Work on the rear axle has continued since the last update in May, becoming rather a painful saga. After the refurbished hubs were put up, it was found the replacement brake drums wouldn't fit: they were binding on the new brake linings. Odd, as all of the replacement parts were new and within the manufacturer's tolerance. This vehicle is a side project, but quickly became the focus of attention for several staff for many, many weeks. The hubs were taken down, bearings rechecked and refitted; the brake pins and bushes checked for excess play - nothing amiss here; the brake shoes were swapped for others, again no difference; then, the brake drums were slightly turned down and checked for ovality. Finally, the near-side went together perfectly - ah, we thought, the off-side would be a doddle. Wrong. (The off-side hub is seen here, once more removed).
Hours more were spent carrying out checks. Finally, micrometer checks to the wheel studs (to which the wheels are fixed), revealed small variations in measurement between each stub. This variation prevented the brake drum from sitting true. This bus has not yet joined our operational fleet since being purchased from its previous owner, and this sort of check is imperative to ensure future safe operation. It would seem that sometime in the past, the off-side rear wheel assembly has been strained, possibly due to hitting a severe pothole or similar. There was nothing for it but to change the studs for new ones; fortunately, these were in stock, purchased as part of an auction lot during the sale of items from the former Southdown garage at Hilsea. Here is a close-up shot of one of the wheel studs, and next to it the hole where one has been removed. Finally, we can report that the work was successful and at last the rear wheels are on!