Hot brakefluid in reservoir shadow II - Rolls-Royce and Bentley Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 03:09 AM Thread Starter
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Hot brakefluid in reservoir shadow II

Hi, I got a very hot brakefluid in the resvoir after a long drive yesterday 250 km.
All Wheel calipers hot special rear.
Brakes working normally with full pressure in both system.


Rear axle hight levelling seems not to be working (can this generate heat)
All calipers are new on the vehicle since 2 years.
Has any one experient this, advice.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 08:17 AM
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A non-working height system will not generate heat. Brakes, calipers and hydraulic pumps squeeze fluid and it develops heat. Don't forget that braking a car is all about friction which generates heat and it travels to the calipers to fluid etc.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 08:22 AM
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BTW the pads contact the disc ever so lightly. The pads are backed by a metal plate which should be free to move in the caliper and if it doesn't it will surely not retract and will not only create excessive heat but premature pad wear. Were the "W" springs returned to their place in the pads?

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 05:48 PM
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Hi Johanh123, I experienced this a few years ago, the reservoir seemed hotter that normal. I did a thorough cleaning of the brake callipers and greased the sliding pins followed by a flush and bleed of the hydraulic/brake fluid and the reservoir became comparatively cooler afterwards. Now I remove the brake pads, clean the callipers and press back the calliper pistons once a year.

I presume that you are using the correct Castrol RR363 brake fluid which gives additional lubrication to the hydraulic components and reduces friction. The brake fluid should be flushed and bled every 2 years.

Also, if your gas spheres are depleted your hydraulic pumps will be required to work harder to maintain hydraulic pressure and this could be a source of additional heat generation. The standard pedal test should give you an indication of the health of the gas spheres.

Another cause of heat generation would be collapsing flexi hoses which would restrict hydraulic fluid flow. The flexi hoses should be replaced every 6 years or thereabouts as they tend to break down internally even though they may look good on the outside.
Regarding your self-levelling rear suspension it's possible (and this is merely a guess) that your restrictor valves on the rear subframe are blocked with crud (one of the symptoms of hoses that are breaking up internally), normally a knocking noise can be heard in the rear pipework if a restrictor valve is blocked. The height control should only activate when there is sufficient weight in the rear of the car. You can check if the height control solenoid valve electrics are working by detaching and reattaching one of the wires from the valve while the ignition is turned on, you will hear a click if the electrical side of the HCV is working.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Shadow II,
thanks for the Advice. I changed all 12 flexi houses and 2 accumulators 2 years together with 4 new calipers.
System was than bleeded 2 times due to a lot of dirt in the pipework.


I have 2 of these cars, serie 1 and this shadow II.


I will now bleed the system again.


Best regards
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 04:40 PM
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Hopefully that will cure the problem Johanh. I think you should also remove and clean the brake pads, blow any brake dust from the callipers (wear a breathing mask & eye protection) and rub a little copper grease on the metal part of the pads where the piston hits and on the sliding pins. Bleeding the system with the engine running helps to expel crud from the system.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 06:03 PM
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There is usually more of a hangup with pads where the metal pad "ear' slides on the caliper itself. I dab here will not hurt either.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 04:27 AM Thread Starter
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Hallo Shadow II, i now serviced all brake pads and bleed the system with new RR 363. No pads are getting stocked.


After test drive yesterday only 1 km, I noticed the Engine compartment was getting very hot?? Instrument
showing correct Engine temperature.


The Aircompressor, Airintake manifolds, carburators was getting very hot as the brake fluid reservoir. after 1 km??
So the problem is a Colling problem from the Engine bay.
I checked the Visco Fan coupling it seems to engage very poorly, The Electric fan in front doesn't run.


If Visco Fan bad could this couse the heating problem (Engine not over heating)
termostat mal function ?
The Air compressor should not get Hot when working?
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 06:30 PM
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The easiest way to be sure about your engine temperature is to point a laser thermometer at the thermostat housing where you will get a more accurate reading than what the dashboard gauge displays. I purchased a laser thermometer on eBay for approx. £30 and with it I can monitor what the temperature is when the thermostat opens. That's the easiest way to check your thermostat operation.


If your thermostat is opening the top hose to the radiator should get very warm, almost too hot to hold with your hand for a prolonged period and if the viscous fan and the radiator are doing their job properly the bottom hose from the radiator back to the engine should feel much cooler by comparison.

A couple of years ago I replaced my viscous fan coupling using a Land Rover V8 1970-94 part, it's Britpart number ERC 2849 and I purchased it for £55 (a total of £77.99 including tax & postage) from Island Spares, Kent, UK, that was a lot cheaper than the OE part and it has done the job nicely so far. It's not always easy to tell if a viscous fan is defective, one way of testing it is to spin it by hand when the engine is cold and it should spin roughly a quarter turn, then spin it when the engine is hot and it should feel much stiffer. Also, there should be little or no side play if you try to rock it. Another indication of a bad viscous coupling is when the engine gets abnormally hot when stuck in traffic but cools again quickly when moving faster on the open road. Replacing the viscous fan is relatively easy, you just need to tilt back the header tank and remove the top portion of the fan cowl and you will have access to the 4 nuts & bolts that hold the fan & coupling to the water pump shaft, once removed and on a bench you can separate the fan from the old viscous coupling.


If your radiator fins are clogged with crud, flies or leaves it will hamper the cooling process too, I occasionally blow mine with an air hose, removing the grill aids access as the air-con condenser is in front of the radiator. Grill removal is easy, just 3 bolts at the top and 2 at the bottom from memory. It's important to flush and replace the coolant every couple of years to reduce the possibility of corrosion in the cooling system, there are good instructions in the manual on draining & flushing the coolant.

The cooling system is pressurised which increases the boiling point of the coolant, if pressure is escaping the boiling point will reduce causing the system to boil at a lower temperature, check your header tank seal at the filler cap, the O-ring at the level probe and the steam valve gasket for signs of coolant leakage and check that all coolant hoses are in good condition.

Based on your findings I think the probability is that the viscous fan coupling needs to be replaced but it's difficult to say from this distance. Good luck.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 06:49 PM
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Regarding the electric fan: most owners never experience the electric fan kicking in on the Silver Shadow, mine didn't activate when my viscous coupling failed but I'm fairly sure that it does work. You can check the electrical wiring to it by disconnecting the double wire just below the thermostat at the front of the thermostat housing and with the ignition switched on cross the 2 wires using a paper clip or something similar and the fan should spin immediately, mind your fingers as the paper clip will get very hot almost immediately. If the fan spins you will know that it is electrically OK but you still won't be certain that the sender unit is operating. There's another temperature warning probe on the A-bank of the engine roughly between nos. 5 & 7 spark plugs, it's connected to a warning buzzer under the dashboard, usually if the warning buzzer sounds the engine has already overheated and damage may have already been done but to test the probe just detach the wire and earth it and with the ignition switched on the buzzer should be heard.
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