Wednesday, 24 January 2018

LUF828 - January 2018

One job which has been ongoing for some considerable time, but is now happily moving forward nicely, is the refurbishment of the drive mechanism for the 'sunshine roof' - a part of the roof which can be slid open via a chain driven mechanism and electric motor.

Just about everything that you can see in this picture was falling or had fallen to bits. The drive shaft coming in from above, rotates on a small bearing through a 90 degree knuckle. The bearing had collapsed and an enormous amount of time was spent identifying and replacing it. The drive chain going off to the left was barely recognisable. However, enough remained to inform us that it was effectively obsolete. After much searching, one of our team discovered a gentleman with some old stock which he was willing to let us purchase. The whole contraption was reassembled and the result most gratifying.

PUF161H - January 2018

Recently, the replacement plywood floor has been filled and machine sanded and new sheets of green 'Treadamaster' (a rubberised composite flooring) laid. These two shots were taken during this process.

Next steps include fitting of the repaired saloon heating ducts.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

972CUF - January 2018

Winter has reminded us of how chilly the days can be and although we do not run at this time of year, the buses need to have working heaters for those odd occasions during the summer months when the days are cool and damp. The heaters in 972 are generally in reasonable shape, although one was missing altogether! We've raided our spares and started the process of stripping down the heater boxes - there are four, two in each saloon. The photographs here show some of the various parts being taken back to bare metal.

Meanwhile, we've set about servicing a set of CAV wiper motors ready for eventual fitting. They are left and right handed and are identified by coloured tape (white or green) as Southdown used to do. This pair have just been put back together and await a coat of paint before receiving their colour coding.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

406DCD - November 2017 winter works

The winter is upon us and the buses have been put away until the spring. Now the engineering fun starts! First in the queue is our 1964 Leyland PD3 number 406 which has come in for some well-deserved TLC. The cylinder heads which were previously fitted to car 350's old engine, (the one which was removed last winter after a refurbished one was installed), have been sent away and completely stripped down. The surfaces of each head were skimmed to make them true and replacement valve guides and brand new valves (sourced from eBay!) fitted. They were recently delivered back to us and are seen here nicely wrapped.

The plan is to remove the existing heads from 406's engine and replace them with the refurbished ones. This project was driven by the existing head gaskets showing signs of stress and suspected valve wear. The engine itself is the original one fitted to the bus when we bought it from Southdown in 1988 and generally performs well. The thinking is, that refurbished cylinder heads should prolong the engine life for many years to come. Here we see the inside of 406's engine bay with the old cylinder heads during and after removal.

A thorough inspection and clean ensued prior to the new heads being fitted (seen here).

We have been lucky enough to source some army surplus CAV type injectors to replace the existing Leyland ones: the latter being obsolete and no longer sensibly repairable due to lack of parts. However, spares for the CAV type can still be sourced. Two of the refurbished set of six are seen here.

Whilst the engine job has been coming to its conclusion, another team has removed the anti-roll bar attached to the rear axle. One of the large rubber bushes was showing early signs of wear and so a replacement has been fitted. This photograph shows the unit way from the bus.

The next job on 406 is to adjust the front springs and also replace the remaining rubber bushes within the engine support brackets.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

PUF161H - September 2017

There's has been the usual summer lull in restoration work whilst regular maintenance and operation of the main fleet continues. September has been particularly busy with Goodwood Revival and a whole weekend hire requiring all five operational vehicles to be out on the road. However, one small but pivotal job on DP Leopard 461 has been the making of new wheel-arch assembly from aluminium sheet. An old one is seen below, whilst a replacement is fabricated on the bench. Winter work will soon ramp up as the main fleet is mothballed until the spring.

Monday, 28 August 2017

972CUF - August 2017 update

There has been a big push with this project of late. As reported in June, the entrance doors are being refurbished which has entailed their removal from the vehicle and complete strip-down. Once the primer and cream top coat had been applied, the doors were refitted to the bus so that the green lower half could be marked out. The doors were again taken down, masked and the first of the green paint applied. Here are a few shots of this process.

Elsewhere on the bus, all of the windows have been removed. This enables each of the sliding frames to be dismantled and refurbished, the glass throughly cleaned and refitted with new green window rubbers. Again, pictures from this process are seen below.

Friday, 30 June 2017

972CUF - June 2017 update

It's been a little while since we told you about progress with returning this vehicle to active service. Not being one of our regular traffic vehicles, 972 has to take a back seat whilst more important jobs are tackled. This doesn't mean things aren't moving forward. At the present time, the entrance doors have been removed as part of the entrance step renewal reported here last July. Incidentally, the new steps are seen here in the process of being finished off

At the same time, the platform has been stripped of its old floor covering and the floorboards treated.

The new green 'Treadmaster' floor covering has been cut out to the correct size and is seen here upside-down, being glued for laying.

The ceiling panels over the platform area have also been removed and are presently being stripped down and repainted. The bare platform ceiling area can be seen here, with upper saloon supports exposed.

Meanwhile, the entrance doors themselves have been stripped down and are being repainted. More on this story as reassembly progresses.