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Public Service Coordinated Transport 1955 TDH-4512 THE GHOST

 
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Brandon314159



Age: 32
Joined: 13 Feb 2011
Posts: 9
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:19 am    Post subject: Public Service Coordinated Transport 1955 TDH-4512 THE GHOST Reply with quote

Hello all!

Hopefully I am posting this in the right area. If not, could a moderator or admin move me over to the right place.

About a year ago I acquired a 1955 TDH-4512 that was originally bought by Public Service Coordinated Transport of Newark Jew Jersey in '56. That is all I know (other than the assigned it a Kxxx number) until it showed up here in the Pacific NW area. I found a few owners back and when I got it, there was a medium quality conversion done but the woodwork had gotten wet and damaged so it is gutted. All the previous owners were too leery of the electrical/mechanical systems to do anything but tow it around.

I am in the process of refinishing the interior/exterior. It is a solid runner/driver. There is a really fun story behind getting it out of it's hibernation of almost 15 years up in NW Washington State. Since I acquired it, some of the big things I've done:
Rebuild Air Suspension
Brake Service
Upgrade Wheels/Tires away from Split Rims
Gut the interior & re-insulated/re-wire
Tune up the powerplant (6-71) & transmission (VH-1?)
Repaired all bad floor spots/body leaks

...the list goes on. Smile

What I am looking for from the Old Look Guru's:
Original color scheme?
Technical information of wiring/air systems
Cool photos and who may have one of the brothers of this bus (serial 1483)

Glad to be aboard! Been searching through the forums and really enjoying the historic photos. Makes me appreciate owning a solid piece of the past and being able to drive it to events/shows/etc.!

Here is a photo



As you can see, pretty 'modified' from original Sad but with some luck and maybe some parts scrounging I can bring it back to a little more stock.

Thanks!
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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brandon,

Firstly, let me take this opportunity to welcome you to BusTalk and congratulate you for taking on what will be a long term project to rehabilitate your 4512.

When I first looked at the photo something didn't gel until I realized that someone remodeled the windshield so I think your first major cosmetic related assignment will be to restore the angled screens.

Something else that doesn't ring true; all of PSNJ's 4512's including the K's 300 to 424 came with factory directional signals (same as seen on 4509's below) and it doesn't seem as though there ever were any on your bus!

But, that's only the beginning - you've got plenty to keep you busy and you seem to know what you're doing which will make it a bit easier.

While the photo below is of a NJPS 4509's, it approximates what your bus should look like when completed.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Image borrowed for educational purposes only.

Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York

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ripta42
Site Admin


Age: 39
Joined: 15 Apr 2007
Posts: 1024
Location: Pawtucket, RI / Woburn, MA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moved to Bus Preservation, Conversion, and Sales.

Based on the serial number, it was originally PSCT #K382. #K339 had been preserved by the NJ Transportation Heritage Center but became a parts bus for their 1955 TDH4512 #J611 and was auctioned off in January 2010 (article). You may want to contact NJTHC for technical assistance.

While Mr. L's photo of E313 would have been the as-delivered paint scheme for your K382, this is what it would have looked like from the early 1960s on:

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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do notice the remnant of directional signals to either side of the wiper transmissions on Brandon's bus.

I've seen a couple of Old Look 'RV' conversions where they replaced the angled windshield with vertical frames I suppose to afford a little more room up front but what idiot would remove the original directional signals?

Beats me!

Regards,

Mr. 'L'
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brandon -

W E L C O M E ... A B O A R D !

What a great find, and surely wish you all the best with this venerable G M Coach. You aware of the PACIFIC BUS MUSEUM
folks? Evidently, more San Francisco Area based, but they should appreciate you are around, albeit a bit up the road...

Noted wonderment of "Mr L" about the directional lights. From what you are dealing with, may I conjecture earlier owner(s)
couldn't figure how to secure Original Equipment "GUIDE" fixtures? Use was widespread, but that is now a long time ago.
Note, too, the coach as you now have it lacks the functioning fresh air vents between the headlights.

My own memories of P S N J recall the colors in the E313 view. In an episode of Sudden Onset Picky Picky, the style (font)
of the fleet number is not right for earlier years...

....................Vern.................
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ripta42
Site Admin


Age: 39
Joined: 15 Apr 2007
Posts: 1024
Location: Pawtucket, RI / Woburn, MA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a more accurate picture for the fleet number typeface:

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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did see the remnant of the original floor vents between the headlights but failed to mention it because Brandon will be better off without resurrecting them especially in a cold climate.

They were so poorly insulated that our drivers stuffed newspapers and even old socks behind them to keep their feet warm in winter.

However, if Brandon is going for the 'gold' (factory condition) then the vent doors will be required but, if it were me, I would attached the door faces to the body without the original openings - I don't think he'd suffer much point loss at a show!

Interesting project (to watch).

Regards,

Mr. 'L'
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. 'L' -

Hmmmm... Sound advice...

You prompt old memories; yes, I recall seeing the same practice on the Baltimore coaches. That is, the inventive use of newspaper,
various old clothing items, and so on. Portland area isn't all that harsh a local climate. Nevertheless, you make a good case for
"ornamental" vent covers...

.........................Vern.......................
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Brandon314159



Age: 32
Joined: 13 Feb 2011
Posts: 9
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey all!

Thanks for the warm welcome. Smile I didn't see updated posts because the topic got moved (thank you!) and it unsubscribed me. All fixed now.

I'll try to answer some questions:

Windscreen-
Someone apparently installed vertical glass (terrible in the city with reflections...although it is nice because I can see out the back window on the highway from a double reflection off the passenger front glass). Haha. I definitely understand why it had slanted glass. I figured that perhaps the front end got in a collision however I cannot find evidence of any 'modification' except for the window frames. Unfortunate (since the front door has been canceled out) but I don't think I will tear into that project in the near future.

Turn Signals-
Someone definitely 'upgraded' the signals on the coach from stock to painfully bad looking garbage. I would love to find some original units to re-install. The rear has had the brake/turn/marker units all changed out to non-stock. They unfortunately drilled a BUNCH of holes to do this so unless I found some replacement rear hatch covers, I need to keep those holes filled. Sad

Marker Lights-
Have all been changed out to a more standard type light...looks okay but I really liked the look of the older BIG marker lights. If I find some, I will re-install stock.

Front Vents-
The vents have been removed completely (along with the whole drivers heater!) and patch panels were riveted in place over the existing holes. Not impressive quality work, so if I can find some panels to permanently affix I will. The drivers window offers plenty of fresh air for the PNW climate I live in.


My goal with this project, since I sorta skipped over that point, is to resurrect the exterior to as close to old stock as I can within reasonable work. This will be a working bus, not quite a show bus (although I do want to pay tribute to the original style...and find some stock parts) so I'm not super concerned with fixing all the conversion issues. There is a local group here with a new-look that they have front 3/4 stock seating and rear 1/4 small sleeping area. They use this for events/transportation/shows however my coach is more to be used for personal use/event operations space/occasional people hauler for taking cruises around the area. If the bus was closer to stock, I would keep it as such but since someone really thrashed on the interior in the rear, I am going to un-do their conversion and build my own much more quality rear 'personal area'.

I like the original paint scheme colors. Does anyone have details on what these colors were exactly? I have the facilities to prep/prime/paint automotive quality so it would be fun to restore at the very least, the color to original NJ colors.

The front door has been completely removed (no door frame/steps/anything. I've considered sourcing a replacement door however I think the space would be better used (and time/money better spent) just cleaning up the 'modification' and installing additional front-row style seating in this area.

The midship door has been converted over to a standard swing door with a decent RV style lock/latch. I wouldn't have done this, however the quality is good (aluminium) and they preserved the stock hinges so the door is VERY stout. I need to upgrade the lock to something more vintage proper.

The rear of the coach has had many windows removed (frames and all) and filler panels installed. With no source for windows, and the the likihood of installing a small sleeping/desk area back there, I kept the fillers but had to re-seal (previous converter used silicone sealer! ACK!) with much better sealant and high quality sealed rivets. Still tracking down some small leaks here and there but got it all mostly.

The roof had two holes cut in it for roof vents/emergency exits (to fulfill the requirements of RV laws?). They both leaked and one was so flimsy that it was sacrificed to the gods of the freeway one evening. I did a nice sheet/plate patch on the rear and installed a higher quality powered vent (for bedroom comfort). American made Smile The front vent has not yet been converted over however for sake of letting air/light in (I do a lot of desert events/camping) it would be good to keep this vent in place, so I will upgrade it as I did the rear. If the holes were not there, I wouldn't have cut it open...but since someone already did the deed...sigh.

I have toyed with tossing the stock heater, however I am fairly impressed with its heating power and I think just cleaning the heater core will help improve the 'smell'. The bump above the drivers seat does occasionally give me a good smack on hard bumps (I am 6'7") but I will keep it since the metalwork is in fairly good shape. I just need to do some serious cleaning and electrical re-work on the main solenoid that powers it (Interesting story of when it first started working...I had left the power-switch on because it was in-op when I got the coach...and while driving somewhere once it kicked on full power (not having operated in nearly 20-25 years) and out came all the crap into the coach windows/drivers area). Yum.

PHOTOS!:
Where the bus was stored for ~15 years:


Drivers area:


Old conversion interior (pretty bad):


Passenger Side (front suspension was leaking at this point & I just threw that mirror on to get me down the freeway. Previous one was torn off in the extraction from the dirt)


Bastardized rear end:


On the road to better:


Almost done removing all of the rear of the coach:


A very happy day (installed the Antique Vehicle plates from Oregon). Getting a title for this coach was a LOT of work:


If anyone is a face-book person, track me down on there (Brandon Mathis) and I have a LOT more photos. I am working on finding time to throw up a quick website about the project w/ photos.

Thanks for the words of encouragement and hopefully with some help I can find some good stock parts to get this coach looking a little less 1975 and a little more 1955. Razz

Does anyone have details on the drive-train? Rear diff ratio? Electrical wiring diagrams for the body/engine? There is a real mess in the transmission shifting circuits that I haven't quite figured out yet. Also I need to convert the front axle over to BUDD style rims so that I can upgrade from 20" split rims (very scary to deal with and few tires places will touch them around here). The currently is a GMC Coach Only Front Pilot hole style rim/stud combo and I need BUDD studs/nuts. Any information?

Thank you!

Smile
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brandon -

You surely have a lot on your plate! Don't sweat the paint chips! There is a "museum collection" group
of coaches in New Jersey, and evidently funded through NJT. They know the right PSNJ colors. With a
serious query, likely they would share tips on paints. DuPont can also provide data, and real matching
finishes, too, from what I am given to understand...

.......................Vern.........................[list=][/list]
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Brandon314159



Age: 32
Joined: 13 Feb 2011
Posts: 9
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HwyHaulier wrote:
Brandon -

You surely have a lot on your plate! Don't sweat the paint chips! There is a "museum collection" group
of coaches in New Jersey, and evidently funded through NJT. They know the right PSNJ colors. With a
serious query, likely they would share tips on paints. DuPont can also provide data, and real matching
finishes, too, from what I am given to understand...

.......................Vern.........................[list=][/list]


Hey Vern!

I wouldn't have taken this project on unless I was impressed with the quality and mechanical condition of this coach. Smile These things are built amazingly well! Definitely worth keeping roadworthy.

Paint is fairly far down the list.

Thanks!
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