The restoration of AEC Reliance CDK172L

Project Dairy April 2011

April  16th          With the onset of warmer spring weather, focus has turned to getting the outstanding bodywork jobs completed with a view to having CDK at least in primer or undercoat this year. The offside front corner has been awaiting it’s last few pieces of wood framework for some time so Richard dusted off the woodworking tools and the last remaining lengths of ash were rounded up from the back of the workshop to enable this to take place.

Whilst measuring up for this it became apparent that two pieces previously replaced were going to have to be remade as they were not quite accurate enough – namely the front offside corner lower pillar (not long enough) and the emergency exit step support rail at floor height (not deep enough) – both tricky pieces in their own right but at least the ‘old’ ones could be used as templates. Once these were remade the final two lateral lengths at the bottom edge of the body below the driver’s cab window were carefully cut and fixed in position.

 

 

Front offside framework completed

 

Front fibreglass panel offered up

This then gave us the opportunity to offer up the front fibreglass panel (again !) to see how accurate the repairs made to the accident damage some years ago were – alas they weren’t ! Still it isn’t too difficult a task to rectify and within a few minutes bits of aluminium were riveted onto the panel ready for some fresh resin and matting to be applied. Once dried in the warm spring sunshine the shapers were removed, allowing a much better fit – all that was required was some topcoat filler and a couple of hours of fettling and sanding.

It will be a while yet before the front panel gets refitted for good as the last of the wiring still needs connecting up and the junction box needs locating on it’s support but this won’t hinder us from getting the rest of the body prepped. Indeed this activity has kept us busy over several sessions and will no doubt continue for a while yet as a coach has quite a large surface area to attend to – thank goodness it isn’t a decker! As the old saying goes “The art of decoration is in the preparation!”

Nearside masked up ready for paint prep.

 

 

It will be quite satisfying and motivating to see CDK in one uniform colour once priming has been completed – we can’t wait for the top-coats to go on. It feels like we are now rounding a corner with talk of painting but there is still a long way to go yet with the frost damaged engine high on the priority list to be attended to – once again we hope to enlist the help of our mechanical wizard, Pete, once the football season has finished! Another job completed recently has been the final rectification work on the emergency exit door framework in preparation for re-skinning. It now fits a treat after the top hinge was straightened out with the application of some heat and a whack with a hammer!

Emergency door fits a treat

Every session sees us get a small step closer to completion and then we get to do it all again with WEB – can’t wait!

23/24th April          Easter weekend saw more progress aided by the pleasant spring sunshine. After some careful adjustment, the Formica panelling in the driver’s cab area has been refitted leaving the ‘box of things to be refitted’ two items lighter! A useful ‘donation’ has been a length of mahogany, which will be planed to thickness to replace the capping panel on the inside of the pillar between the driver’s side window and the emergency exit. The bottom 4 inches of the original has rotted away due to water ingress over the years. We still need to acquire some filler moquette to cover the remaining areas around the driver’s position, pillars and entrance door but this can only be added once the masking has been removed from the window apertures. Ideally it should be chocolate brown as per the original but it is doubtful that we will get any as this is not a colour in fashion for coach interiors of the 21st century! A dark grey will have to be a reasonable compromise.

Steve continued with preparing the bodywork, spending several hours with the sander and dust mask up on the roof (out of my way!!). Meanwhile, I continued with the final filling and sanding of the front panel – again, as with the rear moulding, the thickness around the repaired areas was crucial to obtaining a snug fit around the framework – too thick and the panel didn’t have enough flex in it which results in cracking; equally, too thin and it just cracks due to lack of strength. Also completed this weekend has been the body panel which is just below the emergency exit covering up the recently completed framework – what a difference after 7 years!

One final job now that the panelling in the driving cab area is back in place, was the refitting of the driving seat. A quick coat of paint dried super fast in the warm temperatures and then out with the drill. The bolts were a little tricky to access from the underside due to all the pipe work and wiring conduits which sit under the floor at that point but very soon the most important seat on the coach was back in position just in time to allow our ‘historical advisor’ Mr Whitworth a chance to sit where he once did over 25 years ago! Hopefully he will be sitting there again in the not too distant future when CDK is back on the road….

Refit of body panel, just below the emergency exit

This Steve's seat !

Mr Whitworth sitting where he once did over 25 years ago

May 2011          Home Page

 

© The Yelloway Project 2017