Fowler Challengers

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Lex
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Re: Fowler Challengers

Post #41 by Lex » Wed Mar 25, 2015 3:54 am

Hi Guys, We do plan on getting the Challenger 4 operational again but the other Challenger 3 may be a parts machine I think. We are currently working on radiator repairs on the other Challenger 3 and also the Hydralic pump is needing attention. Our 3"s have the Leyland 600 in them and does have the reduction box. The 4 has the Meadows motor and currently has a seized big end bearing .....it has been far more of a problem than the 3 with the Leyland motor due to being front heavy and the big end bearing not getting oiled. Needs to be sorted so it does not happen again.


just dozin
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Re: Fowler Challengers

Post #42 by just dozin » Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:21 pm

G'Day Lex, sounds like age getting to it, i think. mine really needs a bit of work to it as well, but it all costs money.
Hope you get it going soon, like Paul said, people might be interested in a few pic's.
They are a front heavey machine, thats why i leave the winch on so it can balance out. The 4 should have a lot of power, they were a big motor in them.

Hey Paul,how do you find the D7 3t, i'm wondering how it would compare with the challenger 3. seen some around on gumtree going cheap. Do they have a low range.

P.S. if anyone knows somebody with a spare reduction box, let me know.


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marshallmp6
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Re: Fowler Challengers

Post #43 by marshallmp6 » Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:14 am

The first model of what we know as the Challenger 3 was in fact known a Challenger Mark II and was fitted with a Marshall ED8 twin cylinder, two stroke engine which was in fact a dismal failure and it would appear that it never got past the testing stage. This machine had 6 forward and 4 reverse speeds ( 5th and 6th reverse were in fact possible but they were blocked of in the selectors) and used a single reduction bull gear and pinion final drive. When the ED8 engine proved unsatisfactory Fowlers looked elsewhere for an engine and fitted a Meadows 6DC630 engine then later also offered a Leyland UE600 option. These new engines ran at 1550 rpm instead of the 825 rpm of the ED8 so rather than reengineer the transmission they fitted a reduction box on the clutch housing to bring the input speed down. This model, introduced in December 1950 was known as the Challenger Mark III (NOTE Mark III). Around 700 Challenger Mark IIIs were built over the next couple of years and around the time of the introduction of the Challenger 4 in early 1953 the Mark III was upgraded. The reduction box on the clutch housing was eliminated and double reduction bull gear and pinion/planetary final drives (as fitted to the Challenger 4) were fitted as well as a number of other upgrades. This new model was known as the Challenger 3 ......... Note the elimination of the term Mark and the number changed from Roman numerals to Arabic .........in common with all the other Challengers at that time. From information that I have it does appear that some of the earlier Challenger Mark IIIs were updated to the later planetary final drives. Around the mid 1950s the Australian distributors began fitting a Vulcan Sinclair fluid drive coupling .......... they listed it as available for the Challenger 3 and 4. I have one on a 3 but I have never seen one on a 4 but there are not many 4s about all together. The thinking behind fitting the FD was to reduce transmission shock....... it was certainly successfull to a degree but whether it was worth the expense or not is probably arguable. When the FD was fitted the throttle control was also moved up onto the dash between the steering levers to make it easier to reach when changing gears ....... a decelerator would quite likely have been a better option. Some of the very last of the Challenger 3s had a (Patented) decelerator connected to the clutch lever but I can't recall seeing any of these in Oz. The Challenger 3 was never fitted with the Leyland 680 motor......... this came with the Challenger 33 a completely different animal. The Challenger 4 was a front heavy machine..... made more for pulling scrapers / rippers etc than dozer work then Moore Road Machinery fitted this monstrous big A&T dozer blade which reached out nearly into the next paddock ....... take the blade off and put them on drawbar work and they will perform.


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Re: Fowler Challengers

Post #44 by Mrsmackpaul » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:07 am

just dozin wrote:G'Day Lex, sounds like age getting to it, i think. mine really needs a bit of work to it as well, but it all costs money.
Hope you get it going soon, like Paul said, people might be interested in a few pic's.
They are a front heavey machine, thats why i leave the winch on so it can balance out. The 4 should have a lot of power, they were a big motor in them.

Hey Paul,how do you find the D7 3t, i'm wondering how it would compare with the challenger 3. seen some around on gumtree going cheap. Do they have a low range.

P.S. if anyone knows somebody with a spare reduction box, let me know.



Sorry bad manners on my behalf I missed the last few posts here some how
The D7 3T is a good old machine a fair bit under powered by todays standard there were a few updates over the years and as one would expect the later ones were the best
The first ones had a dry clutch a weak chassis prone to breaking at least in Australia I think the tree pushers we all put on them had a lot to do with it
The chassis on mine has been broken in 3 spots and has been all boxed in now
My 3T is number 1400 and something and is one of the first , dry clutch weak chassis soft nose no hydraulic track adjusters no segmented sprockets a real basic machine
I have it in the shed giving it a rebuild at the moment and am adding some of the updates on while Im at it

It dosnt have a low range does have a forward and reverse shuttle though

I couldnt tell you how it compares to a challenger 3 I have never driven one but from what I have been told they are worlds apart even though the 3T is a lot older they are worlds ahead from what I have been told

I hope that answers your questions Claudio

Im no expert on the Challengers but I do like them they are something different

thanks for all of that information Don
It all that makes a lot sense about the reduction boxes and fluid drive couplings to me
does anybody no why these 2 stroke motors were such a flop as in what the reason was that they couldnt sort them out I have heard they were heavy on oil and didnt last long but I wonder why if detroit were so succseful why could Fowlers learn from what they were doing ???

Paul
Your better to die trying than live on your knees begging


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marshallmp6
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Re: Fowler Challengers

Post #45 by marshallmp6 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:47 am

Paul, It appears that the ED8 engine in the Challenger Mark II never got past the testing stage so not a lot of info is available but the ED5 fitted to the Challenger 1 was basicly a scaled down version of the ED8 and there is plenty of evidence around about them. They were a "loop scaveneged" engine with air fed into the cylinders by a Roots type blower and the exhaust was pushed out exhaust ports in the cylinder (GM was "uniflow" and exhausted through poppet valves in the head). The ED5 was well engineered from a mechanical point of view but was not a long lasting motor ...... yes they did pump a fair bit of oil up the smoke pipe (particularly when they got a bit worn) although there were modifications to the oil control rings that slowed this at least to some degree. The big problem was the concentrated heat around the exhaust ports in the cylinder caused the lubricating oil to break down so the rings and bore wore rapidly in this area. Marshalls were not alone with this problem in their two strokes as the speeds increased as a number of other manufacturers had similar issues ......... A H McDonald made a very neat little twin cyl two stroke that performed quite well when producing 30hp at 1000 rpm but wore rapidly when producing 50 hp at 2000 rpm. As I understand the very first GM two strokes were loop scavenged and not altogether very successful so they quickly went to "uniflow" scavenging. Although the Marshall engines were fitted with a blower (as were GMs) contrary to popular opinion they were NOT supercharged (nor is a GM) the inlet port closes before the exhaust port closes so there is no air pressure increase in the cylinder. The ED5 may well have performed better with todays engine oils but at the time Marshalls decided to discontinue engine production and went on to use Leyland, Meadows and Perkins engines in all of their tractors and a few Listers in their road rollers. The Challenger range was a fairly ambitious project for Fowlers and unfortunately not enough time was spent on testing new products before they were released on the market so while they were basicly sound machines there were problems that showed up in operation. Crawler tractor manufacturers were on a very steep learning curve at that stage and owners/operators were finding any number of applications for their new machines that the manufacturers never thought of and Aussies are known worldwide for being hard on machinery........... if a job nominally requires a 150 hp machine we would usually use an 80 hp machine to do it so they were belted hard.


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Re: Fowler Challengers

Post #46 by Mrsmackpaul » Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:02 am

so I gather the exhaust ports are at the bottom of the piston stroke ??
I never new that GM's were not super charged but now that you described it as I can see that they arent the things that I learn on these forums never ceases to amaze me

And your last line is 100 % correct weather it's crawler tractors clearing scrub or pulling a scoop we worked them beyond hard here in this wide brown land and the same goes for wheel tractors trucks just about everything back in the day

Thanks for all the information

Paul
Your better to die trying than live on your knees begging


just dozin
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Re: Fowler Challengers

Post #47 by just dozin » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:45 am

I fully agree, we work the machines hard, i know i do.

G'day Paul, i guess cat had a few upgrades to do as well with time on their machines. have fun with your rebuild, something to do on rainy days.

hey Don, are your challenger 3's going.
your write up is very informative, there's not much info around about them. now i could be wrong, but i thought the challenger 3 M3 was fitted with a 680.
is there any way of telling what year it was built.

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FOWLER MAN
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Re: Fowler Challengers

Post #48 by FOWLER MAN » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:23 pm

Hi,
We must remember that the British tractors like Fowler and Vickers were trying to enter a very difficult market.
They were not necesseraly bad machines but were competing for sales in a market flooded with little used, (as new), seccondhand Cat, IH and Allis machines which were readily available following the war effort. There was also a ready supply of good cheap seccondhand spares from doner machines to keep them going.

Don, (marshallmp6), summed Cats up nicely when I was in Oz. last year. He said the best machine Cat ever produced was "The Propaganda Machine."

I sold my restored Challenger 33 and it is now in Ian Davies' collection.
The UK Cat owners club, "The Link Club" visited the collection recently and Ian, who is no stranger to the Challengers said "They wont have it, but these would run rings round the D7."

The pics. below are from the Robert Fernley collection. In the caption below the seccond pic. he compared the output of his Challenger 33 to that of a Cat D7E a heavier 160 h.p. machine with 45 more h.p
fernley challenger (2).jpg
fernley challenger.jpg
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FOWLER MAN
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Re: Fowler Challengers

Post #49 by FOWLER MAN » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:20 pm

Hi,
Theres more info on Challengers in these pages that I wrote if your interested.
This has been published in the Marshall Heritage Magazine.
Fred
(Click on these then on 200 magnification to read).
Challenger history page1.jpg
Challenger history page 2.jpg
Challenger history page 3.jpg
Challenger history page 4.jpg
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Re: Fowler Challengers

Post #50 by Mrsmackpaul » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:47 pm

Thanks for that Fred I have got to agree with what your saying the market for new machines would have been a challenge after the war in most of the world except the US as none of the machines exported for the war were bought back to the US I believe it was one of the deals in made in exporting them so US market wouldnt be flooded after the war

And I have no doubt that the first machines had problems but most companys do when a new model is first released but the simple facts are they were made in a similar form for a long time so that on it's own would have to speak volumes I would think

Fred thanks for sharing details ect on these amazing crawlers theres only one problem now I feel I might have to start looking for one now must get this bucket of bolts D7 finished and out of the shed ;)

Paul
Your better to die trying than live on your knees begging


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