Friday, 11 February 2011

Catching up with the London RMLs

Back in September, two London RMLs 2590 & 2680 arrived at the BusWorks for which may possibly be the most extensive rebuild and restoration work ever carried out commercially on a London Routemaster. Both were stripped right down to the frame and the thorough rebuild process continues.

RML2680 (nearest the camera) has had its rear platform rebuilt to RCL standard and new platform doors will arrive soon. It is also being "Dartmastered" and the new engine mountings and prop-shafts are now on hand for this.

Meanwhile, RML2590 is going retro and will be restored to almost as-new condition - even being refitted with an offside illuminated advertising panel.

UCOC Lodekka 651 - rear end stripped

Another good week of progress on 651. The rear wheelarch sub-frame has been welded up this week and the timbers have returned to reassemble the sides - but some of this work will need to await the fabrication of the semi-circular wheelarch frame in aluminium and surrounding sections. An assessment of the rear end revealed some further timbers that needed replacement and the rear platform doors and emergency door have been stripped for renewal.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Reframe of London MD60 moves to new heights

The reframing of London Metropolitan MD60 continues to progress and now that the substantial work on the lower sections are nearing completion, work has moved to a new level - the top deck. Upper deck glazing has been removed to access the steel rail below the top deck windows, which is corroded at the joints between the vertical pillars. Like the lower sections of framing, there is little evidence of any quality protection of the steel, with only etch-primer applied at construction stage.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

UCOC Lodekka 651 - further progress

Work continues to progress on UCOC Lodekka FS 651. The timberwork under the canopy was found to be rotten requiring the removal of the front nearside between deck panel to access the timbers. The offending section has been removed and sent to our specialist joinery contractors. Similarly, one of the timbers above the lower deck windows was also rotten, requiring a window pan and between deck panel to be removed to remedy.

Meanwhile, the wheelarch framing is being treated for corrosion and the aluminium stress panels are being fabricated.

FOKAB Panther - roof stripped

King Alfred Panther 419 has had its roof stripped to reveal the cause of water ingress and body movement. To put it simply, most of the timber joints are either snapped or rotten and few timbers are connected to anything else - only the aluminium exterior and plastic interior panels seemed to have been holding the structure together. There are some steel supports to the roof coving but now the exterior panelling has been removed the roof structure is very delicate.

It is particularly surprising how little 'structure' there is to the roof of a Plaxton Derwent and how much of the structure is timber. Now the job of the BusWorks is to completely rebuild the roof structure and we are proposing to increase the strength of the structure to increase the robustness of this 36ft. long Panther.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

UCOC Lodekka progresses

Work is now progressing well on UCOC Lodekka 651 after a return to the main workshop last week. Rotten timbers underneath the half cab canopy are being replaced whilst the nearside panelling has been stripped off, revealing oxidised stress panelling and corrosion of the main wheelarch frame.

The offside had previously had to be stripped off and completely rebuilt, but thankfully the nearside frame should be repaired in situ.