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Technical Questions

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As part of our philosophy, we want to help you maintain your uncommon British vehicle not only for you to enjoy but also future generations. Here a few of the most common questions our technical team is asked.

Brake System:

Identifying Vehicles:

Installing Window Glass:

Brake System

Girling Systems - Adjust the front shoes in completely (drums turn freely). Adjust the rear shoes out completely (drums locked, won't turn). Brakes must be bled in the following order; right rear, left rear, right front, left front. Bleed system by opening bleed screw at wheel cylinder, depress & hold brake pedal, close bleed screw, release brake pedal. Repeat process until clear fluid obtained before moving on to next wheel. DO NOT PUMP BRAKE PEDAL! After all the air is purged, adjust brake shoes at each wheel for light/moderate drag. Depress brake pedal once and wait several seconds. Depress the pedal again & there should be a good, solid feel. If there is not a solid pedal, there is still air in the system (repeat the complete process). If the brakes do not release, the master cylinder piston is not returning fully to the rest position and the linkage needs to be shortened.

Lockheed Systems - Follow the same process as Girling systems, except; adjust front and rear shoes out completely (drums locked, won't turn) before bleeding.

Generic Brake Fluid:
British brake & clutch systems use natural rubber components which are only compatible with vegetable based brake fluid.  American brake & clutch systems use synthetic rubber components which are only compatible with mineral based brake fluid. The only vegetable based brake fluid commonly available in the US is CASTROL GT LMA. Use of improper fluids or mixing of fluids can lead to complete failure of brake and clutch hydraulics. Use of any fluid other than CASTROL GT LMA violates all warranty on brake/hydraulic parts.

Brake Failure after Storage:
Brake/clutch fluid is 'hydroscopic' (absorbs moisture). In little used vehicles, moisture (water) settles at low points in the system and causes corrosion, thereby causing cylinder seals to fail, and rusts steel brake lines from the inside out. For vehicles that are not used on a regular basis, it is a good idea to operate the brake & clutch pedals several times every week or so, causing the moisture to stay in suspension (rather than settle to the low points). In any vehicle, it's a good idea to change your brake fluid on an annual basis.

Identifying Vehicles

Where can I find the engine or chassis number?

Engine numbers are stamped directly onto the engine, or sometimes onto a plate attached to the engine.  Numbers cast into the block do not indicate the engine number.

Chassis numbers are generally found stamped on a data plate attached to the firewall or door post. This number helps identify the Series along with other features your car has/does not have.

Identifying Metropolitans: We've put together this handy chart, Guideline to Identifying Metropolitans, to help you identify your Met. Keep in mind that over time, your car Met have been modified with non-original parts making identification, ah, challenging. Look at the chart, check out your Chassis number and then go to our Production by Month chart.

Installing Window Glass

One Piece Rear Window: Download printable PDF

The one piece rear window is the most challenging of all the glass to install. This operation requires a minimum of three people to install properly. Please read through instructions before you begin.

Required Items: 

  • Original glass and stainless trim (these are hard to acquire so make sure you keep them)

  • New rear window seal part number ALH 2451

  • New belt moulding retainer clips ALH 1592 (14) and ALH 1593

  • 10-24 nuts (we prefer Keps nuts)

  • Urethane sealant (optional, part number 121-8810)

  • Liquid Dish Soap

  • Masking Tape

Tools Needed:

  • Phillips head screwdriver

  • Glass hooks

  • 3/8 wrench

  • Cut-off wheels or saw

  • Drill with a 3/16” drill bit

Before you begin, make sure the wheelhouse trim (panels) are removed. Clean the pinchwelds where the glass seal rests against the body. If you are replacing the headliner, now is the time to do so.


  1. Insert the upper stainless trim into the upper rubber seal (the one with the smaller profile.). You may need to spread open the trim a little to get it to fit properly.

  2. Fit upper rubber/trim to upper window opening and hold in place with strip of masking tape every 4-5”.

  3. Place the lower rubber seal in place. 

  4. Lubricate upper and lower glass grooves in rubber seal and newly drilled holes with liquid dish soap (do not use silicone).

  5. Install glass: Start by fitting the upper edge first, then working a little back & forth. After getting the glass started in the upper rubber, start working the lower rubber using glass hooks. Hold steady pressure along the bottom of the glass and work alternately between the lower and upper rubber. After a little work, the glass will be in place, but the lower part will not be completely pulled into place. The glass will not sit properly until the lower belt moulding is installed.

  6. From inside the car, drill through the seal using the existing holes as a guide.  Make sure you aim low enough and do not drill into the area the glass sits.

  7. Install the new retaining clips into the lower belt mouldings. The long one is for the center and will be attached to both pieces. Offer the mouldings up to the lower rubber, lining up the new clips to your newly drilled and soaped holes.

  8. Push the clip studs through the seal (the holes you drilled) and install nuts on the retaining clips. Begin tightening the nuts, slowly and evenly, starting with the center and working your way outward (this takes some time and effort). As you tighten the nuts, the lower glass and belt moulding will gradually pull into place. Again, take your time until the glass is set properly.

  9. After the glass is fully seated, cut off the retaining clips excess length.

  10. Use the urethane sealant to seal any gaps where the two rubber seal pieces meet. 

  11. Install finishing clips and “Y” trim pieces at the corners of the glass and reinstall interior trim. Use mineral spirits to clean up any excess urethane.

As you can see from this sequence, the glass is not fully pulled into place until the belt moulding is installed. Experienced workers can perform this process in approximately three hours. If they haven't done this before, it will probably take most of the day. Don't serve beer until you're finished.


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