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REstoration

When I bought Ruby (October 2012) she had been roadworthy for most of the previous twenty-nine years spent in preservation. However, the coachwork was looking tired and although it retained many original features, some of these were past there useful life. Some parts had just succumbed to rot or corrosion.

Exterior REstoration:
Below is a list of the professional coachwork repairs undertaken by M&H of Leeds, in the spring of 2013 to restore Ruby to resplendence.

  • All exterior aluminium panels (below the window line) were removed and replaced with new panels;
  • Rotten hardwood fillets (that the decorative aluminium waist rails are screwed to) were replaced;
  • Rotten hardwood (that the side lockers are screwed to) was removed and replaced;
  • The large luggage lockers (on both sides) had major surgery to replace rotten hardwood inside and repair the fibreglass outer skins;
  • The nearside battery box and offside rear engine inspection locker doors were completely replaced with new aluminium doors;
  • New locks and chrome 'T-key' covers were fitted to all locker doors;
  • Rotten hardwood frame pillars around the main passenger door were replaced;
  • The rear fibre glass corner panels were reformed;
  • A new foot-well was installed below the offside emergency door;
  • Both front and rear bumpers were removed, dents and rust treated and the bumpers spray painted a metallic silver;
  • Corroded aluminium around the front wheel arches was cut-out and replaced;
  • A rotten section of the floor boards around the rear offside wheel arch was replaced and a section of the support frame which was corroded was replaced;
  • The aluminium skirt rail (that fitted between the two wheel arches) was removed as it was too damaged to re-use;
  • The aluminium gutter rail was re-screwed to the rear of the coach roof;
  • The whole vehicle was sanded down (removing decades of build-up of old paint) and the coach primed and painted with six coats of two-pack acrylic spray paint;
  • All seats removed, cushions repaired, legs painted and seats re-trimmed with period-style moquette and vinyl.
    • Further exterior work, undertaken by myself, included:

      • The inside of the large side luggage lockers was painted;
      • The plywood floor in the boot was replaced;
      • The chassis was pressure washed, sanded down, primed and top-coated with chassis paint;
      • New fleet name logos and legal lettering were applied;
      • New red silicon insert was fitted to the aluminium rails;
      • The wheels were cleaned and painted;
      • The battery box was rebuilt with a new floor and battery restraint;
        • Interior REstoration:
          Once the standard of the exterior coachwork had been improved, I then set about reinvigorating the interior. This work included:

          • New burgundy Treadmaster was laid throughout the interior floor and entrance steps;
          • New dark red Rexine (leather cloth) was affixed to the interior side walls (below the windows);
          • Recovered seats were re-installed;
          • Front and rear interior domes and coving panels (above luggage racks) were painted;
          • The rack blowers and heater motors were repaired and now work properly;
          • The ignition / charge light in the cab was repaired;
          • The large overhead luggage racks were primed and painted;
          • The door open/close rotary switch was replaced with the correct type push buttons, operating properly;
          • New orange perspex was installed into the opening sky lights.
            • Mechanical REpairs:
              A vehicle that survives three times longer than its design-life, requires constant attention. So far, mechanical repairs have included:

              • The front mounted radiator was removed and the core was cleaned and repaired;
              • Replacement coolant circulation chamber covers were fitted on top of the O.600 engine;
              • New cylinder head gaskets and CAV injectors were fitted;
              • New oil circulation pipe was fitted to the gearbox;
              • New base made for the oil bath of the Burman air filter;
              • Offside rear suspension spring was repaired (new main leaf fitted, after failure).
                • Ruby is currently off the road whilst the Leyland O.600 engine is being reconditioned (January 2017).

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