stripping and sanding,

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!
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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!
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OK here we go again

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!
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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….   

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Starting & Stopping

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!

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It Run’s

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…….

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The First Post

So this is the beginning.

If you’ve already read the other pages you’ll realise it’s one of many, but hey ho nothing ventured nothing gained…..
As you may have gathered this blog is about the restoration of a classic bus called Hamilton. Due to one thing and another it has been wrapped up in a succession of tarpaulins on a local farm for the past fifteen years but now we have decided to move it to our workshop and finally finish the restoration we started 25 years ago…….
We removed the covers yesterday and got the bus ready to move and at nine o’clock this morning a massive low loader from Heavy Haul arrived.  

It absolutely dwarfed the bus, but the driver knew his stuff and managed to avoid the freshly laid concrete I had driven my smart car through earlier…..  Sorry Rob!

DSCN4413 The trailer had a moving axle that moved forward so that the back tilted down for loading, amazing. It was soon in position and ready for loading. And on it went!                 Simple.

DSCN4421Once loaded the trailer was reconfigured,  the bus lashed down with chains and it was ready to roll. 

DSCN4426 It must have looked amazing flying along the A12 but unfortunately we had to get ahead to be at the workshop when it arrived.

Another nifty piece of driving into a very tight yard and Hamilton was deposited neatly in it’s new parking space… DSCN4431
And now the hard work begins. We cleaned out the inside, removed the dead mice and chewed up insulation and left it to dry out. Who knows it may stay sunny for a few days  DSCN4433 and we can get under the bonnet and fire up that 3.5 litre side valve. Unfortunately not too likely but we’ll have a go.

Whatever happens, we’ll keep you posted……

                                                       Thanks for visiting …… come again!

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