings, the new rings could be introduced into production as soon as supplies are available. It was also agreed that if the test results continued to be satisfactory after 5,000 miles re-working of the "frozen" bank of vehicles with the new rings might commence. The tests will thereafter continue up to 8,000 - 10,000 miles."
...that the D.M.E. would have been prepared in May to sign off on a revised component that hadn't been tested to some extent in the vehicles it was intended for? 8O So close to the big one???
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Re: Unserviceable Lorries - Jul - Sep 44

Post by Don Juan » 19 Nov 2013 22:05

phylo_roadking wrote:Actually - on here it works the other way round; you've been insisting that Austin's wouldn't have used HD30, it's up to you to show this didn't happen.
I haven't been insisting any such thing. If adequate tests had been conducted on the revised piston spec. with HD30, then the problem would have been revealed, no? So either no tests were conducted, or if they were conducted they used a different lubricant. I have merely stated that in my experience having done this kind of job in real life, that many engineering tests on new components are conducted using generic or "shop" fuels and lubricants, and that my guess would be that this is what occurred on this occasion. It is yourself who is insisting that the authorities wouldn't have allowed them to do this, and that they would have been compelled to use HD30. Remember we are talking about bare engine testing on test beds here - no vehicle need enter the picture.
phylo_roadking wrote: But remember -
A representative of D.M.E. attended a meeting between T.T.2, C.I.E.M.E. and the Manufacturers on 8.11.44. The manufacturers offered new and completely interchangeable piston rings, both for new production and re-working of "frozen" stocks of new vehicles. Tapered Compression rings (2 off) in D.T.D. 485. Scraper rings (1 off) in D.T.D.233. Tests on three vehicles fitted with these rings show satisfactory oil consumption and a steadily rising m.p.g. at 2,500 miles. It was agreed that in view of the satisfactory preliminary results and complete interchangability of rings, the new rings could be introduced into production as soon as supplies are available. It was also agreed that if the test results continued to be satisfactory after 5,000 miles re-working of the "frozen" bank of vehicles with the new rings might commence. The tests will thereafter continue up to 8,000 - 10,000 miles."
...that looks as if the tests were done in K5s in normal running and maintenance environments, no? Or else those test results regarding m.p.g and oil consumption wouldn't have been relevant to service conditions...
Yes, this is what is known in the business as applications testing. It is normally the final stage after you have conducted all the necessary development testing of the proposed design solution on your test bed(s). You do the overwhelming majority of testing on the test beds that are run by your development engineers, so that when something goes wrong, it can be inspected on site, and not have to be shipped xxxxx miles back to site. You only do your applications testing when you are reasonably confident that your solution is going to work. Under normal circumstances, of course.
phylo_roadking wrote: ...and/or the known overheating that MT 80 could cause. We don't know which problem contributed the most to the valve damage. As I noted before we're assuming the rings were regarded as the worse problem because that was the resolution identified, tested and approved...
Yeah, the rings were the resolution identified, so I think MT80 is a red herring here.
phylo_roadking wrote: And yet - that wasn't what was done, was it? What we see instead is the three-vehicle test. So does that argue that it wasn't a priority - or as was done elsewhere at various times during WWII, that the testing regime was cut to the barest bones that was practical to "prove" the revised spec? There's avery broad hint of the latter in the minutes above... :wink:
Of course it was done. This is where the solution would have come from. The three vehicle test would simply have been confirmatory.
phylo_roadking wrote: Do you really think that given THIS -
...that the D.M.E. would have been prepared in May to sign off on a revised component that hadn't been tested to some extent in the vehicles it was intended for? 8O So close to the big one???
If it wasn't expected to affect the load-carrying performance of the vehicle they may have been prepared to take a flier. A dynamometer test should have found the problem anyway, regardless of in-application testing.
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Re: Unserviceable Lorries - Jul - Sep 44

Post by phylo_roadking » 19 Nov 2013 22:36

Do you really think that given THIS -
...that the D.M.E. would have been prepared in May to sign off on a revised component that hadn't been tested to some extent in the vehicles it was intended for? So close to the big one???
If it wasn't expected to affect the load-carrying performance of the vehicle they may have been prepared to take a flier.
Hardly - remember that the revised piston fitment of may '44 was to deal with a problem that didn't occur under normal loading and running conditions I.E. siezures when run up to normal operating temperatures then dunked in cold seawater :P

I haven't been insisting any such thing.
Really?
And Austin didn't have time to conduct a particularly arduous....oooooh.......let's say 72 hour test prior to issuing the new piston design? I bet they did, almost certainly one that lasted far longer. I bet they didn't use HD30 during it, though.
There were certainly no extensive tests using HD30, otherwise the problem would most likely have come to light.
Having spent a decade testing engines in proper test cells in a proper factory I can inform you that conformity tests for new parts are usually done on "shop" fuel and "shop" oil unless a particular concern is anticipated with a certain fuel or oil.
By the way - do you honestly think that anything of what we've been discussing counts as "usual"? 8O

It is yourself who is insisting that the authorities wouldn't have allowed them to do this, and that they would have been compelled to use HD30.
Just as they were compelled to do so in 1942, then...you're forgetting that that change was rammed through despite a LOT of objections by the British motor industry.

But remember -
A representative of D.M.E. attended a meeting between T.T.2, C.I.E.M.E. and the Manufacturers on 8.11.44. The manufacturers offered new and completely interchangeable piston rings, both for new production and re-working of "frozen" stocks of new vehicles. Tapered Compression rings (2 off) in D.T.D. 485. Scraper rings (1 off) in D.T.D.233. Tests on three vehicles fitted with these rings show satisfactory oil consumption and a steadily rising m.p.g. at 2,500 miles. It was agreed that in view of the satisfactory preliminary results and complete interchangability of rings, the new rings could be introduced into production as soon as supplies are available. It was also agreed that if the test results continued to be satisfactory after 5,000 miles re-working of the "frozen" bank of vehicles with the new rings might commence. The tests will thereafter continue up to 8,000 - 10,000 miles."


...that looks as if the tests were done in K5s in normal running and maintenance environments, no? Or else those test results regarding m.p.g and oil consumption wouldn't have been relevant to service conditions...
Yes, this is what is known in the business as applications testing. It is normally the final stage after you have conducted all the necessary development testing of the proposed design solution on your test bed(s). You do the overwhelming majority of testing on the test beds that are run by your development engineers, so that when something goes wrong, it can be inspected on site, and not have to be shipped xxxxx miles back to site
So that "overwhelming majority of testing on the test beds that are run by your development engineers" - the testing to find the answer, and the testing to prove the solution identified - was all done some time between the middle of September and that meeting? And done (but not reported anywhere that we've discovered yet) to the satisfaction of ALL parties so that the "final stage" of testing, the actual fitment to three lorries and completion of four weeks' (at least - we don't know when the lorry tests started...only when they ended, and that they were ALREADY under way when minuted on the 8/11) of on-the-road testing?
...and/or the known overheating that MT 80 could cause. We don't know which problem contributed the most to the valve damage. As I noted before we're assuming the rings were regarded as the worse problem because that was the resolution identified, tested and approved...
Yeah, the rings were the resolution identified, so I think MT80 is a red herring here
I'll return to the problems of MT 80 in the post after this.
And yet - that wasn't what was done, was it? What we see instead is the three-vehicle test. So does that argue that it wasn't a priority - or as was done elsewhere at various times during WWII, that the testing regime was cut to the barest bones that was practical to "prove" the revised spec? There's avery broad hint of the latter in the minutes above...
Of course it was done. This is where the solution would have come from. The three vehicle test would simply have been confirmatory
I was talking there about the testing regime for the solution.
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Re: Unserviceable Lorries - Jul - Sep 44

Post by phylo_roadking » 19 Nov 2013 22:43

BTW if an Austin K5 could keep 40 m.p.h. up for any time I would be very surprised!
Hi Tom....then again, it COULD explain the very low m.p.g. in the REME valve test - 8 or so m.p.g.....when the K5's usual score was around 18 m.p.g??? 8O

Looks like they were really stress testing those valves!
Oh, and I found a letter from 21 Army Group G(SD) re waterproofing failures before D-Day which suggest that waterproofing failures in "B" vehicles were a huge problem for the Assault Force (and that is "less Austin lorries"!). Apparently the time-table for issuing pre-waterproofed vehicles was published by 21 Army Group Q(AE). Which is my next port of call at Kew.
But was that failures of the waterproofing itself....or failures/problems CAUSED by the waterproofing ;)

As for THIS...
...which suggest that waterproofing failures in "B" vehicles were a huge problem [/i][/b]for the Assault Force (and that is "less Austin lorries"!).
Does that mean what I read it to mean - that the "Austin lorries" were excepted out of that?

Possibly because THEIR problem was different and being dealt with separately???
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Re: Unserviceable Lorries - Jul - Sep 44

Post by Don Juan » 19 Nov 2013 22:56

phylo_roadking wrote: Hardly - remember that the revised piston fitment of may '44 was to deal with a problem that didn't occur under normal loading and running conditions I.E. siezures when run up to normal operating temperatures then dunked in cold seawater :P
I assumed your original question was to do with when it underwent normal running.
phylo_roadking wrote: Really?
"I bet" does not equal "I insist".
phylo_roadking wrote: Just as they were compelled to do so in 1942, then...you're forgetting that that change was rammed through despite a LOT of objections by the British motor industry.
Well maybe, but it's still not evidence that Austins used Government-defined test procedures.
phylo_roadking wrote: So that "overwhelming majority of testing on the test beds that are run by your development engineers" - the testing to find the answer, and the testing to prove the solution identified - was all done some time between the middle of September and that meeting? And done (but not reported anywhere that we've discovered yet) to the satisfaction of ALL parties so that the "final stage" of testing, the actual fitment to three lorries and completion of four weeks' (at least - we don't know when the lorry tests started...only when they ended, and that they were ALREADY under way when minuted on the 8/11) of on-the-road testing?
Well according to yourself, all the Austin paperwork has been lost, so we don't know what happened. There would have been no reason for Austin to report on their internal test work to the authorities, because until tests are concluded it can give out contradictory information - a promising solution can suddenly turn bad for example. Also, Austin could have been testing from earlier than we think, if they took action when the problem first started to stir. The point is that most testing is done in house on dynamometers because this is the quick way to test. If you send proposed solutions straight into the field, and they don't work, it takes you longer to find out, and then longer to get back the damaged bits to give you a clue why they didn't work.
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Re: Unserviceable Lorries - Jul - Sep 44

Post by phylo_roadking » 19 Nov 2013 23:09

Regarding the problems with MT 80 Pool...

Tom turned up a report drafted in September 1945 by the MoS' Chief Scientist regarding MT 80; among the problems for internal combustion engines its arrival caused were -
(a) valve sticking with resultant burning ("blow-past" effect)
(b) valve burning without sticking (high temperature chemical attack)
(c) heavy desposition on valves, heads and pistons
(d) some rusting and corrision iof valve stems
(e) alleged corrosion of aluminium piston crowns, due to the reaction between the desposit and the aluminium in the presence of moisture
(f) sparking plug trouble due to corrosion of mica insulation and bridging of spark plugs
...and the report goes on to note that the majority of these didn't really disappear until the octane rating of MT Pool was REDUCED again immediately postwar to 72 octane!

Note that several of those symptoms were listed in the REME valve test report Annex.

Which is why I noted many posts ago now that we just don't know how much of the top end problems that were reported with the K5 motors were down to the known issues with MT 80 Pool....and how much was down to the top end being "lubricated" with burnt and heavily-contaminated oil!...

...yet the resolution came down to just the piston rings, so we can assume that all parties concerned were happy that this removed the majority of issues at least.

EDIT: ....or we're missing the minutes of a LOT of other pertinent meetigs! 8O
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Re: Unserviceable Lorries - Jul - Sep 44

Post by phylo_roadking » 19 Nov 2013 23:18

Just as they were compelled to do so in 1942, then...you're forgetting that that change was rammed through despite a LOT of objections by the British motor industry.
Well maybe, but it's still not evidence that Austins used Government-defined test procedures.
Parameters not procedures. Such as the HD30, and MT 80 Pool etc. - which as far as Austins were concerned by 1944 would have been the "shop" fuel and "shop" oil for their K5s and K6s.
If you send proposed solutions straight into the field, and they don't work, it takes you longer to find out, and then longer to get back the damaged bits to give you a clue why they didn't work.
Isn't that what happened, to a great extent? They sent a solution out into the field - a solution for the engine seizure on wading issue - and it didn't work, the "solution" caused problems for at least 3,000 vehicles, not just the 1,400 converted in May!

It's only fair to note that -
Also, Austin could have been testing from earlier than we think, if they took action when the problem first started to stir.
...Austins were still rolling K5s off the production line as of 8/11 spec'd with the problem parts. In the end they weren't to stop doing that until into the first week of December! 8O That's not exactly a lightning-fast reaction to a problem that was starting to rear its head in late August...
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Re: Unserviceable Lorries - Jul - Sep 44

Post by Don Juan » 19 Nov 2013 23:43

phylo_roadking wrote: Parameters not procedures. Such as the HD30, and MT 80 Pool etc. - which as far as Austins were concerned by 1944 would have been the "shop" fuel and "shop" oil for their K5s and K6s.
You don't have "shop" fuel or oil for specific models of engine or vehicle. That is why it is "shop".
phylo_roadking wrote: Isn't that what happened, to a great extent? They sent a solution out into the field - a solution for the engine seizure on wading issue - and it didn't work, the "solution" caused problems for at least 3,000 vehicles, not just the 1,400 converted in May!
Yes, they certainly didn't test it thoroughly enough or correctly enough in house, whatever went wrong. Would have been silly to make the same mistake again though, wouldn't it?
phylo_roadking wrote: ...Austins were still rolling K5s off the production line as of 8/11 spec'd with the problem parts. In the end they weren't to stop doing that until into the first week of December! 8O That's not exactly a lightning-fast reaction to a problem that was starting to rear its head in late August...
Production engineers only care if something is built correctly to list. They don't care what happens in the field. But the delay between design solution acceptance and production change over could have had lots of reasons - how long did it take Wellworthy to ramp up production?

I don't think this was a particularly complex problem technically speaking to be honest, despite the grevious ramifications. If the Wellworthy part was one of their standard designs it might have been tested by Austins quite quickly. They may have had 5 or 6 engines going simultaneously in adjacent cells all with different ring designs, and the last man standing won. We simply don't know. Also, Austin themselves had plenty of K5's on hand that they could have had whizzing around the West Midlands with newly designed piston rings even while the dyno tests were still ongoing.
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Re: Unserviceable Lorries - Jul - Sep 44

Post by phylo_roadking » 20 Nov 2013 00:17

You don't have "shop" fuel or oil for specific models of engine or vehicle. That is why it is "shop".
Except that in this case it wasn't model specific - any British Army vehicle that didn't run a specified HD oil grade in a particular application was running HD30....and of course MT 80. Austin's Tillies, their Humber-badged vehicles...
Would have been silly to make the same mistake again though, wouldn't it?
Certainly. But perhaps they did - remember this?
There's a very broad hint of the latter in the minutes above...

A representative of D.M.E. attended a meeting between T.T.2, C.I.E.M.E. and the Manufacturers on 8.11.44. The manufacturers offered new and completely interchangeable piston rings, both for new production and re-working of "frozen" stocks of new vehicles. Tapered Compression rings (2 off) in D.T.D. 485. Scraper rings (1 off) in D.T.D.233. Tests on three vehicles fitted with these rings show satisfactory oil consumption and a steadily rising m.p.g. at 2,500 miles. It was agreed that in view of the satisfactory preliminary results and complete interchangability of rings, the new rings could be introduced into production as soon as supplies are available. It was also agreed that if the test results continued to be satisfactory after 5,000 miles re-working of the "frozen" bank of vehicles with the new rings might commence. The tests will thereafter continue up to 8,000 - 10,000 miles."
This is exactly what the Air Ministry did in late '2412 and early '42; they mandated a three-aircraft testing regime for the prototype Lancaster, three aircraft would fly a specified number of miles/hours BEFORE the aircraft would be cleared for operational...

Once they began this regime - bits began to fall off! :lol: The aircraft lost engine nacelle panelling and covers, and more importantly the outer wing sections began to delaminate, the aluminium skinning began to depart the aircraft! 8O Time after time they were sent back to Avro, who tried umpteen new types of rivets and screws, all to no avail...for eventually the problem was tracked down to the quality of staff that were working on the repairs, Avro like other factories having had to take on wartime semi- and unskilled labour!

To return to the plot - all this was eating HUGELY into the testing time allocated; Churchill was having to make excuses to FDR for the Lancaster not coming into service! So eventually what the Air Ministry did was decide that instead of EACH test Lancaster having to fly its alloted test duration....they'd simply ADD all three totals TOGETHER and see if they had reached the end of the mandated testing duration! :lol: Even then they hadn't, because of all the remaining issues that were still ongoing....so the Air Ministry put the Lancaster into service ANYWAY - while the test aircraft went on and finished their "tweaked" testing regime! :P

At the eleventh hour all three COULD have simply dropped out of the heavens with some insurmountable problem! 8O And the history of WWII would have been quite different...

And yet - you'd have thought the AIr Ministry would have known better from THEIR formative experience in rushing the Avro Manchester into service...! :roll:

Cutting corners with testing regimes was something that was quite common in British war production - even when it actually put lives at risk!
how long did it take Wellworthy to ramp up production?
I would guess not long at all ;) By late '44 various aircraft contracts were being ended early as the finish of the war was in sight with the existing types and numbers in service...so Wellworthy's could have had spare capacity in hand.

Unfortunately, bar a few advertising posters and a GREAT reputation among classic motorcycle and vehicle restorers today for their NOS spares when they can be got - the history of Wellworthy's is otherwise almost transparent after its disappearance into AE PLC.
I don't think this was a particularly complex problem technically speaking to be honest, despite the grevious ramifications.
No, it's not; what HAS been complex is the "thin" paper trail, how it has appeared in bits and pieces....and certainly NOT in date order....and how much is STILL missing :(
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Re: Unserviceable Lorries - Jul - Sep 44

Post by Don Juan » 20 Nov 2013 00:46

Phylo, you don't know what fuel or oil Austin were using for their engine tests. None of us do until we find that information.

The Lancaster anecdote isn't really relevant because the problems that it was having were not something that could have been discovered on a dynamometer test.

That the DME specified further tests up to 8000-10000 miles, well that's probably equivalent to a 200 hour test on a dyno - not especially thorough, to be honest. But that's their test; it has no bearing as to whether Austins did equivalent dyno or even application tests. It's totally normal for a customer of an engine or vehicle to conduct their own reliability tests - it doesn't mean the manufacturer hasn't done theirs.

As for the reference to Wellworthy, I was just using it as an example of what could have delayed entry of the new piston rings into production vehicles - don't take it literally, there could be numerous reasons for this delay, none of them having any relation to any slowness on the part of Austins development staff.
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Re: Unserviceable Lorries - Jul - Sep 44

Post by phylo_roadking » 20 Nov 2013 01:34

The Lancaster anecdote isn't really relevant because the problems that it was having were not something that could have been discovered on a dynamometer test.
It's not relevant to the problem - but it's relevant to the testing of the solution to the problem, in that British wartime ministries were prepared to cut testing times and regimes to the bone when necessary.

In other words - don't assume that testing regimes were as rigorous as they can be today and we're just not seeing them. Often they WERE that cursory...
As for the reference to Wellworthy, I was just using it as an example of what could have delayed entry of the new piston rings into production vehicles - don't take it literally, there could be numerous reasons for this delay, none of them having any relation to any slowness on the part of Austins development staff.
I would however be more concerned that Austins....a reputable and conscientious motor manufacturer?...continued to build and send out something they knew there was a problem with, and the relevant ministry KNEW they knew...hadn't "representatives of the manufacturers" been turning up to meetings???...rather than seek permission to temporarily halt production until the resolution could be identified/tested.
Phylo, you don't know what fuel or oil Austin were using for their engine tests.
Tests on three vehicles fitted with these rings show satisfactory oil consumption and a steadily rising m.p.g. at 2,500 miles.
Do you really think the War Office representative - the representative of the Director Of Mechanical Engineering - at that meeting would have accepted those figures as relevant if they weren't based on standard British Army oil and fuel grades?

What we don't know is what Austins used for any in-house testing prior to this. But personally I don't regard it as a safe assumption that Austins wouldn't have used HD30 and MT 80 when they were initially attempting to recreate the problems in-house...? (If they did so)

Surely they'd want to replicate ALL the factors in the equation...


What's perhaps relevant is that the "fix" that came out the far end of the tests WAS marked "HD30" I.E. the same oil that was in use when the problems occured...given that I noted some posts back that there were dozens if not still hundreds of lighter or heavier or "special-application" grades of oil in Army service.
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Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Unserviceable Lorries - Jul - Sep 44

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 20 Nov 2013 20:43

Hi,

I've gone back to the minutes of the 13th Meeting of DME W/P Committee for 5 May 1944 which I found in WO229/76/0/1:
3. Austin 3 ton 4 x 4 and 3 ton 6 x 4
DME made a statement with reference to the re-working of the engines of these vehicles which had failed owing to engine trouble due to inadequate piston clearance, on large-scale trials at No.1 M.T.C. WEYMOUTH.
Austin Motor Company is re-working all engines required for vehicles for Assault Force, and the vehicles should be completed by 17 May 1944...
Reserve vehicles of these types are not having their engines re-worked as the defect is only experienced when wading.
So:
1. Note that the "wading/piston clearance" problem also affected 3ton 6 x 4 vehicles!
2. If the problem experienced during wading was "due to inadequate piston clearance", then the references to making piston clearance greater that we have found makes a lot of sense.
3. Details of "wading failure" must have been produced by No.1 M.T.C. WEYMOUTH - anyone have any idea which branch this would have been; REME, RASC, RAOC?
4. So we can probably assume that the 1400 Austins we are talking about are those assigned to the assault force and that were re-worked to give them greater piston clearance - this later lead to further problems with excessive oil use, exhaust valve burning, etc.
5. Now if only we could find out when the "freezing" order was given to the VRDs. :idea:

Phylo,
They sent a solution out into the field - a solution for the engine seizure on wading issue - and it didn't work, the "solution" caused problems for at least 3,000 vehicles, not just the 1,400 converted in May!
I would say that the "solution" to the wading problem caused another problem, whether there was also a problem with the "un-re-worked" reserve vehicles is yet to be determined (see no.5 above :idea: )

In addition, perhaps we shouldn't be too harsh - it was probably more important in the long run that those 1400 Austins managed to wade ashore with the kit for the Assault Force than that they subsequently broke down.
Oh, and I found a letter from 21 Army Group G(SD) re waterproofing failures before D-Day which suggest that waterproofing failures in "B" vehicles were a huge problem for the Assault Force (and that is "less Austin lorries"!). Apparently the time-table for issuing pre-waterproofed vehicles was published by 21 Army Group Q(AE). Which is my next port of call at Kew.

But was that failures of the waterproofing itself....or failures/problems CAUSED by the waterproofing
According to the documentation, it was a failure of the waterproofing implementation - i.e. a bad job!!

BTW on WW2 Talk there is a very good thread which details personnel and vehicle landings on Sword Beach - I've searched through and found a list about 2 pages long of units that took Austin 4 x 4's into Normandy on D-day and D-Day plus 1. They seem to have been issued in dribs and drabs to a vast number of units - from infantry bns and DD regts to Field Companies and Field Park Companies RE to Ordnance Field Parks and Petrol Depots to Medium and Field artillery regts, Port Operating Coys RE to Field Dressing Stations RAMC. Of the three 3-ton GT Companies included in the Assault Force, only one was definitely equipped with a full outfit of Austins, I'm not sure about the unit that landed on Juno Beach and the Sword Beach Coy (39th) was issued with Chevrolets and Fords in late May 44.

These units are so mixed up in terms of how they operated, what they did for the next 3 months and what they were doing in mid-September - but one thing I can safely say, is that they were not all (or even many!) assigned to load carrying on the L of C from Bayeux to Brussels.

And again, there is nothing in the 21 Admin History that says that all these vehicles were off the road (i.e VRD) and sat in Crock Parks on the Continent in September 1944. It says that they suffered from a major defect, but not that they were all therefore rendered immediately immobile (which is what many people continue to assume). A new vehicle issued to a unit on 1 September that could only do 2,000 miles would be OK for a while if that unit's employment meant that the vehicle was only doing say 20 miles a day, say back and forward between the beach and a depot, or the depot and a railway station.

Regards

Tom

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phylo_roadking
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Re: Unserviceable Lorries - Jul - Sep 44

Post by phylo_roadking » 21 Nov 2013 18:06

I've gone back to the minutes of the 13th Meeting of DME W/P Committee for 5 May 1944 which I found in WO229/76/0/1:

3. Austin 3 ton 4 x 4 and 3 ton 6 x 4
DME made a statement with reference to the re-working of the engines of these vehicles which had failed owing to engine trouble due to inadequate piston clearance, on large-scale trials at No.1 M.T.C. WEYMOUTH.
Austin Motor Company is re-working all engines required for vehicles for Assault Force, and the vehicles should be completed by 17 May 1944...
Reserve vehicles of these types are not having their engines re-worked as the defect is only experienced when wading.
Tom, great find!
So:
1. Note that the "wading/piston clearance" problem also affected 3ton 6 x 4 vehicles!
The LATER problem also did ;) At least, you found that set of minutes from 8/11 that referred in its title to the K6s as well...

...but the brief 3/12 comment didn't ;)

So we have TWO references to both K5s and K6s....but plenty in lots of places for K5s being worn, going U/S, being tested, worked on, withdrawnlate August -> September and reissued other B vehicles instead of.etc., etc....
2. If the problem experienced during wading was "due to inadequate piston clearance", then the references to making piston clearance greater that we have found makes a lot of sense.
Yes - inadequate piston clearance because the cylinder suddenly shrank onto them! :wink: Given that doing something about the pistons would be FAR easier and quicker than doing something about the engine block!!! 8O
3. Details of "wading failure" must have been produced by No.1 M.T.C. WEYMOUTH - anyone have any idea which branch this would have been; REME, RASC, RAOC?
Tom, I'll see what I can find...there's some articles in CMV that refer in passing to tests on invasion bound kit forthe previous 2-3 years, I'll see if it says who ran them.
4. So we can probably assume that the 1400 Austins we are talking about are those assigned to the assault force and that were re-worked to give them greater piston clearance - this later lead to further problems with excessive oil use, exhaust valve burning, etc.
Yes indeed. The numbers were already FAR too coincidental ;)
5. Now if only we could find out when the "freezing" order was given to the VRDs.
...and if AUSTINS were given any instructions...or asked for leeway!...to stop production while the problems were sorted ;)
Reserve vehicles of these types are not having their engines re-worked as the defect is only experienced when wading
Possibly why you were seeing them in film clips in late September! :wink:

Be interesting to know how many NON-wading, NON-waterproofed K5s were sent to France in the same period...!

Also...scope out the timescale...

...the 13th Meeting of DME W/P Committee for 5 May 1944 which I found in WO229/76/0/1:

3. Austin 3 ton 4 x 4 and 3 ton 6 x 4
DME made a statement with reference to the re-working of the engines of these vehicles which had failed owing to engine trouble due to inadequate piston clearance, on large-scale trials at No.1 M.T.C. WEYMOUTH.
Austin Motor Company is re-working all engines required for vehicles for Assault Force, and the vehicles should be completed by 17 May 1944...

...I wonder on what date(s) the said "large-scale trials at No.1 M.T.C. WEYMOUTH" took place and the problem appeared???

I'd have loved to be a fly on the harbour wall THAT day, with K5s dropping like...well, flies! :lol:
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Lord, please keep Kevin Bacon alive...

Aber
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Re: Unserviceable Lorries - Jul - Sep 44

Post by Aber » 21 Nov 2013 18:37

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
3. Details of "wading failure" must have been produced by No.1 M.T.C. WEYMOUTH - anyone have any idea which branch this would have been; REME, RASC, RAOC?
REME, but was it MTC or WTC?
Humber armoured car of 43rd (Wessex) Division entering the water from a landing craft during wading trials at Weymouth (No. 1 Wading Trials Centre REME), 5 February 1944.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: ... H35578.jpg

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