Today, Claire, Paul, Nick and Jake descended on the yard to tidy up 3131 and finally sort out 5137's throttle valve which Paul rebuilt. This was refitted but unfortunately didn't work. Paul later discovered he'd put a spring in the wrong way around, a very easy mistake to make. He removed 7681's throttle valve too as she can be very much 'all or nothing' and he will give this a service too and hopefully make her a bit smoother. The oil leak on 7681 is back despite last week it seemed to have sorted itself out - typical of 7681 with a mind of her own so it seems! Also she decided to throw a wobbly today as Nick took her around the yard and after a few circuits promptly lost all her gears! This niggly electrical problem has reared it's head before and although the rain had been kept out of the electrical panel under the drivers cab window, the day was rather foggy and damp which had probably penetrated where the rain couldn't. 7681 was pushed back to her parking space where Paul, Nick and Jake commenced a run through of issues that could be causing it checking fuses, connections and junction boxes. Paul took apart a rather suspect looking terminal block and cleaned it out whilst Jake checked fuses and put Vasaline (good stuff for electrics) on all their blades and low and behold the gears returned. Coupled to the oil leak, 7681 will be having some major work done over the next six months to get her on the road. Store shed 5807 had her gearbox oil topped up and was started up and run around the yard by Nick as can be seen on our YouTube page. The rear engine panel was left open to aid engine ventilation - not that it was exceptionally hot today but with 7681 playing up, we didn't want another dead bus in the yard. Jake also discovered 5807's radiator fins are painted shut which, coupled to the missing rear engine vents, could explain why she gets hot and bothered. The radiator fins are closed in the winter to keep the engine temperature up but have to be propped open in the summer - normally with a bit of old broom handle!
As stated on here and on our sister site, our store room (5807) is going to have to be re-organised to accommodate the extra bits from Sandwich. Jake and Claire started this today with a little help from baby Caitlin! Jake removed all the former wooden display units from 5807's lower deck which had originally been kept in place for seating. This has allowed bulky items like wheels to be stored to one side and maintains a clear walk though. Eventually a small workshop area will be installed on 5807's lower deck. Meanwhile, Jake added a seat upstairs on 5807 in the area that will become the group's mess room.
On Wednesday 3rd October, Claire, Paul and Jake popped down to the yard to give the buses a run around. Unfortunately 5137 decided she didn't want to play and although she started she would move, her throttle valve being stuck solid. This is due to water ingress through the electrical panel under the cab window. Our brilliant 'Bus Doctor' Paul has taken the throttle valve off and is currently looking at it. This has lead us to look at ways to maybe waterproof this area a little better than they are at present. 7681 has a black plastic sheet over the inside of the panel as (like some other VRs) she loses her gears if this area gets too wet. 5137 will be our next bus up MOT and will be on the road next year after undergoing a full mechanical service.
As you've probably seen on our sister site jakesbuses.weebly.com , 7980, Bernard Sealy's rare Willowbrook bodied Bristol VR is undergoing a facelift and tidy up. Eventually she will be restored to carry one of the famous 'Invicta Radio' adverts that was on buses during the 80's and 90's in the Kent area. Inside, her seat frames are being repainted and the floors are due a lick of paint too. Once done she will be mechanically serviced and MOT'd. We've not put a time limit on the work being done as other jobs have a habit of cropping up and pushing back deadlines so all we can say is watch this space...
Here you will find out the latest news about our buses and future events we hope to attend. In addition we will add any interesting bus and coach related news we come across.
SOUTHERN COUNTIES OMNIBUS.
A collection of retired buses living in southeast England owned by a group of friends.