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  #1  
Old 14-07-15, 13:31
Chris Collins Chris Collins is offline
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Default An Introduction: Chris Collins and Morris Tilly Project

Hello All,

Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Chris Collins, Reenactor Anglophile and now Military vehicle owner! Here is the Tilly that Hugh Davies had located for me, a rather battered relic, but due to its location has remained largely free of serious rust. Heres some new shots of it in my mates workshop.






Our first step is to strip back to the "chassis", make it sound then on to the steering and suspension, so bits are progressively being sent off to the local sand blaster then being undercoated, plenty of "minion" work for an unskilled/inexperienced knucklehead like myself, leaving the more technically challenging work for my Mate /mentor/master John Neville.

Unexpectedly an opportunity came up to acquire some more! through Hugh Davies and negotiations by John Neville, i met Lenny Watkins, who offered me two more, it was an all or nothing offer, as he said as soon as you see the good one you won't be able to leave it. Despite initial misgivings, I don't regret getting them both. Especially since much of the sheetmetal of the "rough" one is sadly as thin as egg shells and of little use. We may get an engine and lots of useful fittings out of it though.





The Good one is, extremely complete, its not without issues but despite not being ran for 15-20 years with new points, goes! and moves under its own steam! Very exciting! My Wife has named it, rather appropriately, Matilda! Its not without its isues and may need the sacrifice of a morris 10m









Since a feature on the first tilly was placed in Tilly Text, a chap called Andrew Curran in Perth, currently restoring a Austin Tilly offered me parts he rescued from a Morris Tilly in a garage due for demolition many years ago, which should be arriving tomorrow at my work. Exciting times!

Chris Collins
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  #2  
Old 14-07-15, 14:36
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Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Chris,

Welcome on MLU and what a great (set of) project(s) you have there.

One thing I would like to ask you is to attach pictures to your posts rather than using links to Photobucket - we have learned the hard way that one day sooner rather than later they will disappear making this thread worthless.

Here is how you learn how to post images - let me know if you have any further questions.

Thanks!
Hanno
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  #3  
Old 14-07-15, 15:25
maple_leaf_eh maple_leaf_eh is offline
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That is a cute looking little vehicle! And good thing you saved it from becoming razor blades or shopping cart frames.

In a strange way you are getting into the hobby with the best motivation - you have found something(s) that attract your attention, and you want to make things right. This might be why Jeeps, Land Rovers, Universal Carriers and the relatively small CMP trucks get so much work. The uglier one (not saying anything about the owners...) are the big vehicles with funny lines or very heavy parts, seem to get no respect. There is a thread from a fellow in Czech Republic I think whose passion is a great big 10-ton Mack heavy hauler. Only a true devotee has that kind of time, space or money for a project like that.
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74-????? M151A2 plated and on the road
70-08876 M38A1 ready for the road
53-71233 M100CDN trailer manufactured by MCI ready for the road

Wow! All three green beasties run!
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  #4  
Old 15-07-15, 03:10
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Chris

I think I met you on the HMVF

I have a Morris tilly parts book

If you twist my arm I might let you have it

if you catch me on a good day that is

Mike
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  #5  
Old 16-07-15, 13:13
Chris Collins Chris Collins is offline
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Default Take Two Tilly Pics

Hello Hanno,

hope this is better from an archiving point of view!

Maple_Leaf_eh: Thank you very much for your sentiments! Besides the obvious charms of owning a Military vehicle, something a bit different from the usual, i also like the idea of helping to preserve something evocative of a very different time and place. and you're right its amazing how many CMPs floating around in Australia, that just don't get much love.

Mike Kelly: Yes I recall chatting to you on HMVF, that parts manual would be a very nice thing if one day you decide to part with it. There was allegedly one floating around at Corowa this year but it changed hands before i got the chance to get it.

Cheers

Chris Collins
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Old 16-07-15, 13:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Collins View Post

Mike Kelly: Yes I recall chatting to you on HMVF, that parts manual would be a very nice thing if one day you decide to part with it. There was allegedly one floating around at Corowa this year but it changed hands before i got the chance to get it.

Cheers

Chris Collins
The book is dated December 1940 , an early date for a tilly publication . I loaned it to a guy in West. Aust. , he also has a Morris tilly and he was planning on restoring, don't know if he ever did .

The book is just sitting here so it may as well go to a good home . It has large fold out drawings in the back . They refer to the mono chassis .

send me a PM Mike
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  #7  
Old 02-03-16, 12:00
Chris Collins Chris Collins is offline
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Default An Update!

Time for an update! below you can see much of the progress we've made so far, note SCC2 brown made up based on Mike Starmers mixes (from Tilly Colours a great little resource), suprisingly close to the colour of several parts we're finding here and there (not to mention ammo boxes).


A nice original feature we have on the diff housing on the SA tilly is a partially whitened diff, no doubt for the convoy light, kind of suprising it would have such a feature as you could barely see it from another vehicle

Another project we are contemplating is the steering wheels, the originals are badly degraded and we're debating either finding better new old stock examples or homebrew recasting them using High impact resistant resins, A local wheel restorer quoted a scary figure. we're figuring they must be a pretty common wheel used in a variety of Morris/BMC vehicles and we're hoping some might surface (hint hint...)

Cheers

Chris Collins
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Rear axle 1.jpg   rear axle 2.jpg   Front axle.jpg   Diff White.jpg   steering wheels.jpg  

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Old 18-04-16, 13:08
Sterling Ball Sterling Ball is offline
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looking really good Chris wont be long and she will be done!

Sterling
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  #9  
Old 18-04-16, 13:22
Chris Collins Chris Collins is offline
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Thanks Stirling!

just wait till i unveil its secret!

http://www.austintilly.nl/H23073a.jpg


Jerry won't know what hit them!
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  #10  
Old 18-04-16, 14:06
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Looking good so far Chris. Interesting set up of the twin brens, I assume that is just the standard twin mount they used on other vehicles?
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  #11  
Old 18-04-16, 17:36
maple_leaf_eh maple_leaf_eh is offline
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I've seen roadkill animals with more meat on them than this unfortunate specimen.

Good luck
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74-????? M151A2 plated and on the road
70-08876 M38A1 ready for the road
53-71233 M100CDN trailer manufactured by MCI ready for the road

Wow! All three green beasties run!

Last edited by maple_leaf_eh; 18-04-16 at 17:36. Reason: no photo
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  #12  
Old 18-04-16, 17:51
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Our warehouse waiting for better days
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  #13  
Old 07-08-16, 13:51
jack neville jack neville is offline
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Having finally got all the Tilly photos on to a computer that is easier to load on this forum than using an Ipad it is time for an update and a few more 'before' photos.

Chris aquired over a peeriod of about four months either complete(?!) or the remains of a total of four Morris Tillys out of what we beleive was forty that came to Australia. All so far have been 'knockdown' versions with removable rooves. There was enough to complete two vehicles as detailed above. To date we have completed the rebuild of two rear axles, front axles, two sets of springs, tailshafts and steering boxes. Out of the total of about ten complete sets of front and rear springs I salvaged enough leaves to reset two complete sets. Many of the leaves were broken or had splits running lengthwise, which I had never seen before. Many hours of hammering to reset the leaves sand blasting and reassembly.
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  #14  
Old 07-08-16, 13:56
jack neville jack neville is offline
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This original vehicle had come via Hugh Davis from outback South Australia. I believe when Hugh rescued it it was upside down which may have saved alot of the sheet metal and at some stage an excavator bucket had been rested on its roof. It looks alot worse than it is with all the timber having rotted away. The initial thought was it could be rebuilt but after assessing the complete Tilly from Len Watkins the chassis of both are a bit too far gone.
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  #15  
Old 07-08-16, 13:58
jack neville jack neville is offline
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More photos
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  #16  
Old 07-08-16, 14:04
jack neville jack neville is offline
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more photos
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  #17  
Old 07-08-16, 14:08
jack neville jack neville is offline
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We were short of an engine with this original Tilly hence the lead to Len Watkins and the purchase of the complete Tilly plus the remains of a second which had a complete engine still in situ. We got the complete vehicle running, and the engine was stripped from the othe remains.
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Old 07-08-16, 14:12
jack neville jack neville is offline
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As you can see I have a very robust portable workbench and overhead gantry. It was easier to lift the front hald up in the air and drop the engine out from the chassis. Bit like slaughtering a beast. That front half is not much good but wil provide a few bits and possibly some rust repair patches before its carcass hits the scrap heap.
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Old 07-08-16, 14:15
jack neville jack neville is offline
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Chris was very fortunate when a bloke from West Australia contacted him via the Tilly Text magazine with the offer of the remains of the fourth Tilly that he had salvaged many years ago. It was crated up and shipped over.
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Old 07-08-16, 14:26
jack neville jack neville is offline
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So after assessing what we had we decided that although the first chassis was restorable, the amount of work did not warrant it and a replacement would be a better option. We located a 1946 model car which shares the same chassis and with some modiification came be made to look identical. That is Chris posing next to what should have been his new pride and joy. Shame it was to be sacrificed as it was quite restorable itself.
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  #21  
Old 07-08-16, 14:33
jack neville jack neville is offline
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The Tillys share the same B pillar as the car, it is just moved back a few inches to accommodate the wider door of I think the Morris 8. The roof is the same, just chopped, folded and re-enforced with timber. The rear floor is a different panel so I had to remove that from the original and after repairing that it will be fitted. All the surplus sheet metal from the car was removed. I found that repairs had been made roughly to the rear chassis rails so that presented a problem but the rear chassis on the original Tilly seemed salvageable. Luckily Tillys are small enough to work with on a bench. Helps having a small excavotor.
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Old 08-08-16, 03:59
jack neville jack neville is offline
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These photos show the rear floor layout of the Tilly showing where the sill is chopped and the B pillar located, and the main mounting point for the rear body sides. All that has to be relocated or fabricated onto the car chassis.
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  #23  
Old 08-08-16, 04:07
jack neville jack neville is offline
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The floor panel was removed by drilling out all the spotwelds. It is pretty solid still with one small area rusted through. The rear section is badly rusted and will need to be replaced. Chris wants to tow a trailer so I will replace the rear section with some heavier 3mm sheet re-enforced so I can incorporate a stronger section to mount a tow bar.
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Old 08-08-16, 04:11
jack neville jack neville is offline
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This is the sheet folded up to re-enforce the rear for the tow bar. Everything is done X 2 as both Tillys will be the same.
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Old 08-08-16, 04:19
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Once the floor was removed I cut off the rear chassi rails of the Tilly complete with the rear side mounting points. I then altered the floor pan of the car to match. This only required squaring off at the rear most end. A folded section was removed from the Tilly that goes under the rear to brace the end of the floor. I then cut away the outside skin of each chassis rail to the sill leaving as much of the inner section as possible.
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Old 08-08-16, 04:25
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Once the unwanted material from the opposing pieces was removed I clamped them all up to see how they lined up.
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Old 08-08-16, 04:29
jack neville jack neville is offline
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I am happy that this section will all go together well. I will get it all sandblasted and primed while all the pieces are open and accessable to blasting before it is reassembled. I also took the opportunilty of installing new shackle bushes in the chassis rails while they were easy to handle.
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Old 08-08-16, 04:36
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As these Tillys have the removeable roof, the A pillar on the car needs cutting and fitting with plates that bolt together. I welded some braces to the pillars so the windscreen stayed in place when cut. I cut up the required sections from 2mm plate, slipped them in situ and tacked them in place.
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Old 08-08-16, 04:46
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I removed the roof from the complete Tilly and stripped the timber from it so I could take measurements and comparisons in replicating a Tilly roof from the car roof. It was cut to length and removed from the car chassis and a 20mm fold formed up with pliers. B pillar upper sections from the damaged roof were removed and grafted onto the newly formed roof.
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Old 08-08-16, 04:58
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A couple of other modified pieces from damaged roofs were also removed to be fitted into the new roof. All the timber pieces will need to be replicated from the intact originals. Then all the pieces will be sand blasted before being reassembled. So out of four authentic Tilly rooves, plus the car roof I can salvage and complete two Tilly rooves. Next I moved onto relocating the B pillars. The car pillars are simply relocated back to accommodate a bigger door. I cut the sill around the pillar, wiggled the pillar until the internal spotwelds gave and removed the whole lot. The gap is filled with a patch just as the originals were done. I did cut the right side a bit too long so an extra patch will be required. I wil grind up the weld so it can't be seen. The rear curved section of the pillar is cut away to square it up.
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