Anyone here restore Artillery?

#1
Recently I acquired a Ehrhardt Mountain Howitzer.I wish to restore it to working condition ( I am not in the UK and am able to do this legally) .

Problem is that I do not know how to free up the Breech.The linkage is frozen as well as the Breech block,it used to function as recently as the 1970's but has been sitting outside ever since.

I have been pouring Oil down the Bore for months,its been running out the the Breech from all around the Block which is encouraging .I gave the linkage some heat last weekend and was rewarded with the sight of molten grease running out of the gaps in the linkage.

So...Do I attempt to press the "king pin" out of the linkage system,then could I remove the linkage and hopefully the Block and Trigger?

I have stripped all the paint off the Breech,that grey stuff is some spray grease that I use to inhibit corrosion on bare metal
 

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#2
Why don't you just stand the breech in a suitable container (50-gallon drum?) full of paraffin/ kerosene and let it soak for a week or so?

Pouring oil in the barrel or various holes probably won't reach any of the surfaces that are seized up. Soaking the whole assembly in a penetrating oil will eventually unfreeze everything.
 
#4
Why don't you just stand the breech in a suitable container (50-gallon drum?) full of paraffin/ kerosene and let it soak for a week or so?

Pouring oil in the barrel or various holes probably won't reach any of the surfaces that are seized up. Soaking the whole assembly in a penetrating oil will eventually unfreeze everything.
I might give that a try.However the largest frozen surfaces are on both sides of the Breech block.When that went rusty the rust would have expanded into the joint and produced a "chemical weld".All the penetrating oil in the world won't dissolve that bind.

Dismantling the mechanism from the actuating (linkage side) would mean that the block could be shifted out towards the open side of the Breech.I suppose the "guts" of the problem is the king pin,all the linkage hinges on it,without it,I suspect the mech could all be pulled away from the gun releasing the Breech.

Here is a picture of the recoil mech,it was the first gun with a variable recoil mechanism. Softer for horizontal fire,harder for when the Barrel is elevated because the recoil is transfered in the the ground.

Not in bad shape considering the Guns vintage
 

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#6
Anything that siezed will take some moving. Immersion in penetrating oil is a good starting point but I think you will need to strip as much as possible to get the rest moving.
 
#11
They do say the best antique watch repairers are retired because they don't rush the process and allow oils etc time to work their magic. So my advice would be take your time and soak that breech block in a 45 gal drum of oil.
 
#12
I recently saw (again) a restoration programme on the telly where a team restored a wrecked Gypsy Moth biplane to flying condition. To begin with the engine was completely seized solid and their efforts were getting nowhere. In the end what shifted it was to heat a pan of oil and pour it still hot into the cylinders. Within moments they could turn the crankshaft by hand and see the pistons moving easily.

So, try some very hot oil on the thing before trying any desperate measures.
 
#14
Well worth a try Troy.

I have to buy some more Gas,it took alot of heating and beating to free the two hinges that held the T&E mech to the chassis.The gun was designed to be carried by 6 Mules,each big part has a weight stamped on it,
 
#15
I suppose you've tried WD40 and a hammer?
 
#18
I have no idea how big the parts are or if its practical but maybe you could leave it in parafin/diesel etc with some bit of wood at the bottom so it could be lifted and banged down a bit to free it off/get the penetrant in more ?
 

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