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31st October 1918
Page 8
Page 9
Page 8, 31st October 1918 — THE LIGHT VAN AND THE WELDER.
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How Defects Which Often Occur in Ford Vans May be Overcome by Welding, Thus Obviating Delay in Securing Replacements.

Just previous to the war the light van was coming into its rightful sphere of operation. The value of this youthful protege of the commercial vehicle industry was at that time beginning to make itself apparent. Although the small tradesman, religiously conservative M his business Methods, eyed with suspicion tantamount almost to distrust the oubstantiateij merits of the new class of vehicle, there is no gainsaying the fact that the latter was g-radually but surely securing a firm footing in the world of mechanical transport operation. The reliance put by the trader in the capabilities of the horse for delivery purposes (which he had previously thought defied uniform comparison) was being rudely shaken.

Butchers, bakers, grocers, in fact the whole miscellany of small successful tradesmen, who aspired to expand their business areas, were alive to the fact that unless their methods of transport were modernized more astute competitors with an ever-watchful eye on the chance of development were out to profit at their expense. This ken competition between trade rivals stimulated interest in the light van as a business proposition.

There were very -few light vans, that is to say machines with a rated load capacity not exceeding 10 cwt. or 12 mit., on the British market of reputed make and design at the outbreak of war. Some British manufacturers, it is true, had, with commendable foresight, perceived that the light van had an expandine future before it. and were lay ing plans accordingly, whilst several makers had reached a stage of manufacture which, although strictly governing the rate of supply, was partially helpful in meeting a growing demand. The light van, however, which enjoyed the major consideration of prospective buyers was undoubtedly the Ford. Its selling price was a tempting enough bait, and this feature, when coupled with its ready availability for service, rendered British competition almost impotent.

One of the great points which will have to be borne in mind by British motor manufacturers in so far as their post-war programmes are Concerned is

that this demand will still exist when peace is concluded, and, in all probability, in appreciably greater measure. If a British product equivalent in value and merit to the Ford. is readily available, it is assured of a big selling market. Many of those foreign-built vehicles which have been put into service since the war and worked hard and regularly will need to be replaced. And it is there that the chance of the British manufacturer lies.

Those Ford vans which were in use before the war as well as the many hundreds which have been commissioned for service during the last four years have been put to rigorously-hard service. That they have stood up to the task imposed upon them cannot be denied. It is only to be expected, however, that, under such arduous conditions of working„ the mechanical efficiency of the vehicle-s has been impaired, with the re

stilt that defects and weaknesses are now presenting themselves. Some of these failures, although only slight in themselves, are sufficient temporarily to put the vehicles into dock.

Replacements for these damaged or affected parts are extremely difficult .to obtain at the present time, so that the only alternative open for the user is to have the affected part repaired. And it is in this case that the scientific welder can be of considerable help. As is well known, the art of welding has made remarkable strides during the past few years, in fact, it has been reduced to a scientific basis. By the aid of welding methods, damaged vehicle parts which at first sight have appeared to be irreparable have been made as good as new and withstood many years of subsequent use. One of the firms which have rendered invaluable aid to users in this direction is the New Welding. Co., 26, Bosebery Avenue, London, E.C. This company is laying itself out to meet the special requirements of Ford van users. We recently took an opportunity of seeing for ourselves what the company. -is doing in this direction. The illustrations which we reproduce herewith are of various Ford parts which have been repaired. They are typical and by no means unusual of the work undertaken. It will be seen that they include cylinder castings, axle casings, crankshaft, transmission case, cylinder headp:ece and differential gear. It is a curious coincidence, but, so far as the Ford is concerned. the fractures seem to take place

in identically the same places in almost every instance. For example, crankshafts crack in the web between the crank pins, cylinders usually facture in the water jackets, the cylinder headpiece develops a flaw where the water pipe connection abuts, and a weakness pre

' sents itself in the lugs of the transmission case.

• As regards the axle casing, our readers will probably call to mind that on the older types of Ford vans this is made in two parts, which are riveted together close to the differential housing. In many cases after the van has been running for some little time these rivets work loose, due to constant vibration, the result being that grease is allowed to exude from the differential. When this occurs the, best procedure for the user to adopt is to have the two parts welded into one. The Now Welding Co.. bad a number of repairs of this sort in hand, some of which we were able to inspect as completed. The two parts had formed such a homogeneous joint that it was impossible to tell that the parts had been welded together. The smaller of our two illustrations to some extent speaks for itself— but only to some extent. The best part of the story of this very successful repair of a bad smash in a Ford cylinder cabling remains to be told. The owner stipulated that the white metal bearings should not be destroyed, but as the whole of the casting had necessarily to be preheated for the purpose of making the weld a precautionary method had to be devised as the outcome of which the bearings were preserved. The method introduced by the New Welding Co. is sound and reliable, and not only obviates trouble and expense but taros consider able time as the problems of avoiding distortion and of preserving the bearing metal are overcome.

In view of the extreme d:fficulty of securing adequate replacements at the present time, tile New Welding Co. is earnestly following the interests of Ford van users, and they are able to take in hand right away the repair of any component part which may have developed, an inherent defect or latent weakness. The service which they are prepared to render in this direction should be of invaluable assistance to the many hundred users of the ubiquitous Ford. Of course, apart from the special facilities offered to Ford users, the company is also prepared to undertake the repair of fractured components on any other make of van or lorry. There is little doubt that they rightfully occupy a premier position in the world of welding developments—a position compatible with the class of work turned out.


Locations: London

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