V8 Cooling Problems and a Solution

Note: Even if you don’t live in New Zealand here is some useful advice!

Having checked everything people have suggested to improve my cooling with no change, I pulled the rebuilt radiator and the water pump and took them to Trevor French Radiators in Auckland (www.trevorfrenchradiators.co.nz ).

He saw nothing wrong with the water pump, so he suggested that he unsolder the radiator and check it out. First they put a hose into the top, and water flowed out the bottom, but he said that did not mean that it was travelling through the cooling fins. Not sure I understood that one, but as it turns out, he was correct.

For a fixed fee of NZ$90, he completely disassembled it and found the engine rebuild resulted in debris that had blocked the reportedly rebuilt radiator. He rodded it out and soldered it back together. He began at 2 pm and handed it back to me at 5 pm with a fresh coat of black paint. He also recommended that I take a woman’s nylon stocking and put it over the entry of the upper hose to catch any more debris.

He also said that the radiator design was quite good… more sophisticated in construction and should last another 30 years before needing attention.

On reinstalling it, I hooked up a second capillary temperature gauge and discovered that the Smith’s gauge was reading 140 C while the aftermarket gauge was about 93. Without that second opinion, I probably would have presumed I had not cured the problem. Unlike previous runs, the engine was not making those noises related to high temperature, so I am more comfortable that it is running in the 90’s. The fans going off and on seem to agree,

After a few runs up and down the hill, I pulled the upper hose off to inspect the nylon stocking. I found significant debris, blue engine paint and other junk that would have contributed to the need for a 3rd disassembly of the radiator.

Advice to others in the future…

1.      When you install a newly rebuilt or cleaned radiator, or if your car has been sitting and may have built up scale in the engine block, use the nylon stocking trick to protect the radiator.

2.      If the car overheats, it is easy enough to remove the Bristol radiator and have a shop take off the top to check for any obstructions to water flow. Even if it was just rebuilt, it could be blocked again.

3.      Do not rely on the Smiths temperature gauge. The engine block has nearby places to add a second temperature gauge, which costs less and is more reliable than an infrared gun.

4.      Other advice they gave was to never use a water blaster that comes near the radiator fins. It flattens and does damage. I’d never given it much thought, but it makes sense. He showed me an example.

Finally, anyone in NZ needing radiator work, these guys are highly recommend. Three older fellows, all white hair, the oldest radiator in the shop was from a 1927 Alvis. Good prices, great service, super knowledgeable.

V8 Torqueflite auto-box repairs and servicing

The following contact details and addresses are for companies who undertake supplying spares and who conduct strip and rebuilding of automatic gearboxes (ie Torqueflte) and Salisbury axles.

  • American Auto Spares Ltd., Kingsbury Road, Minworth, B76 9DD.
    Telephone:- 0121 351 7655. Contact: Phil
  • VMTP Midlands Ltd., Unit 10, Conduit Road, Norton Canes, Cannock, Staffordshire WS11 9TJ.
    Telephone:- 01543 270555. Contact: Nigel Bishop
  • Penn Autos Ltd., 3 Spring Lane, Wolverhampton, WV4 4SH.
    Telephone:- 01902 344004. Contact: Andy Frost.

American Auto Spares Ltd. no longer conduct strip and rebuilds but can provide most engine, gearbox, starter motors, alternators, etc. which is now the focus of their business.

The others are renovation companies who have conducted strip-down and rebuilding of Bristol V8 gearboxes and axles in the past and felt confident in ensuring a good outcome.

They always prefer to have the vehicle and are quite prepared to remove the gearbox which is taken out from the inside of the car and replaced. Both stated that the final adjustment to the auto-box is best achieved by a series of road trials.

The axle can also be stripped whilst still assembled to the vehicle saving the cost of removing it and the shipment cost of transporting such a large and heavy item.

Windscreens and seals for 408/9/10/11

Mobile Windscreens Bristol who trade under the name of National Windscreens at Bristol can supply windscreens.  The manager there is Mike Ackerman (Mike.Ackerman@mobilewindscreens.co.uk), tel 0117-3042000. They have in stock heated and normal 411 screens.  He states that these fit 408/9/10/11.  He will supply and pack a screen for you but requires you to sort out the carrier.

The rubber seals are stocked by Bristol Cars Services who say that seals cover 408/9/10/11. Graeme Payne (mob 07787-138079) is the contact there and confirms that all are covered.

The other company who may have everything is American Cars Care Services Ltd, owner Martin Barnes (mob 07769-906525) barnsey411@live.co.uk . He has some 408 screens in stock and states that 408/9/10 all have the same screen but the 411 is different.

406 Disk Brakes

Disc Brakes

One of the features of age is that I can remember many things from a long time ago – but not always accurately. My first memory of disc brakes was in the 50s as a young apprentice mechanic in the nearest Morris/MG Distributor to Fort Dunlop in Birmingham. Their development department used us as a fitting service for their test cars. In particular they had an MGA 1600 to which I fitted more sets of hydraulic cylinders than I care to remember as they attempted to make the pull back mechanism work (they never did). I well remember the constant exasperation of the Dunlop engineers, their cynicism and their bad opinion of their own product.

Even though in recent years I have fitted Dunlop brakes to four Jaguar XKs and my own 406 my prejudice has stayed with me to this day and I have never felt comfortable with their performance or durability. Imagine my joy to discover that there is now an answer. Zeus Engineering now makes front calliper sets and rear cylinders to modern standards and high quality.

Their product fits with little complication and additional pipework plus adjustment shims and instructions are included. One small point is to be careful to centre the calliper over the disc; my car had significant variance side to side.

I have now bedded in the pads and find the brakes to be powerful and progressive in the manner of a modern car. Beyond that I no longer have the comments of disgruntled Dunlop engineers ringing in my ears.

Roger Charlton

Supplier

Zeus Engineering
Unit J2, Dunkeswell Airfield
Honiton
Devon, EX14 4LE

Tel 01297300010
www.Zeus.uk.com

411 wiring diagram.

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.

Stuart

10% ethanol

This article describes the effects of fuel containing 10% ethanol on classic MG’s in USA. There is a plan to introduce 10% ethanol into the UK ( and probably elsewhere ), so Bristol owners might be interested to read this article. The comforting news is that the UK government has assured the FBHVC that fuel companies will be required, when the industry moves to 10% ethanol in the UK, to continue to supply a ‘ protection grade ‘ for heritage vehicles of fuel containing no more than 5% ethanol. We all know that we can trust, without question, our politicians to keep their promises – so no problem then!

http://justbritish.com/ethanol-free-gasoline-john-twist/

Dave Dale.

410 Tie Rods

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An owner reports fitting Austin Healy 3000 tie rods to his 410 on the advice of others and has found them to be a satisfactory match.

 

Door boot seals & draught excluder

Please find contact details of the Furflex/draught excluder supplier:-

William Marston Ltd
70 Fazeley Street
Birmingham
B5 5RD
UK

Tel: 0044 121 643 0852 or 0044 121 643 0372

email: info@williammarstonltd.co.uk
website: http://www.williammarstonltd.co.uk

The boot seals can possibly be obtained from:-

Phoenix Supplies
Unit c1a Langlands Business Park
Uffculme
Cullompton
Devon EX15 3D4
UK
Contacts: Nigel or Kaye Coles

Tel: 0044 1884 849294

email: phoenixsupplies@hotmail.com
website: http://www.phoenixclassictrim.com

or –

Woolies (I & C Woolstenholmes Ltd)
Whitley Way
Northfields Industrial Estate
Market Deeping
Peterborough
PE6 8AR
UK

Tel: 01778 347347

email@ info@woolies-trim.co.uk
website: http://www.woolies-trim.co.uk

Both of these companies carry a large range of extruded sections and just may be able to help with boot and door sections.

Pegasus parts news

COMMERCIAL NEWS

One of our members refurbishing his brakes on his 403 enquired whether Pegasus knows of a supplier of the banjo bolts that fit into the wheel cylinders and copper sealing washers to fit these bolts.

I gave him the following company:-

Stevson Motors
Unit 1, 2A Harrow Road
Selly Oak
Birmingham
B29 7DN

Contact: Derek

Tel: – 0121 472 1702

http://www.stevsonmotors.co.uk

They can supply refurbished, lever arm shock absorbers, stainless braided flexible hoses of all kinds, brake fittings and thick wall rubber tubing as used on our 2 litre vacuum wiper systems.

Derek could not help with the banjo bolts but he recommended another company. They were able to supply them and he stated they stocked other Bristol bits.

John Lawley
Spares & Technical Support Officer

408/ 409 Tail Lights

The 408 -409 tail lights are Lucas model L694 and are also found on the Hillman Minx and Sunbeam Tiger.