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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I just came into possession of a 1979 Silver Shadow II 75th anniversary edition. Beautiful car and can't wait to drive it. Problem is last guy let it sit for 3 years and said the brakes don't work. I have a restoration guy who has done numerous Bentleys but this is his first Rolls. He has dug into it for quite a while and runs great now, but it needs a master cylinder and brake lines. His normal part guy in europe says he doesn't have any and won't be able to get any for a year. That seems incorrect to me as a google search to places like flying spares has several listed. However someone on another forum is telling us this particular car doesn't have a master cylinder so it is creating mass confusion. Is there anyone on here who can help us in this matter and perhaps point us in the right direction? All I get from facebook pages is "take it to a rolls royce person or it will cost you more money in the long run". While that may be good advice my guy has over 40 years experience restoring antique cars and we are doing it as a family project for the kids so we would like to do it on our own as much as possible. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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I think that others have been sending out flares is because Bentley was bought by Rolls Royce in 1931 and sold to VW in 1999. Between those years, they were pretty much the same car and if your restoration guy worked on any Bentley between 1965 and say 1998, it would have used a very similar braking system to the one on your car.

The system is based Citroen's hydraulic system that uses engine driven pumps to apply brake pressure and diverter valves to direct them to the calipers. Steel brake tubes can be purchased and bent to shape. If he doesnt know how to do this, he will be the wrong guy for the job.

You can go through this play list which covers the problems that I went through as I muddled through the brakes on my 79. Good luck!

 

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I don't want to be critical of your mechanic but, as Al said, there is practically no difference between '79 Bentley and a '79 Shadow. If he's done numerous Bentleys he'd know that. Equally, he'd already know there are pumps and no master cylinder mass confusion. Honestly, I would be looking for someone who understood the design of the system as much as the parts.
In the US I always start with Albers Motorcars in Indianapolis 317-873-2360 for parts. Rusty is the Parts Manager.
 

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Master cylinder was eliminated around chassis 22000 or so. The hydraulic reservoir lid must be removed to check for gunk and collapsed fluid filter screens first before you go any further. Re-comishioning a brake system in a RR/B starts at the reservoir.
 

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Shadow II's do not have a master cylinder. Earlier Shadows up to about 1974 did have a very small conventional master cylinder that operated only one pair of pistons on each rear caliper and its main purpose was to provide some 'feel' to the brake pedal. Before your mechanic goes any further, go to www.rrtechnical.info and download the relevant sections of the workshop manual and read through them to understand how this braking system works.
 

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I don't want to be critical of your mechanic but, as Al said, there is practically no difference between '79 Bentley and a '79 Shadow.
Yep, I was trying not to be critical because you never know who was in there before his mechanic. It may have well converted to conventional brakes at some point and a master cylinder was added to confuse matters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We are beginning to suspect that is what happened. He found numerous parts that did not seem to be original. It definitely has a master cylinder. I'm gonna take some pictures of it this weekend and put them on here to show everyone what it currently looks like. If that's the case then I guess we will just replace the parts that are currently in there and go with what it is.
 

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I suggest that some previous mechanic has sad "Oh dear, someone has modified the braking system by removing the master cylinder, because EVERYONE knows that ALL Rolls Royce Silver Shadows have a master cylinder". So, it might be better to work towards getting the car to the correct spec. The reasons for the loss of the MC were, I think:

A) It was difficult to bleed (for some odd reason) and
B) The pedal sometimes "went to the floor" at inconvenient times.

I have experienced both on an early car and then removed the master cylinder as per RR instructions. I have not regretted it.
 
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