During the re-fitting we broke the crankshaft pulley at the front that the fan belt runs in. A few extra weeks to locate a new one and then most of one workday was spent removing the old one and fitting the new because with the engine now in, the pulley was then close behind the front cross member. Awkward!
Once the engine was in place there were the numerous connections to be made like the fuel pipes, throttle and clutch linkages, dynamo and starter motor connections. Then the radiator had to go back and water pipes made to shape/length and fitted. These, like so many other parts, are not available off-the-shelf from Halfords! Once the engine had been started with a temporary fuel supply and run, it seemed a good idea to have an exhaust system. Fortunately the engine had come complete with a manifold branch but all we had of the exhaust were a few pieces of broken, rusty pipe within the bus and the remains of a tail pipe attached to the offside. We were fortunate to find, amongst our collection of parts from the Isle of Man, a new silencer box still wrapped up. All manner of wooden dowel sections were cut and bolted together to mock-up what and where we thought the exhaust should be. Commercially available exhaust pipe sections were bought, cut and joined together with the silencer box. Our next problem was the down pipe from the manifold to connect into the exhaust. Again not readily available. A local welder came to our aid and made the required down pipe from scratch out of stainless steel. More costs.
The fuel system provided another problem. The chassis mounted fuel filter was obviously full of muck and getting it off of the chassis was another long job. Once off getting it apart took as long. Once cleaned and overhauled getting it back on took just as long as the removal. Then we had to deal with a leak so off it came again. This is the way it goes.
The vacuum system for the brakes and door also presented its own challenges. With the engine running the vacuum varied between 10 and 25 inches. The exhauster was checked and one of the valves was damaged so the exhauster had to come off and a new valve was fitted, one of the few parts we already had from a spare exhauster. Once re-fitted there was no change! This problem carried on for months until by chance we located a tiny hairline fracture in the pipe leading to the gauge. A new, very small diameter, metal pipe had to be made and bent to shape. Once fitted, no more vacuum problem. However, the sliding door still only works when it feels like it so there's another job for the future.
After much pushing and pulling and checking for fit, the distinctive radiator shell was back on. More recently the bonnet top and opening "wings" have gone back.
The bumper had obviously suffered from collisions at the ends plus it must have been used to wrap a tow rope around at some point. Therefore it needed straightening. This needed a heavy commercial bench press to achieve. Despite all best efforts it will never look completely smooth. The rusted and peeling chrome had to be blasted off and at present it is in painted silver. Later we may be able to get a new bumper made and have it chromed. We will make do for now but at least it is re-attached to the vehicle.
The Falcon's were not fitted with indicators in A&D service, (I of M Road Services did fit large side and rear indicators which looked completely out of place). Early on, a decision was taken that to move about in modern traffic, 282 had to have flashing indicators. As the front is the most distinctive part of the vehicle we wanted to retain the look. Therefore, the separate front side lights have been converted into indicators. This has meant that the headlights have had to be changed for modern types with an integral side lamp but at least it keeps the appearance.
The rear has not been so simple. Despite many enquiries we were unable to source any of the original type of STOP lamps. Consequently. More modern types of light have had to be used keeping as close to the original diameter as possible but projecting from the body further than the originals. We have been able to get stop/tail lights and amber indicators that are almost identical so at least they appear to match.
All we need now is to locate some chromed rings of the correct diameter
that could be fitted around the lights and they will look just about right.
If we ever do locate four of the correct pattern STOP lamps so that we can
also adapt two as indicators, we can always change them later.
We made a conscious decision to ignore the interior seating, flooring
and fittings plus the exterior paintwork and concentrate upon getting the
vehicle mechanically complete and through a test