So what happened there? Suddenly it’s nearly November 2016 ! OK but I’ve done a bit, fixed the damaged framework, re-panelled everything , trimmed it in beige trim fabric and refitted most of the mahogany window surounds, Also repaired the sliding door and fitted new window glass in three windows. and now it’s just about to be taken out of the unit and parked up with a cover on for the winter, Fortunately under a corrugated roof, under security cameras, while I get on with the interior woodwork in a nice warm workshop.
Ok so I’ve spent the last few days on my knees sanding the floorboards which have come up really nicely, Once they’re finished I plan to give them several coats of oil to bring out the colour and feed the wood. The interior of the bus is now re-panelled and I am waiting for some window rubbers to arrive, Then once the windows are back in I can start fitting the trim fabric and sorting the mahogany capping on the window frames. I have also removed the sliding door so that I can rebuild the step and the bottom of the door where the panel has rusted. While working on the bus I have been adopted by a robin who fly’s in and out of the workshop and eats the crumbs from my sandwiches. Ah well it’s nice to have somebody top talk to!
I have stripped out the panelling inside and found some damage to the framework caused by wet rot and some struts in the rear corners that were broken when the farmer at my previous storage place decided to move it without asking me first, by lifting the back end up with a fork lift fitted to his tractor. What a **** (I leave you to fill in the spaces) needless to say I moved the bus soon afterwards.
So I’ve cleared away the worst of the wet rot and treated the remaining bits with wet rot hardener and made up some inserts to replace the bad stuff. It seems pretty solid and should be even stronger when the panels are replaced. I’m now looking forward to a couple of weeks of pure woodwork to finish the inside and then hopefully I can get the trim back in. That lots of polished mahogany capping and window surrounds which is going to be a bit of a jigsaw puzzle, still at least it’s inside in the warm.
So watch this space…… who knows next time I might even remember to take a camera!
So finally I bought a new cover for Hamilton and then a week later we decided to try and fit the bus in our unit so I can work on it over the winter. I had to remove the front bumper and the radiator but it fits with about an inch to spare so hopefully I will be able to carry on with the resto over the winter…. So watch this space!
Wow I’m not very good at this blogging malarky am I? first post in a month…… So whats been happening, The starter motor has been rebuilt and works really well and I’ve stripped the brakes, cleaned them up. stripped and rebuilt the master cylinder and slave cylinders with new seals from Powertrack. Put it all back together and bled the brakes. They seem to be working, although I need to drive it properly to check them. So far I have only driven it very gently around the yard but it stopped OK. I’ve also fitted new hinges on the bonnet, Flushed and refilled the cooling system and cleaned lots of loose rust underneath. Next job is to get a proper exhaust sorted out and sort the wiring in the engine compartment and then maybe I’ll take it for a longer drive….
I have fitted a small petrol tank on the bulkhead with an electric pump feeding the carb and refitted the starter motor. The engine starts up really easily, one touch of the solenoid and it bursts into life almost instantly. Amazing, however I have decided to replace the starter motor with the original one so I have asked Chelmsford Auto Electric to replace the broken mainspring then I can replace the pull start and start it from the drivers seat…. I have been liberally spraying WD40 on all the exposed brake swivels and wheel nuts in preparation for the next job.. Sorting the brakes. I don’t think the rear hubs have been taken off for at least 40 years so that should be interesting!
So now Hamilton is parked up at the workshop and ready for restoration. I cleaned out the carburettor, fitted a new battery, cranked it over and absolutely nothing happened. So I cleaned all the terminals and earth connections, checked the timing, and tried again and with a triumphant roar the engine started and the bus disappeared in a massive cloud of smoke. No not magic. I had put loads of oil in the bores when I parked it up and it all burned off in one beautiful cloud. Now it starts and runs clean and I am planning the next step. I will be fitting a small temporary fuel tank and an electric pump because the original Amal pump has broken and I need to clean out the main tank before I put petrol in it. Then it will be time to look at the brakes…….