Bristol Cars - Owners and Enthusiasts Forum  

Go Back   Bristol Cars - Owners and Enthusiasts Forum > Bristol Forums > 6 cyl Bristol cars

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

LHD conversion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 29-12-09, 12:30 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Monte-Estoril, Lisbon, PORTUGAL
Posts: 16
Default LHD conversion

Dear all,
I am new on this forum.
Finally I decided to buy a Bristol 403, as stablemate for my other classics: a 1934 dove grey Alvis Speed Twenty SB Drophead Coupé, a 1958 dark green Austin Healey (Frogeye) Sprite, a red 1959 MGA 1600 Roadster, a light grey 1960 Mercedes 220 S (Finntail), a red 1964 Hillman Suprminx Series 3 Convertible (still a restaotration project) and a white 1973 Alfa Montreal.
Once I live in Estoril-Lisbon, Portugal, I was trying to find a lefthand drive Bristol 403, wich I didn't find any one so far. I even doubt if a 403 LHD was ever produced (?)...
So, before I move into buying a righthand drive Bristol 403, I'd like to know what parts are needed in order to do the conversion. If the LHD conversion is possible, a steering rack at Bristol Cars Company costs around £3000,00!...
Is this steering rack used in cars others than Bristols?
What else is required to do the conversion? Is there a key lock on passenger's door?
As far as I understand, the conversion shouldn't be very difficult to do.
Regards,
J.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 29-12-09, 01:06 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Monte-Estoril, Lisbon, PORTUGAL
Posts: 16
Default 403 rhd...

This is the kind of car I am looking for. If only the car should be a lhd...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bristol 403 Jet Black.jpg (32.8 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg Bristol 403 Jet Black 1.jpg (33.0 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg Bristol 403 Bordeaux 2.jpg (34.5 KB, 21 views)
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 29-12-09, 01:13 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Monte-Estoril, Lisbon, PORTUGAL
Posts: 16
Default And these are my other cars...

You may also join me on the Alfa Romeo Montreal Intrenational Meeting 2007: Alfa Romeo Montreal
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Alvis Speed Twenty SB Drophead Coupé by Charlesworth 1934.JPG (92.2 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg Austin-Healey (Frogeye) Sprite 1958.jpg (27.3 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg MGA FOTO 0075.jpg (40.1 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Mercedes220-S(Finntail)1960.jpg (72.2 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Alfa Romep Montreal. 1973.jpg (80.5 KB, 10 views)
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 29-12-09, 01:22 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Monte-Estoril, Lisbon, PORTUGAL
Posts: 16
Default And these are my other cars...

You may also join me on the Alfa Romeo Montreal Intrenational Meeting 2007: Alfa Romeo Montreal
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 29-12-09, 06:30 AM
UK6 UK6 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 46
Default And these are my other cars...

LHD STEERING RACK FOR 403
J,
Your Alvis looks very nice.

Bristol did make LHD racks - see the American initiated Arnolt Bristol
(based on a 404 chassis and running gear).Unfortunately for you, I believe
that the racks were peculiar to Bristols and the even rarer Frazer Nashes.
My advice to you is to try and track down a LH rack from the USA or UK - the
Bristol rack is beautifully engineered and the options below do require a
fair bit of careful work.

There are two potential lesser options:

1. Utilise a 1950s Morris Minor rack turned upside down and adapt as
required.

For the record, the uncut Morris inner ball to inner ball distance is approx
26.5" and they run an 8 tooth pinion. If you are keen on using the Morris
rack, I would only use it if the Bristol has 8 teeth on their pinion -
otherwise your modified steering will be "too slow". As you know, recreating
the standard Bristol inner ball to inner ball distance and the location of
the rack housing is imperitive to achieve correct handling and to minimise
"bump steer". Sports car builders using Morris racks for their creations in
the 1950s cut the non rack side of the rack and or housing to suit their
purpose. The adaptation of any rack must be done very carefully and needs to
comply with every sensible engineering consideration and regulation.
I would not trust such an operation with my local garage!

2. Fit an under dash conversion unit - these were advertised in Australia
several years ago to convert imported Ford Mustangs etc to RHD. I'm not sure
if these devices were Aussie inventions and I'm not 100% sure how they
worked - I suspect that they may have employed a gear train and or sprokets
in an aluminium gear case.

Regards,

Brett
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 29-12-09, 06:34 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 141
Default r>lhd

There are a few LHD 403's in the USA and they do come up for sale from time to time. Also I found calling a Bristol owner and asking if their car is for sale (in the USA where this sort of cold calling does not offend) results often in a purchase, as the owner finds it is sitting in the garage, they have been thinking about selling it, but it's too hard as Bristol buyers are as infrequent as Bristol sellers. I bought three Bristols this way including a LHD 405 and a LHD 410.

The alternative is to find someone in the UK, Australia or New Zealand who wants to buy an Arnolt Bristol and convert it to RHD. I believe the rack is the same as the 403. Then do a swap.

There is a LHD 405 in Paris that I used to own in the USA. It was taken to bare metal for restoration, but the previous owner then took the engine and transmission for his Arnolt Bristol. It would be a good candidate for restoration, and I believe it is still for sale.

Claude
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 29-12-09, 10:12 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 340
Default LHD conversion

J,
If you decide to purchase a RHD 403 I have all the parts necessary to
build up a LHD rack , except a pinion (which could be available from Bristol
cars) .
The Arnolt Bristol was the only other car to use the LHD Bristol rack ,
except a few 400-406 LHD examples .
The other car worth investigating for a LHD rack is a 1936-9 BMW 326 , these
were made in large numbers (about 15,000 from memory mainly LHD ) compared
to Bristol
and Bristol copied most of their suspension and steering so there is a good
chance it will just bolt on .
Good luck with our search it will be well worth it
Happy New Year
Geoff Dowdle
Sydney/Australia
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 29-12-09, 08:31 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Monte-Estoril, Lisbon, PORTUGAL
Posts: 16
Default

Many thanks, Brett,

I'll try to check it out.

Regards,
Joseph (Rocket Roller)

Quote:
Originally Posted by UK6 View Post
LHD STEERING RACK FOR 403
J,
Your Alvis looks very nice.

Bristol did make LHD racks - see the American initiated Arnolt Bristol
(based on a 404 chassis and running gear).Unfortunately for you, I believe
that the racks were peculiar to Bristols and the even rarer Frazer Nashes.
My advice to you is to try and track down a LH rack from the USA or UK - the
Bristol rack is beautifully engineered and the options below do require a
fair bit of careful work.

There are two potential lesser options:

1. Utilise a 1950s Morris Minor rack turned upside down and adapt as
required.

For the record, the uncut Morris inner ball to inner ball distance is approx
26.5" and they run an 8 tooth pinion. If you are keen on using the Morris
rack, I would only use it if the Bristol has 8 teeth on their pinion -
otherwise your modified steering will be "too slow". As you know, recreating
the standard Bristol inner ball to inner ball distance and the location of
the rack housing is imperitive to achieve correct handling and to minimise
"bump steer". Sports car builders using Morris racks for their creations in
the 1950s cut the non rack side of the rack and or housing to suit their
purpose. The adaptation of any rack must be done very carefully and needs to
comply with every sensible engineering consideration and regulation.
I would not trust such an operation with my local garage!

2. Fit an under dash conversion unit - these were advertised in Australia
several years ago to convert imported Ford Mustangs etc to RHD. I'm not sure
if these devices were Aussie inventions and I'm not 100% sure how they
worked - I suspect that they may have employed a gear train and or sprokets
in an aluminium gear case.

Regards,

Brett
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 29-12-09, 08:35 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Monte-Estoril, Lisbon, PORTUGAL
Posts: 16
Default LHD Bristol

Hi Claude,

If only I could have the contacts of the LHD Bristol 401/403 owners, than I should aske them if they are considering to sell.

The more I get informed about this subject, the more it seems to me a rather complycated task...

regards,
Joseph (Rocket Roller)



Quote:
Originally Posted by Claude View Post
There are a few LHD 403's in the USA and they do come up for sale from time to time. Also I found calling a Bristol owner and asking if their car is for sale (in the USA where this sort of cold calling does not offend) results often in a purchase, as the owner finds it is sitting in the garage, they have been thinking about selling it, but it's too hard as Bristol buyers are as infrequent as Bristol sellers. I bought three Bristols this way including a LHD 405 and a LHD 410.

The alternative is to find someone in the UK, Australia or New Zealand who wants to buy an Arnolt Bristol and convert it to RHD. I believe the rack is the same as the 403. Then do a swap.

There is a LHD 405 in Paris that I used to own in the USA. It was taken to bare metal for restoration, but the previous owner then took the engine and transmission for his Arnolt Bristol. It would be a good candidate for restoration, and I believe it is still for sale.

Claude
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 29-12-09, 08:39 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Monte-Estoril, Lisbon, PORTUGAL
Posts: 16
Default

Hi Geoff,

Many thanks for your valuable information.

I'll see if I move ahead into the conversion. It's very good to know there as the chance to get the parts.

Any idea on the costs for your parts?

Joseph (Rocket Roller)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Dowdle View Post
J,
If you decide to purchase a RHD 403 I have all the parts necessary to
build up a LHD rack , except a pinion (which could be available from Bristol
cars) .
The Arnolt Bristol was the only other car to use the LHD Bristol rack ,
except a few 400-406 LHD examples .
The other car worth investigating for a LHD rack is a 1936-9 BMW 326 , these
were made in large numbers (about 15,000 from memory mainly LHD ) compared
to Bristol
and Bristol copied most of their suspension and steering so there is a good
chance it will just bolt on .
Good luck with our search it will be well worth it
Happy New Year
Geoff Dowdle
Sydney/Australia
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 30-12-09, 12:00 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 340
Default LHD conversion

Joseph,
the cost will be a lot less than what Bristol Cars Ltd quoted
Email me direct darin@wix.com.au if you decide you need it
Regards
Geoff
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 30-12-09, 12:33 AM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,073
Default A tip

A tip for those who want to contact one another directly to discuss parts etc.

When viewing a thread in the forums (on the web site), if you click on a member's username a menu of contact options will appear.

I advise against posting your email address on any public forum, including this one.

Kevin
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 31-12-09, 05:16 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Monte-Estoril, Lisbon, PORTUGAL
Posts: 16
Default 403 lhd investigation

For the time being I am still doing some research.
Aparently no 401's have been imported to Portugal in the early days.
The one I knew about seems to be a lhd 403. Today it is black with beige trim. I heard it was originally metalic grey.
By pure chance, an old friend just called me for seasons greetings.
Once he owned som classics inthe past, I told him about my Bristol "fever".
Surprisingly he told me his father owned an old Bristol back in the 50's. He thought the car wass grey, and he went searching for a picture.
Later he found it, and the car seemed grey in a black & white photo.
H spoke with his mother, who told the car was new at the seller's showroom, it was metalic dark red. The seller asked them to leave the car one more month in exhibition, what they did then.
Later they used the car for lots of years.
Aparently in some garage the anti-roll bar has been stolen by some mechanic. For this reason they crshed, and the car turned over, ended upside down due to the crash. So, they didn't got much hurt, and sold the car.
I remeber later seing the car for sale IN BLACK (my rememberence was dark green, but I was wrong) some 20 years ago.
I asked 3 years ago the dealer about the whereabouts of this car. He told me it has been sold to a german architect, Helmut Weitmann, who lived in Sintra. I tryed to trace him, and he retired, moved to Algarve (southern Portugal). By phone we talked, he told me about the car, and he has sold all his cars, including some old jaguars, because he was very old now.
He sended me a picture, where i COULD READ THE NUMBER PLATE: LD-19-15
The cars keep it's number plate for life in Portugal. So, I managed to find the actual owner, but it is a touristic enterprise, not working, for there is no phone number.
Let's see...
Yours for longer engine roars,
J.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Dowdle View Post
Joseph,
the cost will be a lot less than what Bristol Cars Ltd quoted
Email me direct darin@wix.com.au if you decide you need it
Regards
Geoff
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bristol lhd conversion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:30 AM.


This is the live site

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2