Friday, 15 April 2016

W437CWX & rally season update

The engineers have refitted Olympian W437CWX's fuel pump, injection pipes, fuel filters and other parts that were brand new batteries.......and initially had no joy in getting her to run & tickover.

As I had a spare fuel fuel pump that was tried and we ended up with the same result. Suspecting an electrical issue a second engine ECU was tried and that appears to have resolved the issue. The engine is now running and sounds really good. On the negative side of things she has two fuel leaks, and an exhaust leak.

And the bad news dosen't stop there......

As she was being moved into the workshop to be lifted up for a chassis inspection there was a massive bang under the front. Turns out the road spring (like a leaf spring) has snapped.

In addition to the snapped spring, she's leaking fuel from a pipe that runs from the main fuel tank to the secondary fuel tank. Both front brakes are "metal to metal" and thus need replacing; same for the rear brakes. One of the rear brake chambers is shot and one of the rear levelling valves has also snapped.

The chassis itself requires welding in a number of places and then whole thing needs to be cleaned and undersealed.

And thats just the chassis and mechanics! Once all that is sorted I'll move on to the body; all of the windows will need to come out - on both decks! So as you can see, it'll be some time before she gets back on the road.

Turning to the 2016 rally season.....

Given my finacial commitments with regard to the Olympian, my own bus rally in June (**shameless plug**, increased storage costs and life in general, I have decided to severely cull my rally attendances for this season only. Each rally attendance requires a fair amount of diesel as buses generally do very little mileage to the gallon and I can't manage the longer distance events as things currently stand.

So for the rest of the season I will only do the Essex events (Clacton, Basildon and Canvey).

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

South East Bus Festival

It was the first event of the 2016 rally season a few days ago - the South East Bus Festival at the Kent county showground in Detling, near Maidstone.

This was the third attempt at getting DAF P337ROO there (2014 missed due to problems getting her taxed and 2015 missed due to power steering failure en route at Chelmsford).

I'm pleased to say we made it this time.

We were booked to operate the on site circular service from 10.20 to 11.50 which we duly completed without fuss. In fact it turned out we were one of only two double deckers on the service at those times and so we were kept dead opposite the other decker in order to keep the flow of passengers steady amongst the other single deckers in operation.

We then parked up on display for the remainder of the day, where 337 attracted many complimentary remarks about how good she looked and generated some discussions about Harris Bus in general with interested visitors. There was many talking points surrounding the advert she currently carries for my new bus rally:

Winter News

Whilst the bus rally season goes quiet during the winter months, that dosen't mean a quiet life for preserved bus owners!

December 2015 saw Volvo D302PEV and Dart J317XVX put in for their MOT's - both passed with no advisories.

My storage location (Yeldham Transport Collection) is in the process of losing it's home as the owner is selling the industrial estate it occupies for housing. Having been offered an alternative undercover location in North Essex, three of the fleet (Volvo D302PEV, Dart J317XVX and DAF P337ROO) were moved to their new home at the end of January. Olympian W437CWX is still awaiting completion of work to get the engine running (turns out there's more missing than just the fuel pump) and so remains at Great Yeldham for the time being.

In mid February I got a surprise phone call from the company that has Volvo's D301PEV and D304PEV - the same company that had the batch of four Harris Bus Volvo's after Harris Bus had finished with them. I had visited this company 2 years ago and made an offer for both the vehicles then but sadly I couldn't match the expectations of the company and that was that.

Fast forward to 2016 and we were able to agree a price but the stumbling block this time was that I couldn't raise the money quickly enough. To cut a long story short, I was able to retrive a full set of original 30 years old interior, a luggage pen and a ticket machine "shelf" from 304 ............. a few days later I was sent this image of 301 (304 had already seen the same fate):

March saw preparations being made for the new rally season with DAF P337ROO getting a wash and a new nearside advert fitted ............