Fortunatelly this Høytorp Treffet 2016 was a totally different beast: Nice weather, a large assortment of diverse vehicles, a lot of people, and all in all a very entertaining experience!
I was hoping to arrive early to the place in order to secure a nice spot in the sun, but unfortunately a combination of bad weather and traffic jams made me arrive later than expected.
Still, I managed to get a nice place... except I did not realize it was in the shadow of two buildings and a tree!
My two closest neighbours were Volvo radio amateurs, each with their own FeltVogn equiped with military radio equipment: One from the 50ies and based on tubes technology, and the second one from the 70ies using transistors.
One of the owners also had a "portable" radio.
Technically, it is portable, in the same way an Alienware Gaming Laptop is portable.
The radio had a built-in battery back, allowing you to listen to stations on its own power, but not powerful enough to send messages.
For that, you need two persons: One who provide the necessary power using the hand cranked generator, and the one who actually send the message on the radio!
The hardware1 at the event from quite many countries:
- Norway: Volvo Feltvogns of all types, BV202
- USA: Jeep Willys, Dodge and GMC trucks
- Sweden: Volvo C303 and Volvo L3315
- Germany: Volkwagen Beetles, field command cars, amphibious car and Mercedes Benz GD 240
- Scotland: Albion truck
Then of course you have to add the guns, the tents, camo nets, and the various places where people were selling or exchanging old weapons, holsters, daggers and bayonets, helmets and other uniform parts.
It's always surprising to see somebody wearing a United Nations outfit in a friendly discussion with a Norwegian SS officer.
The high point of the convoy was to see the amphibious car in action: The thing really looks like a bathtub with wheels, and it do floats as expected!
Regarding the battle, well, my history books tell me that it involved German and Norwegian troops, but in this altered reality the Germans fought a bunch of American soldiers who got shot down like practice dummies.
Update: I'm being told that I did miss the actual Narvik battle event, the one I saw had nothing to do with that. Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa
- Replace the bottom half of the rear door
- Install a fuel filter
- Install locking hubs
- Repair and reinstall the front axle that had broken in Rakkestad
Olav Teigen's shop had informed us they could bring anything we wanted with free shipping so I ordered the part, which fortunately did fit nicely.
I was able to do most of the work myself, but asked one of my Willys neighbors to help me with keeping the top part of the door stable while unbolting it, I did not have enough hands to make sure I would not drop it.
It does not look so horrible on the photo, but trust me, it would not have stayed like that for a very long time.
Installing the fuel filter was pretty much a non event: Cut the fuel line before the fuel pump, insert the filter in between, and keep it in place using clamps2
Then I proceeded to the installation of the locking hubs.
One of the issues is that even when in two wheel drive mode the front wheels are still rotating the front drive shaft, which itself rotates the front differential which makes the front axle to turn.
That's a lot of unnecessary mechanical parts moving for no reason, which is why people often replace the front hubs of their cars by locking versions which can be set in 4x4 or 4x2 modes.
The installation is pretty easy, just follow the instruction and remember to use motor oil to lubricate the gasket, and to never use grease inside the hub3.
The final part was the installation of the front axle.
That one was definitely the most difficult: It required three grown men4, pipes, hammers, pliers, screwdrivers, WD40, a wood block and a large metal axe to finally wack it into submission.
Anyone who tells you that you should always have a spare universal joint around is probably right, if they tell you it's trivial to install while stranded alone on the side of the road they are just being funny - not.
We have a working four wheel drive car again!
And just for the fun, here is picture of the broken universal joint after we managed to remove it.
It had been thoroughly grinded out of shape, hopefully with regular application of grease5 and the locking hubs this problem will not happen anymore.
1. I'm being told there was 109 registered vehicles↩
2. Thanks to Petter for providing the clamps.↩
3. It's also a good idea to keep one of the original hubs in the car in case of a problem because locking hubs have shorter threads and can fail in difficult terrain↩
4. My two friendly radio-valp neighbors and myself↩
5. Respect the smøring schema, else things will fail↩