I am about to acquire Beryl, the Bradshaw FB2 my wife, Arch, used to drive when she worked for St Nicholas Fields in York.
Beryl is in pretty poor shape, batteries are lead and dead, chassis is very rusty, and tyres are solid rubber.
We were over over in York last week and began to dismantle the rear body for reuse on their replacement vehicle, a Goupil G3 wide chassis.
I will have the rest of Beryl to refurbish back to road worthiness. Beryl is road legal but I want to switch to pneumatic tyres and increase the speed from 15mph to 30mph. I will have to rebuild a lot of the chassis to replace the rotten sections.
As I have a 48V lithium battery pack waiting to go in the tractor I decided to put that in a portable box to use to move Beryl, and also as a swappable pack between Beryl and the tractor. I am hoping to increase the pack to 72V at a later date for both vehicles. In the meantime the portable pack will be used to move Beryl out of St Nick's for loading onto my trailer.
Beryl currently runs with a 48V SepEx motor and controller.
The plan is to replace the motor with one of my series motors and Curtis 72V controllers. I will figure out how when she is home and I start the strip down.
I will be collecting Beryl on Monday, brought forward from the end of the week.
I have assembled the temporary battery pack for the move. I used short links of cable with crimped eyes to link the cells. There is a 300A fuse and an isolator switch. The pack measures 52.45V.
An Anderson connector on the side of the box allows a 1500mm long lead to be connected and that can be bolt connected to Beryl's old battery cables. Hopefully, all being well, that will allow Beryl to be driven about and out to the trailer.
I still have to install the BMS to the battery pack but I haven't ordered the connection leads for it yet. I still don't have a charger either!
I am getting a little nervous of collecting Beryl as I still don't know how she is even road registered! Hopefully it would have been done properly and I can continue to use her on the road, with a little modification.
We got Beryl back after a very long and arduous day, yesterday.
We left at 7.30am for the 70 mile drive to York, expecting a number of stops to check the trailer, as I hadn't towed it since it was rebuilt.
We found one of the wheel hubs was getting warm and the smell of brake shoes was strong. I slackened the brake pull rod and carried on.
At a later stop the hub was still warm and I found that the link on the back of the drum was sticking. I freed and wiggled it a bit and carried on.
With the stops and heavy traffic it took just over two hours to get there.
I took along the lithium battery pack to see if Beryl would start up but despite everything appearing to work application of throttle showed a fault code. I checked everything I could but to no avail.
We tried to push Beryl but with all my might, pushing against a wall, I only managed to move her an inch! Her brakes were sized on.
We decided to hand winch Beryl out from her parking space instead.
Firstly we winched her backwards out of the space with the winch anchored to the environment centre's wind turbine.
Then we winched her forwards across the gravel path using the maintenance anchor for servicing the turbine.
Then we used the entrance gate post to winch her across to the gates.
Then it was the lamp post outside on the carpark road to get her onto the sloping drive.
That task took two hours of hard sweaty labour in the heat of the sun.
At that point, with a bit of help we were able to push her down the slope and into the car park to my trailer.
We decided to load her after lunch.
That was when I found that the hand winch on my trailer just couldn't move her weight up the ramps with her sticking brakes as well.
We couldn't use the hand winch I was using earlier as there would be no way out of the trailer for the winch man once Beryl was winched in.
Our only solution left was to use the replacement vehicle, an electric Goupil, to push her up.
Beryl was finally loaded and tied down at 3.30pm.
I set about checking the brakes, and tires on the trailer, oiling the sticking brake rod and pumping the tires to 65psi.
We set off on the 70 mile drive home and was caught in rush hour traffic and a motorway crash.
The first stop showed the hot wheel hub was still getting hot. I made some more brake adjustments.
The next stop wasn't any better and so as an extreme measure I decided to slacken that brake off altogether leaving only one wheel braking at best.
At the third stop the hub had cooled and so we carried on eventually getting home at 7.30pm!
Tired and headachy I managed to bump the trailer against my drive way gate bending one of the ornamental scrolls. Drat!
Today I repaired the gate and took some photos of Beryl for you all.
She is a bit rusty so I am not sure if she is worth restoring, modifying, or just parting out to use her cab for my other EV truck project.
Points against her are that she is fully American (Taylor Dunn) spec and so isn't road legal in the UK despite having been road registered and in use for 10 years!
None of her lights or glass are 'E' marked, she has solid tires, and is left hand drive.
OMFG soo much rust, i hope you can restore this little truck, did you think to leave the electric motor in it, or you thinking to change it?
Do you gonna make it flatbed?
Hope to see more pics in the future!
If I can figure a way to make her run at three times her design speed then I will keep her motor and transaxle.
I would need to change to normal sized road wheels and then double the motor speed, whatever it is. But first I will find out what the overall reduction ratio is from motor to wheel.
I can adapt the chassis I have been building for my EV truck to fit as it is a very similar size and that would then allow me to use MGB front and rear axles and direct drive with my 11" motor. However that would mean a full IVA inspection and losing the registration number. Easier to just graft her cab onto the other project really.
However, Beryl is still much loved by staff at St Nicholas fields, where she was working, and also by Arch, my wife, and she used to drive Beryl four days a week.
I will start a gradual recording and dismantling process to see what crumbles and what doesn't.
An awkward part of Beryl is that only some of her is completely rusted through. The rest of her is fine and sound. But, she seems to be made from 1/4" thick steel angle and box section joined with 1/8" steel sheet panels. She weighs about 3/4 ton without batteries!
Even I could half her weight (don't laugh, Todd!) by just rebuilding her with thinner steel. But that would be a lot of good steel being removed and all the rusty steel being removed. That doesn't leave much....
I found this video of Beryl's back axle from Taylor Dunn. It looks like an item worth saving and reusing.