1945 Ford CMP F15A (Blitz) Restoration

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NathanOMalley6264
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Posts: 19
Joined: June 29th, 2018, 11:08 am

1945 Ford CMP F15A (Blitz) Restoration

Unread post by NathanOMalley6264 » June 30th, 2018, 2:27 pm

Righto Folks

I'm going to do a bit of a photo dump and a run through of what I have been up to on my Blitz since ANZAC Day 2018.

I grew up on a farm in the South Australian Mallee so 4wd's and 4wding was always going to be something o enjoyed and I've owned several over the years but by far my coolest one is my little old Blitz, I've has a passion for military vehicles ever since a local farmer bought an old Centurion Tank to fix up we went around and had a muck around on it and as you can imagine for a 13 year old lad all his Christmases had come at once I've been hooked on old green things ever since.

I decided this year that I want to start my collection of military stuff and as much as I wanted to put a 58 ton war machine in the backyard the government apparently doesn't like the idea of them being on the road :lol: so I though I better buy something I can actually drive and on ANZAC Day this year I found the right one sitting on a farm out in the Mallee

The plan is to restore the old girl back to her military days, Back on the road and all being well id love to do the North-South Road Trip from Alice to Darwin with the old girl stopping at the old WWII camp sites along the way.

NathanOMalley6264
Getting to know the place
Posts: 19
Joined: June 29th, 2018, 11:08 am

Re: 1945 Ford CMP F15A (Blitz) Restoration

Unread post by NathanOMalley6264 » June 30th, 2018, 2:44 pm

So ANZAC Day 2018, We had been chasing leads on several Blitz trucks in the area and finally found a farmer willing to sell one in the right type, They exist in various different weights the the 15 hundred weight (3/4 Ton) can be driven on a car licence.

So this is how we found the old girl, missing all the usual bits and sporting a fair amount of rust, it had been living in town with a fowler crane on it for some 30 years before being sold on to the farmer 6 years ago to tow field bins, it wasn't running and had a suspected cracked block his intention was to get it running and use it until it died, unfortunately his son was killed in a truck accident 700m from the farm gate not long after the Blitz arrived and the poor old farmer is in his early 80s so the blitz sat for 6 years.

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Last edited by NathanOMalley6264 on June 30th, 2018, 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NathanOMalley6264
Getting to know the place
Posts: 19
Joined: June 29th, 2018, 11:08 am

Re: 1945 Ford CMP F15A (Blitz) Restoration

Unread post by NathanOMalley6264 » June 30th, 2018, 2:53 pm

2 Weeks later the deal was done and the mad plan for its recovery was hatched! Thankfully I knew a bloke as crazy as me with a trailer wide enough and rated high enough to cart the truck they dont look it but the bloody things weigh some 3 Ton without a body on them!
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NathanOMalley6264
Getting to know the place
Posts: 19
Joined: June 29th, 2018, 11:08 am

Re: 1945 Ford CMP F15A (Blitz) Restoration

Unread post by NathanOMalley6264 » June 30th, 2018, 3:15 pm

So first things first we attempted to get the old flathead V8 to fire, we were getting some life out of the starter motor but after a few tries all we could get was clicking and smoke so we soon gave up on that idea :lol:

So we had to diagnose the starter motor and this is where the surprises really began bear in mind this old truck is 73 years old and nearly all of its parts are the originals!
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"The Starting Motor" according to the old British Army manuals was a bit of a puzzle to begin with as I couldn't find anything on it that looked like it mounted to the bell housing and the manual didn't explain its removal so I was off to the font of knowledge (Youtube :lol: ) which told me that a Flatheads starter motor mounts on two long bolts that run the entire length of the unit and hold the entire thing together so the idea is to undo those bolts only to the point that you have them free of the bell housing or the entire starter self destructs
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So after some careful spanner work the starter motor was free and the warnings about not dropping the thing on your head became quite evident, that thing weighs a ton!
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Once it was out we were quickly able to see what was wrong with it, not sure how clear the picture is but it has a blown wire in the front of the starter which seems to have occurred quite some time ago given the corrosion on the exposed wires.
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But other than the wire the starter is in pretty good condition given its age.
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NathanOMalley6264
Getting to know the place
Posts: 19
Joined: June 29th, 2018, 11:08 am

Re: 1945 Ford CMP F15A (Blitz) Restoration

Unread post by NathanOMalley6264 » June 30th, 2018, 3:34 pm

Without the starter motor and neither me or the old man keen on hand cranking the truck with a stillson wrench :lol:
I decided to pull the plugs and check for corrosion in the cylinders given the engine was suspected to be cracked which is so common for flatheads if you just assume they're all cracked you wont be disappointed

So I started pulling plugs
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And it was about at this moment my wallet grew legs and ran away
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NathanOMalley6264
Getting to know the place
Posts: 19
Joined: June 29th, 2018, 11:08 am

Re: 1945 Ford CMP F15A (Blitz) Restoration

Unread post by NathanOMalley6264 » June 30th, 2018, 3:55 pm

So with the knowledge that there was corrosion in a couple cylinders we gave up on trying to start it and started pulling the cab down.

They are a very simple build and 73 years ago probably would have been quite simple to pull down.. however add a few years and a ton of neglect and not a single bolt was moving without breaking, not to worry my intention is to replace all of them with new ones anyway.

first to go was the roof.
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The roof hatch, Never the original they rust through sitting up there and a lot of people sealed them up, I've heard of some blokes searching for 11 years to find an original one in restorable condition
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Roof off, the paint along the top of the windscreen was still the original Khaki, chances are the truck hasn't been apart before.
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Windscreen off we began working on removing the front panel
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And with that off the old truck was down to the skeleton and the back wall which was badly corroded and took another days work to remove!
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NathanOMalley6264
Getting to know the place
Posts: 19
Joined: June 29th, 2018, 11:08 am

Re: 1945 Ford CMP F15A (Blitz) Restoration

Unread post by NathanOMalley6264 » June 30th, 2018, 4:04 pm

While all of this was going on, I was on to the Blitz community to find the missing parts of my truck. Gotta take my hat off to those guys, you ask and they provide -
there were parts flying in thick and fast!

managed to find a decent grille for the old girl
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and an engine cover in pretty good condition! I was expecting one of these to be hard to find, as they were quickly ejected from the truck, given they take most of the cab space up!
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Not hard to see why when this is your leg room, and yes, the accelerator is in the middle!
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The guys on the Blitz page also put me on to the original manual on disc!
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NathanOMalley6264
Getting to know the place
Posts: 19
Joined: June 29th, 2018, 11:08 am

Re: 1945 Ford CMP F15A (Blitz) Restoration

Unread post by NathanOMalley6264 » June 30th, 2018, 4:18 pm

Another curiosity about this Blitz is that it has canvas door fittings, an Australian conversion but not something that was common on the F/C15A versions of the Trucks so much so infact that unless someone is hiding a stash of old photographs of them with canvas doors out there there is no pictures of a 15A wearing those doors

however my truck is definitely wearing those fittings and I know of one other F15A locally that has the fittings mounted.

an example of a 15A blitz with its far more common steel doors, these mounted further forward and allowed a much wider doorway.
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Oddball as I've taken to calling my truck due to its curiosities has a added component welded in to the original doorway which has a pin for the door mount and a loop to mount a canvas strap to act as a safety when operating the truck without doors attached.
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a very tidy Ex Air Force F60L wearing the original Canvas doors
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NathanOMalley6264
Getting to know the place
Posts: 19
Joined: June 29th, 2018, 11:08 am

Re: 1945 Ford CMP F15A (Blitz) Restoration

Unread post by NathanOMalley6264 » June 30th, 2018, 4:31 pm

So after some persuasion, the back wall finally came away
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And I was left with just the skeleton of the cab to remove
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Once both of those were away, I was able to find out just how bad things really were with the engine
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I think the Blitz gods were watching over Oddball because the damage was nowhere near as bad as suspected, and there was no sign of a crack, just neglect, allowing water in to the carby; with the heads off we decided to try to turn the engine, and the whole thing is moving, despite the rusty valves and all.
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NathanOMalley6264
Getting to know the place
Posts: 19
Joined: June 29th, 2018, 11:08 am

Re: 1945 Ford CMP F15A (Blitz) Restoration

Unread post by NathanOMalley6264 » June 30th, 2018, 4:38 pm

Engine diagnosed it was time to start removing the horrific civilian modifications the truck has suffered.

the chassis had been extended
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So following the weld lines we cut and removed the extension, the patterns of 4 bolt holes in the chassis are where the original towbar mounts, which is yet another odd thing about this truck; that is a very late war towbar set up and not very common in Australia at all, more commonly it mounts under the chassis not in it!
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NathanOMalley6264
Getting to know the place
Posts: 19
Joined: June 29th, 2018, 11:08 am

Re: 1945 Ford CMP F15A (Blitz) Restoration

Unread post by NathanOMalley6264 » June 30th, 2018, 4:54 pm

So with everything that needed doing outside the shed done it was time to turn Oddball 90 degrees and roll it in to the shed...... :lol: I'm pretty sure Oddball still weighs 3 ton...

Unfortunately I didn't get too many photos of that; the weather was atrocious and we just had to get it done. Engine is only held in with 6 bolts so it was up and out with no dramas
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NathanOMalley6264
Getting to know the place
Posts: 19
Joined: June 29th, 2018, 11:08 am

Re: 1945 Ford CMP F15A (Blitz) Restoration

Unread post by NathanOMalley6264 » June 30th, 2018, 5:03 pm

So this is where I am up to so far, I found an awesome little sand blasting gun at Supercheap and I've been slowly plodding away cleaning and priming

The spare rim as a tester cleaning up perfectly
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Primed up
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The stamps and signage
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cbd
Here and there
Posts: 72
Joined: November 17th, 2017, 7:38 am

Re: 1945 Ford CMP F15A (Blitz) Restoration

Unread post by cbd » July 1st, 2018, 1:43 pm

G'day
I'm curious about the "drum" I've noticed on the drivers side front wheel. I can't see it on any other wheel but that could be just the pics.
It could be a wheel winch like this
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=trrEKbc6uqE
Or could it be a pulley for a belt drive piece of machinery? Something like a saw table.
I remember my uncle having a blitz clearing trees on a wooded block. It had a crane on the back and he used it drag logs about. Sorry details are sparse as it's a 50 year old memory

NathanOMalley6264
Getting to know the place
Posts: 19
Joined: June 29th, 2018, 11:08 am

Re: 1945 Ford CMP F15A (Blitz) Restoration

Unread post by NathanOMalley6264 » July 1st, 2018, 2:28 pm

Cbd, those little critters are quite an interesting and multi-purpose piece of kit.
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They are known as a Sling Cap, some Blitzes have them others don't. they are mounted on all four hubs, the front pair are the dished type and the back pair are flat discs. the old method for lifting the trucks on and off of ships was with nets however as the nets aged got wet etc they began to rot and I guess too many trucks got off ships a little too quickly :lol:

These caps would as the name suggests have slings placed over them and the truck could then be lifted on/off with those, this is not their only purpose however they do indeed double as a wheel winch, I've heard all kinds of stories surrounding their use from plucking the truck out of the mud to scaling vertical obstacles. one of the more interesting ones I've heard was something called a Foresters/loggers bridge I cant remember the exact name. the "bridge" is two ropes strung across a gulley/river etc etc threading the ropes through the sling caps the trucks could be driven along these bridges to the other side of the obstacle. very simple yet very versatile piece of equipment.
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cbd
Here and there
Posts: 72
Joined: November 17th, 2017, 7:38 am

Re: 1945 Ford CMP F15A (Blitz) Restoration

Unread post by cbd » July 1st, 2018, 4:05 pm

G'day
Thanks for the reply. That's certainly interesting!
I did a bit of a read on the net about the blitz; apparently by the end of the war the yanks had 1 truck to 7 soldiers - the Brits had 1 truck to every 4 soldiers.
800,000 across the world!

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