Monday, December 29, 2008

A rotten lot

Day 2 of the restoration task dawned clear and bright but that was about to change.
The exterior of 629/729 is clad in aluminium sheeting which like all things exposed to the elements, has deteriorated in some areas. Fortunately the corrosion is not extensive and appears as blistering patches.

The "Clean & strip wheel" (a weapon of choice from previous restoration projects)easily cleans up the surface corrosion to reveal a shiny flat surface again.

With a quick clean up from a fine sanding disk the sheet is ready for a coat of primer and eventual painting.

Rain soon stopped our external play so works moved to inside trailer car 729 to make a start on the rotten flooring.

Previous examination had highlighted some wet areas of flooring but we soon discovered that the joists below the plywood floor were in some cases in worse condition than the timber above.

To be able to do a complete assessment the "Cityrail" lino was taken up....

...and the seat plates which had extensive rust and/or seized bots removed.

On the surface most of the plates look good but underneath is a different story.

In recent times damaged floor plates were replaced by stainless steel examples. A great initiative to avoid future problems and one we're keen to continue.

By poking and proding the worst areas of flooring were identified and so the cutting of sections commenced. In some cases complete panels have been sacrificed.

With the panels cut back to sound timber the old panels are lifted....

 reveal the dark secrets underneath. Years of road dirt, sound deadening insulation and moisture make for a pretty grusome environment for timber. With the water held by the sponge like insulation the timber is continually wet and of course rots to the point were it breaks up with a scraper.

Not only will some floor panels need replacing but many joists will also be renewed.

Another advantage of lifting the lino is that we are learning whats underneath. The lines of the cars electrical conduit run can clearly be seen staggering their way along the car from side to middle to side.

Having cleaned out the problem underfloor areas another rain storm conveniently revealed the main cause of the water problem.

On close examination it was found that the water didnt leak through the windows as we thought. It enters behind the external upper window strip and then channels down through the body pillars, and emerging at the base of the car side, leaking directly onto the underfloor aluminium sheeting.

Now we know the problem our next task is to fix it!