The restoration of AEC Reliance CDK172L

Project Dairy December 2005

The winter months are upon us again and it is now too cold to be working in the shed. Attention once again has returned to the cleaning / repairing and labeling of all of the smaller parts removed from the interior and exterior of CDK. What better way to spend your Boxing Day than sat at the dining room table surrounded by hundreds of dirty fittings! Cleaning these up now will speed up their re-fitment when the time comes.

Earlier in the month we had our second delivery of metal work courtesy of Northern Pipes and Tanks Installations this being the sheet galvanized walls and steel structure for the replacement of the boot area. This will give us our first major task for the 2006 season. Also in this consignment was the front wall and floor for the front nearside locker. Once this is fitted the remaining body side panels can be re-attached and therefore completing the rebuild of the nearside as far as the rear wheels.

Since the last report further progress has been made on the full re-wire of CDK - Andy Sharpe once again giving us his valuable time and expertise. Virtually all wiring has been traced and labelled and is in the process of being replaced like for like. Much of the original wiring was in a poor way with many additional wires not connected to anything as a result of modifications and repairs made over the years. Andy has done a superb and very professional job and we owe him a great deal of gratitude. One tricky job on the list is, however, the removal and overhaul of one of the roof rack blower motors. This will no doubt result in much cursing and swearing due to the very restricted access to these machines - definitely a job for a warmer day when you need to be able to feel your fingers.

Ever since the inception of this project; at the back of our minds has always been the desire to obtain an ex-Premier Travel vehicle to partner our Yelloway. Premier Travel shared the operation of the 77/78 service we so fondly remember and we had been lead to believe that it would be highly unlikely that we would be able to find a vehicle still in existence of the required make and body style. Well - after a little casual research we have managed to locate no less than five that would fit the bill perfectly! It is early days yet but contact has been made with the owner of a 1979 AEC with Plaxton Supreme IV bodywork and outline permission has been agreed for us to purchase it for preservation. So eighteen months into our first vehicle we are now lining up the next one!

Early in the New Year it is hoped to arrange a detailed inspection of the Premier to ascertain its mechanical and structural condition before a final decision is made. Also under examination is a possible storage location close to our current site. More details will be posted as soon as we have them. This is very exciting for us both and Richard especially as this was the chassis/body combination that he had originally wanted for the Yelloway (not that he's complaining about what he's got!). Yes we must be mad but if we don't act now we might never realise our dream.

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