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.
Unit J2, Dunkeswell Airfield
Devon, EX14 4LE
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.
Please find contact details of the Furflex/draught excluder supplier:-
William Marston Ltd
70 Fazeley Street
Tel: 0044 121 643 0852 or 0044 121 643 0372
The boot seals can possibly be obtained from:-
Unit c1a Langlands Business Park
Devon EX15 3D4
Contacts: Nigel or Kaye Coles
Tel: 0044 1884 849294
Woolies (I & C Woolstenholmes Ltd)
Northfields Industrial Estate
Tel: 01778 347347
Both of these companies carry a large range of extruded sections and just may be able to help with boot and door sections.
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:-
Unit 1, 2A Harrow Road
Tel: – 0121 472 1702
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.
Spares & Technical Support Officer
These ashtrays are 1 1/4 diameter with a knob all moulded in a “Bakerlite” material.
It has been suggested that these can also be found on Riley 1.5 and 2.5 RME saloons. If you are able to verify this then please contact the web master.
I had all three of my carbs rebuilt last year by:
28f High St, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 1EA, Tel 01525 371369
They did an excellent job and the cost was £250-300 for all three – not cheap but kit now like new. They quoted 6-12 weeks for work to be done.
Ed. Extract of services provided pasted below as taken from their website Oct 2013
Over the past 80 years or so there have been innumerable carburetter designs by many different manufacturers, and it would be impossible for us to compile a detailed rebuild procedure for each one. However, all carburetters tend to follow the same principles of design, enabling us to give an indication of the various processes involved.
- Carburetters are completely stripped.
- Components are subjected to a four part chemical cleaning process which is the only effective way to remove dirt and corrosion from the internal circuitry as well as restoring the castings to their original appearance.
- Castings are polished to a high standard, or stove enamelled. *
- Mating faces are re-machined to ensure flatness.
- The throttle spindle housing is re-bushed using P.T.F.E. lined glacier type bushes and line reamed to correct tolerance.
- Steel components are de-rusted and inhibited.
- Steel components are re-plated. *
- Brass components are chemically brightened.
- Brass components are polished. *
* Denotes concours service only.
Carburetters are now re-assembled using all new wearing components, i.e.:
- Throttle spindle
- Float needle valve
- Throttle plate
- Volume/Air screw
- Throttle plate screws
- Metering needle
- Seals and washers
- Jet Ancillaries
Any other components found to be faulty will be replaced. All internal components are adjusted and set as per manufacturer’s specification. Carburetters are then engine tested to ensure correct functioning of the following:-
Fuel level, Idle circuit, Choke mechanism, By-pass circuit, Pull down and fast-idle operation, Progression circuit, Correct throttle operation, Main circuit, Correct response to mixture adjustment, Pump circuit.
(Upon re-fitting to vehicle, normal adjustments will be necessary)
Carburetters are given a final inspection and guaranteed for 12 months.
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.
Which engine oil is recommended the straight six Bristol engines?
Dave Dale and John Lawley both place great faith in Castrol Classic XL 20/50.
John Lawley, BODA technical officer, has more recently been using another oil also developed especially for classic cars. If you go to http://www.commaoil.co.uk/productsguide you will see 3 versions: a combined winter/summer oil, a dedicated winter oil and a dedicated summer oil. I use the combined version and have been very satisfied with it.
The only reason for the change is that my current motor factor does not stock the Castrol oil only obtaining it to order. However, they stock the Comma oil so I thought I would give it a try.
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