Bristol Cars - Owners and Enthusiasts Forum  

Go Back   Bristol Cars - Owners and Enthusiasts Forum > Bristol Forums > 8 & 10 cyl Bristol cars

8 & 10 cyl Bristol cars Type 407 onwards - restoration, repair, maintenance etc

Advice opinions please

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #21 (permalink)  
Old 29-07-20, 07:14 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 77
Default

Having sought advice, I thought the least I could do was let you know what happened and how we're getting on. Well, have now had the car for about a month and have put around 1000 miles on her. We're starting to get to know each other and having never driven a Bristol before am mightily impressed with the driving experience which must have been astounding in the '60's - it's still excellent when compared to moderns - but you all know that! Driving has been a mixture of motorway runs - not hanging about , pottering around the New Forest and fast A roads.
Am averaging just over 20 to the gallon which considering I'm making full use of the loud pedal is pretty impressive. The car has a three speed box, with o/drive and then a separate lockup facility, so in practice it's almost like a 5 speed box. Am still getting the bugs out of her - but the issues are relatively minor - electric fan thermostat is duff so she runs cold, left hand windscreen wiper has given up, and there's a small leak from heater matrix.
Re the heater matrix - is this shared with any other cars or does anyone have any recommended reconditioners of these? Thankfully it looks easy to access - unlike the left hand windscreen wiper!
Car could do with a good detailing and there's a few bits that could be smartened up/caught before they become issues but that can wait until Winter. At the moment none of the above are stopping me using her.
Am humming and ha-ing about whether to stick with points (if it ain't broke etc), go with the Winterburn improvement or an electronic dizzy.
Once I've got off the fence on that one, will probably get her on a rolling road - more to fine tune the fuelling than anything else - she's rich at idle and appears to lean off at the top end - but again that's for another day.
Cheers
Andrew

Last edited by AndrewA; 29-07-20 at 07:34 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #22 (permalink)  
Old 29-07-20, 06:28 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 94
Default

Rich at idle........... This might be your solution

The foot chamber valves wear significantly over time, the float chambers get overfilled at idle and no amount of screwing in of the two idle jet adjustments at the front of the carb will compensate. I changed these, at Martin Barnes recommendation after Iíd mentioned that the car was a bit of a nightmare in heavy traffic as it tended to stall on take up from idle, and was astonished to find that the idle jets then preferred to unscrewed really quite a long way and then behaved as the handbook indicates, ie set throttle idle, then set idle jets to maximise idle rpm and repeat until optimised. It no longer stalls on take up.

The only way to access the windscreen wiper boxes is to remove the relevant front seat and lie on your back with your arms up behind the dash. Iíd also recommend removing the relevant seat runners which have lots and lots of sharp bits to dig into you and itís already uncomfortable enough.
Reply With Quote
  #23 (permalink)  
Old 29-07-20, 10:02 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 77
Default

Thanks for the tip about removing runners! Will have a go. Unfortunately went out to dinner tonight and came back to a boot with a significant amount of fuel in it! Appears to be from SU electric fuel pump which has recently been rebuilt - I've never been a fan of SU fuel pumps only because of previous aggro with them on a variety of cars. Will investigate further in the morning when I can see what I'm doing.
Reply With Quote
  #24 (permalink)  
Old 04-08-20, 09:35 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 23
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewA View Post
Re the heater matrix - is this shared with any other cars or does anyone have any recommended reconditioners of these? Thankfully it looks easy to access - unlike the left hand windscreen wiper!
I'm not sure which heater box you have on the 410. I believe that all 407-411 boxes have four exits into the cabin.

I have a heater box which I understand came from a 411 which has these in a single row; on the 408 box they are staggered into two rows.

I think it may also be that the 411 has a separate cold air box between the fan and the heater box.

The 408 may share a matrix with a 1970s Sprite (they look similar but I have not bought one and checked). I think the heater box itself is shared with an Austin A60.

I don't know what the 411 matrix or box is shared with.

Either can be easily recored - Aaron Radiators can do it for you.

A photograph of the two matrixes next to each other is attached - the bigger one is 408.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bristol Heater Cores.jpg (485.4 KB, 28 views)
Reply With Quote
  #25 (permalink)  
Old 05-08-20, 06:25 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 94
Default

There is an excellent article in the Bristol Owners Club Bulletin Number 142, dated Autumn 2011 which describes a 411 heater. The heater box in a 411 is the same as in a 410 but is relocated to accommodate a separate cold air box.

I found it extremely useful when I had the 410s heater out to replace seals etc. The heater box itself is apparently identical.

Two points

I found that there was a very simple gravity flap on the 410s heater which opens a direct path into the heater box from the air intake in front of the windscreen when the pressure in the former overcame the pressure supplied by the fan. So at speed the air doesn't all have to pass through the fan. I don't see any reference to this in the article, perhaps the 411 was different. I also discovered that the foam on this flap had long since perished causing it to close at intervals with a surprisingly loud, rather alarming and previously untraceable clang.

I see I marked up the copy that found its way into my workshop manual, at the bottom of page 27 to read "Slacken screw E ..........at the point F and retighten screw E"

One further tip. The demister vents work best when they are adjusted so that the vent exit is as close to the screen as possible. This requires more lying on ones back, the development of spider monkey arms and the deployment of much bad language.
Reply With Quote
  #26 (permalink)  
Old 05-08-20, 02:08 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 77
Default

On the wiper box front, managed to get at it by removing the inside of glove box. Lucas part number which is stamped on it is 72729A - but seems to be unobtainable. There are other parts which fit in all dimensions except the width across the back (I have one in front of me!) which on the original part measures 10 cms and on the aftermarket stuff measures 7.5 cms which in practical terms means I am no longer clamping onto the outer cable - if that makes sense. Is there a way round this that I'm missing or do I have to re-do the cabling?
Reply With Quote
  #27 (permalink)  
Old 06-08-20, 07:17 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 94
Default

Whatís the problem with the existing box?
As I understand things the angle of wiper throw is determined by the size of the wiper box wheel
If only the wheel is a problem might it not be possible to fit a the wheel from the new box you have?
Alternatively the outer tubing is relatively standard and easily available and could be made up to a longer length, flared at each end, but youíd need to be able to get to the other box to fit it. You would only need to do that piece of outer cable.
Reply With Quote
  #28 (permalink)  
Old 07-08-20, 09:39 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 77
Default

Morning
The teeth are worn on the wheel and the splines on the bit the wipers go on aren't great.
The actual rack appears ok.
SLJ have turned up two second hand ones that are the same size as the original one which they'll send me so I'll have a look and see if they're better than what I've currently got. Otherwise as you say I'll have to try and make one good one out of my original one and the new one - it doesn't look easy and is probably beyond me. Am trying to avoid dealing with the drivers side to be honest as it's all ok at the mo - but if all else fails I might as well re-do the whole lot with new, commonly available parts and know I'm good for the next 10/20 years.
Thank you for the pointer to the Bulletin re the matrix - as you say, an excellent article and a big help and the tip for the radiator guys.
I'm losing about half an egg cup a day into the engine bay and the occasional drop on my left foot so but am inclined to take it out and send it away and join up the pipes and keep driving - I appreciate that'll mean there's a little less coolant in the system but can't see that'll make a huge amount of difference.
For those that are interested the fan is now fixed and car much happier as it was running very cold (unusual for a Bristol apparently). This was not straightforward and involved re doing much wiring. It will now carry on for a minute or two to cool things down when car parked up - a function that had been disabled previously.
Went with electronic distributor and treated her to new coil, leads and plugs as well and she's much crisper.
Other things on the list are doing something about the seats which appear to have been raised with a block of wood between the floor and the runners, neatly covered in leather. I note from the picture of Stovo's car, the runners attach directly to the floor so will revert to that which will give me a bit more headroom. In the medium term will change the tyres as she currently rolls on a selection of SUV/Motorhome Tyres. Cinturato's or Vredensteins seem to be suitable - have previous experience of the latter which I found to be excellent all round, but will keep an eye out for price drops/offers as it's a worthwhile and important unpgrade but not inexpensive.
Thanks again for all the pointers and suggestions.
Andrew
which are
Reply With Quote
  #29 (permalink)  
Old 07-08-20, 11:01 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 94
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewA View Post
Otherwise as you say I'll have to try and make one good one out of my original one and the new one - it doesn't look easy and is probably beyond me.
My recollection is that the wheel, shaft and splines are in one piece, fitting into a threaded tube which has one half of the clamping piece attached. The wheel and shaft are held in place by nothing more than the other half of the clamping piece. I suspect it might all go together quite easily if the diameter and length of the shaft is identical, but you wonít stand a chance if it isnít

Re the heater box, itís worth getting it out if only to renew the seals between it and the scuttle. If you intend to drive it without the box youíll need to blank off the holes that take air to the screen and feet, or suffer a lot of heat and smells. When I took mine out I found the ducts to the screen vents very perished and in need of replacement.

Re the bits of wood beneath the seat runners, this was how Bristols tailored the seat height for the first lucky owner - if he/she was shorter they were thicker, if taller they were thinner, simple and effective. It would be interesting to know if there were any lady first owners - Tony Crook once told me that he sold quite a number of cars (built to order) to people who had a more than adequate number of £ notes in a single roll in their back pocket. Not an image that either club would wish to associate with today perhaps.

Re tyres, my 410 runs on 411 wheels which carry modern fully rated SUV tyres. I find these a considerable advance on even the best contemporary tyres in terms of grip, wear and, in particular, noise.
Reply With Quote
  #30 (permalink)  
Old 08-08-20, 04:49 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 77
Default

Certainly on the four (!) I've got in front of me it's a machined/pressed fit...on the one that's the worst, it's proving impossible to separate the front plate and the wheel and spindle from each other. The SLJ second hand ones look great so will pop the best one on and see if it does the trick.
Noted re blanking off and as you say am convinced a refurb/ seal renew is a very worthwhile mini project - notwithstanding the leak.
Thank you for explaining the wood - much appreciated!
First owner was an Italian Count apparently - current height suits my wife 5ft 3" perfectly - I'm 5ft 10" and top of bonce is about an inch from headlining. On plus side I certainly have a commanding view of the road from my lofty perch.
Appreciate wisdom re tyres - will do nothing I think until current ones getting tired (!).
Andrew
Reply With Quote
  #31 (permalink)  
Old 22-08-20, 10:51 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 77
Default

Wipers fixed - second hand wiper box from SLJ did the trick. Also treated her to some new wiper arms - which are not too bad and some stainless wiper baldes (it had black ones on it) which look the part but are pretty rubbish when it comes to clearing water away! Now onto the heater box which has been removed. Didn't bother with blanking off in the end and not much difference in smells - so am expecting great things once back in and there is an effective seal between engine and occupants!
All seals completely shot and most long gone which is no surprise and much hammerite used over the years so box is going back to bare metal - all of which is intact thank goodness.
Also tried some alternative motors/fans but none better than what's already in there. Will tidy up bulkhead a bit whilst heater out - actually nothing grim - just a good clean really. Matrix off to Aaron rads - thanks for that Giles.
Reply With Quote
  #32 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-20, 05:32 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 77
Default

Night time driving has shown up a few shortcomings in the wiring/lighting dept so will be renewing connections this week. Also dashboard lights need some attention - they're about half a candle power if you're lucky. Have had LED's in other cars but they can look like Blackpool illuminations if not careful and I don't want to start adding dimmers and so on. Has anyone come across a good halfway house?
Thanks
Andrew
Reply With Quote
  #33 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-20, 09:54 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 94
Default

I used white LEDs from https://www.bettercarlighting.co.uk in the binnacle, for both instrument lighting and the warning lights, and am happy with the result, although I slightly wonder whether coloured LEDs might not have been better for instrument lighting as they are very sharp white. I think from memory that green or red are available. I left the existing feeble incandescent bulbs in the lighting over the switches and heating knobs and was pleased to discover that they provide enough current drain to enable the existing dimmer rheostat to dim them and the instrument lighting - if you follow the same course thereís no need to change the existing dimmer, presuming it still works.

One does wonder about the original purpose of the dimmer rheostat- how many degrees of invisibility did anybody need in the 1960ís?

I also put an LED in the interior light - a vast improvement altogether

Quite a number of owners donít know that there should also be a neat little bulb in a rather well hidden mounting above and to the right of the ignition switch to illuminate the same. Very useful in the dark. This should come on when the drivers door is open, but magically doesnít when the passengers door is open or the interior light is operated by the switch on the dashboard. Itís a tiny bulb but quite bright enough and I left it as an incandescent

Where did you get to with petrol in the boot?
Reply With Quote
  #34 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-20, 10:36 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 77
Default

Great article about your tour in the Bulletin recently - particularly enjoyed the wine episode - looking fwd to Part 2.
Petrol in the boot was the round cork gasket in the fuel pump which must have dried out whilst car in storage.
Thanks for the link to the lighting chap - will venture out and have a look for "secret" bulb!
Andrew
Reply With Quote
  #35 (permalink)  
Old 21-09-20, 08:05 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 77
Default

Secret bulb found and working!
Went out on car rally/charity run yesterday - hot day - car ran great, but fair bit of what I'd call heat soak in the footwells. I guess not particularly surprising as there's a big engine and gearbox down there, but is there a cure - or is there a hidden foot vent I haven't discovered yet?
Thanks
Andrew
Reply With Quote
  #36 (permalink)  
Old 21-09-20, 09:28 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 94
Default

Hidden foot vent - not that well hidden one hopes. There should be a lever underneath the centre of the dashboard that operates a vent to the footwell from the cold air input to the heater.A little digging might be required.

Youíll get plenty of heat from the engine bay if your heater is still out and you havenít blocked off the various feeds from it.

Excessive footwell heat is not normal.
Reply With Quote
  #37 (permalink)  
Old 21-09-20, 10:01 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 77
Default

Excellent - thanks for that - yes I know the control!
But thanks to you I now know what I've not done as it were. Refurb'd heater box now back in car but as doing it single handed, took a guess at how much etc flaps were opening when tightening up cables.
As most driving since then done on cool evenings, have not really noticed heat until yesterday and assumed I'd got it spot on first time!
I'd forgotten I was going back to adjust cables at a later date when another pair of hands were available.
Made classic mistake of ascribing it to a "new" issue - instead of unfinished job.
Doh - as Homer would say
Schoolboy-ish error that should be a simple fix.. with another pair of hands.
Thanks for the idea/nudge in the right direction.
There was a Britannia on the car run as well and had a long chat with a gent who had owned a variety of Bristol cars over the years but had finally settled on a Bentley Turbo R as his run around classic. He was definitely missing his Bristolling days.
Andrew

Last edited by AndrewA; 21-09-20 at 11:52 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #38 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-20, 10:49 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 77
Default

Haven't sorted the heater box yet, but had her on rolling road yesterday mainly because I wanted to get carb and timing set up spot on.
These guys plumbed in a lambda sensor rather than just the pipe up the exhaust and identified and fixed a number of issues - leak from gasket where carb meets inlet manifold - replaced with insulator gasket- slightly bunged up vacuum hose (replaced) - followed by much twiddling of distributor, different metering rods and so on until we reached as good as it was going to get.
Car is now running much sweeter/smoother and has more get up and go and appears to be more economical.
For those that are interested in the numbers, she made 165 bhp at 4,300 revs at 94 mph and 255 ft lbs of torque at 2000 rpm all at the wheels.
Next weeks jobs are to get the heater/ventilation adjustment sorted, lower the seat a touch and change the gearbox oil and filter. I can't see any record of it being done and it's something that often gets overlooked on cars of all ages IMHO.
Am eating up my 5000 miles a year allowance on the insurance quite rapidly - approaching 2,500 miles already so will have to give that some thought before too long...
Reply With Quote
  #39 (permalink)  
Old 12-12-20, 03:33 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 77
Default

For those that are interested, thought I'd post a brief update. Heater box now properly in and working as it should. No more heat soak btw! Spent some time tracking down water ingress in torrential rain - main culprit was seals where wipers go through scuttle. Now have new but suitably subdued radio/cd in dash and new speakers in the old places - overhead and one on the parcel shelf. It works well enough and I didn't want to start cutting door cards.
Seat now at a height that suits and I got the paintwork detailed - it came up well for a car that was last painted 20 odd years ago.
I'm now on something of a mission to get the handling as good as possible and I admit it is getting a bit obsessive. Re bushing the front end will happen early next year, and I'll replace the shocks at the same time. The power steering box has a small leak and a bit of play so will attend to that and refurbish or replace the pump and hoses at the same time. The axle has a whine only I can hear - might just be bearings but will get that looked at and do the rear shocks and any bushings that need attending to when the axles out. Nearly forgot, car is back on original size tyres which fill up the arches nicely, lighten the steering and give a bit more feel.
Thanks to those on here for all the useful advice so far.
Andrew
Reply With Quote
  #40 (permalink)  
Old 09-03-21, 07:19 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 77
Default

Well things haven't gone precisely to plan! After the last post I started poking around at the cills - last done 20 years ago. Once uncovered properly they definitely needed attention - not horrendous but in another year or two they would have been. Also took the opportunity to clean up the underside and catch a few other minor issues that would have become problems with time. The leak from the power steering box has turned into a flood so that's now top of the list.
I intend to send the pump and steering box off and get them refurb'd and new lines made up.
The challenge at the mo is removing the steering box which is reluctant to come out.
Having spoken to most power steering specialists, I'm going to go with Kiley Clinton who knew immediately what I was talking about and are normally able to turn things round quickly.
We shall see!
Reply With Quote
Reply

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 07:09 PM.


This is the live site

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2