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

403 rear quarterlight water drains

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Old 05-09-17, 07:58 PM
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Aberdeenshire Scotland UK
Posts: 94
Default 403 rear quarterlight water drains

Just finished the offside inner rear wheelarch welding. Now to tackle the superleggera frame immediately under the offside quarterlight, which has clearly been leaking for years (hence the rotten inner wheelarch!). The frame has rotted underneath where the blocks of wood go. The rearmost of the two blocks of wood has a hole through it, in which is installed a metal tube, which originally had a rubber tube pushed onto it, which threaded down through a hole in the inner wheelarch. This looks like a poor design, particularly since the metal tube was simply pushed up against the underside of the hole in the aluminium body. In my case, water has leaked round the outside of the metal tube and down through the wood, rotting the wood and eventually the inner wheelarch. My thinking for the rebuild is that with modern sealants available to seal down the rubber quarterlight mouldings, that the best bet would be to seal up the hole in the aluminium body, get rid of the drain altogether, and make a new block of wood without the drain hole. Any water would then just stay outside! Does anyone have any thoughts on this?


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Old 06-09-17, 10:56 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: West Wales.
Posts: 414

I intend to do exactly the same on my 401 for the same reason you have said, I can't understand why Bristol did not take a short metal tube straight out into the wheel arch if they felt this drain was needed. The 403 I ran a few years back had been fitted with new seals but these leaked water into the car under the metal trim, I remember fitting slightly different ones which improved the situation but did not totally cure it, can't remember if the drains had been sealed. When the car was originally built the sort of sealers we take for granted now were not around I intend to fit new seals and bed these and the frame into place using a modern flexible sealer, having of course plugged the drain hole.
Watch the ones at the corner of the front screen as well as the rubber pipe discharges on top of the aluminium closing panel behind the front wheel any water there had to find its way out through a small drainage flap at the back of the panel under the outrigger, if that blocked you can guess the rest, far better to drill a hole in the closing panel and extend the pipe out under the wing. This is what Bentley did with similar drains on their MK 6 and R Types.
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