Working on the FV1801A or Truck, 1/4 Ton, 4×4, CT, Austin Mk.1 AKA Austin Champ

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mkcoen

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Well I got the Champ running - for about 15 seconds. I think there's a minor fuel delivery problem that should be easy to remedy but the one of the batteries wasn't strong enough to crank more than a couple of times. While the fuel pump is 12v the starter is still 24v so I need to get it running to see what the alternator is putting out. I don't want to have to drag a battery charger around with me to be able to start it. I pulled the generator from the parts truck but couldn't get the lower part of the bracket off and when I took it to a local shop that has always been good with MV stuff he just laughed at me. He said he couldn't do UK stuff as he had no way of knowing how the plug was set up. I don't want to go to all the effort of changing it back to the generator until I can verify I have a working one.
 

M813rc

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I had already promised the parts truck to someone else so hate to take that back.
He assures me he won't mind. If you need the other engine, take it, that's what a "parts" truck is for. ;)

There is a shop in Taylor (I know, that's a long way, but the LSMVPA Express can get it there for you) which is really good at rebuilding old generators/alternators. Might be worth asking them if they can do something with it. I'll ask Domingo for the contact info.

Cheers
 
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mkcoen

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He assures me he won't mind. If you need the other engine, take it, that's what a "parts" truck is for. ;)
One of the issues is unloading, pulling the engine, and reloading the spare on the trailer. Both the wife and HOA don't want it in the driveway and it was loaded by lifting the front with a forklift while I backed the trailer under it then lifting the rear with same forklift and pushing it on the trailer. That's not going to happen here so I'll simply part ways with the parts truck and worry about the crack somewhere down the road.
 

mkcoen

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I got some more information about the vehicles from the Champ Owners Club out of the UK:

This is the parts truck:

Chassis No: WN1-10239

Army Reg No: 02 BF 39

ENGINE-61965

Date in Service: 21 SEPTEMBER 1955

Receipt Voucher: FTM/R/3328/118 [21 BVD FELTHAM]

S/O: RUDDINGTON 6 AUGUST 1965 [EX TA]

SOLD OFF: 82nd RUDDINGTON 15 FEBRUARY 1966 LOT-427D [ONE OF 9]

ASHER LANE VEHICLE PARK.



And this is the runner:

Chassis No: WN1-10678

Army Reg No: 06 BF 78

ENGINE: N/A BUT WAS CIRCA 62400. ENGINE-5368 IS NEW REPLACEMENT UNIT.

Date in Service: 24 OCTOBER 1955

Receipt Voucher: BIC/C/0089/39 [BICESTER CENTRAL ORDNANCE DEPOT]

S/O: RUDDINGTON 22 JUNE 1967 [EX TA]

SOLD OFF: 95th RUDDINGTON 8 MAY 1968 LOT-635A [ONE OF 3]

MOOR END VEHICLE PARK.

So both of them are '55s and it won't make much difference changing the motor in the runner since it's not the original one any way.
 

mkcoen

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So we rented Congo off Amazon tonight (ironic that they're 2 different jungles) and watched the entire thing. I saw a nice Unimog, tons of Land Rovers, a DC 3, and Jimmy Buffett, but no Champs. We rewound it to the point where they first landed in Africa (about 20 minutes in) and watched that section again. Lots of "is that it?" when tiny vehicles went by in the background. We finally spotted it just as Ernie Hudson's character was being introduced. The Champ was driving by in the background and we stopped the movie and I got close to the screen and could tell by the outline of the front and rear fenders that it was a Champ. I'm sure on a full sized movie screen it would have been a lot more obvious but on a 60" TV not so much. Since supposedly mine was the only driving one in the movie I'm going to assume that was it as it was passing by about 100 yards behind the actors.
 

M813rc

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Your Champ is now as famous as the tires on my M813! :razz:

Now, if you could just find a shot of Jimmy Buffet driving the Champ...

Cheers
 

mkcoen

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Drained approximately 19 gallons of the nastiest smelling gas I’ve ever been around out of the Champ. Replaced that with 4 gallons of fresh gas, some Stabil, and a dose of Mechanic in a Bottle. At this point I am getting absolutely zero attempts at the engine firing. I pulled the plug from #1 cylinder and it still smells like old gas so went ahead and pulled all 4 plugs to let the cylinders air out a bit. I need a Soldier B in order to see if I’ve actually got spark so kind of dead in the water at the moment.

Here’s some pics of the distributor and plugs. Getting #3 and #4 out and back in was a bit challenging.

I also discovered I have the ultra rare CD player in ammo can option under the driver’s seat.
 

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NDT

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Bad gas almost always requires a total fuel system overhaul. Rust and goop will keep plugging filters and sticking floats.

And I have learned that using bad gas as a weedkiller will ensure that you will smell that gas for at least 2 years.
 
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mkcoen

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Bad gas almost always requires a total fuel system overhaul. Rust and goop will keep plugging filters and sticking floats.
I replaced the filters (2 see-thru units) but haven't been able to find a rebuild kit for the carb and hesitant to start pulling it apart without one. I would think it would at least try to fire even if it won't stay running but I'm not getting anything which is leading me toward the electrical side. The problem with this compared to, say a '57 Chevy, is I can't just go down to NAPA and get a set of points, plugs, and a condenser and swap them out. If I had another person to try starting it while I checked one of the plugs I could at least see if there's fire going to the cylinders.
 

mkcoen

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Had some assistance this afternoon and we verified there was a nice fat spark so the coil, distributor, and plugs are working properly. Next we pulled the oil bath air cleaner and squirted some ether down while cranking the engine.

And we have FIRE! (actually even set the throat of the air cleaner on fire with the starting fluid). Unfortunately once the starting fluid stopped so did the engine. It would appear that we have a carb issue so next up is either finding a rebuild kit or a new(er) carb and go from there. Progress, while so ever slight, is still Progress.
 

mkcoen

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Pulled the carb today and have it partially soaking in carb cleaner. I need both a larger pan and another bucket of cleaner to fully submerge it. I have decided whoever designed these helped with the Gama Goat engine as they’re equally frustrating to get wrenches on or around parts. It took about an hour to get the carb off.

1F05F3CE-6EC6-41B1-8A13-5D375145C815.jpg
 

quarkz

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Here's an Easter Egg for you.

If you haven't become a ACOC member yet.

Solex type 40 WNHEO/2
Mechanical pumps are known for not holding Prime.
An electric pump is fitted above gas tank drivers side (remember right hand drive).
Access through the bed of the passenger compartment.

Did you by any chance wind up with 2 snorkles or spot lights?

fuel1.jpgfuel2.jpgfuel3.jpgfuel4.jpgfuel5.jpg
 

mkcoen

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This one had a “Bubba” electric fuel pump added to it. That actually works extremely well and helped drain the almost full tank of nasty fuel. I got the carb back on late today but didn’t get the chance to try it out.

Sorry but the parts vehicle was missing both the snorkel and spot light. I hear that Sam Winer has 4 Champs in his salvage yard in Ohio. If I can’t get the carb working I may need to see is someone local and check that out for me and I’ll put those on the list.
 

quarkz

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That would be a fun trip....
From the pictures I saw of the Winer's Champs (2012) they were pretty rough.
Maybe internals might still be there but the sheet metal was bent & rusted and they all set on flats.
I think they were pics from the ACOC registry listings.
winer1.jpgwiner2.jpg
Later a relative of Sam Winer's tore down one Champ for drive train parts.
They had just about everything, bunch of suspension and drive line parts, on ebay a couple years back.

And in the MV magazines Winer's listed a NOS front ring gear & pinion set, they were loose in a crate, an I didn't know if they were matched pairs.
But I think it is the rear ring & pinion that go out most commonly on the Champ.
In the past the Champ Club has done a group buy where they had a run of 50+ rear ring & pinions manufactured.
 

mkcoen

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Well it does run! At this point as long as I keep some throttle to it it'll stay going. I need to adjust the idle and hopefully get it to sit running on it's own.
 

mkcoen

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And now it runs smoothly! Started it yesterday afternoon and it idled a little rough on it’s own so adjusted the throttle set on the carb to smooth it out. It was running great but smelled like it was running a little rich. That’s about the time I realized I still had the choke out. Readjust the throttle and things were much better.

Now that it was running I decided to take it for a spin down the driveway but it had less brake pedal than a deuce after sitting in a GL lot for 5 years. Fortunately the driveway is long and I have a big yard so I just whipped it around at the end and went cross country for a bit. I rolled to a stop and switched the fwd/rvs lever to reverse and tried out 2 of the 5 backward gears.

So the beast runs and drives but now I get to see if it’ll stop. It’s a single circuit system so it’d be a good idea to make sure it’s working properly before heading out on the Lonesome Highway. By adding some fluid it would pump up some bu there appears to be a major leak at the front left wheel cylinder. Hopefully it’s easier to find brake parts than it was carb parts.
 

mkcoen

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Found a great deal on rebuild kits for all the wheel cylinders and the master. Now it's just a matter of getting them here from England although the shipping actually wasn't too bad either -$93 including shipping.
 
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mkcoen

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Turns out the folks with the brake rebuild parts also have a carb rebuild kit. A little more expensive than a quadrajet kit (almost $80) but since I’m already paying for international shipping I had him throw one in. Everything should be here by next Wed so quick shipping too.
 

mkcoen

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Still waiting for the goodie box from England but I went ahead and pulled the master cylinder. I’m not going to actually crack it open until I get the rebuild kit but it’s off and being cleaned up.

I think they could have found a better place for the MC but at least they put a skid plate under it. It’s a great place to carry all that extra mud and dirt you don’t want inside the vehicle.
 

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