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Author Topic: 1954 Bristol Lodekka found ....help/advice needed  (Read 1832 times)
michael pannell
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« on: February 17, 2013, 08:37:34 PM »

Hi there
 My name is Mike Pannell and i am new to this forum. I have lived in the US for 7 years and restore railroad cars (currently own 2 of them a 1887 Pullman car and a 1913 caboose) I now have the opportunity to get into bus restoration again having found a abandoned Bristol Lodekka.  She has no mechanicals except for a front and rear axles and rather than go down the slow and difficult Gardner engine and transmission route I would like to install a Diesel of some sort with auto but will require all the mechanics from somewhere else and a reverser box as the UK engines turned the opposite way. Is anyone out there doing a reverse conversion i.e removing a American setup and installing the correct British engine etc. Perhaps we could strike a deal that would benefit both parties.
Any help or advice would be great.

Thanks
Mike Pannell   
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TomC
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2013, 09:51:18 PM »

Allison made a reverser gear for the V730. This facilitated the Detroit series 50, Cummins ISC, ISL, or ISM. Even if you could adapt the reverser gear to a normal transmission, the V730 uses a wet flywheel housing, hence the reverser gears got plenty of natural lubrication.
The other solution would be to use a 6-71 Detroit (about the size of the Gardner 6), or even a Detroit 4-71 since the 2 stroke Detroits can be run either direction. The other problem is finding a transmission that will work with a left hand engine. A manual may not be too much problem, but finding an automatic that works left handed-I don't think exists. Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
Iceni John
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2013, 10:38:00 PM »

No, please!!

Putting a Screaming Jimmie in a Bristol is like asking the Queen to wear coyboy boots, chaps and a Stetson.   It just isn't right.   (And by queen, I don't mean Elton John, even though he's probably worn crazier things than that, and maybe with nothing else . . .)   It's like putting a Chevy V8 into a Jag.   A staid and sensible Bristol Lodekka is the Miss Marples of the bus world, not a Dame Edna.   At the very least, if you're tempted to transplant some new-fangled engine into it, let it be a four-stroke  -  even a 6BT Cummins would have more power than the original Gardner or Bristol.   Still, the direction of rotation is a problem, unless driving a double-decker backwards at 50 MPH is your thing.   You can't even flip the rear axle over, because it's a funky dropped-center portal-ish design unique to Bristols.

There's someone on the Skoolie forum who has a Bristol Fluff with the original Bristol engine that he's almost managed to make run.   I think he decided it was easier (less impossible?) than putting a Gardner in.   However, a grunty old 5-cylinder 5LW is the natural partner for a bus like this.   I rode many a mile in Eastern Counties' MWs and Lodekkas with 5LWs, hence my affection for them.

Good luck, John   
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« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2013, 04:22:01 AM »

Maybe find a drive train in England from a junk one?? I've seen one of them running around at Penn State University a few years ago. Might give PSU vehicle maintenance services a call.
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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2013, 04:06:33 PM »

Cool bus!  Cool
How tall is it?
What does it weigh? 

BTW, for most people starting a bus project, they aren't stepping down in vehicle size.  Wink

I'd suggest exploring truck salvage yards to see what is available. Measure the rear axle under the bus so you will be able to tell if something exists that will bolt in.
I'm sure the right machine shop can modify the rear axle so that a standard US engine will work.

Replacement original engine from across the pond will likely be the least expen$ive option - unless you have access to machinist & fabricating skills. . . .

Good luck with this new project.
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2013, 04:58:35 PM »

John-I guess you don't remember the British made Foden trucks with their FD6 2 stroke 6 cylinder that was an almost exact copy of the Detroit 6-71 (actually a 6-71 2 valve)? This engine was used both in trucks and buses. So having a 6-71 in a double deck bus would be appropriate. Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2013, 05:49:03 PM »

IMO a 2 stroke detroit would be the best thing about it.... But that's just me. Smiley



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Mark & Char
1976 P8M4905a 8v71 v730
British Columbia Canada
michael pannell
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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2013, 08:22:19 PM »

Getting a powerplant from the UK would be hugely expensive, and would land me with the unenviable task of constantly trying to find spares. We want to go the modern diesel route with a 4 speed auto. We have an offset driveshaft however and offset diff rear axle to match with a modern powerplant. Its been done with a reverser box (dont know who does that but someone out their builds them). I want to end up with a bus that looks great, and has a more pleasant driving experience than a crash gearbox, no power steering and a 30mph top speed. I didnt grow up listening to these, rode on this one when i was 4 and 5 and dont have any recollection of how it sounded so that really isnt an issue.
Thanks for all the replies its been interesting so far.......
By the way its 13'6 high and weighs about 7.5 tons without powerplant.
Mike Pannell
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TomC
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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2013, 10:33:52 PM »

Cummins ISB 6.7 liter at 300hp and 660lb/ft torque would do nicely. You could also look for a Dodge pickup with that setup-although Dodge uses their own transmission (rumors it is an Aisan transmission). It's too bad an offset diff rear axle couldn't be made for the right hand rotation-that would solve everything.  With the weight of the bus, you could use a GM 8.1 liter V-8 gasoline engine also using the Allison 1000 series transmission (good to 19,500gvw) The 2000 Allison is good to 33,000gvw. Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2013, 02:19:45 AM »

I can't offer any practical advice other than to say that there is a very active enthusiast scene in the UK dedicated to restoring and running buses like this - perhaps not with direct experience with retro-fitting American engines to old Bristols, but nontheless I'm sure there are people out there who could help.

I've just done a very quick search and came across several Bristol-dedicated websites. For instance this one (http://classicbristolbuses.thornet.co.uk/) mentions Lodekkas being fitted with Leyland engines, which might be a useful lead for you:

"From the mid-1930s on Bristol buses have been powered by diesel engines, either the ubiquitous 4, 5 or 6-cylinder light-weight Gardner or a 6-cylinder power plant of Bristol's own manufacture...............The VR, Lodekka and RE were all offered with Leyland diesel engines later in their production life."


Jeremy
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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2013, 12:21:04 PM »

  (snip) . Its been done with a reverser box (dont know who does that but someone out their builds them).

     Yeah, but (in my experience) not very well.  I'm away for a week or so but I can get you info on a specific reverser box if you give me a few days.

BH,  NC  USA
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
6-cyl, 4-stroke, Leyland O-680 engine

(New Email -- brucebearnc@ (theGoogle gmail place) .com)
michael pannell
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« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2013, 05:28:06 PM »

Thanks Bruce and everyone.
I restored several Bristol RE's with 600's and 680's in them. They do sound great. Would be interested to hear about the reverser box manufacturer and experiences.


Mike Pannell
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Oonrahnjay
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« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2013, 10:04:12 AM »

   Thanks Bruce and everyone.
I restored several Bristol RE's with 600's and 680's in them. They do sound great. Would be interested to hear about the reverser box manufacturer and experiences.     Mike Pannell 

      I think I can get you info next Monday (or a day or two afterwards).    BH
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
6-cyl, 4-stroke, Leyland O-680 engine

(New Email -- brucebearnc@ (theGoogle gmail place) .com)
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