New from Leyland the AN68 Atlantean
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by Derek Moses
• Improved passenger and driver environment, increased reliability, easier servicing, and improved safety are all features which the truck and bus division of British Leyland claims will be achieved by a new version of the Atlantean, the AN68, announced today.
A modified engine /transmission pack incorporates. a fully charged fluid coupling, with a diameter of 17.5in. Previously a sealed unit, the coupling now uses an oil supply common to gearbox and angle drive in the transmission. This provides considerably improved cooling of all three components which have suffered from frequent overheating problems on rearengined double-deckers of all types.
The AN68 is available in two sizes, a 195in.-wheelbase chassis to accommodate bodies of about 9.5m overall length, and 222in, wheelbase for 10m bodies. Redesign of the front-end of the chassis allows the fitting of an entrance 4ft 4i-in. wide ahead of the front axle, while the rear overhang has been increased and the engine compartment moved back 4in. to permit the fitting of back-to-back double transverse seats over the rear wheelarch.
On the 10m model the third chassis outrigger has been deleted to allow for a centre door. Experience gained during the development of the Leyland National has been used to improve the placing of driving controls, although the gear change lever for the four-speed pneumocyclic gearbox remains to the left of the driver; power,assisted steering is standard on the 10m model and optional on the 9.5m chassis.
Spring parking brakes are a standard feature, and the air reservoirs, now mounted inside the chassis to protect them from damage, are fed by stainless steel 'piping.
The engine cooling system has been extensively modified and includes a larger capacity radiator header tank. A redesigned water pump gives an increased coolant flow to the engine block. Exhaust noise has been reduced by the fitment of a revised exhaust and silencing system.
A 24V electrical system is employed with insulated return. The alternator is now fitted with triple belt drive and a battery booster socket, previously optional, is now standard.
Production of the AN68 Atlantean has already begun, and orders for more than 850 units have been received from municipalities and PTEs, including Merseyside and SELNEC.