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Christian Brustlein
Yet to post message
Username: christian

Post Number: 1
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Wednesday, 24 February, 2010 - 08:46 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

My 1953 Silver Dawn (LSLE49) has the back too low, I wish to have the car back to a horizontal position. What kind of mechanical work should I perform?
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 929
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Wednesday, 24 February, 2010 - 09:35 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Christian, Welcome to our Forum.

You need to have your car inspected by a suspension specialist to determine the reasons why the car is not level.

The problem may be due to component failure or a simple sagging of the springs over time. It is a relatively simple procedure to reset the springs to restore the original ride height and a suspension specialist will have access to the right facility to do this work.

I hope RT might be able to point you in the right direction having lived in Switzerland until recently.
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Richard Treacy
Grand Master
Username: richard_treacy

Post Number: 2065
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Wednesday, 24 February, 2010 - 10:47 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hallo there again Christian. All will see that you are in Vaud CH, so my Australian favourites cannot help. I have never had reason to see to leaf springs in Switzerland, but Jonas may know of an outfit not too far away. Also, you may recall that Gerard had his rear springs done in Vaud on his long-boot Silver Dawn similar to yours.

You donít want a suspension shop, rather a light truck spring shop.

The MkVI/R/SD cars are rather prone to having broken leaves concealed inside those leather gaiters. I have had a number over the years on my R-Type, and in fact have most often seen these cars with a broken leaf or two. Mine has the stiffer Australian export springs, but they are all prone to break over time. There is an excellent company, Lovells Springs in Sydney which fixes all that, and there must be one or two in Lausanne and in Bern too.

Regardless, there are several companies around that specialise in leaf springs. The best starting point is to find a company nearby which fits bodies to light truck chassis, namely delivery vans, refrigerated compartments, special trades vehicles, mobile homes. Routinely, they have a partner firm that makes up leaf spring sets or has existing ones re-set. It is not a big job, although removing the leaf spring assemblies takes a couple of hours. Fortunately, the spring assemblies come away without removing the axle or brakes from the chassis.

The first step is to undo the gaiters. Once assessed, new or resetting may be determined and the springs removed from the car.

I hope this helps.

RT.
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Christian Brustlein
New User
Username: christian

Post Number: 2
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Friday, 26 February, 2010 - 06:14 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thank you very much David and Richard for your rapid reaction and recommendation. This Forum is really great, so many good advices. I guess the australian climate creates quality participants who love to share experience. Well done and Thank You again, Christian Brustlein
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 931
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Friday, 26 February, 2010 - 03:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

"I guess the australian climate creates quality participants who love to share experience. Well done and Thank You again, Christian Brustlein"

We just call it mateship - we look after our mates [friends] when they need help .
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NORMAN GEESON
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 81.98.90.39
Posted on Friday, 05 March, 2010 - 12:55 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Christian

"We just call it mateship - we look after our mates [friends] when they need help"

Having just returned a few days ago from Australia, working on a Silver Dawn, I can attest to a few things. The "mate" bit involves you doing the work and the "help" bit means they supply the beer.<smile>

A more serious note. Spring makers in general are becoming exceedingly rare, at least in Europe, because heavy truck springs on which they used to rely are now very reliable.

Only in the last 6 months have I discussed not only making rear springs, but the original forged 'U' bolts with one well known spring maker. All to no avail. Currently there are about two spring makers in England who are capable or will attempt to make R-R type rear springs to the drawings and the cost is almost prohibitive.

I do not know if you will have more success in Europe. Five years ago you may have been successful, but the situation is changing very fast as spring makers retire.

Prior to enquiring about the rear springs / U bolts I collected drawings of every known rear spring fitted to Bentley MkVI/ R type and R-R Silver Dawn/ Wraith. The object was, and still is, to prepare an article on the rear spring specifications on all these cars for the web site www.kda 132.com. The spring data is not so well known, and the spring part numbers shown in the manuals long ago disappeared to be superseded by new numbers that are also not known to enthusiasts.

Like everything else in life the more information you have the more you learn from it, and the better equipped you should be.

So drawings are useful. For example you have a long boot Silver Dawn, which will usually have 6 leaf wide type 2.250 inch springs as fitted to the R type. However the top end spring poundage range overlaps with the lower end of the Silver Wraith. For instance a 1280 lb through 1380 lb rear spring will fit all three chassis, except you need to use the longer Bentley MkVI 'U'bolts as these are 7 leaf units. The only difference in the Silver Wraith layout is the lubrication of the rear shackle, in the Dawn/ R type the lube pipe connects direct to the spring main leaf. To fit Silver Wraith springs therefore involves drilling and tapping the main leaf at the rear end. There is a very slight variation in the camber, but camber tolerance is wide and not detected on the car.

I mention these facts in case you, or others, need to use alternative rear springs. Once I knew the alternative part numbers I went looking for some new springs after drawing blank looks from spring makers. I wanted to uprate my rear spring poundages and stiffen the roll on corners, and prevent a nose up attitude when loaded. I have now experienced 3 Bentley R types fitted with new 1345 lb rear springs, because I found 4 car sets of spring at Crewe. The springs came complete with gaitors (stitching rotted) and new shackle bushes fitted ready to go.If you cannot get out of trouble in Europe using a spring maker I still have one set of new springs left.

One further tip, for some reason both MkVI (narrow) and R type (wide) shackle pins have been hard to source this last year. Make sure you have new pins available prior to stripping.

(Message approved by david_gore)
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 932
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Friday, 05 March, 2010 - 09:01 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Having just returned a few days ago from Australia, working on a Silver Dawn, I can attest to a few things. The "mate" bit involves you doing the work and the "help" bit means they supply the beer.<smile>

Norman - you learn fast, the secret to determining your level of friendship is the type and brand of beer offered

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