King Tiger in the SMM Full-Reuenthal
Winter season 2012 / 2013
Work-up of suspension components and other parts
After having finished the eventful summer season 2012 with sand blasting and priming the armor hull, we started the workup of various parts.
First we again dealt with the suspension arms. They have been partly de-rusted and primed by the time after their removal but after some years of not being touched they could need a new finish.
The support arms are hollow and their interior was de-rusted and greased with a big brush. The threads and the big nuts which fix the wheels were cleaned, finally the running surfaces were polished and the corrosion primer coat renewed
The parts of the track tensioning unit were cleaned, sand blasted and corrosion primed. Parts which were destroyed during disassembly were re-manufactured.
Grinding the bushings was a very strenuous job. The bushings are made of Novotex, a phenol resin. It appears to have swollen over the decades and kept the wheel support arms in a tight grip which made them very difficult to remove. Once removed, the arms couldn’t be re-inserted again without grinding the Novotex surface.
Franz, Johnny and Willy spent many dusty hours on their knees until finally a template with the diameter of a support arm fit into the bushing.
A colleague from a companioned tank museum re-manufactured corroded metal parts and welded them in place. Such parts comprised sections of the air duct for the transmission air cooling, major parts of which needed to be remodeled from the scratches. Other parts comprised the profiled frame which later would hold the support for the upper tank and coolant reservoir in place.
Nobody of the team has ever seen the guy since he worked during the week and nights but he must have been a real metal artist. Rumor has it that he created curved sections without any technical help just by bending them along lids of gas cylinders.
A vast number of still usable big bolts for the suspension and parts such as large washers provided work for several weeks. During the week Bernd sand blasted them. On Saturday in the museum he primed the non-threaded parts after pickling and phosphating trials with phosphoric acid at home in the kitchen failed.
Further work included the renewal of 6 journals for the road wheel support arms, which became unusable during removal, either by getting deep scratches or becoming out of round.
Repeatedly we tried to remove the support arms with shock absorber linkages: In vain.
The large bushing of the left idler arm resisted with vengeance all attempts to bring it back to its place: Also in vain.
Initiating a long project of the restoration of mechanical
transmission parts, the brake and clutch pedalry was
disassembled , sand blasted, primed and reassembled.
Bernd dealt with this works.On this occasion we noticed
that our Tiger features a hydraulic clutch operation
mechanism. Neither the King Tigers in Munster and
Saumur nor King Tigers and the Jagdtiger in Bovington
feature this mechanism. The Munster Tiger misses the
pedals but there is a big link with the thick clutch operating
pushing rods still in place.
We recently discovered that only the Jagdtiger in Georgia
Features that hydraulic clutch setup.