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Bus Shite (I'VE BEEN PAPPED, NOOOOOO LOL)

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Ruddy breadvan Mercs...The height of misery (especially when a certain operator in the northeast of Scotland decides to stick one on the busiest departure from Aberdeen to Inverurie at rush hour...EVERY day for about a month), but about as close to indestructible as vehicles go I think.

 

Sure the only reason we see the back of them eventually is that they rot beyond the ability to get through an MOT...Sure if it weren't like that the things would be around for bloody ever...

 

Funny how I hated them at the time (especially as it was winter, Scotland and the ones Bluebird kept cramming us onto had no bloody heating)...but that racket makes me strangely nostalgic now.

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Generally because it's all Bollox. Leylands so tend to top out at about 85 and others less than that. There is no mythical beast that can do 'over the ton' however much folk like to think that. The closet was a B10M that was unrestricted but still topped out at about 92.

 

Legend has it that the midland red C6 could break the ton but nobody's had given definite proof. I've had a M.A.N at over 89 but it was pushing it. A B10M would do slightly more - even then it's pushing the limiter of the engine to the extreme.

 

The legend was a B10M with a Duple dominant bus body but fitted with the most powerful spec engine and transmission. Even then, it's top speed was just a shade over 92.

An Optare Solo with the Cummins ISB and a broken limiter will exceed 90, and I've had a B10M/Paramount III Expressliner near that. The best candidates for going silly quick in a decker were a pair of Olympians we had from Chester - F209/210 JMB. Cummins L10, ZF 5HP500 gearbox and a high speed diff. No idea how fast they'd go, certainly the needle kept on going past 80mph if the road was long enough.

 

That said, I've never seen any proof that any bus or coach will exceed 100mph without somebody turning up the fuel pump and ripping all the weight out. High 80's and low 90's though are absolutely genuine.

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all this talk of buses going a ton is the perfect time for me to pitch a question i have had for a while :)

 

does anyone know the "top speed" of an RMA? Routemaster airport, special RMs built for BEA back in 1966. they where normal 27ft length, but had the bigger 11.3L AEC AV690 engine kicking out 169 horses and a high speed diff, i know they where designed to do 70Mph fully loaded and towing a luggage trailer, I kinda wonder what one would do flat out and empty :mrgreen:

 

(I have been on a Routemaster with a Euro 2 engine, doing a good 60 maybe even 70Mph, sitting on the seat by the platform and looking out through the platform you would not want to fall off at that speed, *scrape* then *splat* as you hit the car behind you... this was on the garage run back to west ham bus garage part of the Route took you onto the motorway for a short bit hehe :) )

Not sure about RMAs but I was once on Blue Triangles RCL 2239, which is the same engine/diff set-up but with the longer body and that was off the clock going down the M11. Don't know about the RMAs but the Speedo on this was a standard RM job so only went up to 60. The needle went to about 65 but that was far as it would go.

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Thats pretty Awesome to hear :)

 

I knew RCLs had the AV690 engine and some sort of high speed Diff, but i was not sure if it was the same setup as the RMAs.

 

shame someone swapped out the speedo at some point! the RMs on the H15 route (which where done up in 2000 with horrible new drive trains and awful hopper windows) have Speedos that clock up to 80Mph :)

 

I could see an RM doing 100 with the right setup, a normal length one weighs less then 8 tones where as most other Double deckers are a good couple tones more then that :)

 

I once heard of an RT that had an 11.3L engine fitted, dont know if it had a high speed Diff too, but that would be down right terrifying, i was in an RT doing 40Mph Flat out on some country roads and some chicken shouted to the driver to slow down  :mrgreen:

 

(PS I noticed you have an RM listed in your sig, is there a thread here on AS for it?  :mrgreen: I have never been on an RM with the 9.8L O600 sadly, I have been told they have quite the loud engine note thanks to a missing air cleaner LT decided not to use)

BTW for anyone wondering about can you drift a bus well... https://youtu.be/YbLy8KZQwtk kinda? Love how they had passengers onboard, H&S would go mental if that happened today...

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No I've not done a separate thread for mine but there are a few mentions in this one. To recap briefly it left London in 1987 to spend two years with Southampton CityBus. I bought it from them along with a couple of friends and kept it for about six years. We all ran out of money and sold it to Reading Mainline who put it back in service for another five years. It then passed back into preservation and I managed to buy it back in 2006.

 

Having left London so early it hasn't had even the slightest bit of refurbishment. And yes the Leyland engine is loud. It actually sounds best from about half a mile away when you can hear it coming. Not so great when you're sat on top of it at 40mph. The AEC is a more refined lump.

 

 

The speed thing is determined more by the diff ratio than the size of the engine. A friend of mine has a standard RM with an AV690. It flies but still tops out at 40 something. Gets there a lot quicker than mine and goes up hills too which mine doesn't really want to do. It'll also pick up from virtually walking pace in fourth gear which makes it a lovely bus to drive.

 

There are three types of diff for the RMs. Standard for the RM/RML, medium for the RMC and high for the RCL/RMA which will get you, as mentioned, a 65ish cruising speed. To get much more out of any kind of AEC engine you'd have to get it spinning faster than it would like to. You could try getting it lightened and balanced but I'm not sure how successful that would be. I think 65 is enough personally. I'd be happy with that. I cruise about 40-42. It'll do 45 easily enough but makes about twice as much noise than at 40 so I try not to go there.

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pretty interesting stuff I always enjoy hearing/reading about stories/information about Routemasters :) (and buses in general)

 

owning an RM of some kind is one of my Life goals/bucket list items (as you might of been able to tell im quite the London bus enthusiast  :mrgreen: )

 

out of curiosity (and to look up its history on ians bus stop :) ) which RM is yours specifically? pretty cool how you where able to buy it back in the end :) 

 

the Euro 2 engines in the RMs done up in 2000 or so for TfL by Marshall make a right racket, and not a nice one... (they are known as "Dartmasters" as apparently the drive train fitted was the same as the Dennis dart from the same time, I have always called them the Marshall refurbed RMs) RM1005 which has a Euro 6 lump was recently running around on the 15 as well, last I heard they where running it as trial for a potential conversion of the fleet to Euro 6... I have not heard what that one sound likes, but I doubt it sounds as good as a Proper AEC/Leyland engine.

 

(a few of the Route 15 buses have had a mini "de-furbishment" with original seat pattern cushions and tungsten lighting re-fitted :)  )

 

have to say, im not much of a fan of all the engine Swaps/refurbishments that have happened to RM/RMLs over the years, an RM should have its proper AEC AV590/690 or Leyland O600 Lump and tungsten lighting IMHO  :mrgreen:

 

I was also told the country green RMLs (and RTs) also has a medium speed Diff like the RMCs which meant they topped out at around 50 IIRC? I know the country ones where Semi auto rather then full auto like the Central Red RM/RMLs.

 

the RML in my Profile picture is ER882, I got a private ride on it when it was owned by Mike fuller :) I remember those wedding ribbons going nuts as we where going down the motorway at about 50Mph, I also quite comically remember getting off the train and seeing this 30ft Routemaster parked up in the parking lot among all the regular cars, was not hard to find my ride  :mrgreen:

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The joys of bus ownership - keeping on top of maintenance:

 

post-20339-0-87782800-1521571017_thumb.jpeg

 

Scraping the remains of the flaking paint off the chassis and giving it a quick coat of red oxide. MoT next month....

 

As for alternatively-engine'd RMs, an AEC or Leyland is of course preferable, but a good Scania engine'd machine shouldn't be sniffed at - 1062 certainly gave good rumble, as well as a good sideline in setting car alarms off.

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Dartmasters are an abomination. When they first started refurbishing the RMLs we obviously didn't like them but the Dartmasters made them look (And sound, and feel) good. At least the work inside was well executed even if the blue moquette was rather jarring against the red paint.

 

Some years before the refurbs started they re-engined four buses. One each of Cummins, Iveco, Daf and the wildcard an Ashok which was basically an old Leyland built under license in India. From an enthusiast point of view the Daf and the Ashok would have been the best to go for but of course we got the Cummins and the worst by some distance the Iveco. RM 545, the Daf prototype made it into preservation and sounds fantastic, like an even louder Leyland.

 

The Scania came a little later on and is generally regarded as the best of The refurbs. RM 1062 was indeed a beast, t'was the loudest thing in New Cross.

 

Even the worst Iveco was however far superior to any of the Marshall refurbs. These had the gearboxes replaced as well with some Allison thing. Originally there was a fluid flywheel between engine and box which was lovely and smooth and even does a pretty good job at hiding it if you mess up a gearchange. The Allison box is harsh as fuck and led to halfshaft problems that had never happened in the fifty years previously.

 

And answering a few of LightBulbFuns other questions, it's a fairly simple job to convert from fully auto to semi auto. There's a box behind the driver with the gearbox control in. I forget the exact details as we had mine converted in about 1990 after the Speed Sense Generator in the gearbox lost a tooth. My friend Ernie was out on his own at the time And as the SSG wasnt turning it assumed the bus wasnt moving and so wouldnt change out of second gear. Ernie drove the eight miles home in second. Slow and noisy. Its better in semi auto anyway and not really harder to drive. And the gear selector is a pleasure to use so why wouldn't you.

 

And since you ask, although it's on here somewhere, my bus is RM 2037. I should probably check Ian's Bus Stop myself and see if it's correct.

 

Since you've twisted my arm, I've dug out a couple of my pictures of it from 1986.

 

This is Norwood Garage.

post-20743-0-92271000-1521577784_thumb.jpg

It's home from it's last overhaul in 1984 til withdrawal in March 87

 

And this was October 24/25th at midnight.

post-20743-0-38192600-1521577864_thumb.jpg

At South Croydon Garage on the last night of RMs on route 68.

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On a side note to London repowering things, a local operator reckons the best decker he ever ran was an Iveco powered DMS but parts availability was somewhere between "hahahahaha!" and "seven month wait plus carriage from Turin".

 

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

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Dug out a few pictures from when I used to drive a few RMs:

 

post-20339-0-54727500-1521583755_thumb.jpeg

 

1062 at Truro P&R prior to working late night Christmas Shopping Extras. Climbing the hill past Truro railway station used to really make the Scania lump bark!

 

post-20339-0-02872800-1521583971_thumb.jpeg

 

1783 all decorated just before a school outing - this one was lovely to drive.

 

post-20339-0-24724600-1521584054_thumb.jpeg

 

The first RM I drove - 2737. Cummins B-series powered, capable of 55mph+, still with a Wilson gearbox.

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very interesting :)

 

I did not know about the Ashok engined RM ya learn something new every day :) do you know which one this one was? 

 

I remember hearing about the auto to semi auto conversion, someone said it was just as simple as pulling a Pin somewhere... dont know how true that is LOL

 

Thanks for the photos :) I see your bus was present at Routemaster 60, that was an amazing event, Routemasters literally as far as the eye could see and lovely weather too :) (I had a Load of Photos from that event but lost them to a hard drive that decided to give me the finger and die before i had them backed up...)

 

also I see your bus got a body at overhaul with the rare off side illuminated advert frame does it still retain the offside illuminated advert frame? :) as a LightBulb/lighting nut/enthusiast/collector (where do you think my user name comes from  :mrgreen: ) I have always wondered what Fluorescent tubes these offside illuminated adverts used... (its one of those obscure questions that I cant exactly google sadly, ah the fun of having "weird/whacky" hobbies :) )

 

I was actually quite surprised to find out the saloon lighting fitted to the RMLs in the early 1990s was actually of US spec using US "Slimline" tubes that are neigh on impossible to find in the UK.. as such the few other collectors in the UK who have an example in their collection got theirs from a bus depot!)

 

 

(im not really posting much in the way of bus shite am I.... I need to Photograph one of the clapped out Dennis darts that runs around here or something... or maybe just post a photo of a DMS  :-D )

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My brain is saying the Ashok RM was 1128. I haven't looked that up and 25 years plays tricks on the mind.

 

It's something like a pin or a card with contacts on it that change the way the gearbox is wired. It was very simple I remember that.

 

I really can't tell you what lighting I have in the offside advert but it sort of works. There are five fluorescent tubes in there but the rear one is half the size of the others. It doesn't show in daylight but last time I had it running in the dark the four big ones worked and the little one didn't. But at other times the small one has worked but one or more of the others didn't. Pot luck really. Getting to them involves removing the perspex panels so that's not gonna happen any time soon. But the starters and stuff for it are behind the upstairs rear seat so if I remember I'll get some pictures next time I'm up there.

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RM1128 that rings a bell. I may of seen it while killing time browsing through some random flicker album on the interwebs...

 

 

very interesting info on the offside advert! its very interesting see that the there are Starters, the Routemaster being 24V I would of expected some sort of early electronic ballast, but if the setup has starters the tubes are most likely being ran on regular magnetic ballasts somewhere (but that would mean some sort of step up to 240V somewhere?) unless by Starter you mean ballast? a picture is always welcome :) 

 

I have a few ideas on what might be causing the intermittent lighting, but I dont want to kill the thread with LightBulb chatter... (for example, assuming the setup does use an early form of HF ballast, those ballasts may struggle to light Modern T8 (thin) fluorescent tubes which use a Krypton argon buffer gas which is much harder to strike up then the old T12 (thick) fluorescent tubes which have a pure argon buffer gas and strike up much easier. and in any case like any part of a car really you want a good ground running along the tubes.. there thats probably put everyone to sleep  :mrgreen: ) 

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Whilst I've got the Western Scrapheap folder open....

 

It can get quite wet in Cornwall:

 

post-20339-0-98279700-1521587267_thumb.jpeg

 

I had to go through some flood water in a Vario - the water got to 'VII' on the Plimsoll marks...

 

post-20339-0-30655400-1521587283_thumb.jpeg

 

Flying the appropriate flag for a trip to Plymouth!

 

Apparently these didn't fit on the 547 Newquay - St Ives route:

 

post-20339-0-08224300-1521587845_thumb.jpeg

 

Pictured just after arrival at St Ives.

 

post-20339-0-00331400-1521587949_thumb.jpeg

 

LUA 282V was a Leyland Leopard allegedly on the 'to restore' list. When Western Greyhound was sold the former owner sent both this and Bristol VRT LFJ 858W straight to a scrapyard (despite the VR being roadworthy and the Leopard a set of tyres, batteries and filters away from seeing the road). The Leopard was apparently reduced to scrap very quickly, the VR however survived and became a bar bus.

 

post-20339-0-59991000-1521588453_thumb.jpeg

 

And finally RF202 (not 141 as the registration suggests) on the King Harry chain ferry. Getting this around the double hairpin to get on the ferry took some effort!

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The RML's were refurbished by Mainline ( now First) at Rotherham then painted just down the road by a contract firm.

 

For some reason an 165mb video taken on my avatar, SLTB 60-6639, when I was last on it in Sept 2016 will not load. The hand rails were rattling but there's an Ashoka and a four speed manual in it now!

 

So until I can load it here's a pic of her.

post-21417-0-52274200-1521653626_thumb.jpg

 

Edit: the reason it's park on a slight slope is that they just drop the handbrake and drop it into gear to start her...

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The RML's were refurbished by Mainline ( now First) at Rotherham then painted just down the road by a contract firm.

 

For some reason an 165mb video taken on my avatar, SLTB 60-6639, when I was last on it in Sept 2016 will not load. The hand rails were rattling but there's an Ashoka and a four speed manual in it now!

 

So until I can load it here's a pic of her.

attachicon.gifWP_20160908_12_15_55_Pro.jpg

 

Edit: the reason it's park on a slight slope is that they just drop the handbrake and drop it into gear to start her...

 

going by the big sliding windows that looks like one of the 40 or so RMs they sent to Sri Lanka? London transport sent many buses there, from what iv been told and seen, they ran them into the dirt. but it seems a few RMs are hanging on in there :) (I wonder if any of the RTs that where sent there survive too? I heard a few where re-bodied over the years)

 

as for the offside RML... does anyone know what happened to the RMAs stagecoach converted to offside entrance and sent to Portugal in the 1990s?

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^^^^^ In Sri Lanka, 41 went originally in the late 80's and a couple more since then. There are very very few now left still running with SLTB and they have Ashok or Hino engines and manual gearboxes, generally obvious by the higher bonnet line. There's a couple with private owners but there's no RT's or RTL's left. Some of these that were still serviceable were converted to lorries after withdrawal.

They have though generally outlived the Metrobuses sent in 2005 after the tsunami. There might be one of these still going.

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going by the big sliding windows that looks like one of the 40 or so RMs they sent to Sri Lanka? London transport sent many buses there, from what iv been told and seen, they ran them into the dirt. but it seems a few RMs are hanging on in there :) (I wonder if any of the RTs that where sent there survive too? I heard a few where re-bodied over the years)

 

as for the offside RML... does anyone know what happened to the RMAs stagecoach converted to offside entrance and sent to Portugal in the 1990s?

I guess the Portuguese RMAs got scrapped long ago. I remember seeing a photo in Buses magazine, probably mid-late 2000s, of them rotting in a field being reclaimed by nature.

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One of my local operators has just retired their pair of 40 year old Volvo B58 bendys

 

Nowra%20Volvo%20B58A%20PMCSA%202404MO%20

 

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Now replaced with some brand new bendys

 

I'm betting the new bendys won't last 25 years never mind 40.

Those old B58 were really some motor, powerful, easy to drive and reliable.

Something that Leyland were struggling with even back then.

My first encounter with a B58 after Bedfords and a few Leopards was a real show stopping moment.

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