26 March 2016

Offside pillars

As stated in the last update, progress has slowed due to the seasonal weather and lower temperatures. Work is still being done, but when you're working in an environment where you can see your breath, have to wear multiple layers of clothing and you're working on cold metal using cold tools, you're not going to get much done quickly.

The recent work carried out has to included re-working the battery bay and risers and fitting the new batteries in their normal home. This sounds like a nice simple thing, but it involved jacking up the bus again, supporting the body and allowing the chassis to be lowered, welding new pillar channel either side of the battery bay, fixing the outer battery bay brackets and re-welding an edge of the platform riser and a bit of re-welding of the battery compartment. We are now fully satisfied that the battery compartment is complete. One of the batteries also had to be replaced as it was a bad one. The frame for the lower saloon flooring (just forward of the platform riser) has been re-instated and just needs bolting to the top of the platform riser.

Further removal of wood along the edge of the lower saloon ceiling has been done and the offside waist rails have been taken out. These are all being replaced with new ones that we make ourselves, along with purpose made new waist rail brackets. The seat mounting brackets from the old waist rails will be transferred to the new ones. Whilst doing this, we removed one pillar. We will focus on remediation of this particular pillar to use the method to fix the others. All suffer from bracket corrosion at the top (where they marry up to the upper saloon pillar) and at the bottom where they meet the lower saloon floor cross members. I have determined the best ways to connect these at the top and at the bottom, both of which will be non-standard and not feature original parts. However, they will be appropriate given the circumstances, will ensure guaranteed sustainable strength and will not impact appearance. While we were doing the preparation work to remove the pillar that we are working with, an adjacent one fell out. This emphasizes the need to fix them properly. At present the upper saloon framework around the removed windows is only supported by the very foremost bay and the very last one. We have a self imposed ban on going upstairs to avoid any weight being applied to the floor and the ceiling beneath it that might cause them to sag or collapse. It's spider heaven up there.

The bus does look somewhat strange being so open, but I am pleased as it has to go through this to build it up again.

RT3316 steps out between showers in Easter 2016, one year after restoration commenced

Whilst I organize the parts for the pillars, the rotten wood along the offside and offside corner of the cab will be removed and replaced with brand new old stock that has been sourced. More about that next time...