408-411 front side light/ indicators

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.

Wiper upgrade on 2-litre cars

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

15 Southam Close
Hall Green
West Midlands
B28 0AE
United Kingdom

Lever arm shock absorbers

A company which reconditions these shock absorbers is;

Stevson Motors Ltd (Specialist classic car hydraulic component manufacturers and recoditioners of lever arm and telescopic shock absorbers)
Unit 1, 2a Harrow Road
Selly Oak, Birmingham B29 7DN
Tel: 0121 472 1702   
Email: stevsonmotors1@aol.com

Engine Mounts for 407,408, 409, 410


The engine mounts for the 318 poly fitted to the 407-410 appear to be a rare and expensive parts kit.  This seems odd given the likely demand in the US.  The Brackets fitted were the Mopar “Floating Power” engine mounts for B body cars.  We were only able to find one US vendor selling new parts along with a number posts from US Plymouth owners grumbling about the price.  $484 plus carriage, taxes and duty!











For later 408’s, 409, 410 & 411

Tools, nuts & bolts

  • British Tools & Fasteners
    7696 NY-31, Lyons, NY 14489, USA
    +1 (315) 946-9400
    (Ship internationally)
  • Tracy Tools Ltd. (Tap & die specialists, engineers tool supplies)
    Unit 1, Parkfield Units
    Barton Hill Way
    TQ2 8JG‎
    Tel: 01803 328603‎

Suppliers of brake parts and services


Suppliers of hubcaps (Warning: Chrome quality might be poor)

Girling Brake Parts List


According to Girling, this is the master cylinder they supplied for the 411. The Girling master cylinder part number 64068550 cross references to Chrysler UK part number 3058872.

Removing Rear Brake Calipers on 411-S1


  • 13/16 socket wrench to remove caliper bolts and heavy hammer to get it started (not sure why this is Imperial, not metric, but 13/16 worked the best)
  • 7/16 open wrench to remove brake line (or vice grips if either the nut or line is shot and must be replaced)
  • Wire cutter to cut split pin (cotter pin)
  • 13mm socket wrench to remove shock absorber bracket
  • Small bucket to collect dripping brake fluid
  • Heavy welders gloves to protect hands when a frozen bolt breaks free and smashes your hand into something hard and sharp
  • Magnetic back light that can be positioned inside the wheel well. I bought a strong LED light at the hardware store and a round 65 kg magnet that I bolted to it


  1. After the health and safety lecture on what you need to do to jack the car up and remove the rear wheels, position the light so you can see the inner workings of the brakes
  2. Cut off the split pin that holds the emergency brake on, remove the pin and remove the cable controls
  3. Unbolt three bolts holding the shock absorber bracket to the axle. Note that the inner one may be hard to access if you leave the shock on the bracket, with the alternative of removing the shock
  4. This gives you room to unbolt the two heavy bolts that hold the caliper to the axle
  5. To loosen the heavy caliper bolts, use an extension bar on the socket wrench, or gently tap the wrench with a heavy mallet. Wear gloves
  6. When the bolts are loose but not yet off, shift to removing the hydraulic brake line that goes along the axle. If badly corroded you may find you have to sacrifice it using vice grips and flare a new pipe when reassembling. Wear gloves
  7. Position the bucket under the pipe, it will slowly drain
  8. Remove the heavy bolts and the brake calipers should come off.

For the most part, this is a standard job, except that the emergency brake and the shock absorbers get in the way.

In my case, the car had been rebuilt 14 years ago and then garaged, so bolts and nuts came apart reasonably easily. For most Bristols, you may not be so lucky. On reassembly do yourself or the next owner a favour… use anti-seize compound.

Sticking rear brakes on a 411

Here is how to identify if the brake lines are blocked and what to do.


  • New hardware store oil can (metal tank with pump squirting lever and 1/4″ solid tube) See amazon.co.uk/dp/B000LFTT5Q for an example
  • New hardware store 6mm clear plastic hose (3 metres) and several hose clamps to fit
  • New brake fluid
  • Kunifer brake line (a soft alloy also known as cupro/nickel) 3/16″ SAE and male & female flare tube nuts to match the Bristol thread
  • Brake flaring tool that does double flare

Remove the driver’s side (RHD) brake tube flare nut (male) from the T section. Temporarily you will be replacing this with a test brake tube flare nut. BTW, if you don’t know how to flare Kunifer brake line, it’s forgiving and easy to learn. Get the tools and watch a few YouTube videos or buy a case of beer and stop by your brake supply shop half an hour before closing time for a tutorial.

Make up the testing tool:

  • Slide the clear plastic hose over the oil can tube and hose-clamp it tight
  • Take a section of the Kunifer brake line (say 300-500mm) and double flare one end with a male tube nut that will go into the T section.
  • Put a similar double flare on the other end and slide the clear plastic hose over. You will need to use the host clamp on top of the flare to keep it from leaking under pressure.
  • Slide the other end of the clear plastic pipe over the oil can and hose clamp it.
  • Fill the oil can with new brake fluid (this is why you buy a new oil can… no contamination)

Begin testing

  • Open the bleeder valve on the opposing side of the rear axle (left/passenger side on RHD). Attach a hose into a clear glass jar on the ground that you can see from your side.
  • Pump the can. If fluid comes out on the opposing side, you know the rear axle lines are clear. You might as well keep pumping until the fluid is clear, you’re doing the equivalent of a bench bleed.
  • Close bleeder valve
  • At the front end of the car in the battery compartment, disconnect the battery to avoid sparks and then disconnect the brake line leading into the servo that connects to the rear brakes and pump again. If you are unsure which servo, climb under the car and follow it from the back to the battery compartment.
  • In theory this would reverse flow brake fluid forward until it dripped out (have a cup or big towel ready to catch pumping brake fluid (or make up and attach a female nut to metal line to plastic hose to glass jar)
  • If it does nothing (no flow from the front brake line), remove the rubber flex hose that connects the body brake line to the axle brake line. This probably is the culprit (it was for me). Try blowing air through it. If no air, you know it is junk.
  • Then hook the testing pump to the metal brake line in the battery compartment . If fluid flows out of the rear line where you removed the rubber hose, you can presume the metal line is OK.
  • You can also mechanically test this if you have a new stainless steel bicycle brake cable wire that you slide inside the car’s metal brake lines. It should come out the other end clean and with no resistance.

When doing this job, make sure you know where to buy replacement Kunifer brake lines and matching nuts because most cars will not come apart easily. Nuts may strip, or if frozen may twist the old metal lines, requiring replacement. A brake supply house should carry both the metal lines and the rubber hose. The 1970 411-S1 hose seems almost identical to “H892 Hose for British Ford, Hillman and many other British cars” (try also GBH136). Try Powertrack for parts.