www.kellstransportmuseum.com - Irelands Operating Bus Museum

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www.kellstransportmuseum.com - Irelands Operating Bus Museum
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Re: What is restored?

I think Brian, you misunderstand the function of the museum.

It is not to restore buses but to have representative examples of the various types in working order.

If you have one or two buses, then you can consider restoring them but if you have a very large fleet like we have of over 250 buses then there is no such thing as restoration per se. The object is to keep your working models working.

In effect, other than Bus Eireann, we have the largest bus fleet in the country with nobody else even remotely coming near.

Now, as in any fleet, there is continuous deterioration, not to mention wear, so like any bus company you schedule your vehicles for maintenance and major overhaul as it becomes necessary.

We have buses in three categories:

1. Scrap for parts
2. In Poor condition but historic requiring major work and
3. Operational.

Right now we are concentrating on the operational vehicles, and major restoration will not commence until our new shed is ready this summer.

So let us take KC 157 as an example, a vehicle which is currently undergoing major overhaul. Is she being restored or overhauled? I would argue that, because of her condition, she is merely going through normal overhaul as there is no restoration necessary, as is the case for 70% of our vehicles.

Painting is not restoration, but the normal process of maintenance. It is our policy on all KC's to paint them as they come in for overhaul, because the last paint job done by Bus Eireann was appalling, whereas for Lothian vehicles, for example, they are so good they will not need it for five to seven years.

OK, so you say are you restoring the engine of KC 157. We have evaluated the engine, it is 100%, we do the filters, a few hoses and clips here and there and she is back for service. Is that restoration? I doubt it, but she does not need any.

So, in short, we do not really restore most of our vehicles. We just keep them in proper working order and in the best condition they can be in. If you consider a vehicle as 100% when it comes out of the workshop, then it deteriorates over seven to ten years to, say, 20% if left untouched. It is pretty well a scale deterioration unless you have a major failure, which is rare in a museum.

If you look at Bristol RELL6G 2187, to take the other side. She has apparently suffered a major engine failure even though the rest of her is pretty good. Therefore she now moves up the scale of maintenance as without an engine she does not run very well. When we fit the new engine, we will take the opportunity to deal with the other items which normally would have been left for a few more years. But she is not being restored. She is simply a working example that has a problem and will undergo overhaul sooner than planned due to the engine problem.

Everything is a question of resources. We have limited resources and we try and do the best we can with them. To take a final example, MD 42. She is not as good as we would like thanks to the Readymix *******s, but she is on the button and runs. She could do with some internal bodywork but we have decided to paint her only in this years overhaul schedule as the inside is really no different to when she was in service. But she is not restored, is not going to be restored and for that matter does not need restoration. She just needs some extra maintenance.

I hope this answers some of your questions, and as to what buses are being restored, the answer is probably none. We list the work we are doing on them on the main page as it is done and what what buses we operate. I would guess of the 250+ examples some 75% will start on the button and run fine. Thats not a bad achievement.

Michael Grimes

Re: Re: What is restored?

I think Brian you are missing the motto of Kell's, it is Irelands Operating bus museum.

Most of the vehicles that are in the fleet just need batteries and a wash and they are fit for the open road, of course not all are but there are some we have for spares.

Im sure if you had a good look at the website you would see that there is a lot of activity at the museum lately and this is all running repairs that are done in any bus company. There are a few major jobs on some of the fleet (a small few) but that is the way in most companies.

As Michael said, 75% of the fleet are on the button, and experienced this myself taking KC157 out of hibernation. I was amazed at how perfect she was, all she needs is a service and she could fly through any inspection for road passenger.

Stephen Payne

Re: Re: Re: What is restored?

"As Michael said, 75% of the fleet are on the button, and experienced this myself taking KC157 out of hibernation. I was amazed at how perfect she was, all she needs is a service and she could fly through any inspection for road passenger.

Stephen Payne"

What qualification do you possess to make such a statement? If I give you a bus, will you D.O.E it?

From reading your statement regarding a KC which has not ran in passenger service in God knows how many years, stating it needs little or no work to put into PSV service, then surely you have full City & Guilds qualifications relating to HGV/PSV mechanics, and at least a qualificiation in passenger vehicle engineering.

By having the balls to make a statement like that you must have built up years of experience not just driving buses and HGV's, but rebuilding all kinds of mechanical components of all HGV/PSV's?

If you are so qualified to make such professional statements, how many buses/HGV's have you rebuilt (not restored, but rebuilt) to date, not for preservation, but for passenger service work?

Answers on a postcard please....

Reply to Paul, Hang on a moment!

Paul seems to have a bee in his bonnet and gone after Stephen Payne about the condition of the buses.

First of all Paul has not a clue as he has never been near us and appears to be another armchair general.

Yes, we will prepare a bus for D.O.E. if anyone wants it and are fully qualified to do so. All Stephen or any of us can do is prepare the vehicle but we do not test it. That is done by the state.

Stephen has built up years of experience and in my professional view is well qualified to make decisions on the buses and in fact the museum allows him to make such decisions when it comes to preparing vehicles.

I regret that none of us have a City and Guilds but we are running a museum and we are all uniquely qualified and together as a team we not alone do our best to keep our buses mechanically sound but as can be seen from the condition of those that go to rallies, I think we fairly achieve this. Take Mogeely on July 22 for example. Our vehicles will be superbly turned out as they always are.

Paul is off again about this rebuilding business. Rebuilding has nothing to do with us, Stephen or anything else. Our vehicles are good enough not to need rebuilding so rebuilding is irrelevant. But, if it comes to rebuilding one then we do have the expertise, experience and skill amongst our members. Right now, we have no vehicles needing re-building.

One sometimes gets the impression that all these armchair generals think we have a heap of scrap waiting to be re-built. That may be the way in other museums but is certainly not with us. Nearly every vehicle that comes in now is in fully serviceable condition and we have not the slightest intention of rebuilding them as we think the manufacturer did all the building that was neecessary in the first place.

Finally, if Paul wants to drive KC 157 he is welcome to come and do so and then he can talk but I would not bet on him coming down and doing any work unlike Stephen who applies his expertise and skill on weekend after weekend to making sure our buses do not need rebuilding. The museum is very grateful to Stpehen and the many other people - we had seven last weekend - that help to keep our vehicles.

Usual question for Paul. How many buses have you? Are you talking from experience or a City and Guilds?

Michael Grimes

Re: Reply to Paul, Hang on a moment!

Sorry! But I heard of a VanHool who's dashbord and electrics was destroyed by an induvidual who said at the time they knew what they were doing. Cough! Cough!

Quailified alright from the stories I've heard.

Brian Griffin

We had no Van Hool dash problems.

Brian seemed to insinuate that we had a Van Hool whose dash and electrics were detroyed by someone. That is simply not true and we have had no problems of any kind with any Van Hool. Could he perhaps elaborate what he is getting at? Does he know something I don't know?

Michael Grimes

Re: We had no Van Hool dash problems.

Sorry Michael Not one of your buses.

The said VanHool was in Howth. The induvidual who has been posting on this thead caused the problems. The electrics were tamperd with and the bus unable to start since then. You are quoted on saying the person was quailified and had alot of experience etc. etc. This is untrue Michael I thought you should know.

Brian Griffin

Re: Re: Wiring problems???.

Well lads,

I think you should ask the honourable board or somone in Howth as to why the project was abandoned, I seem to remember internal sources sabotaged my work. I left her in drivable condition. The museum out there doesnt need people restoring vehicles, they want people to sweep the floor.

At least at Kells I can use my trade to ensure the vehicles are brought back to life, and not exactly to psv but if you would like to put one through a DOE, come down and lend a hand aswell.

Oh an by the way i have experience in currently running a fleet of 19 vehicles in psv and carry out all the mechanical work to them and have been approved by the relavent establishments aswell. I think you should come down some weekend and lend me a hand, we do need help replacing the turbochager in KC169!

I wonder about people posting on this site when I see people posting things about people and vehicles having no knowledge of the vehicles as well as no experience, yes I might be young but I have been around for a fair bit and have rebilt vehicles from the ground up and they are happily driving arond this country to this very day. I am als having great fun in running one of the oldest vehicles in psv myself.

any more questions?

Re: Re: Re: Wiring problems???.

People from Howth would say otherwise. My Final Question. Your original MPISV site showed KR156. Would you like to tell me more about that bus.

Brian Griffin

Re: Re: Re: Re: Wiring problems???.

I'm not really wanting to upset anyone here, but i have to agree with Paul & Brian, especially regarding Steven's statement that KC157 and also 75% of the KTM fleet is on the button and only need a wash before being fit for the road. Yes, the majority of the fleet is on the button and yes the majority of the fleet does need a wash, but given that they have been in hibernation in open storage means that checks need to be done before before being allowed out on the road - has Steven even bothered to undertake these checks.?????

For the record, myself and Kenny are not mechanics, what we know we have picked up as we have went along working on other buses, but we won't deny the fact that, even though Michael may think of us as miracle workers, we still have more to learn and experience to gain. However, even i know that bringing a bus out of hibernation that has been outside in open storeage for a period of time, requires checks to make sure it is fit to be taken out on the road. What springs to mind is:

1): Brakes - Inactivity causes shoes & drums to glaze over and seriously affects braking
2): Air system - condensation building up in the system can corrode tanks & pipes and as such integrity is impaired.
3): Oil Seals - Inactivety causes seals to dry up and crack
4): Corrosion - Retaining bolts securing major eqipment (i.e springs, engine mounts, air tanks etc) need to be checked for signs of weakness & corrosion.
5): Grease points - All grease points will really need to be regreased following hibernation (esp outside storage).
6): Lot more i could say but this is for starters.

Put it this way, when i was over recently, myself & Kenny decided to pull MSF469P out of hibernaton. It should be noted that this Atlantean has been inactive for over a year due to being hemmed in by other buses. However, we finally moved these other buses to allow MSF469P out. Despite being in hibernation for all this time, it was on the button and started right away. Once running i let the engine tick over and gradually build up it's air (one thing you don't do with a bus you start up right out of hibernation, Steven, is rev the guts out of it right away!!!!!).

As the system pressurised, the air tank suddenly ruptured under the pressure thus preventing air build up. Upon investigation, it apprears the air tank gave way at the bottom at the point where it is supported by the retaining strap. This is the usual place for tanks to give way at, but outside storage in the dampness will do it no favours and only accelerates such deterioration - but this is just one of the problems with buses in hibernation stored outside. Next time myself & Kenny are over, we are going to replace this air tank and as long as no other weak points give way in the air system, we should be able to build the air up to release the brakes and select gear.

Once we have it moving, is it fit for the road after it's period of hibernation because it now starts & moves - of course not, not without other checks being implemented first, and that is before even considering getting it fit for D.O.E standard.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wiring problems???.

We hope Mr. P is not qualified in swiping Tiger parts for his own buses. Is that a new turbo charger on his KR?

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wiring problems???.

Thankfully we have someone who has the grace to admit that they dont know everything... thank you very much Ross Aitken you are a breath of fresh air...

As for Peters claim, I must defend Mr Payne in this instance, Peter shows he doesnt know any more about buses or engines than Mr Payne does, as most Tigers have Leyland TL11/Cummins L10 engines, a KR has a DAF DT615 engine. The only thing he got right is that all 3 have turbo's. DT615 engine is half the size of a TL11/L10. With that in mind you would think the turbo is completely different. If you are going to throw mud at least make sure you have your facts right!