A quick check of the parts books for the 400 to 405 confirmed that Bristol used the Lucas 031046 indicator switch shown on the bottom of the last page this is a mechanical electrical switch as opposed to the Lucas 31250 on offer through a few suppliers who say its interchangeable with the original unit, this could well be the case BUT its a vacuum operated unit so not a straight forward alternative fit, this unit is also shown in beölow.Lucas-Lighting-Direction-Indicator-Switch
The Bristol 400 side lamp was Lucas type 1145 and part number 52070A (chrome plated body). That was a continued use of a pre-war design of lamp (type 1145, sometimes with a black finish body), which itself was a variation on a similar but larger/longer lamp of the same style that was introduced in about 1935 (Type 1150, usually chrome plated body – used by Humber on their 12 and 18 HP models from 1935 to 37)
A similar lamp was used by Ford on their English built V8 models from about 1935 onwards. That was probably made by Butlers and is quite like Lucas 1145 at a glance but shares no parts with it (Lucas lenses are horizontally ribbed, Ford lenses have raised lumps on either side of a central groove)
Lucas 1145 was used as follows for production models (other occasional uses would probably have been seen from coachbuilders or on specials):
- Bristol, to 1950
- Commer, 30 cwt and 2-to-6-ton, normal control (Superpoise), 1939 to 1947 (with a likely pause in the use of that lamp during the war on the equivalent military requirement models)
- Lea-Francis, 1948
- Vauxhall Big Six, 1934 to 1936
(Note that the non-Lucas information has not yet been checked against documentation)
I have attached two small photos showing out of date images from eBay auction listings.
Mitchell Motors can supply Bristol 400 indicator switch levers
Wiltshire SP3 5SS
Telephone: 01747 820223
This is Lucas part L595.
The reverse lamp is shared with the Jaguar e type series 1.
Can be purchased from Jaguar specialists and eBay. Gaskets, lenses and surrounds can be purchased on their own.
One source to consider is SNG Barratt where new units cost about £45 each.
The front indicator/ side light units are Lucas model L584. There are separate left and right handed units.
These can presently be purchased from Holden’s for about £50 a unit or Ebay used for a little less.
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
I have thought that there was no specific wiring diagram for the 411 in club circulation and have had to make do with the 410 version.
However, by accident I came across the 411 wiring diagram which is appended to the 411 owners manual that can be found here. Alternately you can find the 411 owners manual via the menu system of the website under “literature”. Of course you do need to be a BODA member to see this otherwise hidden content.
I hope other members find this useful.
The 408 -409 tail lights are Lucas model L694 and are also found on the Hillman Minx and Sunbeam Tiger.
The age old question for classic car owners is whether to fit a modern audio system that pleases the ear or a period radio that pleases the eye. Stuart Risebrow has attempted to “have his cake and eat it” by fitting a modern audio system with period looks.
This unit, manufactured by “Retrosound”, a USA company, was found to be perfect for the job. You have a range of period bezels and knobs to choose from that replicate the look of classic radios such as radio mobile and Phillips. However, the two rotating switches are detachable, allowing bespoke placement as well.
You will see that Stuart chose to make up a plywood insert to fit the mounting whole in the dash which he then veneered himself in walnut before adding a polished lacquer finish.
The “Retrosound” radio also comes with a small auxiliary unit that is wired to the rear of the radio and located remotely. This allows you to plug in an SD memory card, USB storage device or 3.5mm audio jack. The SD card allows you to store 1000’s of songs which is perfect for all those 60’s hits and Glen Miller tracks! Stuart placed my remote unit just inside the glove box. You would hardly know it was there.
The radio itself has an inbuilt amp that provides plenty of “oomph” and has all the expected outputs for larger amps, aux players or an electric ariel.
Please click the link below for information on diagnostic tests that can be run to correct electrical faults.
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: Unit27B, Mitton Road Business Park, Mitton Road, Whalley, Clitheroe, BB7 9YE
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