It seems unlikely that I haven’t posted anything on the site for over a month now, it’s been such a busy time on working on the fire engine, buying even more bits and pieces and building things, some of the bits have been on Twitter… Here come an update on the works over December.
Most of December in Suffolk has been cold, many days have started with frost and some with snow, when it has been milder it has usually been raining so much of the work has been inside the fire engine or inside the workshop.
One job that I have spent some time on is converting the original rear facing fireman’s seats into a pair of seats to go opposite the rock and roll bed to complete a 4 seat dining area, the seats also need to fold away when the bed is needed. To do this I needed to find a large section of 12mm ply to act as a back board support for the mini project, this came from the original partition wall, it’s good structural ply and happens to be painted in the same colour as the rest of the truck. The three seats where trimmed down to two and an elaborate folding leg contraption was devised and attached to support the seats when in the seating position. A little bit more fettling and the seats where fitted, they work well and fold away very neatly.
As it was so cold outside I though about insulation, this turned out to be a time consuming task, loads of aluminium bubble foil insulation installed, then covered with another layer of synthetic vehicle insulation, rather like a 2 inch rockwell but designed for automotive insulation, all fixed to the roof with contact adhesive and hope. I had originally though of covering the ceiling with hardboard but that didn’t look good, it felt like being inside a cardboard box so ply wood was the answer. Looking at the structure within the roof I knew that it was not going to be a simple job to cut a few large sheets and fit it. The main structure of the roof is basically level, the problem is there are so many additions to the inside of the roof, roller shutter mechanisms, runners and supports, the chances of a long run of ply wood are very slim. In the end I have opted for a sort of jigsaw approach, adding larger sections where possible and then filling the gaps and spaces, bridging sheets and voids with other sections of ply or machines timber to get a completely covered and insulated roof lining, this will now be an on going part of the project, the roof is lined with the larger sections, so are the rear walls but the smaller more fiddly parts can be done any time, no rush for that, there is more to do.
Yet another small job has been to add the seat belts, on the face of it an 8 bolt job, oh no! I had bought a 3.5m seatbelt for each side at the front, they eventually fitted ok and are long enough and secure enough. I couldn’t find much information about the belts a truck of this type would have had new, they appeared to have adjustable belts but not inertia reel belts. One major issue was the passenger seat, there was nowhere to secure the belt buckle so I had to fabricate and weld a plate onto the seat base, straight forward enough and I even managed to use some of the thicker steel plate that I removed from the rear of the fire engine.
During a brief spell of cloudy weather I fitted the new old stock Britax Fog Light, it’s a period fog light, just need to run the cable for that to the front and find a 24v bulb for it, the fire engine came from Isabe with about 30 bulbs, so should be one there somewhere.
On a cold bright day with snow all over the place I decided it was a good idea to make my way onto the roof to put the blue beacons and siren back together, it turned out to be a simple job and Isabe had labelled all of the connections with some coloured tape and supplied all of the original screws and washers. The Martin horn was connected in the same way and then IT ALL WORKS, the siren is SO loud, I love it. This was clearly the wrong time to do this work, I was quite excited about it and forgot about the cold, then my fingers became so cold and painful I could hardly move them, back to the workshop for a warm up.
Another job I had been waiting to do was to remove the vinyl covering the original signwritting, this actually came off quite easily and it’s great to have the original wording on the doors, only a small amount of paint came off and I will fix that when the weather warms up.
Watch the video of the progress here….