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6 cyl Bristol cars Type 400 to 406 - restoration, repair, maintenance etc

NEW CAR AGAIN.... 1956 Bristol 405 CHASSIS - 4106. 405GMT

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 10-11-21, 11:47 PM
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I don't know for sure but I think it highly likely these poor old cars have been savaged by people who go racing.

as for converting to electric; the idea scares me. My wife has a Lexus hybrid... there are "keep out" signs under the bonnet!
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 11-11-21, 01:22 AM
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Raymond,
You did not get off to a bad start at all on the forum, your comments about the paint on LRU and better interiors shots made me laugh but I hate adding LOL after a comment far too new a phrase for an old luddite like me, I also like to get the old wooden spoon out to stir things up so beware.
I would strongly and seriously however advise anyone considering converting any Bristol to electric to forget it, I 'll say no more on the forum but if anyone wants to know the reason behind this comment please send me a private message, suffice to say a lot of conversions like this are dangerous in more ways than just a keep out sign.

Hesketh,
The engine robbing has been going on for years, when I started running Bristol 401's they cost about 150 to 250 each a 405 more if good but with wood rot less a 406 450 max. Engine dies then buy another car to use or rob the engine out of. Then the AC Ace factor, a lot found their way to the US, taken racing, V8's fitted, the exchange rate changed and many were bought back into the UK, where did new owners get their engines from, poor old Bristol engined AC Greyhounds which were not fashionable or Bristol 405's. Then the historic racers, 406's escaped this because the engines were not eligible for historic racing, sadly the rest were and if you had a 100k racer 10 spent on a sad old Bristol to pinch its engine was a bargain. 405's seemed to be the first victims, then the 403's and eventually the 401's when people realised that these too could be modified to race or FNS specification. I wasted almost two weeks recently assembling a parts package for a potential buyer who wanted a engine for an early Frazer Nash only for him to drop his offer because he had been "offered later engines for less money", one at a plausible price, one that a very knowledgeable friend of mine said if it was available for that figure it would be scrap, a 100D at about a quarter of current market value.
The sad reality was that to build an authentic spec engine for the Frazer Nash in question a later engine would knock a lot off the value whereas in a Bristol it won't. The guy in question I suspect may actually have had a Werner Oswald clone but an FNS spec build on a correct series engine would have been a better bet.
As I said before its a funny old world, enjoy it!
Geoff.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 12-11-21, 12:08 AM
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Raymond,
ahhh i do not like the sounds of that ! maybe ill search for a suitable engine for the 405 ! wish me luck... !

Geoff,
250 for 450 ! god that must have been amazing !
i would have bought them all !
that a very interesting what you have wrote up, do you think i should search in the US for a 405 engine ?
if i cant get a 405 engine - what is the next best engine ?

thanks both
H
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 12-11-21, 12:34 AM
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Hesketh,
There are original engines about and any 2 litre unit will fit a 405, the limitation to performance of the 85 series engines is reckoned to be the diameter of the crankshaft bearings but the FNS engines were based on these units so they can't be that bad. Truth is some of the engine castings were not that clever so for example cracked or porous blocks under the exhaust manifolds, this is by no means the end of the engines life, there are so many cost effective options to keep the car on the road. 85 heads can have seats re cut and enlarged to 100A spec, I am told 85 blocks can be modified to accept 100 series style cranks so a lot can still be done but at a cost.
Consider this, the late Brian May and I were discussing 85C vs 100A performance a good few years back and his view was on modern fuel and modern road conditions you wont notice the difference.
A 110 engine ex 406 would be a good upgrade if you can get one and if I am able to sell my 401's I will have at least one 85C engine, and an 85c block, crank, cam and 100B cam available, but only if the cars sell first.
Geoff.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 12-11-21, 12:58 AM
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Hesketh. If I might just add to what Geoff has said about cracked blocks. You might find someone who thinks their engine is good only for spares but I have had impressive results with cast iron stitching. I went to Stitchweld in Burton On Trent with a 1926 Dodge Brothers side valve block. They not only stitched up the water jacket (easy) but also managed to stitch across a cracked valve seat and machined it back to as good as new.

The cost was very reasonable and the repair was a long term success.

If you are pushed for cash you could always repair a simple frost crack with Belzona. It's amazing stuff!

Don't forget, however, that where ever you can see a crack in cast iron there WILL be another crack or two probably hidden and running above and below (parallel) to it .
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 15-11-21, 09:29 PM
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Geoff,

you mean any 2L Bristol engine ? or any 2L of similar age in other British cars ?
i would be interested in one of your engines if i haven't found one by the time you have sold your Bristols, could i put an auto gear box on
these type engines ?
Only reason I ask is that I want my father to drive this Bristol and he finds auto gboxs a hell of alot easier !

Raymond,
Thanks so much for the company i have added them to my favourites as they may come extremely useful ! Your so right, there will always be one or 2 more hiding around the corner !

Best
H
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 15-11-21, 10:10 PM
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BMW 6 cylinder engine from the 1970s Twin carb. 2.8 litres
One on Ebay that may be recoverable for about 500. Item 265406626599
These were canted over in the BMW but should work upright with a re-worked sump and oil pump pickup. I imagine there was an auto 'box for them.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 15-11-21, 11:25 PM
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Hesketh,
I do mean any 2 Litre Bristol engine and the 2.2 litre 406 unit, the changes in mountings on the engines and gearbox ( both Bristol ) came about when the overdrive units were introduce so if you want to fit a 406 engine and overdrive gearbox into say a 401 then the crossmember behind the gearbox has to be modified. If you want to fit a later overdrive conversion using a smaller overdrive it does not.
To date no one that I am aware of has succeeded in fitting an automatic gearbox to a Bristol 2 litre engine and indeed after Toby Silverton lost control of Bristol Cars the new owners found themselves at the wrong end of a very expensive legal action when they said they could but failed to deliver such a beast.
I don't recall any discussions on this but I wonder if any BMW 328's have ever been fitted with pre selector gearboxes if they have and you can find a gearbox it may be possible to fit such a unit to a Bristol plus assisted operation of the clutch, you could well be entering uncharted territory but it may be fun!
Geoff.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 16-11-21, 08:18 PM
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David C,

I wouldn't mind that BMW E9 engine in the 405 !
Sounds very interesting fitting that in the 405, but i'm just worried about fitment in the engine bay ? It may be a little to large i am thinking ?

Geoff Kingston,

Okay ill scrap the auto box on this one ! He can drive the others lol !
The thing is finding the 2L Bristol engine is quite hard and if i do see one they are very expensive !
Ive seen this 405 with a 2.5L Triumph TR6 TC engine and O/ drive gearbox
And it looks like it's a good fitment for the engine bay.

https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1373039

I may look for one of these and stick it in the 405 for now until I find a 2L engine thats in my price range.

Best,
H
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 19-11-21, 08:18 PM
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evening all,

how hard would it be to install a 2.5L Triumph TR6 TC engine and O/ drive gearbox for now until i get a Bristol engine ?

like this 405 ?

https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1373039

thanks
H
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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 19-11-21, 08:48 PM
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It all depends on what you consider to be "difficult". It has been done before (as you know) so could be done again. I would expect there will be a certain amount of "fettling". Whether this involves welding in new engine mountings or not I don't know but you would probably need a different length prop shaft.

All I can say is that - unlike with the XK engine - there shouldn't need to be that much in the way of surgery.

One thing...stick with the TC option. The last thing you want is a 2.5pi with it's associated problems.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 19-11-21, 08:52 PM
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Not trying to be funny but might be worth ringing the gent who has his for sale and ask him.....
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 19-11-21, 09:04 PM
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Raymond,

Indeed ive seen a few cars with Triumph engines, so it may be the easiest engine swap of the time. Oh yes never thought about the PShaft, there a few places around cheshire who make custom ones so hopefully i'll be covered.
Yes so true i'm trying to keep it as basic as possible so no modern car problems.

AndrewA,

Great shout buddy, i'll drop him a message now and i'll call him tomorrow, hopefully he can shed some light on it.

Thank you,

H
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 19-11-21, 09:14 PM
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Despite what I said ... if you find an absolute bargain PI from a rotten saloon please don't limit your options on my say so. If you need it I have a set of genuine BL main dealer service sheets somewhere for a triumph PI system that are yours for the asking.
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 19-11-21, 11:15 PM
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Raymond,

I think ill stick to the more easier option so i've read - i may be wrong still doing my R&D ! Ahh thank you so much, thats extremely kind of you sir !

Best
h

Last edited by hesketh786; 19-11-21 at 11:30 PM.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 19-11-21, 11:28 PM
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started to strip paint off bonnet hopefully get a few panels done this weekend !
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 19-11-21, 11:51 PM
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I have an Austin Swallow which has aluminium body. When I did the body I took it all down to the bare metal and used an etching primer before applying any filler or paint.

The problem we have at the moment is dampness in the air. Even in a dry garage my hygrometer is reading high humidity. Ideally, it should read no more than 50% or there is a risk of micro blistering.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old 20-11-21, 09:25 PM
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I didn't get the tape measure out but the BMW E9 engine idea came about when I was helping a friend restore a 3 litre CS. It looked to me as though it would be a reasonably easy fit, but I stand to be corrected.
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old 20-11-21, 09:40 PM
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David, you do realise how powerful that lump can be; especially in 3 litre guise?

I was able to keep up with a CSi up to about 90 MPH in my Triumph GT6 but then it just left me behind as it disappeared into the distance!
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old 20-11-21, 09:45 PM
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That's exactly why I thought it would be a good choice. In basic form it should be very dependable with plenty of torque. Pretty much the performance Bristol were chasing with the 160 engine intended for the 220 chassis. What a shame that never saw the light of day
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