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 Post subject: Restoring 1948 ACE RT865
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:06 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:10 am
Posts: 1
Greeting everyone ,

My grandfather imported 1948 RT865 late 70’s as company transportation Bus back then till it retired early 80’s . The bus has been stopped and idle at my fathers now company since then. It’s all in one piece but missing all the seats and driver cluster . I am planning to restore the bus to its original condition , and I might need help with finding some of the missing parts . Also , I would keep the thread updated with progress of the restoration .

Regards ,


PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:10 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:33 pm
Posts: 41
Hi Majeed
I am sorry I am unable to help with your question. However I would like to ask one or 2 of my own if it is OK
When did your father buy the RT
Where is it stabled now
can you attach some pictures please

PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:10 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:24 pm
Posts: 115
Welcome. This will be an extremely major undertaking costing several times the sale value of the finished vehicle. It will make some difference if the bus has been stored indoors, but probably not a lot. There will be two things to check before you even contemplate proceding with restoration. Does the engine run? and is the bodywork about to disintegrate?

Mark the fuel injection pump coupling so that it can be reassembled in the same place, remove the bolts holding it together and rotate the injection pump by hand or with a spanner. This will reveal whether the pump has seized. Turning the engine over if the pump has seized will possibly destroy the pump. Reinstate the coupling and try to turn the engine over by hand. Once you know that it is free then carry out normal operations to attempt to start it, using a gravity feed from a can of clean fresh fuel connected straight into the injection pump. Do not try to run the engine from the fuel tank or the bulkhead header tank. The fuel in these should be thrown away and both cleaned out properly at a much later date.

Assess the bodywork. This has more than likely virtually disintegrated behind the exterior panels. It is not unknown for the upper deck seat frames to be the only thing holding the upper deck in place. It would be a good idea to have the bus on absolutely level gound and to take various measurements to establish whether - or rather where - the body has sagged or is distorted. Carefully look around the body for loose screws holding mouldings, and for any sagging of the body at window line level. Check to see particularly if the mouldings and panels between the decks are secure (cant rail level). If safe, go upstairs and carefully push against the panels at the bottom of the window pans (frames) be prepared for them to move. Next from inside and underneath check what is called the platform riser. This is the major structural panel which runs across the bus at the point where one steps from the platform onto the lower deck, it supports the whole rear end of the body. Replacement and repair is a major operation. Now remove the mouldings and body panels around the rear wheel arches and between the decks. It is more than likely that the two decks are in serious danger of parting company because of corrosion to hte bracketry which holds them together. All of this will have to be made from scratch - there are no parts available. The body is constructed of both mild steel and timber; much of this is likely to be dust.

Once you have an accurate picture of what you are up against then it is best to make a start on the mechanicals. You want a vehicle which moves under its own power not a beautifully painted trailer. Get the engine running properly out of a canned fuel supply from the top deck without leaking coolant or too much oil. There is an air gauge underneath the driver's floor, check to see whether air builds up and doesn't leak. Jack the vehicle up, chock wheels safely and see if the wheels will turn. Jam the brake pedal down and see if the brakes appear to work without any air leaks. On the ground if all is well so far start engine, select 1st gear, stamp on the left hand pedal and releas and see if the bus will move under its own power once the air has built up. carefully see if the brakes work. Lastly select neutral and stamp on the left hand pedal again.

Hopefully you now have an idea of whether it is worth proceding with the restoration. If it is not you can sell the mechanical parts and much of the body fittings. Good luck and please come back with a report on what you find.

A look at Tilsworthworks Youtube channel and Flickr site should give you an idea of what you are likely to find behind the panels and how to go about repairs. It also shows clearly that it CAN be done. ... =0&sort=dd

Edit add: another excellent website from someone restoring an RT

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