Restoring my '69 Silver Shadow - Rolls-Royce and Bentley Forums
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post #1 of 447 (permalink) Old 10-05-2010, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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Restoring my '69 Silver Shadow

Hello Friends,

I bought my 1969 Silver Shadow (SRX6826) in May of this year. It was love at first sight but now the honeymoon is over. My love for the car is no less. I just have to now look past the perfect paint, new leather and carpet, polished wood - and start fixing the warts, scars and inoperative do-dads. This is kinda like washing dishes after the honeymoon. Anyway, I am a physicist and a classic/exotic car restorer, in my limited spare time, and find the repair work as much fun as driving. (Sounds kinda silly now that I've written it down.) I also enjoy sharing the hobby.

My car has low oil pressure when hot but that doesn't bother me really. On the hottest days it still circulates enough oil at idle to be safe. At road speeds, its fine. My rear hydraulic pump ticks a bit, more so when cold and first started. The self-leveling moans at times, so it needs to be bled - again. But all-in-all, its a good car.

My present course of work comes in two categories; mechanical repairs and cosmetic repairs. The mechanical repairs, beyond those mentioned above, include rebuilding a few of the electro-mechanical servos (like the heater fluid flow servo), perished mounts on the A/C blowers and that ticking hydraulic pump. The cosmetic repairs include putting a fresh coat of vinyl finish on the dash and console, installing the radio and speakers, and replacing the facia across the top and to the right of the glove box. I have sourced a replacement piece and will install it shortly. Oh yea, I also need to disassemble, clean and lubricate all the seat motion machinery as nothing really moves now.

I hope to share the progress and restoration work in stories and pictures. Right now, I have only the previous owner's marketing pictures uploaded but you're welcome to view them. They're at: http://www.aubard.us/RR

Regards,

Rick Lindsay / Houston, Texas USA
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post #2 of 447 (permalink) Old 10-05-2010, 05:13 PM
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Lovely car, Rick.

I've got to get into my front seats as well -- some directions are fine but others are sluggish. But first up is the front half of the exhaust system.

Other than that, mine (a 79 Bentley T2) is in excellent mechanical shape. Sadly, it has some rust in the wheel arches and the existing paint job looks like it was done by a 10-year-old, so it's going to need a bare-metal respray in the near future (I'm thinking next spring).

On balance, though, I'd much rather be doing some engine and/or hydraulic work than the body. So I envy you.

-- Jeff.
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post #3 of 447 (permalink) Old 10-05-2010, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Hello Jeff. Thanks for the kind words. I'm a few weeks (if not months) away from attacking the seats. Right now I'm rebuilding the HVAC blowers. The rubber mounts have perished and are just 'hanging' by the PO's application of silicone goo.

I'm removing them, cleaning and lubricating the motors. A fresh coat of black paint and new rubber mounts and one of the blowers now spins without hitting the metal cage. Motor run much faster too. One down and one to go. Now that I have the process refined, I'll photograph the steps on the other side. I try to always photo-document my restorations.

Off topic: I also spent about an hour installing new A/C components in my Ferrari 308GTB. The 308's factory air is pathetic, at best. Working with RetroAir in Dallas, we have designed and manufactured an upgrade kit for the car that is reversible and sized appropriate for the car's interior.

Further off topic: I have two other project cars; a '73 Jaguar E-Type and a '62 Triumph TR3b. These fours cars are great restorations starting somewhere better than basket cases. Call them a hobby or better yet, a fun diversification of my retirement portfolio.

Happy wrenching.

-rick
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post #4 of 447 (permalink) Old 10-06-2010, 06:13 AM
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Hey Rick,

Sounds like we have similar tastes. Here's a picture of a TR4 I part-restored and a Ginetta G4 (in the foreground) that I rebuilt from the ground up. Before those (and before digital cameras) I had an '89 348 and a '67 330GTC. All stayed in California (to new owners) when I moved to Ireland.

-- Jeff.

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post #5 of 447 (permalink) Old 10-06-2010, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Hello again Friends,

I wrote earlier that I restored one of the two HVAC blowers and will attack the other one as soon as time permits. To get the second unit out I'll need to remove the wiper motor and its mounting bracket. And as is typical of Shipwright's Disease, I'll have to restore it too. But that will have to wait, just like the seat mechanism repairs. What is now rather high in the queue is the 'blower motor relay'. It has stopped working, or is at best intermittent.

I have yet to find the relay, but neither have I looked for it. What I do know is that several of the relays are sluggish, including the 'master switch isolation relay'. I could just replace them all but that would be too easy, if costly. I'd rather take them apart, clean and lubricate the moving bits, burnish the contacts, and put them back into service. This is a 'hobby' after all.

-rick / Houston, TX USA / SRX6826
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post #6 of 447 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Almost 40 people have viewed this thread and I thank you for doing so. Please post your comments and ideas. I'm an experienced classic car restorer. I'm just new to this marque and can use your sage advice or your chewy questions.

Today's revolation is that I plan to disassemble the dash and console so as to refinish the vinyl upholstery/crash roll. It is black and easy to refinish once removed. I also have an annoying rattle somewhere up behind the facia. I'll attack that while I have the crash roll off. I'm also typing on my BlackBerry and my old eyes can barely make out what I'm typing. That's an apology in advance for typos.

And as the best laid plans go into the toilet, I am pondering R-R restoration while sitting in the hospital ER with my 94 y/o mother who just broke her hip. So it goes.

-rick
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post #7 of 447 (permalink) Old 10-08-2010, 10:28 AM
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You said "I plan to disassemble the dash and console so as to refinish the vinyl upholstery/crash roll".
Vinyl on a Rolls-Royce? Surely it is leather.
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post #8 of 447 (permalink) Old 10-08-2010, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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The upholstery everywhere else is leather but the dash upholstery appears to be vinyl.
This is a USA specification '69 car with the newly introduced 'safety padded' style.
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post #9 of 447 (permalink) Old 10-08-2010, 12:35 PM
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If your top roll (the RR name for the part/area you're talking about) is vinyl then it was replaced by someone at some point in the past. These were always leather. In general the top roll was covered in dark leather regardless of the rest of the interior color, as Crewe felt that the lighter colors caused too much reflection/glare on the windshield. Of course, one could always order to match the interior.

The two areas where the leather is most abused by the sun and likely to really dry out without repeated applications of leather conditioner are the top roll and the shelf beneath the rear window.

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 #10 of 447 (permalink) Old 10-11-2010, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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I can't verify the material of the top roll because I haven't removed it, but it looks like the same material used on the lower dash knee bolsters and the console. I think
I will refinish the material that is in there now and after fixing a plethora of other little issues (like frozen seat mechanisms) I can come back and make an informed decision about whether to reupholster back in black leather.

Rear parcel tray was reupholstered in leather when the headliner, seats and carpets were done.

No progress last weekend. 94 y/o mom in hospital.

-rick
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