Saturday, November 29, 2014

Work never ends

Today was supposed to be a simple day. Change an indicator/turn signal assembly, take the remains of a canopy off the side of the bus and add some coolant to the radiator. Well, that's pretty much where it all went pear shaped.

The first thing to be done was to remove the canopy as the rest was simple stuff that could be done in a few minutes. The remains of the canopy was a simple metal strip about 12 feet long attached to the bus roof via square drive screws. The discovery of those screws having a bizarre square drive meant a 20 mile round trip to the hardware store. Almost all the other screws had been Phillips or the occasional flat head with several different sizes of bolt that necessitated a socket set. The screws all came out without a struggle then the metal strip peeled off without much difficulty. That's where the easy bit ended. Underneath the strip was some kind of putty that had never hardened. It took the best part of two hours to scrape 12 feet of that off with a paint scraper.

Underneath the putty, the metal was generally in good condition with the exception of one joint in the roof that had been drilled through. Rust had crept along the joint. That was treated with Rustoleum in the hope of killing the rust. All the holes were treated with rustoleum and then sprayed with grey paint. While the paint was drying, the indicator light assembly was attempted.

Previously it had been necessary to remove a lot of obstruction to the access panel and then it was discovered that the retaining screws were star drive so when the square drive bits were obtained, so were the star drive bits. Thus the panel was unscrewed but it didn't seem to want to budge thus a chisel was obtained and used to chip away the plywood floor in order to check whether there was a lip under the plywood but there was not. The panel just needed some force applied. The panel swung forward and revealed glass fiber insulation and a cloud of insulation dust. Not welcome!

The insulation was pulled forward with the aid of a plastic bag used as a glove. This revealed a connector on the back of the old light that was different from that of the new light. The new light also had a protrusion in the back in a different position from the old light. That meant that some ingenuity was needed to make the connection and to install the new indicator.

A few days ago I'd bought two new blades for the reciprocating saw but these had apparently been mislaid. I went out on a 30 mile shopping trip, buying a manual saw to use to expand the hole for the light so that it would fit. I also stopped off to buy a connector block as well as some extra waterproof tape.

By the time I'd returned, it was too dark to do much. certainly too dark to climb up to the bus roof to tape over the screw holes in the roof. It was possible to enlarge the hole and the manual saw was used. A section of the block was used to connect the wire of the new light to the bus wires. Testing proved the light worked. The only light that does not work is the left reverse light. As that seems to be dangling inside the panel, it probably needs replacement. The coolant was never touched. That's a job for tomorrow.

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