Diary - January 2004

Apart from starting it occasionally to keep everything ticking over, I did nothing to the bus in November/December 2003. DM1051 was always a good starter, and always came to life without trouble. Just before Christmas I took out the batteries and put them on trickle-charge at home.

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24th. I put back the batteries and was delighted to hear the bus start immediately after its long layoff (the good news!). I then went for a leisurely drive of about 20 miles to get everything properly warmed up. All went well, the bus seemed to respond satisfactorily until I stopped in a layby to check round the back. On lifting the engine cover I found that the fan belts (there are 6 belts that drive the dynamo and the fan) all seemed to be loose (the bad news).

I drove home carefully, but when I got back to the farm and again lifted the cover I found that 2 of the belts had vanished, and 2 were badly damaged. Only 2 remained in a reasonable state. A quick call to a handy engineering friend (next door to the farm!) brought an instant response, and Geoff soon found that a bolt holding the drive-shaft had sheared, and that the whole drive shaft had worked loose. I dread to think what would have happened in another 20 miles - the drive shaft would have come detached, and probably come crashing out through the engine cover, mangling everything in its path...

Luckily Geoff managed to get the pully assembly off the driveshaft, and thought nothing of the challenge of making a bolt to match the existing one. It was left to me to retrieve the 2 undamaged belts and to find a supplier through Yellow Pages...

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