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Panther V track link.

Article about: Excellent info bullitt, Sorry for the late reply.Nice photo of Jagdpanther! I see it has a different colour on each road wheel.Like you say probably more effective and all would be covered i

  1. #11

    Default Re: Panther V track link.

    Excellent info bullitt,
    Sorry for the late reply.Nice photo of Jagdpanther! I see it has a different colour on each road wheel.Like you say probably more effective and all would be covered in dust or mud anyway so make's it's own cammo after a few battle's

    Cheer's mate

    Tom

  2. #12

    Default Re: Panther V track link.

    Hi Tom,

    Yesterday I received some more parts that were excavated.
    nothing special at first sight I hear you say ....just some unknown round covers.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    well here is the data: from left to right.
    wheel hub for a Panzer IV Ausf H/J sprocket
    hubcab for a Panther roadwheel
    hubcab for a panzer III roadwheel

    I cleaned the Panther hubcap from most of its dirt with water and a steelbrush. It revealed some original paint fragments. Now its bathing in an electrolyse bath for a few days and then it'll be free from all rustparticles. I'll show you the result afterwards.

    ciao
    Bullitt

  3. #13

    Default Re: Panther V track link.

    Nice find's bullitt!
    Well soon you will be able to complete that dispaly before we know it I will look forward to seeing these part's after cleaning

    Tom

  4. #14
    William
    ?

    Default Re: Panther V track link.

    Tom Bennett, is your track link new and unused? The reason I ask is I am a patternmaker and would like to make a Master Pattern for some reproductions. (They were cast from manganese steel) but to do that I need to find and borrow a track link that is in the best possible shape. Are the holes for the link rods clean and round, or worn? If you would loan it out for a few weeks, I would pay the postage (and insurance and tracking) both directions. The link itself would be handled carefully, and it's only purpose would be to measure all the features, calculate casting shrinkage and get accurate layouts for machining. The link itself would not be touched except for measuring. (i.e. no abuse, it just lays there on a pad.) Any possibility of this?

  5. #15

    Default Re: Panther V track link.

    Hi William,
    My link appear's to be unused at it seem's to have no ware to the ice grip's and pin hole's are very round.I will need to clean them out a bit more as they still have some dirt.It was sand blasted before it was sent to me from europe as it was too heavy for post.It look's like it has pitting but i think it's just the way they were cast as finish was not an issue.In my opinion it was a spare link carried on the hull or new old stock from a factory location as it had been given up for scrap.
    I could be prepared to loan it out but postage cost would be huge oversea's and now i am told it's too heavy for airmail at 21.4 kilo's so would have to travel by surface.
    That would mean it would be out there for up to 24 week's and that's a concern.Let me consider the idea for a while and get back to you.Also please let me know where you are in the world as that may help my decision considerably

    I am in Australia for your knowledge

    Tom

  6. #16
    William
    ?

    Default Re: Panther V track link.

    Dear Tom;
    I am located in Tucson, Arizona. I've been an aircraft mechanic for 33 years, with most of that spent working on Learjets. I have my own machine shop that I operate on the side, mostly in support of antique automobiles, specifically those from 1899 to 1914.
    I had sent you a long post, but I guess it didn't get through, as they told me to address you directly in the forum. An original track link can be used to generate a pattern, but you CAN'T use the original track link as the actual pattern. There are a couple of alternatives available. The bad part is they both involve a lot of work for you, but they would eliminate sending the original track link. The first is to locate a digital scanning company, and have them do a digital scan of all 4 faces of the track link. This can be put on a disc, and the data then manipulated to give the dimensions required for the master pattern. (This is likely to be more expensive than shipping the track link.) The next alternative is for you to put parting agent on the link, then make a rubber mold, and fill it with plaster, and send me that in a cardboard box. Again, this is a large amount of work for you, and would still require further measuring for laying out the mounting holes and track link rod holes. I realize postage is expensive, but what about Fedex or DHL? I would wrap the link in 3 layers of bubble-wrap, and then put it in a wooden box for shipping.
    I realize that some people worry that new track links might lower the value of exisiting links, but I don't believe that will be true. An original, authentic track link will still have the value it had before. (Look at all the duplicate militaria that is being produced now. The original items still command the premium prices.)
    In any case, I am intending to produce track links so more vehicles can be operated.
    The cost has to be kept down, as there are very vew museums that have any money. Even our museum at Aberdeen Proving Grounds is begging for money every month to help them to build structures to get some of the collections out of the elements. Most other ones are in the same boat. I think I can produce a complete set of 2 tracks with the link pins for about $6000 total U.S. There may be unpleasant surprises ahead, but I will deal with them as I go. My intent is as follows: #1. Obtain an original track link in as good of condition as possible, and generate a master pattern. #2. Obtain a piece of broken link (condition of this is not important- I would just buy a piece for a few dollars from someone who had found some fragments) and a piece of the link rods. (Again, a fragment would be all that is required) and have the steel analyzed to determine the
    chemistry involved. I already have a foundry in mind, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that uses
    induction heating, so their cycle time in melting is only a matter of minutes. Getting the steel should not present a problem. I only need to tell them what type steel to cast, and they are set. #3. Set up the machining fixtures that would be required to make sure all the links come out with the same hole geometry, so the pins all slide in and the bolts to the track belt line up.
    There is no big rush on any of this. It may take a year, or it may take 3 years. But it really isn't that complicated, and wouldn't become expensive until it is actually time to make some links. Perhaps a coupld of museums can get together and order more then 1 set of tracks at a time. I won't know the actual production time until I do one, but I think they look pretty simple to machine. I know you will want to consider it for a while, and you never know what will pop up. Maybe someone out there has an actual technical drawing for a track link. That would solve the shipping problem right there.
    Anyway, thanks for your previous note. I don't know why I could get a note from you directly but could not reply, but I don't know that much about computers, so it is probably as plain as the nose on my face, I just don't know what button to push.
    Then again, it's just as well that anyone interested has a chance to read what has been proposed, as they may be able to assist in some way.

  7. #17

    Default Re: Panther V track link.

    Hi William,
    Thank's for the very detailed letter.It's a lot to take in for me but i know exactly what you intend on doing with the link and the idea is fantastic! To be able to provide new track for the Panther chassis would be a great thing to do and the benefit would go on forever.I know there are some guy's in the UK who have made new link's for German tank's and i would have thought the US too but sound's like there has not.
    I have a great book on the Panther with many detailed photo's of the chassis being built and dimension's of the wheel's and hull.I know there are a couple of drawing's of the link's showing detail but not sure there are any dimension's shown.I have a very good friend of mine who is a precision resin caster and he may be the ticket here.If i can convince him to cast my link i can send you an exact resin copy and we would also have the mold so we could send that too.
    I am taking a 1/6th Halftrack model down to show him in a couple of week's but will talk to him about this in the mean time.The only problem i can think of for us is the extreme weight of the link but i'm sure we could support it with prop's to be able to mold around it.The only other thing he will be worried about is the huge amount of resin required but i can cover the cost for now and keep you informed.
    I do have a seperate tooth cut from a very famous Panther 401 still on display in a town called Haubalitze in Belgium but it's a rather precious item to me.If there were no damage done to it i could offer it up for examination if it was any help.I have a few guy's in europe that do battlefield dig's so will put the word out that we need a track fragment from a Panther and see how we go should you require a piece to melt down as it sound's like that's what you would need to do.
    Leave it with me for a while William and i will be in touch again soon.
    Regard's

    Tom

  8. #18
    William
    ?

    Default Re: Panther V track link.

    Dear Tom;
    Thanks for your reply. No, don't send a piece that has sentimental or historic value. Both the small piece of track and the sample piece of pin would be destroyed in testing.
    I will try and get some fragments from a European collector. Those are fine for analysis. Find out how much the resin for the casting would cost, and I will send you the money.
    Alternatively, I can cast you another master pattern that you can keep. I kind of would like to have one here, one in Europe (Maybe Germany), and one in Australia would be fine. I have no interest in keeping the design proprietary. If everyone made available the information they have, things would be a lot easier. You would be welcome to loan out the master pattern if someone wants to use it to cast a set of tracks down there. I would also request that you pass it on to another collector or museum, and that they also make it available for production if needed, when you die or get out of the hobby. I really would like to see a central location for technical data built up, maybe by this web site, that would consist of technical drawings, added whenever anyone turns them up. (i.e. if the people at the museum in England that just restored their Tiger Tank got together all the info they had and made it available, a lot of questions would be answered.) I'd really like to build a Tiger Tank, but use aluminum for the hull structure, and Caterpillar engine and transmission for the drive, so it would be externally correct, and could be used in such things as re-enacting and movies. ("Saving Private Ryan" was a great film until I saw those little piddling tanks they were using in place of "Tigers". And the German halftrack,
    wheezing and smoking along, poor thing. It could hardly get out of 1st gear. It could have used a valve job and a tuneup. At that point they could have just had everyone move around wearing cardboard boxes and making tank sounds, like we used to to when we were little.) In any case. take your time. I only get on-line about once a week or so, and I'll check occasionally. P.S. One of the guys at the Learjet Service Center where I work just came back from his 3rd tour in Afghanistan, and he reported the Aussie troops they operated with are really kicking some ass over there. It was nice to hear.

  9. #19

    Default Re: Panther V track link.

    Hi William,

    your idea of making replica tracks is great , but I'm afraid you aren't the only one that has come to that idea.
    afaik the links on Littlefields and Wheatcrofts Panther are all replica made.
    so someone has started doing this already.


    ciao
    Bullitt

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