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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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BRAKE FLUID TOP UP

Hi today, i opened the filler tank for the brake and hydrollic fluid tank as the windows were bit dark. one side was empty the other full to limit. As my brakes are a bit poor to say the least ,will topping this up help??? SILVER SHADOW 1
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 02:37 PM
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If the sight glasses are dark, the chances are the fluid is very old and contaminated. The only reason for one compartment of the tank being empty is you have a hydraulic leak. Also if the tank was completely empty and you have topped it up, there will be air in the system which will need bleeding. You should only be using Castrol RR363 brake fluid in a Shadow. PLEASE be careful because if, as you say, your brakes are a "bit poor" you clearly have a serious problem and I would not want to be trying to stop a Silver Shadow in an emergency situation with dodgy brakes. When properly maintained, the brakes on a Shadow are as good as any modern car but it is a complicated system which needs regular maintenance. Unfortunately, it is not just a case of throwing in more fluid occasionally.
Kind regards,
Chris

Kind regards,
Chris
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 03:10 PM
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The short answer to your question is probably not. An empty reservoir indicates a leak on the hydraulic circuit. You could try putting a little brake fluid in, starting the engine and pumping the brake pedal to see where the puddle occurs under the car. Remember - these cars require Castrol RR363 brake fluid. More worrying is the color of the fluid - a dark color indicates rubber from the hoses, seals or diaphragm has gone into the fluid indicating that the system needs to be overhauled. Also, when you remove the reservoir filling caps there should be a gauze/mesh just beneath that prevents you from seeing the brake fluid.

Be aware that if you drive the car on an empty reservoir you are likely to damage the respective hydraulic pump. The RR363 lubricates to the hydraulic pumps.

Sorry to bring you all this bad news - the good news is that if you need to overhaul the system the parts/reconditioning kits are not expensive and there is a ton of really good information on this and the Australian site.

What are the dashboard warning lights doing. I presume one is permanently on. Is this the case?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 03:19 PM
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I have to concur with Chris. These brakes don't fail slowly. If you lose the other circuit it's a foot to the floor job and no brakes at all. Quite apart from possibly harming yourself or someone else - you have a seriously expensive front end to replace if anything goes wrong.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-05-2012, 09:52 PM
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First, if you have an empty reservoir side you almost certainly have a dead pump for that side if the car has been used for any period of time while that condition existed. As you've already been told, it's got to be a leak, and a serious one, in the system to completely drain the reservoir.

It is not at all unusual for the fluid to darken in these cars, and by darken I do not mean "to go opaque" but to slowly take on a somewhat browner tone due to rust in the system. The fluid should be changed a minimum of once every two years in non-humid climates and annually if you live somewhere where it's very humid.

From your description I would also strongly suspect the possibility of damage to the mesh filter screens in the bottom of the reservoir due to crud collecting over years of lack of maintenance. This photo isn't from either of my cars, but the reservoir in the Silver Wraith II I purchased in January had plenty of "algae like" material in the reservoir. The color of the fluid in the "clear" reservoir of that car was about the color of tea. The original fluid in my Shadow II had gotten that dark, too, but did not have any solids in it.



The original design for the filter screens under the baffles in the reservoir allows them to collapse and develop holes, potentially allowing some really nasty solids to circulate through the system and block any number of incredibly tiny passages. Here's an image of an original filter that has been damaged and the core of a new design of my own (which doesn't yet have its mesh applied) that will never collapse. It may clog, and then trigger insufficient pressure and a warning light, rather than pollute the entire system.



And with the stainless mesh applied and affixed into place using polypropylene cord. I've tried metal wire but do not prefer it to the cord, which is easier to work with and about as resistant to any sort of damage that a substance can be.



Instructions for flushing and bleeding your brake/hydraulic system are available in Flush and Bleed Your Silver Shadow/Bentley T Hydraulics/Brakes the Easy Way

Brian, who notes you may need a power bleeder if your car has a master cylinder in the rat trap (earlier Shadow series).
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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TOP UP BRAKE FLUID

Hi thanks for all replies,i will further investigate the brakes. I bought the car as a project and are just weighing up the options. The body work wont be a problem as that is what i do for a living. Its just the brakes really and there seems to be lots of good advise on here so hopefully should be able to fix with out any major problems. Thanks again :P :P
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 07:46 PM
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I'm not trying to be a wet blanket, really I'm not, but you are better off presuming that a brake/hydraulic overhaul, while entirely doable, will be rife with unanticipated difficulties. Even more so given what you've described as the initial state.

Realistic expectations regarding difficulties makes them much easier to face, at least in my experience.

Brian, the voice of experience on this particular issue
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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BRAKES

Ok i get it, it is a big job! I still have too do it though so all helpful advise would be welcome. The top up tank dosent have any gunk in it fluid not that dark . I will check for leaks and start replacing parts as i go.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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BRAKES

Hi,i received the correct brake fluid today, topped up the reservoir tank to the level, and pumped the brake peddle until it became stiff. With the engine running i checked for leaks of which there was none.I drove the car a short distance around my yard and hay presto!!!!! brake are very good!!! :P :P :P :P
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 01:31 PM
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Do not delude yourself, something is very, very wrong if you had an empty reservoir.

See Silver Shadow Brake Issues: Your Help Would Be Appreciated! and start doing at least the pump test before you take this car anywhere near to a road.

Brian
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