After completing the removal of the final bodyside planks during the last working session, work began on the floor. A number of floorboards had been partially burned away at some point while the vehicle was in open storage, the damaged area seen here, and rot had created holes in the adjacent planks in the area of the side doors presumably due to water ingress through the doors over a long period of time. The whole lot had to come out, as this will be a high-traffic area once the vehicle is being used in its storage role.
Part of the anatomy of a ‘fitted’ goods van – the area of damaged floor planks came out surprisingly easily, with the sound floor boards being retained to each side of the door openings as seen here. To the top right of ‘the gap’ can be seen the vacuum cylinder and cross-shaft which controls the vacuum braking, while in the centre are the springs for the draw (coupling) hooks, the attached rods which can be glimpsed each running half the length of the van and connected to the drawhooks which protrude through the headstocks (buffer beams).
The drop-down sections of floor to the ends (which bridge the buffer area and allow motor vehicles to be loaded through the large end doors from an end loading dock) were also removed. Oil was liberally applied to the hinges to try to free them up a bit as they were very reluctant to move.
So there we have it – what should be the last bits of old timber to be removed from this van (assuming the roof timber is OK under the old roofing felt…) We now need to order the new timber so we can start putting it back together again – the rebuild should get more interesting from now on in!