A Saunders RT
The body of RT1396 was one of a batch built by Saunders in 1949-50 at their premises on Anglesey.
It is a roof-box RT. These were prone to damage from low branches, so London Transport later changed their minds, and later RTs did not have roof-boxes.
Compared to other body types such as Weymann and Park-Royall, RTs with Saunders bodies are not common, and RT1396 is therefore well worth preserving.
The engine is made by AEC, and is 9.6 litre, 6-cylinder diesel.
[to be provided]
In 2000 I suddenly started to have fuel blockage problems - the bus would start fine, go for several miles, then suddenly the engine would cut out. I suspected a blockage in the diesel supply; A mechanic friend of mine was called in to assist and examined the fuel pump - apparently nothing wrong there. The problem appeared to be in picking up the fuel from the tank.
Since I had already decided the time had come to remove some of the side panels and inspect the state of the timber in the frame, I removed the beading and panels round the fuel tank, drained the tank of diesel and (with some difficulty) removed it from the bus. I then took it to the local village blacksmith (yes, we still have one), and left it with him.
After 2 weeks and some chasing from me, he removed the covers from the tank, and inspected the inside. Later he showed me what he had found - a coke tin, pebbles, a disintegrating paper bag and several sweet wrappers! It was clearly these latter that had caused the problem, wrapping themselves round the fuel intake. He charged me a modest £15.
I took the opportunity to repaint the tank with a red oxide paint, then refitted it to the bus. Fuel problem completely solved! I then continued with the removal of nearside panels, cleaning and priming the frame and replacing timber which was mostly decayed. This gave me a good opportunity to study the Saunders frame which is very different from Weymann, Park-Royal construction (photos below).
Click on any photo for a full-size version
|In service on route 92||In service on route 71||At Wards of Epping|
|With stablemate||A first look under the covers||Frame re-painted|
|Grandson Oscar takes the wheel|
maintained by JohnB@crownsys.co.uk.