Sunday, 22 December 2013

972CUF - December 2013

Work continues on repairs to this Leyland PD3: here the push-out driver's windscreen is having a new rubber seal fitted. The clamps hold the rubber in place during the fitting process.

2722CD - December 2013

Our 1961 Harrington Cavalier bodied Leyland Leopard is fitted with eight elegant glass roof panels. The glass is held in position by green rubber with cream in-fill sections. To ensure the glass continues to be fixed firmly in place, new rubbers have been manufactured and fitted as seen here.

Monday, 4 November 2013

749DCD - November 2013

Our 28 seat, 1963 Harrington Grenadier has completed a number of successful 'running-in' trips following passing an MOT after a rebuild lasting over 5 years.

The cylinder heads now require re-torquing to ensure they are still at the correct setting and this is now being carried out. The coach will be available for hire during the 2014 summer season.

972CUF - Phase 1 update: November 2013

The engine overhaul is complete and it is waiting to be fitted back into the bus (see two pictures below). We are still waiting for new rubber engine support bushes to be made and supplied by a firm based in Stafford. These are expected in the next few weeks at which point the engine will be fitted.

A replacement gearbox is also ready. The refurbished change speed box (at the bottom of the gear stick) is seen below. The gear-stick itself replaces the original which had been repaired but looked unsightly. The replacement came from bus 406, which itself received a refurbished unit some years ago.

The front axle overhaul is complete. Whilst the engine has been out, new stainless steel fuel pipes have been manufactured and fitted.

The cab is being repainted and minor rewiring tasks carried out.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

PUF161H - October 2013

With the completion of major restoration project 749DCD, attention has switched to the overhaul of PUF161H. Again, as with 749DCD, the engine and gearbox on this vehicle suffered flood-water damage several years ago; the gearbox has already been removed and renovated and now it is the turn of the engine to receive similar treatment. The first task was to provide access by removing body panels and ancillary components. Next, comes the painstaking task of completely stripping the engine, looking for signs of wear and damage.

In the first of these two pictures, the sump has been removed exposing the crank shaft and bottom ends of the pistons. The second view is of the cylinder block with heads removed. 

The next stage will be to remove the pistons and replace parts as necessary.

Friday, 13 September 2013

LUF828 - September 2013

Work on refurbishing the interior mouldings and fittings continues in the background, ready for the day when full restoration of this vehicle is undertaken. Here, the chrome plated luggage rack brackets are seen after cleaning and polishing. They were in poor condition to start with, and it was thought they would have to be re-chromed. However, the quality of the plating has endured and the results of cleaning can be seen. Compare this to the lower photograph, where the brackets are seen in position before being removed for restoration.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

749DCD - August 2013

Coach 1749 pauses near Goodwood on Saturday 17th August, the very first time out on the road for several decades. The vehicle is nearing the end of its five-year restoration and will undergo a number of tests before re-entering service.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

CCK346 - A postscript July 2013

The remains of CCK346 are seen being taken away for disposal.


The full article about this vehicle can be read here:

749DCD & 2722CD - July 2013

Both of our Harrington bodied Leyland L2 coaches are seen together in our workshops. It is interesting to compare details between these fine vehicles. 1749 is still on course for re-entry into service this autumn following its restoration. Meanwhile, 1722 carries on giving trouble-free service.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

954CUF - June 2013

Recent work to this bus has included fitting a refurbished fuel injector pump.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

416DCD - May 2013 visit

416DCD is a Northern Counties bodied Leyland PD3/4 from 1964 and from the same batch of 25 vehicles new to Southdown Motor Services as our own 406DCD. We are always happy to help other owners; in this case 416 called in recently with electrical issues, now happily some way towards being resolved. It is always nice to see other vehicles and their owners and both were very welcome.

Friday, 10 May 2013

LUF828 - Spring 2013 update

We are lucky to have obtained the help of another supporter of this vehicle who has kindly taken on the enormous task of stripping away years of dirt and discolouration, repairing, staining and sealing the wooden interior mouldings prior to applying several coats of fresh varnish. The process takes several weeks and has to be done in batches due to the huge number of items. After completion, each moulding is carefully packed away ready for fitting at a later date. Some idea of the process can be obtained by following the pictures; a true story of rags to riches!

The process of cleaning the mouldings.

The stripped down pieces laid out to dry and ready for staining.

The varnish process under way. Each piece receives 3, 4 or sometimes even 5 coats.

A finished moulding, with roof blind guide fitted, gleams in the sun. Compare this to picture number three above.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

972CUF - Phase 1: May 2013

Further pictures of the rebuilding of this vehicle's engine. The gearbox has been split off and put in store for future rebuild; a previously renovated gearbox will be substituted later. Here, the stripped-down engine stands on supports. The next stage will be to remove pistons and liners.

 One of the brand new pistons which is to be fitted.

Meanwhile, the bus's engine compartment has been steam cleaned and silvered. 'Before and after' photos. More updates will follow.

Monday, 1 April 2013

HCD350E - Winter 2012/3 floor renewal

Following on from the renewal of the upper saloon floor area above the cab completed last year (seen in the photograph below), this winter the remaining area has been repaired and renewed.

Once the bus finished its work for the season at the end of October 2012, the seats were removed and and a start made on lifting the old 'Treadmaster' rubberised cork floor covering. Seen below before the seats were removed and after.


Once the seats were removed and the old floor covering lifted, the task of carrying out repairs was undertaken. The following two pictures show new timber sections inserted into the existing floor.

While the seat frames were out they were cleaned, inspected and repainted. The first picture shows some in undercoat, whilst the second shows frames hung to dry after receiving their top coat.

Here, the new Treadmaster floor covering has been fitted and is receiving sealer polish.

The seats are refitted and the finished job is seen below.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

749DCD - March 2013

The latest pictures of 1749 under restoration. We are hoping the coach will return to traffic for the Goodwood Revival weekend in September.

972CUF - Phase 1: March 2013

The first phase of restoring 972 to revenue earning capability has commenced! The vehicle is currently registered as 'historic' and cannot be used to convey passengers for hire. In order to meet exacting VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) standards, the bus will undergo a full mechanical overhaul and internal refurbishment, adding to work already carried out by its previous owners. The first phase sees the engine removed for rebuilding and fitting of a refurbished gearbox. Whilst this takes place, phase 2 will commence involving refurbishing the front axle and brakes.

Seen below are pictures of the bus having its radiator removed, the engine being partially stripped down ready for removal and finally the engine out of the bus. Look out for further reports on repairs to the engine.