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Double decker conversion in Brisbane

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Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby Brisbane Atlantean » Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:24 pm

Hello to everyone,
I purchased a 1969 Leyland Atlantean double decker bus some time back and after lengthy delays getting her back to Brisbane I am hopeful of getting her here shortly. It could be another few weeks or a month at the most, hopefully.

My plan is to get her registered in Queensland so that I can use her as a fun form of transport on the occasional weekend away or outing while at the same time, converting her into a very basic and simple motorhome.

While I plan to do as much of the restoration work myself as I can, I acknowledge that I do not have the necessary skills or knowledge to do it. I hope to use this as an opportunity to learn some of the skills as I go. I do have friends that have offered their assistance but they have as few skills as I do.

I was wondering if there are anyone out there in the Brisbane area (The bus and I will be in the inner west) who might be interested in working on this old bus with me and thereby contributing to my education along the way.

She is currently in northern NSW getting her motor rebuilt so the mechanical side of things should all be sorted out before she arrives. I expect that I will need guidance and assistance with everything else. There is no rush with this project. It is being undertaken by me as a fun project with no timetable to work to. I plan on working on her when time permits and would be happy for others to work on her as and when they have the desire to do so. There is to be no pressure with this project, just the opportunity to have some fun with like minded individuals. I was thinking along the lines of a mens shed type arrangement. The bus will be stored in an open lot with an adjoining garage/shed where we can have a chat, have a drink and do a bit of renovation work.I have some/plenty of tools that I have acquired over the years and will be happy to purchase what I need to do the job. I am sure that we will be able to work out some remuneration arrangement that suits everyone who will be educating me.

Anyway, I thought I would just put it out there in case someone might be interested in the old bus and this type of project. If you would like to be involved either as my teacher or as an enthusiast or if you have any advice other than "Don't do it" , I would like to hear from you.

I will be a very grateful and willing student.

Similarly, if you get on with other people and you are as unskilled as me but are interested in learning something new along the way, feel free to get in contact with me and come along for the ride.

Cheers

Gerard
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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby DiAmOnD T » Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:32 pm

Firstly, could you supply a photo and some details (chassis number or previous rego ect) so the fleet lists can be amended (its a disposal list of buses over the years)
Maybe you could join or contact QOCS (Queensland Omnibus and Coach Society) the members all have an interest in buses and some may be able to help
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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby Brisbane Atlantean » Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:43 am

The seller tells me that it is a Leyland Atlantean PDR 2/1 built 5/69 with the body having been built by "Park Royal". It has chassis number 804019.
It is Ex Plymouth UK Fleet number 229 and had UK Rego JJY 629G
It was imported into Perth in 1984, was purchased by Osbournes Bus services in Muswellbrook and used as a school bus in the 80's and 90's. It was then sold to a private owner in Victoria. It was then moved to Tasmania. The seller bought it in Nov 2013 and moved it to Bangalee. I bought it and seized the engine driving it to Brisbane after the fan belt came off. It is currently in Alstonville NSW being repaired.
I am hoping to get it to Brisbane by the end of the month.

Thanks for the tip on the QOCS. I shall get in contact with them.

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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby coastlaw » Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:45 pm

Welcome brother , I have 228 (JJY628G) still here in Perth. I am knee deep in the start of our conversion to live in it.
Only 3 of us Plymouth 69's here in Aus, also 3 of only 5 brought in 1969 in Plymouth too. A member here had the other two ex Perth ones in NSW who im guessing you have brought it off ? Love to see some pics ..
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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby Brisbane Atlantean » Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:46 am

Thanks Coastlaw,
I am still having troubles getting parts for the rebuild of the motor. It has taken almost twelve months now.
I have no pictures yet but will be sure to post some in the future. Similarly, I would like to see what you have planned for your conversion and any pics that you may have and more importantly, advice on the problems you encounter and steps you would have taken in hindsight to have avoided them.

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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby coastlaw » Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:44 pm

At the moment im sorting through main wiring loom under rear seat where main junction box is.
Leyland in all there wisdom made all there wires black so nothing is labeled. I found two burnt wires hidden. Very time consuming sorting it out. Test light and multimeter are your friends and I've learnt fast a lot about it all as an auto sparky would cost more than the bus. They are fairly simple and handy.
Im staying away from mains power as it can be a massive cost in gadgets, inverters, electrical work and certification here. 12v-24v i dont have to have certified and can do most stuff myself when researched correctly. It was an ex party bus so the amount of dodgy wiring has astounded me that ive pulled out .
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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby Guy_Arab » Fri Sep 09, 2016 6:26 pm

coastlaw wrote:At the moment im sorting through main wiring loom under rear seat where main junction box is.
Leyland in all there wisdom made all there wires black so nothing is labeled. I found two burnt wires hidden. Very time consuming sorting it out. Test light and multimeter are your friends and I've learnt fast a lot about it all as an auto sparky would cost more than the bus. They are fairly simple and handy.
Im staying away from mains power as it can be a massive cost in gadgets, inverters, electrical work and certification here. 12v-24v i dont have to have certified and can do most stuff myself when researched correctly. It was an ex party bus so the amount of dodgy wiring has astounded me that ive pulled out .

Do you require the wiring diagram I email you if required I have the full English manual also
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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby berrybusman » Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:13 pm

Hello Brisbane Atlantean.

You havent got the old girl home yet?

buggar!

what parts you needing.

let me know I will see if I know anyone that might have something.

keep me posted as you know I have an interest in that bus.

Love to see her up & running and restored some day.

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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby Brisbane Atlantean » Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:42 pm

G'day Berrybusman,

I spoke to the repairer yesterday and the final piece has been found - a water rail manifold ????
Found it in Perth.
anyway it has arrived so we shall see if it fits and works and then I should be getting the call to collect her late next week .

From what I gather he has been attending to some other repairs on her so with luck, there will not be too much to be done to get her registered here in Brisbane and then the fun will start.

time will tell.

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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby berrybusman » Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:56 am

Good stuff,

let me know how you proceed.
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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby Brisbane Atlantean » Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:54 am

The journey continues.
After getting the last piece into place we collected the bus from Alstonville and started the journey back to Brisbane. All went well until I turned into George Street in Brisbane city when I started to lose air pressure. The loss of air pressure affected my ability to put the bus into first gear. We struggled on and got to our property in Paddington where we stopped to open the gates. As I was negotiating the entry into the property we lost all air and the bus stopped. We were 3 meters from our final destination, but that meant that 3 meters of the bus was still hanging out onto the street.
After a few phone calls an emergency repairer came out and rigged up a compressor to give me air to get the bus the last 3 meters and we were home.
Let the next chapter begin.
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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby berrybusman » Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:41 am

Great news! Finally made it G.

Air pressure will be something minor I would say mate so dont stress.

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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby CCCC » Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:11 pm

air leak should be noticeable if you pressurise the system unless the compressor has packed it it.
From memory there are also small rubber cups in that gear change control for each gear that may have deteriorated an need changing.
So if you have one not working and the rest ok , this could be a clue.
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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby Guy_Arab » Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:42 pm

CCCC wrote:air leak should be noticeable if you pressurise the system unless the compressor has packed it it.
From memory there are also small rubber cups in that gear change control for each gear that may have deteriorated an need changing.
So if you have one not working and the rest ok , this could be a clue.

iF YOU STILL REQUIRE HELP i CAN EMAIL YOU FROM MY UK MANUAL
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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby Brisbane Atlantean » Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:20 pm

Thanks very much. I will be looking into it next weekend. I have a copy of the manual that I got off Guy Arab 18 months ago and it has been a great help.
In the interim, I was investigating a leaking fuel injector pipe no 4 and when I undid it I found that the tip / nipple had broken off. Does anyone know where I might find a replacement or a business that might make one up.

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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby Brisbane Atlantean » Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:20 pm

Another update for those who may be interested.

The leaking fuel injector pipe has been fixed. I had emailed suppliers from around the world for no success to end up finding a guy in Brisbane who provided me with a $5 brass looking sleeve/collar that was slid over the tip of the pipe and when I tightened the nut it created a seal and engine runs well and there is no fuel leak. He tells me that the seal will easily withstand the pressure that the 680 builds up in the injector system. I hope he is right.

The air leak has fixed itself. From not holding any air it now holds up to 8 - 9 bar as it had in the past and all worked well. Then when I ran it again a few days later it built up pressure but for some reasons the doors no longer work. I do not hear any air when I manipulate the door switches so that is now the next mystery to investigate.

While I am mentioning the doors, I recall that some time ago Coastlaw mentioned that he was going to remove his centre doors. Have you done that and if so are you interested in selling your doors and the air unit mechanism that sits above the doors and if so can you email me and we see if we can do a deal.

I am still having fun but it would be nice to get her out and about. I have no photographs to post as the neighbours have complained to the Brisbane City Council and the Council have instructed me to put a tarp over the bus for aesthetic reasons. She does look a little rough but I thinks that it gives her more character and in any event I would have thought that was better than a bright blue tarp. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby Brisbane Atlantean » Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:11 am

Yet another update for those that might be interested.
I have worked out part of the problem with the air pressure in the bus. When the centre doors are closed, there is a leak in the system. When they are open, there is no leak.That by itself is not a problem as the pump is sufficient to pump more than the leak and everything is fine. The problem arises when I use the brakes a lot, e.g. when in heavy traffic. The air lost when using the brakes and the leak from the door closed is greater than the pump can keep up with and I slowly loose air pressure. If I open the centre doors the air pressure quickly rises but that is only a short term fix.

The curious thing is that when I initially go to close the centre doors, it gives off a swooshing sound of a large amount of air being used to bring a chamber up to pressure before the doors start to close. I have not yet worked out where that chamber is or if it is in fact the door opening and closing mechanism itself that loses air pressure when the doors are in the closed position. Is there a seperate chamber somewhere that stores air to be used to close the centre doors, if so where am i likely to find it?

If anyone has a suggestion of what it might be, I would appreciate it. Also, does anyone know where I might get a spare wheel rim for a 1969 Leyland Atlantean. Did Leyland use the same ten nut wheel rims on all their heavy vehicles in the late 60's and early 70's as I have found a front wheel off a Leyland Boxer that looks identical to my wheels but I cannot find any marking that might identify the precise size or offset(?) for the wheels.

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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby VaultMedia » Thu May 25, 2017 12:37 pm

Hows it going? :P

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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby Brisbane Atlantean » Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:35 pm

Here is another update to those who might be interested.
I have attended to a few items and the bus is now registered and I have taken it out on a few runs. I took it to Woodgate, just south of Bundaberg at Easter (700K round trip) and things went well other than being hit by the roof that came off a passing towed boat that broke a rear side window.
Then I took it out to Qld Raceway as a hospitality vehicle for the 24 hour Lemons race (race cars limited to $999) and did a few laps of the track as a fund raiser.
I have had a problem in that I have lost first and third gear but that seems to be a leak in the air system and the selector so that I have found someone to make up a new set of gaskets and hopefully that will solve the problems. First is necessary for the hills in Paddington Brisbane. Third is not so important as it moves from second to fourth without much difficulty.
I am now at the stage where I need to find some more speed before I decide to spend too much on a very basic motorhome fit out (toilet and shower and kitchenette). I can only get up to the high 70's kph which is OK on dual lane highways where people can pass but when we are down to one lane each way, the constant pulling over to let everyone pass wears a little thin.Even if I could get it up to 90kph that would be sufficient.
If anyone has any ideas as to how I could achieve that, I would be very appreciative.
Otherwise, it is a lot of fun to drive. Even around the city.
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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby rustbucket » Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:56 am

Most obvious is diff ratio, my first conversion was an AEC Sydney suburban bus, geared for that work, was pretty painful let me tell you, so I know right where you are coming from.
Changed the diff centre and it became a 95 kph bus, didn't make any difference if the trailer with Moke and Boat was on the back or not.

Unsure of the layout of engine and gearbox in your machine, as long as the diff is seperate it can be done, but I have no idea where you might find a higher ratio diff centre.
If you do go to a taller diff, you will need all those gears working. Did a ski trip once in one that used to run from Sydney to the snow, they did manage to get that a bit quicker so can be done.

Good luck
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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby Brisbane Atlantean » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:52 pm

For those who might be interested, here is the latest update on the conversion.

I have continued with the renovations. Due to a lack of skill on my part, it is a two steps forward, one step back process.
I have sorted out the gear selector. The seals in the selector had started to perish and therefore leak, making gear selection impossible. I was able to source some replacement parts from England and now all the gears work and getting up hills is now a breeze.

For some reason I developed an electrical problem. No matter which way I tried to indicate, the rear right hand side indicator flashed. I was oblivious to it until I noticed that people were not giving way to me when I was trying to change lanes, but rather, they were rather irate when they passed me after I had indicated and moved across. Usually everyone is very considerate as the bus is a novelty. Having noticed the change in attitude I suspected something was wrong, so I pulled over and conducted some tests and discovered the problem. Not surprisingly, indicating one way and moving the other had upset a few people.

It turns out that the electrical system had not been properly earthed and once that was fixed, all was good.

Anyway, I have now installed a toilet, shower, water system and kitchenette as can be seen in the photos. Since I had a spare car battery, I have installed a separate 12 volt system for all of this as the pump and hot water system are 12 volt and I did not know how to step it all down from the bus' 24 volt system. My thinking was that the separate 12 volt system will never drain the bus' starter batteries and it can be charged by a moveable solar panel (supplied by a friend who had no further need for it) or a battery charger if I have access to 240 volt. I figured that a fully charged battery would give me a few days at the very least. With solar, that should easily stretch to 3-4 days.

I have also installed a door and wall to enclose the shower and toilet. The walls of the bus are curved and the gap between the floor and the ceiling reduces as you move towards the rear of the bus. I also noticed that the ground where I store and work on the bus is not flat. Therefore spirit levels were of no assistance and many measurements were needed to be done and redone. I ended up creating templates using cheap cardboard type panels from the hardware store (1.2 x 2.4m for $7 each) before cutting the finished product and I think that I still did every post and wall at least twice.

This simple minimalist fit out is all that I want. I have a queen size bed upstairs with two futon sofas that fold out into double beds. If required, I could sleep 10 using the perimeter seating downstairs.

The last things that I need to do is decide if I am going to paint the outside of the bus and work out how to get an additional 10 -15 KPH
As for the paint, I fear that if I try to paint it and do a poor job, which is highly likely, it will look very bad. I do not know what it would cost to get the bus painted but I suspect that it would be a lot. Therefore, I am starting to like the paint job as it is, as it looks like a vintage bus. So unless I have a real change of mind, I think that it will stay as it is.

That leaves the additional speed. I thank everyone who has offered advise to date on ways that I might get more speed. One thing that I would like to know is whether the limiter on the engine could be raised by say 100 rpm and whether that would give me extra speed and whether it would cause unacceptable strain on the motor?
Firstly, is it possible to raise the rev limiter?

According to my research, I have a Leyland 680. there is a plate on the rocker cover that states ENGINE TYPE EO680/1133 GOV @ 2000RPM. I do not know what the 1133 means and I assume that the engine governor kicks in at 2000rpm. If I get 80k at 2000 RPM what will another 100 rpm do? Is it as simple as an additional 5% in the revs = an addition 5% of speed?

I would appreciate your thoughts.

Cheers

Gerard
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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby Guy_Arab » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:30 pm

As I am one of a few who has the English Manual I can email you an enlarge wiring diagram contact me
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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby Brisbane Atlantean » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:53 am

Hi Guy Arab,
Thanks, that would be great.
can you send it to me at fgforde@qldbar.asn.au
I really appreciate it.
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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby rustbucket » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:20 pm

I will jump in here after doing a couple of single deckers.

1. Investigate what can be done with house paint. I have been told about people doing busses with house enamel while panels are hot for a very good finish, but like any paint prep is the key. Brush and roller application.

2. You are taking the most necessary step I feel and learning about your own vehicle systems, rather than expecting someone to fix it for you. This is very good.

3. As I did an early AEC and did a diff swap, this is the way I would go. It was an 80 kph Sydney gov bus, found a diff and it became a 100 kph highway bus. Don't try to squeeze the extra from a tired engine, asking for problems. Especially crankshafts that have done millions of rotations.

4. In the AEC there was a box containing lots of relays and wires near the gearbox, we tossed it and direct wired to each shift solenoid, worked a treat, never been able to work out what the box did. Think laterally.

Looking forward to seeing it on the road.
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Re: Double decker conversion in Brisbane

Postby boronia » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:09 am

Re #4:

This might be the "auto-mono-control" box that attempted to automate the gear changes. Introduced about 1960 by CAV.

There was the normal change selector, but if you left it in the top gear position, it would do all the changing itself.
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Was a good system when new, but they got unreliable with age, and many got disconnected.
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