It had been decided to completely strip the chassis and have it powder coated for long term protection. We gave thought to many ideas such as galvanising but having taken advice from our painters it was felt that the powder coating would give the best results. You can see from the attached photos that the chassis was certainly severely corroded but generally fairly solid.
Having it bead blasted would show up any further weaknesses. It is also very useful taking pictures like this as you are going along as a reminder of where everything goes as at the build up stage it is going to become one giant jigsaw!
The chassis was completely stripped to the last nut and bolt, suspension removed, rear and front axles removed, brakes completely stripped etc. I had originally planned to strip and overhaul the brake cylinders but at the time of writing this article I had realised they were too far gone. New cylinders have been sourced and are on their way at the moment.
The image on the right shows the rear chassis in more detail. You can see from this that the policy of spraying the chassis with old engine oil after each service has helped to keep it in generally good condition.
The photo on the left shows one of the stub axles after the pins were removed. This was another photo that was taken simply as a reminder where everything went.
With the body now mounted on the cradle that was made for it the extent of the corrosion is now more apparent. Unfortunately the body wasn’t treated in the same way as the chassis and you can see in the photo to the right that not only is there pretty much no sill but someone has tried to repair it previously with a piece of angle iron. This will be a job for a later date…
The outriggers that sit under the floor pan were badly corroded so the chassis was temporarily brought back from the bead blasters for new sections to be welded into place before the powder coating. These have been cut shorter than other vans. I think this is also a coach builder modification as they may have been deemed ‘surplus to requirement’.