HELP shadow still won't start!! Please help!!!! - Rolls-Royce and Bentley Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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HELP shadow still won't start!! Please help!!!!

Over the last few months my shadow II has had a problem the batter is perfectly connected and powers everything that would still operate with the ignition switch turned OFF example the clock interior lights ETC but my ignition switch does not operate correctly if you turn the car to the run position it will sometimes come on and then go directly off sometimes it won't even come on with the switch in the RUN position if you leave it in run it will turn on and turn off at anytime and only for short periods of time my ignition switch box was tested with another shadow and is operating perfectly what could be the problem also the headlamps function correctly and when the car is in RUN the transmission also will still shift when the lever is triggered please help and excuse me if I am confusing thanks
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 08:23 PM
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This sounds like it's either a problem with something electrical or the ignition system (which is electrical, but specific).

Are you absolutely certain that your battery connection between the negative terminal and the chassis is working "solidly" (for lack of a better term). You should clean the metal around where the wing nut & washer screw in to be sure you have excellent contact. Also, check that all of the grounding straps between the engine and the chassis in the engine bay are connected and are clean at both sides of the connection.

Another thing this could be is a wonky ignition coil (and that would be my first guess). The original Opus I ignition systems are notoriously flaky with age and many switch over to Pertronix electronic systems. You could also have issues at the distributor.

I know how frustrating this must be and I'm sorry I can't be any more specific. This problem could have any number of things at its root, but I'd look in the above two areas first since you seem to have eliminated the ignition switchbox as the culprit.

Brian

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.
~ Niels Bohr


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyslp
This sounds like it's either a problem with something electrical or the ignition system (which is electrical, but specific).

Are you absolutely certain that your battery connection between the negative terminal and the chassis is working "solidly" (for lack of a better term). You should clean the metal around where the wing nut & washer screw in to be sure you have excellent contact. Also, check that all of the grounding straps between the engine and the chassis in the engine bay are connected and are clean at both sides of the connection.

Another thing this could be is a wonky ignition coil (and that would be my first guess). The original Opus I ignition systems are notoriously flaky with age and many switch over to Pertronix electronic systems. You could also have issues at the distributor.

I know how frustrating this must be and I'm sorry I can't be any more specific. This problem could have any number of things at its root, but I'd look in the above two areas first since you seem to have eliminated the ignition switchbox as the culprit.


Thanks so much for your advice I followed it and believe my problem is the battery CONNECTORS!! I scrubbed the connectors with a wire brush and got a perfect reaction from the car it started as it should ran for a few seconds and then died again and could not be re started I repeated the cleaning process about 4 times and every time I got the car to start! I will be replacing the connectors tomorrow I will let you know how it goes where are the started located in the bay? Thanks
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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where are the grounding straps?

Hi again where exactly are the grounding straps located in the engine bay? Thanks again!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 09:44 AM
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I really do not think your problem is rooted in your battery based on the information you've given. If you've got clean connections, your starter is cranking reliably, and the engine is firing up (at least most of the time) but dying afterward.

I suspect your issue is either going to be with your coil (most likely), distributor, and/or spark plug wires.

It could also be possible that your fuel pump has begun to go bad and that it only runs for a very short period of time before cutting out. If the car is off and has not been started for a day or so you should be able to hear the pumps ticking if you turn the key to the run position but do not start the car. They will tick moderately quickly, progressively slowing as they fill up the float bowls in the carburettors, until they come to a stop. It is not at all uncommon for one of the two pumps in the dual SU setup to have stopped functioning completely and the owner not be aware of this. The car can run perfectly well on one of the two pumps, but then when that pump fails you're dead in the water. I had symptoms quite like yours and it turns out that one of the two pumps in my dual unit had been dead for years, rusted solid, and the other was giving out. The car would sometimes start and run for a while, others it would start and die after a short time. It all depended on how long the remaining pump would function normally before flaking out. Once I rebuilt both sides of the pump everything returned to normal. If you haven't checked your fuel pump this could be the culprit. If you have the car up on a lift you can have someone turn the key to the run position with your hands grasping both sides of the pump. See if you feel action in each half. Then they could start the car and you should keep feeling to see if the pump just gives out suddenly.

Not knowing where you're located and the chassis number of your car puts advice-givers at a disadvantage. Crewe had somewhat different designs for various systems depending on the market for which the individual cars were destined. They also had the habit of making mid-production changes when one part they'd been using was exhausted and the one they intended to replace it with was available.

If you have not visited the RROC-Australia Post-War Technical Library, SY Cars Section, to view and download all of the workshop & parts manuals for your car, along with other technical service bulletins you really should. The RROC-Australia Tee-One Topics Archive is also a treasure trove of helpful information. Also consider downloading the Rolls-Royce & Bentley Parts, Repair, Restoration & Other Resources Compilation.

Brian

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.
~ Niels Bohr


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 12:54 PM
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As to the ground straps, look in the workshop manual or exploded parts diagrams for the engine to see if they're shown.

The only thing I recall is that there is more than one of them and they run from the bottom of the engine block to the chassis in several locations. They are made of precisely the same material as you see for the grounding strap between the hood/bonnet and the radiator frame (or somewhere along the grille beneath the Flying Lady; I'm not looking at my car right now).

Brian

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.
~ Niels Bohr


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Hi My ignition coil is a BRAND NEW Lucas sports coil and my fuel pumps where changed before I purchased the car this was less than a year ago although I do not think the pumps would cause this problem Also when the car does come on the pumps are STRONG It is as if the ignition switch is not getting power as when you turn the key to ACC,RUN,START the car does NOTHING sometimes it will work but directly shut down as if you turned the switch TO OFF I would think if it was a mechanical problem that the car would work in the ACC position also the electronics where changed under the distributer cap so I am still stuck! please help Thanks my car is a 1977 shadow II SRH 30948 RHD manufactured for english roads than imported to the United States where the car and myself reside Thanks again!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyslp
I really do not think your problem is rooted in your battery based on the information you've given. If you've got clean connections, your starter is cranking reliably, and the engine is firing up (at least most of the time) but dying afterward.

I suspect your issue is either going to be with your coil (most likely), distributor, and/or spark plug wires.

It could also be possible that your fuel pump has begun to go bad and that it only runs for a very short period of time before cutting out. If the car is off and has not been started for a day or so you should be able to hear the pumps ticking if you turn the key to the run position but do not start the car. They will tick moderately quickly, progressively slowing as they fill up the float bowls in the carburettors, until they come to a stop. It is not at all uncommon for one of the two pumps in the dual SU setup to have stopped functioning completely and the owner not be aware of this. The car can run perfectly well on one of the two pumps, but then when that pump fails you're dead in the water. I had symptoms quite like yours and it turns out that one of the two pumps in my dual unit had been dead for years, rusted solid, and the other was giving out. The car would sometimes start and run for a while, others it would start and die after a short time. It all depended on how long the remaining pump would function normally before flaking out. Once I rebuilt both sides of the pump everything returned to normal. If you haven't checked your fuel pump this could be the culprit. If you have the car up on a lift you can have someone turn the key to the run position with your hands grasping both sides of the pump. See if you feel action in each half. Then they could start the car and you should keep feeling to see if the pump just gives out suddenly.

Not knowing where you're located and the chassis number of your car puts advice-givers at a disadvantage. Crewe had somewhat different designs for various systems depending on the market for which the individual cars were destined. They also had the habit of making mid-production changes when one part they'd been using was exhausted and the one they intended to replace it with was available.

If you have not visited the RROC-Australia Post-War Technical Library, SY Cars Section, to view and download all of the workshop & parts manuals for your car, along with other technical service bulletins you really should. The RROC-Australia Tee-One Topics Archive is also a treasure trove of helpful information. Also consider downloading the Rolls-Royce & Bentley Parts, Repair, Restoration & Other Resources Compilation.

Hi My ignition coil is a BRAND NEW Lucas sports coil and my fuel pumps where changed before I purchased the car this was less than a year ago although I do not think the pumps would cause this problem Also when the car does come on the pumps are STRONG It is as if the ignition switch is not getting power as when you turn the key to ACC,RUN,START the car does NOTHING sometimes it will work but directly shut down as if you turned the switch TO OFF I would think if it was a mechanical problem that the car would work in the ACC position also the electronics where changed under the distributer cap so I am still stuck! please help Thanks my car is a 1977 shadow II SRH 30948 RHD manufactured for english roads than imported to the United States where the car and myself reside Thanks again!
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Hi also when the car does start and die it dies as if I shut the switch off it is not like just the engine dies it shuts everything off that operates with the switch
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 05:59 PM
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Well, if you search around the internet with regard to ignition coils you will find that there are many that aren't particularly "robust" even straight out of the box!! [Read: There are a significant number of coils that are DOA or very shortly after.]

Add to that you got a Lucas coil (something I'd be very disinclined to do, but that's me and my opinion on Lucas).

The way you describe the issue I suspect something electrical, and it could be the switchbox. You are being much too quick about eliminating the various possible culprits without checking each out in-depth before ruling them out. Unless you pull the switchbox and test it thoroughly, and possibly in another car and for a relatively extended period, you can't entirely rule that out.

The fact that something has been replaced is no guarantee that the new unit is working correctly. Also, for things like the fuel pump, unless you do the hands on test I suggest you cannot be sure that something isn't working there.

You are going to have to be very careful and very methodical in order to solve this. It may also require that you revisit things you had "eliminated" if something later in the process checks out and requires that some other thing that may have appeared to be OK really can't be.

Good luck.

Brian

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.
~ Niels Bohr


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