Bedford TK

  1. mylesdw

    mylesdw Member

    Messages:
    656
    New Zealand
    I thought I would try documenting the restoration of this old Bedford TK truck. I started it as a blog but I was getting rather lonely with very few readers and no comments at all! So I thought I might try transferring it, bit by bit to this forum which seems much more active. To be honest I feel rather intimidated by some of the truly awesome projects that are going on here but here goes...

    This was our first horse truck and has been parked up awaiting some TLC for a few years now. It has stood out in all weathers during that time but when I put a battery on it it started immediately so there can't be too much wrong with it mechanically at any rate.

    We have here a 1980 Bedford TK. Its model number is KGLC3 which I believe makes it a 300 cubic inch petrol model (4.9L) with 167" wheelbase (4.2m). Amazing that Bedford were still making petrol trucks as late as 1980. At some point it was converted to CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) and later a diesel fitted. When we bought the truck in around 2005 it came with a Bedford 466 diesel and five speed.
     
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  2. langy

    langy langys rodshop

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    I remember driving TK's years ok, horrible things but reliable as a stone. The lack of a tilting can on the TK put Bedford out of business and the D series took all its sales
     
  3. mylesdw

    mylesdw Member

    Messages:
    656
    New Zealand
    Yes they're noisy, hot and slow. I'm hoping to improve some of those things. BTW your hot-rod threads are AWESOME. I hope to get back into proper projects once the kids and ponies are gone!
     
  4. Could you expand a little, as to why exactly the lack of the tilt facility put Bedford out of business please?

    Despite always being a Ford fan, I always thought that Bedford built some nice looking trucks.

    Regards
    Jon
     
  5. mylesdw

    mylesdw Member

    Messages:
    656
    New Zealand
    A good question that because I had never heard that the TK caused Bedford's demise. The TK was simply replaced by the TL the TM and so on.

    Engine access is really quite good with the side flaps open and it is only the very front of the engine that is awkward to get at. Removing the cab is not a huge deal, a decent mechanic with the right equipment would do it in 1-2 hours I reckon. Later in the project I'll be swapping the cab so I guess I will find out.
     
  6. langy

    langy langys rodshop

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    If I remember right Ford beat them to the tilt cab by a long way therefore picking up all the new customers, the D series was nicer to drive too.
    The TL came later but if you ever drive a TL the steering lock was poor
     
  7. Bobo Member

    I had a TK for a few years in the late 80's, but a smaller one, 7.5tonner, it had a PTO as it was a skip truck. I loved it, it was my first proper Lorry! I was a lot younger then, not even sure I know what model it was as I had a local garage doing the work on it for me at the time. I do remember it had a straight 6 diesel engine that died an I had a recon engine fitted. It had a 4 speed gearbox an no power steering, ooo ar, big muscles at the time....:laughing: There was a smaller 4 cylinder engined one, we use to say it wouldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding...:laughing:

    That looks a bigger to me, more like a 10-12 tonner or the like? 8 stud wheels, 7.5t only had 6 stud. It's a good project. Nice big bull bar up front too.

    The TL was a horrible Lorry, I drove one an I thought they hadn't improved on the TK, I much preferred the TK. I suppose the TL did have a 5 speed box an power steering, but I didnt have anything else going for it.


    I passed my Class one in 89 in a D series, 6 speed box an no power steering, I'm not all that sure they were that much better to drive, a little maybe. The tilting cab was definitely a big improvement though, as you could get right round the engine then.
     
  8. hillbilly234 Member

    Messages:
    91
    lancashire
    there was a time,when the 4 speed gearboxes were in great demand,people were knicking them over night while parked up,so easy to get out.four bolts and slip it off propshaft.advice to you ,is make it harder to get off.nice wagons to drive,had a short wheel base one in early 90s.
     
  9. normspanners Member

    Messages:
    8,742
    northwales
    Ive pulled the cab on many a TK and KM's we used to open the doors and had a 300mm wide strop that went through the door openings to lift it, four bolts through rubber mounts, steering columb and multi plugs for the electrics and they were off .
    Hardest job with the cab on was the water pumps you had to work through the gear lever gaiter.
    Done thousands of miles in KM tractor unit as a second man with my uncle, I have the bad back to prove it!!
     
  10. langy

    langy langys rodshop

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    I passed my class one in 1973 in a TK tractor, horrible thing !!!
    Memory not what it was but I'm pretty sure engine sizes were 330, 466 & 500
     
  11. Bobo Member



    :) I was 5 in 1973, I couldn't reach the peddles..

    Now you say it, it rings a bell a little, I think my 7.5tonner was a 330 then. I could still be wrong though, even with your info Steve. It was a 76 on a P reg.
     
  12. normspanners Member

    Messages:
    8,742
    northwales
    I have just remembered I have a 4spd gear box for 4 cyl one sitting here
     
  13. langy

    langy langys rodshop

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    I used to run a fleet of 60 trucks and we had TK's , TL'S and Fords, Fords were always the mechanics favourites to work on because of the tipping cab.

    I once drove a 16 ton furniture box TK to Bulgaria, very reliable and the 500 and 5 speed would let you cruise at 60 mph but the lack of power steering was a bitch !!!
    Truck drivers now don't realise how easy they have it :laughing:
     
  14. mylesdw

    mylesdw Member

    Messages:
    656
    New Zealand
    The First "New" Part

    [​IMG]

    The original truck has fairly rusty bodywork and it has been welded and patched at some point. The worst rust is where the roof meets the gutter but also the doors are pretty ripe. The rust was just starting to be mentioned in COF inspections when we last used the truck. With this in mind I bought another cab a few years ago and that too has been sat in the back yard.

    [​IMG]

    The roof a little dinged and a fair amount of surface rust but basically sound.
     
    andy_v likes this.
  15. Windy Miller Forum Supporter

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    2,606
    Kent, UK
    Blimey Steve - I didn't realise you we're that old! Looking good for an old'un! :whistle:
     
  16. Bobo Member


    :) Yea I know what you mean my current Merc Actros is terrible to drive. All that power steering, Semi auto an Auto boxes.... Air sprung seats terrible... Lol...
     
  17. langy

    langy langys rodshop

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    6,099
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    Actually I put the wrong year down, it was 1974
     
  18. langy

    langy langys rodshop

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    6,099
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    Hahaha, I did get to drive some good stuff too, last thing I drove was Scania 145M , that was a few years ago, gave my license up when I sold the business, I have no desire to drive trucks anymore.
     
  19. Bobo Member


    Funny you say you have no desire to drive trucks anymore, neither do I really apart from the fact that I still do it to make a living...


    Sometimes I still enjoy it, but then sometimes I don't too.
     
  20. langy

    langy langys rodshop

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    No money in it as an operator these days, shame it used to be alright
     
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