Churchill Hydrolastic pump
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Author:  Peter Laidler [ Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Churchill Hydrolastic pump

I bet, somewhere on this forum is a bloke who has become a maestro at using, working on and mending these pumps. I wonder why he isn't offering his services to travel round and fix these wayward hydro pumps. There could be a good profit in it. Just like the bloke you phone up and comes along to fix your old power washer on-site (mines an old Warwick pump). Like IK said, most of the worn bits are the seals and gaskets etc etc and will be readily available from the specialist suppliers in imperial or the dreaded metric

Author:  mk1 [ Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Churchill Hydrolastic pump

Like IK said, most of the worn bits are the seals and gaskets etc etc and will be readily available from the specialist suppliers in imperial or the dreaded metric.

That's what I thought, but I came totally unstuck on the double seal on the pressure pump.

That's what ground me to a halt.

Author:  111Robin [ Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Churchill Hydrolastic pump

There was a NOS service kit on eBay a while back but it went for daft money so I stopped bidding. Pressure side on mine works but the gauge is bypassed. Vacuum side hasn't worked for years. Wouldn't mind getting it fully operational again.

Author:  Peter Laidler [ Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Churchill Hydrolastic pump

There will be a simple way around these hydro pump problems, there always is. It just needs a bit of in-depth problem solving. It's a shame Rob lives up in deepest Jockland and Mk1 lives up north somewhere, Daz lives somewhere else, so does Iain '67S. We all ought to convene somewhere. I'm sure that the illusive missing parts could be concocted using something else.......... You know the sort of thing where a not available imperial threaded part can be used by using an oversize metric threaded part can be used if you machine this and thread that and block up the secondary output thinggy..... You get my drift. I missed the perfect opportunity with my friends '.....I'm going to fix it one day' project pump that eventually went to the tip! Tosser!

Author:  iain1967s [ Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Churchill Hydrolastic pump

After a quick inspection, the Churchill pump I recently disassembled seems at least to be complete except for the instructions plate which is missing from the top face.

Inside, apart from all the spider webs (a good sign that it's been dry stored) there is a little surface corrosion on the alloy/pot-metal parts, some furring/electrolytic corrosion at the copper to steel joints, an inch long crack in the plastic reservoir, and all of the rubber parts are all hardened of course due to many years of neglect.

I think I can fix all that... WD40 and a brass wire brush should sort out most of the corrosion issues. Not sure about what plastic the tank is made of yet - an epoxy such as Araldite/JB-Weld might work.

For the custom seals on the pump pistons that are NLA, the originals will need to be reused. Classic motorcycle restorers rejuvenate rubber parts by a week's soaking in rubbing alcohol + wintergreen oil mix (3:1 ratio). I've never tried that but it's worth a shot.

Anyway, it gives me something to tinker with in the basement during the long winter months :)

ps. I am in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA (expat from Cambridge, UK)

Author:  trevorhp [ Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Churchill Hydrolastic pump

Surely this cannot be a coincidence?

Any meeting up of the Hydro Pump Union should be in Cambridge MA but only in the summer :lol: :lol: :lol:

Author:  Peter Laidler [ Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Churchill Hydrolastic pump

Unless you want pin-point authenticity the plastic tank should be simple fix unless it's a high pressure tank but I doubt it. There will be a local hydraulic pump that could be used as a replacement I'm sure I learned with my EPCO hydraulic jack that the fancy seals could easily be replicated by machining nylon bar and 'O' rings. As I said, the Imperial threaded bits....... Anyway, it's still working. Naturally I let wifey get under the car first of course. We've got a Cambridge here that was probably named after your Cambridge Mass. Iain.

To be honest I don't think Churchill went out of their way to complicate matters and would have used what was available off the shelf first. Just my view. Maybe we could have this Hydro Pump convention at your place............

Author:  'S'-type [ Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Churchill Hydrolastic pump

Before I realised there were so many old abandoned Churchills out there (joke), I cobbled this together for about £50. Idea nicked from the MG forum.

The joint between the flexi pipe and low loss valve is home made. I asked at Pirtek if they could make me a joint but they either couldn't or wouldn't. So it doesn't look very neat.

As you'd expect it can't evacuate the hydrolastic system but it works a treat when filling.

In reference to the use of master cylinders, I remember taking a hydro car for a pump-up at a local Mini 'experts' back in the 80s. I noticed they just used a kind of home made contraption of a mastercylinder on a base with a lever mechanism. They charged about £30. So armed with this knowledge next time I needed a re-fill I plumbed in a pipe from the master cylinder still in situ on a (scrap) Mini to the Schrader valve on another car and pumped it up that way. After that success I was planning on building my own portable set-up but never did until I discovered the version below on the MG forums.

I'm sure a Churchill is better but there's not a lot to go wrong with this simple 'fix'.

Author:  mab01uk [ Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Churchill Hydrolastic pump

Another DIY pump solution is detailed in the link below on the Austin America website:-
Building your own hydrolastic suspension pump & service tools:
(scroll down)

Author:  Peter Laidler [ Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Churchill Hydrolastic pump

S-type, you could have saved yourself a whole lot of money, time and effort by just buying a simple hydrolastic hand pump from Ebay. The maker has also incorporated a simple modification that I suggested to make use/life a bit easier. But really, it's not pumping fluid under pressure IN that is a problem of any sort, especially given the little pump I mentioned. It's getting the air in the system OUT or evacuating it. After all, you can compress any air remaining within the hydrolastic system and that's the last thing that you need!!!!!

You can sort-of evacuate the system by adapting a powerful vacuum cleaner (it\s a vacuum don't forget...) to it, via a catch tank (for the remaining fluid) and........... anyway....., it works. Alas, I'm banned from using our Mr Henry vacuum cleaner after setting fire to the last one! But that's another sad story. What we're about is fixing the old Churchill cabinets.

I firmly believe that a major cause of problems now is the fact that the cabinets and cabinet users still in use just recycle old fluid time and time again until it needs topping up and then - again and again and so on. I am minded to suggest that each drain down, evacuation the tank should be emptied somehow, discarded, tank sloshed out clean and refilled with new fluid THEN the system refilled. More time consuming, yes. More expensive, yes. Better in practice, yes. Just my view and readily accept being told I'm talking crap and to get a life

Incidentally, that little lo-loss valve that you're using isn't necessary. If you use a standard screw-on schrader threaded end connector, just screw it onto the hydrolastic schrader valve loosely. Pump the handle to clear the air out of the line and as soon as you see the green fluid oozing out of the schrader valve connector at the valve, tighten the connector up finger tight. This shows that the fluid feed line if free of air and you can pump away until your hearts content and the car is at the right height

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