In order to improve accessibility we have now put all the manuals (Instruction Manuals, Spares Handbooks and Workshop Manuals) into a password-protected dedicated area in the Archive under Bristol Manuals.
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Your first port of call for these is of course Pegasus Parts
Other suppliers are:
- Bristol Cars Services Ltd – contact Graham Payne – email@example.com – +44 (0)208 5603300 ext 2
- Johnson Gaskets – contact Robert (Bob ) Johnson – +44 (0)1274 682298
There are some wonderfully glossy dashboards around on some early Bristol’s but probably few if any came out of the factory like that, the same being true for a lot on other quality cars of that period but they do look rather nice so if that is what you fancy go for it.
If you want a more toned down finish however Antique Oil produces very good results especially if you give it five or six coats applied with a soft cloth, it gives more of a satin finish and is very easy to refresh every few years.
If you want to go the gloss route some of the finishes designed for boats are very durable and easy to apply.
(Adapted from a post in the Old Forum)
The problem with existing systems is often the poor state of the rack and wheel boxes as well as a tired motor. Modern wiper systems for kit cars are readily available and transform the original system on the 2-litre cars. Stick with the existing wipers or, if you are serious, fit a modern system.
Such a system comes from Stafford Vehicle Components. It can be adapted to use modified original wheel boxes so no changes to the holes in the scuttle. A fair amount of fettling required. It’s not a direct swap. Once set up it is superb.
Holden’s and J&L Spares who recondition wiper motors may offer alternative approaches.
On the other hand, just disassembling, degreasing and re-greasing the various parts of the Lucas system will often speed things up and make the mechanism more vigorous. Motors also often need their commutators polished and the grooves between commutator segments deepened so the brushes make good contact with the brass segments. Relubrication of the motor bearings almost always helps speed them up.
Useful information on the Lucas DR1 and DR3 wiper motors as installed on the 2-litre and Jaguar XK 140 cars is contained here.
Steve Hunt often has reconditioned motors and parts for sale. He has a shop on ebay and his contact details are
This is an excerpt from an article in today’s online Daily Telegraph interview with Sir Paul Smith, OBE:
Which car do you most regret selling?
I remember looking through a Bristol owners newsletter on Boxing Day a long time ago. I spotted this beautiful 1956 Bristol 405 on sale for two grand.
I sent a mate who knew about cars around to see it and when he arrived at the house, the owner was a gentleman in his eighties who was going to Greece to live with his son. He’d had the 405 for many years and he had the central heating on in his garage to keep it warm!
I ended up buying it and he cried as it left. I got a lot of use out of it around London for a while but it started to get some wear and tear and so I sent it away to have it fully restored.
I’ve been keeping it safe with the rest of my archive in Nottingham ever since. Occasionally one of my guys who works in my office there drives it around to make sure it’s still running. So I haven’t sold it as such, it’s just gone on an extended holiday and I miss it so.
Manufacturers do not want to make replacement from other sources that easy, regularly mixing two standard bearings into one assembly, although I doubt that Bristols went this far.
Take off one complete set of bearings (2 sets of bearings per hub; the inner bearing is usually larger than the outer; both will be tapered roller bearings) and find yourself a local machine tool service company. Take your bearings in and they will measure them while you wait (about 5 minutes). There are 3 grades of bearings used classed A, B and C. The tolerances in manufacture are, of course, extremely tight so they employ an automatic grading system – A being the best and that’s what you want. C are the poorest and probably go into washing machines and the like. I think the classification system may have changed possibly 1 – 3. If the numbers on the bearings are visible you should be able to quote these to any bearing company and avoid the need to go to a machine tool service company.
Valid at time of writing in October 2016:
There are a number of good bearing suppliers eg Seager Bearings, Kings Heath, Birmingham (0121 444 5391) who will supply at trade prices.
Six Cylinder Cam Followers/Tappets are available from:-
Arrow Precision Ltd
12 Barleyfield Services
Hinckley Fields Industrial Estate
Leicestershire LE10 1YE
Tel: 0044 1455 234200
Available on-line under Part No. CF124. However the prices have risen sharply but if sets [only availble in sets of 12] are ordered through Pegasus, we can supply at a better price.
Also available are racing cam followers which have a special diamond coating but see comment above.
By the way, the tappets for the 406 are a larger diameter. Bristol cars used to supply but it is not known if they still do. Arrow do not make them.
The Bristol Owners & Drivers Association is a Member of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs. Bristol Owners & Drivers Association Ltd is a company limited by Guarantee of £1 per member.
Registered Office: The Old Sawmill, Shawbridge Street, Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 1LY
Company Registration No. 07270546. Data Protection Registration Z2297300