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June 2002

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20th. The bus arrives in Dean, driven by the previous owner, Mike Fuller and we inspect it. The exterior is sound but shabby and will need a repaint. The interior is very clean and the seats worn but acceptable for now, though some of them would not pass a Class 6. The moquette colour is orange/brown, but there are a few blue seats upstairs. It does not blow smoke, and is reputed to be a good starter, but I am taking a lot on trust!

Dean

The lower front is mostly glass-fibre, and a few minor knocks can easily be repaired. At the rear, the engine-bustle is in fairly poor condition, and ideally should be replaced. I shall probably remove the shrouds above the bustle, as did many operators once the buses left LT.

26th. I take the bus for a test drive. David Thrower, RT and RF owner, memorably describes driving a DMS after driving RTs as "driving a block of flats". I now know how he feels! The bus runs very well on good main roads like the A1, but is decidedly difficult to hold steady on minor country roads, where the light hydraulic steering reacts to every pothole and bump. I shall have to enquire among DMS owners to see if this can be improved. Amazing how much bigger than an RT it feels - it is after all only 8½ inches wider, and about 3 feet longer...

28th. The batteries are found to be flat! They are the original LT batteries (4 x 6-volt). Charging them does not seem to improve them very much, and they are extremely heavy. I decide to stump up for a replacement set.

29th. The nearside mirror is very dull, but Mike Fuller comes up with a brand-new replacement! I fix it in place, noting that the bracket needs to be removed at a later date for thorough de-rusting.

30th. A pair of heavy-duty 12-volt batteries are fitted to replace the 4 6-volts. The bus now starts "on the button"

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Material Copyright © 2002 John Braga