The Chase Truck.
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A Live-axle Chassis of American Manufacture. Its Worm and Wheel by David Brown and Sons.
Amongst the many American manufacturers who are taking advantage of the exceptional opportunities for trade now offered in this country must be reckoned the Chase Motor Truck Co., of Syracuse, New York, U.S.A. This firm is represented in London by the St. George's Motor Co., Ltd., Fulham Road, Keneington, S.W., and our representative, on calling at this address recently, was pleased to be able to examine the three different models which they are handling. These are known as : Model T, I ton ; Model R, 2 tons ; Model 0, 3 tons. As these are all on similar
lines, we shall confine ourselves in the following few notes to the description of the largest. The first thing that strikes one is the live-axle drive, this being, we believe, up to the present, a characteristic of only a minority of American-manufactured machines. The engine, which is manufactured by the Continental Manufacturing Co. of the States, is one which is fairly well known in this-country. In the vehicle under review, the 40 h.p. model is used, this being a i four-cylinder engine, .q in. by 5 n. bore and stroke respectively, having pair-case cylinders with all the valves on one side. Adjustable tappets are provided enclosed by easily-detached covers.
The carburetter fitted as standard is the Holley, and ignition is by Bosch magneto with automatic advance.
The engine control is by hand lever on the steering wheel, which provides for a minimum setting. This is combined with an accelerator pedal in the usual position.
A governor is fitted and arranged that it can be set so as to come into operation at any particu
lar speed, and afterwards sealed so that it cannot be modified without the knowledge of the owner.
The power is taken from the engine by a dry-plate clutch with Raybestos inserts. Unit construction is adopted for the crankcase and gearbex, thus obviating the necessity for universal joints between these two components, Four speeds are provided, the third speed being the direct drive.
Substantial Worm-driven Axle.
A long tubular propeller shaft takes the drive from behind the gearbox to the worm-driven rear axle. This is a substantial component, constructed by the Sheldon Axle Co. The worm and wheel, however, are made by David Brown and Sons, of Huddersfield. The whole of the gearing and shafts are contained in a crucible cast-steel case, being carried therein on suitable ball bearings. Thrust ball races are also provided wherever needed.
While discussing this component we must draw attention to what seems to be a mis-statement in the specification of these models, wherein it is stated that the entire load is carried •on the rear-axle housing. It is possible that the American public may not gather from this paragraph exactly the same meaning as we should do over here. As a matter of fact, from an examination of the details of the axle, it is quite obvious that the driving shafts are only of the semifloating type, and that, in addition to transferring the torque, they also carry the load.
Another feature which seems to call for criticism is the universal joint immediately in front of the rear axle. This strikes us as being very small for a chassis which is intended to carg.y suck a load. Central Control.
Taking it all together, the chassis may be said to be quite a good example of American construction, and it has several special minor features which are commendable. The change-speed lever, for example, is carried directly from the gearbox and is placed in the centre of the chassis. The method of construction, of course, obviates any possibility of binding of the control shaft owing to frame warp.
Substantial Steering Gear.
The steering gear appears to be fairly substantial ; the joints are well designed, being of the balland-socket type, but so arranged that it is impossible for the rods to fall away from the ball when worn. Ample braking power is provided; both service and emergency brakes take effect on drums in the rear wheels_ They are of good size, and can be quickly adjusted, and, further, are fitted with renewable linings of Raybestos.
Low Reduction for First Speed.
The choice of two ratios can be had in the back-axle gear, either 11i to 1, or n to 1 is permissible. The manufacturers further make a point of a very low reduction for the first speed in the gearbox, their object being to render the climbing of practically any hill a certainty. We understand that, while demonstrating in this country, the'ibillclimbing capabilities of this chassis have beenxa subject of favourable comment.
At present the wheels are prepared for American-sized tires. We draw attention to this, as in previous reviews of recent U.S.A. imports, for we are of opinion that this circumstance is undoubtedly a drawback, but we understand from the St. George's Motor Co. that they will arrange for British standard tires to be fitted on request.