Registry of Ex Military Land Rovers

Vehicle Variants => Radio Vehicles => Topic started by: mike_k on December 01, 2015, 09:55:16 PM

Title: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on December 01, 2015, 09:55:16 PM
Okay, thanks to the good people at photobucket  >:( I have re attached most of the photos, and done a bit of editing. Hopefully it all still makes sense!

I've always been interested in the FFT vehicles, and last week, I finally ended up with one.

From Ian's collection at Toolern Vale, I ended up buying 177 211.

This vehicle is incredibly original, and is as it was when it left service, bar 25 years or so of weathering.

It is one of the last 2A FFTs, and still has all the original kit, including the engine driven generator.

Like Stuarts new LRPV, it had a good collection of lichen.............



It was as parked 25 years or so ago, and the remains of the canopy did a good job protecting the inside until a few years ago.



It still even has the blower fitted, as well as all the radio power boxes.



Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: Mick on December 01, 2015, 10:00:31 PM
Good job Mike,

Congratulations.

Mick
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on December 01, 2015, 10:07:31 PM
Again like Stuarts vehicle, all the tyres still held air, try that with 2015 tubes from asia. It came home without incident, ready for a major cleanup.


I was really looking forward to getting rid of all that lichen, I think it had its own eco system in there somewhere.............



Underneath, a lot better than I thought it would be, the only bulkhead rust that I can see is in the two door pillars, not too bad really.


I'll take some more photos tomorrow, the plan for this is to restore and fit some radios.

I'm really not sure what radio kit would be appropriate, but I'll start with the big Larkspur table and go from there. The wings have all the cutouts for the Larkspur ATUs, but in later life the vehicle was fitted with wing mounted tool holders.

Would anyone have any idea what the ETW 015 number plate signifies?

I'm wrapped with this one, it will be a great project.

Cheers,

Mike.
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: FFRMAN on December 01, 2015, 10:08:39 PM
That was in very original and very good condition. I've bought one of the workshops. Do we know who bought the 2A panel van?
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on December 01, 2015, 10:10:43 PM
Last one for tonight, the tub came up well. Several unhappy huntsmans evicted as well.....


Looks like the Larkspur battery carrier may have been fitted at some stage, judging by the holes.

Actually a bit of an edit, this vehicle being a 1970 model, would have had the Australian made battery frame fitted.

A bit like this one, courtesy of Hugh and 114 051.
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on December 01, 2015, 10:21:04 PM
Thanks Mick, I'm looking forward to getting into this one, it should come up well and has a lot of hard to find parts still fitted.

Scott, the great thing about Ian's vehicles is that they have never suffered any post service "improvements", and are totally original.

They are a great reference point as to how they were when they were auctioned.

My new FFT has series 3 door hinges on the drivers side, a flat metal Bridge weight sign and lots of other little things that would have been added as it went through its 19 years of service.

Good job on picking up the workshop, if I had of bought one of those as well, it would definitely would have been a Time Bomb once my wife found out!

When I was there on Sunday, the Topo Survey was still there and yet to be put on eBay, unless you know any different. It will be interesting to see what it sells for.

Cheers,

Mike.
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: FFRMAN on December 01, 2015, 10:28:14 PM
Yeah Time Bomb is the best of the workshops and solid fire wall. Door tops not much good. I'll start a seperate thread. I was interested in the panel van but it must have been sold privately.

I recon Tim Vibert is a good start for radio tray and ATU's.

Look forward to seeing your progress.

Regards
Scott
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: Tommy on December 01, 2015, 10:29:23 PM
Holy Cow Mike :o. I can't believe how similar our new FFTs look. Same paint, same lichen and same general condition.

My FFT/LRPV has the same rust in the bulkhead pillars as yours. It's not very much and is easily repairable. Your photos show many interesting things about your Land Rover. I can now reference the bolt holes and other mods for the radio setup. Wasn't too sure if they were SASR mods of not. Now I know. Thanks ;)
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: Tommy on December 01, 2015, 10:33:34 PM

I'm really not sure what radio kit would be appropriate, but I'll start with the big Larkspur table and go from there. The wings have all the cutouts for the Larkspur ATUs, but in later life the vehicle was fitted with wing mounted tool holders.


Mike

There is a fella over here who has the entire Larkspur FFT setup. He was going to make up an FFT but has now decided other projects are of more importance. I'm sure he will be interested in selling the set.

If interested, I can get him to call you and you can speak direct or I can PM you his email and phone number.
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on December 01, 2015, 10:50:04 PM
PM sent Tommy,

That Lichen is now in the past, I hope the WA quarantine mob don't find out about yours.

It is interesting that your LRPV got turned back into a FFT and ended up over here in Victoria, I guess it has made at least 4 trips across the Nullabor now.

I'll post a few more photos of the FFT tomorrow.

Cheers,

Mike.
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: Tommy on December 02, 2015, 12:42:21 AM
PM sent Tommy,

That Lichen is now in the past, I hope the WA quarantine mob don't find out about yours.

It is interesting that your LRPV got turned back into a FFT and ended up over here in Victoria, I guess it has made at least 4 trips across the Nullabor now.

I'll post a few more photos of the FFT tomorrow.

Cheers,

Mike.

Mike

 It's too late for quarantine...the lichen has gone to lichen heaven ;)

It's strange but my FFT has had all the radio accessories stripped out of it. The SASR may have done this. Yours appears to have all that gear intact. My FFT may have been returned to the army vehicle pool once finished with by the SASR. The sides of my FFT show that it has at one time, mounted the later/current antenna mounts (same as on yours) for the AN/PRC 25/77 set. My FFT may not have been used specifically as a dedicated radio vehicle but could have had a simply PRC 25/77 setup. More along the lines of a GS with radio :)
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: 2short on December 02, 2015, 06:04:19 AM
Mike your FFT served in Vietnam as an MP vehicle did it not?

In the ebay advert the chassis no. is 25329302D. Was this wrong? As that number matches 175-292.
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: Hot Rover on December 02, 2015, 06:39:50 AM
Nice purchase there Mike. There wouldn't be too many this complete left around.
Cheers
Rod
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: kman on December 02, 2015, 08:13:49 AM
Just wondering about the pioneer tools. If it had Larkspur gear fitted the pioneer tools would be inside, not on the guards?

Howard
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on December 02, 2015, 08:46:59 AM
Hi 2short, how are things over your way?

For some reason, the chassis data plate on this FFT is from 175 292, which is the one on the cover of A cop in a baggy green skin, the book written by a former MP.

However the chassis number and the nomenclature plate confirm it as 177 211, so who knows how it got that data plate? I did know this when I bought it, shame about the Vietnam service, but I am very happy with the vehicle regardless.

If anyone has 175 292, I'm happy to send them the plate! Perhaps I should send it to the bloke who wrote the book....

Rod, I was very keen to pick this vehicle up as it is so original. I do need a RADIO placard though, fortunately I know where to get one. :D

Howard, the vehicle has the full set of brackets for the tools behind the seats, for some reason it was also fitted with the wing mounted holders, probably later in its service.

I'll take some more photos this morning if I can, to show you what I mean.

The ETW 015 number plate has got me baffled, I have found that there are not many photos around of the FFTs when they were in service, especially of the radio fit out.
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: kman on December 02, 2015, 09:02:27 AM
Ah, that explains it. But what about all the holes that would have been in the guards for the larkspur ATUs? Are they still there, been filled in, or have the guards been replaced. Interesting little puzzle given that the vehicle is unmodified.

When I got my FFT the tub had been changed for a GS and it had pioneer tool brackets in both locations. I can't recall now if it had the ATU holes.

Howard
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: FFRMAN on December 02, 2015, 09:39:20 AM

The ETW 015 number plate has got me baffled, I have found that there are not many photos around of the FFTs when they were in service, especially of the radio fit out.

Hi Mike,

One time when I dropped in to visit Ian he talked to me about that number plate and told me what it meant, but I can't recall, maybe speak to Noel and ask him to ask Ian or see if you can visit Ian.

I may have some photos of the FFT from a few years ago, I'll try and find them

cheers
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: 2short on December 02, 2015, 09:43:38 AM
Things are well Mike.
I've stolen the etw015 photo and posted it onto a group that has many ex service members present. They may help.

Cool landy btw.
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: AGAS 5 on December 02, 2015, 09:56:31 AM
ETW 015:

• Is it a copy of a Vic number plate by previous owner ?

If from Army service, it could be something like:

• Electronic Trades Wing (School of Sigs) (vehicle) 015.
• Engineer Training Wing (School of Mil Engr) (vehicle) 015.

anyways, something to ponder .....

Nice pick up btw :)

Pete
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on December 02, 2015, 09:59:03 AM
Howard, the vehicle has a set of Larkspur FFT wings, both sides are of this type.



They are drilled for the cable as well, back towards the bulkhead.


Its very hard to tell if the wings are original, but I suspect that they are. The tool holders were put on later in the vehicles life, they only have one coat of paint, unlike the rest of the vehicle which has at least 4.

Here are the original tool holders behind the seats,
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on December 02, 2015, 10:20:33 AM
Scott, Pete and Ryan,

Thanks for the info re the number plate.

I suspect that it was an in service thing, the stenciling is very neat, and it had one at each end. No VIC at the top either, so probably not a Victorian plate, although the dates would be pretty close.

Electronic training wing, Electronic Trials wing, Engineer training wing? It would be good to narrow it down, someone will know out there I guess.

The actual plate has some holes where the ARN plate may have been attached over the top, but who knows. The vehicle would not have been able to drive on the road like that I assume.

Also, the TAC plate had this stencil on it, which pretty much fell off on the way home - any ideas anyone?

I will send a message to Noel, but as you know Scott, he is a hard man to contact.

If you come up with anything Ryan, that would be great!
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on December 02, 2015, 10:50:24 AM
Some more photos of the vehicle, as I promised last night,

Here is the engine driven CAV generator,


Makes it hard to check the oil, and even harder to see the Lucas 12 volt dynamo underneath.

It is very securely mounted to the head - it needs to be, looks heavy. I hope it works!

The armoured cables running to the Ammeter and the distribution boxes in the tub,


One of the things that saved this vehicle is the sheer amount of paint that it has, under the wings, there are multiple coats of black and olive drab, which came off in big chunks with the pressure washer.

And the LHS antenna mounting - it looks like it had a different type to the one on the RHS, possibly a Larkspur HF base instead of the later AN/GRC 160 type.


I would be interested to see what everyone thinks, if it had the later antenna base, the paint fading would be different I think.
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: 2short on December 02, 2015, 11:25:18 AM
Answers so far are it was a run around vehicle for a training establishment.
ETW= electrical trade wing.
Not registered for road use but for use within the base.
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on December 02, 2015, 11:29:45 AM
That was quick Ryan,

Which type of unit would it have been attached to?

Does anyone have any photos of similar plates? (Long shot I know) :)
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: Mick on December 02, 2015, 02:29:46 PM
Hi Mike,

If I was to put money on it , I'd say RAEME Training Centre, Bandiana . Now ALTC .

Like Tommys , came up a treat after a nice bath. Look forward to seeing her when restored.

Mick
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on December 02, 2015, 10:52:59 PM
Thanks Mick, good info as usual.

Some kind of training vehicle I guess, that would explain the multiple coats of paint.

It did look a lot better after a cleanup, I had a good look around it today, it looks like it originally had the Larkspur radios judging by the holes in the tub for the battery carrier. It also has the holes for the power distribution panel in the centre of the tub bulkhead. There are no holes in the tub wheel arches so I guess it just had the larkspur table. ( I think!)

I turned the engine over today with the crank handle which is encouraging, I also drained some very stale fuel and a couple of litres of water out of the left hand fuel tank - there's nothing like the smell of old petrol! No fuel cap for 25 years will do that I found.

Hopefully I'll hook a battery up in the next few days and see if I can fire it up.
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on December 03, 2015, 08:16:22 PM
Had another look around the FFT today, does anyone recognise this bracket?


It looks like it has been there for a while, is it radio related?

Here is another view ,
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: 2short on December 04, 2015, 09:07:19 PM
I'm literally talking to John Arnold now. The man that wrote a cop in a baggy green skin. I'll ask if he wants it.
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on December 04, 2015, 09:13:18 PM
No worries Ryan,

If he would like it, it would be a good souvenir. And an incredible co incidence as well!

How it got onto 177 211 is anyones guess. ;)
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: 2short on December 07, 2015, 11:52:43 AM
I asked mike but never got a response.

On another topic. How much paint came off when you pressure washed the lichen off the vehicle?
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on December 07, 2015, 01:57:43 PM
2short,

The vehicle had a lot of loose paint on the chassis and under the tub and the front wings. Lots of this came off, multiple coats of black and olive drab. I don't think I'm down to the original paint yet in most spots. As for the body, I really only washed the dirt and lichen off, all of the exterior paint stayed on, although there are at least 3 coats of this as well.

There is a reasonable amount of filler in the front wings from what I can see, which is probably why it looks so straight!

All of this paint has protected the vehicle well though, so it will come up well when I sand it back and repaint it.
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: FFRMAN on December 10, 2015, 12:44:17 PM
Hi Mike,

these 3 from 3rd July 2012, I've got some from a couple of years before then, I'll have a look but they maybe at home.

Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on December 10, 2015, 02:45:06 PM
Terrific, thanks very much Scott,

There was also a rats nest on top of the gearbox, as well as the one on top of the cylinder head.

I'm sure those rats are missing their old home, but they have plenty of other options I guess. ;D
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: FFRMAN on December 13, 2015, 10:45:48 PM

Check this out

scroll down a fare bit and you'll find an FFT set up

http://www.qrz.com/db/VK2BLC

Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on December 14, 2015, 08:39:23 AM
Yikes!

That is one impressive piece of kit. $125000 U.S. was a lot of money in 1960.

Probably a bit ambitious for my FFT, but if anyone has one lying around, I'm very happy to have a look! :D I'll even pay more than the $70 that they sold for at auction. ;D

At this stage, I'm trying to work out whether to go Larkspur or the later US gear, the tub certainly has a set of holes there for the batteries for Larkspur as well as the outline where the power distribution box brackets were.

Besides, all of the Larkspur harness bits and pieces will be 'fun' to collect......

I have spoken to Tim Vibert, and he has some bits and pieces, but most of them are from the armoured vehicles, and are not totally correct for the Land Rover installation. I currently am selling my CR project and a capstan winch on eBay to help raise some funds, so that should help, some of this radio gear requires a bit of investment.

Anyway, I'll try and get the vehicle running this week, using Tommys patented diesel injection method.


Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: Mick on December 14, 2015, 09:25:07 PM
Hi Mike,

I'm sure I won't be the only one watching on with interest. Keep your updates coming and good luck! I'd be happy to keep an eye out for any radio gear that might suit.

Cheers,

Mick
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on December 15, 2015, 06:58:30 AM
Good onus Mick,

I am definitely looking for some, it's going to be fun collecting all of the bits for this one.

My local Aussie disposals had 2 or 3 of the power distribution panels on their shelves for years, I never bought one then, but now I wish I had.  ::)

It is going to be a great project,  there seems to be a lot more series 3 FFRs around now than the 2A FFTs.
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: Bluebell One-eight on March 18, 2016, 06:23:28 PM
Hi Mike, you might do some serious research on this vehicle's identity before finally deciding what it's ARN was. It is possible that it is 175292 !!! It may have been rebuilt and the details not recorded in the "Blue Book ". I've come across this in tracing International trucks the army had. There are cases where a chassis is recorded as being in two different trucks at once and some that have not been changed but have. In 1971 I was issued with a brand new FFT 177161. There are huge differences between 161 and "211 ", from the photos you have posted. The first is that 161 was a "Leyland "Land Rover, that is it had the headlights in the in the "wings ", and that meant a different brush guard as well. There was also a battery hold down bracket on the floor behind the seat bulkhead. It held 8 batteries about the size of an N70Z. It appears that all the prefix 177 FFTs were supplied under V112092 contract so in theory they should all be of similar build. It could be that the truck you have is a hybrid of several vehicles that happened during rebuild. I'll see if i can find pix of 161 in service. Apologies if the cats been put among the pidgins
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on August 26, 2017, 09:42:30 PM
Thanks for that Bluebell One Eight,

Anything is possible, but I am fairly sure that it is 177 211. The chassis number matches the nomenclature plate, the only thing out of place is the data plate on the bulkhead, which is a removable part!

It also has all of the late 2A features such as the placards on the seat box, late instruments and switches as well as the late type of vent controls. It also has the ADR plate on the headlight panel.

It is a bit confusing, as it has a replacement engine fitted, as well as a good 25 years of weathering! We have seen some complicated chassis swaps etc. but unfortunately I think it is a 1970 vehicle.

In the last year and a bit, I have been steadily collecting all of the radio bits for the vehicle, I have managed to find a radio table, a lot of the radio kit, and some cables etc. This has taken a lot of research, and it looks like no 2 vehicles were the same!

At this stage I am chasing the frame for the power distribution panel, the battery frames for the tub, and the rails for the table attaching it to the tub. Most of these can be made, but I need to make sure that they are correct! If anyone has any leads, please let me know. :D

I have been chipping away at a few bits and pieces, and recently refurbished the battery blower, when I couldn't stand the rust any more! I was pleased to get it running again, after all these years.

Hoping to get her up and running for Corowa 2018, and looking forward to the weather warming up so that I can do some painting.

Cheers,

Mike.
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on April 06, 2019, 11:06:06 AM
Well, after a couple of years and a long push through summer, this vehicle is finally back on the road. After 30 years!

As far as I can work out, it was purchased at auction in 1989, driven to Ian's property and that was it until I purchased it in 2016.

It turned out to be really good mechanically, the gearbox was a replacement which still had bits of foam packing stuck to it, the engine (crate engine) looks good after some new core plugs, and the axles came up nicely as well.

I replaced all of the oil seals and gaskets etc, on everything, and so far so good.

It was a bit of a strange one, a lot of the bolts were not original, the seat base was held on with hardware shop stuff, the axle drive flanges were hard ware shop stuff as well, and a lot of the body had non standard bolts holding it together as well. I would like to know the history, it looks like it was put back together at some stage with just anything that was lying around.

The bodywork was the issue, quite a bit of rust in the bulkhead, and about 7 coats of paint on everything. Time consuming, and not my favourite bit!

It is great to finally get it back on the road, not quite finished yet, I need to fabricate a baseboard for the battery trays and finish the wiring for the charging system.

If this thing was a film, the credits would go for a long time, but thanks very much to everyone here who has helped out with parts, advice and support!
Here are a couple of photos, a bit of a contrast I hope to the earlier ones!
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on April 06, 2019, 11:11:19 AM
A couple more..

Cheers,

Mike.
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: Carzee on April 06, 2019, 11:19:58 AM
Wow Mike, that is thorough. Factory fresh, maybe better. Congratulations. Ready in time for ANZAC Day too.

The battery blower I had never noticed before. It looks like it has the potential to be a noise maker. If the FFT was hidden away on a hilltop doing relay during an Op... what does it do?
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on April 06, 2019, 11:31:47 AM
Thanks Ross, the aim was to get it to an ‘out of the factory’ look and not over restored.

The blower is there to remove the battery gasses when they were on charge. This is a later FFT, (in fact it was in the last batch of 2As delivered),  so it has 8 wet cell batteries under the radio tray. The blower is fairly quiet, it is the same motor as the 24 volt heater motor on the pommy radio vehicles.

Yes she should make ANZAC day, just missed out on Corowa, not quite ready or registered at that stage!

Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: Carzee on April 06, 2019, 11:46:02 AM
Who did the canopy? NOS? I noticed the curtain.
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on April 06, 2019, 11:51:40 AM
Yes, NOS, I bought it years ago in Brisbane, in fact when I recently unpacked it, it still had Ansett bag tags on it...

I was lucky to keep it intact really, over the years it was in danger of being cut down to make a GS one, fortunately I resisted, and that was one of the reasons I bought this vehicle!
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: AGAS 5 on April 06, 2019, 05:54:36 PM
Gosh that looks great Mike. Congrats  :)
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: lucipla on April 06, 2019, 06:19:42 PM
Congratulations Mike , very nice
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on April 07, 2019, 08:37:17 AM
Thanks for your kind words AGAS and lucipla,

Although it is not quite finished, it is great to get it out of the shed and onto the road.

Once I get the battery frames sorted out, I’m looking forward to installing the radio kit :D

Cheers,

Mike.
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: master chief on April 07, 2019, 11:07:15 AM
Morning all, having just seen this in the flesh I can concur that Mike has done an absolutely fantastic job on the FFT. Definitely looks factory fresh. Well done Mike, look forward to seeing it at Corowa next year.
Regards Justin.
Title: Re: So, I bought a FFT
Post by: mike_k on April 09, 2019, 08:04:19 AM
Thanks very much Justin, much appreciated!

There have been a couple of running in issues including a partial fuel blockage at the selector tap, (which may have also involved Melbournes freeways at peak hour :-X) but I am pretty happy with it so far. Not bad for a vehicle that didn’t move for just under 30 years!

I will have to get it out and about, and it should definitely be at Corowa next year.

I’m not sure what is happening on ANZAC day yet, but it will be there if anyone needs it.

Cheers,

Mike.