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

Advice on a Brigand

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Old 01-05-20, 10:39 PM
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Default Advice on a Brigand

I note with great interest, as a potential purchaser, the sale of a Brigand with Day Autos in Brentwood (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/133349165...m=133349165771).

As this would be my first Bristol, I would be keen to hear the views of members on this car (in general) and if possible, this car specifically. I used to be a member some years ago, but let things lapse and therefore am somewhat out of the loop so would be grateful for views on the following questions along with any other information that you might be able to offer.

Firstly, I understand that Bristol recommend the removal of the turbo on the Brigand for enhanced reliability. What specifically are they getting at? How unreliable is the car likely to be?

Secondly, what impact would the removal of the car have on the power of the engine? I understand that the engine is rated at 260 bhp (please correct me if I am wrong) with a turbo; so what would the power be without?

Thirdly, despite the age, I would very much be interested in using the car on an everyday basis, knowing from experience that not using is worse than using. I see no reason why this shouldn't be perfectly feasible, but would welcome any views on this.

Fourthly, this car appears to be very well priced (as are most later cars). Is there a reason for this? Is it that they just arent that fashionable (yet)?
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Old 02-05-20, 07:31 AM
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In my view (as a Brigand owner) a Brigand without the turbo isn't a Brigand any more (it is a Britannia). The main issue with the turbo is that it doesn't like being unused for long periods - it needs occasional use and movement. Heat is also an issue with these engines, and the turbo doesn't exactly help...

The price does seem somewhat low.
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Old 02-05-20, 07:48 AM
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Normanshirlaw@hotmail.com really recommend you checking out his lovely Britannia. FSH with Bristol Cars and SLJ. Unbelievable value at £22,000.00.
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Old 02-05-20, 01:00 PM
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Been tempted by that car myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WOLCZR View Post
Secondly, what impact would the removal of the car have on the power of the engine? I understand that the engine is rated at 260 bhp (please correct me if I am wrong) with a turbo; so what would the power be without?
Although the turbo installation is pretty basic, why get rid? Iíd be tempted to look at updating - see if it can be rebuilt with a modern cartridge, ditch the bypass and use modern boost control etc. Canít see why with proper heat management and so on it canít still work effectively, even if you stick with a carb.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WOLCZR View Post
this car appears to be very well priced (as are most later cars). Is there a reason for this? Is it that they just arent that fashionable (yet)?
From experience, the 603 series cars are a difficult sell, even for a Bristol - the looks of a 411 are certainly less unpopular.
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Old 02-05-20, 03:39 PM
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I am one of the people that actually like the look of the 603's, Brigand and Britannia though accept that after that they are very much an acquired tast though lovely cars to drive, I would be tempted by either of those cars, especially as I have just sold a 403 and 411 but as I have a 603E with a later style rear end and unique boot lid treatment a bit of investment in upgrading that car makes a lot more sense.
In reality the 603 was probably the most significant of the V8's as it was the foundation of everything that followed with the exception of the Fighter.
The 411's are very elegant and sought after especially the later cars but well over twice the price so on a value for money basis these cars win hands down.
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Old 02-05-20, 03:58 PM
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Default Brigand

The Rotomaster turbo was a strange thing. See p268 in the Brooklands Bristol book.I have never driven one but as a V8 owner (412) I have heard stories. Ona hot day the undebonnet heat means it wonít restart for a time. Thirst is dreadful.
I like plenty of performance and went down the tuning route. And then a 4 speed box to make the 90+ experience much less frenetic.
Otherwise, it does look cheap but a bit tired. Iíd want a major inspection by SL-J or similar.
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Old 02-05-20, 09:56 PM
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where does this underbonnet heat come from? Is it more excessive than the non turbo engines? Was the engine the 400? this was basically an overbored 383 with a reduced compression ratio of i believe 8.2. Not exactly a hot engine. Easy to see why they went the
turbo route to get more hp.
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Old 03-05-20, 05:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul robert View Post
Was the engine the 400?

No, it's a 360.
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Old 03-05-20, 07:29 AM
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The really clever, but very unusual thing about the Brigand engine is the priority valve under the carburettor. I am not aware of the use of a priority valve in any other 'production' car, and this is probably because of maintenance difficulties. If the valve movement becomes sticky, then either the turbo can't pressurise the manifold, so no boosting occurs, or the low-load performance is ruined if the mixture is always forced to go via the turbo. Carburettors and things like priority valves are marvelous, elegant, mechanical solutions to the problem of mixture induction, but they wear and get dirty.

The modern solution, using fuel injection and variable vane turbos (probably 2 on a V8 rather than 1, possibly sequentially) would be much more reliable, but it is not cheap to build a custom made system like that.
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Old 03-05-20, 04:46 PM
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Default Britannia vs Brigand

In case it might help, happy to share some perspective. My first Bristol was a Britannia from Bristol Cars in the late 90s and I drove it for a bit less than a year before asking the factory to upgrade it to Brigand spec to get a bit more urge. The conversion was pricey but worth it when it worked. (new bonnet, different engine mounts, exhaust, etc). Unfortunately I didn't have the opportunity to use the car regularly, and it would go out of tune - probably for the reasons that Thor elegantly describes with the priority valve. (If only I had known at the time..) It was a wonderful car when Eddie at the factory had breathed on it, but the logistics around keeping it in good fettle while living in a different country and only using it occasionally led to it's sale. With the benefit of perfect hindsight I should have put in the injected 360 and 4-speed instead of going the turbo route. I drove a Blenheim during a factory visit and felt the performance to be equivalent (and a bit more linear) and would recommend looking at them too.

Never loved the non-matching modern turbo boost gauge and iirc swapped the location with the voltmeter so it wasn't glaringly in the middle of the instrument nacelle.

That drainpipe exhaust made a lovely burble though, and who could resist the bonnet bulge and quad headlamps.. Liked that car a lot (as does OPEC). Happy it went to a good home.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/107289...57637155693923
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Old 06-05-20, 08:42 AM
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Default Brigand impressions

I drove a Brigand in 1995, along with a number of other Bristols, before electing to buy the 411 that I still own. I really enjoyed the car and it was a close decision to choose a 411 instead. I ultimately preferred the appearance of the 411, although I think the Brigand is the best looking Bristol from the 603 onwards. In addition, while the Brigand performance was impressive, typically for a turbo car (and I have owned a few), the power was not very linear. The car gather speed in a subtle and surprising way. My preference was for the more direct and linear power of a 411. That and the appearance tipped the balance. I'm glad I chose to buy a 411 and later to go down the path of subtle performance modifications but the Brigand remains as a strong and delightful memory.

I wouldn't regard a Brigand without a turbo as a proper Brigand and, if I bought one, I'd keep it and do what was necessary to keep it running reliably.

Bristols like regular use and, if you were using it as a daily driver, some of the issues reported may not be an issue. The fuel bills will be heroic but that's been my experience of the 411 as well.
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Old 04-06-20, 11:35 AM
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On the note of Brigands, I guess I have to prepare for the day my Brig gets issues with the turbo. Are the rotomasters available? What is needed to bypass the turbo if needed?
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Old 04-06-20, 02:14 PM
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Can almost certainly be rebuilt - good opportunity to put a modern cartridge in it.
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Old 04-06-20, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip View Post
Can almost certainly be rebuilt - good opportunity to put a modern cartridge in it.
Great! Reassuring to hear! Many thanks!
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Old 18-06-20, 03:51 PM
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Just realized it is a Garrett, not a rotomaster.
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Old 20-06-20, 06:05 PM
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Default Chrysler 360

According to Chrysler, they made several versions of each engine. One or more versions were put into police cars (usually a normal spec and a tuned version). The tuned 360 that they provided produced 220bhp and 280 lb/ft of torque (this is the twin exhaust four choke set up similar to that used in the 603/Britannia). The 410 and 603 had similar performance, whereas the Beaufighter/Brigand had performance on a par with the series 1 411. If I had to guess at a power out put, I would suggest around 280 for the 411/Brigand. The later series 411 and series 1 412 had lost a little due to emissions (even with the bigger 400 engine) and were down to about 250-260bhp. By the late 70's the 400 and 440 had been strangled further and barely produced more than the tuned 360, but with much poorer fuel economy.

https://www.allpar.com/squads/engines.html
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