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403 rear suspension units

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Old 05-04-20, 04:16 PM
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Default 403 rear suspension units

Hi,

My 403 has telescopic shock absorbers and therefore has empty suspension units rather than lever arm shock absorbers. The suspension units AFAIK have only a bearing and two oil seals inside. I've followed the service manual instructions in filling g them with 140 weight gear oil whilst keeping an air space above. Both leak. As there is no play in the bearings and the suspension works smoothly, I am reluctant to pull everything apart. I am wondering g if Penrite semi fluid steering box lube, which doesnt leak past poor seals would be OK in these suspension units? Any thoughts or experience?

Mike

403-1402
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Old 05-04-20, 09:11 PM
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Default 403 rear suspension units

I have an Arnolt Bristol with suspension units in the same condition. I am about to try the same solution (different brand, but a 00 semi liquid grease). There was an article by Spencer Lane Jones sometime ago saying that new seals for these units are unavailable. Spencer Lane Jones rebuilds them by machining them for modern lip seals. Even after such a new seals Spencer Lane Jones recommended the use of semi liquid grease.
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Old 05-04-20, 09:43 PM
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That's really encouraging - thanks.

Mike
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Old 05-04-20, 10:18 PM
Des Des is offline
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There's a gloopy slop available for Landrover front swivels, addresses, kind of, the oils tendency to dribble out.
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Old 05-04-20, 10:22 PM
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Mike ,
I have used the Penrite Steering Box Lube for quite a few years in the rear suspension units in a few Bristols. It has fixed the majority of leaks from the seals.
These units have a ball bearing and needle roller bearing which are replaceable .I'm not a lubrication specialist but the shaft only rotates a few degrees as the chassis moves vertically upwards or downwards. I don't believe it will cause a problem with the bearings . Certainly better than having all the 140 grade oil leaking out.
I suggest you remove the large screw in plugs on each side and flush out the sediment which from experience can be substantial for a fully sealed unit.

Give it a try, you have nothing to loose. Please report back to the Forum

Geoff
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Old 05-04-20, 10:38 PM
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The correct seals for the suspension units (Both front and rear) are available through the Bristol Owners Club of Australia (BOCA) and the Bristol Owners and Drivers Assocaition (BODA) to financial members.
No need to butcher the units

Regards
Julian
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Old 05-04-20, 10:56 PM
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Thanks Geoff. I'll do as you suggest and flush out first. My 403 will be some time before it's back on the road bu t I should be able to report on leakage or not when stationary, fairly soon.

Mike
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Old 06-04-20, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julian Caples View Post
The correct seals for the suspension units (Both front and rear) are available through the Bristol Owners Club of Australia (BOCA) and the Bristol Owners and Drivers Assocaition (BODA) to financial members.
No need to butcher the units

Regards
Julian
That's good to know Julian. I'll try the semi fluid lube first though.

Mike
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Old 20-04-20, 02:31 AM
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Default 403 rear suspension units

I contacted Bill Lawson at BODA and unfortunately the suspension unit seals are not available from BODA. (They do have the seals for the suspension arm units -both the one that is in the ball unit and the one where are the shaft enters the bushing into the rear axle.) He dismantled a spare 406 suspension unit which he had to take a look at the seals. Said it was a fun project and described what he found. I also have just filled my suspension units with a semi liquid grease. If that is the solution to the leaking problem for me and everyone else there will be no need to urge BODA to source and supply the seals.
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