Laurie the Lorry - My 1991 RHD Leyland 4 Tonne.

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Terrh

Member
143
4
18
Location
Windsor & Edmonton, Canada
I guess I'll start with a whole bunch of backstory. I've been looking for a truck for a long time. On and off maybe 5 years now. Looked at a huge variety of stuff, Everything from jeeps and the iltis to M37's to deuces and 5 tons and the LMTV. Decided I really like the LMTV - just something about the overhead cab did it for me. Started saving my pennies and waiting for the right truck.

Kept looking at LMTV's. Found a few local ones even, which is pretty rare in northern Canada! But never found the right one at the right price to make a deal. Also kept looking for it's Austrian cousin, the Steyr 12M18.


But then I thought hmm, it sure would be handy if the cargo bed was lower, and I love manual transmissions, and the CAT motor is pretty high strung... I had some big ideas when I found an LMTV missing some parts - thought about doing both an engine conversion and an axle conversion, but it didn't have a title and looked like it would be a nightmare to make it legal where I lived, so the search continued. Every LMTV I found either seemed overpriced or was thoroughly beat up, and all the nice deals on nice ones were on the opposite side of the continent. Not that that ended up being a factor anyways.....

Last summer I saw an interesting british truck, the bedford MJ. Didn't like the tiny cab, and wasn't too sure I would be crazy about having an older underpowered diesel in something that I wasn't sure I'd even be able to find parts for, and I didn't have any luck finding one regardless so I kept looking. I did love the smaller wheels and footprint though.


This march, on a chance visit to a friend of a friend's place (his back yard is MV wonderland, he must have 40+ MV's!) a truck caught my eye that I had never heard of before. The Leyland/DAF 4tonne/T244. I had a look at it and decided that THIS was the truck for me. It is almost the PERFECT truck. Big cab. Lots of cargo capacity. Great looks. 5.9 Cummins that's easy to find parts for. Manual transmission. Reasonably sized tires. Cargo bed that is lower than eye level. It was almost everything that I wanted to do to an LMTV, already done from the factory!

The only downside - The one I looked at wasn't for sale, and they're rather rare.

Undeterred, at least I got motivated to finish swapping my existing 5.9 cummins Dodge ram to stick - if I couldn't find my dream truck, at least I could pretend while driving trusty rusty around.

As I'm looking for dodge parts on Kijiji, what do I stumble across - but a Leyland for sale, and only 130 miles away! Priced realistically even! Initial pictures made it look a bit rough, and I could tell it was missing some bits, so I kept looking. But nothing came up, even looking across the entire country. Wasn't super sure that it was the right time to buy a truck anyways with an impending possible cross country move, and finances being tight - My army truck account got a lot smaller last year due to some personal setbacks and other financial decisions.

But the bug had bit me strong, and I couldn't stop thinking about the truck from kijiji. A few weeks later I look on kijiji, and it's still up for sale. Decide to go look at it on a beautiful april morning, and of course I fell in love. I'll continue in the next post, I think I should end that here in case I have computer troubles.
 

Terrh

Member
143
4
18
Location
Windsor & Edmonton, Canada
Recovery

So I make the 2 hour drive to go see the truck. I drag my roommate along since his Mazda is better on fuel at the 130km/h that everyone likes to drive in rural AB than either of my old pickups. Tried dragging my good friend and forum user m1010plowboy along too but it turns out he's not a morning person. Can't say I blame him, spending 4 hours buzzing down the highway way too early in the morning isn't everyone's idea of fun.

We finally make it out there about 9AM and get to see the truck. It has no batteries in it, hasn't been started for over year. Jim, the owner has had it for a few years but never got around to putting plates on it. Cool guy, very up front and honest - has a whole warehouse full of all kinds of cool surplus. Even the remains of some sort of half shredded missile launcher panel, and a turret ring for a Leopard 1. Turns out he has a website - jimsjunk.ca - highly recommend you check it out if you like buying random junk like me.

Jim assures me it'll start and disappears to grab some batteries for it and I start looking it over with a fine tooth comb.

leyland2.JPGleyland.JPGLeyland3.JPG


It's missing a vent window, and the passenger side door window crank and regulator mount are MIA, regulator is damaged - all issues I'd have to correct right away. Missing the sides and cargo cover as well. Turns out it was a fuel hauler, and they didn't come with either of those things, so that's probably why. Here's what it might have looked like in service: Leyland_4_tonne_truck_UBRE_variant.jpg

Overall, I like the truck, though it's got some pretty significant issues. No rust anywhere, not even a little - no leaks either. Tires are old and have a little sun damage but very minimal. All the lights look brand new, and everything works. the key for the door locks and proper ignition is MIA, but there's a new one rigged beside it. Jim explains that when he bought it from the forces it was a non-runner and appeared to have been sitting broken for a very long time. The center console where all the switches and air brake valves are is out and the contents are half exploded over the interior. Odometer shows just 2300 miles, which Jim doesn't believe - but I notice absolutely no wear on the rubber floor treads or the pedal covers, so I think it might be accurate. Underside of it is exceptionally clean and the engine looks practically new. Was originally forest green but got a pretty terrible tan repaint when it came over here. They even painted the tires.

I take it for a quick test drive and it runs and drives quite well. I notice the speedometer is labelled in MPH but reads KPH - either that or I got it up to 70MPH with ease on the dirt road we're test driving it on. Truck doesn't have overdrive, which is an issue I'll look into correcting as soon as I reasonably can. It's got a spicer direct 5th 5 speed which I might be able to re-gear, otherwise, a dodge transmission might end up in there. For now though, I'll settle for comfortable cruising at 80km/h and a flat-out top speed of 95km/h@2600RPM. That'll be interesting for my cross country move, but that's a future post.





A few days later I finally manage to get a permit and temporary insurance on it, and we make a second trek out to bring it and the other junk I bought home. We get out there pretty late, and it's raining/snowing. I do a thorough pre-trip, and we get it loaded up. In all my excitement, this is the only picture I remember to take. DSC_0156.jpg

I brought my dogs with me, and discover that the missing vent window is a godsend when my dog locks both the doors of the cab while I'm strapping this mystery crate to the back of it.DSC_0161.jpg

Jim's not sure what it'll fit, and I later find out it's a shipping/storage cover for an M113. I was hoping I could use it for a top when I get some sides and bows for it, but it doesn't look like it's quite the right shape. Oh well.

I dump 40L (10 gal) of diesel in jerrycans in it, and we finally get on our way about 10PM, and take the back roads from Vermillion to Edmonton to avoid the high speeds on the freeway. Probably wouldn't have been much of an issue late at night but I wanted to be sure we wouldn't cause any trouble if it broke down. I love driving the truck even if I'm a little cold with the window stuck open. Thanks to the low cruising speeds (I mostly went 70-75km/h on it's maiden voyage) I had no trouble stopping for a very confused deer that wasn't sure which way to run when it saw my truck coming down the highway. I make a quick stop after 15 minutes, and another one half way home, to check tires, hub temperatures, etc but thankfully have no issues. Engine always ran smooth but seems to run better and better with every passing mile. Temperature gauge doesn't move, axle temps are all ice cold to the touch and we had smooth sailing for the whole journey. Seems like it's pretty decent on fuel as well - it had about 1/8 tank when I bought it, and had well over 1/4 tank on the gauge remaining when I made it into Edmonton. Tank seems to hold about 100L (25 gal) total, so 400+Km (250+ miles) per tank shouldn't be a problem.
 
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Terrh

Member
143
4
18
Location
Windsor & Edmonton, Canada
Fun!

Brought it out to m1010plowboy's acerage and had some fun driving around. He's got a lot more experience driving these things around off road and really helped me learn what she could do. Descending an extremely steep hill is interesting when all you can see out the windshield is the ground in front of you! Tried climbing the same hill but didn't have any luck. His beautiful M135 couldn't quite get up it either, partly because the incline is so steep it picks the center axle off the ground, and partly because the ground was just so soft, it being frozen and snow covered only a week or two before.


Hillclimb.jpgDSC_0198.jpgDSC_0193.jpg

I ran out of time to get it legal before our big move back to Ontario and had to leave it behind for now, but I'll be heading back out that way in a few weeks to pick it up and then making the looooong road trip home.

roadtrip.jpg

That's 2300 miles for the metrically challenged. So by the time I get it home, I'll have doubled the mileage on it!
 
Last edited:

Terrh

Member
143
4
18
Location
Windsor & Edmonton, Canada
Future Plans

This post is mostly so I can get my thoughts down in writing, so I don't forget anything later - and might evolve as my plans change.

So what am I going to do with this thing?

Well, I'm hoping that it can mostly replace my pickup for all the things I use my pickup for - which generally isn't that much anyways. It probably sits far more than it gets driven, as long as anything more fun is around. Hopefully with this truck I'll want to drive it more!

There's a bunch of places to go off roading in southern MI, within an hour or two drive of my house, and I can't wait to go have fun there.

I want to make some changes to the truck as well - nothing too extreme, just some stuff to make it more useful and more complete.

Here's the list, in order of priority:


I want to mount a regular trailer hitch receiver on it, and get 12V 7 pin lighting & trailer brake controller working. It looks like a lot of the interior stuff might be 12V already, I have to do some more reading in the TM's to figure that out. But I plan on towing a trailer behind it to ontario, so I need to get a sure fire way to both attach the trailer and make the lights work figured out before I leave. It's got a pintle hitch right now, but it's 36" off the ground and has the (completely untested) plug for nato trailers on the back. Now I wonder if someone makes an adapter, this must be a common problem with surplus MV's.


The seats are still in like new condition and aren't awful - but an air ride driver's seat would be pretty fantastic, at least on road. I'd like to do a few other interior improvements as well - Cupholders would be nice, and so would an interior light that doesn't suck. Radios too - both FM and CB. And a 12V lighter socket as well.

I'd really like to get a cargo cover and sides for the bed. I haven't had much luck finding the proper ones, I might have to build a setup from scratch. The first Leyland I looked at apparently has a cargo cover from an MTV, and it fits quite nicely. The bed dimensions are roughly 14'x7', so if anyone knows of anything else that might fit, I'd love to hear your thoughts! I definitely want to handle this one relatively quickly too - moving anything on a visible flat bed is always sketchy and a magnet for getting pulled over by the DOT.

I want to add a few air fittings to it, both for airing the truck up without having to start it, and for being able to air up tires/use air tools using the trucks air. My truck didn't come with CTIS, so being able to air up and down tires anywhere would be nice.

As far as the bed sides go, I'll probably either modify some from a different truck, or possibly fab some up from scratch out of aluminum. The originals are quite heavy, and I'm not the biggest guy so it would be nice to have some lighter ones.

I am also thinking about getting a small crane to help make loading stuff into the bed easier, and building a short pull-out ladder to make getting in and out of the bed easier too. The bed sits a bit over 4' off the ground, so it's not super high but it's still pretty tall.

An overdrive 5th gear would be nice - A regear on the existing transmission, or an entire 2WD dodge 6 speed transmission are both options I'm going to look into. The truck has a divorced transfer case, and the existing bellhousing/transmission setup looks nearly identical to the one in dodges, so that makes the dodge option rather likely. The ratios on the dodge box should work quite well too, and the .7:1 overdrive would be great to bring highway RPM's down to about 2000 at 65 MPH, which would be nice. Right now 60MPH is ~2600RPM, and that's right on the governor. That's a project for next winter at the earliest, though. Most of the roads around where I live are all 40-50MPH speed limits anyways, and the current transmission works just fine at those speeds.
Regardless of what transmission route I take - I really want to improve the very spongey/vague feeling shifter ASAP, as it'll make the truck even more enjoyable to drive.


A possible swap to a later 12 valve dodge injection pump is a thought as well. The IP that comes with this truck is only rated to make 140HP, and the later dodges make 215HP (and 440 ftlb!), so that would be a great, safe horsepower bump that would be nice in the hills and with an overdrive 5th.
Not totally sure I want to do this though - the truck runs like a million bucks now and I'd hate to spend a bunch of money getting rid of this pump when it's practically brand new.


Longer term, I want to build a removable camping setup that fits inside the cargo cover, and maybe do some longer road trips in it.

I'm sure there's more, but that's a pretty big list for now.
 

silverstate55

Big Dummy
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Cedar City, UT
Nice truck, very unique with the RHD!

I've found that if the truck starts, runs, and drives well, everything else is secondary and can be fixed later.

I'd leave the engine alone since it's running well, just add more gears (like the 6-speed trans you mentioned). That alone will make a big difference.

How about swapping in an LMTV bed? It's a mix of steel & aluminum, and you can get cargo covers & bows (as well as spare parts) for it pretty easily at least from the States.

Nice truck, thanks for sharing! [thumbzup]
 

Terrh

Member
143
4
18
Location
Windsor & Edmonton, Canada
the LMTV bed is an option, but it's shorter - this has a 14' bed and I believe the LMTV is only 12'.

I think if I got an MTV cargo cover and bows I'd be able to make them work with just a bit of sewing. There's a 14' LMTV dump truck or something as well that has a cover that fits just about perfect.
 

m1010plowboy

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
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Leyland Daf 4 ton

Let's sit on Laurie and go for a ride.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_x3BaS7fO4&feature=youtu.be

That is not what I meant!

Leyland girls.jpg

Since finding out that that transport cover in the mystery box belongs to the M113, XM106 or the T257(?) we found a few folks with M113's that need it.
How much it's worth or what you should ask for it is the next challenge you're facing. I'll try and pull that schematic up here for you so we can all see what this thing is.
I should post up pics of the spotlights as well. Since you're so close to Detroit, maybe someone on the right side of the map needs them.

20170509_173624.jpg20170509_173333.jpg20170509_172138.jpg20170509_173117.jpg20170509_172421.jpg

The deck is covered in over 20 hold-down points so it'd be hard to find something this handy. Mattech has that spare M135 box sitting and I'm sure we have what you'd need for troop seats. The minute you decide to swap out the deck we'll find the correct sides for it so I'll warm up the cutting disks.

P5010342.jpg20170508_121425.jpg

Let me know when you want to work on the transmission. I like your idea of working smarter, not harder and really looking forward to flipping Laurie on her side for ya!

20170405_162216.jpg

Laurie sure does look cool wheeling down the road. Patience really paid off for you, congratulations.

P5010346.jpg
 

m1010plowboy

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Terrh

Member
143
4
18
Location
Windsor & Edmonton, Canada
Been a while. Forgot to post any updates I guess. Truck has been good to me. Only drive it about once a month or so. Sure is fun in the snow!

Changed the oil April 20th with 15W40 Rotella. Digital odometer has become unreadable, no idea how many miles it's been.

Still needs paint and a cover, but I'll be working on that shortly.
 
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