Manifold pipe repaired

Starting work...

October 10th.

The most important job is to cure the exhaust leak. I need to remove the drop pipe from the manifold and investigate. This involves removing clamps from underneath, then undoing the pipe where it meets the manifold on the side of the engine.Rather to my surprise, I can reach the clamps underneath by lying on a creeper-trolley, and the nuts come off with only a little pressure (I expected to have to grind them off). The manifold nuts prove to be MUCH more awkward, since access is very difficult. I call on James to remove the cab-seat, so that I can get better access, but that means kneeling in a cramped space and removing a nut that I cannot see.

October 14th.

After 2 hours of struggle, and the cautious application of some heat, the exhaust drops free from the manifold and can be examined. As well as various hairline cracks, there is a large hole! No wonder I am getting fumes in the cab.

October 15th.

I buy some flexi-pipe and straight pipe of the correct diameter (still available thank goodness) and take it to Bob the blacksmith who promises to braize it for me. I also buy some small diameter radiator hose to repair some heater pipes.

October 21st. 

The heater pipes are fixed with new radiator hose, and the whole radiator system should now be water-tight! I add some water. No obvious leaks.

October 23rd.

I collect the repaired exhaust pipe from the blacksmith. As usual he has done a splendid job. 

October 24th.

It takes me 4 hours of cramped, difficult, work, but I at last manage to refix the exhaust pipe at top and bottom. Success! I start the engine, and can detect no fumes in the cab. Hurrah!

October 28th.

Today I fit some mirrors (stolen temporarily from the Regal), drive the bus out of the shed, and use James' pressure spray to clean under the offside front wheel. I cannot get very far underneath, but it is a good start.I also make a start on replacing the damaged step and frame. The 2 steps are easily removed and put aside for copying.

October 31st.

The step frame is finally removed. It takes a long time because I want to retain the shape as much as possible to make it easy to copy. The wood and metal under the frame look to be in good state.

November 1st.

I make a hardboard template of the side of the stepframe, and ask a friend who works in a technical college to make up a complete frame. He agrees!November 7th. I clean up the area of the chassis under the step and paint it with brown Hammerite.

November 11th.

I put another coat of Hammerite on the chassis step area (silver this time).

November 14th.

I have been starting the bus regularly but the starter motor has started to stick. Tony Brown visits and squirts WD40 freely, but the problem remains. Evidently the starter motor needs to be removed. After Tony has left I struggle to remove the unit (more cramped work in the cab!) but without success. I have removed the strap holding it to the engine side, but it remains firmly jammed in place.

November 15th. 

Today I at last manage to remove the starter motor. Goodness knows if I will ever manage to get it back again! Now to find a firm that can look at it for me.November 18th.Guy Blakeley agreed to look over the starter motor, so Tony took it to him in his landrover. Thank heavens for a good network of knowledgeable friends.

November 21st.

While waiting for some paint to dry (on the Regal) I applied Nitromors to a couple of panels and scraped them off, finishing off with washing up liquid in cold water as recommended. Not a quick job, but the results are pleasing.

November 29th

Guy reported that he could find no fault with the starter motor, but that he will clean and lubricate it. I will therefore try refitting it.

December 5th

Today I collected steel for the step from Tony in Rushden, and managed to fit the left-hand side panel. It was then removed for painting.