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Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/8/22 10:18 a.m.

This is a car I have wanted for a long time. In the late 80s and early 90s they sold for just under $200,000.00. I knew I would never be able to afford one that wasn't a basket case. It turns out there are advantages to liking unpopular cars. 

As advertized, it was a 1991 Bentley Turbo R. I thought it was black and almost scrolled past it but my son insisted it was green so I took a closer look. The fine print said it was Emerald Green. Runs, drives, and has broken power seats. Hmm, so I shot the guy a message and we arranged a meet. 

Bentley 2.jpg

It was seriously a case of love at first sight. What we have here is a Brewster Green 1991 Bentley Turbo R with a saddle leather tan interior. The paint almost acts like a pearl. It changes color depending on the light. It is an absolutely gorgeous color. 

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The car has been garage kept since it was new. The finish and interior are in practically mint condition. I'd say 9.5 out of 10. 

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That's the good covered, I'll be back for the bad in a few...

 

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/8/22 10:21 a.m.

Oh Turbo R. That was a teenage lust for me also. 

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/8/22 10:29 a.m.

The gentleman I bought the car from was in his late 60s, early 70s. He said he loved the car, but he never drove it because his Accord was easier to drive. It had been out of the garage 4 times this year, mostly so his wife could drive it to church. He hated to sell it but hated for it to sit and rot worse. 

The test drive went fairly well. It drove decent, the engine ran flawlessly, and the transmission felt great. The brakes not so much. They were pretty darty with a tendency to pull to the right initially and then brake straight. I figured they needed to be bled, which would be simple. More on that in a bit. 

The other issue was the power seats and mirrors didn't work. A repair shop had told him that the seat ECU was burned up. He had gotten an estimate to repair them for the cost of $4800.00. I figured worst case I could get the seat where I needed it and it would stay there. Best case, I could fix it cheaper than a shop could. The PO was not a car person. 

That said, I bought the car the next day with a smile on my face. 

 

 

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/8/22 10:35 a.m.

I noticed on the drive home and the trip to my office that the rear suspension felt pretty stiff. Almost like it wasn't moving at all. A little reading and I learned this is a common problem caused by blown "air springs." The air spring is basically a hydraulic accumulator that is precharged to 1000 psi. It gives the hydraulic oil in the shocks and leveling system somewhere to go when the suspension moves. Naturally, there are no parts available in the States but I did find a company in England that had them in stock for $95 each. They will be installed Saturday. 

20220908_094326.jpg

 

dyintorace
dyintorace GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/8/22 10:38 a.m.

So incredibly cool. I'm excited to follow along!

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/8/22 10:42 a.m.

The next thing to tackle was the driver's seat. A little disassembly and I had the seat ECU out. Sure enough, the Lucas Smoke had leaked out. This is also a common problem. There is a 3.6v battery in the ECU that maintains the seat and mirror memory when the battery is disconnected. They are prone to leakage which then shorts an IC which then smokes other components on the board. 

The ECU. The blue case on the left is the battery in question. 

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Where the smoke escaped. 

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The good news is the ECU is still available. The bad news is they are $684 new, $380 used, and $460 rebuilt. My BIL's brother rebuilds ECUs for European cars, I have a call into him to see if he does any Bentley stuff. For now I have jumped out the seat motors to get the seat where I want it. More to come on this. 

 

onemanarmy
onemanarmy Reader
9/8/22 10:44 a.m.

oh yes....will be following!

lnlogauge
lnlogauge HalfDork
9/8/22 10:46 a.m.

Absolutely beautiful car. You might get some repair info with the suspension on Hoovie's Garage on youtube. pretty sure the wizard (his mechanic) forbid him from ever buying a Turbo R ever again with all the problems he had getting it fixed. 

 

 

iansane
iansane GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/8/22 10:49 a.m.

That thing looks immaculate. Are those quad 7" rounds?

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/8/22 10:56 a.m.

Last up is the darty brakes. A little reading shows that this is indeed usually caused by air in the system. Alas, this vehicle has no brake master cylinder. Instead, it has a central hydraulic system that is powered by two cam-driven pumps that bring it up to 2500 psi. This system is used to power the brakes and the suspension system. It has 14 separate bleed locations that have to be opened and shut in a specific order to properly bleed the system. The system also does not use brake fluid, it uses mineral oil. The most common system failure is people adding brake fluid to it and dissolving all the seals.  While it is not currently leaking anywhere that I can see, I'm pretty sure this system is going to make me drink. A lot. 

 

That's where things stand at the moment. This is going to primarily be a maintenance thread instead of a build thread, but with how complicated these cars are, it may still be interesting. You would think they took lessons from the Germans. 

More to come as it happens.

 

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/8/22 11:03 a.m.

In reply to iansane :

They are. I've always had a soft spot for quad headlights. 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/8/22 11:11 a.m.

That seat ECU isn't really that bad. Those big ol' through-hole boards can take a lot of abuse :) Obviously, the battery needs to be replaced but batteries are pretty simple. Otherwise, the only fatality is probably the HR-RC108H chip. It's obsolete but there may be an SMD version of it out there if I'm reading things correctly. I've found a few places that have a little bit of stock and you can request a quote, such as here or here. The latter has a PDF which may include the datasheet you'd need to recreate it with modern components.

 Then it's just soldering.

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/8/22 11:12 a.m.

One other little thing. The PO only had one key for the car. It is one of the most unassuming keys you will ever see. It looks like it belongs to a filing cabinet instead of a big powerful car. Apparently, the OEM keys weren't any better. Europeans just used little keys back then. Big keys are apparently a fairly new fad. 

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Some more digging and I at least found a key that looks like it belongs to a car. While I was at it I also ordered myself an appropriate key chain for it. I will cut these later today.

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Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/8/22 11:42 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Good info, thanks. 

 

Parker with too many Projects
Parker with too many Projects Dork
9/8/22 12:03 p.m.
Toyman! said:

Last up is the darty brakes. A little reading shows that this is indeed usually caused by air in the system. Alas, this vehicle has no brake master cylinder. Instead, it has a central hydraulic system that is powered by two cam-driven pumps that bring it up to 2500 psi. This system is used to power the brakes and the suspension system. It has 14 separate bleed locations that have to be opened and shut in a specific order to properly bleed the system. The system also does not use brake fluid, it uses mineral oil. The most common system failure is people adding brake fluid to it and dissolving all the seals.  While it is not currently leaking anywhere that I can see, I'm pretty sure this system is going to make me drink. A lot. 

 

amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter)
amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
9/8/22 12:05 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

That seat ECU isn't really that bad. Those big ol' through-hole boards can take a lot of abuse :) Obviously, the battery needs to be replaced but batteries are pretty simple. Otherwise, the only fatality is probably the HR-RC108H chip. It's obsolete but there may be an SMD version of it out there if I'm reading things correctly. I've found a few places that have a little bit of stock and you can request a quote, such as here or here. The latter has a PDF which may include the datasheet you'd need to recreate it with modern components.

 Then it's just soldering.

Lol. I can't help but wonder how you know this stuff. It's just such an obscure, low frequency topic...

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/8/22 12:06 p.m.

In reply to Toyman! :

If your family connection can't/won't take on that seat ECU, I have a geeky circle of friends who would love the challenge and it would  only cost you the parts.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/8/22 12:31 p.m.
amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter) said:
Keith Tanner said:

That seat ECU isn't really that bad. Those big ol' through-hole boards can take a lot of abuse :) Obviously, the battery needs to be replaced but batteries are pretty simple. Otherwise, the only fatality is probably the HR-RC108H chip. It's obsolete but there may be an SMD version of it out there if I'm reading things correctly. I've found a few places that have a little bit of stock and you can request a quote, such as here or here. The latter has a PDF which may include the datasheet you'd need to recreate it with modern components.

 Then it's just soldering.

Lol. I can't help but wonder how you know this stuff. It's just such an obscure, low frequency topic...

It's literally written on top of the IC :) Then it's just googletime. Those big coils are pretty hard to hurt.

yupididit
yupididit GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/8/22 1:24 p.m.

I can already tell this thread will be one of my favorites. 

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/8/22 1:31 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

The family connection fell through. He says without either the proper test setup or the car it would be difficult to repair. In studying it closer I'm not sure it's worth the trouble. 

The burned resistors and relay may be the least of the problems. Studying it closely, these areas look pretty bad. Several of the traces appear to be corroded completely through and possibly burned as well. Repairing them would be tedious. If the traces are burned then the ICs they lead to may also be damaged. 

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If someone wants to tinker with it, I'll be glad to ship it to them. 

 

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/8/22 2:00 p.m.

Being able to cut keys in the shop sure is convenient. 

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Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/8/22 2:06 p.m.

A Bentley enters the world of GRM. 

The Queen dies.


Coincidence?

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/8/22 2:11 p.m.

In reply to Woody (Forum Supportum) :

Toyman!: Sneaks off to Marketplace to look for something Russian and American. winklaugh

Scotty Con Queso
Scotty Con Queso SuperDork
9/8/22 2:14 p.m.

Bougie. And I mean that in the best possible way. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
9/8/22 2:22 p.m.

Oh yeah. This is awesome. 

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