THE REO'S NEW FEATURES
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'llaow to Good Advantage
Latest Reo 3-tonner Gives a Good Account of Itself on Road Test. Redesigned Brakes, Stronger Rear Axle and Gearbox Enhance the Performance. Improved Appearance Accords with Modern
REPRESENTATIVE of the new range of Reo commercial chassis, the 3L, 3-ton, dropsided lorry formed the subject of a recent road test. The new models were fully described in the issue of The Commercial Motor dated February 5 last.
To refresh the reader's memory, however, it should be mentioned that amongst the salient features of the chassis are the Silver Crown 3.4-litre, six-cylindered engine which develops 70 b.h.p. at 2,800 r.p.m. ; the maximum torque is 185 lb.-ft. A four-bearing crankshaft is used, whilst hardened valve-seat inserts are incorporated. • The use of thermostatic control for the cooling system enables the engine quickly to reach the best working temperature, and this feature should do much to reduce wear.
The lourspeed gearboX. has been redesigned, and strengthening ribs have been incorporated in the gear case, the extra rigidity thus afforded making for silence in operation. Another important modification is
the redetigning of the brakes, whilst the frictional area has been increased.
In addition to these mechanical improvements, the appearance has been greatly enhanced by the provision of a new radiator, wings and scuttle. It will thus be seen that, in introducing this new range, Reo Motors (Britain), Ltd., has not been content merely to alter the appearance, and our road test bears witness to the fact that the mechanical improvements greatly enhance the performance whilst, at the same time, they should lead to a longer, life and reduced maintenance costs.
Checking the Weights: On taking over the machine, our first call was at & weighbridge, when we checked the weight figures.
. The 4eo concern has now changed its policy of rating the chassis at their nominal pay-load and covering with the guarantee a 50 per cent. overload, and the machines are now rated at their actual pay-load capacity.
For, our hill-climbing test we
selected Nightingale Lane, Richmond, which is convenient of access, but, at the same time, presents a stiff climb. Rising from the Lower Petersham Road to Richmond Hill, there are, at the beginning and at the end, sharp right-angled turns, whilst almost half-way up is -a hairpin bend that calls for careful driving. The early slope up to the bend has a gradient in the order of 1 in 10; then the gradient hardens appreciably until, near the top, the steepest section, which is-about 1 in 5, is reached.
This hill presented no terrors to the Reo, and a successful: climb was accomplished. The first section was negotiated at 10 m.p.h. in second gear, whilst, despite having to come almost to a standstill on, the lower slope, due to a traffic check, the machine maintained a steady 11 m.p.h. around the hairpin and up to the steepest section. At this point first gear was required, and the climb was completed at 8 m.p.h.
, The Silver Crown engine had ample power in hand, and there was no question that had it not been for the check on the early part of the hill the speed would have been higher throughout.
The 1-in-5 section of this hill provides a good test for the holding power of the brakes, and, after completing our climb, we ran backwards down the hill, pulling up with ease 'on the steepest part on the foot brake.
Using the hand brake only, slight creeping was noticeable, and it • appeared to us that a slightly increased leverage on the brake lever would eliminate any cause for worry on even the steepest incline. We found the hand lever to be a little on the short side, and an increase in its length would not only give better leverage, but would bring it closer to hand, thus making for greater convenience in driving. The restart test on this hill showed that the clutch would take up the drive sweetly and smoothly under the most difficult conditions, whilst it also illustrated that there was a
plenitude of power available for restarting on gradients.
At the end of this series of tests we found the engine temperature ta be 180 degrees F., despite the fact that the air temperature on the day of our test was 80 degrees F.
Proceeding to Ham Common, we there obtained our figures for acceleration and braking, the results of which are shown in the accompanying graphs. Acceleration curves show the top-gear performance to be uniformly good, whilst the accelera and its value was evident during our consumption test, when we passed through Kingston at a time when heavy traffic conditions were met. It was possible to " get-away " quickly from low speeds in third gear ; moreover, when checked on main-road hills, the use of " third " enabled speed quickly to be regained. As previously mentioned, the braking system has been redesigned, and the frictional area increased, and the beneficial results of these changes were evident during ourtests. According to the Ferodo Chart of Braking Performance, the results we obtained are equivalent to an efficiency in the order of 60 per cent., and a notable feature of this performance was the smooth and progressive retardation.
Efficient Lockheed Brakes.
From 30 m.p.h. a stop was made in under 54) ft., and we noticed no tendency towards sliding; the pressure required on the pedal was reasonable. The hand brake, which is intended primarily as a parking brake, suffered to some extent from the lack of leverage previously mentioned.
For our consumption test we chose a route which, at first sight, might appear to be somewhat easy. Starting from Ham Common, we proceeded via Kingston, Surbiton and Esher to Wisley, on the Portsmouth Road, where we turned and retraced our steps to the starting point by the same route. The Kingston section, however, is notable for its heavy traffic conditions, whilst for some two miles, from Kingston riverside, up the Old Brighton Road to the Kingston By-pass, the road rises steadily , and entails the use of third gear over long sections if traffic cheeks be met.
A feature of our run was that, after turning on to the Kingston By-pass, the journey to Wisley was accomplished throughout in top gear. This included a steady climb through Esher and, of course, Cobham Hill, which has a gradient in the order of 1 in 14. The total distance was 28.6 miles, and the consumption worked out at a rate equivalent to 14.3 m.p.g. This figure may, we think, be taken as representative of the result likely to be obtained under
normal operating conditions ; the course was covered at an average speed of 22.3 m.p.h.
During our spells at the wheel we found the controls, generally, to be comfortably placed, and the response to be quick and certain. The steering was not unduly heavy, and there was no tendency to wander. The engine performed its work in an unobtrusive fashion, and throughout the speed range there was no noticeable vibration.
A good test of the suspension system was afforded by our short run down to :the riverside at Ham, where a suitable space was available to carry out measurements. of the turning circle. Over a rough road with numerous pot-holes we formed the impression that the springing might well be improved by the provision of shock absorbers, as there appeared to be -insufficient damping on the rebound. It was, however, only on this exceptionally bad section that we found any real cause for complaint.
Built on the sturdy lines that one has come to expect from products of the Reo concern, this new 3-tonner proved itself to have excellent per formance characteristics. The specification shows that there has been no skimping in the matter of equipment, and, in our view, the machine should give trouble-free service for long periods without undue attention.
Deserving of mention is the attractive new facia board, in the centre of which are the light switches, igni
A good top-gear performance is indicated in this graph, whilst it also shows that third gear (11.31 to 1) is well chosen for maximum acceleration
tion lock and a pull-out ash tray. Immediately in front of the driver are two large dials, one of which is the speedometer and the other incorporating an ammeter and petrol, oilpressure, and water-temperature gauges.
Easy Starting Assured.
Thermostatic control is provided for the engine-cooling system and easy starting is assured by the use of an automatic control for the hot-spot, vanes in the manifold being operated by a bimetal coil. The petrol tank has a capacity of 16 gallons, giving a range of over 200 miles, and the fuel is fed to the downdraught carburetter by an A.C. mechanical pump, driven from the camshaft. The, ignition is of Auto-Lite make.
Costing £.268, the Reo 3-tonner is a notable contribution to the mediulnweight, medium-priced field.