We've recently had an opportunity to allocate time and funds towards carrying out some preparatory work to this vehicle, as it is hoped that full restoration will start in earnest in 2013. As a prelude to the work which will eventually be required on the chassis, we have removed and dismantled the gearbox, a Leyland type GB148, for refurbishment. On inspection, it was found to be in quite good condition and so will be reassembled with new bearings and seals. The dismantled gearbox is seen during inspection.
Thursday, 15 November 2012
23 ACD is a 1962 Leyland PD2/37 new to Brighton Corporation. It has a Weymann Orion 64 seat body. The vehicle is believed to be Britain's first double deck one-man-operation bus, (converted in June 1966), though was not ideally suited to the role with the driver having to turn to serve passengers through a small window behind him.
Vehicle and owner visited us on Friday 9th November.
Saturday, 3 November 2012
We have recently completely rebuilt several Leyland gearboxes for use in our fleet of vintage buses. Here, the old Leyland type GB112 gearbox fitted to bus number 406 is seen inside the vehicle from above. It has been disconnected and is about to be lowered into the pit below.
The gearbox referred to in the caption above is seen after lowering at the back of the pit, with the new reconditioned unit to the fore ready for lifting.
A closer view of the reconditioned type 112 gearbox.
And finally, the new unit in position fitted to the bus ready for testing.
Tuesday, 23 October 2012
With the help of a generous supporter, we are in the process of having the fuel pump refurbished. The pump is seen after having been removed prior to being sent away. These types of pump are now quite rare and parts few and far between, so we couldn't turn down this opportunity.
Monday, 20 August 2012
Once the restoration of 1749 is complete, the coach will have been reseated for 28 persons using luxurious Chapman reclining 2+1 seating. These seats have had to be totally rebuilt and refurbished using units recovered from another vehicle owned by a friend. The backs and bases are currently being re-trimmed, though a prototype has been returned for checking and can be seen here fitted to one of the old grey frames.
Meanwhile, the seat frames themselves have been dismantled, checked, repaired and components altered where necessary. The following photographs show some of the many hundreds of individual parts which make up the frames; these have just been repainted into the green colour which would have originally been used when the coach was new.
As part of the continuing restoration of this vehicle, the front end of the coach has been rewired and is being prepared for painting. December 2011.
The interior of the rear of the coach has been re-glazed and refurbished. The original rose pattern moquette, which will be used to cover the seats is seen here in position as decorative lining.
One of the newly refurbished roof push out ventilators.
The interior of the coach prior to laying of the new linoleum flooring.
Sunday, 19 August 2012
Coach number 1722 is fitted with air assisted suspension. This means that in addition to the usual traditional arrangement of leaf springs, air bellows fitted to the axles provide a smoother ride. As the vehicle travels along, a system of valves regulates the amount of air in the bellows thereby adjusting the cushion effect to give the best ride. One such valve is seen below:
The lever to the left attaches to a rod connected to the axle. As the axle moves up and down over the surface of the road, the lever is agitated and controls the air flow. These valves require occasional reconditioning and this task has recently been completed. The valve pictured above is seen again below after having been refitted to the coach.
This is a retrospective report of work carried to re-glaze and repaint the vehicle. January 2009, and 1722 is seen here with external trim removed and sheeted up internally ready for removal of the windows. The existing original rubber in which the glass sat was starting to show signs of becoming perished, so replacement section was sourced locally to the original green specification.
>Then seen here minus the driver's screens. The roof section is in undercoat.
Once the final coat of paint had been applied around the window area, the screens were re-fitted. The new green glazing section can be seen.
One of the last jobs with any repaint is to add fleet names to the side of the vehicle. This is an original Southdown transfer fixed with varnish in the traditional method. The coach re-entered service in April.
Saturday, 18 August 2012
BUF276C was delivered new to Southdown Motor Services of Sussex in 1965 and was one of several 69 seat vehicles bought that year. We purchased the bus in early 1993 as a source of spares for our other double deck vehicles, but the subtle differences in design between this and our other buses meant that we didn't actually need to dismantle the bus.
The vehicle was sold to another preservationist for spares in 2008.
This is a retrospective report of work carried out to the upper-deck seating in late 2005. The seat bases and backs are made form plywood and shaped hardwood. Over the years, the condition of the original seats had become less than satisfactory to the point that many needed replacing. New frames were constructed in our own workshops and these can be seen in the following two photographs.
Once the frames had been assembled, they were painted for protection and sent to the trimmers to be covered in new horsehair and foam padding. The next task was for the new green vinyl covering to be applied, followed by fixing of the original colour-impregnated fiberglass backs.
The finished seats, fitted in time for the 2006 season, are seen below:
Saturday, 23 June 2012
Seen here is the main electrical control box in the cab of bus No. 350. A recent fault with the starter motor lead to an investigation to check the electrical integrity of the starter circuit. On dismantling the control box, it was discovered that a small piece of former fuse material had possibly come into contact with two separate terminals. This fuse material may have dropped down many years ago and lain undisturbed until now. It had the potential to do an awful amount of damage but fortunately this threat has been removed.
The errant fuse material; about the size of a fingernail.
Sunday, 17 June 2012
PUF596R is a Bristol VRTSL3 new to Southdown in January 1977. This vehicle is not one of ours but is owned by a friend and has just emerged from workshops having been re-paneled and carrying a splendid repaint into 'National' green livery.
The bus also sports a period advert for Uncle Sams Burgers of Brighton. Further detail includes the reproduction 'Chairman's Award for Innovation' vinyls from 1981. Owner and vehicle called in at our workshops today and very welcome they were too!
New in 1964 to Southdown Motor Services of Sussex, this bus was one of a batch of 25 similar 69 seat vehicles from that year. We bought the bus in 1991 for spare parts to allow for the complete restoration of sister vehicle 954 CUF.
974 had been substantially altered in the 1980s for use as a 'play bus' based in the West Midlands and by the time we bought the vehicle was in poor condition. Following a long period in store, the vehicle was carefully dismantled during the summer of 2006 and this process is seen here. No-one likes to see vehicles broken up, least of all us, but without the parts 974 gave up it would have been quite impossible to return 954 to traffic.
Saturday, 2 June 2012
In 2006, 'Panoramic' double deck bus number 350 is seen during repairs to its roof as part of ongoing restoration works. Here, the panels have been removed to reveal the skeleton of the vehicle.
The opportunity was also taken to carry out routine repairs to the rear roof dome using fibreglass resin and filler.
Finally the roof is seen with the new primer coated panels fitted ready to receive paint.