Thursday, February 4, 2016

1985 Kenworth W model Blue Circle Southern 179 Continued

Since the last  post, there have been  some considerable in-roads made to the truck. The interest in the truck has been  quite high, and its been  decided that, as a result, we won't be putting the truck into  work, even lightly.

I have joined a local Antique Machinery club, and hopefully they  will allow the Kenworth  to  be put on Club Plates and only  used on club runs.

Since the last  post in the truck we have:-

Rewired a new Diff lock Switch

Taken the Kenworth  to  a truck show where lots of people took lots of photos.

Fitted new hubcaps.

New Mirrors.

New Mudguards to lead drive wheels

Did a wedding!

Fitted new Muffler and pipes

Did a service and replaced dirty  filters. (old on left)

The list continues. The truck is driving well, however the lack of use means its a little grumpy  on  start up  if left alone too long. Trucks are built to  work and pull loads, not sit in a shed.

With  all the work we have done, 179 is looking more and more as it did back in  1985. We want the patina look but with a reliable chassis and running gear.

179's chassis was extended to fit the tipping body, and , as it will not be used for this again, we have decided to return the chassis to its original configuration. This will require some research and skill in the shed.

Stay  tuned  for the next "major" work in progress.

Meanwhile I will leave you  with this picture.

Kenworth W model pulling a McGrath Bogie Trailer.
Australian Made-Australian Pride!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Christmas Adventures


Its a little late but better late then  never. We decided to  head out to  Hungerford, at short notice, on Boxing Day.

In previous posts we have spent some time there and enjoyed the national parks as well as the cattle stations.

I  am  not sure what it was, but I have to  say I  was a little apprehensive as I  packed the truck on  Christmas day. My  friends and family  put in  an order for Christmas of -10 cases of beer! lol! So by the time I  had finished packing I  had 700kg on the tray.

We left at our customary 3am, and headed out.  On a previous trip I  had my earlier model Landcruiser play  up as we got bad fuel. So since the purchase of the new one I  have been  particularly fussy  with  where I buy fuel from.  To  bore you- The land cruiser has 2 fuel tanks and now when I  travel I  keep the main task full with fuel from a trusted source, preferring to  use the rear, ( sub), tank as we go. I  fuel up  at  BP along the way.

This was a trip to prove even the best laid plans of mice and men.....

The trip was leisurely through Dubbo and onto  Nyngan. I  do  like to  stop  at the the park by the river at Nyngan. the bird life there is really  good. It has always been  a favourite spot for a cuppa, and a spot of birding.

Rain! Welcome sight on the way to  Bourke.

After a short break, we pushed on to  Bourke. 215km boring road. I  reflected that, as I  child I  remember seeing the trains heading to  Bourke, the Abattoir working and what I  though were the largest ploughs working the soil beside the road.

Today- nothing. The rail line is in  ruins, as too the Abattoir, and I  rarely see a tractor working.

We fuelled up  in  Bourke at the BP, and hit the Dowling track. Passing through Fords Bridge, I  recalled how my  Pop would talk about having a few beers there after a hard day on Pirrilie Station

It got me wondering just  how tough the men and women were. My  cousin, Roy Dunk rode his horse the entire length  of the Dowling Track, carrying spare shoes etc.

The road was pleasant and not too rough and as rain began to  fall, I  hoped it would not turn the track into  slush.

The ruins at Yantabulla

Further along we stopped at Yantabulla. There are some swamps there and  is good birding. Brolga particularly  like it.

Sadly,  Yantabulla is like a movie set from  Mad Max.  A ghost  town, and there was no water to be seen.
After a short break we were on our way, Past  our cousins property "Warroo", and onto  Hungerford

Hungerford show ground

The pub was closed for Christmas, so  Dave and I had a Ginger beer on its cool verandah. I  chose to show Dave the Hungerford Showgrounds and Dunk street. I  confess I  do  like Hungerford and its people. They are just  great.

We soon arrived at our destination, and stopped in the Shearers Quarters.  All delightful.

First "Disaster"- I  had not packed enough  food. I  had left half of it at home. David with all his motocross, and gym work is like a termite, and without snacks/drinks/bigbreakfast/lunch/dinner/morning tea/afternoon tea and a midnight snack.. he is just  not himself..  I  thought "mmmmnnn" I will just  push on to  Thargomindah and buy some groceries the following day"...

A welcome sleep was had by all.

The following day Dave and I  drove around to  Lake Wyara and Lake Numalla. After driving in Semi Arid conditions, avoiding boggy sections of track, we arrived at Numalla.

Its was extraordinary! A beautiful blue lake, with  white sand and bird life in abundance. Australia always delights me. Just when you  feel hot and bothered, up  pops something you  don't quite expect.
After walking some distance and spotting quite a few new bird species, it was time to head back.

The Lake! Brilliant!

A welcome evening meal was had on our return to the shed.

The following day, Dave and Greg headed out to  do some fencing using the motorbikes this time for transport.  I  decided to head over and visit my  cousin Frosty for the day, to  have a cup of tea and a nag.

It still fascinates me every time I  look at the fences, Pop always spoke of repairing and building the dingo ( wild dog fences). Sadly,  much  of the old fence lines are in ruins as the change from  sheep to cattle has occurred.

Old dog fence.

After some more birding, I  headed back to the shearing quarters..

Disaster 2.. we were low on  fuel, and discovered that the servo was not open between xmas and new year. Neither were the shops. With the Hungerford Hotel closed (  food/fuel etc) we were left with the prospect of being stuck. So, Dave and I  made the call the head home. Yep.. after 2 days...

Disaster3.. As we headed back, the cruiser went into  limp mode... I  quickly  switched fuel tanks to the main which  still had 1/4 left of city  diesel. I  could tell straight away that the motor had sucked up dirt and sure enough the warning light came on.

Distaster 3...At 90kph, an emu, which  was heading away from the road, decided to turn around and aim straight at us.  I was on a particularly sandy section of track and at this speed had no prospect of slowing without risking a rollover. I hit the bird killing it instantly, but bending the bull bar.. and stoning the windscreen (how, I  don't know).

We limped into  Bourke, and limped back to  Sydney.

Cousins shearing shed

Was the trip  worth  it? 100% yes.. The lakes are a "must see", and I  saw two of my  favourite birds- Brolga and Rainbow Bee Eater.

Lesson learnt?-

1. Must  fit additional fuel filters to the V8 land cruiser, and carry spare ones.

2. The genuine Toyota "bull bar" is almost pointless. The bar now has plastic inserts and buffers. Its too weak and the cost or replacing the broken plastic is hundreds of dollars. The bar is a nice city bar, but a 4 post TUFF bar will be the more suitable. I  don't do "off road" stuff so  approach and departure angle is not important. I  do  spend a lot of time on roads and cattle stations, and even to nudge cattle out of the way, well the toyota bar offers little protection in  fact.

3. Double check when  packing! leaving food at  home is pretty  stupid!

Anyway, its always nice to share time with your son!

Happy  new year all!

Bird list:- Australian  Magpie, Little Crow, Australian Raven, Pee Wee, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Galah, Little Corella, Dollarbird, Red-rumped Parrot, Eastern Rosella, Black-faced Cuckooshrike, Tree Martin, Willy  Wagtail, Nankeen Kestrel, Black-shouldered Kite, Black Kite, Whistling Kite, Little Eagle, Straw-necked Ibis, White Faced Heron, PEACOCK! ( on road between Nyngan and Bourke!), Australian Pelican, Australian White Ibis, Silver-backed Gull, Rainbow Bee Eater, White plumed Honeyeater, Australian Pipit, Orange Chat, Gibber bird, Brolga,  Black-tailed Native Hen, Inland Dotterel, Yellow-rumped Hornbill, Black Falcon, Red-winged Parrot, White-Browed Treecreeper, Restless Flycatcher, Diamond Dove,White-winged Chuff, Pied Butcherbird, Yellow throated Honeyeater, White-browed Wood Swallow, Pacific Black Duck, Australian Wood Duck, Pink-eared Duck, Red Kneed Dotterel, Black-winged Stilt, Yellow Billed Spoonbill, Welcome Swallow, Plover, Spotted Bowerbird, Major Mitchell, Crested Pigeon, Black-faced Woodswallow, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Emu.

For me Highlights- Dollar Bird, Brolga, Rainbow Bee Eater. I  note a lack of Wedge-tailed Eagles.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The work continues

Well, its been  months! With  working 3 jobs, and a truck  to  restore I  have been  flat out with little time to Blog. Twitter too, has become perhaps a preferred way  of keeping in  touch. So, this blog is really a record of events.

The work on 179 continues.

Chassis prepped for painting. Years of road grime and oil made this task difficult.

Electrical work to the cabin completed, and now I have an interior light, a blinker lever that works, and the exterior reverse spot light working. I  am  told this light is rare as most fall apart over time.

The chassis was acid washed and prepared for painting, in its original "cement grey" colour.

Cement grey paint as ordered when  new in 1985

A new battery  box was made, painted and then  scrolled and pin striped in exactly the original way. Old battery  box is sitting on the top of the new. Years and millions of kms reduced the old one, literally!

New mudflaps and tail light rubbers fitted.

179 had an air leak in  one of the valves and, as such, a replacement valve was purchased and installed. This meant it could get air up and hold it much  better.

New steer tyres purchased and fitted.

The condition  of steer tyres is critical, especially with a loss of traction equals a loss of steering and almost  impossible to  recover from, with  potentially  awful results.

A ball race turntable lifted on and installed.

Whilst this is not an original, the original being a "Compensator", it will do  for the purpose of making the truck complete, until a compensator can  be found.

The turntable was painted the same colour as the chassis.

Shiny new hubcaps fitted, as they were in 1985

 I did not think hubcaps were fitted to  fleet trucks in 1985, however I  did meet "Red" who was the mechanic at Blue Circle Southern, and he assured me that 179 was indeed fitted with them, so I  was delighted to buy a set and fit them.

More to come soon. ...Kenworth W900 is an on-going story which is keeping me busy and I  hope to  spend more time here on the blog.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Blue Circle Southern 1985 Kenworth W model 179

The next  phase of the work continued as I  removed the mudflaps  ready  for replacements to  go  on., purchased a new blinker switch and labelled the toggle switches on the cab, (mainly  for my  own benefit).

Into the workshop

I  did purchase new rear hubcaps but have decided not to fit them as I  don't think the truck  had these when ordered, and they are a pain to  fit.

So, the list  of things "to do" continues- New clutch pedal rubber, seats re-upholstered, the floor covering replaced, (as it has a hole in  it from  the heel of a boot), Some original fog lights for the front bar. 2x new steer tyres. tacho, and repair fuel gauge.

There are quite a few toggle switches.

All these are relatively  minor items and can  be done over time.
We have replaced the interior light, and the window winders which  were worn simply  from  use, and we need to  grease, oil change and replace the glycol in the radiator.

The new backing plate for interior light

I  am  leaving the body original, as its patina look  keeps the truck  100% original.
The rear of the chassis has been  modified from the dove tail of a prime mover to  re-enforced for the tipper, however I  will  keep that approach as we still have the pump and controls for the tipper and dog trailer.

Some new mudflaps ready  to  be installed

We have done a cold pressure wash just  to  see how the chassis cleaned up and its going to  be very  good.
All in  all a great  hobby (  well, if you  like big sandpits! lol!).


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Kenworth 179 work continues

The work continues on  Blue Circle Southern  1985 Kenworth W model fleet number 179.

The lads have removed the Bin, it has been  sold and is heading to QLD. 

We are searching for a tray to suit, and the truck will  go  over the pit to have the chassis steam and acid washed.

This will remove most  of the dirt and any surface rust. Surprisingly the chassis and under carriage is very  good. The rails are all original with no "after market" hole drilled in it.  It was a relief as we bought the truck based on  word of mouth and good will.

Once the chassis is cleaned and dried it will be painted its original colour (which  it already  is)- a 'cement" grey.

My thanks to  Johnson Transport for all the work they are putting in.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Everyone needs a Kenworth W model.

When I  was a kid I had a real desire to  own a Kenworth  W Model truck. I  would spend hours looking at posters, writing to Kenilworth to get stickers, and stare as they  headed down the Hume Highway.

Picking up the Kenworth in the Hunter Valley (as well as some hay!)

Trucks fascinated me. I  am  lucky that, as an auctioneer and valuer, I  can  spend a lot of time with  them as part of my  job.  However, I  always wanted to "own one".

Well, 4 weeks ago I  got one!  Its another tick on the bucket list.  So, here are the Stats-

1985 built Kenworth W model prime mover. Day cab. Ex Blue Circle Southern Dubbo truck.  Fitted with  Cummins 400 horse power big cam engine, running through a 15 speed Road Ranger Gearbox, and sitting on torsion bar suspension.  Yes, I  know- some will not like that suspension spec, however, it does give you 12 inches of travel, a softer ride and is perfect for rougher road conditions.

Just arrived at the depot. The truck drove faultlessly.

Its described as a "mid wheel base" which  makes it look great  in my  opinion. The interior and the truck overall still has its original features, as well as original fleet paintwork. Its been well looked after too. Being a highway  truck its not worn out or loose.

I am not after a "blingy" hot rod truck, and don't have then money for that. I  prefer the truck to  remain as it was-a "working truck." With  a history of millions of miles...

View from drivers seat

Our plan is- to sell the "bin", (thats the tipper part), off the back and return it to  a prime mover spec.

Paint the chassis the original colour (grey), fit rear guards and do some minor electrical/mechanical work to  ensure its safe and road worthy.

Kenworth W179 in workshop.

Work done so far- Headlights repaired and replaced (as necessary).

Batteries replaced and rewired.
Jakes brake adjusted and rewired.
All clearance lights, roof lights checked for operation.

I  want to  say a big thank you  to  Bert, the previous owner of the truck, for allowing me to  buy it. I  would also  like to  that Ross from Johnson Transport for organising the sale, as well as the delivery.

More to come!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2015 first ride

As many  of my  friends know I had surgery on an ankle in 2011, and despite a lot of rest, it has proved to  be a problem, often "clicking out" when I  least  expect it.

As such  the bikes have sat  in the shed pretty  much  since then.

Well, I  went over to my  UK friends blog " No Hidden Lycra", and became inspired to  give it a crack.

The tried and true Cannonade Prophet turns 10 years old this year!

So, today I  took the Cannonade Prophet down to  the polo fields simply  to  "spin" along the flats and see how I  shape up.

Needless to  say, I am  unfit. Too much  Christmas pudding, beer and wine have seen to that, and I  am  a long way  off doing 200km a week.

Today  was warm, and the fields looked good with  horses and cattle. I  set off and kept the gearing up  so  that I  had to really  spin (  i.e. get the revolutions rocketing).

The ride was short 15km. However I was breathing quite hard when I  returned to the truck.

The plan of action is- one month  3 days a week at this distance, increasing to  25km the following month, then introducing some hilly terrain.

Overall I  felt good, no ankle soreness and I  am  keen to  get back out!