Tuesday, March 25, 2014

1942 Tempo A600 User Manual

Of all the Tempo vehicles, the A600 is probably one of the least known. Tempo's popular three wheeled trucks were sold in the hundreds of thousands, but the A600 was only produced in relatively small numbers between 1936 and 1939. This was largely a matter of economics - in Germany three wheeled vehicles with engines under 400cc did not require a drivers license or pay road tax, while four wheeled vehicles did. The A600 was successfully exported to Scandinavia and many other countries. Most of the survivors have turned up in Eastern Europe.

This is my translation of a 1942 Tempo A600 user manual from published by the Helsinki University of Technology. I'd like to again thank the Finnish National Archives for making these documents public.

Please read the manual before first use!

The purpose of this booklet is to provide accurate and thorough instructions for the care and driving of the VIDAL A600 wagon. It is imperative that you read through the booklet carefully before you use your wagon. For warranty and repairs, always refer to the VIDAL-service representative, whose trained and qualified staff have the special tools and training to carry out all possible repairs.

Make sure too that the wagon used in accordance with its instructions and never exceed the maximum loading. The manufacturer is not responsible for any damage caused by carelessness or negligence.

Components and their treatment

Engine lubrication is done by mixing the oil with fuel. During the running in period for the first 1000 kms, the petrol to oil mix should be 20:1 (20 parts of fuel to 1 part of oil), and thereafter at a ratio of 25:1. Mix the petrol and oil together in a clean vessel before pouring in the fuel tank. Take care to ensure dirt and water does not enter the mixture. For the best performance use only a top quality oil.

The more carefully the machine is run in, the greater the benefit in the future. Do not exceed the maximum recommended speed during the first 1000-1500 km of driving. When using the lower gears, avoid racing the engine too quickly, especially when the vehicle is unloaded as running at too high a speed may cause damage (especially the main bearing, which may be ruined easily) that is not covered by the guarantee.

Starter and charging engine
The starter and charging the motor is connected directly to motor. It does not require any maintenance other than the regular removal of carbon after each 2000-3000 km of driving, as well as adjustment of the carbon brushes, if necessary. For repairs of the starter engine, it is preferable to use a trained Bosch representative.

The most important thing for the maintenance of the gearbox is regular topping up of oil, approximately every 14 days if the wagon is in regular use. Periodically, as necessary, the oil should also be drained and replaced. Lubricating oil is added through the oil filling screw until oil reaches the level of the oil level screw on the front of the gearbox. See (b) (fig. i).

Shifting gear pattern:

The clutch is between the engine and the gearbox. Contact ceases as soon as the clutch pedal is pressed (when changing gear or heavily braking). The clutch lever at the lower end must allow about 5 mm of movement (see Figure 2). With constant use, the clutch cable will eventually stretch and slacken, causing the clutch plates to wear prematurely. Clutch wear may also be caused if the driver allows their feet to rest unnecessarily on the clutch pedal, even lightly. Likewise, the clutch should not be allowed to slip when driving uphill, instead of changing down to the next lower gear.

Adjusting the clutch
First remove nut ( c ), and then the set screw is rotated ( d ) either outward or inward, depending on whether the lever play (cable tension) is to be increased or decreased.

We point out that in a new wagon it is necessary to check the clutch a few times a day, depending on the amount of use. Later, when you the different parts are bedded in, it is sufficient to check them only occasionally.

Chain Drive
Transmission occurs from the gearbox to the differential gear by a special, high-strength roller chain (See oiling lubrication chart). The inspection opening for the differential (which at the same time allows measurement of the oil level) is located in front of the cowl. The filler neck is on the front of the gearbox.

Chain tension
Chain tensioning is done via a special chain tensioning plate (image i, c) located between the gearbox and the differential. This work should only be carried out by a trained VIDAL-service agent.

Chain replacement
The easiest way to change the chains is to remove the upper side cover of the chain covering and connect the old and the new chain together. When the old chain is pulled away, the new one will be pulled through. If the old chains are in any way damaged, the whole leftmost axle shaft and the chain covering must be taken off in order to reach to the differential.

The differential uses chain sprockets, which is screwed onto the wheel alignment housing. The differential is lubricated in common with the chain case.

Jet size is indicated above in the "Helsinki University of Technology” specifications. After 1000-2000 kilometers of driving this can be replace a smaller main jet. This task is best left to the VIDAL representative. The important thing is that after 2000 km of driving (or 1 to 2 months of use) to thoroughly clean the air filter with a petrol-oil mixture, because otherwise the gas mixture will receive too little air and thus the fuel consumption increases.

The fuel tank
The 35 liter fuel tank is located on the front wall under the hood. The fuel valve to the driver’s cabin may be manually closed, opened or set to reserve (which contains a 3.5 liter reserve of fuel). If the wagon is left for the night or stood up for example, the petrol tap should be closed completely.

Cleaning the muffler should be left to your VIDAL-service agent after 15,000 km of driving.

Cooling System
For the amount of water held in the radiator, see the Technical details. The addition of a 2% solution of a good radiator sealant will prevent rust, corrosion and scale.

Chassis and body
The chassis and body have a number of lubrication points that should be lubricated according to lubrication chart (at the end of this book). Note - different components require different soluble lubricants, for instance, item No 16 of the rear axle requires regular greasing due to continuous movement, while other components need to be thoroughly lubricated only after the time limits laid down, or when the vehicle is serviced once a month.

Front Axle
The front axle is assembled from two support tube, which are attached via a hinge to the differential cowl. The drive shafts transmit power the front wheels.

Drive shaft care
If necessary, removed cardan shaft support tube simply by disconnecting the brake cable and fasteners and pulling out the support tube horizontally.

Joint lubricant consumption is low, so the lubricating oil is enough for a prolonged period, however, it is desirable that at least every 5000 km of driving the lubrication is checked and any absorption is replaced. The joints have grease fittings. Using a grease gun, high pressure grease will be squeezed into the joint, pushing out air and dirt and cleaning and sealing the surface. Avoid exerting excessive pressure when greasing the join because if the air is not given time to escape then the seals may “blown” out.

For the best performance only use first-rate lubrication grease.

Front springs are attached with screws and plates to the differential cowl and provide support to the drive shafts. The rear springs are attached with screws to the rear cross member and floating axles.

As well as the foot brake pedal (the middle pedal), the handbrake also works each wheel via a cable. The brakes are internal, molded case type. Tension on the brake cable can be adjusted either at the brake lever clamp, or at the brake pedal / handbrake in the cabin. There are adjusting screws located on the front face of the front brakes.

Wheel Hubs
Concealed in each of the rear wheel hubs are two high-strength roller bearings. Lubricating grease within the bearings is sufficient for a prolonged period, depending on the use. As the installation and lubrication of the roller bearings requires special care, this should only be undertaken by a VIDAL service technician.

The front wheel hubs are lubricated in accordance with the lubrication table.

Tyre pressure is considered to be 2-2.5 atmospheres at an average load.

The steering unit ( Fig. 4) is housed within a clamshell-type segment. At the bottom end of the clamshell housing is a grease nipple (refer to the oil lubrication chart). If the steering wheel becomes loose over time, release the nuts (a) that connect the lower and upper part of the clamshell housing in order to adjust the steering segment to reduce the amount of play (b). The steering wheel screw shaft (s) engages the worm gear at the lower end of the housing. Adjustments are best performed by a trained VIDAL-service representative.

On the instrument panel are two switches - the left one is the ignition and the right one is for lights. The latter, lights control, has three positions: centre = off, left = parking lights, right = headlights. A dimmer switch is on the floor on the left side of the pedals.

The ignition circuit breaker is on the left side of the instrument panel and has two positions: Right = current "on" Left = current "off”.

To the right of the ignition is the "Start" puller, which is only used at startup. As soon as the engine is started, return the starter to its original position, as otherwise the pistons may be damaged by not receiving the correct flow of lubricating petroil.

The fuse box
The fuse box is located under the dashboard. Some spare fuses should be always carried.

The battery (under the hood) requires regular maintenance if it is retain charge to start the wagon. At least once per month is the concentration and quantity of acid should be checked. It may be necessary from time to time to have the battery serviced by a trained electrician. Make sure that cables are firmly attached and greased to prevent corrosion of the terminals.

The driver’s cabin is lockable. The left door is locked from the inside and the right door has a special security lock. (Please note the key number in the event the key is lost). It should be remembered that the door can be closed only when the window is fully closed, or fully open, otherwise, the glass can shatter easily because it lacks interior support.

It is self-evident that the appearance of the wagon is dependent up its good treatment.

Damaged items must be corrected immediately. All bolts, nuts and fittings should be checked regularly and, if appropriate, tightened or replaced. It is recommended that at least once a year the entire trailer/tray is checked and painted. Thus, the trailer will be long-lasting and it look as new.

Driving Practices
Before every journey check that there is enough water in the radiator, that the fuel tank has the right fuel-oil mix, that the tires have enough air, the steering, brakes and lights are in good condition, and that all screws and nuts, especially from the controls and wheels are secure.

The fuel tank is filled with a mixture of 20 parts of gasoline to 1 part oil (of suitable quality). After running in the wagon can be fueled with a mixture of 25:1.

Starting the engine
To facilitate start up when the machine is cold, open the fuel valve, insert the key in the ignition and turn the circuit breaker to the “start” position. Press down the clutch pedal, and activate the starter motor (instrument panel on the left). If the engine does not catch immediately, release the starter. Constantly depressing the starter activator will over stress the battery, starter motor and likely flood the engine with petrol. Instead, the starter should be activated in short bursts no longer than three seconds, then a pause for a few seconds, and repeat. As soon as the engine starts, immediately release the starter button.

With the engine running slowly and the clutch pedal depressed, activate the gear lever and set to 1st gear. Once the gear is engaged, gently release the clutch pedal until the clutch is released the gear engaged, while simultaneously gently applying the gas.

As the vehicle’s speed and the load on the engine increases, gently ease off the gas while simultaneously depressing the clutch gently. Transfer the shift lever to the 2nd gear position, release the clutch pedal and increase the gas again. Repeat the process to work up through the gears 3 and 4. Changing down is done in the same manner, but in reverse.

When driving around curves it must be remembered to reduce speed by braking and change down gears before the turning point, but to gently increase the gas into the turn. Speed it adjusted by the accelerator pedal.

When driving never rest your feet on the clutch pedal as this will cause rapid wear of the clutch plates.

Braking and stopping
When driving the foot brake should be used only when the engine is throttled down, otherwise the brakes will be wear out quickly.

When stopping the vehicle, press down the clutch to disengage the engine and shift the gear lever to neutral. Then you can stop the engine by switching the ignition circuit breaker to off.

If the wagon will be out of service overnight (or longer), close the fuel valve and remove the key from the ignition circuit breaker to prevent interference and theft.

Lubrication Chart

Electrical Schematic

The following is a set of the most common causes of problems that the driver can resolve without assistance.

If the engine does not start, check whether the following items are in order:
  • Is the fuel valve open?
  • Is there fuel in the tank?
  • Does the fuel reach the carburetor?
  • Do you get spark at the spark plugs?

1. The fuel does not flow into the carburetor -
a) The tank cover vent blocked – Clean petrol breather with a needle.
b) Fuel line clogged – Remove the petrol pipe connecting the fuel tank to the carburetor and open the fuel tap. If the fuel flows cleanly, reconnect the pipe. If the fuel does not flow, check for a blockage and clean.

2 The fuel does flow to the carburetor:
a) The nozzles are clogged with dirt, or water in the fuel – remove the jets and blow clean (or clear with a pin or similar).
b) If the wagon has been left standing too long with the tap on, oil may clog the carburetor as the fuel evaporates - open the carburetor and clean the fuel bowl of oil residue with clean petrol. Reassemble and reconnect the petrol pipe.
c) The air may be too cold - cover the carburetor air intake filter and attempt to restart.

3 The spark plug does not spark:
First test that the spark plug is working by unscrewing the plugs from the cylinder and, with the cables still attached and the ignition on, touch the central electrode against the engine. If you see a spark, check the following:
a) Spark plug is oily - Clean thoroughly and/or renew, if possible. b)The spark gap is too large – Gently tap the central electrode to reduce the gap to 0.4mm (about two postcard thickness).
If there is no spark, check the following:
c) The fuse has blown – replace the fuse.
d)  The ignition coil is defective – replace the ignition coil.

4. The starter motor does not work:
a) The battery is flat – recharge or replace the battery.
b) The fuse has blown – replace the fuse.
c) One or more of the carbon brushes is stuck – Open the starter motor cover and gently press the brushes into contact with the collectors.
d) The brushes are worn - As above, and replace brushes as soon as possible.

5. Alternator not charging:
a) Carbon builds up on the brushes – clean the brushes of carbon.
b) Hanging or worn brushes, insufficient pressure in the collector – replace or refit the brushes.
c) Relay damaged – Contact Bosch or VIDAL- service representative for replacement or repair

6. Engine runs irregularly, “coughing”:
a) The carburetor jets are into blocked – open the carburetor and clean the jets.
b) The jets are too small low - Swap larger nozzles.
c) The spark plug gap is too large - Gently tapping 0.4mm to the diameter.
d) The spark plugs are unreliable – replace plugs as soon as possible.

7. The engine gets too hot:
a) Ignition timing is set incorrectly – Ignition timing must be set at 6mm TDC. Contact the VIDAL-service representative to adjust the timing.
b) Exhaust blocked - Remove and clean the muffler to remove carbon build up.
c) Piston rings stuck - The cylinder is removed, the piston rings is removed and, if necessary, replaced.
d) The carburetor jet is too small – Substitute for larger jets and/or have a VIDAL-service representative check the carburetor setting
e) Wrong spark plugs – You must use Bosch DM 175 spark plugs.
f) Lack of cooling water in the radiator – Top up water and check for leaks.

8. The engine throbs:
a) Pre-ignition is occurring – Set the ignition timing at 6mm TDC or contact the VIDAL-service representative to adjust the timing.
b) Clatter in the crankshaft the bearing fault – Contact the VIDAL workshop for crankshaft and bearings renewal.
c) Poor quality or irregular flowing fuel – check the fuel flow and/or replace with fresh fuel.
d) The piston rings rattling – Contact the VIDAL workshop for replacement of pistons.

9. Fuel consumption too high:
a) Too large carburetor jet – install a smaller jet and/or contact the VIDAL-service representative to check the carburetor.
b) The air filter is dirty – Clean the filter in fresh petrol.
c) Exhaust is blocked. - Remove and clean the muffler to remove carbon build up.
d) Piston rings stuck closed – The cylinder is removed, the piston rings is removed and, if necessary, replaced.
e) Seals and connection out of order - Seals renewed and connection screws are tightened.
f) Too much oil in the fuel – Mix fuel according to the manual instructions.

10. Clutch slips
As soon as you notice the clutch slip even slightly, immediately adjust the clutch lever to the correct setting (see "clutch"). Although compensation may have already been made, clutch slippage is almost always the result of incorrect maintenance and use and in most cases the damage will be done. However, this may be helpful for a short period of time. Servicing by a VIDAL-workshop may be necessary.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

1941 Tempo G1200 User Manual

A line of brand new Tempo G1200's at Vidal & Sohn's Tempo factory in Hamburg.

This is my English translation of a 1941 Tempo G1200 user manual from Finland. Thanks again to the Finnish National Archives for making these documents available.

Tempo G1200
The Vidal & Sohns Tempo G1200 All Terrain-wagon is a specially designed vehicle, whose independent suspension, light weight and remarkably powerful engines make it possible to traverse ground which cannot be covered by other wheeled vehicles. It is clear, however, that driving skill is crucial for the vehicle’s off-road use, and for this reason it is necessary that every driver becomes familiar with the following instructions before actually driving the truck off-road. This user manual also covers the technical details, care and maintenance procedures that must be observed for the all-terrain wagon.

The VIDAL all-terrain wagon can meet the intended tasks only if all of its parts and equipment have been treated in accordance with the instructions and it is therefore essential these instructions strictly observed.

Components and their functions
The VIDAL all-terrain wagon has a simple structure. Both engines are attached through bores in the tube chassis. While the back of the motor is securely attached to the chassis tube, the front motor is able to move around the shaft to a large degree. Mobility is thereby achieved within the substructure, with the result that all four wheels are able to maintain contact and driving capacity on almost any terrain (see drawing No i)

Each motor operates completely independently since each engine is fitted with a dynastarter and generator, a gearbox and differential, and all necessary fittings, such as carburetor, exhaust pipe, ignition switch, etc. The engines are two-stroke and lubricated by the fuel-oil mixture, which for the first 800 km should be fed a mixture of 20:1 (20 gallons of fuel and 1 liter of SAE 40 oil), and later at a ratio of 25:1. Fuel and oil must be mixed in a clean container before being poured into the fuel tank – please ensure that only good quality fuel and lubricants are used. When mixing the fuel-oil, care must be taken to avoid dirt and water contaminating the mixture.

The more carefully the engine is driven at the beginning, the better the engine will work later and the longer they will last. Therefore, during the first 800 - 1,000 miles, the truck should not be run a higher speed than 30 km/h. Normal driving (after running in) is subject to the following maximum speeds:
1 gear 15 km
2 gear 25 km
3 gear 35 km
4 gear 65 km

Starting Motor
The starter motors are combined with the generators (German: lichtmachines) that are connected directly to the engines. Apart from the regular cleaning of carbon (every 2000-3000 km of driving), and adjustment of the carbon brushes according to the level of wear, the generators and starter motors do not need any special treatment. If repairs are required, these should only be undertaken by a trained professional, preferably by a qualified Bosch technician.

The starter motors may be engaged separately. To start, press the corresponding starter button in the driver’s cabin (the front motor ignition switch is on the left, the rear motor ignition switch is on the right).

Gearbox maintenance is mainly limited to ensuring the correct levels and consistency of oil is maintained. In order to avoid shifting problems the gearbox oil should be checked every 14 days when in use.

The most suitable lubrication in summer is a quality SAE 160 oil. In winter, a 1:1 blended ration of SAE 160 and SAE 40 oil is recommended.

To fill the gearbox, open the oil filler hole and unscrew the oil level hole at the front of the gearbox. Top up the oil through the filler hole until it reaches the oil level hole, then reseal (Figure No 2).

In order to minimize wear when driving, ensure the clutch is engaged and disengaged cleanly and the gear changes are carried out in a calm and proper manner.

The different gear shifter positions are described in the attached drawing (No 3). To the rear of the gear shifters is a hand activated lever to lock the two gear shifters together. Activating the lever all enables the gear shifting for both engines to be performed at the same time. By deactivating the lever, either gearbox may be operated independently. The forward gear lever operates the front engine while the rearward gear lever operates the rear engine. Do not operate the independent engines in opposition to each other.

Each engine is connected to the gearbox through its own clutch, which enables the engine to be engaged and disengaged. The left hand pedal in front of the driver's seat operates both the front and rear clutches at the same time. The clutch pedal must have about 5mm of play at all times. The clutch cable is susceptible to strain and if it becomes too taut or slack, the clutch may experience premature wear and operational uncertainty. The same effect can also be caused by the driver riding the clutch, even lightly, or trying to overcome terrain roughness by allowing the clutch to slip, instead of dropping down a gear, which would be the correct procedure.

Adjusting the clutch is done as follows:
1. The cable is connected to A.
2. The clutch lever B is set, so that A has 5 mm room to move.
3. The cable is installed in place, i.e. C must be tightened so that A has no place to move around.
4. Test: The engine is set on idle, the hand brake is engaged, the clutch pedal is engaged, the both engines are set to 4th gear, the clutch pedal is slowly disengaged. Both clutches must operate in such manner that when the clutches are disengaged, both engines will stall. If not, the cable leading to the engine that did not stall or stalled too early must be followed, and the cable must be lengthened or shortened at "E".

Duplex chain/chain chamber
Transmission from the gearbox to the differential gear is via strong roller chains. The duplex chain is lubricated via an oil bath in the chain chamber. An inspection opening to allow checking of the chain oil level, is located on the front of the differential housing.

Too generous oiling will adversely affect the clutch operation so ensure that the proper oil level is maintained. Oil is poured into the filling hole until the level of the oil level screw on the side of the chain chamber is reached (drawing No 4b).

The recommended lubricant mixture for summer is a SAE 160 grade oil, while in winter a mixture of SAE 160 and SAE 40 at a ratio of 1:1 is recommended.

Chain Tension
Tightening the chains requires a special clamping device. This job is best left to the VIDAL-Tempo service agent.

Changing the chains
The easiest way to change the chains is to remove the upper side cover of the chain covering and connect the old and the new chain together. When the old chain is pulled away, the new one will be pulled through. If the old chains are in any way damaged, the whole leftmost axle shaft and the chain covering must be taken off in order to reach to the differential.

Each of the differentials use of the chain wheel by means of a differential bolted to the cowl. Here are located the balancing wheels and small pulleys. Lubrication is carried out in conjunction with the chain using quality SAE 160 in the summer and a SAE 160 and SAE 40 1:1 blend during winter. The housing has lubrication nipples installed. (see drawing No. 5).

After 2000 km of driving the factory fitted carburetor can, if desired, can be replaced with a smaller main jet. Both carburetors are controlled by a common accelerator pedal (the right foot pedal). It is important that the air cleaner is cleaned every 500 km of driving because otherwise congestion in the cleaner can prevent the air flow and cause and fuel consumption to rise.

Fuel taps
The fuel taps should be closed entirely (e.g. when the vehicle is left standing for more than a night) to prevent the fuel leakage.

Exhaust pipe
Exhaust pipes and silencers are easily removed and must be thoroughly cleaned after every 5000 km of driving (2 to 3 months).

The chassis and frame, where it fixes to the bodywork, has set lubrication points which must be lubricated on a regular basis with thick SAE 160 gearbox oil. If the wagon is used regularly, this should be done at least every eighth day. Floor maintenance also includes all the nuts and bolts which are under continuous use and torsion, especially those that have moving parts.

All four axes of the drive shafts. The special drive shafts pass through the swivel support tubes. Each shaft has two joints, which should be lubricated with thick gearbox SAE 160 oil every 6 to 8 weeks. For lubrication the nipples must be removed.

If drive shaft disassembly is required, it is done by dismounting the differential, placing the shaft in a horizontal position and then pulling the entire shaft support tube out of the springs.

The springs are mounted to the differential casing with special brackets to the support tubes. A 17.5mm special key is required to detach the bolts (see drawing 5 above).

The foot brake (the middle pedal in front of the driver's seat) works on all four wheels. Braking is done by pressing the brake pedal (or by pulling the hand brake lever) which pulls the brake wires running to the brake hubs. Brake adjustment is done either by adjusting at the head of the brake cable or by adjusting the adjustment screw at the brake hub. The front brakes can be adjusted via adjustment screws at the hubs.

Wheel Hubs
In each wheel hub are 2 roller bearings. The hubs are filled with a special installation of roller bearing grease which, depending on the use of the vehicle should last for many years.

Only skilled mechanics should carry out re-greasing of the bearings because the installation requires special care and expertise.

Steering is a via a worm control. Lubrication points are provided at the lower end of the clamshell housing. Use only quality SAE 160 lubricating grease. If the steering wheel is too loose, it can be adjusted by opening the clamshell housing, and adjusting the screws on the steering shaft that control the looseness of the eccentric sleeve. The steering shaft adjustment screw is located in the bottom of the clamshell housing. More signification steering gear repairs should be performed only by a VIDAL workshop.

Pressing the level next to the drivers seat forward engages rear wheel steering, allowing the rear wheels to move in conjunction with the front. This may be used for offroad driving where dramatic turns are required. Turning the front wheels to the right will turn the rear wheels to the left and vice versa. By pulling the control lever back, the rear wheels will be locked.

Note - Four wheel steering should be exercised only when running on four wheel drive or offroad.

On the instrument panel are the switches for each motor. To the right of the speedometer is the light switch. The positions are as follows:
1 = parking light
o = no light
2 = dim light (city light)
The headlamp is activated by a foot switch

To activate the lights you must engage the key-switch to the ignition circuit. Ignition is achieved by turning the key to the right. To turn off, turn it to the left. Remember to remove the key when leaving to the vehicle!

The red lights above the ignition switch monitor the circuit breakers. The left anterior light monitors the rear engine circuit. The right hand light, the front engine.

On the far right of the circuit-breaker is engine ignition. When setting the ignition is turned to the right it will start the rear engine, and when turned to the left will start the front engine.

When driving with only one engine the circuit breaker is regarded as an existing engine in the corresponding position. Otherwise, it is the position of the circuit-breaker shifts to be replaced, so that both engines would as much under load.(?)

The circuit breakers are located under the hood. They use 15 amp fuses. Ensure you always keep a few fuses handy in the event that a fuse blows.

Each motor has its own battery. Both are located under the front hood. Their charge is described above (see "Dashboard"). The batteries need regular care in order to ensure they are in good condition to start the motors. At least every four weeks the concentration and quantity of the acid must be examined. Also check that the cables are connected correctly and the battery terminals beneath the battery cover are greased with a suitable grease to prevent acid corrosion.

For more detailed maintenance, however it may be best to leave this task to a trained electrician.

Driving Practices
The VIDAL- all-terrain wagon has two motors and is robustly and simply built and, correspondingly is easy to use when the following guidelines are followed:
  • The vehicle can be driven using both engines at the same time or just one of the motors alone.
  • When running both engines at the same time, the gear shift levers, located on the right hand side of the driver, need to be linked and used together.
  • If running only the foremost engine, the rear engine gear shift lever must be decoupled and left in the free (neutral) position after detachment, the driver operating only the foremost gear lever. If running only the rear engine, proceed vice versa.
  • When running the two engines, the engines should be run as closely as possible at the same speed. The rear engine may be run slightly faster than the front as the rear engine will encounter more resistance when pushing the vehicle’s weight.
  • In any case, both the motor switches must be in the same position otherwise in difficult terrain or when driving on steep gradients, where one engine is not sufficient and the engine may stall, will subsequently stop the second engine.
  • Each engine is started by its own electric starter motor and can be started independently.
Easy terrain and road
When driving at a limited speed it is better to use only one motor. On long journeys, it is good to use the engines in turn to equalize wear. Before moving on to the difficult terrain, both engines should be run so that they are synchronised and equally warmed up.

Four-wheel steering is used only for off-road or turning in a small area. When driving on the street only use the front wheel steering (see "Control").

Off-road driving
Front wheel steering on the streets or good terrain is not recommended, however, the driver must get used to the car’s behavior when driving with dual control, for example, when you turn to the left, the front end turns to the left and the rear end turns to the right. This fact must always be taken into account when driving in a cramped site.

The wagon’s two-stoke motors are powerful enough to overcome even large cross-country obstacles so there is no need to run at full throttle in difficult terrain or steep inclines. On the contrary, it is highly recommended that the inclines are taken at as little throttle as possible so that there is a reserve of power to overcome challenges. Also, the engines suffer increased wear at excessive speed.

However, when tackling steep gradients care must be taken care that the engine speed does not suddenly become too much, but timely shift down into low gear.

Handle with care and caution if towing a trailer off road.

If the car has not been used for a while, especially during the winter, the clutch plates may hold on to each other due to the stiffened oil. The easiest way to separate them is to set to the fourth gear, while the brakes are on, and let the engine pull them apart slowly and easy. This will usually separate the plates during the first try. Anyway, the clutch must be disengaged."

In particular, do not misuse or force any of the controls, switches or devices. Calm and considerate driving will deliver surprisingly good performance.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Tempo G1200 All Terrain Vehicle in Finnish Service

The Vidal and Sohn Tempo company built the G1200 all-terrain vehicle in the hope of securing a Wehrmacht contract. The Wehrmacht tested an early production version of the G1200 in 1936 and immediately dismissed the vehicle from consideration. The Wehrmacht test drivers complained about difficulties synchronising the engines and the gear changing. This probably shouldn't have come as a surprise to Vidal and Sohn's, as the G1200, with its dual engines and four wheel steering was quite an unusual vehicle and, as the user manual stated "driving skill is crucial for the vehicle’s off-road use, and for this reason it is necessary that every driver becomes familiar with the ... instructions before actually driving the truck off-road." Vidal and Sohn were naturally disappointed, but were convinced of the vehicle's utility and began to explore export opportunities. The G1200 achieved some measure of export success, being exported to armed forces in Sweden, Romania, Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Denmark, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Thailand and even Australia.

The Finnish army made a purchase of G1200s in 1940. They saw service during the Winter War (1939-40) and in the subsequent Continuation War (1941-44) as reconnaissance and transport vehicles, where they performed well in the tough conditions. One could argue that the conditions in Finland during its eastern war were exactly the kind of conditions the car was designed for. Its independent suspension and four wheel drive traction allowed it to cross rough and broken ground. Four wheel steering allowed it to navigate through tight forest tracks, and its twin two-stroke engines allowed it to run in sub-zero temperatures where other vehicles engines' froze (a problem the Russian's encountered in the 1940 Winter War).

Here are a series of photographs from the Finnish Defense Forces archive of crews test driving their Tempo G1200s as part of a training exercise. The winter photographs are from February and March 1942. Photographs of a summer exercise are from May 1942. The photos really demonstrate the amazing capabilities of this extraordinary vehicle.

Winter Exercise

Summer Exercises

All photos are from the Finnish Defense Forces archive - www.sa-kuva.fi