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#1161 alejandro_

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 1417 PM

I cant think why they would want them, unless they were interested in the Thermal systems setup. They were a little past their best by the 1990's.

 

Thanks for the answer Stuart. Performance was better than M48/Type-59 operated, and I assume they would have bought all available spares. They did the same with Mirage III/V fighters, which were also rather obsolete in the 90s.

 

Another one, in the late 60s the Netherlands evaluated the type:

 

The Leopard was eventually selected largely because of the Chieftain’s poor construction quality, especially the engine, which leaked so much oil that the engine compartment turned black.[37]

 

 

Smit, Willem (2008). De Leopard 1: Gepantserde vuist van de Koninklijke Landmacht [The Leopard 1: Armoured fist of the Royal Netherlands Army] (in Dutch). The Hague: Netherlands Institute of Military History. pp. 25–31.

 

https://en.wikipedia...k)#cite_note-37

 

Issues with engine reliability are well known, but not construction defects. Did the British Army voice similar concerns?


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#1162 Interlinked

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 1719 PM

Another one, in the late 60s the Netherlands evaluated the type:
 

The Leopard was eventually selected largely because of the Chieftains poor construction quality, especially the engine, which leaked so much oil that the engine compartment turned black.[37]

 
 
Smit, Willem (2008). De Leopard 1: Gepantserde vuist van de Koninklijke Landmacht [The Leopard 1: Armoured fist of the Royal Netherlands Army] (in Dutch). The Hague: Netherlands Institute of Military History. pp. 2531.
 
https://en.wikipedia...k)#cite_note-37
 
Issues with engine reliability are well known, but not construction defects. Did the British Army voice similar concerns?

 

Very interesting. I would like to know more as well. I've often heard that the Leopard 1 was chosen by many European nations because it showed the "best" performance during the Dutch trials and the neighboring countries just evaluated those test results to see if it matched their criteria, but if the Dutch chose the Leo 1 over the Chieftain largely because of bad British QC, then things are a bit different. Was reliability the determining factor for everyone else who chose the Leopard 1? 

 

If so, Leopard 1 reliability (and low weight) seems to have been the determining factor in its export success. According to this nice website the Australians chose the Leopard AS1 for this very reason after testing it and the M60A1. 


Edited by Interlinked, 10 January 2019 - 0022 AM.

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#1163 alejandro_

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Posted 18 January 2019 - 1410 PM

Some photos published in Spanish newspaper El País on the 40th anniversary of the revolution in Iran. The author was Aristotle Saris (AP).

 

1547629768_187595_1547630075_album_norma

 

1547629768_187595_1547630066_album_norma


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#1164 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 0343 AM

 

Another one, in the late 60s the Netherlands evaluated the type:
 

The Leopard was eventually selected largely because of the Chieftains poor construction quality, especially the engine, which leaked so much oil that the engine compartment turned black.[37]

 
 
Smit, Willem (2008). De Leopard 1: Gepantserde vuist van de Koninklijke Landmacht [The Leopard 1: Armoured fist of the Royal Netherlands Army] (in Dutch). The Hague: Netherlands Institute of Military History. pp. 2531.
 
https://en.wikipedia...k)#cite_note-37
 
Issues with engine reliability are well known, but not construction defects. Did the British Army voice similar concerns?

 

Very interesting. I would like to know more as well. I've often heard that the Leopard 1 was chosen by many European nations because it showed the "best" performance during the Dutch trials and the neighboring countries just evaluated those test results to see if it matched their criteria, but if the Dutch chose the Leo 1 over the Chieftain largely because of bad British QC, then things are a bit different. Was reliability the determining factor for everyone else who chose the Leopard 1? 

 

If so, Leopard 1 reliability (and low weight) seems to have been the determining factor in its export success. According to this nice website the Australians chose the Leopard AS1 for this very reason after testing it and the M60A1. 

 

 

If they say quality control, then they must mean the engine. Ive not read of any other significant problems with them when they got past the Mk2. What Mark were they testing?

 

There WERE some spectacular problems with quality control of FV432. Ive read that when they were converting some of them into command posts in the 1980's, they had to carefully measure them. Supposedly the interior of them had some variablity in size, and the preconfigured equipment they had would not fit. :D Ive not read of the same issue affecting Chieftain though.

 

There is some remarks in the Haynes book on European testing of Chieftain, Ill have a look and see if there is anything of relevance.


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#1165 Panzermann

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 1235 PM

ve not read of any other significant problems with them when they got past the Mk2.

 

 

REME and RTR may not have considered problems big issues, because they were accustomed to British Craftsmanship. Others may have thought differently. Wasn't there the anecdote that British mechanics found the chryler multibanks nott too hard to work on and make run? Whereas americans were cursing it?


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#1166 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 1406 PM

There has been nothing ive read that suggests problems beyond the engine, other than perhaps very early examples. It would be helpful to know what version it was, because there was seemingly some teething problems with the Mk1 and Mk2. But they were very largely prototypes.

 

Well lets put it this way, everyone keeps trotting out the tired old meme of the Chieftain engine as an example of British engineering competence. But then there is is the example of the Rolls Royce Merlin and the Napier Deltic. The L60 was uniquely bad, even for British Leyland which had a reputation only slightly above crack whores.


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#1167 Adam Peter

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 1832 PM

Am I correct assuming that British engineering was state-of-art, but engineering for mass production lacked? Perfect when hand-crafted in a laboratory, but hard to build with not so motivated masses?


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#1168 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 1137 AM

Its a big subject, but its never one size fits all. You are better off looking at the experience of various companies and following that, rather than saying all British engines are bad.

 

There was a the example of a car ive always rather liked, the Triumph Stag. It was designed to operate with a V8 engine, but British leyland decided they didnt want to buy the rights off the Americans. So they built their own, which was basically 2 V6 engines  welded end to end. Even then it could have avoided disaster, but various design issues with the radiator got in the way. The results reflected it. Sales did well for a couple of years before the story of the overheating problems got around, and then tailed off and died. As it turns out, modern restorers have put in new solenoids in it, as well as more efficient radiators, and they run fine. Too ahead of its time, or not properly developed? Probably a bit of truth in both.

 

Ultimately British Leyland sucked. Jaguar and Rover always seemed to produce pretty good engines. Rolls Royce, well ive yet to hear anyone have a bad word to say about their engines. And nobody, absolutely nobody, has a good word to say about Lucas Electrics. I can still recall my father cursing blind, trying to start a Mk3 Cortina of a cold morning, and im pretty sure those were luca's fitted. :D

 

Its also remembering quite how bad the 1970's were economically for Britain. Probably less money for development, industrial unrest, desire to get maximum out the door so QC is cut. All have their place in discussing the decline of British industry. What people forget is, it recovered. That Ford still build their diesel engine's here says something I guess.

 

If anyone wants a good coverage of the L60 engine and its protracted development, its worth getting the Haynes book on the Chieftain tank. Its possibly the best coverage ive ever seen of its issues, or how they came about. Once again though, it was fixed. It was never great, but it was adequate.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 20 January 2019 - 1141 AM.

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#1169 rmgill

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 1320 PM

The impression I have with British Leyland was that they fell down on QC. The stories of Lucas electrics being shite all seem to stem from that era. The WWII era stuff is fine. The Lucas and CAV I've come across on my Ferret and Dingo a well as on the Humber are all quite good. Of course they were built to a much heavier standard on generators and contacts...


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#1170 Colin

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 1356 PM

There was no money for development. At the end of the war you had to be able to export 70% of your product to get your steel quota. Landrover ended up being the only module in Leyland that made money, but instead of reinvesting in the product to keep improving it, the money got sucked into the other non-performing groups within. The Range Rover was quite innovative, but the brand suffered till Honda bought a 20% interest and things began to improve. Even the Spanish Santana was improving the Series Landrover, doing what the mother factory would not do. I say that Landrover survived everything that British senior management could throw at it. Yes Lucas did a lot to create the reputation the brit cars have.  


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#1171 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 1419 PM

The reason why the Landrover ended up in green and built out of aluminum is, according to legend (and I believe it) that they had big stocks of RAF Cockpit Green and Aluminum left over from the war. So waste not want not....

 

The Range Rover was a very innovative vehicle, but when Brixmis were offered some to drive around East Germany (I guess they didnt look quite as threatening as a Land Rover) they quickly found it was 'only suitable for going to Gymkhana's'. It just wasn't very reliable, and judging by how few there are left in complete condition, rusted like the Titanic. Id agree Honda was probably the point when it really turned around.

 

I remember reading one book that related the only reason the MOD kept buying armoured cars  was to subsidize the British car industry. You kind of wonder if the decline was precipitated by how long the Fox and Ferret was to survive in service. :D

 

As for poor management, I can do no better than this from Wikipedia, my fathers own personal peeve, Sir Bernard Docker, Former manager of BSA. You have here pretty much everything that went wrong in British management from the 50's through to the 1970's. So was the Unions, but the Unions were rather better publicized.

 

https://en.wikipedia.../Bernard_Docker

The issues leading to the removal of Docker stemmed from the extravagant expenses he presented to the company, including the show cars made available for Lady Docker's personal use, a £5,000 gold and mink ensemble that Lady Docker wore at the 1956 Paris Motor Show that she tried to write off as a business expense as she "was only acting as a model" at the show,[22] and Glandyfi Castle, bought with £12,500 of BSA's money and refurbished for £25,000, again with company money.[9]

 

No wonder poor BSA went all but tits up.


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#1172 Panzermann

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 1446 PM

My parents used to own a Range Rover built in the seventies. Among my memories are working on it together with my father. There was always something. The electric system had three fuses which one regularly melted, because most of the circuits went through this one fuse. the chassis rusted quickly, because the aluminium upper body contacted the steel bottom. Basically making a battery that corroded the steel.  It really is the little devils in the details that made it problematic. It was actually comfortable to drive and my father tried out the then new Mercedes G, but in his personal testing he found it harder to drive on and off-road and we staid with the Range rover. also the fold forward rear bench was worth gold. You could easily pack two deers in there or three not too big boars. In the Mercedes the space was not as useable. It had it positive sides and when it was driving fulfilled the promise to be a comfortable off-road vehicle to inspect your farm in africa or go on a big game hunting trip. But there was always something to repair and fiddle around. Oh and I think it had gotten new replacement engine right out the factory gate. Really, english cars are ehm characterful. My borther owned a Mini for some time. also rather attention seeking.


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#1173 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 1453 PM

A personal perspective of mine, I think the drive to get numbers out the door took its toll. I can relate to working in a British vacuum cleaner factory, and the only thing they were worried about was getting the numbers on the scoreboard as high as possible. Quality control in that environment goes right out the window. Im not saying that is particularly typical, Im just suggesting, its not unknown is all.

 

Yeah, the Range Rover was a nice vehicle, allowing for the problems. The Arabs loved them, which is perhaps suggestive the electrics (and obviously the corrosion) were not such an issue in dry countries.

 

But lets look on the bright side. When we get it right, we really get it right. Witness Joseph Cyril Bamfords famous offspring. Again, another offshoot of the British Aircraft Industry.

 


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#1174 Panzermann

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Posted 20 January 2019 - 1637 PM

Certainly british engineers come up with creative solutions outside the box. But in the past often have failed to deliver consistent quality. The self-service mentality of the likes of Docker will not have helped either. Buying furs instead of investing into the development of the firm. It has become better, but then many factories have been bought by foreigners who then implemented modern procedures.


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#1175 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 0257 AM

Its a broad picture. For example, less than 5 miles from me is a company that makes hi tech measuring equipment, exports it all around the world. Doing fantastically well at the moment. Less than 10 miles away from me is the site of the former world famous lister petter plant, successfully stripped of most of its assets and ran into the ground by a private investment group. it still splutters along, after a fashion. And between those, you have all kinds of variety.

https://en.wikipedia...i/Lister_Petter

 

At our best, we are world leading. At our worst, we are about the level of Pakistan. It would just be nice to have a bit more commonality, you know? :)


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#1176 alejandro_

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 1724 PM

It seems that the testing of Leopard 1 and Chieftain was done in 1968. In the video below it is possible to see both variants.

 

 

If anyone wants a good coverage of the L60 engine and its protracted development, its worth getting the Haynes book on the Chieftain tank. Its possibly the best coverage ive ever seen of its issues, or how they came about. Once again though, it was fixed. It was never great, but it was adequate.

 

Is it the one written by Dick Taylor? I might buy it in the future. In amazon there is another one being released in March: Chieftain: Britain's Flawed Masterpiece, by Richard Kent


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#1177 Panzermann

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 1900 PM

great video find! :)


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#1178 alejandro_

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 0229 AM

great video find!

 

Credit goes to Harkonnen, who posted it in his website.


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#1179 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 0301 AM

It seems that the testing of Leopard 1 and Chieftain was done in 1968. In the video below it is possible to see both variants.

 

 

If anyone wants a good coverage of the L60 engine and its protracted development, its worth getting the Haynes book on the Chieftain tank. Its possibly the best coverage ive ever seen of its issues, or how they came about. Once again though, it was fixed. It was never great, but it was adequate.

 

Is it the one written by Dick Taylor? I might buy it in the future. In amazon there is another one being released in March: Chieftain: Britain's Flawed Masterpiece, by Richard Kent

 

Thanks for posting that. Looks like a Mk2, if the single headlamps and the rear mudguards and boxes are any guide. Yes, it might have had some flaws other than the engine at that point. I get the impression (and I might be wrong at that) that they didnt really have a solid production example till they had the Mk3.

 

Yes, its the Dick Taylor book. It goes into more detail on the development and problems with the engine than anything else ive seen elsewhere. Its like a cross between a Carry on Film and Hammer House of Horror.


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#1180 alejandro_

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Posted 22 January 2019 - 1636 PM

Yes, its the Dick Taylor book. It goes into more detail on the development and problems with the engine than anything else ive seen elsewhere. Its like a cross between a Carry on Film and Hammer House of Horror.

 

Thanks. By the way, which Leopard 1 variant is used in the trials?


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