October and towards the end of the month we have had to retreat into the appliance room at F38 Romford continue our work.
As we are guests here, we are limited to what we can reasonably undertake and we are always mindful of our surroundings and any impact we may impose on our hosts. Notwithstanding that, the restoration has continued with progress to the foot lockers, rear hose locker, communications system, and the never-ending task of fitting the new rubber treads to the rounds, of which there are many!
Running concurrent to the progress has been the need to continue to carry out running repairs after our first really busy, but very enjoyable season. A priority was the appliance engine having some much needed TLC and also a replacement airline to the braking system compressor following a rather lucky discovery that the existing one was a little "leaky"!,
whilst there, we installed a new compressor air filter to complete this work, the low air pressure flag now pops up and returns as it should
The ongoing problem of the leaking "sparge pipe" (which is the fixed plastic pipe that sits on the offside of the top extension and delivers water to the monitor) not seating correctly in its fittings was once again addressed after a series of explosive leaks!
A close inspection suggested that we had probably refitted the end connectors back to front after the restoration, and by reversing them, the pipe now sits deeper into the couplings. We are fairly confident we have solved this issue, let’s hope so as it hadn't leaked for about 40 years!
Although we had thought we had solved the running and performance problems affecting the Light Pump fitted behind the crew cab, it had continued to pose us problems firstly with starting and then inconsistent running.
A lot of time has been spent on this and despite our best efforts to resolve the problem with the pump installed, we have sadly had to conclude that it will have to be removed from the appliance, strip it down and have a detailed look at the issues.
However, We will need to programme this in and find a more suitable venue for this job as it will require a “Hi Ab” lift to get it off the chassis and also require a little frame cutting to get it out.
The painting of the lockers has at last been started and all of them are now at the undercoat stage. The front section of the nearside locker has had a second inner floor added and drain holes have been drilled in the offside and nearside lockers as water was collecting in them. Once the final painting has been concluded, we will be fitting period correct linoleum to the bottoms of the lockers to complete the preservation and provide some longevity to the work.
The rear hose locker door was looking rather sad on the inside so one of the group members set about cleaning back years of paint, a painstaking job but with the paint off, the door has been removed for repainting offsite. While we have it off, a replacement hinge was sourced as the original of 50 years plus was not looking very sound as it was made of brass with a chrome finish. The chrome had lone gone though so we have had to buy a stainless-steel version sadly as original brass are no longer available. Fortunately, as its almost entirely hidden, we are satisfied that this will not impact on the appearance.
The operator control position has also been having some attention as we had noticed that the extension dial had stopped working. It was found that the tape had parted from the spool and, as it is another one of those 50 year old items, we have sourced and fitted a new replacement and all is now working correctly again.
The communications system between the consul and head of the main ladder is now finally working after a full and complex restoration. We had been inching towards getting this working for about 4 years but it was never really at the top of the“ to do” list. Finally now though, with a replacement amplifier fitted in the consul, it has sprung into life, and, although this is a tiny non visible part of the overall project, it is very significant as it means we have full communications between the ground and head of the ladder which serves a couple of purposes.The first is the basic historic one of it being there and working, then, a more modern Health & Safety element as from time to time we do have firefighters up there who have never been up a TL before so this is a very important function and device for us.
The window screen wipers on 240FLM have continued to plague us with inconsistent working and swing but this is not surprising really being 55 years old. We have had to have rubbers specially made and it has proved impossible to locate new replacement arms of the correct shape and size. We have had new arms made, rubbers cut and fitted and finally all the new elements were refitted and now appear to provide a decent “wipe” and clean so the driver can actually see where we are heading!
Although we have only had 4 working parties during October, they have been well attended which meant that we have been able to make excellent progress and we continue to be very grateful to the LFB for allowing us the privilege of residing within an operational station, exactly as 240FLM once did.