June 1, 2018 at 10:18 am #847
I have just acquired a LWB Alter II from Royston, up in the very North of Scotland. So I thought it would be good to share the progress on here.
The vehicle has been standing for a while and so needs sorting from front to back. The first task will be to get the engine running to check the condition of that, and the transmission. I expect the brakes to require overhaul. The bodywork is in need of some welding, although the chassis is sound.
The rear door is missing and has been replaced by a landrover door, which unsurprisingly, doesn’t fit. So I will need to source a replacement.
GeoffJune 1, 2018 at 3:34 pm #962
I have managed to make the rear door close, with a bit of levering and hammering. This has got to go!
In the driver’s side, there is a curious flap/door that accesses a storage area under the seat boxes. The lid is another adaptation, and will need to be re-made.
Inside the cab, there is no centre bulkhead panel, and the other panels have been cut up a bit. This makes accessing the rear of the engine pretty easy, but I will be looking for the replacement panels.
June 4, 2018 at 1:01 pm #1003
Next job is to get the clutch working. As you would expect, the seals had gone in the slave cylinder, and so I removed it. It proved to be difficult to get out and was damaged, so I’ve ordered a brand new replacement. That should mean less trouble later on with this awkward to get at part. I am fitting a repair kit to the master cylinder while the system is drained. So new hydraulics in a few days, when the parts arrive.June 7, 2018 at 12:19 pm #1029
Here is a before and after picture of the clutch master cylinder. It was disassembled and then subjected to electrolytic rust removal. This tends to remove any paint too. Then a quick wire brush, and cleaning. Then reassembled with a new seal kit. Lastly, I gave it a couple of coats of clear lacquer. This should keep it looking good for a while. Good as new!
June 10, 2018 at 7:38 pm #1030
This weekend I went up to Carlisle to see Simon Cox, and bring back some parts that I need.
So the pictures show the Duster full of bits and an UMM bonnet strapped to the roof. A good deal all round – Simon has more space in his shed, and I have a good selection of parts to assist the restoration. You may see a dashboard and the bulkhead. There was also a bull bar, some bumper parts, lights etc. I am still needing a rear door, and possibly front doors too, if I can find some that are reasonable. So if you know of any, let me know. I don’t mind a long trip to fetch parts. This round trip was over 400 miles.
June 11, 2018 at 5:06 pm #1031
Here’s a tip.
When fitting the new clutch slave cylinder, I found that the spring pressure against the pushrod would keep forcing the cylinder out again, while I was trying to fit the retaining circlip. It’s quite hard to push it into position and hold it with one hand, while working the circlip pliers with the other.
So to hold it in position, I fitted a longer bolt into the front bolt hole for the cover. This is threaded right through the casting, and so the longer bolt can jam against the slave cylinder body. So once it’s in position, tighten the bolt to hold it and that leaves you to concentrate on the circlip.June 12, 2018 at 3:53 pm #1032
Started the UMM up today. Checked the oil and added the cooling water, turned it over by hand a couple of times to check it was free. Then fitted the new battery, and after sorting out the rats nest of wiring, away she went. Sounds good too. The clutch works and I can engage gears. The transfer box sounds very noisy though. I think that this will need an overhaul.June 14, 2018 at 5:20 pm #1033
Today’s job was to remove the front wheels and have a look at the brakes.
As can be seen, the discs don’t look too bad. The calipers will probably clean up OK. We’ll see over the next few days.June 14, 2018 at 5:34 pm #1034
The right hand side is probably a bit worse. Let’s call this a “before” picture. I’m going to get my trusty bucket out and remove the rust electrolytically, then probably a seal kit and new pistons, slider pins etc. Cost will still be cheaper than new calipers (around £100 for reconditioned ones).June 19, 2018 at 4:53 pm #1060
So here is an update on the brake caliper refurbishment. After being in the electrolytic tank for a day or two, the caliper has been washed in water and wire brushed. Almost all the rust has gone. You can even read the makers name on the casting!
The electrolytic tank is a plastic container with water mixed with washing soda (£1 from Morrisons). Then attach a piece of scrap steel to the positive terminal of the battery charger, and the negative terminal goes on the part to be treated. There is a lot of info online on this technique, some use a more dangerous mix, but I find washing soda works well, and is relatively safe on your hands. It takes a few hours to get the rust off, and you are left with a nice smooth surface.
Next job is to fit a seal kit and then maybe paint the caliper to slow down the return of rust.
GeoffJune 21, 2018 at 7:48 pm #1061
I noticed that the gear selection on this UMM was very vague and sloppy. When I looked at the linkage, there were two main reasons. Firstly, the lever that goes into the back of the gearbox (the shorter one), was loose on its shaft. I managed to tighten that up with a 13mm spanner.
Then the bushes at the lower end of the lever were very loose. I dismantled the lever and found that the bushes are plastic (nylon?) and were worn. So I turned up a new set out of brass. These are a perfect fit and have reduced the play in this joint considerably. The gear shift is now much more precise. There is a grease nipple on the housing, so a squirt of grease now and then should keep it in good order. Although, how to get to this once the floor is back in, I don’t know.
June 22, 2018 at 8:07 pm #1062Stui01Member
” Although, how to get to this once the floor is back in, I don’t know.” if you use the fine airline like what is used for pneumatics on machinery you could set it up with the grease nipple in a more accessible point.June 23, 2018 at 4:29 pm #1063
Good idea Stu. Might do that.June 26, 2018 at 10:24 am #1064
Refurbished and painted caliper on left hand side. Just need to get a new piston for the right hand side. Then we should have front brakes!
June 28, 2018 at 4:59 pm #1065
Here’s a quick question. This UMM has the steering link ball joint in one hole on the steering arm on the passenger side, and the track rod end in the rear hole. The other end of the track rod is in the rearmost hole on the drivers side. See picture.
Normally on a right hand drive, there is that double joint, that is hard to get. On left hand drive models, I think the arrangement is similar to my UMM, with the track rod using the rear holes on the steering arms.
Can anyone comment on why UMM fitted the double joint, if it’s OK on left hand drive to use both holes?June 30, 2018 at 5:48 pm #1066
The rear door is now removed and so I will be looking for a replacement. Ideally, I’d like to get a standard UMM Alter door in good condition. Otherwise, I may be able to make one up out of the pick-up rear door that I had from Simon plus the top half of the land rover door.
Before any of that happens though, some repairs are needed to the rear panels. The door hinges were partially seized, which had caused the metal to tear. The spreader plate was also not fitted, which doesn’t help. The upper hinge area had been welded before, but not very well. So all this will be cut out and replaced. Once this is done, the new door will have a chance of operating properly.
At the same time, I was thinking of moving the rear lamp position upwards. This would put the rear of the lamp units in the inside face of the rear panel, rather than being placed where mud can collect around them. This would be similar to the arrangement on the Transcat shown in the third picture.
So that will be the first job of many on the bodywork.June 30, 2018 at 6:09 pm #1046simoncox77Participant
It looks like you are making good progress.
Looking at the pictures of your hub it looks like your UMM has a different front axle and hub carriers to the earlier models, the two RHD front axles I have from 1990 and 1993 models both use the double linkage as there is only one ball joint mounting location on the passenger side, there are two on the driver side but only one is used. They must have just used the double linkage so they could still use the LHD hub carriers. Looking at your pictures I can also see hub ball joints are different on yours, mine don’t have pinch bolts like yours do. They must have started using a slightly different axle on the last models which also had the option of a RHD steering linkage.June 30, 2018 at 10:27 pm #1047
I believe that you are right. In that case it is worth looking out for a later front axle, as it removes the need for the special double joint.
GeoffJuly 5, 2018 at 12:00 pm #1048
So in the last few days I have been working on the rear bodywork. I have cut out the lower part of the panel on the left hand side, which has enabled me to straighten out the bumper support outrigger behind. There must have been a collision at some point to bend it.
The other side has had some attention too. The welded plate has been removed, and the panel will be cut out here too. Here you van see the many layers of paint that have been applied. I can count 5.
The gear shift rubber bush arrived and that has been fitted on the linkage. The gear change quality is now very good, almost a racing change!
GeoffJuly 9, 2018 at 8:48 pm #1049
I spoke to Graham Potter yesterday (the UK UMM expert), and it turns out that the front axle on my UMM is a heavy duty type, similar to the DANA 44, but possibly made by GKN. That is why the steering arms have two holes on both sides.
The rear axle looks like it is the heavy duty axle too, as the casting appears to have substantial ribs. Possibly also made by GKN. According to the parts list, these could be the type “D” axles, only available in the 5.38:1 ratio.
As can be seen, they are quite rusty on the outside. I will probably remove the axles from the vehicle, and have them shot blasted at some point.
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