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Sport and Classic Car Company

and 

  Billions of Car Parts Company

 

       10525 Airline Drive        Houston, Texas 77037 

      281.448.4739

 

 

Rolls-Royce parts, services, repairs and restoration

                        

Bentley parts, restoration, repairs and services

 

 

One way or the other

we offer little bits

here and         there

of car how to with

conclusions

about this or That 

 profusions

of little bits

about Why

What for and Which

solutions

 for resolving a glitch

with a good fix

since 1976

                     

     a photo of a RR Silver Shadow                                                              

 

Times of operation for the year of 2017 shall be 9:00 am to 5:30 pm Mondays through Fridays using the USA's Central Standard Time Zone.

Our landline telephone number:   281.448.4739 

To send us an e-mail: >>>>Rolls-Royce and Bentley Parts <<<<

 

 We have two extensive chapters about these cars.

Chapter One is where you are now and will take you on an automotive journey with many mechanical topics and stories about Bentley and Roll-Royce cars and the parts and systems that make these cars functional and drive as they were designed to do. Chapter One has many short articles pertaining to specific repairs and servicing experiences with tid bits of knowledge tucked in every nook and cranny and is easy to navigate if you're just a little bit crazy. Just scroll up or down. Yet there are many sideways, by the ways and along the ways.

 

Chapter Two is specifically about the wide range of new and rebuilt Rolls-Royce parts and Bentley parts or assemblies that we offer to keep these cars driving as nicely as an owners wants. Click the blue Chapter Two to go there.

 

To Have and Have Not

 Perhaps you already have a Rolls-Royce and Bentley or have not and yearn to own such a car or are working with and enjoy learning something about these cars and have a need for parts or services? If this is your first or 99th visit to our website, you’re in for a treat as there is a lot of useful information here derived from over 41+ long years of an automotive endeavor that has and is involved with fixing a very wide range of circumstances encountered with Bentley and Rolls-Royce cars.

 Our website has been continually evolving about since the World Wide Web was opened to the public as we jumped aboard the net early on. New photos and material are added there and here as well as here and there seemingly randomly yet not necessarily seamlessly as interesting work moves into and drives out of our workshops or as a notion or 12 volt electric shock inspires our  resident author.

We don’t track anyone nor do we use pop up ads, spy ware, spy stuff, click analyzing or any such thing so enjoy yourself. 

 

 Frozen

   a photo of snow on a Bentley

Where on this planet are we? Firstly we are not where this photo was taken of a frozen Bentley covered with a new winter coat of snow. We are located in accessible and usually warm to very hot Houston, Texas in the same buildings that we have occupied since 1976. This firm has consistently offered Rolls-Royce and Bentley parts, services, repairs and restoration work for cars that were built primarily since 1955. We are a highly focused ( depending on whether or not we are all wearing our spectacles) small perhaps even teeny tiny business that quietly goes about our work of supplying parts and services so that our clients that live all over the planet can repair, maintain and keep driving the cars that they enjoy. This chapter of our website features many photographs and descriptions of Bentley and Rolls-Royce cars as well as parts and systems of the cars with specific photos and commentary about restorative works we are or were engaged in. We explain about some common misconceptions, fables and provide critical information about Rolls-Royce and Bentley parts such as what brake fluids are to used and many other areas of interest to owners or would like to be owners of these fine automobiles. 

Bits and Pieces

While we mostly supply new parts and a multifarious array of services for 1955-2011 Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars, we also offer certain parts and rebuilding services for pre-1955 models. For example we supply new brake master cylinders, wheel cylinders, steering and suspension parts for Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn, Bentley Mark 6 and R-Type. We have rebuilt many fuel pumps for certian pre-war cars and we supply new exhaust manifolds, exhaust systems and exhaust parts for these cars.  In other words, if we can supply parts for pre-55 cars we will as certain parts have a broader spread of applicability than others.

However we mostly deal with parts for:

 Bentley Azure, Bentley Arnage, Bentley Arnage T, Bentley Arnage R,  Bentley Arnage RL, Bentley Arnage Diamond Series, Bentley Arnage Blue Train, Bentley Red Label, Bentley Green Label and bentley Arnage Final Series,  Bentley Brooklands Coupe and Saloon,   Bentley Continental,   Bentley Continental GT,   Bentley Continental Flying Spur,   Bentley Continental Supersports,   Bentley Continental R,   Bentley Continental RT ,   Bentley 8,   Bentley GTC.   Bentley Mulsanne,   Bentley R-Type  and Bentley MK6 ,  Bentley Continental GT Speed,   Bentley S1, S2, S3,   Bentley Turbo R and Bentley T.

 Rolls-Royce Camargue,  Rolls-Royce Corniche drophead and fixed head Coupe,   Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud,   Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn,   Rolls-Royce Phantom,   Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow,   Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph,   Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit,   Rolls-Royce Silver Spur,   Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Rolls-Royce Wraith. Rolls-Royce Ghost and the seldom seen except at dinner time Rolls-Royce Silver Ware.

Some popular assemblies we rebuild to as new a standard as possible are:

 1. Brake pumps for all 1966-1980 cars that use RR363 brake fluid. Our pump rebuilding process includes replacing the parts that actually do the pumping. This may seem academic to replace the parts that get worn out but such is not the way many rebuilders do them because replacing parts with new parts makes for a higher production cost than some firms sell "rebuilt" pumps for.  We have found that most "rebuilt' pumps on the market are basically resealed with a sealing kit and perhaps a little more and thats it.

Brake accumulators for all 1966-1980 cars that use RR363 brake fluid. Our accumulator rebuilding includes many new parts other than just rubber seals. The goal is to make the accumulators and pumps function properly as long as possible and this is how we do them.

Silver Shadow leveling valves and solenoid valves- We replace many parts in these valves so they will last.

Silver Shadow and Spur shifter boxes- We provide parts and refurbishment service

Brake calipers for all models- We provide parts and rebuilding services.

Carburetors for all models- We provide parts and rebuilding services for the carburetors and intake

Water pumps for all models

and many more.

Silver Cloud power steering pumps. We rebuild these pumps quite often.

 

The Deal

We do not employ an on-line "shopping cart" for spare parts sales and our ever changing expanding and contracting inventory is not listed on our website. Why not?  Have you ever thought about how long it would take to list billions of parts with two hands, eight fingers and twelve thumbs?  Call 281.448.4739 or e-mail us with the VIN of your car or cars for parts enquires. We will look up the parts and get back to you with cost and availability.

We are very well accustomed to chatting about parts requirements with owners and shops that are not intimately familiar with the parts or systems that these cars use. We won't laugh unless you tell us something funny. Use our over three and a half decades of experience to get what you need for your car and we will provide a steady hand.

The New Deal

 

a photo of a Rolls Royce ring gear 

The Bentley factory in Crewe, England designates our firm as a N.F.D.  The acronym was a bit interpretable and was explained that we are considered a Non-Franchised Dealer as we sell the 50,000 + new part numbers stocked in Crewe but do not sell new cars.  New original maker parts such as the Silver Spur starter ring gear in the above photo are lovely to work with because they usually fit and have the original build quality. This first chapter about Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars has now been divided into two sections in a slow mitosis. As we supply a great many new parts and special fluids for these cars and the parts information was getting rather voluminous for one chapter, we created a new one that is more focused about parts. Much time passed by while we thought about various possibilities for a unique name for the new chapter. After much deliberation and using various focus groups, computer analysis and old fashioned brainstorming, the bright idea came forth to name it.... Chapter Two.

We will try to keep Chapter Two specifically for parts although we may, probably will and already have wandered off into discussions about how various parts fail and what to look out for. Henceforth all future photos of and listings for parts will be addressed in Part Two.

 Go to Chapter Two  for a look at a few of the specific Rolls-Royce and Bentley parts and materials we offer and please contact us for further information concerning acquiring whatever your desires are for your car. We ship just about anywhere on this particular planet.

 

For Whom the Horn Honks.

It honks for you

There were many different  horns or klaxons used on these cars over the years. There are always two horns on a car, a high note and a low note that together create the tone. Lucas Electric made a series of horns named Windtone. These horns have large openings that amplified the sound. Later horns became much smaller and the tone changed to a higher pitch. Instead of sounding a bit like a fog horn, the newer horns produced a higher and sharper note.  As most early style horns have a large sound opening, depending on how they are mounted, road debris can eventually get into the horn mechanism and make the horn sound like a dying sheep or stop the horn altogether. Sometimes cleaning the horn with WD-40 or air will fix it and sometimes not. Other horn problems are within the mechanism in the steering wheel and issues such as a bad contact or blown fuse or faulty connection is the culprit. When you push a horn button, the button acts as a switch and you are effectively completing a ground connection to the horns usually through a relay that complete the momentary circuit that honks the horn. The horns themselves have constant power. badgrounds are a common issue as cars age especially in humid environments.

 

Fifty Shades of Grape Poupon 

Renovating, rebuilding or repairing a Rolls-Royce or Bentley is a passionately physical affair that depending on the intensity desired can dominate our efforts for periods of time. Our workshop tends to attract jobs that require considerable stamina to perform as the subject is usually complicated yet we are not complaining about the pain. These are big heavy cars with massive mechanical systems that in spite of corrosion, wear and age must submit to our will in order to become again the delightful and beautiful driving machines or parts from the machines that our clientele desire them to be.

 

Leatherique leather care products

We stock and use Leatherique leather products and have for many years.  The leather rejuvenator softens dried leather in cars and helps preserve it and regular use a few times a year will help keep leather that is in in good condition stay that way. This product line is great for Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars and other cars that have leather interiors. We stock the 32 oz bottles.

 

a photo of a Rr special tool    A special tool known as the front spring retainer or compressor for Silver Shadow & Silver Spur & Silver Spirit & Corniche & Bentley T & R & 8 and more.

 Fools for Tools

Mechanics love special tools as they save a lot of time and labor. There are many areas of Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars that require special tools to remove, adjust or refit something properly, quickly or safely. The usage of such tools greatly decreases expensive labor time and saves expensive parts from being damaged by someone beating, chiseling or otherwise improperly removing them. Some special tools allow proper torque to be applied to critical specially shaped fasteners such as upper ball joint lock rings or with jobs like replacing the front shocks on cars built from 1966 to 2002. The front spring compressor tool allows the front springs ( these massive springs hold up a 6000lb car)  to be safely compressed and retained to allow the shocks to be replaced without the possibility of the spring escaping and going through a mechanics head, though a wall or another car. Not a bad thing.

Replacing the upper ball joints on all cars built between 1966-1998 or so requires a special tool to loosen the locking ring ( serrated nut) that secures the ball joint and this tool is also used for applying proper tightening with the use of a torque wrench to the locking ring so the ball joint cannot come loose. Otherwise it's guesswork. We do stock this tool.

All too often we have seen evidence of pipe wrenches, chisels, drifts, hammers and such tools used to undo and tighten these locking rings. Some people just beat them tight with a hammer. This sort of crude action means the locking ring was not tightened to the proper torque specification and a critical and hard working part like a upper ball joint was not safely fitted to a 6000 lb. or 2727 kg car. This is a scary finding and such a thing places great risk on the driver and other cars on the road.

We sell special tools to anyone of good cheer. Some special tools are critical to use, others are not critical but save a lot of expensive labor time. For example the special tool used to remove and refit a brake pump saves removing the intake manifold and many hours of work. Other tools allow dangerous parts like compressed springs to be safely compressed. Some mechanics like to invent and make their own special tools and lots of good tools are made up this way but for those without the time or expertise to make tools, we supply quite a few. All special tools are no longer available so you have to ask.

We also rent certain special tools for removing and refitting brake pumps and upper ball joints and for replacing camshaft lifters on the V12 Seraph engines.

Godzilla

There are cars for sale that are in very poor condition as they have been transformed by circumstances such as neglect, abuse, long term storage and unfortunate events into hungry mechanical monsters ready to devour large portions of a bank account.  Perhaps you are thinking about purchasing a Rolls-Royce or Bentley and don't know much about the cars or how to ascertain condition beyond the immediately visual.  Here are some rudimentary tips by production spans. Firstly are some generic tips that apply to most any car.

1.  Whatever model you like, always buy the best possible car that you can afford.  Have a good mechanic do an intense inspection especially under the car.

2. Be aware that some models have been around a long time and may have had very good caretakers or very bad ones Some cars are lucky and others are not so.

3.  Cars with special bodies were hand built in very limited numbers by various firms for the factory.  All the firms that built them are out of business or no longer deal with vintage models so parts for the bodies are very expensive and are likely extremely difficult or nearly impossible to find. If you are a billionaire then this situation won't be an overwhelming issue.

1955-1964 

As anti corrosion technologies were rudimentary at best.  Perhaps a coat of paint was it. some of these cars suffer from varying degrees of rust damage ranging from superficial surface rust to extensive rust outs.

1965-1980  Presuming that little maintaining has been done in recent history, these cars usually need renovations to the complex hydraulic suspension and brake systems. Rubber parts are usually in poor condition. The rubber brake hoses usually need to be replaced as do all other hoses. The coolant systems usually need new hoses, a radiator service and perhaps a waterpump.

1981-1999. The rear shocks can and do leak. Rubber parts are getting on with age such as bushings, mounts, seals, belts and hoses.

 

1. What oil should I use for the engine?

Regarding all 1950-1965 cars, these engines were designed in the days before multi-grade high detergent oils were supplied and non-detergent oils were the lubricants of the day. Refining was not so precise a process as it is today. Engine manufacturers in those days did not have the advantage of laser measuring and computer guided machining so machine work was done with the assistance of analog micrometers and eyeballs. The highly skilled builders of the day did a fine job with what they had to work with yet tolerances were much greater. As engines naturally age, parts wear and tolerances increase thus low viscosity oils do not work well in vintage motors. Never use synthetic lubricants in vintage engines unless you like lots of oil leaks as natural rubber or leather oil seals do not improve with age and were not all that great to begin with. Synthetic lubricants are wonderful for modern motors though. The engines built by Rolls-Royce and Bentley did not use conventional spring/rubber type front or rear main crankshaft seals until late 1976. Engines built for 1977 models onwards do feature conventional design oil seals. If there are no existing records of what type of engine oil has been used, we use a 20w50 Castrol blend as it's hot in Texas. Cooler climes will use a lower viscosity and there is endless debate on the topic. If the inside of the engine has considerable goo left from non detergent oil, the goo will start to break up from the use of hot detergent oil and get picked up by the oil filter. Many changes of oil filters will be required to clean the oil as it does it's job.  Non detergent oils are still available and the choices of viscosity are very limited but a straight 40 weight works fine.

On later model cars a multi-grade oil will be specified in the owners book. However, the viscosity of engine oil used in hot Texas will be different than the viscosity that would be used around the North Pole.  We stock oil filters for just about all models.

Coke Heads

a photo of RR lifters

The inside of the cam follower or lifter galley in a mid 1970's V8 Rolls-Royce engine. Automobile engines have to continually deal with sludge that is created as a natural byproduct of internal combustion resulting from poor engine tuning and from using different brands of engine oils that utilize different additives that don't mix well. The Silver Shadow in this example arrived with the engine running on five of the eight cylinders. Upon examination we found three cylinders were not firing as the valves on those cylinders were not opening.

 Observe the two visibly bent push rods on the A or right hand cylinder bank. This situation was caused by burned on coke or carbon that hardens and adheres over time to the valve stems causing the valve to seize within the valve guide. The valve guide is essentially a machined part that looks like a small piece of pipe that is pressed into the head and the valve stem section of a valve rides up and down in the guide. Heavy carbon deposits can cause the valves to fail to open and close properly and the increased drag can and does cause the pushrods to bend. Thus "de-coking the valves" is called for. Consider this operation a "intervention".  The cylinder heads have to be removed and the valves and valve seats machined. With some engine designs with overhead camshafts this situation can cause bent valves and catastrophic engine failure. We found several oil supply holes blocked from sludge buildup causing oil starvation to various components and this situation is not uncommon. 

Most 1970's engines that have never been into do need some maintenance in the lifter galley. This area tends to have large build ups of sludge. Some engines can use new lifters and camshafts due to excessive wear.  Many Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars and most specialty cars for that matter are not driven enough. Their engines seldom reach full operating temperature for long periods and such treatment tends to create sludge and coked up valves, seizing of component parts, corrosion and other problems as these machines were built to be driven and not sit around like a Sphinx gazing into the centuries.

 

 Why are parts for Rolls-Royce and Bentley expensive?  Why do parts for low production expensive cars cost more than parts for mass produced cars?

Parts for expensive low production cars such as as Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari, Bristol, Lamborghini and other exclusive marques are made in very small production runs using high quality materials. It is true that manufacturers of very expensive cars can and do charge whatever they want for their cars and parts because they like to make great heaps of money for their investors and these companies seldom offer many critical inexpensive parts for their very expensive models. It's the way of the world.

Car parts manufacturers don't price their products according to the steadily depreciating value of used cars and tend to charge more for parts that they do supply for vintage models as these parts are made in much smaller quantities at a higher cost per unit.  If you bought a car for very little or your uncle or auntie gave you the car, don't expect parts for it to be priced accordingly.

 Seriously, the best understanding of the mysterious subject of car parts pricing is to listen to and ponder Monty Python's movie "The Holy Grail" at least 47 times while reading books such as "The Affluent Society" and "The New Industrial State" by J.K. Galbraith and "The Chamber of Secrets" and "Goblets of Fire" by J.K. Rowling.

 

 We take great liberty with the immortal words of President John F. Kennedy and declare:

"It's not what your Rolls-Royce or Bentley can do for you, it's what can you do for your Rolls-Royce or Bentley!"

 

  What does it mean when the part I want has gone NLS or NLA and is no longer available for my beloved vintage car? 

The much dreaded acronym NLS stands for No Longer Supplied.  NLA means No Longer Available. When a manufacturer does this to a part then it is generally the end of production for this part as far as they are concerned.  NLS does not necessarily mean that all the available stock has been sold and some of these parts may or may not exist in stock.  No car manufacturer can afford to make and store all the parts they ever made forever because forever is such a very long time and many sub contractor companies that originally made the parts may have gone under or don't want to deal with tiny orders.

 Warehousing car parts is expensive, cash flows are always an issue and overhead keeps on keeping on. As well, most car manufacturers really don't care all that much about their vintage models as they are financially invested into producing and selling the models they build now. Rolls-Royce has been building cars for over 100 years and this is just the way it is. However, similar companies with long and distinguished heritage like Bentley, Mercedes Benz, Bristol, Aston Martin and Morgan do a far better job than many others of making critical parts available in very limited quantities for their vintage models and we certainly appreciate it.

 

 Are special fluids required for Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars?

 Indeed there are. Special fluids are used and this subject is expounded upon further on. You may read all about the fabled amber RR363 brake fluid required for pre-1980 cars and the green Castrol Plus fluid specified for many post 1980 cars and RH 5000 steering and suspension fluid for Silver Seraph and other models.

 

 Depends

When humans are young or reach a venerable age or for medical reasons sometimes the human body leaks.  Cars, machinery and many products also leak. Eventually fluids such as oil, power steering fluid , coolants, transmission fluid, brake fluid, suspension fluids , and differential lubricants can and will leak from any system that contains fluid. Seals and gaskets naturally harden with age and will leak. The design and materials used to make seals and gaskets have changed considerably over the years.  As late as the mid-1960’s, Rolls-Royce and Bentley did not use a front or rear engine seal. They did not use wheel seals either. The design and materials used to make seals and gaskets have changed considerably over the years. As time rolled on the chemistry involved with seal making improved and engineers began using conventional rubber like seals to contain fluid. Before rubber compounds, early seals were made of leather or rawhide. Early rubber compound seals were not great. They were terrible actually and did not last long. Seal technology did not make dramatic improvements until the mid-1980s and implementation of improved seals in the manufacture of car parts was slow. Sometimes I ask an owner of a Silver Cloud whether they have checked the fluid in the shock absorbers. I frequently will hear that they see nothing leaking.

If an old seal is not leaking it may well be that no fluid is left in the assembly to leak! 

 

 

The correct V8 spark plug firing order for orderly firing should not to be used for firing disorderly orderlies but may be used for reorganizing disorderly engines ignition cables.

 

The sparking plug firing order for V8 engines with the A bank located on the right is:

 A1, B1, A4 ,B4, B2 ,A3 ,B3, A2

 

The right or left side of any car is always determined by sitting in the car and looking forward. Blink your right eye and squeeze your right hand several times and unless your brain is wired backwards you'll always be right.

 

The six cylinder Rolls-Royce and Bentley engine from 1946-1959 has a firing order of 1, 5, 3, 6, 2, 4 with #1 at the front of the engine.

 

How do I go about insuring my fine looking car?

Having dealt with insurance agents and damaged cars for 41 years we recommend that you insure your car with a specialty vintage car insurance company that deals with classic, vintage and special interest cars as their mainstay everyday. Do a search for "classic car insurance". There are four or five such companies in the USA. Buy a stated value policy and should a bad day happen to the car you will be far better off than dealing with generic car insurance agents that usually possess little or no knowledge about vintage or specialty cars and don't care or want to know anything about them and usually just want to total a damaged car so they don't have to deal with the hassle of properly fixing it. When forced to actually pay to fix a specialty car, generic insurance companies usually want to make the body shop use junk yard parts the agent tries to buy as cheaply as possible. The agent then tries to get the body shop to do the job as cheaply as possible. Many owners that like the cars we deal with don't want their car fixed as cheaply as possible with little regard for quality and want the car fixed the best way possible because they really like the car.  Why give insurance companies that don't like your car your business when you don't have to?  Use a specialty insurer that caters to vintage cars.

 

a photo of a RR Phantom and our sign  

Mechanical Minds

We never could fix ALL the Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars out there.  Such a thing would have taken more time, energy and enthusiasm than even we could physically muster thus our firm enjoys working with Rolls-Royce and Bentley dealers, independent shops, mechanics and car owners worldwide that also like working on these cars to keep them running and driving as they were built to do. We encourage brave shops in areas without a dedicated Rolls-Royce and Bentley shop to not turn down an opportunity to service or repair a Rolls-Royce or Bentley because they may believe that parts are unavailable or may perhaps lack specific knowledge about these cars. The car owner needs someone to do the work and we are able to offer tips and guidance from our extensive past experiences and can supply the parts to get the tasks at hand accomplished. A united we drive and divided the car is parked sort of teamwork is how it works.  Call us at 281.448.4739 or email > Rolls-Royce and Bentley.

 

 Mechanical Intentions

Let's say that a decision has been reached to rebuild the suspension or hydraulic systems on a Rolls-Royce or Bentley. As we have enjoyed working on so many of these cars for such a long time, once we know your intentions we can make up comprehensive "parts kits" that will have the parts most commonly required so you don't have to diddle around and the work can be accomplished as quickly as your enthusiasm will allow. However as all cars have parts that wear differently we also supply many parts less commonly used. We supply the same parts for your car as we have for our workshop for the last 3 plus decades.

If a Rolls-Royce or Bentley car should perish the very thought, "fail to proceed" or "proceed without grace" or "the car has taken a long nap and now has a difficult time waking up" we can most likely provide graceful assistance. We work for Rolls-Royce and Bentley enthusiasts, collectors and owners that reside all over this planet and also assist limousine companies with parts and services for maintaining and beautifying their fleets of Rolls-Royce and Bentley wedding or special event cars. 

Our Sport and Classic Car Company workshop often untied knots on cars or assemblies that may have experienced improper service or repairs that ended up costing an owner aggravation and ill-spent funds for an automotive experience that did little good for the car. Over the years we sorted out a great many uncomfortable automotive situations for owners worldwide on a daily basis. Give us a call, tell us the story and let's work together to get the project completed in a proper manner so the car can be enjoyed as it was intended to be as a car that does not run and drive is simply a nice looking piece of yard art.

 

2 and 1/2 Mechanics

 Sometimes, lots of times, complex cars have complex problems (surprise!). Complex problems can require an extensive range of experiences to solve in a lasting manner. This situation really means that a mechanic that has suffered through a lot of hard jobs probably has earned the gravitas to fix cars.  Sometimes complex problems have simple solutions that can take a lot of valuable time to figure out because they are so simple. This situation is very real in day to day problem solving. On many occasions we can assist mechanics and owners with their cars as we may well have been there before.

 A Rolls-Royce or Bentley can be very shifty

a photo of a RR shifter box

We rebuild and repair Rolls-Royce and Bentley transmssion electric shift actuators. The photo shows a 1980 Rolls-Royce transmission shifter assembly ready to ship back to the owner. It was full of water and had been sitting a long time. Many parts are no longer available and we make or repair them as required.

 You might like to see a little silent movie clip of the inside of this shifter box showing the internal movement. The clip probably won't win an Oscar but here is a Quicktime link to it.  When you shift the transmission from park to a forward gear or reverse the shifter handle switch sends a signal to the box and here it is in living color.

The clip loads a bit slow.

Bentley&Rolls-Royce/RR Shifter.MOV

Produced by Scotty

Directed by Scotty

Shadows by Scotty

A ScottyVision Pictures Production

 

The O'Rubber Factor

There are many car parts that are assemblies of injected rubber and metal stampings. Other parts are made solely of rubber. Everyone calls this black stuff rubber but natural rubber is rarely if ever still used in car parts. But many people call anything black and rubbery rubber so on it goes.  Over many years of use rubber compounds dry rot and break apart. Rubber does not turn into flubber. Rubber becomes spongy, melts into mush or becomes hardened and splits apart. A car owner can seldom go wrong replacing rubber parts on any car over 15-20 years old although many suspension bushings take a beating and are usually ready to go to the car part mortuary after 10-15 years or so. Time and environment not necessarily mileage is the factor regarding rubber parts as rubber is not like booze and does not improve by aging.  Trunk and door seals on Silver Shadows and all cars shrink over time and allow water to soak into the expensive wool and leather carpets. When painting a car the replacement of rubber seals is usually wise as the painter can spray where the old seals were fitted resulting in a superior job.

 

The Endless Summer

Long hot summers prolonged heat takes a toll on critical rubber parts like waterpumps, coolant hoses and thermostats. Electronic parts that sit on top of engines fry like eggs in a hot frying pan. It is most wise to ascertain the condition of the engine coolant hoses including heater hoses as pavement can reach 300-400 degrees F in many parts of the USA. The combined heat and increased coolant pressure can burst weak coolant hoses and there you are with a cooked engine that can certainly have expensive damage such as:

1. blown head gaskets

2. cracked heads

3. dropped valve seats

4. bent valves and damaged pistons

5. damaged crankshaft bearings

6. destroyed engine

7. bummed out owner

All of the above are expensive to repair or make happy so why have the negative experience if such can be avoided by making sure your hoses are not old and weakened? If you can see cracks the hoses are done for. If no cracks are observed the rubber can still be dry rotted and ready to pop. Go check your hoses right now.....

 

Too Hot to Trot

Any engine that operates with too hot an operating temperature can be a weapon of mass destruction to a bank account. Rolls-Royce and Bentley V8 engines as well as any engine can run too hot for many reasons. Here are some of them:

1. Faulty or no thermostat-

Usually removing a thermostat allows coolant to flow too swiftly though the radiator and does not allow the coolant sufficient time within the radiator cooling tubes to transfer heat sufficiently.

2. Blocked radiator.

Over time, radiator cooling tubes become blocked with debris from corrosion.This situation requires "rodding out" and is a service performed by radiator shops. The radiator is disassembled and small metal rods are pushed through each tube to eject the debris and restore full flow.

3. Faulty pressure valve in the expansion tank used on Silver Shadow.

4. Incorrect ignition timing

5. Blocked exhaust system

6. Poor coolant flow resulting from blockages in the cylinder block, bad water pump rotor, blocked radiator, slipping fan belt, low coolant

7. Blocked A/C condenser  ( bug guts and road debris together harden in the radiator fins and block air flow)

8. Weepy or leaking head gaskets leak hot combustion gases into the coolant system superheating the coolant.

9. Corroded coolant ports

10. It's just plain HOT out there. The air is hot, the road is hotter and there is too much traffic.

11. A/C head pressure is too high

12. Wrong or leaking pressure cap

13. An overheating transmission cooks the fluid and overheats the transmission cooler matrix that is in the radiator. 

14. Designs from the car manufacturer that emphasize a fabulous sexy looking body style rather than real world function. This aspect of automotive design has always been an engineering vs. styling conflict of interest. The early and exquisitely beautiful 3.8 Jaguar E-Type was just such a car. It had a small "grille" opening in the bonnet that in hot climes did not allow adequate air flow to the smallish radiator and the cooling system featured a single little slow moving electric cooling fan motor with a primitive ineffective fan blade that struggled against all odds to cool the big heavy motor.

 

Fool Infection and the Carburetor

 All Rolls-Royce and Bentley car engines use either carburetors or fuel injection systems to run. We possess factory diagnostic tools to assist our noggins while diagnosing difficult to solve fuel injection running issues. Over the many years that these fuel injection systems have been used, the issues to be faced while fixing them do change as the components get ever older and develop characteristics. Every day that passes we have been getting older along with the cars and continually learn about what happens to car parts as time goes by.  

Regarding fuel injected Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars such as certian very late Silver Shadow II, Silver Spur, Silver Spirit, Corniche,  Mulsanne or Turbo R, the fuel distributors  are getting on in years and can cause various running problems as they get clogged or deteriorate as a result of years of corn alcohol in the gas and various additives running through as well as long periods of storage. While new fuel distributors are no longer available, we have rebuilt units on the shelf and offer new injectors as well as all manner of fuel injection parts such as frequency valves, pressure dampers, accumulators, fuel pumps, special fuel lines, hoses, fuel filters and more. 

  a photo of RR carburetors  

Original Silver Shadow S.U. carburetors with the center plenum chamber and intake horns on the workbench ready for rebuilding. The Skinners Union company made specific carburetors especially for Rolls-Royce and Bentley and there are many design differences between similar appearing S.U. carbs used on Jaguar and other British cars.  We disassemble the carburetors and rebuild them with new jets, throttle shaft seals, float valves, gaskets and sometimes floats. The automatic choke mechanism is also inspected,cleaned and adjusted. Once the work is completed the carburetor assemblies are painted black for cars with black assemblies or left natural aluminum for models with natural aluminum parts. We have rebuilt S.U. carburetors since 1969 and have supplied parts for them for well over 35 years. Many owners ship these carburetors to us for rebuilding and we do supply all manner of parts for them for those inclined to rebuild these carburators.

Poof!

  a photo of Rr carburators

 The carburetors are now ready to refit.

 

   a photo of a ppre war RR carb

This photo shows a pre-WW2 era Rolls-Royce carburetor that we rebuilt.  We keep a good stock of parts to rebuild Rolls-Royce and Bentley carburetors and rebuild many carburetors that are shipped in for this service. The factory never supplied carburetor rebuild kits and many of the parts used fit no other carburetor.  Rolls-Royce supplied parts for the carburetors by the individual piece.  We do make up carburetor "kits" by essentially placing all the usual parts we think ought to be replaced into the kit. We also supply the gas floats and many other parts for the carburetors and fuel related systems that are not normally included in conventional carburetor kits. For carburetors like those used on 1950's Silver Dawns and prewar cars,  parts from Rolls-Royce are no longer supplied. We rebuild these carburetors and make whatever parts are required. 

 

Silver Shadows Playbook

We offer a great many parts and rebuilding services for these iconic cars. Some owners use the cars for wedding and limo services  and others owners simple like to drive and play with them.

Sucking up Terra Nova

It's a dirty dirty dirty dirty dirty dirty world.

All of us live on a big ball of dirt called the Earth. Plants and some creatures like to live in dirt but engines don't and a car is not a banana plant so you surely don't want dirt in your expensive motor?

   photo of a dirty filter It's a dirty dirty dirty dirty dirty dirty air filter.

If your Silver Spur or similar vintage Bentley has an air filter that looks like this dirt packed air filter then your car has been neglected for far too long or perhaps drove through a dust storm and is now drinking too much fuel.  A dirty air filter impedes the air flow into the engine resulting in poor performance and mileage. You should want your car to be as efficient as it can be. Observe how deeply the dirt has penetrated the media of this filter rendering it pretty much into an dirt air dam as there is little through air flow. Sure, we have air filters for Silver Clouds, Shadows, Spurs, Bentley GT and many more as well. 

  photo of a clean air filter A fresh and ready to suck up dirt circa mid eighties Rolls-Royce Silver Spur air filter looks like this.  Replacing these filters is the same sort of service situation as your home a/c systems air filter. A heavily dirt encrusted air filter is not doing much other than choking the engine.  Treat your car to a new air filter if its dirty and check your home filter for your lungs. Sure we have air filters to fit every Rolls-Royce and Bentley built since 1960 to 2004. Previous to 1960, Rolls-Royce  used an oil bath air filter design and these are to be cleaned and serviced.  

 

Motor Tweakers

 photo of spark plugs

An old sparking plug removed from a circa 1974 Silver Shadow engine that had not enjoyed a good servicing for decades. Observe the thick build up of carbon or coke that has burnt onto the electrode creating a large deposit. This sort of thing happens with low quality fuel and poor tuning. The plug on the right is a new spark plug. We supply electronic ignitions and all manner of engine tuning parts for all Silver Cloud, Silver Shadow and Silver Spur. These new ignitions with hotter coils really makes a profound performance improvement and this is why all post 1975 Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars have electronic ignitions fitted from new. 

 

A link to our E-mail address >>> Rolls-Royce & Bentley Parts USA<<<

 

The Wire

If your electrical wiring has issues, we can supply new wiring looms for certain Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars built from 1955-2015 depending on VIN.  The wiring in a car runs to every electrical device and component. Thus the wiring also goes under the hood where the wires are subjected to heat, oil fumes and water damage. On many cars the main wiring section runs underneath the car where its exposed to everything the bottom of a car runs over. Many people do not understand or care how electricity works or how relays work thus they will cut and badly splice wires or cut the wires and twist them together creating electrical nightmares or what we call "future fires".  We have seen countless live wires run to ground with the result being a burned up wiring system. It's a shocking experience to the pocketbook. 

 Wiring looms are made to be installed by professionals with knowledge of automotive wiring but a well skilled individual can also install them. Vintage cars tend to pack all the wiring into one big harness or may have individual wires to each terminal on coachbuilt or very early cars.  Many Modern Cars from the 1950's onwards split the complete harness into many small sections so a repair can be done without buying the entire loom.  If you need a wiring loom for an engine compartment or whatever, contact us with VIN and production date if you have it. 

 

  photo of a damaged RR piston

Sure, we provide new engine rebuilding parts to replace parts such as this broken Silver Spur piston that did not survive an "unforeseen circumstance".  

   photo of a RR a/c accumulator

We supply suspension and steering parts, electrical parts, body parts and air conditioning parts such as this accumulator/dryer for a Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit. 

   photo of the shop

This Silver Cloud is about to receive it's freshly rebuilt V8 engine. 

Bentley and Rolls-Royce engines built from the 1940’s to now were not designed to call attention to the engines or engine bays through the use of polished cam covers with chrome head nuts like Jaguar and Alfa Romeo cars of the 1950’s and 1960’s. The typical purchasers of Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars were more interested in the styling of the coachwork and appointments of the cockpit than the appearance of the engine. These owners already knew the mechanicals were well and stoutly designed to last and the engine and mechanicals were generally left to their service people to deal with. Rolls-Royce and Bentley engines, many engine related components and the engine bays were painted a flattish black.

 

The Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph and Bentley Arnage series

The Seraph and Arnage series are examples of how the design philosphy of building cars and supplying parts for them has changed in that few assemblies are rebuildable and entire assemblies usually must be replaced to sort out a failure. This is the way of just about all modern cars built from the late 1990's onwards and is in stark contrast to the days gone by of car manufacturers willingness to supply small parts and kits to enable repair of larger assemblies. Tis a throw away world now but we still supply as many rebuilding parts as we can.

 These models are getting on with years and usage or non-usage of the car can result in condition and function issues.

1998-2002 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph cars have 12 cylinder engines and sometimes these engines  have problems with hydraulic pushrod failure. This condition creates a disturbing knocking noise from the cylinder head areas. The solution is to replace the 24 hydraulic pushrods. This job requires the usage of a special tool that we rent to shops that purchase the pushrod set and gaskets. The engine drive belts are likely to be original and ready to break and the front suspension bushings and ball joints should be inspected for wear.  The rear shocks can leak and the front suspension bushes and joints may have wear.

 

 1998-2010 Bentley Arnage series cars used several different motors depending on year and model.

 The trunk or boot lid on these models use four presurized stays to hold the lid up. When these stays fail, the lid succumbs to gravity. The solution is to replace the four stays.

Sometimes as it is failing, the A/C compressor will create a knocking noise from the clutch or from a compressor that has been running with insufficient oil. The solution is to replace the compressor and dryer.

The power windows can have non-function problems and the usual fix is to replace the regulator assembly as no parts to repair window regulators are supplied for Arnage series.

Arnage power steering racks can and do leak and no parts are supplied by the factory to rebuild them. The repair solution was to replace the rack with a new assembly but new rack assemblies are no longer available. Some racks can be rebuilt. Sometimes power steering hoses leak and the solution is to replace the leaking hose. If one leaks, all are suspect.

The front suspension bushings can and usually are squashed from carrying the great weight of the car and the ball joints and sway bar links usually have wear resulting in sloppy steering.

 Yes we do supply all manner of parts for these models.

Bentley Bling 

Once upon a time we rebuilt an engine for a Bentley SII owner and later found that he was disappointed in the appearance. This was a highly unusual event and we wanted to know what it was that he found not to his liking. 

  photo of a Bentley engine

Here is a snap of the completed and properly appearing Bentley engine about to be installed. 

 

Well, everybody knows that the bird is the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, b-bird's the word

 


  photo of a Tbird engine

The owner of the car that the above engine was fitted to sent us a photo of his Thunderbird engine, year unknown, that had been extensively customized with polished aluminum valve covers, thick bright purple spark plug cables, a red distributor cap, red coil and a big chrome air filter among other T-Bird custom enhancements. The car was styled as a muscle car.

This customized look on a T-Bird engine is what he thought we were going to do for reasons unknown as nothing along these lines had been requested and none of the photos we sent along had customized parts shown. Customizing American engines is an enjoyable thing to do for muscle car fans and there are countless suppliers of aftermarket stuff for American muscle cars and hot rods. We respect the shops and people that do this sort of work yet it’s a long way from what we are about as our work on Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars is more dedicated to preserving the original look and feel of a car with certain enhancements such as electronic ignition that is well hidden.

 The lesson here is to clearly impart your vision to whomever is working for you well ahead of time so details are sorted out in advance. Regarding the Bentley motor referred to here, we would not have agreed to make the engine look like a Ford hot rod motor and would have left those sorts of details for the owner to have done to his liking elsewhere. 

True Blood

Rolls-Royce & Bentley RR363 brake and suspension hydraulic fluid

 and lots more about brakes and pressure operated systems

 

Over the many years that Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars have been built, the designers specified several different fluids to be used in various models. These fluids serve as the blood of the car and only one fluid is the true fluid for each application thus none of these fluids are interchangeable and great harm (expensive) can be done by using the wrong fluid. There is considerable incorrect information on the internet concerning the proper fluids to be used in Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars so let's clear this matter up.

 Firstly never rely on information provided by generic auto parts stores, junk yards or internet forums. This is nothing personal. It is that generic stores depend almost entirely on their computers for knowledge, generally have a lot of personnel turnover and the fact is that generic computer databases are simply not accurate concerning very limited production luxury or sporting cars.  Generic stores are useful mostly for buying common items like hose clamps or antifreeze. 

Car forums for any sort of car tend to have self appointed "experts" with a lot of spare time and they haunt these sites. These people tend to answer or comment on just about everything and they may have some knowledge or may not know much at all concerning what they are commenting on.  Most of the time these contributors have had one or a few cars and their experience is therefore quite limited. Clearly the computers of today are wonderful devices that are filled with whatever anyone dumps into them and car forums are kind of like that too.  We often supply parts to generic stores and help their counter people get the right parts for a customer.

 Accurate information concerning Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars can only be had from those that actually possess accurate information and have considerable experience working with these cars. This is just the way it is as people can't just inject this sort of stuff into their brains like the characters did in the movie The Matrix. Knowledge has to be learned the hard way by extensive direct contact, study and making mistakes. There are plenty of self proclaimed experts on most any topic on the internet and the net has been a boon for con men, creeps, frauds, fake experts and grifters that prey on car owners that just want to know what to do or not to do. Some of these naughty people have companies that use many different names and when they rip off enough customers they move elsewhere and make up a new name and do it again. This a sad thing but it is very real. We have seen a great many used parts sold by on line auction vendors asking twice or many times more for what we sell new parts for. There is something wrong with that.

Once upon a time a new owner of a vintage Silver Shadow called us to ask questions about brake fluids. It seems that someone told him the specified RR363 brake fluid should be poured into the engine! Fortunately this fellow was keen enough to question this bad advice. Now why anyone would think that brake fluid should be poured into any engine is a cause for just concern!  If someone tells you to make a good dry martini with RR363, well....

 Long ago Rolls-Royce contracted with the Castrol Company to make a special brake fluid for their cars called RR363. This fluid contains proprietary lubricants to service the very intricate and finely machined parts within the hydraulic systems. Non RR363 fluids do not contain these lubricants and the use of the wrong fluids will accelerate wear and tear on those very expensive finely machined parts. The RR363 Castrol fluid is NOT the same as Castrol LMA fluid used with pre- 1988 Jaguar cars and almost all other vintage

(pre 1980) British cars. All DOT 3 and DOT 4 brake fluids are not identical.

  If someone tells you that all brake fluids are the same they are unquestionably wrong and these people may also believe that the Sun revolves around the Earth. The fact is that DOT 3 and DOT 4 brake fluid base material is manufactured in train car loads. The base is then sold to repackagers like Castrol that add whatever special additives a manufacturer such as  Rolls-Royce or Bentley specifies.  The additives in the RR363 brake fluid are essential for Silver Shadow and Bentley T brake and suspension systems.

  Sometimes when we explain the need for special fluids we find that some people have installed or added non compatible fluids and have contaminated the hydraulic system of the car. We know this because sometimes shops and individuals buy brake parts from us and don't purchase the correct fluid while insisting all fluid is the same as if this proclamation will make it so. Respectable shops always want to use the correct fluids and quality parts for their work.  Owners have to be adamant about informing shops about the correct fluids. Many owners simply buy the fluid they need from us and make it available to their shop of choice. We are happy to speak with any shop about these fluids. 

 

   photo of RR363 brake fluid  RR363 Rolls-Royce brake fluid for certian models is in stock

For this particular photo and ensuing discussion, you might like to play or hum the song "Sprach Zarathustra", written by Richard Strauss and used as the theme song in the movie 2001, a Space Odyssey.

Ready, set, hmmmhmmmHMMMdaDA!

There are many different Castrol fluids.  Don't mix them up and don't drink them unless you want to die. 

The above photo is of a typical bottle of RR-363 brake and hydraulic fluid. This fluid used to be packaged in metal cans hence in white plastic bottles and now in gray plastic bottles.  RR-363 is appropriate for all Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars up to mid 1979. After the year 1979 particular attention has to be observed about which fluids are used as 1979 was a generational transitional year as some 1979 Corniche cars used the next generation Silver Spur brake and suspension systems utilizing green Castrol Plus Mineral Oil while Silver Shadows built in 1979 still used RR-363 fluid. The brake fluid reservoir on 1966-1980 cars using RR-363 is rectangular and made of metal. Cars that use green Castrol Plus mineral fluid were built from 1979 onwards use plastic reservoirs that are round.  It's VERY important not to mix Castrol RR363 with the green fluids or any ther fluid as a contaminated system will require a complete rebuild of the entire brake and hydraulic system for a substantial cost.  If someone tries to sell you a $5 bottle of generic DOT 3 brake fluid and says all DOT 3 fluids are the same, run!   If an owner or shop is unsure, call us with the VIN. 

    photo of castrol + fluid

A bottle of the correct green Castrol Plus brake and suspension fluid for all Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars built from 1980-1996 or so. In mid 1979, Corniche cars went to the green Castrol Plus fluid as the entire hydraulic brake and suspension system was changed to the new system (new then) to be used on all post 1980 cars.   Cars built after 1996 use several different fluids and the VIN is required. Notice the physical similarity to the bottle of regular Castrol. The Castrol Plus fluid has an anti foaming agent and the Castrol fluid made for Jaguar cars does not. This fluid has a Rolls-Royce and Bentley identifying label and each bottle comes with a filler tube. "Some people say" that the Rolls-Royce and Jaguar fluids are the same but those claiming this are not correct. Think of the fluids this way, a good Kentucky bourbon and brown tea may have a simular appearance in a bottle but does a simular color make them the same?

  photo of jaguar fluid

This Castrol mineral fluid is used on some Jaguar cars built after 1988 and is not for Bentley and Rolls-Royce cars that specify Castrol Plus fluid.   If you own cars of both marques be sure not to mix the fluids up. This bottle label states the fluid is specifically for Jaguar cars. There is no mention of an application for Rolls-Royce or Bentley cars.   

 photo of Castrol fluid.

Castrol LMA fluid is used for the brake system on later model cars such as Silver Seraph, Azure and Arnage.  This fluid is NOT for Silver Shadows, Silver Spirits, Silver Spurs or Bentley Turbo R yet is correct for most all non Rolls-Royce and Bentley British cars made before 1980. 

 photo of CHS fluid

Pentosin CHF11 or RH5000 fluid is specified for the suspension system only in Rolls- Royce Silver Seraph and Bentley Azure and Arnage series. The proper fluid application must verified by VIN!  This fluid is absolutely NOT for Silver Shadows or Silver Spurs.  If in doubt, contact us with your model and VIN. 

As 1980’s and 1990’s Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars mellow through the years, there are a number of parts that should be replaced so you enjoy a long and prosperous life. The following advice is presumed that nothing has been done for a while.

These large heavy cars use very high pressure brake systems that require special fluids. A very common mistake that owners and shops do is to pour the wrong fluids into the wrong places. You would not want to mistake rat poison for a single malt scotch now would you?  Using the wrong fluid is like feeding your car poisen, is deadly to your wallet and is going to cost you a lot of money to sort out properly.  When incompatible fluids such as the brake fluid are added to a system, the fluid mixes with the original fluid and becomes a chemical mess causing premature failure of the brakes and suspension. Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars use a system that circulates and fluid passes through every component in the system.

Car owners should familiarize themselves with the proper fluids and make absolutely sure that any shop working on the car knows what fluid goes where.

A typical Silver Spur, Corniche or Silver Spirit has the following components in the brake and suspension hydraulic system.

1. two fluid reservoirs

2 . 14 to 16 low and high pressure fluid hoses 

3. two brake pumps

4. two brake accumulator valves,

5. two distribution valves

6. G-Valve

7. one or two height valves

8. two pressure valves

9. two rear dampers

10. various fittings and filters

11. a great many metal fluid pipes

12.  four front and two rear brake calipers

None of these parts are cheap so the best way to preserve them is to make sure the fluids you use are correct. Should a cars fluid become contaminated then all of the above parts should be replaced or when kits are available, flushed and rebuilt. All vestiges of contaminated fluid have to be removed for a successful and lasting repair situation. I know of many situations where a car system was contaminated and the owner or whomever was working on the car would call us, find out the financial severity of what they had done by adding wrong fluids and then would simply do nothing other than sell the car on to an unsuspecting buyer.  The next  owner will find the car to have continual brake and suspension failures and leaks.

 

The cars they are a chang’in

Come gather around cars

wherever they roam

and admit that the brake hoses

are as hard as a bone

and accept it that soon

 old hoses are going to be blown

cause they are rapidly agin’

Please get some new ones

and change them

if your life to you

is worth sav’in

For cars are always agin'

 

Under Pressure

Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars have very good brakes if the systems are working properly. The survival rate for these cars is quite high as owners enjoy driving the cars but much time has passed for many cars out there and a car will have steadily diminishing performance as cars are not like vintage bottles of wine or senses of humor that sometimes improve with age. Frequently we receive enquiries concerning cars being brought back to active duty from a long slumber.  Owners and shops frequently want to know what to do to properly wake these cars up and make them safe to drive again.  Following is a brief discussion of some basic safety work that should be high on the bucket list.

The braking and suspension system on Silver Shadow series cars use 12-13 rubber flexible high pressure hydraulic lines along with four or more special rubber feed lines from the fluid reservoir. Some models such as Silver Shadows have flexible braided metal high pressure lines near the brake accumulators as well. These systems generate and use very high pressure and old hoses are a usual weak point. We suggest replacing all of these hoses if there is no historical record of them being replaced within the last 8-10 years. 

Silver Spur and Silver Spirit series from 1980 onwards have specific reservoir fluid feed hoses and high pressure caliper hoses made to resist the nature of the green fluid. These hoses from cars built in the 1980s and 1990's are usually neglected and it's a good idea to replace the hoses if they are older than eight years. There are many variations best determined with the VIN number.

 photo of brake pipes

An old rusty Silver Shadow metal brake pipe that had snapped as a a result of rust and was sent to us for replication seen here with our replacement pipe ready to send back. We asked the fellow working on the car about the condition of the rest of the pipes and were told they were fine. This assertion was probably not accurate.

There are approximately 68 metal alloy high pressure fluid pipes used for the brake and suspension systems on Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and Bentley T cars and these pipes should be examined for structural integrity. If the pipes are rusted, they are weakened and should be replaced. Rarely are all the pipes bad unless the cars lived in a corrosive environment like a beach or an island inhabited by mad dogs and Englishmen located near France but these cars have been around and have history thus every pipe should be inspected with at least two eyes. Blowing out a high pressure hose or pipe and experiencing a dramatic loss of brake pressure is a bad way to end a nice day. On Silver Shadow series, none of the metal pipes are still available and Silver Spur series pipes were not supplied. We do make these pipes though. Rolls-Royce uses a special flare on their pipes that is like no other car other than certain Citroens. The special flare is rated to 2700 p.s.i. The typical flare used on most other cars brake pipes are rated to 750 p.s.i. The typical flaring tool most well equipped shops have will not make a proper flare for Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars. Thus those that insist on using a generic flaring tool to make brake pipes for these cars are rendering the car into a big heavy deathtrap and this is a very non RR thing to do. We have also seen some cars where unqualified persons have made and fitted copper pipes rather than steel. Copper pipe is not strong enough for the high pressures these cars use. If your car has had copper pipes fitted, these pipes are capable of bursting such a pipe at any moment. This sort of advice about the pipes is applicable to any car. Be safe, don't end up like Princess Grace before your time and stick around a while! 

Diamonds and Rust

Vintage cars can be like diamonds in the rough or can be terminally ill from rust, abuse and neglect.  Below are some gruesome photos of a 1967 Silver Shadow that was sold by a Kansas person with very bad karma to an unsuspecting buyer. The car was advertised as being in "great shape". An absolutely horrible thing that someone did to this car was to replace a great many of the badly rusted metal alloy high pressure hydraulic pipes with copper pipe. This botched work was sure to result in the death or damage to anyone driving the car or other drivers as copper will not withstand the high pressure generated by the system and copper pipe is soft and liable to be smashed flat by a road encounter. The subject car was extensively rusted out to such an extent that the rear suspension crossmember was ripping right out of the body shell. Such a car is unlikely to make a good car no matter what is done. The same incompetent someone cut through all the brake pipes to the rear calipers as well. The pipes were just hanging out in mid air. The new owner was willing to spend upwards of $25K on this car but we felt this car could not be fixed in a road worthy manner no matter what sums were thrown at it.

A few years later we found this same car for sale for $12,000 by a local junkyard that claimed it was a wonderful car.  This sort of thing is why any vintage car should be inspected by an independent shop prior to purchase. It is sad that sometimes a Rolls-Royce should not be raised from the dead but cars are not zombies and sometimes a car should be allowed to end it's days.

 photo of bad pipes   

Look at these sliced and diced rusty brake fluid pipes just hanging out mid air. Obviously these brake calipers were inoperative.

 photo of bad caliper

These pipes are made of copper, a sure way to achieve unexpected martyrdom by burst fluid pipes as copper will not take the high pressure of the brake system.

 photo of bad pipes

Here are copper death pipes joined with pipe unions, a real no no and a disaster.

 photo of bad pipes

Here we found a steel brake fluid pipe held together with duck tape. What can one say about such a thing? One can say don't be foolish and take your expensive specialty car to a shop that is not qualified or otherwise suited to work on these cars. If purchasing a car be sure to have a pro check it out beforehand unless you have experience with such things.

 

photo of bad brake pipes

 Oh please no. Here we see a pipe union joining copper piping, a very naughty thing with high pressure systems.

 

Old Flames

 photo of a burned tire

This may be hard to see but the inside of this tire is scorched probably from burning brake fluid leaking from the seized brake calipers. 

 photo of bad pipes

 Another snap of copper brake death pipes.

 photo of bad pipes

Here are the ever so sad brake accumulators missing their support bracket and both are leaking fluid in a major way. One accumulator is missing the high pressure warning placard. This is usually a bad sign.

 photo of RR brake parts

This assembly is located under the left front seat area beneath the car and is known slang wise as the "rat cage". It supports the brake master cylinder, the brake distribution valves, G-Conscious Valve and other components.  Silver Shadows did not use a brake master cylinder after 1975. The non standard weird red wiring is a non-stock rig up.

 photo of a chopped axle 

A right rear 1967 Silver Shadow axle that evidently snapped or was sawn in half. Someone crudely welded it back together rather than replacing it. We have never seen one of these axles actually break so we don't know why it was sawn in two. This was scary stuff to find on any car much less a large Rolls-Royce automobile.

Brake pumps, accumulators, height control valves, level valves, restrictor valves and magic paint.

Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars use two brake pumps to power the hydraulic systems that use RR363 fluid on cars built from 1966-1980. These pumps are no longer supplied as complete new assemblies and the original pumps must be rebuilt. These pump assemblies contain many parts such as the actual pump mechanism, several springs, several valves and valve parts, collars, special washers and spacers, rubber seals and more. The above photo shows a sub assembly part of a brake pump that is called the “assembly plunger and barrel”.  This is the actual part of the brake pump assembly that pumps the fluid and it has no rubber parts as there are no rubber parts in the pumps that have to do with pumping fluid. The rubber parts in these pumps are for sealing purposes that keep the RR363 fluid inside the pumps. When pumps leak they can be re-sealed with a seal kit. This sealing process should not be confused with the work and parts required for rebuilding a pump as sealing a pump and rebuilding a pump are very different jobs.

When we rebuild a pump, we usually replace the plunger and barrel as this hard working assembly is usually worn out unless the pump has been little used such as on very low mileage vintage cars that suffer other problems from being low mileage vintage cars.   At the time of this writing the plunger and barrel costs around $800.00.  An average selection of the rest of the usual parts required to do a good lasting rebuild costs around $258.00 per pump. This makes the average parts cost around $1058.00 and this figure depends on condition.

There are firms that offer “rebuilt” brake pumps for around $400.00 or less. The question is how can the thing be rebuilt for $400.00 when the parts alone cost over 2 times that amount?  The answer is straightforward as rebuilding something without replacing worn or critical parts and instead refitting old used worn parts that may be in a little better shape or using no new parts will make a big difference in cost and result in what?  However, one of the oldest games is to place a very low price on something and call it something it is not.  We have seen many things rebuilt with a nice coat of magic paint.

Rebuilding brake accumulators that use RR363 fluid are the same sort of job. There are many intricate parts inside the valves and spheres and over time these parts deteriorate from exposure to old contaminated brake fluid.  The little parts get pitted and corroded. This system has not been used since 1980 so the parts are at least 36 years old  and if someone rebuilds an accumulator assembly and does not replace old tired parts then the “rebuilt” accumulator can be sold quite cheaply. We do our best to rebuild them to last.

The rear suspension level valves that use RR363 need rebuilding from time to time usually when they leak. There are intricate parts within the valves that deteriorate and pit from exposure to old contaminated brake fluid. On some unfortunate cars we have found the supply pipes to these valves have been blocked with ball bearings or the pipes have been purposely smashed flat or the pipes have been severed and plugged.  Likely cause of this sort of abuse is a height valve that leaked and someone decided to kill the rear hydraulic suspension rather than repair it.  This sort of thing stops the rear suspension height system from working and the car hangs down low in the rear. The car rides poorly and looks like a small elephant is in the trunk. We rebuild these valves as well.

The restrictor valves contain a number of small intricate parts that reduce brake pressure to the level valves. If these valves not working properly the level valve seals will; blow and or the brake accumulators will be damaged. We have found inside parts on these valves to be rusted together in a lump from old brake fluid exposure and we have found them to have missing parts from someone fooling around and the car was seriously diminished.

 

Brake fluid Mulligan Stew

 photo of contaminated fluid   photo of contaminated fluid

The innards of two Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow brake accumulator spheres each from two different Silver Shadow cars that show the goop glop sludge crap that develops from mixing various brake fluids with air borne moisture and from sitting still for a long time. Not a very appetizing stew is it? This yucky residue results from a long term chemical reaction caused by moisture and brake fluid and is not what you want to see inside of your critical brake assemblies now is it? Interestingly the sphere halves seen in the photos are actually supposed to be dry and there should be nothing in there. What has happened is that the rubber diaphragm inside the spheres have failed allowing fluid to pass through where it became trapped. These accumulators were not operational. The metal fluid pipes on such cars can frequently be blocked with hardened debris and it is vital that all pipes be clear for good flow. 

 photo of contaminated fluid

The contaminated sludge found in a pair of 1980 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith brake accumulators.  This pan of nasty contaminated sludge that was inside the assembly was a result of moisture reacting with brake fluid causing a slow chemical reaction that ended up seizing the accumulator valves. This sorry situation is a result of poor maintenance. We recommend that all cars have the brake fluid changed every two or three years unless you live in Arizona, the Gobi Desert, the Rocky Mountains or an area with little humidity. If your fluid has never been changed or you have no knowledge of when the hydraulic fluid was changed, have it done now with the proper fluid. Yes, we usually have plenty of all applicable fluids in stock at all times. 

 

S = av2        Sphere = accumulator valve squared

(There are two on each car)

 photo of rebuild accumulator

Thanks to Albert Einstein. A typical rebuilt and fully charged 1966-1980 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow series brake accumulator sphere with attached charging valve (the gold part) from a circa late seventies Corniche ready to send back to a shop working with the car. There are several versions but they all have a similar appearance.

Each accumulator assembly is composed of two sub-assemblies, the sphere and the valve. The accumulator in the above photo arrived missing the high pressure warning placard. The well intentioned mechanic that was working on the car that this particular assembly came from was not familiar with Rolls-Royce systems and as someone in the past had "rebuilt" the accumulator and had not refitted the pressure warning placard, this unit had been left in a very dangerous situation for anyone not intimately familiar with Rolls Royce accumulators. As the warning placard was missing, this mechanic unknowingly removed the metal cap nut and if the unit had been properly charged and had the valve failed, the cap could well have blown off like a bullet into his face or body resulting in serious injury. Whomever removed the warning placards should never work on anything mechanical and should stick to Dancing in the Bars, serving ice cream or washing windows at ground level.

 Fortunately this accumulator had little or no pressure remaining as it had been incompetently bargain "rebuilt" and did not work.  If we receive an accumulator missing the warning placards, we keep them in stock for just such occasions as we want no one working on these cars to be injured.  All accumulators on all Bentley and Rolls-Royce cars built from 1966-1980 that use RR-363 fluid have two accumulators like the one on this photo bolted to the side of their engine blocks. Some cars have both on one side and others have one on each side depending on VIN. 

 The brake pressure accumulator assemblies used on 1966-1980 Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars must be properly rebuilt and charged when depleted or if found to be leaking fluid as accumulator assemblies on cars using RR363 fluid are not throw away parts. Accumulator spheres should never be recharged without rebuilding them along with the attached charge valves as the old rubber diaphragms and seals within cannot withstand the newly restored high pressure for long if at all.  Many cars have had their accumulators into before and these days we find an amazingly high percentage of accumulators were not rebuilt properly as we regularly find critical internal parts that are missing. Some accumulators arrive in a highly dangerous state or we find that they never worked at all after previous work was done to them. This last situation is becoming increasingly common.

There is a great difference between simply resealing an accumulator, charging valve or brake pump and performing a proper complete rebuild. Thus we stock and replace many parts within these assemblies that are not included in the sealing kits. Our goal being to make an accumulator work properly and safely for a long time. Sometimes a caller will ask what it costs to rebuild these assemblies and will tell us that "someone else" rebuilds them for a fixed price for less money. Well that is ok we say.

 We received a pair of accumulators to rebuild that upon disassembly and examination were found to have a considerable quantity of bead blasting grit and white lithium grease inside them that was left by a botched attempt to rebuild them. This discovery of amazingly sloppy work was not good as these valves and systems were designed to operate with pristinely clean fluid. Some of the grit undoubtedly found it's way into the downstream brake system thus the entire system would be suspect. Such a situation requires a complete flushing and considerable disassembly, cleaning and servicing so that many expensive components are not damaged from the grit. This sort of work should only be entrusted to highly qualified to do if the car owners wants to live. 

Brake work of any sort should be done in a clean and organized manner. The accumulator pressure spheres require special tools to disassemble, assemble and charge properly and once we complete the rebuilding work, the units are charged with nitrogen at 1000 p.s.i. Special tools do not include chisels or hammers to beat on the accumulators.  Yes, we have seen this sort of brutality many times. We regularly find all sorts of odd parts that have been stuffed into them to replace parts that were probably lost, old poor condition parts that were re-used, parts installed backwards, orifices drilled larger, spheres with hammer and chisel marks on them. We have found springs from ball point pens used to replace the original small tension springs within the charging valves. Accumulators in such sad shape could not have worked properly if at all thus the car would never have had good brakes after the accumulators were improperly rebuilt.

A properly rebuilt accumulator and charging valve should last for many years and once our rebuilt and charged assemblies are refitted, as long as the two brake pumps are working well, the accumulators/charging valves will deliver 1900-2100 p.s.i. output. This sort of pressure will produce a robust squirt when bleeding the system. We encourage those thinking about rebuilding their accumulators to not do so unless all the proper tools are at hand and an experienced eye is available that knows what to look for.

Therefore DO NOT disassemble them if your intention is to send them to us for renovation. Please send them complete and untouched although we certainly don't mind if they are cleaned up.  These assemblies are a bit messy and will leak fluid so before you ship them, please drain them well, wrap them in a plastic bag or wrapping and pack them like you are shipping triangular cannonballs as they are heavy and rough shaped and will tear right through a box that is not well taped if the assemblies are not well packed. Throwing a piece of paper into the box is not good packing. Heavy parts will move around with shipping so you should take extra care to immobilize them in the box with lots of packing material. Double boxing is best. We suggest insuring them for several thousand USD so the shipping firms will take extra care. 

Another factor to consider when having accumulators rebuilt is that with the system returned to normal high pressures after an unknown period of no or little pressure is that all downstream rubber parts such as the twelve flexible pressure hoses will be subjected to newly improved and much greater pressures than they may have been used to for a long time. Any hydraulic system is only as good as the weakest parts you see. Thusly to enhance the chances of a long life for the driver of the car, all brake components should be examined by an experienced eye or better yet, two or three eyes including the ones on the back of your head. If you are unsure about something just send us a photo of the part you are worried about or call. Why risk having a very bad or an all too short day? 

All post Silver Cloud series V8 Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars built up to near the end of the venerable V8 engine use two mechanical brake pumps fitted to the top of the engine that are driven by the camshaft to power the hydraulic and brake systems. These pumps are hard working assemblies that are critical to successful operation of the brake and suspension systems. If they deliver insufficient pressure to the accumulators, the accumulators will not deliver correct pressures and the car will not stop properly or at all. The rear suspension will not operate properly either. There are many intricate parts inside the pumps. These parts are finely machined and after many years of pumping dirty or contaminated fluid the pumps can simply wear out. Mechanical wear is greatly accelerated when incorrect brake fluid has been used. Sometimes these pumps work well and will spring a leak. If the pumps leak, they can usually be re-sealed and we stock a sealing kit for this purpose. However, sometimes the kit does not work as the outer sleeve will have corrosion pits inside the bore and the sealing parts won't seal against the pits so a new sleeve is required. Thus a careful examination is a smart move and we do rebuild these pumps.

 Let it Flow

The hydraulic fluid that feeds the brakes and suspension must circulate yet pressures must be restricted to the height control system.  There are small valves located near the rear height control valves that are called, " pressure restriction valves". These valves can and do become internally encrusted with the same goo that the rest of the systems sometimes have. When this happens, high pressure from the accumulators will slam into the restrictor valves and cease flowing. As the fluid is not circulating due to clogged or seized restrictor valves, the pressure essentially backs up and damages a delicate sealing parts inside the accumulator charging valves. Nowadays if a car is being brought back to good driving condition or if the fluid is found to be trashy, these valves need to be checked.  Should a rebuilt and charged accumulator assembly be fitted and the restrictor valves are seized and jammed up, the pressure will back up and damage internal parts within the charge valve and the job has to be partially redone.

Call me.. unrebuildable?

While car manufacturers have been moving towards the age of unrebuildable and unrestorable cars by making car parts that used to be rebuildable into large expensive assemblies that cannot be rebuilt, we are obviously great believers in rebuilding things. For example, a critical part of a brake pump assembly is the plunger and barrel and this part inside the inner assembly actually does the pumping work. The plunger and barrel costs around $750. or so. Aside from a plunger and barrel assembly there are many other parts within the pumps. We are aware that there are firms that sell "rebuilt" brake pumps for $300.-400. Again, there is no fixed definition of what rebuilt means. It is simply not possible to rebuild a brake pump with the new proper parts required for $300.-400.  It is therefore more than likely that "rebuilt" pumps costing $300-400. are done by swapping worn used parts with other worn used parts or perhaps a magic wand and fairy dust are employed.

Good results from a low grade rebuilding process should not be expected to last for very long. Even the great and powerful powers of wishful thinking and self deception cannot overcome physical obstacles like excessively worn clearances. If a brake pump is merely leaking fluid, the pump does not need a rebuild but does require re-sealing and perhaps a new sleeve. We supply an inexpensive reseal kit for this purpose and this kit is all some pumps require.  Many pumps just need a reseal when they leak from time to time and resealing a pump is exactly that.

Pump it up.

 photo of a brake pump

A new Silver Shadow hydraulic pump, literally one of the two hearts of the system and two hearts are definitely better than one.  The new pump assemblies came complete with a new outer sleeve. Properly rebuilt pumps deliver proper pressure and what a marked improvement rebuilt pumpsand  accumulators do for the brakes on a Silver Shadow series. Pumps with worn or corroded internals just don't do the job properly after 30+ years of pumping gooey contaminated brake fluid. The use of incorrect brake fluid without the lubricant additives that RR363 fluid contains results in premature wear of expensive parts and results in poor pressure.  Old fluid contaminated with moisture from lack of timely servicing literally corrodes the internal metal parts and there are a lot of parts within these assemblies.

 

photo of rebuilt brake pumps

Here are a couple of our rebuilt brake pumps with new outer sleeves. We rebuild these pumps by replacing the expensive critical internal parts that do the pumping and valve action. Our rebuilt pumps are as close to new assemblies as can be done and thusly are not targeted at the lowest possible price point because we don't want to sell assemblies that skimped on the critical parts that actually do the work so we can sell them cheaply. That sort of thing really is not what owning and driving these cars is all about now is it? We want all cars to properly stop for self serving reasons such as we drive on the same roads! 

There is no good end to "calling it good" with hydraulic repairs.

 photo of a brake pump

A front brake pump nestled home atop a circa 1990 Bentley. The front pump is located near the backside of the a/c compressor. The rear pump is located a bit forward of the distributor and looks much like the front pump except that sometimes the outer sleeve is angled differently. When post 1980 brake pumps leak, there will be green fluid leaking around the intake manifold and running down the back side of the engine to the ground. We do supply resealing kits for all brake pumps.

Some time ago but no longer, Rolls-Royce offered their own rebuilt pumps and we sold a great many over the years but these were essentially new pumps as the factory replaced just about everything in them. Regretfully the factory no longer supply rebuilt pumps but we do.  

 photo of a sphere

No, this is not a hand grenade. This photo shows a GMF series green brake accumulator pressure sphere for all post 1980 cars that use the green Castrol Plus fluid.  Located in the engine bay, this part IS a throw away part. The GMF spheres are supplied charged and not rebuildable. When the pressure depletes these parts are relatively easy to replace. This sphere threads onto a GMF accumulator valve and there are two valves and spheres on each car. The accumulator valves that use the green fluid are not rebuildable, no parts are supplied by the factory to rebuild them and if one of them suffers from a leak, the unit should be replaced. However, there is seal between the sphere and valve that is available and this seal sometimes will leak. Regardless the seal should always be replaced if the sphere is replaced or disturbed. 

A mechanic called us and asked for internal parts for a green GMF accumulator valve from a 1995 Rolls-Royce and stated that he had already disassembled the valve and could find no parts for it. We informed him that was because no parts were ever supplied for rebuilding these valves as the factory decided it was not safe to rebuild them. We told him that he should replace it but the car owner wanted to sell the car and did not want to fix things properly ( spend money) so the mechanic decided to walk the plank and assume great risk instead of telling the car owner that the valve should be replaced and that was that.  However, the liability for rebuilding an intricate brake part that the factory supplies no parts for is nothing to take on lightly as whom would be responsible if the diddled valve fails and the car crashes? 

photo of a 1996 Rolls Royce    photo of a 1996 Rolls Royce

Party like it's 1995-1999

Rolls Royce and Bentley cars from 1995 to 1999 or so use four high pressure fuel lines that feed the fuel injectors. These fuel lines are located under the intake rams atop the engine and cannot be seen or inspected without removing the intake ram pipes. Over time, the rubber sections get baked until they are well done at which point they can leak fuel over the engine. Not good. The new lines are metal mesh wrapped. All the other rubber parts such as air hoses, drive belts, various seals, idle valve hoses, coolant lines, heat hoses, ignition cables and such are also baked and all rubber parts have aged.  Hard baked rubber can split and leak. We see a lot of cars young in mileage but time has gone by and these cars usually need to have about all the under bonnet rubber parts replaced as all are at least 20 years old. The brake and suspension pumps located atop the engine galley usually need resealed as well by now and if they are not leaking now, they will be if the pumps have never been resealed. Yes, we supply all the parts required to bring a car up to good driving condition again. These photos show a 1996 Rolls-Royce Flying Spur turbo having a rubber update job done. These photos were taken during the re-assembly.

 

Got Muck in your Bucket?

  photo of a rusty brake reservoir

1966-1980 Silver Shadow, pre 1979 Corniche and post 1977 Silver Wraith and all T series Bentley cars use a large rectangular fluid reservoir to supply RR363 fluid to the brake and suspension systems.  A great many fluid reservoirs that we see in our workshops during a cars first visit are found to be nasty and rusty appearing like this one. If they look this bad on the outside then the inside may well and most probably has a contamination issue. Such a reservoir should be opened and all contaminated muck and debris cleaned out leaving the reservoir spotlessly clean. Inside the reservoir are fluid level detection floats, grommets, level sensor reed switches as well as fluid baffles and we supply all these parts. The hoses that carry the fluid to the pumps are special hoses made from material that resists the corrosive nature of brake fluid. Using generic hose is a very bad idea as brake fluid will leak right through the hose and moisture finds its way in. Once all the hoses have been properly replaced and the system flushed, the car can be tested to find out if further work is required such as are the four front and two back brake calipers in good condition.  Calipers do seize solid as the internal pistons rust right to the bores. For cars that are driven on a regular basis or that have been long stowed, these hoses and pipes should be examined and replaced if they have not been replaced within 8-10 years. 

  photo of contaminated fluid     photo of contaminated fluid    photo of contaminated fluid

The above photo group shows the inside of a rarely if ever serviced circa 1980 Silver Wraith brake and suspension fluid reservoir. The dark contaminated fluid is a indicator of long term poor maintenance and is not what you want to find. We removed the fluid and found that the bottom of the reservoir was covered with thick layers of contaminated muck. The little round object in the second and third photos are the tops of very fine micromesh fluid filters. The third photo shows a ruler inserted into the thick goo.

What happens with a hydraulic system that has trash and muck in the fluid reservoir is that some of this stuff is inevitably picked up and pumped throughout the system as the engine is running and thus all the expensive components are bathed in trashy fluid and such an environment greatly shortens the reliability and length of service of expensive parts. A good cleaning of the fluid reservoir and replacement of the seals  and special feed hoses and whatever else is required is very good work to do or have done on any Rolls-Royce or Bentley built that is older than 15 years or so.

Mucky Valves

photo of contaminated fluid

Here are innards of a disassembled Rolls-Royce rear height control valve. This valve sends fluid to the rear height rams and the high pressure fluid raises and lowers the rear of the car. The two halves of the valve have been separated for rebuilding. Observe the right hand half of the valve in the photo. The lower piston has contaminated goop that squished out when the piston was lightly pushed in with a finger. The spring on top is covered in contamination. You can see the contamination in the left hand half of the valve as well. The inside of these valves should be pristinely clean. This valve was non- operational. The car that these valves came from either never had the fluid changed or a mix of fluid was used and the car sat up a long time. Thus it is very good to drive a car and keep the fluid serviced.

 

Anti-muck filters

  photo of  fluid filter

This a bit fuzzy photo is of a coin and a new fluid mesh micro filter that live on the bottom of the brake fluid hydraulic reservoirs fitted to every Rolls-Royce and Bentley model made from late 1966 to 1980 excepting certain Corniche cars built in 1979. No, these parts do not sell for 25 cents. In many instances, exposure to gooey contamination that can build up on the bottom of fluid reservoirs that have not been cleaned or serviced in a long time will have destroyed the filter mesh and unfiltered trashy fluid is being pumped through the system. This situation results in expensive repairs to the finely machined pumps, accumulators, distribution valves and other components. If you are planning on cleaning your reservoir and this is a great idea on 30 plus year old cars and want one of our resealing kits, you might want to examine the integrity of the two or three micro filters as well. Yes, we stock them. 

  photo of a brake sensor

This part is called a reed switch and two of them fit inside the Silver Shadow series brake reservoirs as seen in the opened reservoir in above pictures of a nasty reservoir.  Two fluid level switch floats ride up and down on the reed switches detecting fluid levels. The reed switches screw into the reservoir from the bottom. When they get corroded from years of sitting in contaminated goop, they will leak and fail. Sometimes the electrical connection will break off from the underside so the switches are not working at all so the fluid level warning lamps are not accurate or are inoperative. This is not good!

 Mucking about

Many times we have found that both pressure warning lamp light bulbs had been removed by evil people that seek to sell a car with bad brake pressure problems to unsuspecting buyers. Such people do this sort of thing because they are burdened with overly abundant greed and stupidity, lack a sense of basic ethics, are possibly borderline sociopaths or regretfully may suffer from all these maladies. The two pressure warning lamps on the dash should illuminate when the engine is started and will briefly flash on or may stay on 30-45 seconds if the fluid is sluggish or the pressure warning sensors are weak but they always should go off when proper pressure is reached. If the lamps never light, there is good reason to be concerned.

 While writing this paragraph, our workshop was rebuilding the brake and suspension systems on three 1980 Silver Shadows.  On one of the cars, three of the four wheels had brake calipers with seized up pistons that were rusted solid to the caliper body. The owner of the car complained that the car seemed to stop itself without his permission and this situation was because the car was stopping itself without regard for the commands of the drivers foot. When we inspected the car and unscrewed the fluid pipe fittings, several pipes snapped and broke apart. This particular car was a right hand drive model recently brought over from England where corrosion is a particular problem. Removing rusted and seized brake pistons can be a real chore and we made some special tools for this purpose. To order brake related parts, please send the VIN with your requests.

 Silver Spur and Silver Spirit series cars use a somewhat similar system in spirit but numerous changes have taken place such as very few of the brake parts were carried over from the Silver Shadow series. Many parts have similar appearances but are very different. The inspection of pipes and hoses is also very important and frequently overlooked on Silver Spurs and Silver Spirits as these cars were manufactured from 1981. The world and our lives always have complicated and interesting stuff going on that captures our collective attention so maintenance is frequently overlooked. 

Say C'est la vie or you can just say levee.

 

The wrath of an abused Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith

can most certainly test the faith

so instead of taking a contaminated and expensive bath (in wrong brake fluid)

take a much wiser path

Scotty so saith

 

Fluids for brakes and suspensions do vary from model to model.

 photo of wrong fluid

The use of wrong fluids will contaminate or poison the hydraulic system used in these cars and this makes the car very vengeful.  As you can see in this photo an almost empty gallon of generic brake fluid was found in the trunk of this 1970's Silver Wraith when the car was towed in. This discovery was a good clue that the entire brake system was contaminated with wrong brake fluid. The Silver Shadow series brake fluid reservoir has a warning label that states in plain language that nothing else other than RR363 is to be used in this model.  Unfortunately, some people ignore this warning and to save a very little bit of money will use other fluids and end up badly damaging the brake system. RR363 fluid also powers the suspension so use of the wrong fluid is bad in every possible way. To rectify contamination situations and deliver a brake system that works very well as these systems were designed to do, we rebuild, clean and or replace the entire brake and hydraulic system. Would this sort of work be expensive? Absolutely. 

True or false?

 

RR 363 brake fluid is not to be used in any car built after 1980.    -True!

The brake and suspension systems from 1966 to 1980 ( except for 1979 Corniche) use RR363  - True!

1981 onwards Silver Spur, Silver Spirit  use Castrol + fluid in the brakes and suspension- True

Call 281.448.5165 with your VIN for parts requests or send an e-mail

 

 More Rolls-Royce and Bentley brake system chat on this and that

   photo of a master cylinder

  Here is a typical Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud or Bentley S series lower brake master cylinder (after 1956, Silver Clouds use two master cylinders) after many years of service. As you can see, the brake fluid is oozing right through the porous metal cylinder casting. All metals are porous to some extent. All brake cylinders age and when they look like this, the inside is always in about the same condition. 

 

 photo of a rebuilt caliper  

 A completed pair of 1968 Silver Shadow rear brake calipers that were shipped in from Mexico City for restoration. Texas is close to Mexico and has a long colorful history and shared border. The Spaniards stole Mexico from the Aztecs and much of South America from the Incas. Texicans seized Texas from Mexico and formed a new nation in 1832 while Scotty's  Braveheart ancestors were still in Scotland perfecting single malt scotch when they weren't enjoying battling the Brits. 

 The fluid bleeder screws and steel lines on the above caliper had been replaced with parts from other cars and the calipers were a genuine mess. We rebuilt the calipers with new stainless steel pistons, made new pipes, repaired the damaged threads, reworked the handbrake mechanisms as parts had been lost over the cars life and we replaced the pads. The calipers will work as new. 

 photo of brake pads

 We supply this nice front brake pad kit for most 1972-1980 cars that includes new hardware, some of which was not used on early cars and makes a very nice non squealing upgrade. The kit services all four front calipers. We supply front and rear brake pads for all Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars as well as brake shoe relining kits for Silver Cloud and Bentley S.  The brake pad kit we supply for 1980 up cars has the hardware as well. New hardware instead of re-using corroded rusty hardware makes a major improvement to a system. 

 photo of a bad caliper

 Typical Silver Shadow brake caliper piston bores after many years of service. Inside this example, the brake caliper pistons were seized solid into the body of the caliper and after we removed the rusted pistons, the inside of the caliper was found to be full of contamination debris, rust and sludge accumulated from 35 years of service and mixed up brake fluids. Brake calipers in this condition are not doing much stopping and this is not good! We always replace the caliper pistons as well because they are rarely if ever found to be good on a vintage car.  

 photo of old brakes

A rear brake caliper on a 1979 Rolls-Royce Corniche two door saloon before we removed and rebuilt the pair. The 1979 Corniche cars were the first models to go to the new green mineral oil brake system like used on the Silver Spur series. We rebuilt the entire hydraulic system on the car for it's new owner. Although the  brakes were working ok, the new owner wanted to drive the car a long time without brake problems so we rebuilt the calipers and replaced the hoses. 

 

Bad Braking

  photo of brake cylinders

Some front brake wheel cylinders from a 1964 Silver Cloud III. The car had a botched brake repair that resulted in the car having only about 25% of normal stopping power and took both feet to stop the car...slowly. We found that the brake master cylinders had been rebuilt incorrectly and the rear brake cylinders were rusted solid. The brake shoes on all four wheels were glazed and fluid soaked and the front wheel cylinders as represented by the example in the photo were rusted internally and the mechanical brake linkage was bent and well out of adjustment. The steel brake lines were well rusted and fragile. The brake cylinder on the right in the above photo had recently been "rebuilt". Look carefully and you will notice the brownish stain inside the bore. This staining is rust damage (creating small  pits that work like sandpaper) from many years of old brake fluid and water sitting in the cylinders and it acts like sandpaper on the rubber seals. The rest of the internal parts in the cylinders were rusted and weak. Rebuilding such a cylinder was a waste of the owners time and money as replacing the rubber parts simply got the car moving a few more miles as the cylinders began leaking brake fluid on brake shoes in short order. We see this sort of 'repair" all too frequently.The cylinder on the left has been machined with a new stainless steel sleeve allowing the cylinder to have a perfect bore that allows the rubber parts to seal properly.

Is the object of the work to simply make the car stop a little for a short time for the least possible expenditure or do a proper brake job that will make the car stop as well as it ever did for a long time? We prefer the later choice and believe most owners want their cars to stop well. 

 

Braking Bad

 We are aware of the erroneous rambling rumors uttered by nattering nabobs of negativism continually opining that these mighty cars have inherently bad brakes. This is not factual although it is true that there are individual cars out there that do have very bad brakes. These particular cars require brake and servicing work from lack of servicing or too long improper storage.

 There is a difference between being inherently bad or worn out or poorly adjusted. Chronologically through the years we have found that most Silver Cloud and Bentley S series cars that arrive at our workshop for the first time have poor or little effective brake response. In many situations car owners are under the misimpression that the brakes are supposed to be vague as the brakes have "always" been that way. However, the assertion that these cars have inherently poor brakes is not at all accurate.

 Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars have a backup brake system either mechanical or hydraulic depending on the model. Lots of Silver Clouds and R-Types or MK 6's are driving around with only the rear mechanical brakes working as the hydraulics failed long ago and no one remembers what the car drove like when the brakes were working well. As a matter of fact, 1940's-1960's Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars have the inherent capability of having very good brakes when compared to other cars of the period. We know this to be true because we make them that way for owners on a very regular basis and find it very interesting that some owners have formed the notion that in the olden days, Rolls-Royce would purposely design a car with bad brakes. 

All this said, it is not a fair thing to compare the brake systems on any vintage car with modern ABS brake systems like those on new Bentley cars and assert that vintage cars with drum brakes have bad brakes. These are not the same kinds of apples. The braking systems on Silver Shadow and Bentley T series use calipers and have excellent brakes when all systems are in good order and are working properly.

Go right  here  to have a look at some Rolls-Royce and Bentley parts we offer.

 

Stop in the Name of Love

Over time, brake cylinder bores inevitably become scratched and gouged from contaminants such as dirt that inevitably make way into the fluid system. Scratches cause a cylinder to become no longer smooth and the soft rubber seals rub across the roughened areas destroying the sealing lips. Thus it's not good enough to install new rubber seals into pitted and scratched old brake cylinders and pronounce the system rebuilt. 

The Art of the Squeal.

Squealing noises can come from several sources such as loose or glazed fan belts or from cheap or poorly made brake pads or from worn or glazed brake discs. We use and offer factory brake pads for all Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars and supply factory fan belts that actually fit without suffering.

 

Special Victims Unit

Poorly done repairs are sometimes deliberately done by the unscrupulous, sometimes by simple human error and sometimes with the assistance of overly inflated egos. The enemy of car owners are people that "fix" a problem as cheaply as possible without regard for the safety of the occupants or other drivers.  One has to ask themselves what is the worth of a human life?  Is the value more or less than a package of brake hoses?

We think that brake systems on any car should be 100% at all times so we stock a lot of brake parts for these cars.  If a new part is expensive, its equally amazing how a bad decision may be made that the part in question is still good regardless of obvious visual poor condition. A bad brake part is not good and saying so does not make it so unless you are a wizard with great powers like Gandolf or Merlin.  The cost of replacement parts should not be the dominant deciding factor on buying safety related parts and if an owner cannot afford the parts at the time, it is most reasonable to park the car and save up to buy the parts that allow a proper job to be done.

Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud series cars require a number of time consuming adjustments to the mechanical linkages and to other brake related components to make the car stop as designed. There is no easy way to learn this stuff. However our parts department does stock new factory workshop manuals for Silver Cloud 1, 2 and 3 and Bentley S 1, 2 and 3 cars and this manual is the place to begin the journey. We have rebuilt many Silver Clouds over the decades, have amassed a great deal of experience with Silver Cloud brake systems and stock parts for them such as cylinder kits, hoses, reservoir seals and filter screens, brake shoe linings, brake drums, servo parts and many sundry parts for the brakes.

 

What is the question? 

You know what the question is. 

" Is my life and the life of my passengers or other travelers worth the cost of new brake parts?" 

If the answer is no, please start walking a lot more!

 photo of a bad master cylinder

 A Silver Cloud brake master cylinder that an unknown shop had "rebuilt' featuring a crudely machined brass part that was stuffed into it with JB Weld epoxy to hold it into place. This was a really creepy thing to find. The cylinder leaked like a sieve. The car had limited operation of the mechanical brake system and that was it.  Once we replaced the ruined cylinders with a set of our re-manufactured cylinders, still had no brakes. Hmmm. We looked at the mechanical brake servo and observed that it was not working at all and the actuating linkage was well bent. A few more throaty hmmms later we removed the servo and found the brass drive gear had stripped it's teeth but not on purpose.  This finding is quite unusual so we suspect the previous shop had been into the servo and had misaligned the gears. The fix was removing the tail of the transmission to clean out all the gear teeth and metal bits, fit a new gear and then move on with the rest of the brakes.   

  photo of wheel cylinders

A brace of new rear brake wheel cylinders for a circa 1961 S II Bentley about to be fitted. Usually we rebuild these cylinders. The car that we were about to fit these cylinders to was sent in from California where it had not enjoyed a poorly done brake rebuild. The cylinders had been rebuilt but when the brakes were applied, fluid squirted out from where the steel brake pipe tube nuts thread into the cylinder casting. What the previous shop did not notice was the condition of the rust damaged threads in the pipe fitting orifices. The brake pipe nut could not seal as there were not enough threads left to hold it. The old cylinders were done for.  None of the brake linkage had been cleaned and lubricated either so the car would not have had proper brakes even if the cylinders had not leaked. There is much to know about these brake systems that is learned by working on many examples. 

 

The old Soft Shoe

  photo of bad brakes

 Ancient front brake shoe linings that are disintegrating from a combination of time, usage and other issues on a Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III. This car suffered from front wheel bearing races that had spun in the bearing hub resulting in a wobbly wheel. The brake drum was moving back and forth as the car was driven and the uneven pressure contributed to the shoe deterioration. We supply factory new linings and rivets to replace the old linings. As a point of interest, many brake shoe relining companies glue new generic linings to the steel shoe. This method is inferior to the riveted method as the rivets help transfer heat from the lining to the steel shoe as the steel dissipates heat better. In the photo you can barely see the small rivet holes in the old lining. A Silver Cloud is a big and heavy car and riveted brake linings are what you want them to have as the original designers intended for good reason. This Silver Cloud had a new hub, bearings and brake linings fitted before it drove off to a Rolls-Royce regional meet.   

Manifolds are not what they are cracked up to be

 

  photo of a cracked manifold

If your exhaust is a bit flatulent near the engine, you might have a blown gasket or broken or cracked manifold like this photo shows. Around the crack in this exhaust manifold from a 1980 Silver Shadow, are remnants of some sort of muffler patch material. This stuff will never work on a HOT manifold and probably lasted five minutes at most before it burned away. Exhaust fumes can also leak from a burned out gasket so these exhaust situations must always be inspected and rectified. We supply the original exhaust hangers for these cars as well as all manner of exhaust parts. When the rubber hangers get old and saggy, you will feel a thump thump thump of the pipes banging against the car usually when started. 

 

  photo of a new manifold

A new Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow exhaust manifold just before installation. We do repair cracked manifolds on elderly cars in instances whereby a new manifold is no longer available. However, we prefer to always replace them with new manifolds to ensure a long lasting situation. If you need a manifold, send your VIN as we can supply new manifolds for many cars built from today back to the late 1940's and have many in stock. 

We also supply exhaust manifolds for many pre-war Rolls-Royce cars and exhaust systems and exhaust parts such as mounts, pipes, mufflers etc for many Bentley and Rolls-Royce cars built after 1946 . 

A little history. 

The first Rolls-Royce made used a 1.8 or two litre engine and was built from 1904-1906 and the first Silver Ghost was built.  Seems like yesterday doesn't it?  The first Bentley was built in 1922  and featured a 2996cc engine.  As we specialize in cars built after WW2 we will skip through time to 1946 and the first car Rolls-Royce built after the war was the Silver Wraith. Silver Dawns, Phantom IV, Silver Cloud, Phantom V models followed. The first Silver Shadow I was built in late 1965 and featured a 6230 cc engine. In 1969 the engine was increased in capacity to 6750cc. The Silver Shadow II and Silver Wraith II were released in late 1976 and featured a power steering rack rather than a power steering box. The first Corniche was introduced in 1971. Prior to 1971, the two door Coupe of the Shadow series was called the James Young Coupe.

 

There is a loose nut

behind the steering wheel

of every car

sooner or later

isn't there?

 

Shake, Rattle and Rolls

 

Most Silver Cloud and Bentley S series suspensions have tired bearings, joints, pads, pins, seats, threads, arms, bushings, seals  and rebounds.

 

Shaking and rattling just won't do on a Bentley or Rolls-Royce motorcar as these cars were designed to waft their passengers along as if they are riding on a Silver Cloud up in the sky and are thus oblivious to the trials and mundane events of the real world until they step out of the car and into the soup.

 

photo of RR suspension parts  photo of RR suspension parts 

Here we have one of the two lower fulcrum assemblies used on Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud 1 and Bentley S1 series cars and the Phantom V. The lower fulcrum is bolted to the car frame and is what the lower wishbones or control arms attach to through the bearing blocks. A bearing block is seen sitting next to the much larger fulcrum in the photo.

photo of RR suspension parts A typical old Silver Cloud 1 front suspension bearing block with corrosion and rust damaged internal threads on the left and a new bearing block on the right.  Instead of rubber bushings, these cars use machined threaded parts that swivel up and down as the car goes down the road. This design was also used on Mercedes Benz cars right up to 1973.

This particular front suspension had some "funny business" done as someone in the past had purposely welded over the onboard Bijou lubrication systems orifices on one side of the suspension causing the parts to work without lubrication and eventually wear and self destruct. Who knows why this stupid thing was done. What happens if the steering parts are not lubricated and or the rubber sealing rings rot away is that road water washes out the remaining lubricant, dirt and grit gets in and the parts go metal to metal ending up in mutual destruction. Observe the severely damaged threads on the left end of the fulcrum. The bearing block also has little thread left internally and the badly worn part can slip right over and off the threads of the bearing block which means it is just flopping around as the suspension disintegrates. This sort of damage is not uncommon on this series car after 60 or so years and this situation depends on the level of care the car has enjoyed or not.  These bearing blocks should always be inspected for wear as a safety issue.

photo of  Rolls Royce suspension  photo of  Rolls Royce suspension 

Here we are disassembling, inspecting and organizing the parts during a rebuild of the front suspension on a Silver Cloud I.

 photo of  Rolls Royce transmission 

The front damper bodies being drained of fluid prior to rebuilding them.

photo of RR suspension parts 

Here we have a rust damaged upper suspension fulcrum pin. Observe the pitted and corrosion damaged threads on this 50 year old critical part. As the car was being driven and the suspension was moving up and down, the hard edges of the rust pits on the threads of the pin would be grinding into the metal threaded bushing that it inserts into. This is a bad situation that greatly accelerates the natural wear of these parts.

Red Dawn

  photo of  Rolls Royce steering box

 You wake up in the morning and stroll ovetr to your car and a red puddle is under the front of the car. The above photo is a power steering sector box assembly as used on Silver Cloud II and III and Bentley S2 and S3 cars. This photo was taken after a complete rebuild was performed on the unit and it's ready to be return shipped. We stock the sealing parts for these rebuilds for those inclined to do them. Few Silver Cloud series cars have had their steering sector boxes rebuilt and this is evident when they are driven as the steering has a lot of side to side play, the box leaks a lot and the car steers like an very old primitive truck. Poor handling is not how these cars were intended to drive and a vintage car that drives well is a joy to experience. Old power steering components tend to leak after they get hot and the next morning owners may find a red patch of fluid that has leaked out.

 Rack and Rolls

  photo of  Rolls Royce Corniche Cars such as this mid-1980's Corniche featured rack and pinion power steering and these days we are seeing these cars needing front suspension rebuilding due to many factors such as rubber components perishing from age and dry rot, exposure to oil leaks from the engine (wet rot) and general wear and tear (general purpose rot) to the ball joints.  Power steering racks tend to leak when the seals get old and the hoses have lived several lifetimes by now. What happens as well is that the suspension levers ( control arms) have rubber bushings that are often rotten and done for. The tie rods are usually in need of rebuilding or replacing and we supply parts to rebuild the tie rods on all Rolls-Royce and Bentley built from 1955- 1980 and we supply rebuilt power steering racks. For cars built after 1980, we supply complete tie rod bars with new tie rods and anything else they require.  More to follow on steering. 

 Loose Joints 

  photo of  Rolls Royce steering

 A broken and split 36 year old flexible steering joint. This part is located on the lower steering column used on Silver Shadows and early Spurs and Spirits as well as Corniche and Silver Wraith models. This particular flexible steering joint was on a circa 1974 Shadow.  The owner complained of vague steering as the rubber has deteriorated, split and a section has broken away. As a 6000 lb. car is turned with a bad steering joint the dry rotted rubber will split causing excessive side to side travel. It is a good idea to inspect your joint from time to time. Deterioration of rubber can be hard to see and old rubber parts can split or break from dry rot, heat, oil contamination and age without warning. Any rubber part on any car over 20 years old could benefit from replacement and the replacement of such parts will benefit your pleasure of driving the car in many ways. 

 

Gravity

The earth sucks

Dippety do da.

  Most cars suspension systsms in order to to absorb road shock and maintain ride height use road springs made from coiled steel or with flat stacked steel leaves. All Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars that were built in Crewe prior to 2005 used road springs. A road spring will compress and then recoil back as the suspension engages dips in the road surface, pot holes or holes that were formed without pot. After a car has reached a vintage age, road springs will have had the cars weight sitting on them for any number of decades and these springs need a permanent vacation. Springs slowly collapse and as the car lowers, the ride suffers and handling also suffers. The alignment slowly goes off the scale as negative camber increases and this results in tires that are worn on the inside portion of the tread. Many large heavy cars weighing 4000-6000 lbs that are 15-20 old or more have wheels that are leaning in at the top. This is negative camber. The usual fix is to replace the springs with new springs and if required, spring pads. The new springs literally push the car upwards to where it belongs. 

Some cars like circa 1971 Mercedes Benz 300sel used air bags with a compressor instead of springs to absorb road shock and others like the Jaguar XK 120, XK150 and XK150, all Jaguar E-Types, vintage Corvettes and the venerable Morris Minor used torsion bars instead of springs on the front of the car. Many Jaguar cars used four rear springs and Bristol cars used torsion bars on the rear suspension. A torsion bar is a forged steel bar that is made to twist and are used where there is insufficient room for springs.

New Bentley and Rolls-Royce cars from 2005 no longer use coil springs and use highly pressurized dampers or gas springs. We supply new front coil springs for the front end on Silver Cloud series and offer new coil springs for all other models that use them and also supply new dampers for the 2005 up models.

 

On the Level

  photo of RR suspension parts

One of our rebuilt rear ride height control valves from a 1970's Silver Shadow.  The Silver Shadow series onwards used a hydraulic system to raise the rear of the car to keep the car level while passengers are riding along. Early Silver Shadows also had front ride height control valves. What happens as these valves age is that they eventually leak precious RR363 fluid and any leak is not good. We have discovered a great many sins have been done to a lot of cars as they fell into the wrong hands over the years such as when a valve would leak, "some people" would purposely crush the steel fluid pipe that feeds the valve and thus prevent fluid front reaching it. This sort of stupid thing causes the rear ride height rams to cease functioning aside from damaging the previously good pipes. Silver Shadow and Corniche have two height rams in the rear that push down on the shocks to raise or lower the car as also there are two height control valves that do just that. If the fluid is blocked, the rams do nothing, the cars will hang down in the rear and the ride greatly suffers.  "Some people" will drive (bash or beat)  "spring helpers" or metal wedges into the road springs to force the car up. This is a horrible thing to do to any car. Of course all of these bad things make for a massive deterioration of the suspension systems and the car rides like a junk heap rather than the fine ride it was designed to have. We fix these problems often and were doing a 1979 Silver Shadow as this passage was written. The rear ride height valves on the car had critical parts purposely removed from within them creating a fluid bypass and the height rams were not working. The car owner had this car for 20 years and never knew that his rear suspension had not been fully operational until we examined the car and found the right height control valve to be seized solid and the left to be doing nothing. The rear height control rams were also found to leak once we had fluid reaching them from our newly rebuilt height control valves. The car sorted and and now is right as rain.

Great Expectations or Feel'in Groovy

  photo of bentley GT brakes

Worn front brake rotors on a '05 Bentley Continental GT.

 photo of a Bentley GT

These 20.5 kg. brake rotors are the largest used by any manufacturer on a production car at the time of this writing. This GT already has about 64K miles on it. The angry owner told us that for the money he paid for the car from the local Bentley dealer, he expected the brakes to last forever. However, forever is a very long time and reality has a way of interfering with such expectations. All brake parts wear out no matter how expensive the car may be as nothing lasts forever no matter how expensive the nothing is..

Ok, let's just ban the use of the word "forever" and "perfect" from the car world right now and anyone using those words should be banned.

 

 photo of bentley GT brakes

Observe the deep groove on the outer edge of the brake rotor as these rear rotors have been considerably reduced in thickness. This sort of wear is about right for a fast city car with 64K miles.  The brake pads are worn down to very little as well. Owners of these cars should be aware that the rear brake pads cannot be changed on these cars without a special electronic tool to reset the electric handbrake.

 photo of bentley GT brakes

What also happens with Bentley Continental GT cars that have not received scheduled yearly services as seen in this photo, is that electrolysis corrodes the steel center wheel hub where it contacts the mag wheel. This car was probably driven a beach or salty road  and not properly cleaned.  It's a good idea to remove the wheels once a year, polish off the corrosion and apply a bit of anti seize compound. Otherwise, if the car suffers a tire puncture and the owner wants to change the tire, the wheel will most likely not be able to be dismounted on the side of the road. If you are a Bentley GT or Flying Spur owner, you might want to have this procedure done. 

 

Bentley Arnage and Rolls-Royce Seraph Suspension systems

Arnage and Seraph cars are approaching the age where many are in need of suspension bushings, ball joints, front road spring cushions, gas springs and such. The massive weight of the car tends to squish the rubber bushings and after eight or ten years these parts are tired and worn. The brakes can be needy as well. It is wise to have your car inspected by an experienced and qualified shop that has several trained eyes looking for for wear and yes we supply all manner of parts for these cars. The usual suspects are:

 

1. front sway bar links- These links usually are worn resulting in poor handling

2. upper and lower ball joints

3. spring cushions- These fit above and below the suspension springs

4. suspension bushings

5. brake discs

6. brake pads

7. gas spring spheres- supply the rear shocks with pressure

8. Rear shock ball joints- the dirt boots are usually disentigrated allowing road debris into the inner parts. The grit accelerates wear.

 

Bounce

  photo of RR suspension parts

The Bentley Turbo R and Rolls-Royce Silver Spurs and Spirit series are massive cars and the shocks or dampers feel the weight after 20,000 miles or so. The rear dampers will exhibit their tiredness by leaking green fluid on your floor. If you examine the rear dampers and they are leaking, you will observe that the suspension Castrol Plus mineral oil fluid will have leaked down the damper shafts and is soaking into the lower rubber bushings doing them no good.  Suspension fluid circulates through the dampers when the engine is running thus the rear dampers are a part of the hydraulic and suspension systems.  If leakage is apparent, it is time for new dampers.

 Cars built after VIN x27700 or so with the "Autoride" active suspension use dampers with electric coils that operate internal valves within the dampers to adjust the firmness of the ride on each shock with the help of complex  electronics. We offer new Autoride dampers, activation looms and other parts for this system. To diagnose issues with the Autoride system, a special Autoride analyzer is required. We have one of these analyzers and it does not solve every issue but without it a solid diagnosis is very difficult.

 

UP and down

Gas Spring Spheres

   photo of RR suspension parts

Like people,  gas springs are full of highly charged gas. Post 1980 Bentley and Rolls-Royce suspension design incorporates  rear " gas spring spheres". This part is a charged high pressure vessel that looks like a green or gray ball. They evetually deplete and need replacement from time to time usually after 20K miles or so.  When the gas springs are depleted the rear end of the car will tend to hop or bounce around in a very stiff and un Bentley or Rolls-Royce like manner.  These parts are not rebuildable and must be replaced. There are people that repaint old spheres and sell them as "rebuilt". New parts come in new boxes but we have seen repainted old parts refitted into new boxes and offered using on-line auctions as if the parts were new. So sad.  Of course we supply all these parts new as in new new and can insure you receive the correct parts with your VIN as there are variations between Arnage, Seraph and Spur and Spirit and Corniche series.

 

 photo of RR suspension parts

A typical left rear damper (shock absorber) on a Silver Cloud or Bentley S series and Phantom V  cocooned in a thick shell of road dirt mixed with hardened shock oil that slowly leaked out for decades until nothing was left in the unit. Dampers that look like this are happy to be there but are doing nothing and the car will ride like a big rolly polly lump instead of a nicely designed luxury car. By now if a damper that looks like this one is no longer leaking, there may well be no fluid left to leak!  These dampers have a rubber bushings on the arm that is usually rotten. Yes we stock them.

 We supply new shocks and parts for Bentley GT and Flying Spur.

 photo of RR suspension parts

A Silver Cloud or Bentley S rear damper electric solenoid. This part allows the driver to select a firm or softer ride on Silver Cloud series. Many cars have solenoids that are dead or non functional. When we rebuild these shocks, we test the solenoid and replace it if the part is dead. These solenoids have been unavailable for years but we do have a very limited number of new ( meaning never fitted to a car) solenoids in stock. In the photo above of the dirty old unit, you can see the solenoid near the rear of the shock body. 

  photo of RR suspension parts

A Silver Cloud right rear damper after we rebuilt it and replaced the bushings on a car that needs rust repairs.  You can see an anti-rust solution we use on the bolts that help prevent them from seizing in the future. You can also see the rotten rear spring leathers that we will be replacing. These leathers keep the grease that services the spring from washing away. Behind the unit you can see part of the new stainless exhaust. We were sorting out a variety of mechanical deficiencies and as the car has a division window befitting a limo, we resurrected the ancient a/c system that had been worked on by Frankenstein's cousin long ago.  

 

The Driving Dead

 If your Silver Shadow or Silver Spur is still riding around with the original shocks, those shocks are way past dead! We call them Zombie Shocks. Cars with old dead shocks mean the driver and passengers are not experiencing the potential of the cars inherant ability to provide one of the nicest rides of any car ever built.  Bentley and Rolls-Royce cars have a absolutely lovely ride after new dampers and sometimes new springs are fitted.  The cars are sort of like riding on a silver cloud!

What happens over the many years of either active use or sitting around is that the fluid within the shocks slowly leaks out and the internal seals deteriorate so the shocks are essentially doing nothing. The car is riding around on the coil springs or leaf springs thus the ride is wallowy or springy. Consider the point of view that if you want to drive a car such as a Rolls-Royce or Bentley the point of it all aside from impressing others with your appreciation of fine driving machinery, visual style and panache is to experience the charms of the car as it was when young and not as a worn out relic. Relics are interesting to admire and study but that is about it.

Contact us with your chassis number for e-mail  parts quotes or Call 281.448.4739 for parts requests. 

 

First, second, third and forth

Silver Cloud series automatic transmission rebuilding  and parts supply is another specialty here. We seem to specialize in specialties don't we? 

 photo of  Rolls Royce transmission

This photo reveals a freshly opened late 1950's Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud transmission that had been hibernating a long time. There is typical rust inside that has resulted from poor service and moisture laden storage. When we rebuild a Silver Cloud, Phantom or Bentley S series automatic transmission we do rather intensive rebuilds.  Contrary to some incorrect information floating about, these transmissions are not the common Turbo 400 units that variations of were fitted to many American cars as well as later Silver Shadow and newer Rolls-Royce and Bentley models.

We carefully and exhaustively examine each part and check for excessive wear as these transmissions are 40-50 years old or more and may have been "overhauled" several times before. We replace many bushings, springs, piston rings, clutches, plates, bearings and bands and do whatever it takes to make these venerable transmissions a lot better than what we found so they will last far into the future. Vintage automatics are tricky and take vintage special tools to deal with some of the component rebuilding. Our rebuilds may well cost more than some may charge to do because we usually replace a lot of parts rather than just call them good in the hopes the parts will last another mile or two.  All of our work is performed to a very high standard and are not compromised to achieve a low initial price point. Our rationale is that by replacing parts that get weak or worn with age (40-50 years or more in many cases) rather than trying to save the owner an inconsequential amount of money as related to the scale of the this sort of work, we are actually bettering the odds of the transmission lasting a long time and shifting properly as designed. This philosophy has proven to work well to save an owner the aggravation of premature failure. Contact us beforehand on shipping engine and transmissions for advice on how to best ship them to our service department.

  photo of  Rolls Royce transmssion

The inside of a cleaned and painted Silver Cloud or Bentley S transmission case about to receive the rebuilt servos and drums, valve body and other parts.

 photo of  Rolls Royce transmission  

The rebuilt drums fitted into the casing.

 photo of  Rolls Royce transmssion

Here is the completed transmission just before being mated to the original 6 cylinder engine, also just rebuilt.

 

 photo of  Rolls Royce transmission

This snap shows a restored Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud transmission mounted onto a restored rolling chassis.

 

photo of  Rolls Royce transmission

We are fitting a freshly rebuilt transmission into a Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III. 

Some owners complain about a "wallowy" steering on these cars and yes, this condition can be substantially rectified. All bearings, seals and bushings are replaced on our power steering unit rebuilds and the improvement in steering is dramatic. 

Working with enthusiasts or car repair shops is part of what we are about. On many occasions an owner or shop may ship their engines and transmissions or other assemblies to us for rebuilding that require special tools or knowledge. We are happy to help keep these cars going as they were intended any way we can. Everyone cannot be or have local access to an intense specialty shop such as ours so we are "worldwide" by virtue of shipment.

Contact us with your chassis number for parts quotes. 

 

 photo of a ROLLS rOYCE sILVER wRAITH

A scarce 1958 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith with coachwork by James Young, in for service and electronic ignition installation.

This car was Rolls-Royce's 1958 Earl's Court show car and has features such as a James Young roof mounted luggage rack, swivel reading lamps and many other delightful options. 

 

 photo of a Rolls royce handle  photo of a Rolls royce trunk

Here are a few photos of some details such as the drivers side outer door handles and the signature James Young boot handle. 

 

 photo of a Rolls royce wraith

  The car features a division window and very nice woodwork. 

 photo of a Bentley Continental

Here is a lovely 1961 Bentley Continental Drophead in for brakes and front and rear suspension work. We also rebuilt the transmission, performed tuning and built some custom wood pieces for the top and on and on. We reworked the air conditioning system as well.

 

 photo of a Rolls royce Silver Cloud III

 We have extensive experience with great cars such as this 1964 Silver Cloud. This pitiable car had quite a few shops work on it the last few years and little of this work did much for the car as the car still had collapsing front road springs, a poorly installed A/C system, rotten suspension bushings, massive power steering leaks, poor brakes, a truly miserable electronic ignition installation, sloppy workmanship, lots of missing parts just left off and many other ailments that made this particular car a rather unpleasant experience to drive. It's truly sad to see a great car in such a bad mechanical state. The car looks good in photos though. We find that all too many cars have suffered from unqualified although perhaps well intended attention as Rolls-Royce had many ways of building cars which were quite different than other car manufacturers and Rolls-Royce probably assumed that owners would have qualified people work on their cars. 

 

Keep your cool.

By now you may have rightfully gathered that Rolls-Royce and Bentley engines are very expensive to rebuild and any car engine is expensive to do properly anyway. Frequently overlooked parts that will cause an engine to overheat and damage or destroy itself are the coolant hoses also known as water hoses. Hoses are made of rubber and when they get old, can and do burst. The sudden loss of coolant results in an atomic meltdown destroying everything in your wallet. 

Slipping and sliding

Other problems can wipe out a good motor or radiator. The V8 engines sit on three rubber and metal mounts. Age, oil leaks and the great weight of the motor and transmission combine to slowly melt and disintegrate the rubber in the mounts. The above photos show the broken engine mounts and broken fan blade on a 1986 Rolls-Royce Corniche. The owner was driving around and hit the brakes. The barely intact rotton old motor mounts broke and the momentum caused the now unsecured heavy engine to slide forwards. The fan blade hit something and broke. Blade shards sliced into the radiator and that was that.

The sudden loss of coolant in a fluid cooled engine can result in nothing good such as:

 1. Blown head gasket.  This means the cylinder heads have to be removed and usually there is warpage or twist to the head surface and expensive machine work is required or new heads may be called for.

2. An engine can get so hot that the crankshaft bearings start to melt and this situation can range from a total loss of the engine to considerable expenses rebuilding the engine.

Therefore all coolant hoses serving the radiator and the heater hoses as well should be replaced after 8-10 years.

V8 Juice

By the mid 1950's, Rolls-Royce decided that they wanted a more powerful engine and in late 1959, Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars were fitted with the first V8 engines and many highly modified variations of this engine were used including juiced up Turbo charged versions until the breakup of the two firms in 1998. Rolls-Royce began using BMW V12 engines and Bentley continued production of the V8 engine.  We supply all manner of parts and service items for these engines as well as the 1950's cars with the smooth 6 cylinder engines.

Boxing Bentleys

 photo of a Rolls royce crate of parts

A Bentley SII V8 engine and transmission that was shipped to us in a zillion pieces from San Francisco. This sort of job is called a "big basket case". Someone had lots of fun disassembling it and tossing all the bolts and fasteners into the oil pan which was full of greasy goo. 

 photo of a Rolls royce parts group  photo of a Rolls royce parts group

Inventorying the parts and hoping all is there. The water pump was shattered into pieces and yes, this job was a real mess. We resurrected this engine from doom and built it into a fine engine again and we rebuilt the transmission as well.  The owner later decided to ship the car to us for the engine and transmission fitting and once we inspected the car, decided to have us re-wire the entire car and sort out the brakes as well The car had some sort of $10K brake job just before it was shipped to us. 

 photo of  Rolls Royce brake reservoir

 Observe the sorry rusty state of the brake reservoirs after the $10K brake job.  No fluid showing and rusty reservoirs on a fresh Bentley S2 new brake job. What a miserable thing to observe. What can one say? Perhaps the work order did not include restoring the reservoirs or adding brake fluid or maybe the shop thought the car had air brakes! The steel brake pipes were rusted to the extent they broke when we removed them. Where did the ten thousand clams go?

 photo of  Rolls Royce motor  photo of  Rolls Royce motor

 The nearly completed Bentley engine on the stand. 

 photo of  Rolls Royce transmission 

The rebuilt transmission ready to mount to the motor. 

 photo of  Rolls Royce old engine bay 

Here is the nasty engine bay as received. We were told the bay had just been painted by a body shop. What do you think of the quality? 

 photo of  Rolls Royce restoration 

We thought the previous work was worse than simply bad and in this photo we have ground down the surfaces of the complete engine bay, removed all the rust that was bubbling under the "new" paint and are ready to prime and paint the bay.

 photo of  Rolls Royce restoration

 Here is the engine bay having new wiring fitted. Yes, we supply complete wiring looms for this model and we rewired the entire car.

 photo of  Rolls Royce engine   photo of  Rolls Royce engine install 

 We have mated the engine and transmission and next are about to fit the assembly to the car. This Bentley is in primer as it came to us from a body shop in California. 

 

Bits and Pieces

An employee of a car owner called and told us a story about a model 2000 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph. The owner drove the car with the engine overheating until the engine stopped. He then called around and found a shop that claimed they could fix the problem for $2000.00. That way too low number should have been enough to scare the car owner away but he did the opposite and sent his car to this shop. The shop then removed the engine and totally disassembled it and removed the transmission. They also removed the entire exhaust system and disassembled it.  The shop owner then decided the work was going to cost a lot more than $2000. and that was it. After the car sat there for many months doing nothing good the car owner became angry and had the car towed to his home and had the parts picked up and stored in a box. The owner called asked us what the cost would be to "put it back together" but we passed on the opportunity.

 

Transvesticars

Upon occasion we hear from someone that wants to change a Rolls-Royce or Bentley engine and transmission to an American car drivetrain. They want the car to look like an original car but they want it to drive like a Chevy. Well, why not just buy a Chevy then?  Our thinking is that some of these cars have survived intact for many decades and were built in very few numbers. Once such a car has lost it's originality in a profound way such as a non standard engine, the value of the car plummets like Iraq.

Resale is about nil. Most conversions are never finished or are essentially made into junk as the challenges of making a nice driving car are immense. A Rolls-Royce or Bentley is a very heavy vehicle and a great deal of amazing engineering went into the car to produce the fine ride and characteristics that make the car what it is.

 

 Life is better when a car is not leaking something.

 

Smokey says, "Help Prevent Wiring Fires"

 photo of  Rolls Royce bad wiring    photo of  Rolls Royce bad wiring

It is true that electric wiring does not come with smoke already installed.

Here are a few photos of a 1962 Rolls-Royce Phantom V during a complete re-wire.   

Early Phantoms were coach built cars that were hand custom wired when built.  We were doing the same thing, using correct cloth covered wire to replace the ancient wiring. While there, we are sorting out many problems under the dash so when completed the car will enjoy considerably better reliability. 

Please E-Mail us with the VIN (vehicle identification number) for parts requests! 

 

Up in Smoke

 

  photo of  Rolls Royce fuse box

The main fuse box on a scarce long wheel base Silver Shadow. We have the entire remaining world supply of new fuse boards in our parts stock and they are no longer made.  As you can see, Frankenstein's less brainy cousin was working on the car and this situation is all too typical of the sort of wiring "work" we are engaged to repair. Look closely and you can see aluminum foil wrapped around some of the fuses and a switch with unknown purpose was connected leaving bare hot wires dangling. Soon this car would have been up in smoke. We removed all the funky wiring and made sure all the circuits are in good order. We supply new fuse panels for these cars when needed.

 photo of  Rolls Royce dash

The dash on a 1976 Silver Shadow with the dash wood and fascia removed for restoration. We removed the gauges, disassembled and cleaned them so they will sparkle at night, replaced all the dash bulbs and cleaned and serviced the wiring while installing a new stereo of the owners choosing. The original Quad 8-track had been replaced years ago and several generations of stereos, phones and other accessories had been installed. We removed all the added on wiring and rewired the speakers. The original radio between the seats was missing so we had a wooden door made for the "hole" with a nice wood knob so the owner had a useful place to place things. We lined the inside of this new cubby area with felt. 

 

 photo of  Rolls Royce headlamp

A scarce (on this side of the pond) Silver Shadow with the optional headlamp brush wipers. Look carefully and you will see that the wipers are actually brushes. 

 

Dirty deeds done dirt cheap

 

 photo of  Rolls Royce dash

These photos are of a 1987 Silver Spur as we received it. We received the car from another shop that endeavored to remove the leaking heater matrix. They dug into the dash perhaps while blindfolded we reckon. 

 photo of  Rolls Royce seat

The previous shop removed a lot of components, tossed them into the back seat and that was that. When smoke began appearing from the wiring that was burning up from the crude manner of disassembly we were contacted. They were doing this work with the battery connected and decided the job was over their heads. This shop asked us if we would take over the job and did we mind if they did not re-assemble it? We do take on such jobs because we are nuts and who else is going to do them in these parts? We sorted out the damage to the electrical systems, replaced the heater core and carefully reassembled the dash appointments and inner structure.   

 

 photo of  Rolls Royce starter

Here is a starter we rebuilt for a 1935 Rolls-Royce 20/25.  It was not painted as we wanted it to look like the rest of then engine bay parts which were pretty much original. 

 

 photo of  Rolls Royce wiring

The electric window lifts in the rear cabin of this Rolls-Royce Phantom V were totally worn out with the wiring frayed and copper exposed. In this photo you can see some red tape stuck on the wiring. It's hard to photograph the miserable condition with broken bushings and power window parts stripped. What a mess! We made a new wiring harness for both doors and are rebuilding the entire window mechanisms so they will operate smoothly and not burn up the wiring. We fitted a new stainless steel exhaust system to replace the hodge podge exhaust that had been spliced together over the decades. There were big pipes going into small pipes all over thus producing unwanted restrictions.  We updated the ignition with a Pertronix electronic ignition so the car will be more reliable and run better. This is a wide and large scale renovation that made the car dependable and able to drive much better than it had in many years.

 Hot spark

 photo of  Bentley SIII

This 1965 Bentley S3 is having a new Pertronix electronic ignition fitted.

 photo of  Rolls Royce ignition

The typical innards of a 1960's vintage distributor with contact points. 

All gasoline engines used ignition points in those days and were and still are are responsible for many running and starting problems.

A quality electronic ignition installation will greatly enhance reliability and enable the venerable V8 engine to run even smoother than before. The car will start faster, idle better and run through the power curve smoothly. One of the nicer aspects of the installation is that this ignition system fits entirely inside the distributor cap so it cannot be seen. 

 

 photo of  Rolls Royce ignition

Enhanced yet hidden enhancements are a nice addition to any car that is intended to be driven.  Check out our Pertronix page for how the ignitions work. We stock these ignitions for many Rolls-Royce models like Silver Cloud and Bentley S cars from about 1947 up. We also supply all the ignition parts and a 40 or 45,000 volt coil in black. We supply them in positive or negative ground. 

For Silver Shadows, we offer several electronic ignitions including the original. Send us the Lucas number stamped into the side of the distributor casing to find out if a unit is available for your particular distributor. The factory used many different units depending on where on the planet the car was destined to be sold. 

 

  Contact us with your chassis number for e-mail  parts quotes. 

 

Under your feet, over your head and behind you

 

Headliners, carpets and roofs

  photo of  Rolls Royce trunk

A Silver Shadow LWB boot compartment that we restored.  The car had become.... a pimp car. The new owner had us return the car to its former days of grace. The trunk floor had a big hole chopped into it for some sort of huge amplifier and was shall we say, not presentable.  We made a metal section to replace the hacked out section and welded it into place to make the hole go away. We made new under felting for the carpets and fitted the owners choice of a nice blue bound in blue leather Wilton wool carpeting as per original specification. This boot is very nice now and could be used as a spare bedroom.  

We supply ready to fit wool headliners for Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars in many colors.  In the olden days, it seemed like the entire population smoked tobacco as the car makers fitted a lot of ashtrays in vintage cars. The tobacco smoke soaked into the delicate wool headliner materials and gradually darkened them thus many RR and Bentley cars have headliners that are quite dingy these days.. In the days of BIG HAIR the hair spray used to defeat the forces of gravity would rub off on the headliners and hasten their tattyness. A new headliner really freshens up an interior and brightens up your driving experience. Replacing a headliner is a skilled job requiring removal of the front and back glass so a great time to plan such a job is when the car is receiving a nice paint job or having the glass or seals replaced.

We also supply ready to fit carpets bound in leather made of the original wool material bound in leather. The cockpit of a car with new carpets and headliner is an olfactory delight.

Some cars such as 1970's Silver Wraiths, Corniche Coupes and later Spurs had vinyl roofs made of Everflex in around 31 colors. No, you cannot have all the colors on the same car. You will need to buy 31 cars to do that. Many roofs were fitted as options selected by the original owners. Everflex is the same absolutely excellent material used for the tops on Corniche dropheads and was also used on Austin Healey 3000 tops. We supply ready to fit vinyl roofs made of Everflex. The vinyl roof replacement also requires removing the front and back glass. Vinyl roofs sometimes will leak due to damage or age if left to sit in the sun for long periods. Water leaks through, gets under the material and begins to rust creating bumps. These bumps need to be addressed and can be with the roof material removed.

Just look at yourself

photo of  Rolls Royce mirror

Replacing the headliner on a Silver Shadow requires removal of the back vanity mirrors with decorative wood frame. Or if the plan is to refinish the wood, this photo shows the clips and fasteners used to secure the assemblies. The mirror glass is quite thin.

 

Bushings and Mounts absorb the Bounces

  There are many bushings used on all cars and as bushings are mostly made from rubber these parts deteriorate and components will begin operating in a sloppy manner. The symptoms are noises where noises did not occur previously. Clunking noises, banging noises, looseness in anything operable can in many circumstances be traced to bad rubber bushings. Bushings are used in the suspension systems and  just about everywhere on a car.

For example we stock bushings for the shifter mechanisms and handbrake mechanisms on all Silver Cloud and Bentley S series. We stock all the front suspension bushings on Silver Shadow and Silver Spur series. There are too many to itemize so just ask us.

Silver Cloud and Phantom restoration and repairs

 photo of  Rolls Royce wood 

The cockpit wood in a Phantom V that was in the car, now on our floor being

 inventoried before the wood shop restored it. 

 photo of a bentley

This sad 1965 Bentley S3 came in from a large chain store transmission shop.

They rebuilt the transmission and sent the car to us for engine tuning.

We received the car,  tried to drive it into the work shop and discovered that it had no forward speeds and very poor brakes. It did have reverse though! 

 

Grimm

 Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud engine

This photo of this grim Bentley S3 shows the spark plug cables laying on the exhaust manifolds and has other electrical sins all over. Someone had replaced the spark plugs with plugs that were the wrong heat range. These plugs would have burned holes in the pistons. There are tool marks from locking pliers on the soft brass fuel nuts and a choke cable was fitted as the automatic choke has been defeated. 

 

A Bigger Bang

 Photo of a Bentley damaged exhaust

A Bentley S3 had a huge exhaust leak so we had a look under the car and discovered the original S3 exhaust had been replaced with some sort of aftermarket mufflers. In this photo, you can see that one of these mufflers had exploded probably from carburetor flooding. The excess fuel runs down into the exhaust and can make quite a loud bang. 

 

Enchanted April

 A Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I Restoration with Extensive Commentary and Photos

It was an April that we received this early 1955 Silver Cloud for what turned into a complete restoration. Here is the story of a massive job on a Rolls-Royce with lots of photos and description. 

  Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration     Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration     Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration     Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration    Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration    Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration

Here are some of the first photos we took of the car, taken right after we removed the engine. 

  Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration       Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration      Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration      Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud rear axle      Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration

This story follows the restoration journey this car had with us. We began the restoration in May of 2003 and performed an initial compression test on the engine. We found the compression to be very low and uneven. The owner had previously stated to us the brakes were not working at all. The car was some 50 years old and past persons unknown had replaced the interior in an unusual (hideous) manner not to the currant owners liking. The interior trim woodwork was not in good condition and had been brush finished during a previous restoration attempt and was damaged from someone sanding right through the veneers and had been crudely brush finished.  A very large Webasto sunroof  had been installed in a poor manner. The chrome trim bright work had been polished with abrasives and steel wool until not much brightness was left. The grill was a mess with dents and heavy scratches. A very poor redo of the interior had been done in cheap leather and junk carpet.  The paint work was a faded and chalky white. The boot or trunk was trashed and this car had obviously not been well maintained in many decades. 

   Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud motor restoration

Here are the engine and transmission just after removal.

 

   Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud motor restoration

The engine about completed. 

 

We steam cleaned and pressure washed the engine, engine bay and under chassis as well as possible. We removed and disassembled the engine. The cooling galleys were found to be well occluded with rust chucks and sediment.  We hand chipped these rust chunks out to improve the cooling flow as much as possible. The cylinder head was damaged beyond repair from 50 years of electrolysis that corroded away considerable metal. The radiator was rotten. The engine block was cleaned and bored to fit larger size new pistons. The crankshaft was machined and the engine was balanced. We located a decent used cylinder head as new heads are unavailable. This cylinder head, also 50 or so years old, was extensively machined and fitted with new valves and guides. New cam bearings were fitted to the block and the bearings were bored to pin fit the camshaft. The camshaft was rebuilt as it had severe wear to the lobes. New cam followers were fitted to the block as was a new rocker shaft to the rocker assembly.  New connecting rod nuts and bolts were fitted. The oil pump was not available as a new assembly but we were able to obtain new gears to rebuild it. The new gears did not mesh properly so we hand fitted /shaped them to fit better. New bushings were installed in the oil pump and machined to fit. All engine bearings were replaced and the crankshaft was Plasti-gauged during the fitting work. Once the engine was completed, we repainted the various parts that were painted and cleaned the rest. New motor mounts were fitted. We rebuilt the crankshaft balancer with replacement style discs from RR that replaced the original unavailable cloth. The flywheel had extensive damage to the gear teeth, the gear teeth were machined into the flywheel and we were able to obtain a new old stock SC1 flywheel. This model used five variations of flywheels from 1955-1959 and the exact flywheel for the engine was no longer available. We machined the new old stock replacement flywheel we were able to obtain to enable it to be fitted properly and also re-clocked the flywheel to ensure the timing marks were accurate. We disassembled the distributor, rebuilt the mechanical advance, fitted a special electronic ignition with coil and made a new set of ignition cables. 

 

   Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration

The engine installed onto the restored rolling frame.      

  Yes, we supply many new Rolls-Royce exhaust manifolds for cars built from 1946-2009.  Trying to hang a new exhaust system onto an age weakened cracked manifold is a recipe for a major exhaust leak as the old metal won't take a strong weld and disintegrates. So would you if you had hot exhaust gases running though you for 50 years! We fit stainless steel or mild steel exhausts made especially for these cars.

  There are three firewalls on this model and we removed the two removable walls. We disassembled the body shell, removed all exterior trim and ultimately removed the body from the frame. We removed all mechanical parts from the frame such as the transmission and differential as well as all brake parts, pipes, wiring, suspensions and steering components. 

 

  Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration   Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration   Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration   Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration

Above are photos of the suspensions and some chassis photos of the frame as found.

 Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud restoration

The under chassis after the frame had been removed and before the chassis rebuild commenced.

Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration

One of the main frame mounts with rotten metal that came from the actual chassis that was so extensively rusted, the mounting was no longer actually connected. 

 Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration

The body is mounted on our car body rotisserie and we are finishing disassembling some bits before sandblasting rusty areas. This chassis had extensive rust in the sills and elsewhere. 

 Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration

This scary photo shows an area on the left front fender where a bodged repair involved layering  plastic body filler on top of deep rust. Rust never sleeps and eventually this area rotted though. It was an ugly situation that required replacing the rotten fender with a new old stock fender. Yes, we can still supply new fenders for certain Silver Cloud cars subject to change when the last one is gone. 

 Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration     Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration      Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration

These photos show extensive rust damage in and underneath one of the front fenders and in other areas.  

 Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration

Here is a section of the right rear fender.  Notice the very thick body filler under the paint where we ground through to determine the condition. 

 Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration

Under the thick layers of bondo, you can see an old body repair that was made by brazing a steel section onto the fender to repair an old rust situation. 

 

Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration

A rust damaged area now cut away.

 

 Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration    Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration    Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration    Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration

In these photos, we are cutting away rusted areas and are welding in new specially made steel sections to remove all rust and make the body solid again. The rust was so extensive, we decided to replace the entire rear fender sections. Once we removed the outer skin, we discovered widespread rust in the inner superstructure. We cut away all the rusted areas and welded in new sections. As you can observe, this sort of work is very time consuming and required considerable care to ensure all the body sections were properly fitted. 

 Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud frame restoration

We are fitting a new inner panel in the right rear fender and are welding in the new rocker panels. Much reshaping was done on these rockers as the very early Silver Clouds are different than a bit later Clouds of the same year. We made other sections on site to remove all rusted metal. We sandblasted the entire frame. Sections of the frame were found to have extensive rust damage from the topside down. We cut away and welded in new repair sections and  structural parts. We had the body shell sandblasted to remove every vestige of rust that was possible. 

 Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud frame restoration   Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud frame restoration

We acid washed the frame then primed the frame several times with rust preventative primers and catalyzed primers followed by painting the top coats then  treated the interior of the frame with several anti rust solutions and preservatives by rotating the frame on our rotisserie. After individual restoration of parts to be re fitted or acquisition of new parts, we reinstalled all parts back to the frame. New steel brake lines were hand made and shaped to fit to the frame and components with all new original clips.

  Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud frame

This photos shows much of the completed suspension and steering work completed and various pipes are being fitted for the brakes and Bijou lubrication system. 

  Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud transmssion

We disassembled and rebuilt the automatic transmission with all sleeve bearings and case bearings, bands, clutches, gaskets, seals and piston rings. We replaced whatever parts were worn past tolerance or damaged. The transmission had been rebuilt before, perhaps several times but still had extensive wear.  We disassembled and cleaned the Torus. The transmission case was bead blasted and repainted as original.

 

We restored the jack and tire pump. The original Rolls-Royce flashlight (torch) fitted to the boot was missing. We eventually located a good used torch and restored it.

We rebuilt the front suspension, steering and brake systems. All parts were cleaned, blasted and painted if originally done so. One of the front dampers was internally damaged and not rebuild able so we supplied a used spare unit to rebuild as new dampers are unavailable. All worn parts were replaced or rebuilt and new front road springs were fitted with new spring cups and rubber rebounds. The manual steering box was disassembled, cleaned and resealed. The original Bijou chassis lubrication pump was damaged as someone had cut off the lower part of the foot pedal with a hacksaw. We located a used replacement foot pedal as no new parts were available, repaired some of the damaged lubrication lines and made all suspension lubrication lines carry fluid. Each steering assembly or part was disassembled, cleaned and examined for wear and all worn parts were replaced. A local machine shop made and supplied some of the front suspension swivels from high quality alloy that were found to be worn out and unavailable from Rolls Royce. We rebuilt the front brake cylinders, master cylinder and rear wheel cylinders. We replaced the brake hoses and restored the fluid reservoir. We had the brake shoes relined. We replaced the brake servo drive gear as it was badly worn and rebuilt the mechanical brake servo. All seals and bushings were replaced. We restored the handbrake mechanisms and replaced the cable. We replaced the drive shaft bushings and obtained and fitted several missing drive shaft stabilizer parts.

The water pump. The original pump had a case that had broken in the past and someone had tried to braze repair it around the bearing galley so a used replacement pump was found and rebuilt as new pumps are not available.

The carburetors were found to have different mixture needles in them from past work and were in generally poor condition. We disassembled and rebuilt the twin carburetors, cleaned serviced and painted all linkage, serviced the automatic choke mechanisms, replaced the electrical solenoid and cleaned and adjusted the throttle. As certain linage pieces were missing and others had been made of rigged up pieces. Over time, we were able to supply original replacement linkage parts so the throttle action would be proper.  We installed an aftermarket modern fuel pump. The fuel tank was removed, cleaned, repainted and refitted with new mounting bushings. 

The original radiator was rebuilt with a high efficiency core. All cooling hoses were replaced. The heater cores were disassembled and cleaned as the cores were good. We replaced the dead blower motor with a new old stock original. All of the heater actuator parts were seized and corroded from age. We were able to obtain parts to rebuild the actuator mechanisms and made others that were unavailable so the heater and defroster system would operate.

 Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud spring gaiter

We fitted a new set of handmade leather leaf spring gaiters. Gaiter is not slang for alligator. A gaiter in this instance is a leather cover made to fit the leaf springs to hold layers of grease applied so the springs don't squeak.  Axle grease is hand slathered over the springs and the leather gaiters are fitted and laced up like high top tennis shoes to wrap the springs. Squeaky springs are simply not allowed on proper Rolls-Royce cars. We had already replaced all the rubber bushings in these springs. The differential was refitted and all available rubber parts were replaced.

 Body parts on this very early model were found to be structurally different than slightly later versions of the same model and all of the body parts we could supply required extensive modifications and re shaping to fit properly. 

 Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body rust restoration

We ground through the thick layers of bondo to see how deep the filler was and to find out if the fender had much metal left. We found this area where the bondo was ladled right on top of a heavily rusted area and painted over. The rest of the body was found to have been repainted many times over the years and underneath the thick layers of paint there was considerable rust under more layers of Bondo. This excellent car was excellently rusted. We applied four shades of blue paint, one shade on each fender to help the owner choose his color shade. We had the entire body shell stripped and sandblasted to bare metal. We cut away all the extensive rusted areas that were found after the sandblasting and replaced the metal with new sections that were specially made such as new rocker panels, rear fender sections and door tread under plates. We made other sections that are unavailable and fitted them as well. The left front fender was found to be composed of mostly rust under Bondo so we replaced the fender with a new old stock fender. This fender had been hanging on a rack in England the last 50 years and had small dings and surface rust that were repaired. We poured rust preventative into all areas we could access. If this car was considered excellent before we started on the massive restoration how would one describe it now? Super duper excellent? Ok. Super duper excellent it now is. 

 

 Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration

Here you can see what remains of one of the front fender frame supports. This support holds up the fender. When the support rots away the fender will sag like an old nag instead of standing proud like a young dandy. 

 

  Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration

The opposite side with the same sort of rust damage. The rotten old support has been removed and the new section is welded into place. 

 Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration

 

After the body welding repairs were completed we primed the body shell with catalyzed primers. We fitted the body shell back to the frame with new frame mountings except for one that is made of unobtainium. We stripped the doors that we had previously removed of all mechanicals and trim and sent the rolling chassis with mounted body to the paint shop for body work and painting. 

  Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud restoration

Here the rebuilt body shell is about to be re-mated to the rolling frame. The engine and transmission have been fitted.

 

  photo of  Rolls Royce restoration   Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration

A few photos of the car before it was painted a beautiful silver blue. The body has been refitted to the frame, the welding work has been completed. The new old stock left front fender has been mounted. Consider it an ugly ducking about to turn into a beautiful swan. 

  Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud body restoration

In this photo, the rust damage around the sunroof hole can be observed. This car had a huge Webasto folding fabric sunroof fitted long ago. We had previously removed the entire assembly prior to sandblasting. The sunroof installation had been a crude installation and many thick layers of bondo, well over an inch thick, had been applied around the opening to smooth out the roof curves. The cars owner wanted no Bondo so we removed all the old filler. We later modified the roof metal as much as we could to reduce the amount of required filler, this time an expensive aluminum based product was used. We undercoated the entire underbody after primer sealing it.

  Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud paintjob   Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud  Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud

Here the clear top coats have not as yet been applied. After the car returned from the body shop, we began installing the new wiring looms and electrical parts.

All wiring harnesses were modified if required to fit as few RR cars have exactly the same wiring.  

  Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud fusebox

All electrical parts were cleaned, serviced or replaced. We rebuilt the starter. Other electrical parts were disassembled, cleaned, repaired and serviced as well as possible or were replaced if condition too bad to sort out. We restored and refitted the original Lucas horns. Some of the original electrical parts were no longer available new and we were able to supply and fit good used parts. 

 

   Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud headlamp Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud Lucas sidelamp 

We fitted a pair of special vintage original Lucas made for Rolls-Royce motif headlamps and were able to supply new PF770 buckets to allow the lamps fitting. Halogen bulbs were fitted to the headlamps and all other bulbs and lenses were replaced including the dash bulbs.  The rear passenger vanity lamps were repaired to work again.  We were able to obtain a very rare pair of new old stock Lucas side lamps for this restoration rather than use reproductions. The original windshield wiper motor was worn out and we were able to supply a new old stock wiper motor. The wiper wheel boxes exterior serrated ends were corroded away and we were able to supply obsolete new old stock wheel boxes so the wiper arms would stay attached. 

  Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud wiring installation  Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud interior installation

The new wiring going in to the partially assembled dash and some of the cockpit trim fitted. 

  Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud trim grill

This car used up a fair bit of the remaining stocks of rare new original parts left on this planet such as these little snowpak grilles we were able to supply. Inside the grill, the black part is made of rubber. On most Silver Clouds, this rubber has rotted away over the decades and metal mesh has been substituted for the rubber. As these grills have been unavailable for a long time, owners do what they gotta do. 

The three new roof lamps required a custom made wiring harness to be designed and fitted so the back door courtesy switches operate the back roof lamps and the front door switches operate the front lamp. The original fuse box was not available new so we disassembled the box and hand cleaned each connection. We wound new fuses and serviced the box as well as possible. We modified the wiring to accept an alternator.

  We refitted the three firewalls but also fitted state of the art insulation between them and fitted new insulation on the floors and exposed roof sections. 

 

 Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Clous headliner   Photo of a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud Webasto sunroof

In the first photo, you can see the new insulation fitted to the exposed roof sections. In the right of the photo, you can see the edges of the headliner section of the Webasto Folding Roof. The second photo shows the roof of the new Everflex Blue Webasto Folding Roof now in place. Many special screws and fasteners were replaced and there were many hundreds of these. We spent considerable time matching the obsolete original screws and fasteners as closely as possible.  Each of the hundreds of individual screw holes on the car body was tapped as many were damaged from various screws and fasteners being driven into them over the years, others were rusty. 

 

  Photo of Rolls Royce Silver Cloud interior trim work  Photo of Silver Cloud interior wood trim work

The wood tacking pieces for the headliner and inside trim were rotten, missing or damaged so we hand made and fitted all new wood pieces. I believe there were at least 32 of them, each of them unique. 

 The trunk locking mechanisms were missing parts. These parts were found to be fitted only to very early Silver Clouds such as this one and were long unavailable. We handmade all the required parts and recreated the missing internal mechanisms so the trunk would close and snap shut. There were quite a few parts missing from the trunk and we were able to source and supply most of them. The original Rolls-Royce tool box was missing and we were able to supply a complete tool box after several years of searching for one good enough for this car. Over the many years of this cars existence, parts were lost from previous paint jobs and interior replacements. We found that other parts were lost or damaged from old repairs or from unknown causes. As we encountered these problems, we would source new parts if available or replace the missing parts with good used parts or make the parts or have them made. We replaced the individual window tracks as well. These tracks are unavailable from Rolls-Royce so we were able to supply an equivalent. The drivers window regulator had damaged gears and we were able to supply a new old stock regulator. The passenger front window was missing one of the internal steel window track brackets, long discontinued and we were eventually able to supply good used parts to replace it. The windscreen squirters had corroded away to a nub underneath the dash. New parts were no longer available so we made the required parts from brass so the supply tubes can be fitted.

   Photo of Rolls Royce Silver Cloud vent parts

The front doors on this model have opening vent windows. Here is a photo of some of the many parts as they were removed that go into the vent mechanisms. Most of these parts are no longer available so we made them as required. 

We designed and installed a custom a/c system that incorporated a new trunk mounted unit, with new hoses running front to back under the car much like the original units did. We fitted a modern compressor and condenser. We custom made all the brackets and designed and fitted a belt tensioner device. We fitted an auxiliary cooling fan. We had a special pulley made for the crankshaft to drive the compressor. We rebuilt the original generator but later in the job we found that there was going to be more accessory equipment fitted to the car than the generator could supply so we custom made and fitted brackets to enable an alternator to be fitted. The a/c system is holding a vacuum and is not charged. The a/c switch pod has to be made as well. The location and design of the operating switch base needs to be decided on by owner. We made a new closing panel for the a/c unit. Early 1955 Silver Clouds with the rare factory A/C had a cooling fan shroud hand that was hand soldered to the radiator structure. This specimen never had this shroud as it was not fitted with factory A/C and we wanted such a shroud to help the cooling system load as we were fitting a modern A/C system.  After several years of searching, we were eventually able to obtain, restore and fit one of the correct original shrouds as a used part after receiving several wrong shrouds for cars built just few months later than this car. We designed and had built two special wooden a/c vent boxes and a special air return piece that were designed from inspiration from the original wood of the car. These vents were veneered with burled walnut and cross banded.

  photo of  Rolls Royce caps

Although new caps are no longer supplied by the factory, we were able to supply new original hubcaps and had the repainted trim rings pin stripped to match the leather. All exterior trim with the exception of the grill were restored and re-plated to a very high standard. 

We do have a complete set of four new old stock hubcaps in stock for all Silver Cloud series left. These might well be the last set of four on the planet.

 

Here is a list of the individual bright work pieces that were restored and re-plated on this Silver Cloud and the quantity of pieces would be about the same for any Silver Cloud series. 

4  outer door handle                     4  outer door handle button                         2 tail lamp base

1 boot handle                               1 LP lamp                                                   3 inner grab handle

4  inner window handle                 4  inner door handle                                     8  door handle base

2 strap handle-boot                      1 aerial base part                                          2 headlamp ring

2 headlamp spear                          2 sunvisor clip                                             1 glove box handle

1 glove box striker part                 2 fog lamp base                                           4 outer door handle trim

2 round trim buttons                     2 Webasto trim parts                                    2 w/s squirter

2 w/s squirter base                       2  retainers                                                   4  interior switch base

2 flathead machine screw               1  bonnet trim point                                     2  front side trim point

2 center side trim squares               2 rear side trim points                                 2 vent handle

4 interior light switch striker               2 large flathead pan machine screws          1 boot strip

1 aerial base                                      2 w/s clip (inside)                                      1 Webasto striker

2 squirter large base                          2 w/s nut   2  w/s washer                         2 headlamp screw                            

1  boot lamp cover                             2  ash tray rim                                        1  glove box lock back plate

2 hl bulb rim                                      1 glove box lock face                               2 door arm rest base                         

1 w/s molding                                   2 handle-ash tray                                      2 sunvisor base

2 sunvisor stick.                      Four grab handle clamshell parts                         2 sunvisor swivel parts

2 door lock escutcheons                     4  switch plate                                            12 door striker screw-flat

2  sunroof crosshead screw-long        4 short crosshead countersunk-short          11 flat countersunk screw

4  door striker slider                            1 mascot                                                    1 mascot base

1 mascot base part                               4  window track assemblies                       2 door vent

3 lock base                                          3 lock tumbler faces                               4 bumper over rider

2 bumper bar                                       1  horn push                                        4 misc. Webasto parts

 

Yes, restoring a car is a great deal of work thus if you are shopping for a car and it is advertised as "restored", be sure to ask for documentation on the work undertaken. So not settle for vague descriptions such the car is 8.5 out of 10 or " everything is new". without excellent documented verification.

 

Unreal Rolls-Royce

Photo of a Austin Princess automobile

 

This photo is a mid 1960's Vanden Plas Princess with a fake Rolls-Royce grille attached. The company that made the grilles was sued by Rolls-Royce long ago and stopped making the grills.  There is an earlier Austin Princess with an almost identical body and these cars were also sometimes made into fake Rolls-Royce looking cars. We have seen car titles that stated the car was a Rolls-Royce Princess even though no such car was ever built by Rolls-Royce. The VIN numbers on these cars are not Rolls-Royce VIN numbers. We are asked to supply parts for these cars by owners that believe they have a Rolls-Royce but Rolls-Royce parts do not fit and there is no parts interchange. The Austin Princess and Vanden Plas Princess were very nice cars in their own right and were made in very small numbers.

 

Photo of a Vanden Plas Princess 4 Litre R

As a genuine car of interest pertaining to Rolls-Royce history, in the 1960's the British Motor Corporation collaborated with Rolls-Royce and built a nicely made car called a Vanden Plas Princess 4 Litre R that was fitted with a six cylinder Rolls-Royce engine that was derived from a military vehicle. There was nothing fake about this car as it was a Vanden Plas not a Rolls-Royce.

Sitting on Top of the World

Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars have a long heritage of selling their cars to the very wealthy and posh people of the day. The cars always were and still are built in very small numbers and are designed to last a very long time using the best quality materials available.  Exclusiveness is certainly a part of the appeal of expensive automobiles. If expensive cars used mass produced cheap parts and materials in their construction, it would be hard to justify a high sales price would it not?

Frequently we work with owners and shops that want to re-commission a car that has been long stored. Perhaps the car is a recent purchase or may have been inherited as many such cars are considered family heirlooms.  New owners of these vintage cars should realize that such cars were intended for the wealthiest segment of the population and this is still so.

The cost of new original parts does not decrease as a car ages or depreciates.  The cost of parts costs tend to increase as a rule unless the parts are are bad quality aftermarket parts made by child, slave or virtually slave labor in certain third world countries.  Inflation and manufacturing costs are ever rising. The cost of warehousing parts is expensive.  Parts for expensive cars are made in small quantities as there are not a lot of these cars around and thusly parts for them are considerably more expensive than high volume mass produced parts for less expensive cars and besides, everyone wants to eat and feed their dog well.   

Parts for limited production cars are made in very small production runs with smaller numbers of parts being produced as the car ages. As well, demand for parts for very limited production cars are much less than mass produced cars. This sort of explanation may seem to be Economics 101 for some people but we are often asked why expensive cars have expensive parts so perhaps the above information will be helpful. We are also asked why are parts for Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars are not available at the generic parts stores. One reason that generic parts stores focus on generic cars is that they are into volume business. The bottom line is that if you want to own an expensive machine of any sort then expect parts for it to be expensive as well. This is the way it is.

Insurance agents and salvage car rebuilders:

We are not a salvage yard and do not have piles of perfect used Rolls-Royce and Bentley body crash parts laying about. We do supply new body parts yet also have some used body parts. We provide new crash related parts to repair cars that have had an unfortunate experience. We do not have "front clips" ( front clips are essentially the entire front of the car cut off to fit to a badly smashed usually totaled car) for RR or Bentley cars but we can and do supply many new parts for whatever is required to repair them. 

 

That's all for now. If you have read all of it in one sitting, you may be in need of therapy!

 

If you would like further information about our parts.

Go  to our Bentley and Rolls-Royce parts page   to look at some Rolls-Royce and Bentley parts we offer.

 This link goes to our E-mail address >>> Rolls-Royce & Bentley Parts USA <<< 

 Or Call 281.448.5165 Mondays through Fridays   9:00 am-5:30 pm CST

  We continually expand our humble website with new articles, suggestions, stories  and photos here and there as well as there and here quite often.  Like an undiverted river of words we keep on flowing so come back as often as your restless and inquisitive mind desires.

 

Ok, that really is it for now and this is the end.

 

It turns out that "it"  is not the end unless you want it to be.  It is not the end if you would like to look at a few cars from around the world that were involved in very unfortunate curcumstances. Here are a few to bring you down. Hopefully you and your car will never endure what these did.

Photo of a Wrecked Silver Spur RR       Photo of a Wrecked Rolls Royce        Photo of a Wrecked Rolls Royce      Photo of a Wrecked Bentley Mulsanne      Photo of a Wrecked Rolls Royce Silver Wraith      Photo of a Wrecked Rolls Royce     

 

               Photo of a Wrecked Bentley S3         Photo of a Wrecked Bentley Flying Spur         Photo of a Wrecked Rolls Royce Silver Spur        Photo of a Wrecked Bentley Turbo         Photo of a Wrecked Rolls Royce Corniche

Wow, tough to look so maybe a little something more cheery to bring you back up.

 

 

                                          A photo of a 1928 Rolls-Royce Piccadilly P1 Roadster                  

This 1928 Rolls-Royce Piccadilly P1 Roadster as a new car was given to Allen Swift as a graduation gift in 1928. Mr. Swift drove the car until his death at 102 years of age. The car has 170,000 miles on it and was donated to a Springfield museum after his death. So, a one owner car love affair since 1928. All we can say is wow. 

                                                                              And a bit more                                                                

                                                                     Photo of a Rolls Royce James Young Coupe fromt end  Photo of a Rolls Royce James Young Coupe rear end  Photo of a James Young Rolls Royce Coupe

Here are photos of BC12XD a seldom seen because only one was built, a Bentley S3 James Young Continental 2 door Coupe. A lovely car still in the UK. We posted these photos just because we like to admire such cars and reckon that you do as well.

 

Thanks for reading our stuff and this is the genuine end of this page but there is lots more to be found elsewhere on our website.

 

Sport and Classic Car Company

10525 Airline Drive

Houston, Texas 77037

USA

landline telephone 281.448.4739