1962 Bentley S2
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Part VI - Fine Tuning


March 4, 2012

As spring is only about three weeks away, it's time to attend to a number of minor issues that presented themselves over the previous driving season. You may recall that I removed the lower flap servo from the defrosting system. The new reconditioned motor arrived in due course from Introcar.

I also ordered a number of items to overhaul the rear shocks, steering box and a few odds and ends including a new brake pedal rubber. Some of this also came from Replacement Parts Inc.

Heating an unloved 1/2-in. chisel to about 300 degrees is the best way I found to remove the old pedal rubber.

After sanding the surface of the brake pedal and back of the new rubber with 80 grit sandpaper, apply 3M 08008 Super Weatherstrip and Gasket Adhesive in a thin coat to both surfaces using a putty knife. Allow the adhesive to dry until it becomes tacky.

Then clamp it up and wait 24 hrs. for it to fully cure.
The Bentley pings somewhat at both part and full throttle under certain operating conditions. I retarded the timing 2 degrees using the vernier adjustment on the side of the distributor and that did the trick.
I also managed to find replacements for the missing items in my tool kit. I got the screwdriver from Albers, the sump plug adapter on eBay and the pliers, combination wrench and tire pressure gauge from Competition Motors.
The left rear shock has been leaking with great abandon. Not wanting to tie up the lift at the shop, I put the rear axle on jack stands in order to remove the wheels and access the shocks.
After a first pass at cleaning the exterior of the unit, the dismantling begins.
Once this pinch bolt is removed, the operating lever can be removed...
Here's the side of the shock opposite the operating lever with the bearing housing removed.
This is the operating lever bearing housing with the sealing gland removed. This gland is the largest source of leaks.
This bushing on the end of the operating lever that attaches to the axle is tough to remove. After trying everything I had in my arsenal including heat and a 20 ton press it was time to fabricate a special tool. Off to Dr. Margenau's garage in Grass Lake.
I handed Roy a sketch and in a few hours he had machined up the pieces for a prototype bushing extractor tool.
This is first piece which is designed to nestle in a length of steel tubing.
The tubing is precisely sized to press evenly on the lever without restricting the movement of the bushing.
The first two pieces are assembled as shown with a four inch 7/16-20 bolt as shown in the pipe. The third piece is a puck slightly smaller than the o.d. of the bushing to be removed. It has a countersink designed to accomodate the rubber and inner metal tube that protudes from the end of the bushing.
With all of these elements assembled together the bolt can be tightened so that the puck draws the bushing (from right to left) into the tubing.

With the old bushing completely drawn into the tubing the tool can be removed.

I forgot my deep well sockets at the shop so used a series of nuts instead.

You can use the same three pieces in a different combination to press the new bushing in. For both extraction and insertion nothing more than a few wrenches and a 1/2-in. drive socket wrench are needed. Extraordinaty strength is not required.

This tool will come in particularly handy when the time comes to replace the second bushing that is hard mounted to the axle.

Update: There is now a production version of this item for sale on this site. Click here.

May 6, 2012

All the elements are clean and ready for reassembly with new gaskets and seals, except...

...the main sealing surface on the control arm is pitted. This appears to be bad enough to cause I leak or at least cause the new sealing gland to fail prematurely. I will have to send the control arm out to the machine shop or replace it.

Next step is to remove the other shock because it is likely to be in similar condition.

April 6, 2012

After pursuing multiple avenues, I decided to box up the shock absorber and send it to Apple Hydraulics on Long Island. They will turn down the surface and install a modern lip seal. Turnaround time is supposed to be five business days.

Meanwhile, Bruce made up a copy of the leather hold down strap for the jack...

He reused the aluminum hardware and went with a new snap.

This is a service we're talking about offereing through Sherbourne Mews, i.e. send us your old strap and we will make you a new one with the old hardware. All stitched together with the proper 9 stitches per inch.

Any interest?

April 15, 2012

The rebuilt shock absorber arrived on Friday the 13th. In an effort to get the car back on the road for this weekend's festivities, I neglected to document reinstallation with photographs.

I promise to do a better job documenting the rebuild and replacement of the other shock.

Here's the old girl with friends new and old at Dairy Dan's in Lansing.


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