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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings. My friend inherited this car. It's been sitting for 19 years down south. It's rust free, a right hand drive. I've been working on it now for him, (I'm a Ford tech so this is all new to me). I got it running, new fuel pump and hoses, cleaned carbs, changed fluids, (except brake fluid), etc. I need help with the brake system. I've been reading up on it. I'm guessing from the car sitting I've got problems. When I got it started only power brake 1 stayed on and I had slight braking. After a few stops both lights are on and no brakes. 2 flexible steel braided lines by the left rear side underneath are leaking. Where can I get these lines? Should I just start over and replace both brake pumps and other parts like the accumulaters? The reservoir was full and was clean. Any insight on this is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 

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Any SY series car that has sat that long is going to need a complete overhaul of the braking and hydraulic system.

You will definitely need to:

1. Replace all brake hoses. I have documented commonly available hoses you can use in a table in the RR & Bentley Parts, Repair, Restoration & Other Resources Compilation. Personally, if I were ever to do this job again I would get the PTFE core, reinforced hoses like are used for the accumulator control valve to car body for all the hoses. These have a virtually perpetual service life and don't break down internally over time. Well worth the premium in price that you pay for not needing to think about this job again for many, many, many years.

2. Rebuild the Accumulator Control Valves (which isn't nearly as hellish as some make it out to be, but it can be a PITA to extract them from the car). I know I've written about that, with photo documentation, either here, on the Australian forums, or both.

3. Rebuild the Accumulators (same as above as far as source material. Pin wrenches for separating the halves of the accumulator for the rebuild, as well as the rebuilding itself, have been discussed extensively).

4. Overhaul all four brake calipers. And you may need new pistons and/or to send these out depending on the state of corrosion.
 

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And I might add. Start at the reservoir, open the lid, drain with a turkey baster and remove the filters. Inspect for tears. Work your way from here to every wheel and inspect and replace. It's one of the major tasks on these cars and usually the "straw that breaks the camel's back" on whether it is saved or not. A shop may quote more than the car is worth.
Go for it and ask questions and at the end, if successful you will have saved a fine car. Everything you need is available. You supply the labor, $$ and patience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies so far. Should I just replace the 2 pumps then also because they have been sitting or can they be rebuilt? Another thing I failed to mention. Coolant is leaking from behind the center pulley (what I what guess is the water pump). There is up and down play when I wiggle up and down the fan. Is there a seal and bearing to replace or does that all come along with a new water pump?
 

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I would also suggest purchasing a BA tool set consisting of spanners and BA sockets in 1/4" drive. All the small hex fasteners are BA, not Metric or fractional. The Phillips head screws are really Pozidrive and a different design so a Pozi #2 fits most of these..
 

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You need a new pump. Send the pump to the "Flying Dutchman" and he will deliver your pump with an updated bearing/seal. He also supplies the O ring seal.
 

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The pumps very seldom need to be replaced. And that's what I'd deal with last. And I'll have to disagree with @Wraithman here. Very often these survive unscathed. Don't ask me why.

@Wraithman is correct about dealing with the reservoir first. You can find some posts I've made that show the interiors of SY series reservoirs that have been sitting for years. It's not pretty and often looks like an algal swamp (even though it can't be algae) at best and a pool of deep rust at worst.

If your filter screens have collapsed then once you use a pencil to pop them back up, and clean them, you must make sure that they do not have any holes in them. If they do, I'd strongly suggest NOT getting OEM ones again, but ones like Kelly at British Tool Works makes that will not collapse.
 

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Also, the fluid feed hoses from the tank to pumps have to be replaced. All hoses whether coolant, and especially brake hoses must be changed. The internal breakdown is responsible for the blackish color of the old brake fluid.
 

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Although the pumps seldom fail, they are not immune to internal corrosion and litter from reservoir filter screens with a hole. As a matter of practice I repair,replace,restore, everything in the circuit. I leave no stone un-turned.
 

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As a matter of practice I repair,replace,restore, everything in the circuit
And for that, you are to be commended.

But many of us do not, and if the car has been started without "major incident" with the brake pumps the process of doing a thorough flush and bleed tends to purge any very small floating detritus such as the breakdown products from the hose interiors.

Your approach certainly cannot be faulted. But some of us aren't ready to follow it. I know I never have. I attack all "points of likely failure" based on what's known, or not known, about the history of the car and I only deal with the pumps if there's a clear indication that's necessary.
 

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You say in your initial post that the brake reservoir is clean and full. Did you remove the top and baffles to inspect the filters? If your reservoir filters are collapsed I make new ones from stainless steel which are guaranteed to never collapse.
Cosmetics Adhesive Finger Cylinder Tool

Before removing the pumps make sure the reservoir is truly clean and that the filters are not torn. If they are good then the pumps may be OK. Test them by removing the outlet pipe from the top, then crank the engine over with the coil lead removed and see if brake fluid spurts from the outlet. If so then you can likely leave them alone for now, but pull off the outer housing while you have the outlet pipe off and replace the two O rings that seal the housing to the pump. You will need a special castle socket to remove the pump if you need to rebuild or replace them but the outer housing will pull off by hand to replace the O rings. Next go to the accumulators which will definitely need overhauling if your brake warning lamps are illuminated. I also rebuild the accumulator valves and spheres on exchange, and test and shim the relief pressures to the correct value before shipping back.
Motor vehicle Automotive design Gas Auto part Machine

Rebuilt accumulator valve and sphere on test rig.

As mentioned previously you absolutely should replace all hoses in the system, and overhaul the calipers too. As I'm sure you know the brake fluid will have a lot of moisture in it from all those years of sitting without use and that will cause a lot of corrosion in the system. Caliper kits, pistons, and hoses are not too expensive if bought aftermarket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Jim, I didn't know there were filters. Where exactly are they located? I only removed the big cover and screen to check the fluid level. I will get back to you then on those filters. Also I'm thinking maybe I should remove those accumulaters and valves and send them to you for repair. What would this cost? I'd like to mention this to my friend. I really appreciate everyone's feedback so far. It's all very helpful. I've been working on cars for 28 years at the Ford dealership and never have seen anything like this brake system. This car is very advanced for is age. Even with the electric gearshift on the Trans. It's a feature that the new vehicles have now today.
 

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Grey,

The baffles in the reservoir are attached to the central divider by a simple nut and bolt. If you remove these, the baffles lift out (go straight up and don't break your floats) and you can then have access to the bottom of the reservoir and filters attached there.

See 1979 silver shadow brake system | Rolls-Royce and Bentley Forums (rollsroyceforums.com) and 1977 silver wraith II brakes locked up??? | Rolls-Royce and Bentley Forums (rollsroyceforums.com) (sadly, the images in the second topic went up in smoke when the forums software changed, but you can see the reservoir interior photos with the baffles in place (first photo) and removed (second) in that initial topic.
 

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Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow Website (by Marinus Rijkers) http://www.rrsilvershadow.com/EIndex.htm
An absolute treasure trove of information regarding the Silver Shadow and derivatives.
Including, but not limited to: models, paint/everflex/upholstery/top-roll colors, animated demo
of the hydraulics, etc., etc., etc.


The animated demo of how the brake and hydraulic system works is well worth taking the time to watch and to understand.
 

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I charge 295 each to overhaul and recharge spheres, and 275 each to overhaul the accumulator valves, all parts included. Both parts are bead blasted and powdercoated, the valves are tested for relief pressure and shimmed if necessary to bring them back up to factory specs.
Light Product Lighting Gas Auto part
 

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This is what the reservoir can look like from a Shadow with failed brakes and poor service history. The muck in it is debris from deteriorating hoses and corrosion of internal parts of the system. This is why the baffle must be removed to inspect the filters. In the forward compartment you can just barely see the top of a collapsed filter, and a reasonably good one in the rear compartment. This is what happens when the brake fluid is not flushed out and changed every two years.
Fluid Gas Liquid Cuisine Dish
 
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