The restoration of AEC Reliance CDK172L

Project Dairy August 2008

August          Despite no diary entry for some time, we have not been neglecting our project! The last two months have, once again, seen most activity centred around completing the rebuild of the back end – a job which has taken a little longer than anticipated. Nevertheless, the boot sidewalls have been fitted following some finishing to the sheet work – a liberal coating of ‘Shultz.’ being applied to the exterior faces. With those in place the new flooring was next to go in with plenty of sealant to ensure the boot area is water tight. The installation of the boot floor has afforded us with some much needed storage space!

Attention then turned to getting the rear fibreglass moulding to fit. A simple task you would think but has, in fact, taken many hours to achieve. The moulding has required a great deal of repair as many areas were cracked from wear and tear and accident damage. Hours have been spent building up damaged areas with resin and matting – subsequent trial fitting revealing that the thickness in certain places where it met the framework was critical to achieving a perfect fit.

Rear framework rebuilt

1st fit of back fibreglass moulding

To make sure what we had done was faithful to the original design we made a trip to see HVU 244N in the care of Manchester Bus Museum – a worthwhile exercise as it brought to light that a few adjustments that were needed. Many thanks are extended to Mark at the museum for sparing us his time. With reference photos to hand, some fine tuning of the wood framework was undertaken and eventually the moulding was offered up again - all the time consuming ‘fettling’ finally yielding the result we were looking for. It fits like a glove! Now that we know it fits we can fill all the old screw and nail holes, give it a finishing rub down and prime it ready for final fitment. Once in place the hinges for the boot doors can be attached and the doors themselves hung. A couple of galvanised steel panels still need to be made for the interior of the boot and a small number of wood fillets around the name-glass panel aperture – upon fitting of these the back end is pretty much complete (at last).

The remaining new aluminium side panels have been made – some of which have been fitted. After many months (3+ years!) of seeing exposed framework it is quite satisfying when it gets covered up! Stephen has also found somewhere to get the two offside engine bay / battery box access panels re-made – something we cannot do ourselves. Once these come back and are fitted the only body panels not yet replaced / refitted will be those on the cab side – a area which must remain exposed until the rewire is finished.

Fitting of offside side panels

We are rather pleased to now have in our possession a full set of original body side and boot door transfers ready for applying when CDK gets its repaint – a day I very much look forward to!!

Finally, WEB 410T is also not being left out – recent acquisitions towards it’s eventual restoration have been 2 new windscreens, a rear name glass (to replace that which is currently missing) and a number of exterior trims.

Looks forlorn but not forgotten

September 2008          WEBSITE Home

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