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1 - 20 of 20 Comments Last updated Apr 18, 2014
peter

Luton, UK

#1 May 17, 2012
this car has been sitting in a garage for a while. It turns but does not fire, any idea how to get it started, i have a new battery for it.
also the tyres are flat and when the tow van pulled the car out the tyres did nit turn any idea what may be ceased and how to free it.
The handbrake is not on.

Thanks
Jan Forrest

Rotherham, UK

#2 May 20, 2012
This site is CR4P! I just spent an hour composing a reply and the damn thing lost it ....$%^&*()

PART 1 ... AGAIN!

The reluctance to start could be almost anything in the ignition or fuel system so you will just have to 'go back to basics'.

Is there fuel in the float chambers? This could be a blocked fuel filter, stuck float chamber valve, poor electrical connections to the pump, worn pump contacts, low oil pressure or too little fuel in the tank. Fuel filters are difficult and expensive to source so many owners just replace the whole thing with a cheap standard inline filter. Since the petrol pump only operates when the oil pressure is high enough the car usually starts with what's in the float chambers. After that the back pressure from the valve stops it working until the level drops sufficiently for it to open again. Over time the contacts in the pump wear and stick. A healthy thump or several with a non metallic 'hammer' to the central part ONLY (the ends are plastic and will be fragile by now) can often unstick them so the pump will work again - for a while. If this is the case then new contacts (2 sets as it's a double pump in a single body) will be needed @15 per set or a full overhaul kit @50, both prices include VAT but not postage. A complete pump comes in around 235 plus postage although a used one may come up on eBay occasionally as the same pump was used in some of the V12 Jags.

Is the right amount of air getting to the carbs? If the air filter is blocked it will make the air/fuel ratio far too rich, while if it's missing or the air trunking is split the ratio will be too weak.

Plugs, leads, points, dizzy cap/s, rotor arm/s (some cars have 2 dizzies where one is 'slaved' off the first with a toothed belt), electronic ignition module (year dependent so it may not be fitted) all still good? Check them all and then check them again to be certain.

Although I recently bought a Honda engined Rover with an almost full tank of 5 year old fuel in it (that's how long the car had beens stood) it started and ran beautifully, but a Rolls may need somewhat better fuel to start and run reliably.

That just about covers all the things that come immediately to mind. Part 2 to follow.
peter

Luton, UK

#4 May 22, 2012
Jan thanks very much for some very useful information. The fuel tanks shows a quarter tank, and its leaded 4*, so not sure what fuel to puit in, any idea?.
When i opened the carbs and sprayed some carb fluid in them in almost kicked in, does that indicate anything?
There is also a spark to the dist cap.
How do i know if the oil pressure is low?
Thanks again
Jan Forrest

Rotherham, UK

#5 May 22, 2012
If yours is a Shadow 1 (pre 1977) then it won't have an oil pressure gauge unless a previous owner has fitted one. It's only reasonable to check the level and preferably do an oil & filter change in case the oil has lost a lot of the lighter fractions in the intervening period. If the tank has leaded 4* in it then it has been stood a very long time as leaded petrol has been banned in the EU since 2000 - unless you got it in another country. The attempt at starting is encouraging and could indicate that things are broadly right and it may just be a lack of fuel flow.

Anyway: The next time you try to start the car have the driver's window rolled down and listen very carefully for a ticking sound coming from just behind your seat and under the floor. If you can't hear it then try thumping the centre section of the pump as I wrote before and then trying again. It may take several attempts before the contacts unstick enough for one or both sides to work again. If you have a suitable container you can always remove the outlet pipe from the pump so that any fuel it does shift can pour into it while you leave the ignition key in 'RUN' for a few seconds as a check for fuel flow.

Don't forget about how the car was progressively updated throughout its production span. Because of this the only differences between a '76 Shadow 1 and a '77 Shadow 2 are the replacement of the steering box with a full rack & pinion setup, some instrument changes, different bumpers and a 'Shadow 2' badge on the boot lid. Because my Shadow 1 is a '76 model I have to use both workshop manuals when I'm working on her.
peter

Luton, UK

#6 May 22, 2012
Thanks Jan.
The car is a shawdow mark2.
Do you know where the pump is?, is it the silver metal case with 2 screw caps on it?
No ticking occurs when i listen to the car when turning it on.
should i put unleaded in the car or do i need to add something to the tank before i do this?
peter

Luton, UK

#7 May 24, 2012
I HAVE A SILVER SHADOW MAARK 1978, any idea where the fuel pump is located aand it takes petrol,can i put unleaded in it? as i think it needs fuel, any ideas out there?
Jan Forrest

Rotherham, UK

#8 May 25, 2012
On the Shadow 2 the twin pump has been relocated nearer to the rear of the car and looks just as you describe ie. a central metal body with plastic caps on each end. Note that the pump is designed to not work unless there's oil pressure in the engine, but is overridden by the ignition switch being turned to 'START'. Then it should work, and continue to do so even with the switch back in the 'RUN' position, until the float chambers are filled. Even if there's no oil pressure in the engine - or the pressure switch/wiring has failed - there will be enough petrol in the flaot chambers to start the car an allow it to run for a minute or two at idle. Now you can floor the loud pedal for a moment to reset the choke flap and then try to start the car again. The trouble with using Easy Start (Start ya Ba**ard in Australia) is that you have to remove the air trunking to get it into the inlet tract and immediately reconnect it so that the carbs don't give a weak mixture due to the tuned nature of the whole fuel/air feed system. Sometimes you may need to give the car a bit of throttle before it will start, but try without at first and only then give it more & more throttle at each subsequent attempt. If you can get someone to help they can try to start the car as described above while you get down on the ground (but NOT under or behind the car for safety's sake) and listen to the pump. If there's no ticking sound then the contacts will have welded or just stuck shut and may free off if given a healthy tap with a fairly heavy wood implement to the central section before trying to start it again. Occasionally it could be that one or both suppressors (capacitors) may have failed, but it's highly unlikely that both will have and the flow from just one side of the pump should be more than enough to run the car. If after several tries there is still no ticking you will have to remove the pump from the car to work on it. Try to clamp off the fuel feed to the pump as it may drain the tank by a syphoning action! The fuel pipe is usually rubber with a stainless steel armoured braiding over it so that it will take a damn good clamp to shut it off completely.

Before you do that check that the earth wire is still good then try to run a separate live wire to the pump to see if it works. If it does then it's likely that the fuse has blown or the original power feed has become compromised. Then with the pump on the bench you can now strip off the end caps to reveal the contact sets ready for replacement. However if you are in a hurry you can always remove them and carefully file/stone them clean and parallel to each other and replace them again. If you are lucky this could extend their lifespan by up to 12 months depending on how much use you make of the car.
peter

Luton, UK

#9 May 25, 2012
Thnaks for that Jan, will tyry at the weekend, looked under the driver seat but could not find it so must be at the back as you say, many thanks for that.
Any idea about the fuel, an what i should put in i have been told unleaded will be fine and wont damage anything
Jan Forrest

Rotherham, UK

#10 May 28, 2012
Because the whole engine - especially the cylinder head - is made from aluminium Crewe were forced to fit hardened valve seats and chose the hardest available at the time. As such they were among the first cars to be considered (and later proven) to be safe for use with unleaded petrol.

Also if you later decide to have the car converted to run on LPG you can be safe in the knowledge that the engine was actually run in 'on the bench' using LPG! Even though the MPG may drop to 11 or 12 you will still save a lot on fuel with current prices going from 70P/litre at most supermarket filling stastions and 78P/litre at motorway services. If you don't mind giving up some of the space in the cavernous boot you can just fit a 100 litre gas tank (80 litre safe fill) between the rear hydraulic rams. Depending on the system fitted the whole thing can be done in a few days at a cost of 1000 -1500. BEWARE of anyone claiming to do the job in one or two days as it will not be of a good standard!!
jensencars

Ipswich, UK

#11 Dec 11, 2012
hi all
just found this site,
I have a silver shadow 1 72 vintage and find the steering is very light to the point it seems to wander when at motorway speeds it has been like this for the 3 years i have owned it some times it can be a bit worrying no other probs at present apart from a rad core leak any ideas on how to stiffen the steering up a bit.
thanks
Jan Forrest

Rotherham, UK

#12 Dec 12, 2012
First a warning: You have to understand that the Rolls front end is so heavy that the steering is considered to be fully POWERED and not just power assisted. Without the engine running and with the car stationary the steering torque needed to move the front wheels can be sufficient to twist the collapsible top steering tube! Therefore you must not apply a lot of force to the steering wheel under those circumstances.

The steering on the early Shadows is by the use of a steering box and idler arm rather than the later rack and pinion setup. Although this means that it isn't always as precise as the R&P it also means that it is far more robust. You can't win 'em all. Often there can be wear in some of the components which can make the wandering worse, but as long as a reasonable maintenance schedule has been followed this is rare on cars with less than 150K on the clock. I can only suggest that you get a copy of 'The Shadow Owners Companion' by John J. Waples as it includes a section on how and where to look for wear, how to adjust the steering backlash and even on how to completely overhaul it. Although there is a similar section in the official RR workshop manual

http://rrtechnical.info/sy/tsd2476/tsd2476.ht...

his descriptions are easier to follow and contain details about tools that are easier and cheaper to obtain.

Since: Apr 14

Los Angeles, CA

#13 Apr 4, 2014
I just adopted a 78 Silver Wraith II
Which hasn't been used much since 1999

Replaced coil now have spark to plugs
Fuel pump does not operate when mounted but works when removed with power provided

HELP!!! How do I find the relay that controls the fuel cutoff feature???

Mike in San Diego
Jan Forrest

Rotherham, UK

#14 Apr 7, 2014
Have you checked the fuse? Is there voltage at the business end of the pump power feed?
Michael Smith

Los Angeles, CA

#15 Apr 7, 2014
Jan Forrest wrote:
Have you checked the fuse? Is there voltage at the business end of the pump power feed?
Fuse is good, apparently no power to terminal as the pump functions when removed and power is applied. I got car to start for a couple of minutes (first time since 1999) by running a direct line from the battery to te fuel pump. Then she stalled and refused to start again. Fuel is going to carbs, have spark, perhaps bimetal switch or the anti run-on solenoid?
Jan Forrest

Rotherham, UK

#16 Apr 14, 2014
Have you got fresh fuel in the tank? Have you tried splashing some fuel into the common air inlet in the middle of the engine to see if it starts then?
Michael Smith

Los Angeles, CA

#17 Apr 14, 2014
Jan Forrest wrote:
Have you got fresh fuel in the tank? Have you tried splashing some fuel into the common air inlet in the middle of the engine to see if it starts then?
Yes drained old fuel. Sputters briefly with starting fluid sprayed into carbs. Trying to determine where the filters are near the carbs,,,opened what I thought were filters but the top doesn't want to come apart and everything seems to be made if easily twisted metal so I'm afraid to nose around too much. Oddly enough there is something bolted to the AC compressor with fuel lines going into and out of it but the other side seems to be AC related. I cannot find images of the filters anywhere. Grrrrr
Jan Forrest

Rotherham, UK

#18 Apr 16, 2014
The Wraith II is closely related to the Shadow 2, so the fuel filter should be in the same place - near the rear axle. A real start test is best done if you use petrol with the choke flap in the closed position and the air hose reconnected. Unfortunately the rest of your description is too vague to be of any use. Also I can't think of anything that should be under the hood that you can twist or bend with your bare hands.
Michael Smith

San Diego, CA

#19 Apr 16, 2014
Jan Forrest wrote:
The Wraith II is closely related to the Shadow 2, so the fuel filter should be in the same place - near the rear axle. A real start test is best done if you use petrol with the choke flap in the closed position and the air hose reconnected. Unfortunately the rest of your description is too vague to be of any use. Also I can't think of anything that should be under the hood that you can twist or bend with your bare hands.
Pier burg pump works when direct wires, fuel flows to front of car but does not enter fuel cooler (which is what I twisted trying to open). I put fuel into the carbs directly and thence runs until the fuel lets out. I'm concerned about the catalytic converter as there seems to be some uneven idling. Other than that the engine sounds healthy. Has 116000 miles. This is my 8th Rolls.
Installed new spark plugs, car starts fairly easily but I need to make sure the wires are going to the correct plugs.
Jan Forrest

Rotherham, UK

#20 Apr 17, 2014
I have little experience of the Wraith, but the inclusion of carbs rather than fuel injection gives me a bit of faith in what little I do know. Does this model have electrical control to an 'anti run-on valve'? If so I would first suspect that as the failure to allow fuel into the float chambers. Failing that the pintle on the float chamber inlet(s) may have stuck. I know that fuel may not be getting that far, but the fuel cooler may have air locked or be blocked. It's not really essential and can be eliminated if your climate isn't too hot. Anyway it only operates if the air con is running otherwise the fuel should simply bypass it..

Just to make things interesting there's a 'check'(non-return) valve somewhere along the fuel feed that may have stuck shut. Also some cars have a fuel return valve which may have stuck open thus letting all the fuel to flow back to the tank rather than to the carbs. That just about exhausts my knowledge of the Wraith's fuel system, but if you are still having problems please don't hesitate to put up another plea for assistance.
Michael Smith

Los Angeles, CA

#21 Apr 18, 2014
Jan Forrest wrote:
I have little experience of the Wraith, but the inclusion of carbs rather than fuel injection gives me a bit of faith in what little I do know. Does this model have electrical control to an 'anti run-on valve'? If so I would first suspect that as the failure to allow fuel into the float chambers. Failing that the pintle on the float chamber inlet(s) may have stuck. I know that fuel may not be getting that far, but the fuel cooler may have air locked or be blocked. It's not really essential and can be eliminated if your climate isn't too hot. Anyway it only operates if the air con is running otherwise the fuel should simply bypass it..
Just to make things interesting there's a 'check'(non-return) valve somewhere along the fuel feed that may have stuck shut. Also some cars have a fuel return valve which may have stuck open thus letting all the fuel to flow back to the tank rather than to the carbs. That just about exhausts my knowledge of the Wraith's fuel system, but if you are still having problems please don't hesitate to put up another plea for assistance.
Thank you, yes she has a anti run on switch. Good call on the fuel return valve as this seems to be the most likely.

I'll let you when she proceeds!

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