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Bulletin 19 - 24th May - 11th June 2006

In Bulletin 8 I described how we proposed to overhaul the radiator and in the process return it to original 1946 / 1947 condition with vertical slatted grille, correct aluminium skirt (replacing the steel section), but retaining the sunrays type top tank incorporating hinged filler cap. The spare Glasgow Corporation radiator, which we had obtained, was of the earlier type with a top tank incorporating a brass badge retained by 4 screws and a screw on type filler cap.

The dismantling of 1877's radiator revealed that it was in very poor condition. The flange round the base of the top tank was corroded to the point where it was difficult to see how it could have been watertight. Indeed we concluded that the light brown rust colour on the tubes was more likely to have been evidence of leaking coolant rather than corrosion of the tubes themselves. Also the general condition of the core was poor and would require a number of replacement tubes with new rubber seals top and bottom.

On the other hand, when we dismantled the Glasgow Corporation radiator it was found to be in excellent condition throughout with a core made up of smaller diameter tubes with soldered joints top and bottom. If we could use this radiator as the basis of our rebuild it would save a lot of time and effort.

As I said in Bulletin 8 all pre-war CX buses and the earliest post-war CX buses had a top tank with the rectangular badge and a screw on filler cap. This is the type shown on the Homepage. If we could find out where the changeover occurred we might be able to prove that 1877 was delivered with this type of radiator.

It was time to pull out all the all the Spares Lists and Instruction Books. An examination of the 1947 CX19 Spares List revealed the following on page 20 of Section 1:

Radiator with Screwed Filler Cap (to chassis no. 60025H) part no AS/2J11109.
Radiator with Hinged Filler Cap (from chassis no. 60025H) part no AS/K11109.

The chassis number of our CX19 is 60023C, twenty-five chasses before the changeover. So we had landed lucky! Our CX19 was one of the early ones that came with the pre-war type radiator. This interesting discovery meant that we could use the Glasgow radiator which was indeed the type it was delivered with. But why then did all the pictures of the Sydney CX19s taken in the 1960s show the later type radiator? I consulted Dave Wilson of the Sydney Bus Museum and he came up with some very early pictures of Sydney CX19s up to chassis number 60025H and they all sported rectangular badge radiators with screw on filler caps. The final piece in the jigsaw puzzle had been filled and this meant that we were entirely justified in using the pre-war type radiator in this restoration.

Dave reckons that the decision was taken to change the top tanks at overhaul and standardise on the hinged cap type radiators which would make it easier for the crews and maintenance staff to keep the coolant topped up. A sensible decision in a hot climate.

Indeed a footnote in the 1947 Parts Book tells us, The latest radiator with Hinged Type Filler Cap will be supplied for Spares and is interchangeable with the earlier type with Screwed Filler Cap. The earlier radiator will not be supplied complete for Spares.

Our CX19 will be the only restored CX bus with this type of radiator until Craig Parkinsons pre-war Sydney example takes to the road when finally restored.


Flashback to last November when the two radiators were laid side by side.

The stripdown revealed that the flange of the 'sunrays' top tank which came off 1877 is quite badly corroded.

But the top tank (nearer the camera) from the older radiator is in good condition.

On his last day with us David Griffiths is seen drilling out the broken screws which retained the rectangular badge.

  Several weeks later the rebuilding of the radiator is nearly completed.

With the top tank and the bottom tank bolted to the core Paul fills the radiator to see if it is watertight.

John holds the brass badge for 1877 alongside Dave Hurley's PK114 Victor at Lathalmond. Dave's badge is enamelled. The badge John is holding came off a Glasgow Venturer parked in the disposal line in 1966, retrieved before the scrap man came. The non-original colours are a later addition.

The same badge (in the middle) has been stripped of paint and two copies made. There is no trace of enamel on the original badge.

Lathalmond painter Peter Mitchell paints one of the copy badges. Dave Hurley contends that brass badges affixed to postwar radiators were painted, not enamelled. The fact there was no trace of enamel on this badge when it was removed in 1966 appears to bear this out.

Paul attaches the 'Albion Venturer' badge on the grille. This is another copy of an original badge retrieved by Paul back in 1966.

The finished radiator fitted to the bus. Only the side supports are from the original radiator that came off 1877. The side supports from the Glasgow radiator were of the early prewar pattern and not suitable for 1877.