The Restoration of AEC Reliance CDK172L
Yelloway Diary OCTOBER  2009
Project Dairy SEPTEMBER 2009
September Saturday the 5th started in typical British summer fashion being grey, cold and drizzly but no matter, we were on a mission today. Top of the list would be the removal of the rear axle and the “gruesome twosome” being Steve & Pete, soon set about their task. As we lack a pit or jacks this part of the restoration was going to be carried out Heath Robinson style with lots of improvisation!
removal of rear axle
A pallet truck and pallets were going to be used to remove the axle and diff once it had been suitably lowered to clear the springs, this finally being achieved after a few un-nerving moments when the assembly threatened to roll off its improvised wooden cradle.
Once out from underneath the bus the axle was positioned on stands at the rear of the workshop ready for refurbishment but only after we managed to forget the diff was filled with oil, half of which flooded out across the floor before we got the damn thing to sit level, oops! After something to eat and a bucket of tea the Duracell bunnies couldn’t be stopped and were soon underneath again tackling the removal of the heavy rear leaf springs. First to come off would be the offside and in the process of removal we had our first ‘Oh No’ moment. At some point in it’s life the forward spring hanger bracket casting had broken and a replacement is now going to have to be found.
Spring hanger bracket casting has broken
Well and truly rusted and broken leaf spring
Our second ‘Oh No’ was the realisation that the springs themselves were way past their best and are most probably going to need to be replaced at considerable cost – more than we shelled out for the front ones as they are significantly larger. Bugger. Undeterred, the crew pushed on and by mid afternoon both springs were off along with their hangers. Now comes many hours of dirty, time consuming restoration work bringing all the relevant components up to the required standard not to mention time and effort trying to find the replacement parts required. Oh, there is the small hurdle of the cost too! At least when we have completed the restoration and CDK is out on the road we will have complete confidence in the performance of the running gear. At the outset of this project we stated that we would endeavour to restore CDK to the highest standard we could achieve and hopefully this is evidence of just that. Before the end of the days’ labours, Steve and Pete concluded the dismantling of the components which they had just skilfully removed (without any bloodshed!) whilst I set too with Mr Grinder and his wiry friends and began preparing the rear axle for a coat or two of paint, a job which I will continue next week when Steve takes a well earned weekend off. Once again a heartfelt thank you to Pete for his assistance this weekend – we’ll give you a shout when we want to put it all back again! September 19th & 20th. A staggered work session this weekend - Steve spent Saturday removing the prop shaft from the gear box and degreasing all the removed hanger brackets before they are taken to work to be shot blasted and prepared ready for refitting.
Approx 50 hours of pre-work time has been spent on the two rear hub and brake assembly's - they will, as did with the front end, go through a process of degreasing, hot washing, sand blasting, inspection, undercoating and finally 3 coats of top coat paint (Not bad really, pity no one can see any of it once the wheels are back on!). On Sunday Steve stayed in bed till lunch, allowing Rick to get up to some mischief on his own. By the time I arrived to collect him he had covered everything in the workshop with orange "Rust Dust", from the now exposed chassis and the rear axle itself - a 40 minute shower was required upon returning home! September 26th. Rick today was unavailable so Steve made an early start and set too attempting to remove the cut away spring bolts, and may I say what a TWAT they were to get out! The remainder of the brake units took some time to remove too, but perseverance always pays off in the end. The various components' are in my cupboard at work awaiting my attention.
rear axle ready for refurbishment