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Bulletin 6 - 19th October 2005

We've had a visit from the HCVA - that's the Historic Commercial Vehicle Association of Australia, most of whom we met on our visit Down Under last year when we bought 1877. We have kept in regular contact with them since our visit and have become firm friends. David Griffiths and Robert Hood took a particular interest in what we were doing on the 1877 project because they are both owners of ex-Sydney CX19s back home. David is staying on in the UK with his son in London for 6 months and will be coming up to help us during the winter.

David has brought a number of spares with him from Sydney. This included a brand new clutch plate which Rick Robinson kindly agreed to put in his luggage, as David was in danger of exceeding his baggage allowance with all the other spares which he brought with him!

The mechanical units continue to receive attention. The water jacket plates have been put back on again and the cover for the timing chain has been removed so that the chain can be closely inspected. The gearbox has been opened up to have a look inside and there is no damage to any of the straight cut gears, although second gear is well worn. This will be due to impatient drivers not waiting for the revs to die or due to unsympathetic downchanges. We'll replace these gears if we can locate the parts and Robert Hood will have some advice for us as he has recently done the job himself.

Meanwhile Tam's men continue to make large strides in restoring the bodywork and the entire nearside frame had been substantially rebuilt by the end of the October, while the seats have been removed to First Coach Trimming of Dalmarnock, Glasgow for attention.

Aussie visitors. Among the wheels and the oil cans are (from top left)
vintage truck restorer Phil Dixon, Secretary of the Albion Club of Australia
and CX19 owner David Griffiths, CX19 owner and truck driver Robert Hood,
HCVA members Alan Travers and Neil Munro, and Chairman of the
Sydney Bus Museum, Rick Robinson.

The two water jacket plates have been put back on with new gaskets brought
from Australia by David Griffiths. A new set of bolts has been fitted to
replace the hotch potch of semi-corroded and missing bolts which were
there before and which did not make a watertight fit, allowing rusty
water to run down the block. We discovered why one of the bolts was
missing. At some point in the distant past a bolt has sheared and a
new hole had been drilled and tapped in the block adjacent to it.
Then in the more recent past a new plate has been fitted with standard
drill holes. The fitter has not realised that one of the holes does not
line up and has just left that one out. To deal with this we got a new
hole drilled in the plate and the redundant hole filled with weld.
A lot of time was wasted over that!

The engine is turned slowly by hand so that John can carry out a close
inspection of the timing chain. It appears to be sound and the decision
is taken not to replace. If the timing chain breaks the valves will be
badly damaged.

The cover is taken off the gearbox for inspection. John points out the
wear on second gear and if we can locate parts we'll replace these gears.

Vintage Vehicle Restorations have replaced much of the nearside
uprights, because of heavy corrosion at the joints, as well as a lot of
intricate fabricating.