King Tiger in the SMM Full-Reuenthal
Summer season 2015
Progress in the armor hull
Summer 2015 predominantly saw work in the armor hull.
The entire operating elements units for the driver were installed and their steel bases welded on the bottom of the armor hull. On this occasion the positioning of the mechanical links between the units was checked. The parts will soon be removed again in order to enable mounting of the brake units and the transmission.
Numerous torn screws were drilled out and new threads cut.
It turned out that several lubrication lines were positioned improperly. They ran over service openings for gas reservoir drainages or covered mounting points for links for the mechanical transmission to operate the carburetors. Those lines needed to be installed new.
The lines were not made from stainless steel and were not painted immediately after installation. This was conducted at a later stage.
Two cover plates of the firewall and the attached air duct parts for the cooling of the exhaust manifolds were missing on our Tiger. They were reproduced from original parts which a companied museum provided on loan basis for that purpose.
The installation of three of the total of seven gas tanks was a time-consuming project.
In order to determine the length of the tension straps one of the upper rear tanks behind the sloped wall was mounted on the workbench and test-fixed. Several fixing brackets for the straps which were welded to the hull behind the reservoirs were damaged and needed to be replaced.
Finally we found a company which will supply the gas lines, joints, links and large hollow screws for the gas system. But this work will extend into the next summer season. We have not yet figured out if we utilize the entire tank system or only some reservoirs.
Two of the three round cover plates on the large engine cover plate needed to be made new. They are two thick lockable steel plates which cover the gas filling lid and the cooling water reservoir. The smaller one for the gas reservoir was missing. The parts were made new from steel and the locking mechanism was copied from the larger one. The existing lid was taken apart, parts were worked up and reassembled.
The wired lid which covers the air intake for the fan at the rear of the engine needed to be made new as well.
The damaged and missing parts on the firewall will keep us busy quite a while.
The cast metal container for the gas injection at cold weather is complete. It looks like it will be easily restorable.
The fire extinguisher unit, however, is in a desolate state. The reservoir is bent in its mounting as if someone tried to tear it off.
The inner rising pipe is decayed and crumbled out of the bottom opening after the closing screw could ultimately be removed. The lower bracket is severely attacked and its link weak and stuck. The filigrane toothed-wheel mechanism for the control of the extinguisher shots looks ok but it will probably never work again. Its protective cap was found by chance in a pile of unsalvageable and more or less unidentifiable pieces and was hardly recognizable as such.
The plug for the three thermo-sensors was missing. Old photographs from the time of the engine removal suggest that those sensors were never equipped on our tank.
No idea how that will look like when we are done with it.
Eventually I started to deal with the wiring which runs from the flip side of the control panel through a metal pipe right channel from the transmission along the bottom of the armor hull towards the firewall.
There are thirteen wires of different diameters entering the pipe with one of which exiting already behind the transmission. It is supposedly for the transformer for the gyro compass.
12 wires continue and climb up the firewall on the right hand side behind a vertical shield and run along the roof directly in front the firewall, shielded by another cover. They exit around the middle of the firewall leading to the individual electrical components on the firewall.
Some cables run to the very left to a metal box mounted into the firewall. This box houses the electrical joints for the electric starter and the magnetos for the ignition.
Replacing those wires, preferably with a mantle which comes close to their original textile jacket, will be a future project.