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An American Chassis Having Several DistinctiveFea.tures.
Those of our readers who came into contact with members of the, Canadian A.S.C., M.T., during their sojourn at Salisbury Plain, will remember how enthusiastic those men were for the vehicles which formed the greater part of their Mechanical Transport Columns. The machines in question were, perhaps naturally, of American manufacture, including Kelly-Springfields, and we had occasion recently to examine one of this range of models which is marketed by Gaston, Williams, and Wigmore, Ltd., of Alexandra House, Kingsway.
A Renault-type Bonnet.
The chassis are distinctive in appearance owing to the embodiment of the Renault , type . of bonnet, with the radiator placed immediately in front of the dash. This feature is one for which many other advantages are claimed: in addition to superior aspect. Undoubtedly for a machine to be employed in war work the benefit of having a part so—vulnerable as the radiator, removed to a place where it is much _less likely to suffer damage from minor accidents and cellision, is a -strong argument in its favour. The accessibility of the engine, after the bonnet of this type is raised, is a feature which has appealed to engineers for many
years. A point which had not previously occurred to us cropped up in conversation with a driver of a Kelly-Springfield the other day, who pointed out that with this style of bonnet the engine was better housed in wet and stormy weather. The very steep slope from back to front, and the fact that there are no longitudinal joints, are of great assistance in preventing the ingress of water.
Specification. Chain as Final Drive.
The model that we examined is known as the thirty-cwt. chassis. Others are available for loads up to and including four tons-. The specification in all these machines includes a four-cylinder watercooled engine, leather-lined cone
clutch, three-speed-and-reverse gearbox, and final drive by side chains and sprockets on the realroad wheels, which support, on ball bearings, a solid-forged loadcarrying axle.
• Three-point Suspension for Main . Units. .
A feature has been made throughout the chassis of threepoint Suspension for -the principal unitS. _The engine is three-point suspended, and on the machine we examined the gearbox is carried on the torque tube, which also serves as a cover for the propeller shaft
coupling the clutch to the transmis
sion gear. This torque tube is forked at its front end, bearing in. brackets on a cross-member immediately behind the engine. At the rear it is bolted to the front end of the gearbox, which again is bolted to a casting carried in bearings on the main frame and serving as a case for bevel drive and differential gear.
The engine employed on this model is 31 ins, bore by di ins. stroke. It is of the L-head type, the four cylinders being cast in one piece. It is stated to develop 25 h.p. at 1200 r.p.m. Lubrication is automatic, the oil being circulated by a pump, and is pressure fed to the bearings with overflow into troughs, providing splash to big-ends and cylinders. The oilgauge on the top half of the crankcase serves as an indicator for the depth of oil in the sump. The driVe for the water pump and magneto is from gearing arranged across the front, of the engine. This feature, together with the particular design of bonnet to which we have already alluded, renders both of these components very accessible indeed. The water pump is of the ordinary centrifugal type, although the designer appears to have been a little more generous in respect of dimensions for this component than usual. The magneto is driven from a special coupling of ingenious design, by the use of which it is possible to alter the timing of the magneto to any desired extent and within very fine limits without disturbing any other component and without there being any necessity to move the gears. The magneto itself is an American Eisemann with
automatic advance. A very accessible oitrifice is also avail able at the front of the engine, the oil b-eing poured through the timing gears into the crankcase'. A Hayfield carburetter, carried on the near side of the engine, supplies the mixture and is so arranged that hot air drawn from tho neighbourhood of the exhaust pipe may be used for warming pur, Doses ; additional facilities are also available whereby some of the circulating water is carried through a jacket round the car buretter. The control of this component is by hand or foot ; an addi-• tional slideon thesteering column allows of the size of the jet being altered as required, so that the quality of the mixture may be varied. As is customary on American machines, an additional throttle valve is placed between the carburetter and engine, controlled by a centrifugal governor, which, with its connecting mechanism, is totally enclosed. An efficient and readily detachable undershield is fitted.
The radiator we have already mentioned ; at least, in respect of its position. As regards construction, it is of the honeycomb type. Our ebjeciions to this type of radiator, based on experiences extending ever the whole period of comfiermal vehicle use, are by now too well known and too generally reognized as reasonable or just, for there to be any need of repetition. In this particular instance it is only fair to point out that the additional efficiency of the honeycomb type is much more necessary on account of the position occupied by the component. The objections that it is likely to have the airways stopped up by dirt and to suffer darnago by collision of course curry much less weight than in the etdinary case. Further, the method et suspending this unit is such that minor troubles, due to vibration 4:ind twisting of the frame, are likely to be obviated.
We have referred to the gearbox I's being carried by the clutch s.haft easing. The unit itself is very small and compact, and is made by the Covert Gear Co., of Detroit, a firm which has some reputation for
the excellence of its goods. It is placed in an unusual position, the lay shaft being under the main shaft, instead of alongside, so that the large hand-hole cover which, as a. rule with this type of gearbox, is on top, in this instance is at the
it is claimed that extra facility for getting at the gears without disturbing the body is [forded by this arrangement. Incidentally, the chamber which accommodates the change-speed
mechanism for the box conies on top, so that the operating rods can be conveniently carried over the top of the tube which covers the clutch shaft. The change-speed lever and hand-brake. lever are situated in the centre of the chassis so that this allows of the coupling rods being in a straight line.
Final Drive. Brakes.
The final drive by chain is of ensthmary form, stiff radius rods being provided to convey the thrust from road wheels to the frame, and these are readily adjustable so that the wheel centres may he varied as from time totime it _becomes necessary, owing to wear, and in order to keep the chains correctly tensioned.
Both brakes are placed inside the drums on the rear road wheels, and are totally enclosed.
In general we should describe the chassis as being very typical of better-class American construction. It bears evidence in several aspects of the careful attention to detail and desire for refinement of minor features, with a view to the saving of labour and minimizing of risk of accident which we have hitherto on several occasions remarked. Our illustrations have, in this instance, been framed with the idea. of drawing_attention to one or two of these special points. The suspension of the • radiator, for example, is ingeniOnsiy:ca.rried out. The starting handle is arranged to fold back out of harm's way,. an arrangement which is worth while. In this instance, in our opinion, however, the design is a little faulty in that considerable noise Would probably result owing to its rattling. The front wings are carried by socketed arms, and are kept in place by one setscrew each, which bears on the metal of the guard, the beading of which acts as a, stop.
We also show pictorially the radius-rod adjustment, which, if perhaps a little rudimentary, is also very simple both to understand and to adjust.. The cross shaft for the brake gear is a, tube surrounding the rear spring-carrier crossbar, and the radiator cap, which We illustrate in detail, is ample in size and so secured that it is quickly removed from the filler orifice without being liable to be altogether detached and lost. The other small but interesting items are the lamp brackets, which are both neat and substantial in design, and the mechanical horn. A small pattern of the latter is supplied, carried on the centre of the steering wheel.
The tires fitted on the 20-ewt. model are 36 ins. by 3:1; ins. sold, single on the front, twins on the rear. The wheelbase is 12 ft., the tread of the front wheels is 56 ins. and the rear wheels 60 ins. Completely equipped with driver's seat. full set of lamps, tools, etc., the price of the chassis with tires is X325.