Mulsanne rear suspension - Rolls-Royce and Bentley Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 04:55 AM Thread Starter
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Mulsanne rear suspension

I have noticed that the driver's side rear damper on my 1981 Benley Mulsanne appears to be leaking. Does anyone know if these can be repaired? If not, is changing the damper a job that can be tackled by a reasonable competent amateur?
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 03:57 PM
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The dampers cannot be repaired.

This is a job that can be tackled by an amateur but it really helps to have a lift at your disposal to do it. It can sometimes be quite a challenge to separate the height control rams from the car to remove the dampers as well.

I would not replace one side, but both, simply because then both dampers will be matched. The currently recommended replacement dampers for all SY and the pre-active-ride SZ series cars are Front: Bilstein B46-1429, Rear: Bilstein B46-1430.

You should look at the instructions in the Workshop Manual for your car. The full workshop manual for your car is available in scanned and word-searchable PDF format at the RROC-Australia Post-War Technical Library in the SZ cars section.

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 05:13 AM Thread Starter
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Many thanks. I do have the downloaded manuals, and a couple of articles from Tee-one topics, which are very useful.

I don't have a lift unfortunately so will either have to rely on jacks and axle stands or get my local garage to do it. I am not sure though if they have the technical knowledge.

Do you know if there is an exchange service for the dampers? I note from the RROCA pages that there is one in Melbourne but I wonder if there is anyone in the UK or Europe.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 12:15 PM
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Given your location you might really want to consider joining the RREC in the UK. The folks in that club are the most likely to know virtually every resource available within the EU, and probably many beyond as well.

I am not familiar with any of the exchange services for active ride dampers. Please do post information on these as you find it, as it would be quite helpful to many.

I doubt that there are any exchange services for pre-active-ride dampers. These are pretty much "dirt common" shock absorbers made to the specs necessary for the weight of RR/Bentley motorcars. While they're a bit more expensive than the most common shocks, they're not that much more that they are not considered disposable consumable items.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-29-2011, 04:52 AM Thread Starter
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Hi

I am a member of the RREC but they don't have much info about Spanish resources. I usually buy my supplies from tyhe UK but of course have to pay considerable shipping charges on top of everything else.

I read on the RROCA website that a company in Melbourne called R A Chapman provide an exchange service for dampers - their website is at http://www.rachapmanautomotive.com.au/index.html

The dampers for my model, which is pre-active ride, are £573 plus shipping, per side. I don't call that exactly cheap! The Mutley site - http://mutley.hypermart.net/RollsSubstituteParts.html - says there is an alternative which is the Boge L4000-57570 but I have been unable to find these on the web.

There is also the Bilstein B46-1430 which I found on Amazon in the States for $161. I have not yet investigated whether they will ship them to Spain yet. It is probably worth flying over and picking up a set!

What do you think about second hand ones?

Bob
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-29-2011, 05:05 PM
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If you look at the Chapman site they mention nothing about dampers being a part of their service exchange program.

If you are being quoted £573 plus shipping, per side, then someone's either quoting for the active-ride suspension parts, gouging, or both. The Bilstein shocks I mentioned are available through outlets worldwide and should not be at all hard to source. The Boge shocks are the actual OEM part, are very hard to source these days, and cost astronomically more than the Bilsteins do. A Google search for U.S. Sources shows the prices at a bit over $160 for the monotube type that we're talking about here (you saw the $161 based on your post). That's not too much different than what I paid in 2007 or 2008 when I bought a set for my Silver Shadow II. I cannot imagine that these would not be easily available from multiple sources in the EU for comparable prices. Check with your local auto parts person and ask them if they can find these and for what price; it can't hurt.

There is no reason whatsoever to consider second-hand shock absorbers unless you happen to know of a wrecked car somewhere that died a very early death with almost no time on the shocks at all. Even then, I'd still be highly disinclined to go that route.

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 05:54 AM Thread Starter
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If you look at the RROCA web site, Tee One Topics, edition 84 page 1143, you will see that it says - "I found that R A Chapman of Melbourne actually have an exchange service for the units at about a quarter of the price." I suggest you contact Chapmans direct ot the authors of the article if you disagree.

If you go to the Flying Spares web site, 1980 - 1988 Cars, then Suspension, then Rear suspension, Rear Dampers, Standard Rear Dampers (before 1990) - you will then see Rear Damper, (before VIN 13680) (GMF 1263) at £573.35 including VAT. I think these are the ones I need.

Can you give me the URLs you found on Google for dampers at about $160? I contacted the one I found but they said it would cost $150 to post them to Spain - this would be $311 or 232Ä. The cheapest I have been able to find them quoted in Europe is 288Ä on the Bilstein.de website but their listed supplier in Spain does not appear to have them at all. I have asked my local suplier but all he does - all he ever does it seems, when I mention Bentley or Rolls Royce - is shake his head, shrug his shoulders, suck on his teeth and say - "No. Possible Malaga."

I have not yet managed to find them on any UK web sites. Do you know any UK stockists?
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livermoreb
If you look at the RROCA web site, Tee One Topics, edition 84 page 1143, you will see that it says - "I found that R A Chapman of Melbourne actually have an exchange service for the units at about a quarter of the price." I suggest you contact Chapmans direct ot the authors of the article if you disagree.
I am getting more an more confused as this thread progresses. You say you have a 1981 Mulsanne, which I believe is not equipped with active ride nor gas springs in the rear. Perhaps I am mistaken.

The struts in the article you refer to are clearly those that work along with the gas springs and that are actively fed hydraulic mineral oil. I can believe that an exchange exists for that strut type, but is that what is in your car? Do you have gas spheres in the boot?

At this point it would really help to have your VIN Number or the SZ Series Shorthand Chassis Derivation (which is just much easier to deal with).

Quote:
If you go to the Flying Spares web site, 1980 - 1988 Cars, then Suspension, then Rear suspension, Rear Dampers, Standard Rear Dampers (before 1990) - you will then see Rear Damper, (before VIN 13680) (GMF 1263) at £573.35 including VAT. I think these are the ones I need.
They may be quoting for Boge, which I believe were still the OEM dampers at that time and which are astronomically expensive. Or I could be completely wrong about when the switch-over to the gas-spring struts in the back occurred. If this is the case, and that's what's in your car, then any of the information regarding Bilstein shock absorbers/dampers is completely not applicable here.

Let me know if we're talking gas springs rather than conventional dampers.

Addendum if we're talking about struts and the leak is where the return hose fits to the strut:
If the leak is between the metal union and the strut where the nylon return hose fits to the strut, then the repair is simple and permanent. Pull the union from the strut, apply a smear of Loctite 638 and push it back in. The Loctite will cure in an hour or so, and overnight will reach full strength and will never bother you again.

If you replace only the rubber concertina boot at the lower end of the strut, the thread of the union adaptor often strips in the alloy strut housing as the union adaptor fits to the strut through a hole in the boot. Loctite 638 is the cheapest and best fix possible. Retapping the strut and fitting an oversized union adaptor thread is far less satisfactory.

Brian
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-02-2011, 05:24 AM Thread Starter
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OK, yes it is confusing. My car is a 1981 Mulsanne. The VIN is SCBZS0001BCH02711

My rear suspension does have the spherical springs but not active ride.

The leak is not from the return hose but running down from inside the strut itself.

Does this mean the Bilstein dampers are not the right ones for me? If so look like I am stuck with the Boge - the cheapest of which I can see are $338 in the States.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-02-2011, 12:51 PM
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Your shorthand chassis number is SBB-02711.

For some reason I didn't think that gas springs and their struts were introduced until the 20K series.

As far as I know these struts are available only as used units or new via Crewe Original Parts through an authorized Bentley Dealer.

Neither Boge nor Bilstein conventional dampers/shock absorbers are correct for your car if you have gas springs.

If you are a member of the RREC you would be very well advised to start asking questions about sources for new struts or breaker yard sources for used ones within the EU on their forums. You can find sources in the U.S. but I highly doubt that they'd end up being any less expensive for you, particularly with shipping. If you want a list of potential U.S. sources for used units then download the Rolls-Royce & Bentley Parts, Repair, Restoration & Other Resources Compilation and look for the Used/Vintage parts sources section.

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