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VR Maintenance List and Suppliers

Last updated : October 23rd 2023 (further links added)

List of Items and Suppliers for Bristol VR

Many Bristol parts are available through our sister website at BCV Spares or email
 Gearbox/Transmission Oil - Multitrans BC Multifunction Transmission Fluid - Click here for supplier
Engine Oil - Millers Maxifleet 11 15w40 - Click here for suppliers
Rear Axle Oil - EP90 (GL4, not GL5 as this is for modern vehicles) - Click here for suppliers
Coolant - Regular blue antifreeze (don't use the pink stuff!). VRT/SL3/501 chassis takes 66.3 litres

Leyland 501 engine oil filter - click here
Leyland 501 fuel filter - click here

Gardner 6LXB engine drive belt for VR (1841mm, 6 rib) - click here
Gardner 6LXB fan drive belt for VR (1168mm, 6 rib)
Gardner engine spare parts - click here

Gardner Filters - click here for full details
Gardner fuel filter for VR (GFF2A/2)
Air filter - part number AF418
Gearbox oil filter - part number LF3352

Exhaust System Part Numbers
Dinex still manufactured VR exhaust parts until recently. Sadly they have now ceased but stock may still be available at some suppliers. Part numbers and diagrams for LH, RE and VR models are all listed here.

Brake Slack Adjusters
The VR has three types of slack adjuster fitted. Both fronts are identical and are Haldex 70510 (Leyland 10907244, MEI 4W2650) while the rears are handed with the left (vehicle nearside) being Haldex 70511 (Leyland 10907245, MEI 4W2655) and the right (vehicle offside) 70512 (Leyland 10907246, MEI 4W2365).

Brake Drums
Front and rear brake drums can be manufactured by Winnard. The only catch is that their minimum order is 20 units. The front drum is code BR1002 and the rear drum is BR1004 listed here.

Brake Linings

Front and rear brake linings can still be purchased off the shelf. The front lining is code BR31/1 and the rear is BR32/1/2 using L12 brake rivets. Plenty of companies will reline your brake shoes for you. Be sure to remove the old linings yourself - many contain asbestos and will cost 60+ for disposal. We have received recommendations for Allspares (Bristol), Picksons, Industrial Brakes (Wolverhampton), Nutexa Friction (Wirral).

Door Parts
Transport Door Solutions are worth a call for anything to do with your vehicle's doors. Their website can be found here

Speedy Cables are recommended for all specialist cables, including speedos and also gauges

Wiper Parts
Transervex still advertise complete VR wiper systems on their website here

Leaf Spring
Highly recommended for everything to do with the leaf springs on your vehicle are Owen Springs

NBC Transfers and Lettering
Tearne & Sons of Birmingham can produce all NBC transfers and legal lettering to the original pattern, including both styles of double-N symbol (the original all-white version and the later red-over-blue-on-a-white-background style). They can be contacted on 0121 359 1717.

Number Blinds
Stu Boxall is able to produce NBC-pattern number rolls for destination boxes printed on tyvek like most of the originals were. A very welcome addition to the services available to the VR preservationist. Stu can be contacted at

Fibreglass Parts
Jadecraft Ltd. of Braintree retain the moulds for several of the fibreglass panels which can be made to order. Click on the images below to enlarge them and see the various parts, although VRT11, VRT12, VRT13 and VRT16 are no longer made. They can be contacted on 01376 346040. Sadly Jadecraft have recently closed and no longer manufacture these parts. If anyone knows what happened to the moulds I would be very keen to hear.
Fibreglass panels - front Fibreglass panels - rear


All glazing for the Eastern Coach Works VR body is still available from PSV Glass - click on the thumbnail below for the part numbers to quote when contacting them at
VR glazing

Aluminium Body Parts
Service Metals Ltd. can fabricate the aluminium body panels and also the beading strips that are screwed on to keep the panels in place. Quote part number DR1 (double radius) for the beading strips - they come in roughly 16ft lengths. Quote MM62 for the U-shaped wheel arch strips. Service Metals have depots around the country and their website is here.

Window Rubbers
Advanced Materials Ltd. of Littlehampton have supplied rubber extrusions for several restorations recently and the results look really excellent, especially their cream rubber. They can be contacted at or on 01903 713566. Their specification list can be viewed here. Some years ago the much-missed BCV Register published a cross-reference list for each of the gasket cross-sections which can be viewed here (ignore the VERY out-of-date prices!!). It is also worth contacting Mark Terrill to see what he has available off the shelf as he may be able to supply smaller quantities. Mark can be found on Facebook Messenger or call 07770 666159.

Alliance Electronics will refurbish many electrical items to a high standard. They can be contacted here. The OEM part number for a CAV starter motor for a Gardner-engined VR is 1382033, EV-24V.

Wheel Rims
Standard VR wheels are 7.5'' x 22.5'' with 10 conical-style wheel bolt holes. These were used on many but types in the 1970s and 1980s and can be made on demand (drop me a line at

Tyre Pressure
Nigel Harris kindly provided this chart of tyre pressures/wheelnut torque settings as issued by Southern Vectis in the days when these models ran in service (click to enlarge)
Tyre Pressure and Wheelnut Torque settings chart

Air System
The following is a very useful diagram showing the air circuits on a VR:
VR air circuit diagram

Fleetnumber Plates
Fleetnumber plate
This is an example of the aluminium pressed fleetnumber plates that can be made up for around 30 per pair by Dawn Branigan. She can be contacted at to discuss your exact requirements.

Bristol Omnibus-pattern fleetnumber plates can be acquired by ordering the black pressed motorcycle plates highlighted below (click on the image):
BOC fleetnumber plates

TD Tyres are highly recommended for sourcing tyres.

General Parts
If you are unable to find the parts you need I can recommend Partsmaster of Rochester who supply a wide range of parts for PSVs including Bristol models. They stock chassis, steering, brake, exhaust, bearing and suspension parts but John Radley is always worth a call on 01634 296970 to see what he can do for you. Another source of general parts is Carl Ireland of Hull who has a huge stock of parts for heritage PSVs and who will help you whenever he can. Carl can be contacted through Finally Past Parts of Bury St Edmunds are worth a try - they supply many parts for all types of heritage vehicles and will also recommend alternatives if the part you need is out of production and will even refurbish or remanufacture your old part. They can be contacted on 01284 750729, via their website at or you can find them on Facebook.

Another good source of brand new general vehicle parts is Stedall Vehicle Fittings. They stock many of those hard-to-find items especially relating to bodywork.

Helpful Information for Bristol VRs

Paint Codes
Tilling interior - seat frames - the finish is described as "stove enamelled". Brunswick green seat frames are BS6-074 while red frames are BS1-025. Pale yellow interior paintwork is "buttermilk" BS 4800 ref 10/C/31
NBC red - BS 4800 ref 04/E/53
NBC green - BS Series 38/1C ref 218
NBC white - BS 00E55
NBC grey wheels - BS 4800 ref 10/A/07
NBC interior (post-1975) - olive low level panels and seat frames are BS 2660 ref 4-050 while grey higher areas and doors etc are in "Eddystone" BS 2660 ref 4-049

Rear Axle/Differential Variants
The top speed of a VR depends on the combination of planet gears within the gearbox and rear axle differential type. In general the three diffentials give the following top speeds:
Slow diff - 38mph (61kph)
Medium diff - 50mph (80kph)
High diff - 62mph (100kph)

SCG Semi-Automatic Gearbox Advice

Eastern Counties issued the following instructions for safe and reliable use of the SCG semi-automatic gearbox as fitted to many REs (click to expand)
Semi auto gearbox instructions for use

Click here for instructions relating to the Gardner lift pump

Click here for full VRT3 Service Manual

Click here for full Leyland 501 Engine Parts Manual

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