ABC / Thames news

As detailed in the last “news update”, ABC / Thames has been at A&G having its gearbox repaired, it also needed the brake light switch rebuilding.

Both of these turned out to be “a bit of a saga”!

The problem with the gearbox was that it jumped out of gear in 4th – this was quickly diagnosed as being caused by missing teeth on one of the gearwheels. However, when the box was stripped down, further damage to one of the shafts was found.

Initial attempts to source replacement parts was unsuccessful, so eventually the box was removed and shipped to a specialist gearbox company (M&P transmissions). Even they had difficulty finding parts for this old Clark Turner gearbox but eventually it was repaired and returned to A&G to be refitted.

The brake lights were intermittent, at first we thought that it might be caused by some of the extra facilities added by the previous owner, but eventually the fault was traced to the brake light switch itself. A replacement was not available, so it was rebuilt!

With the gearbox and switch repaired, thoughts turned to the next phase, a trip to Hutton coach builders for exterior renovation.

Paul, Sam and Dave went to A&G on 26th August to prepare and move it. The first problem was that the two headlamps on the driver’s side were rusted badly and had to be replaced with some new ones.

Original rusty headlights.
Replacement headlights.

Since the vehicle had been out in the open for a year or so it needed a good wash, this was duly administered so it looked in a suitable state to be driven down the A1 without attracting any attention.

Paul and Sam washing ABC/T. You can see the “patch” covering old damage just under the brush head.
Washing the front.

During all this work we were running some of the electrics (lights and ancilleries) so when we came to set off, it wouldn’t start because one of the batteries was flat. Luckily we had thought of this and brought some spare batteries from the Yorkshire Tyne Tees truck!

We set off from Lincoln, down the A46 and A1 to Colsterworth then onwards to Hutton’s. Sam reported that the gearbox was a bit stiff but didn’t jump out of gear, so that’s a result! The two-speed rear axle was also a bit recalcitrant, at one stage it got stuck so we were limited to about 30mph; it eventually started working again just as we arrived!

Parking in Hutton’s yard.

We have since received some photos from Huttons showing the work so far, this consists of removing a patch that was covering some old damage, stripping off more of the side panels and refurbishing the bumpers.

Side damage under the “patch”.
Side panels removed.
Bumper refurbishment.
Front bumper refitted.

Once all the remaining work is done then a respray will make the vehicle look a lot better and we can start on the interior refurbishment.