Panzer IV Build

* Diving Into Some Detail *

Week # 4

P4

With a short week due to Thanksgiving we have less dramatic progress to report.  The Panzer IV build saw us diving into some detail.  As I wrote before one can spend as much time on a hinge as assembling the big plates of the aufbau.  Enthusiasm definitely runs higher when the big plates go together.

We finished the brake access hatches drip rails for the hull’s upper nose.  It is sculpting for sure.  Hey, Flak Panzer guys, here is the recipe …  11 gauge sheet cut into 2 inch strips.  Bent up on both long sides to 90 degrees.  We had to limit the length of each section to 12 inches or less because of the strength of our brake.

The brake’s bend line was 1/2 inch into the 2″ dimension on both sides.  After the bend the roll made each leg .625″ in height.  The width of the channel that was created is just a tad over 1 inch.  These dimensions match up to our original examples and the look and feel are identical.

So you metric folks will have to do the math…  🙂

The floor was cut out of the channel and one side clipped.  Then we bent the radius and welded in a new floor.  That made the sweeping bend.

The fuel fill positions on the left side posed a little issue with the tapered fuel fill doors.  —  i.e. they don’t fit.  That is until we grind a taper on the holes.  Remember, tapers suck if you don’t have some serious machinery that can do the job….   We don’t.

Before :  Square cut.

 Notice the  “+”  signs.  Most of the needed holes are indicated on the drawing file.  The plasma can’t cut very accurate holes in thick material like this.  It can, however, make the “+” though.   So… X marks the spot.   The hole drilling task will last beyond our lifetimes and probably into the next generation before complete.  Much fun to come and many broken slugger bits.

Also notice the taper on the little door.  We assume the the groove is for an O-ring of sorts.

Roughing the taper in with he plasma torch.

After grinding.    Still needs a little fine fitting touch-up.

Coming into view is the placement of the drivetrain.  We have touched on the GMC v-12 engine so now we can add the steering differential into the soup.  This little jewel is what makes a tank a tank.  It processes power from the engine and distributes it to the drive wheels.  The ability to turn is made possible in this unit by applying brake pressure onto the right or left output.  Brake one side and apply power to the other and behold…. A Turn.

This is a simple approach.  There are many more complex and efficient systems out there.  The most current vehicles use hydrostatic systems where hydraulic fluid applies the magic.  Also, there is a system utilizing planetary gears to reduce output speed.  By engaging planetary gears a turn can be accomplished.  The original panzer IV uses the planetary approach.

For our Panzer IV build we will use the “KISS” method.  (Keep it simple, Stupid)

FV-430 series steering differential.  Simple Robust and Available.

Here are a couple photos of some reproduction parts copied from original counterparts.

Rear brace to help hold the idler slack adjustment mechanisms.

Brace inside the hull back in the engine compartment.

Enough for now.  Gotta get back to work.

Thanks for following our Panzer IV build. Until next week.

Randy