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Spare wheels for Routemasters

NeilG mentioned carrying a couple of spare wheels when buses were being delivered long distances in LT days. I think it still makes sense now, especially as the tyres are not regular stock items for commercial tyre fitters. I changed the wheels and tyres on my Routemasters to make it easier to be able to get roadside tyre repairs or replacements as many tyre fitters would not be keen to change a tyre on original split rimmed wheels.

A bus wheel and tyre is a heavy and unwieldy item. I wondered if anyone had any suggestions for safe stowage on a Routemaster. I would not carry passengers with a wheel stowed in the saloon. I already carry a 1 inch drive socket suitable for RM wheel nuts as not all tyre fitters have one. It is also important to have details of the tightening direction for the near side of the bus (unusual in modern vehicles, except Hino trucks apparently), the torque setting and the correct front and rear pressures.

My bus number (if any): RMs 238, 471 and 2213, GS17

Re: Spare wheels for Routemasters

A tube and flap will be about £30- £50. Several places on the bus to keep safely.

Re: Spare wheels for Routemasters

Hi Chris we look after a couple of Hino eight wheelers - apart from the RH and LH wheel nuts they also have loads of greasing points a feature very similar to lorries built in the 60's and the RM of course !

My bus number (if any): RML 2747

Re: Spare wheels for Routemasters

Hi,

With regard to the removal of the RM rear wheels, can I just say that we had found a number of vehicles with their brake drum securing nuts very loose or missing altogether.

I understand that you’d not worry too much about this if you had to deal with problems at the road side. However we found a few buses with an unexplained clunking noise at the rear. ( it was the brake drum rattling on the hub because it was very insecure.)

My old mate Bill Nellis who saw the new Routemasters into Poplar garage in 1959, told me to keep an eye on this whilst I was training in the 1970s.

I know its been a few years now since I worked on the spanners, I hope you wont mind me sharing an old memory from an old mechanic who must be long gone now.

Re: Spare wheels for Routemasters

A very valid point, I've come across a couple of RMs where the rear brake drums have become loose because the securing nuts or studs had been missing. also to note o roadside repairs is that the person carrying out the repair appreciates that the rear wheels will only fit in one position. Again the number of times I've seen rear wheels incorrectly fitted... I think the last was fairly recently when roy was doing some work on a n East Kent RegentV. that also had oval holes on the front wheels where it had been run with the front wheel nuts loose.

That had to have the holes built up with weed and the holes machined out to original.

My bus number (if any): RML2532

Re: Spare wheels for Routemasters

Weed Roy? A new way of smuggling cannabis? LOL

On RM 48, we had to take the tyres off the front to get the height down, the wheel nuts were solid and broke the wheel brace socket carried by an HGV recovery vehicle, we tried the air gun, then the bar then a longer bar then the socket snapped :(
Back in the UK a tyre company could not shift the nuts and, Rob tells me, it took a scaffolding pole and 3 people to eventually shift the nuts which had probably not been touched for 15 years or more.
One thing also to note, on the inside of the tyres on the surface of the wheels was a ridge of 3" solid rust that prevented the tyres coming off after the split rim was removed, the tyres had to be sledge hammered off amid clouds of lubricating spray.

On our buses in France we don't over tighten, we regularly take off the wheels and soak the nuts overnight before removing them, but take care if a tyre company does a wheel change, as the really hammer them on!

My bus number (if any): RTL 960, RM 1585, RMC 1458 and several RTs

Re: Spare wheels for Routemasters

Damn fool spol chik! Applemac won't recognise proper English!

A couple of my GS tyres were a bit rusted on, I used an air chisel and WD40 to help get them off, my back won't take too much sledge hammering.

I done an RM in Germany a few years back that actually had a twisted wheel nut, it was THAT tight that it twisted when it eventually came loose, and that was after breaking 2 sockets, a bar and an air gun. Heat was the answer! Gas axe.

My bus number (if any): RML2532

Re: Spare wheels for Routemasters

The Regent V Roy mentioned had been fitted with new tyres. Whoever did this obviously did not see, or ignored the damage to the wheels and made matters worse by seriously over-tightening the wheelnuts and jammed them through the hole and against the hub. They were so tight in fact that four of them sheared the cone off leaving the wheel still stuck on the hub.

Re: Spare wheels for Routemasters

ISTR the bad language emanating from the other end of the shed at the time...

It would seem that today's tyre fitters may not be properly trained in the intricacies of coned wheel nuts.

My bus number (if any): RML2532

Re: Spare wheels for Routemasters

roythebus
also to note of roadside repairs is that the person carrying out the repair appreciates that the rear wheels will only fit in one position. Again the number of times I've seen rear wheels incorrectly fitted... I think the last was fairly recently when roy was doing some work on a n East Kent RegentV. that also had oval holes on the front wheels where it had been run with the front wheel nuts loose.

That had to have the holes built up with weed and the holes machined out to original.


As we know rear road wheels are removed for a variety of reasons:- brake shoe & drum change, hub repairs, puncture, garage tyre change, coach work, etc.

All LT bus mechanics were taught the sequence in which to adopt when refitting rear road wheels to an RM.

Most rear drums were fitted with a anti squeal band. On offering up the inner wheel the fixture buckle of the squeal band has to be in a position opposite or 180 degrees from the air inflation valve/stem on that 1st wheel. When offering up the 2nd wheel its valve/stem again had to 180 degrees opposite the inner wheels valve stem.

The reason for this strategy was to keep the inner wheel valve stem away from the band buckle for fear of it fracturing the inner wheel valve stem.

My bus number (if any): Ex LTE Bus Engineering

Re: Spare wheels for Routemasters

In which case there must also have been a papal encyclical stipulating the position of the turnbuckle in relation to wheel stud holes and the drum location stud holes!