First Changes Complete
Today saw a number of small but necessary changes made to GCT 113.
I sanded down the steering wheel, removing the black paint which Stagecoach applied a few years ago. I had every intention of spraying it an off-white colour, taking it back to how it had always been, but the 80 wet and dry paper I was using to remove the paint revealed the previous shade underneath perfectly, and save another rub down to finish the steering wheel off, it is now virtually back to its original condition.
The rear number blind mechanism was seized and had reportedly been so for a number of years. This hadn't stopped Stagecoach from displaying different numbers in it, judging from the many photos on Flickr. I can only assume staff had to open the window glass from the outside and physically move the blind by hand. Two of the cogs within the side mechanism had seized and while we could get one to free itself, the other remained stubbornly seized despite an overnight bath in WD40!
Happily, a friend from work who is quite literally obsessed with destination equipment of rail and road told me of a company whom he'd dealt with that provides bespoke blind boxes using traditional parts. A quick email to them saw a new 'end gear' ordered and assuming the size really is the same, a working number blind is in sight. Reassembling the gubbins in the rear window could result in some superficial damage to the paintwork in that area, judging by how many previous attempts had been made to screw the mechanism in, so it may not be fully operational until immediately before repaint.
Perhaps the most noticeable improvement today was the removal of the assault screen. This had been integral with the cab door and since the original couldn't be found, I'll have to make do with the same door for the foreseeable future. The panelling either side is original, though has received a lick of grey/silver paint, so I shall paint the door in the same colour so that it matches. I've got a traditional 'Welcome Aboard' sticker to go on the door in due course.
Next is to have the analogue tachograph removed and the dashboard speedo and odometer reconnected. Two firms locally have been recommended, though from speaking to one today, they did say they were more used to doing things the other way round. Quite!