I had a fun weekend literally wrenching on the Bentley. With an actual chain wrench.
In the drive way, of my apartment complex, because that's what I wanted to do.
When I bought a Bentley, part of what I wanted to do was to learn about the mechanics of it and to become more practical.
Yes, I have no problem writing 2000+ posts about Bentley and Rolls-Royce cars, but to fix them? Not much experience at all.
But really, there is good information out there, so you can do it yourself, and have a go.
Don't be scared. Get your finger nails dirty.
So I emailed Richard Tracey from SpurParts Pty Ltd
and said that a couple of weeks ago I had three girls in the back seat, and they were bouncing around quite a bit.
It wasn't that smooth for them, and as I was not causing the back seat to bounce, I probably needed something fixed.
SpurParts Pty Ltd
is based in Sydney, and has partnered with Introcar in the UK, as a supplier of Rolls-Royce and Bentley parts.
It's great to now have a parts supplier in Australia with no hefty delivery charges.
And what else was cool? Well Richard was heading down to Canberra and would drop the parts off and show me how to install them.
I also don't mind checking out the SpurParts Pty Ltd
delivery vehicle, a Bentley Continental R.
So it was to the driveway for another Canberra style backyard service, like previously done here
Don't shake you head about Rolls-Royce and Bentley DIY. I've said this before, there are no Rolls-Royce Motors or Bentley Service Centres here. There are no Crewe Genuine Parts shops. There's not even a dealership.
There are simply men in sheds very willing to share information and help other Rolls-Royce and Bentley owners and enthusiasts out.
So I read up on what was causing the bounce in the back seat. The rear gas springs or spheres must have been shot.
Now to research and information sharing on how to DIY the replacement.
I read about it on Bill Coburn's Tee-One Topics
of course. His great 'how to' document is below.
I also checked out the Victorian RROC branches' Self Help Group newsletter called 'Crewe'd Jottings
' which also has done the procedure, and I also found a 'laymen's guide' document that interestingly enough thanked Bill Coburn and Richard Tracey. Very convenient.
So here is the part, a gas spring or rear sphere. The sphere has a diaphragm inside where the hydraulic fluid pushes up against nitrogen to create that Rolls-Royce smooth ride.
And to replace them? Well they are attached to the top of the rear dampers and are accessible from the boot.
But the first step? Disconnect the battery, as you will be moving the battery master switch and you don't want to get any shocks.
The battery is in the rear under neath the carpet and underlay.
There is a trap door panel, and voilà the battery.
People may not know, but Rolls-Royce very conviently supplied tools with the car. They are on the rear shelf.
Quite a nice little packet.
I know the perception is that it is very wrong to use these.
People might think that the car broke down and they had to be used! Rolls-Royces don't break down. Or heavens, a non-qualified non-Rolls-Royce person touched the car! What, the owner did not have people to do that for him? Shocking I say.
Here is a very rare photo of a genuine Rolls-Royce supplied tool in use. This is much rarer than the tool itself!
Next step is to exhaust the hydraulic system by pumping on the brake pedal 100's of times.
Following de-pressuring the system, you need to bleed the dampers of their hydraulic fluid. The bleed nipples are mounted on the inside of the body beneath the rear doors. I didn't quite get a picture, but check the reference guides below.
Now to the boot.
Lower the rear carpeted boot panel. There were 4 screws that held it in place along with the battery switch surround.
So here is how it looks. See the gas spring in the corner behind the boot hinge?
There it is. It does look tight. Described in the guide as 'tighter than a Scotsman's wallet'. You can see why.
Now to the left side.
This has much easier access to the sphere, thanks to not having the battery switch in front of it.
My old spheres had the date written on them - 21/05/04 - so 10 years of making a smooth ride. Nice.
They usually last 5-8 years or so, so I got good use of of mine.
Then it was to wrenching.
First up was a strap wrench. It did not quite budge them loose.
Straight to the heavy metal. Yep, a chain wrench.
The chain wrench did the trick quick smart on the left hand side one.
It came out quite easily. Much easily than it seems from the how to docs.
A little fluid does come out when you remove them.
Then it was a matter of screwing in the new one.
The right hand one was so much harder to take out!
The battery switch was un-screwed and pushed to the side to gain better access.
And finally after a lot of goes we eventually got it loosened.
Then it was in with the new.
There is actually a o-ring between the sphere and the mount - best to put a little oil on it before you screw it in, just like an oil filter.
And before you screw it in all the way - make sure the o-ring is set properly.
The old went down the drain.
It is fun working on Bentleys.
Especially when this is the spares truck.
Finally start the engine and fluid will flow from the bleed nipples that were left open from before. Once there are no bubbles in it, close the nipples.
Then grab some more fluid.
And fill'r up.
Then it was a matter of packing everything back in the boot.
And going for a blast - now with a smooth ride for the back seat!
It was satisfying doing it.
Yes, I could have driven for three and a half hours to Bentley Sydney, drop it off for probably a day, then have to drive home. And pay top dollar.
But doing it in your drive way yourself is that much cooler. And much much more satisfying.
Thanks again to Richard Tracey from SpurParts Pty Ltd
for showing how to install the parts. Talk about Service.
Here are the Reference Documents - please follow these: