Wednesday, 31 December 2014

LUF828 - December 2014

Restoration work on Royal Tiger 1828 is continuously moving forward, with many of the smaller, time-consuming jobs being tackled. The winding mechanisms which raise and lower the side windows are hidden in the body-side and accessible only through removable inspection panels. These are made from a piece of shaped aluminum covered in seat moquette and are fixed to a wooden frame within the body. (The moquette covers the side walls of the vehicle; the inspection covers are designed to match-in).

The first picture shows one of the old covers on the left. The moquette is so faded and dirty the pattern can hardly be seen. A new piece of material is on the right and in the middle is a stripped cover panel.

This picture shows two of the wooden frames hidden inside the body to which the covers are fixed. They are shaped so as not to obstruct movement of the winding mechanism. The frame on the right is before repair, the one on the left after.

And there are lots to repair!

Substantial amount of work has also been carried out to the entrance steps. The complete unit is removable and so was rebuilt on the bench and is seen here after removal from the coach. The second picture is a close-up of the step-lamp fitting.

After many hours spent on repairs and polishing, the unit is as good as new! It is now in store pending refitting to the vehicle once other structural repairs have been carried out. The wooden treads will be fitted later.

Speaking of polishing, similar work has been carried out to the heater-pipe covers which run along the body interior under the seats. The finish achieved is quite remarkable considering their previous poor condition. The photograph below shows a close-up of one of the covers which fits over the wheel arch - hence the semi-circular cut-out. The second shows a batch of restored covers wrapped in clear plastic and stored until required.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

PUF161H - December 2014

After many months spent in cramped conditions rebuilding the engine, gearbox and wheel hubs, former Southdown dual-purpose Leyland Leopard number 461 finally left the storage shed in which it has been languishing for the past 15 years. Having at last got the vehicle mobile, it will move into our restoration workshop for a full overhaul. 461 is seen just minutes after leaving the storage shed.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

PUF161H - November 2014

Chassis restoration is moving-on well. The engine has been rebuilt and turned over without fuel, so as to ensure the oil-pump is circulating oil correctly. The next step will be to add fuel and fire-up the engine. Assuming this is satisfactory. the gearbox and prop-shaft will be fitted and the vehicle extracted from its current long-term storage position and moved to the main workshop.

The first picture is of the engine viewed form above. New injector pipes and starter motor can be seen. The second picture is of the reconditioned DPA injector pump and compressor.

Two views of the refurbished clutch. The gearbox will be fitted next (a refurbished GB148).

The front (top) and rear (below) near-side wheel hubs almost completed.

A general view of the chassis looking towards the rear axle. The main brake-cam has just been re-fitted in the middle of the picture.

A taste of what is to come. A lot of work will be required on the body after the chassis refurbishment is complete, as can be seen here in this view of the rear of the bus. Some of the interior lighting is switched on to determine the extent of the likely electrical repairs.

27222CD - November 2014

Coach 1722 has had its compressor reconditioned; needless to say, a compressor in good working order is essential. Besides providing sufficient air to power the air-brakes, the compressor on this type of vehicle also supplies the air-assisted suspension. A system of valves and storage tanks regulates the air so that the braking system always takes priority over the suspension. The rebuilt compressor is seen fitted to the engine.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

954CUF - October 2104

A programme of propeller-shaft overhaul was recently started on our fleet of PD3 double deck buses; 954CUF being the first to benefit. There are two shafts on each bus between the gearbox near the front of the chassis and the rear axle, supported in the middle by a self-centering bearing within a fixed housing. To allow for flex, three universal joints are fitted.

To reduce the off-road time to the traffic fleet, spare shafts previously obtained from scrap vehicles were refurbished and then swapped over. This involved removing old universal joints and bearings, inspection, repainting and fitting of new joints and middle bearings. The latter was complicated by the old bearings within the fixed housing not wishing to come out!

Seen here is a brand new universal joint and then again once fitted to the refurbished shaft.

The middle bearing housing is seen here dismantled. Below, the end of the propeller-shaft has been stripped down, old bearing removed and is seen waiting the new components.

Already, the new shafts have proven very reliable in service.

243YUR - October 2014

A recent visit to our workshop site was this fine Rolls Royce. The owner popped by for some advice on rebuilding work and very welcome both he and the car were too. We did suggest he might like to leave it behind for use as a new staff car!

Monday, 15 September 2014

PUF161H - September 2014

The engine rebuild is making progress, with many parts having been refurbished. New liners and pistons are being fitted as the existing ones have sustained wear and some damage. In the first photograph, the new pistons are seen lined up after unpacking, and in the second the old pistons are seen with connecting rods still attached.

The gudgeon pins were then removed and the connecting rods fitted to the new pistons.

The pistons are seen here installed in the engine and in the last photograph the first of the two cylinder heads can be seen during the fitting process..

Sunday, 7 September 2014

LUF828 - Passenger door rebuild

Following on from the story in March showing the sliding passenger door stripped down for rebuild, the following series of photographs show the painstaking work which followed. The lower part of the frame was quite rotten as can be seen in the first picture and a new frame had to be constructed.

The internal aluminum panel which covers the lower frame was originally scumbled and over the years had become quite battered (first picture below). Scumbling is a highly skilled technique using lacquer/glaze and combs to simulate wood effect on metal; the senior craftsman involved in this job having many years experience of this type of work. A base coat is applied (middle picture) followed by glaze which is combed through. The final effect is very pleasing.

The top mouldings were also scumbled after repair; the lighter effect achieved by using a different colour base coat. The whole thing is finished with a square of seat moquette.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

2722CD - re-seating project

As with car 1749 (below), 1722 was fitted with 28 luxurious Chapman style reclining seats in 2 & 1 configuration when new in 1961. Whilst 1749's seats are green, 1722's would have been in the more traditional brown.

One of our long term aspirations has been to re-seat 1722 as originally built, and this project has now commenced. The first job has been to dismantle a set of frames donated to us several years ago. Not only do the frames require modification as they are not wide enough, several castings are missing and will have to be re-cast from molten aluminum. Those parts which are immediately recoverable are being cleaned and primed in oxide primer and pictures of this work will follow. The two pictures here show the old frames coming apart

972CUF - Phase 1 complete.

The first phase of renovation work on this bus, which included re-building of the engine, gearbox and front axle assembly is largely complete. The last remaining part of the jigsaw, the gearbox, has been lifted into position and connected up. As a result, the bus has been successfully driven under its own power round the site.

The views here are of the gearbox in position prior to dressing and lifting, and once again after being fitted. Formerly fitted to car 1749, the box is a Leyland type GB124, refurbished in-house in 2010 and converted to fit a vertical engine (as type GB112).

The next phase will be to refurbish the rear end of the chassis, including axle and brakes.

CCK368 - A postscript July 2014

The 'red wrecker' as it has become known, has been sold by its owner and has gone to the West of England Transport Collection. Seen here being collected by the new owners on Sunday 27 July.

As part of the deal, its place has been taken by NLJ268, a 1953 former Bournemouth Corporation, Leyland Royal Tiger PSU1/13 with Burlingham B42F body. Also owned by Chesterfield Transport and converted to a mobile staff canteen, the vehicle was latterly used as a shop by the Bournemouth Transport Museum. The bus will shortly go under cover and be used as a mobile store.

Monday, 28 July 2014

749DCD - July 2014

After a couple of outings on private hires, 1749 is settling down nicely. We chose Sunday 27 July at the annual Worthing seafront bus rally as the official public launch, and friends of the project joined us to toast the vehicle. The coach is seen glistening in the sun.

Friday, 6 June 2014

PUF161H - June 2014

The engine refurbishment continues apace. The water pump has recently been overhauled, including replacement of main shaft, plus all bearings and seals. The finished item is seen below, and will be stored pending the engine being reassembled.

Meanwhile, the cylinder heads are being attended to and the valves re-ground.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

954CUF - June 2014

We've temporarily taken-off the passenger doors for periodic maintenance. Seen here after receiving a coat of varnish, the doors will be reunited with the bus once dry.