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37634 prior to dismantling for restoration.

37634 as found Piggy back ride home Close up of number plate Close up of chassis plate Sister truck JFB 552 also from Stothert & Pitt

Originally owned by Stothert & Pitt of Bath.

When I found 37634 in the early 1990s, she was engineless and in visible entombed in brambles. The front end has been extensively modified to take a 'Zact' ? diesel engine, which was obviously slightly too wide to fit. Modifications made included discarding the right hand side cover, right hand rear handle bar support mounted on spacers outside the frames, lengthening the handle bar and clutch leaver by some 2 inches, welding engine mountings to the original petrol engine mounting bars, fitting LD type handbrake, cable clutch operation and an exhaust pipe bolted behind the nameplate casting.

While searching for a suitable 750cc air-cooled engine to recreate a rare V-Twin autotruck I came across a water cooled version believed to have come from a fire pump. Close examination of the engine revealed the crankcase engine mounting holes to be  identical to those of the air-cooled version and thus it was decided to build what would probably have been the first water-cooled Lister Auto-Truck.

Most of the modifications to front end were undone. One 750 engine mounting was located, along with a carb, magneto, exhaust silencer, handbrake, handle bar upright, clutch rod. The other engine mounting was fabricated.

The magneto of the V-twin was gear driven and located at right angles on the side; instead  of the normal front chain driven arrangement. The new  position  posed a slight problem in that the mag would obstruct the clutch operating rod.  The fork at the clutch end of a standard rod could have been shortened, however it would then foul the engine mounting bar when released. The cable operated clutch  was too badly corroded and a bit too much of a bodge. A cunning third option was therefore required!

One other issue was that the taper on the gearbox side is designed to take an external flywheel and was too big to fit the standard auto-truck cushion drive. Various sprockets and cushion drives were acquired from auto jumbles to allow a new drive to be welded and machined on the lathe.

The water-cooled engine had no de-compressor. It also had a starting handle/engine mounting arrangement permanently bolted on to the oil box, this located on a crankshaft starting dog. There were two options:- a) use the standard starting handle arrangement or b) if starting is an issue,  fabricate a suitable guide/starting handle to align with the crankshaft dog.

In order to make room for the starting handle shaft of the diesel engine, a half circle has been flame cut out of the side frome. This exactly aligned with the starter dog of the engine and avoided the need to do the butchery myself. A corresponding half circle would be required in the side cover, however one side cover was missing and should not have been a problem as I didn't mind cutting a hole in a new one!

I never did find a suitable cooling radiator, or work out how to drive the fan at 90 degrees to the crank shaft. Having reviewed my collection I decided that owning six petrol auto-trucks was a bit excessive. The water cooled enqine was removed and in May 2004 37634 followed 51791 to Lincolnshire where she has been  fitted with a more original 600cc single.

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