Tag Archives: Puriri


Well that time of year again.  every six months the bus is required to go through a through inspection. this is the equivalent to the UK’s MOT.  last November we flew through, just an indicator bulb not working, which was just a bad connection. they are the old festoon type bulbs and work loose with all the shaking and rattling the old bus seems to produce.

This six month, not so easy.  I took her in to Pukekohe VTNZ and they seems to take an age.  Not a good sign that.  Well nothing to drastic but not nice jobs.

Play in the King Pins, this just required grease pumping in so could of been avoided if I had just got underneath with the grease gun. will know next time.

The frame under the step was rotten so needed to be cut out and new steel work welded in. Again not the end of the world but not something I could do with the limited resources to hand

And perhaps the messy on.  Fuel tank leaking.  suspected pin holes under the securing straps.

And finally, not a fail but advisory for next time.  The seats and seat belt have no record of being certified.  I did argue that because of the age of the bus, this was not required . “no no, the rules have changed and there is nothing on record”

Right a trip up to Lance Cryer, Bedford guru in Puriri near Thames.

I decided to take the scenic route via Clevedon rather than down H1, H2 and through to the Coromandel.  This was a nice run and as it was a public holiday the roads were quiet.  the plane was to get to Kaiaua for the night as the fish and chips there are special and its right on the beach. Got as far as Kawakawa, this is were you turn right to go Matingarahi and Wharakawa then Kaiaua.  Big electronic road sign. Slips.  Road closed.  so I had to turn around and head back and start again. I got back to Clevedon and decided to call it a day and headed to park up in Ardmore airport.

Next day we set off early and arrived at Puriri just gone 9 after a quick stop at the dump station.

Lance had a look at the list of issues and got his guy on it straight away.

Started with the step.  This took all of Wednesday but by Thursday morning was all done except for a bit of paint and riveting the panels back on.

Next the Diesel tank had to come off.  this required the bus to be jacked up high enough to get the tank out from under the bus.  It was originally though that the tank straps had rubbed through the tank causing pin holes and the diesel was weeping out from there.  Once the tank was off and had been steam cleaned, it was apparent that there were quiet large holes around the drain plug area.  So armed with a large soldering iron Rodney set to work repairing the bottom of the tank.

I went Geocaching down the Hikutaia cycle trial.

Got back around 4 o’clock and the tank was ready to be refitted the following morning.  While I was away Lance had arranged an engineer to come and have a look at the seat belts and seats with a view to certifying them.  His advice was that because of the buses age, the seats did not need to be certified and to do so would require so much structural steel work that it would be impractical.  As far as the seat belts are concerned, if they are fitted they must comply therefore  “take them out and chuck them in the bin”  So that’s that problem solved.


All done and parked up at Rays Rest for the night.


Horses and more horses

Guess the long and the short of it is that the trip round the East Cape has convinced me that the engine and or gearbox where a problem.  The engine is fine on the flat and will pull away in second and acceleration is good.  It is just the hills.  After 1500 kilometres I have come to the conclusion that I need half a gear between second and third and third and fourth.  Plan A nip up to Puriri and see the Bedford guru Mr Lance Crier and ask his advice.

Once the roof had dried, we took off and got up to Puriri around 2 ish.  Not good news I am sorry.  I was hoping Lace would say, “yes we can fit a two speed diff or got the ideal gearbox here with a splitter on it or even here’s an Eaton Road ranger box, that’ll give you 18 gears.  No  nothing for busses on 16 inch wheels.  Had it had the 20” wheeled axle then we could do something.  Only solution, new (second-hand) Isuzu 150 horse engine and a six speed box.  That’s going to hurt the bank me thinks and is it worth spending that much on a 1972 Bedford.  Guess will have to mull it over.

Anyway the up side of all this was I stayed on the coach house carpark opposite Lances place.  Last time I was there it was very quiet but today the horse trekers where coming.  Got my self snug in the carpark and went for a beer.   Late afternoon a couple of very fancy horse boxes pulled in to the paddock and disgorged 5 or 6 horses.

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Later the bar was quiet full and I got talking to a couple of these people  they just do cross country treks on horseback and meet up every couple of weeks in various locations to partake in the sport.

Tomorrow the would set off overt he mountain and be back for lunch then another trek in the afternoon and back for tea.

Friday morning and away they go. By now there were a lot more vans and horses.   I took the Segway down the rail trail to the next village. Just got there and back on the battery, about 14k so plan was to take the GoPro tomorrow and repeat the trip and stick a film on YouTube.

Anyway lot of activity in the carpark throughout the afternoon and low and behold big table, mobile spit roast and an invitation to join them for beer and food.

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Saturday was overcast but we went ahead with the planned film shoot, with the precaution of wearing some wet weather gear.  They set off up the mountain I set off down the rai trail.  All went well until I was pas the point of no return and then it started to rain.  Nothing major just a few spots.  I got to the café, the convenient cow and ordered a large flat white and with that the heavens opened.  Now I had not seen any cyclists on the trail this morning which should have told me something. After a long drawn out coffee and a mooch around the shop/café I decided that the weather looked set in for a while so decided to go for broke and head back. I was right, hissed down all the way back and while I was docking the Segway on the bus.  Sods law, as soon as the last strap was tightened and the Segway covered up it stopped.  So shower and changed and set off for Miranda and the hot pools.  Once I got on to H25 the sky brightened and it was dry all the way to Miranda.  I got there at lunch time and was soaking in the hot pool by 12:30.  Then back for a sleep.

Early morning dip in the hot pools and away back to Mel’s house to do my laundry.

Lots of fun and met some nice people.


Ja like Dagz


Well the cats arrived or should I say we picked them up.  Two new travel boxes, much bigger than the ones I delivered them in, so well pleased with that.  All in all service was very good and quarantine here was very clean and peaceful so Lea and Leo seemed to cope very well.  The spent the next few hours settling in to life on the bus although we haven’t moved yet nor have I started the engine.  One thing at a time.

We had a good first night but usual wakeup call from Leo around 6.  So harness on and a quick walk in the cool New Zealand morning.

Seems to be a regular thing now we go out most morning just wish it was a bit warmer.  Even taken him out in the afternoon as he moaned by the door until I got the harness ready.  Yesterday (1st) we went across the road and the little boy came out of the house.  Is that a Turkish Angora he said, I have one too.  Then his mum came out and pointed out theirs sat in the garden.  Spitting image except blue eyes. So there are now three Turkish Angoras within 100 meters of each other.

It was so cold this morning I decided to finish the fire off.  I had ordered a trolley jack so I can get the wheels of the bus but it had not arrived yesterday so crack on with the fire.  All done by midday and then a call to say the jack was in the shop so picked that up.  Lit the fire once I got back and although it is warm and sunny now thought I would burn the newness off it and maybe try and keep it lit all night so in the morning I can just open the damper and hey presto instant heat.  Hole cut, flue in and chimney on.  All done and nice and toasty now.  Real Pikey waggon.  “Ju like dagz”

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Started on the brakes but have decided to take the bus up to Lance Cryer in Puriri.  He is an expert on Bedford’s and carries a lot of spares.  I realised, once I got the front wheel off that I was going to need spares and guessed they would not be available locally.  Best option is to take the bus to the place where I can get bits easily rather than running back and forth every time I found something else wrong.