Dot 3 contamination in brake system
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LUIGI

Bellmore, NY

#22 Nov 3, 2011
HI I HAVE A 1991 CORNICHE III WITH 6000 MILES.
I HAVE A MAJOR BRAKE FLUID LEAK ONE CONTAINER IS EMPTY I NEED TO FILL UP IN ORDER TO TELL WHERE IS LEAKING FROM.
WHAT TYPE OF BRAKE FLUID THIS MODEL TAKES?
DOES THE VEHICLE TAKES MINERAL OIL? LIKE CASTROL?
PLEASE I NEED HELP THANKS LUIGI
Drvibe

Chattanooga, TN

#24 Jun 9, 2012
I have a 72 silver shadow,I want to replace my brake calipers and rotors with out the price of buying from rolls Royce,can anybody tell me which parts will enter change with another auto
Jan Forrest

Rotherham, UK

#25 Jun 10, 2012
"HI I HAVE A 1991 CORNICHE III WITH 6000 MILES.
I HAVE A MAJOR BRAKE FLUID LEAK ONE CONTAINER IS EMPTY I NEED TO FILL UP IN ORDER TO TELL WHERE IS LEAKING FROM.
WHAT TYPE OF BRAKE FLUID THIS MODEL TAKES?
DOES THE VEHICLE TAKES MINERAL OIL? LIKE CASTROL?
PLEASE I NEED HELP THANKS LUIGI"

I can't find anything specific about this precise model, but all other models of RR/B of that era should use LHM mineral oil in the hydraulics systems such as the Castrol one. Early LHM cars definitely had a warning note attached to the top of the reservoirs to indicate that the earlier DOT (vegetable) based fluids were not compatible and WOULD cause significant damage to the 'rubber' components. Many mechanics who should know better have a tendency to forget to replace it after refilling the reservoirs.

"I have a 72 silver shadow,I want to replace my brake calipers and rotors with out the price of buying from rolls Royce,can anybody tell me which parts will enter change with another auto"

The front calipers are standard Girling G16 parts as fitted to a lot of Fords and Holdens of the period. The difference being that since the Rolls is so much heavier that Crewe fitted a full axle set (left and right) to each front wheel. Overhaul is simple and so much cheaper than replacement as long as you pay attention to SCRUPULOUS cleanliness and don't damage the bleed screws. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the rear calipers as they seem to be unique to RR/B models although parts for both should be readily available from any good brakes/hydraulics specialist. The same can be said of all the rigid and flexible pipes and hoses with the proviso that they have to have Imperial threaded fittings to match the existing ones! I overhauled the complete sytem on my '79 Shadow myself just 2 years ago for less than a quarter the price of a professional and she's passed 2 MOTs since with no fails or even advisories on the hydraulic system.

I cannot find a source of brake discs from any other car that will fit and I doubt that any exist. As long as they're not warped, scored or worn to less than the minumum thickness they usually last far longer than 40 years, but it depends on the mileage covered and the enthusiasm with which they are used as to how long they will actually last.

As far as replacements are concerned http://www.flyingspares.com can sell you a set of 'remanufactured' non-RR/B front (vented or non-vented) or rear discs for half the price of pukka RR/B parts which should be at least as good as the originals.
MC Bowman

Bellingham, WA

#26 Aug 26, 2013
Jan, recently acquired a 67 Shadow that's in overall good condition, but has been sitting for around 7 years and has brake issues. I'm thinking I'll need to flush the system and replace all the hoses. I have read your previous posts regarding using dot3 and 4 with and without the addition of 10% castor oil. I am still not quite sure of the correct fluids and procedures you might recommend. Could you give me a quick recap? Many thanks MC
Jan Forrest

Rotherham, UK

#27 Aug 26, 2013
I can only advise you to read the relevant section in the manual as many times as necessary to understand how everything works and then go through every component looking for anything not right. Your '67 model should be fitted with the tiny brake master cylinder and quite possible one or two front self-levelling rams. The former should be replaced with a standard Series 1a Land Rover unit for a better pedal 'feel' if not much in the way of more braking effort 'in extremis'. The front rams usually seize due to lack of use and can be ignored as long as they aren't leaking.

Rather than use up a lot of RR363 you can flush the hydraulics with pure DOT3 without completely filling or emptying the reservoirs before bleeding them with pukka RR363 or Dot4 with a 10% blend of castor oil. The opinion of the Australian Rolls Royce forum is that this should be 'ethylated propoxylated' oil, but as it is an industrial chemical it is usually only available in industrial quantities - 45 gallons at a time! To date there have been no reports of serious problems with the normal edible variety although it has been suggested that replacement of the fluid is more important with this type of oil and even more so in cars that stand around unused a for protracted periods of time.

Fortunately all components are readily available from the usual suspects. At a price of course.
mc bowman

Bellingham, WA

#29 Aug 30, 2013
Jan Forrest wrote:
I can only advise you to read the relevant section in the manual as many times as necessary to understand how everything works and then go through every component looking for anything not right. Your '67 model should be fitted with the tiny brake master cylinder and quite possible one or two front self-levelling rams. The former should be replaced with a standard Series 1a Land Rover unit for a better pedal 'feel' if not much in the way of more braking effort 'in extremis'. The front rams usually seize due to lack of use and can be ignored as long as they aren't leaking.
Rather than use up a lot of RR363 you can flush the hydraulics with pure DOT3 without completely filling or emptying the reservoirs before bleeding them with pukka RR363 or Dot4 with a 10% blend of castor oil. The opinion of the Australian Rolls Royce forum is that this should be 'ethylated propoxylated' oil, but as it is an industrial chemical it is usually only available in industrial quantities - 45 gallons at a time! To date there have been no reports of serious problems with the normal edible variety although it has been suggested that replacement of the fluid is more important with this type of oil and even more so in cars that stand around unused a for protracted periods of time.
Fortunately all components are readily available from the usual suspects. At a price of course.
Thanks Jan, I will do my due diligence before tackling the beast As a side note regarding the rr363 fluid, it is running for this week only at a substantial discount of under 23$ a liter delivered to the US. enter code "blowout" Cheers!
mc bowman

Bellingham, WA

#30 Aug 30, 2013
Sorry, thats at Opie oils in the UK
kg4ibj

Little Elm, TX

#31 Sep 30, 2013
Will be looking at an 86 Silver Spirit/Spur tomorrow with 90K on it. This will be my first Rolls Royce. Any specific areas I should look closely at? Obviously, it needs to start, shift and stop without issues. I'm more concerned about those areas that can be easily masked or known problem areas. Reading the comments about the brake fluid, I would appreciate info on how to tell if the wrong fluid has been used. If this purchase works out, it will be a nice upgrade from my Volvo S90!
Jan Forrest

Rotherham, UK

#32 Sep 30, 2013
A Spirit or Spur of that era should be using the later LHM (mineral) oil in the hydraulics. If they have been contaminated with RR363 the rubber components of the system(s) will have been severely damaged and most likely have failed shortly thereafter. Otherwise there is little to mention regarding the condition of the car that you wouldn't look at on any car of the same age. Last year I 'rescued' a complete exhaust system and 4 whitewall tyres off a Shadow 2 that was in a very sorry state to put on my Shadow 1. Mine is quite clean ... ish, but the 2 was little more than scrap.**it happens!

Should you eventually buy one you have to realise that it will take over your life and bank account for as long as you look after it. One never actually owns a Rolls Royce. One merely enjoys it for a while as one pays through the nose for the privilege of passing on to another generation. I wouldn't part with mine for anything as ephemeral as mere money. Like as not my 'Old Girl' will go to charity when I pass on - unless I prepay to be buried in her ... LOL
Luther Beal

Brunswick, ME

#33 May 26, 2014
I have a bad break fluid leak. After winter storage there was little fluid left in the resivor. The mechanic can't seem to find where it is leaking. Can anyone help. Thanks
Jan Forrest

Rotherham, UK

#34 May 27, 2014
The hydraulic accumulators can hold a significant amount of extra fluid if all the 'air' pressure has leaked out of the lower portion of them. There should be not less than 1,000psi of pure nitrogen in each of them. Without knowing the precise RR/B model I can't say exactly where to find them other than (usually) alongside the engine.
Depending on model and year you or you mechanic may or not be able to overhaul or even re pressurise them.
The rear springs sagging excessively can 'soak up' quite a bit of fluid when the self levelling rams activate to level the back of the car.
The correct rear stance for a Rolls is complicated to calculate, but a quick and effective way is to wait for the hydraulics to completely exhaust and then see if you can slide a flat hand over either rear tyre without scraping off a knuckle or two on the underside of the wheel arch.

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