Diary - July 2002
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7th. Restoration starts in earnest. The plan is to concentrate on
repainting the exterior. I have not yet decided on a livery, but work can start
on scraping down, repriming and undercoating. I start to remove the paint on
the beading down to the bare aluminium and reprime - old paint tends to collect
round the rivets and in corners, and the bus will be made much smarter by
stripping this away. The panels are mostly in good condition, and will only
need rubbing down, but where the paint has flaked (mostly at the edges) it will
need removing and the edges "feathered". There are a number of small
dents which can be repaired with filler. Some panels will need to be replaced,
and this will give me the chance to view the condition of the frame.
8th. I remove one small length of beading by drilling out the
rivets. DMS beading is aluminium (compared with steel on RTs) and some sections
have a lip down one side. Underneath, the panels are overlapped, which explains
why rivets through the centre of the beading can be used.
Round the cab much of the beading is held by screws, indicating that
there is wood underneath. The screws look very rusty and will be difficult to
remove. I have bought some mid-grey undercoat and made a start
11th. Decide to remove all beading screws and replace them with
non-rusting chromed screws. Will also use vaseline when screwing them in! This
should make sure that it will be easy to remove beading at any point in the
future. The screws are mainly round the cab area. At present they are nearly
all 8 x 1" slotted, very rusty and are, as I feared, very reluctant to
move. However, manage to remove the entire beading across the lower front,
below the glass-fibre cab-front, but 3 screws in a side beading resist all my
efforts and I resort to drilling them out. This is probably a mistake, because
I will have to make new holes in the beading when I replace it later. I should
have forced WD40 behind the beading and left it to soak overnight.
Also remove "modern" front number-plate to reveal worn original,
which can be restored.
The chrome on the fittings round the front head and side-lights is very
pitted and beyond salvage. Decide to paint rather than rechrome, so prime it
with Halfords spray primer. May well be able to pick up replacement fittings at
a bus rally some time. The nearside front sidelight fitting is eaten away with
rust, and should be replaced.
Stopped about 10pm when it was becoming too dark to see, and listened to a
tawny own having a spat with a kestrel - kestrel very annoyed.
12th. Painted the front of the cab in undercoat,
and started on removing screws from the front beading just below the
windscreen. Only 1 in 4 seems to want to move...
13th. Only had a short time available. Drilled
through a washer to enable me to remove the nearside bustle shroud - there are
2 bolts that will not budge. Eventually, after about an hour, the washer was
removed and the bolt (still firmly in place) slipped through the hole in the
shroud. One bolt to go!!
14th. Finally worked out how to removed the
wheel-arch panel trim, and so free the panel with a cutout to be replaced or
repaired. Removed the panel, and refixed the wheel-arch trim temporarily - I
want to make sure the bus is always driveable.
15th. More removing of stubborn screws. Also, offside bustle shroud
bites the dust!
16th. More undercoat on offside, and more removing of beading and
screws. Manage to removed front offside rubber panel. If I can find a source, I
can easily replace it with a new panel. The frame needs a tap at the corner
before the panel is replaced since it has obviously suffered a minor bump at
some stage - that's after all what the rubber is there for. Have removed all
the screws from the centre front beading below the windscreen, hoping that that
would release the centre panel, as I can see that some wood should be replaced.
However the panel still stays firmly in place!
18th. Centre panel removed at last! The
horizontal timber at lower edge of panel is fastened to the inner panel with 6
long bolts with screw heads, but every one sheared off near the head when I
tried to unscrew them, so I had no option but to remove the timber by force,
which forced the nuts through the inner panel. When I replace I will use
angle-brackets with rivets to fix to the back panel, and brackets with screws
to fix to the vertical timbers.
20th. Removed the offside bustle shroud. The rear looks better
already! Then sanded and primed part of the nearside lower panels ready for
22nd. Removed front offside rubber panel. Lower
front is now completely ready for new timber. Undercoated 3 nearside panels,
and filled minor dents.
23rd. Hammerited all parts of the frame that I could
reach while the front panels were removed. Made new timber for the short
vertical sections that hold the rubber panels in place, and bought some new
aluminium angle to adorn them. Inspected panels that I undercoated recently,
and added small amounts of filler where dents showed through.
24th Undercoated the front lower panel, and removed
further wretched screws (almost done with screws!). Removed all rivets round
nearside panel near door that has to be replaced. Sanded all small sections of
beading that I had previously removed for cleaning.
26th. A good fairy arrived (disguised as an RT
bus-driver) with a complete back-end for an Atlantean on the platform! With
some difficulty it was stored inside DM1051 for future attention. On the whole
it is in better condition than the one currently in place, but will still need
a fair amount of repair and repainting. I may also have problems with the
fitting, since the existing left-hand bustle is joined without a break to the
centre section at the top, whereas the new one comes in separate bits. We will
I use a friend's bandsaw to cut out the timber for the front
cab from the template I made previously.
27th. More work on the cab timber, trimming to exact size.
Temperature at the front of the bus must have been in the 90s....