Over many years Bentley drivers have wanted to improve certain aspects of their cars. Changing motoring conditions such as motorways, ever greater congestion and the addition of more electrical accessories such as wipers, indicators and powerful lighting have led to the following ‘mod cons’ being very popular:-
ALTERNATOR. With the much higher electrical demands of modern motoring conditions the original dynamo output of 8 to 15 amps, is inadequate. For this reason, a modern alternator giving 50 amps is a simple low cost answer. VBE Restorations offer two types of conversion, a pulley driven arrangement off the cardan shaft (as illustrated) or, if appropriate, a geared up engine driven unit mounted on the bulkhead. Both are equally effective, inconspicuous and easily removable without trace.
CLUTCH. A modern clutch conversion makes gear changing easier with lighter pedal loads and smoother clutch engagement. VBE engineers have designed a conversion kit for 3, 4½, 6½ and 8 litre models which uses readily available, durable modern components at low cost that fit inconspicuously without irrevocable changes to the car. These components eliminate the need for frequent adjustment and are very durable.
OVERDRIVE. Motorways are an unavoidable fact of modern driving. To keep pace with traffic and avoid the stress of the slow lane “heavies”, a cruising speed of 65mph is necessary. This equates to high engine speeds giving rise to tiresomely high levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and using more fuel than necessary.
Two answers are available. Either fit a higher axle ratio which may lead to slower acceleration and poor getaway on hills or, fit an overdrive which provides a fifth gear for high speed cruising. Overdrives have had a poor reputation for failure but VBE Restorations have designed a stronger main shaft and fitted a lockout switch that allows engagement only from top gear. These two changes have eliminated failures on our installations over the last twelve years. The mountings are achieved without drilling any original components and are completely reversible