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Hello, :)
I’m a middle aged female and I don’t have a ton of knowledge about cars, but I’m willing to learn and try. The most complicated thing I have done is replace ignition coils on a newer car and a starter on a boat.
Someone recently gave me an 85 Silver Spur, possibly a II, but the book doesn’t say that. It is a US market car, Vin SCAZN42A4FCX12371.
When I got it, the mineral oil on the inside half of the tank was at Min. It has been sitting with the battery switch off for 2 months on a trickle charger waiting for LMH oil filler tubes. The battery is charged to 100% per the charger. It has fuel. I have the LHM oil and the filler tube. This is the first time I have tried to start it since it got here. It drove here 700 miles no problem. When I do try to start it, in Run, the brake 1 and 2 lights are on. I understand those should go away once it starts. In Start, it makes a loud fast click/purr noise from up near the firewall, but it does not try to crank/turn over. Sounds like a very big typewriter typing. The only thing I have tried is swapping the starter relay with a wiper relay, and I have tried with the hood and trunk open and closed because I thought there might be a safety switch. There is a ball valve below and forward of the the hydraulic tank that appears to be closed. The woman who drove it here says sometimes she had to turn the key from off to run to off 2 or 3 times to start it after refueling, but that does not work now, and it was not making this clicking noise then. I feel like this could be a simple thing, but I don’t know where to start.
Thank you very much for reading!
 

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Welcome to the forum Auralay. The sound you have described is classic sign of either a low battery, poor connection between the battery and starter, or the starter solenoid itself failing. On the battery on/off switch in the trunk, the contacts inside can corrode and limit the power going to the starter. Turn that switch 40 or 50 times on and off and that may clean them enough to work. Make absolutely sure the battery is fully charged. If the battery is old it may be faulty and the battery charger may give you a false reading so do not trust it completely. If you can confirm the battery is indeed good and fully charged then look at the battery cable connection on the starter. If loose it can cause intermittent starting. Make sure the battery terminals are tight too. Make absolutely sure the relay you placed in the starter relay socket is good. A bad one can make the noise you described but it usually isn't very loud. A starter solenoid on the other hand if faulty or a poor connection to it can make a very loud sound like you describe. There are other tests, but try those first and report back.
 

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Also regarding the brake warning lights, be aware they must go out within 15 or 20 seconds after starting the engine. They go on when you turn the key on, that tells you the bulbs in those warning lights are OK. If they don't go out after starting, you will have no brakes so make sure they do before you take the transmission out of park and/or release the parking brake. The workshop manuals for your car are available free online at: The Rolls-Royce and Bentley Technical Library and Home
 

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As Jim Walters says it sure does sound like a bad battery or connection at the battery or starter motor solenoid. An important bit of advice is to disconnect the battery leads prior to checking the wiring connections to the starter motor or its solenoid.
 

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Agree with above, low battery ( you need high amps to start) or battery connexion.
You cannot test the amps for starting easily and 12/ 13V means nothing to starts a car.

Put a premium quality battery first, in any case you might save electronic as low batteries are electronic serial killers
 

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As others have said, battery could be weak or the connections are not on tight. Remove the battery and take it to be load tested. They will fully charge it and test it at most auto parts stores. If it's bad, replace , reinstall and tighten connections , then try again and let us know.

The turning on and off a few times is a secondary issue , likely related to fuel pressure. Let's tackle that later.

Best wishes
 

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I thank you all for your help! It did indeed turn over after giving the cutoff switch 50 turns, but it couldn’t quite get going. I took the battery to NAPA and it failed on their tester. I got what I hope is a good enough battery, as it was the only one they had of that size. It is the 2nd highest one in the Napa line. I will replace it if it needs to be better quality. The brake 1 and 2 lights did go off after 18 seconds. The Brake Mineral Oil (I think) light came on after 1 minute and stayed on. It made a lot of smoke when it started, but I couldn’t tell whether it was black or gray because it’s dark outside. It cleared up after about 4 minutes, but not 100%. It only has 36,000 miles so I’m hoping that’s not major. Couldn’t let it run longer because I realized it’s almost empty. There was what I would call a power steering whine that did change with turning the wheel. It was persistent but got a little quieter once the engine warmed a little. Well those are my first observations with it running, and I’m excited to get it ready for my mama to drive. It’s a beautiful car and so comfortable. I guess next is adding the mineral oil. There’s definitely a puddle on the floor inside the front left tire. Thank you all very much for your advice and links!
 

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Also regarding the brake warning lights, be aware they must go out within 15 or 20 seconds after starting the engine. They go on when you turn the key on, that tells you the bulbs in those warning lights are OK. If they don't go out after starting, you will have no brakes so make sure they do before you take the transmission out of park and/or release the parking brake. The workshop manuals for your car are available free online at: The Rolls-Royce and Bentley Technical Library and Home
The lights did off after 18 seconds, and thank you for the link!
 

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As others have said, battery could be weak or the connections are not on tight. Remove the battery and take it to be load tested. They will fully charge it and test it at most auto parts stores. If it's bad, replace , reinstall and tighten connections , then try again and let us know.

The turning on and off a few times is a secondary issue , likely related to fuel pressure. Let's tackle that later.

Best wishes
Ok! I think I have a few other things to address first now that it’s running.
 

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OK Auralay congrats on getting it running. Now you absolutely must do a check to determine if the brakes are safe to drive. Start the engine in park, park brake on, and run the engine for 5 minutes at idle. Then turn off the engine. Next turn the key back on to run but do not start the engine. Now you want to pump the brake pedal slowly (one pump per 3 seconds or so) and count the number of pumps it takes until one of the brake pressure lights illuminates. Note the number of pumps and then continue pumping until the second light illuminates. Report back on the number of pumps. Less than 10 the car is not safe to drive. 20 or so pumps you should replace the brake spheres soon. With good spheres you will get 50 to 60 pumps. The brake system on your Spur is unlike any normal car. There are pumps on the engine that make the brake pressure that is stored in accumulator spheres. The spheres lose their ability to store the pressure with age. When they lose that ability the brakes can fail with just one pump of the pedal, or if the engine stalls you will not be able to stop the car.
Regarding the puddle of fluid behind the left front wheel, that is where the brake mineral oil reservoir overflow tubes are. If you overfill the reservoirs that is where the excess will go.
Also, the steering whine is probably low fluid in the power steering pump reservoir. Just use any automatic trans fluid in it. One important thing is to avoid turning the steering wheel when the car is not moving. The steering racks are a somewhat weak point in these cars and can be damaged especially when turned lock to lock without the car moving.
 

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Jim,
I did as you said except I pulled the car out of the garage to idle it, and then back in to test it, to keep from stinking up my Jeepster with exhaust. I hope that doesn’t matter. If so, I can pull the Jeepster out and do it again in situ.

There was light gray smoke on the first start that lasted about 5 minutes and then went away. All the gauges were normal.

I added mineral oil and both sides have stayed at max so far.

The steering fluid was at full cold when hot, and I topped it to full hot. The sound was unchanged. I idled the car about 40 minutes.

When I started the car the second time, it was slow to start and the brake pressure lights did not come on while starting. I idled the car 5 minutes and then backed into the garage. I let it run another minute since I had to brake to park. I set the parking brake, turned it off, and did as you said. The brake pressure 1 light flickered dimly at 9 pumps. Both lights came on at 13.

To be sure of the lights not coming on at start, I tried again. The radiator fan came on in run, but no brake pressure lights 1 and 2 at any time. The car was very slow to start this last time, taking 3 10-second tries. It turned over well but didn’t want to light. I cut off the battery and put it on the charger. The charger says “Low,” and I don’t know whether it is charging. I will check later. The alternator gauge was barely above 11 when running the last time. Maybe the whine is the alternator? It’s hard to tell if it’s on the left or right, but it is up front. Not perfect, but at least it’s more interesting now. It’s too big to be a door stop.
 

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The alternator gauge was barely above 11 when running the last time.
Your alternator is not charging, hence the battery/starting issues.
Be advised, these cars need the gas pedal to be "slightly" depressed for hot/warm starts.
Check for any hydraulic leak and plan a brake spheres change in the near future.

Nice to see a lady interrested in our toys ;)
 

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Hi and welcome to the world of expensive-to-maintain vehicles 😀

If your alternator is defective you can buy one for a '93 Corvette. It's identical, you just have to switch the pulley. And it's obviously a lot cheaper than a Rolls-Royce one 😉

Best of luck!

Es
 

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Hi Auralay, it doesn't matter where you performed the brake pedal pump down test as long as the area is flat and the park brake will hold the car in place. Also, it is normal for the brake pressure warning lights to not come on when you turn the key to run if the engine had been running a short time ago. That just means that the brake pressure has held up for the time the engine has been off. I should have clarified that for you. The brake pressure will slowly leak down to nothing as time passes, that could be five minutes or five weeks. It just depends on the condition of the whole brake system.
There is a fuel system component that makes starting the engine difficult when it has just been running and is still hot. It is called a fuel accumulator and is under the car beside the fuel pump. That is probably what the fault is for poor hot starting. Your best place to buy spheres and a fuel accumulator is probably Alber's Rolls-Royce in Indiana. Parts | Bentley Zionsville
If you are ordering brake spheres, take the opportunity to test the gas springs on your Spur. Try bouncing the rear of the car by pushing hard on the rear bumper up and down. It should be soft and move easily. If it moves very little and is stiff, then your gas springs also need replacing. Tee-One Topics on the Australian RR technical site has good information about replacing both these and your brake accumulator spheres. The Rolls
Check your voltage again at the battery terminals with the engine running at a fast idle after the battery is fully charged and let us know what it is. The low state of charge of the battery could also be a slipping alternator belt or poor electrical connection at the battery terminals, isolation switch, or terminals on the alternator.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Your alternator is not charging, hence the battery/starting issues.
Be advised, these cars need the gas pedal to be "slightly" depressed for hot/warm starts.
Check for any hydraulic leak and plan a brake spheres change in the near future.

Nice to see a lady interrested in our toys ;)
Thanks I will keep that in mind, flyer34! I’ve always liked old cars, and now I suddenly have some toys of my own. Learning a lot already! :D These cars sure are unusual. Almost freakish. Can’t wait to drive it! Hope I don’t run out of gas money first. Is the brake sphere change something mere mortals usually do for themselves, or do most people go to mechanics for that, on these older cars? I’ve read the How To in the service manual. Doesn’t seem like the most complicated thing ever, but I know the real process might be more complicated, or hard to get to.
 

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Hi and welcome to the world of expensive-to-maintain vehicles 😀

If your alternator is defective you can buy one for a '93 Corvette. It's identical, you just have to switch the pulley. And it's obviously a lot cheaper than a Rolls-Royce one 😉

Best of luck!

Es
Wow great info! If it ever quits raining I’ll get on that.
Thanks!
 

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Hi Jim
Boy I checked out your website. You’ve done some beautiful work! I especially love the yellow Phaeton. My dad has a ‘26 in gray. It’s stately but not as pretty as the yellow. Thank you for the parts link. I’ll get on the bumper and battery tests etc when Noah gets his ark out of the road. It’s raining a flood today!
 

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I’ve read the How To in the service manual. Doesn’t seem like the most complicated thing ever, but I know the real process might be more complicated, or hard to get to.
The process of changing the spheres on these cars in NOT complicated.... once you understand the only way to unscrew them is a "good" hammer and a chisel.
Do not waste your time and energy with a chain wrench : this does NOT work.
For the brake spheres, you have to remove the front right wheel.
For the lower of the two you have to slightly unscrew the support until the sphere will clear the engine.
For any work on the hydraulics, do not forget to depressurize completely the system : pumping the brakes ~ 50 times does the job.


The fuel pressure accumulator seems to be Bosch # 0438170004.
Try ebay or Rock auto : ROLLS-ROYCE Parts | RockAuto
 
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