When, during the Easter weekend of 10th - 13th April 2009, we got seriously to work on FRF63, we chose to start by painting the exposed framing and then re-fitting the lower body panels whose removal had exposed the framing in the first place.
However it was the following weekend before I got my camcorder out to take any pictures, and thus started by recording the painted framing...
1. A general view of FRF63 on 18th
April, showing fresh paint on the exposed lower framing, and seriously un-fresh
paint on the rest of the bus!
2. Now for a closer view of the front
and offside framing. Painting it up was a very easy way to get started on the
restoration as it was quite clean and could be primed straight off.
3. Now for a view of the nearside
framing, which obviously has also recieved a coat of fresh paint. Incidentally
although in these pictures the red paint we used looks a bit like the Ayres Red
FRF63 carried when new, it isn't really as we used a spare tin of a vaguely
similar shade that we had spare, as the exact colour wouldn't matter much once
we had put the panelling back on.
6. Another view of the nearside
framing of FRF63, this time from the back of the bus, and as a bonus, the
end of the engine can also be seen here.
7. One definite problem had been
revealed by the removal of the panelling - the framing under the cab floor
was badly corroded. We had no trouble working out why however, as the space
immediately above had been the original location for the reservoir tank for
the fluid for the hydraulic throttle (now located inside the cab), and this
fluid used to be rather more corrosive than it is now! Some welding would be
needed here before the body panel could be put back on.
8. Some time later and we have got
to work on putting panels back on. We chose to start with the nearside as it
would be possible to put all the panels back on, which (as just mentioned)
wasn't going to be possible on the other side.
9. Another jump in time, and more
panels have been put on. This might look easy, but riveting body panels back
on is more more tiring than it looks even although we were usually able to
line up the old rivet holes rather than have to drill new ones.
10. A quick digression to show
the old Fife Scottish transfer that the previous owner had exposed by careful
rubbing down of the bodyside, and it shows the light blue colour used
by all the Scotish Bus Group companies for their versions of this transfer
from the time it was introduced in 1978.
11. Another time hop, and another
section of framing covered up! Even although we are reducing the amount of
fresh paint showing FRF63 is definitely looking better and better!
12. Another quick digression now
to show the legal lettering that FRF63 carried before being preserved. A web
search suggests that (as of the summer of 2009) this operator seems still
to be in business, though doubtless with buses rather newer than FRF63!
13. And the finished product! FRF63
has now been completely re-panelled on it's nearside. This picture is the
first from Sunday 19th April after we had got to work that day.
14. Now for a closer view of the
freshly replaced panelling at the back nearside wheels. The red lines at
the panel edges and following the rivets are because we painted in advance
the backs of the panles and any places on the fronts of the panels where
the paint was missing, so there would be no exposed metal even on the
inside. We definitely want this re-panelling job to last!
15. A little later on and we now
have a panel re-fitted on the offside. Two other things seen here also
deserve a mention at this point. Firstly our low-cost replacement for the
pads that cushion the middle of the panels to stop them flexing to much is
visible in the next section of framing - a sponge! (2 for 99p, and can be
easily stuck on with glue!) Also, the odd diagonal line down the left of the
re-fitted panel is actually the 'trim strip' that is supposed to cover the
left edge of the panel, but which is currently sticking out in mid-air at a
16. Another panel on, and in the
time it took me to pick up the camcorder and turn it on, Alistair has picked
up the glue and is about to...
17. ...get sponge sticking!
18. Another afternoons work finished,
and we have in fact now put on all nearly all the panels we can. The panel under
the drivers cab, as mentioned above, couldn't be put on until the frame behind
it is repaired, and the small panel under the emergency door which can be seen
as being missing in picture 15 also couldn't be put on for a similar reason.
Finally the two lower panels still missing on this side have not been put back
on as they turned out to be made of steel and not aluminium, and using them would
unquestionably cause extra rusting! Another problem for another day...
20. In the meanwhile, to finish, here
is a picture of the mostly completed offside panelling...
20. ...and a picture of the totally
completed nearside panelling. All in all, a good weekend!