Foden VRE 372G

S36 Gardner 180 6LXB

My online diary of VRE 372G and all that goes on, including work in progress and learnings along the way . . . .

Please feel free to add your comments, photos, and words of advice, wisdom or wit!

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Posted by craigberriff on March 6, 2016 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Please see my Facebook page for more recent updates :)

Wings and things - update on progress

Posted by craigberriff on February 20, 2015 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Lights and Bling

Posted by craigberriff on November 21, 2014 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (0)

It is now that I appreciate how easy it is to have a complete vehicle and dont have to source lots of parts.

Homeward Bound

Posted by craigberriff on September 20, 2014 at 6:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Once again, with a little help from my friends, I collected VRE for the short journey home. Thanks to Graham Blakeman for the very kind loan of his trailer and good old UKP for the tractor unit!

Work in Progress

Posted by craigberriff on September 19, 2014 at 12:30 PM Comments comments (0)

When I delivered the Foden to RDS, I left them with a camera and asked them to record their work. Here's what they did!

Paint My Wagon, more

Posted by craigberriff on August 19, 2014 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Now recognisable as a Bassett lorry! :D

Paint My Wagon

Posted by craigberriff on July 25, 2014 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Came back off holiday to find a blue truck, not a red one. What a difference that first coat of paint makes! I was also pleased to see that filler had been used on the chassis where pitting had occurred.

Away for painting

Posted by craigberriff on June 7, 2014 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

After a few months of wondering how VRE was going to get painted and considering several options including doing it myself (very briefly!!), things have moved very quickly. An early start this morning to get the lorry sorted and it was collected by one of Mike Ponsonby's super Scania's and taken to RDS paintshop at Appleby near Measham. Bring on the change!




Wings (feathered)

Posted by craigberriff on May 26, 2014 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

The nearside door latch has been loose since day one and tightening the screws didnt make any difference. When I removed the panel at the side of the passenger seat, I was expecting to find timber which supported that whole area. However, rather pleasingly, all that was required was a couple of nuts to be tightened - much easier option than rotten timber as first feared!



It was only after moving the Foden outside to do a couple of jobs that I discovered some new passengers - 4 Robin chicks. Once the lorry was back in place I'm pleased to say Mrs Robin swifly retuned to the nest with lunch! Hope they move out soon though,as there is work to be done!




Posted by craigberriff on March 23, 2014 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

With the cab and chassis hopefully ready for painting (waiting for some critical advice!!) I have started to prep the two steel wings which will remain black but will look so much better with another few coats of paint. However, started with a couple of coats of Hammerite underneath them to protect them from rust for the next 25 years!. . . . .  At last some paint being applied!


Rear light brackets being flatted and treated to Hammerite smooth black on the rear, and wing stays also after flatting.



Checking the Diff Oil

Posted by craigberriff on March 23, 2014 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)

I'm unsure when any of the oils were last changed on the Foden, so as part of the restoration I am considering changing them so at least I know they will be fine for the next few years. In preparation for painting I have been cleaning the chassis, springs and axles - managing to remove alot of grease and dirt that I perhaps should have done throughout last year, rather than just sitting in the sun at rallies! Anyway, the inspection/filler pipe lid was easily opened on the rear diff and a sample oil taken out to have a look.


Flatting, sanding, rubbing down . .

Posted by craigberriff on March 11, 2014 at 5:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Current work in progress . . . .


Some parts have not been removed for many a good year ..  . Bassetts light blue found here on the cab rear . . . .


And if you look carefully, you can see BASSETTS in the name board now all 4 coats of paint have been removed . . . . .

And a little inspiration of how a good job looks in the end . . .

Transformation Update

Posted by craigberriff on January 26, 2014 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (0)

All bits of trim have been removed and rubbing down has been the order of the day for a few weeks now. Most has to be done by hand due to the curves of the cab which makes for a long process . . .  and sore fingers!

Once the cab is completely flatted, then I will start on the chassis, removing the fuel tank to allow better access.


Foden - A Pictorial History by Peter Davies

Posted by craigberriff on December 26, 2013 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

A little something from Santa . . . .

featuring VRE 372G . . .

Strip-down almost complete

Posted by craigberriff on December 26, 2013 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

 VRE now looking a bit sorry for itself as most bits of trim have been removed in preperation for rubbing down . .



New adaptor for gearbox pinion drive

Posted by craigberriff on November 30, 2013 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)


A new adaptor is fitted to the Kienzle angle drive, alonside the worn part. Hopefully this small difference will be what's needed to get the tacho working again. Paul Barton Tachographs of Beeston, Nottingham supplied the part along with plenty of much appreciated advice.

Foden News & Foden Service News (No1)

Posted by craigberriff on November 28, 2013 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

A couple more items of Foden's literature from VRE's era:

Foden News (Issue 135) from April 1971 featuring a S36 of Kevin Stanier photographed on the lawn at Little Moreton Hall - I'd like to see you get permission to take the same photo today!

Foden Service News (Issue No1) from July 1968; not a particularly good example as somebody has been doodling on it and made a few notes inside, but a worthy item to add to the collection. The character hanging out of the telephone is referred to as Mr Noworsooner - work it out!

Transformation begins. . .

Posted by craigberriff on November 24, 2013 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

After a couple of days work, I get the feeling VRE will never look the same again; and I know it will get alot worse before it gets better . . .

Final Run Out

Posted by craigberriff on November 17, 2013 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Final run out before transformation back to Grayswood Transport begins and (1) test the tacho, and (2) let Andy have a drive.

Result: (1) tacho not working so needs further investigation :( (2) Andy's age and experience led to a crunch free trip to Tamworth and back :P

VRE ready to roll for the last time in current livery, next to Andy's second ERF . . . and winter wear sponsored by!/JClarkeTransportLichfield?fref=ts" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">J Clarke Transport Ltd


A few odd jobs

Posted by craigberriff on November 3, 2013 at 8:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Having a week off work has given me the opportunity to get on with a few odd jobs before I crack on with repainting VRE. My first priority was to fit a battery isolator switch so I dont need to keep disconnecting the batteries when parked up. Not only was this a bit of a pain, it was also causing the terminal clamps to become mishaped, which would inevitably lead to a poor connection and further issues.

Andy had very kindly offered me the isolator switch from his donor ERF C series, so it was just a case of finding the right place to fit it on the Foden. The usual position of being fitted on the chassis was not really an option as the batteries are located under the passnger seat, so I looked towards the A frame which hold the air and electrical lines. Thankfully I was able to use existing holes in the frame, with just a small alteration to the plate holding the switch. I had another lead made up to connect the switch to the batteries by Auto Electrical Serices of Tamworth.



Next job was to make up a couple of brackets to hold the wooden catwalk in place. Whilst having the box on the back has held the catwalk/tray in place, it has not prevented it from moving forward and rubbing on the bell housing. Also, I want the tray to be stable without the box being present. I had managed to find two ideally sized aluminium plates (3mm) from one of the rallies this year, so just need ed to carefully measure up and drill some holes in the plates. Once again, I used pre-drilled holes in the chassis, rather than drill new ones.


Final job for the week was to take a look at the tacho/speedo which packed up whilst I was coming home from the Limestone Run. I first checked the connection into the back of the tacho head which seemed fine, before disconnecting the cable from the duplex box on the gearbox. Turning the cable by hand produced a response on the tacho, so this indicated the problem lay within the duplex box or into the gearbox. All parts were removed, cleaned and regreased and the only real indication of the where the problem might lie is the worn gear that fits into the top of the gearbox. Another drive out is required to see if the problem remains, and if so, further probing into this area.




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