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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.