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Friday, 12 July 2013

The Wagon Chassis Stripped of Rotten Timbers

      This shows that just over half of the chassis timbers have had to be removed prior to replacement.   This view on the left shows that almost all of the left half of the chassis will need replacing.

What is left rests on a platform between the axles, propped on wooden blocks.

The final two pieces to be removed were joined securely together and were a definite two-man lift.  Prayer was answered in the form of father and son New Zealanders Nath and Shan Pritchard.   Son Shan had the countenance and physique of a Rugby player and between us we heaved away the last piece.

In the centre of the chassis is the draw bar gear (left).   Metal plates separated by rubber discs act as shock absorbers.   Digging away on-line I discovered these were Moulton devices and at first I wondered if they were relatively modern.   Not so it seems.   The system was invented by Stephen Moulton (1794-1880) who collaborated with one Mr Goodyear in the process of vulcanising rubber - setting up a factory at Bradford-on-Avon in 1848.

The Moulton system is used on rail vehicles to this day.   It was famously used on the Morris Mini suspension too - and on the Moulton bicycle, invented by Stephen Moulton's great-grandson, the late Dr Alex Moulton.

The final picture shows the now bare end of the chassis, awaiting its new bits.

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