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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I am new on here and currently investigating the purchase of an r type, so currently reading up on these and looking at the for sale adverts. I have only viewed one so far in the flesh as obviously this is challenging with covid restrictions!

What has slightly taken me by surprise is how little most of the cars currently up for sale have been used. Even those that appear to be in good condition and have had a lot of money spent on them are only being driven 100-200 miles a year (where this can be checked).

So my question for owners of these is how much do you use your car and is realistic to be doing 1000-1500 miles per year in one of these without running into prohibitive maintenance and repair costs? This would be on the basis of a careful purchase in the first place and ensuring as far as possible that it has a good history. I am considering purchasing something in the £30-40k price range which I think should get a good useable example.

Thanks for any feedback that members can provide.

Dave
 

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Dave,
I have a '48 coachbuilt Mark VI. Unfortunately, I've fallen into to the "little use" owner category as I've been driving other cars far more. It's a tragedy really, because these cars are some of the most reliable, bullet-proof and roadable cars Rolls-Royce ever built. They are capable of highway speeds, the steering is remarkably light, the brakes are quite good (for drum brakes) if properly maintained and set up. I love the (hand lapped) manual gearbox cars as there isn't a nicer shift in existence. If you find one that has been properly maintained I don't believe you can go wrong. If you're at all handy with a wrench they are very easy to work on and parts are generally available. I once had a chat with Andy Wood (P & A Wood) and his opinion was that the two greatest models R-R ever built were the Silver Ghost and the early post-war cars (Mark VI, R-Type, Silver Dawn). I defer to his far superior knowledge and experience. I think you could do 10x the mileage you suggest without hesitation in these cars. The one caveat for the standard steel cars is rust. This can be extensive and remediation is expensive. Best of luck with your hunt.

David
 

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Have a compression test done no matter what the cost of the car, low uneven compression below 110 psi indicates broken rings and damaged ring grooves.
I did my engine many years ago and it's at a very even 115psi all across the cylinders.
Don't buy a car with a by-pass oil filter unless it's some sort of ultra rare coach built car that you can't pass up.
The 4.5 litre engines are better then the 4.25's.
In general, the 4.5 litre engines will have the quick release oil caps and duel exhaust.
If you go with an R-Type it will (should) have the full flow oil filter and 4.5 litre engine.

Here's a vey good thread that I started what can go wrong with the manual transmissions.

Australian RR Forums: The Infamous MK VI Transmission Thrust Washer

"The Harmonic Crank Shaft Dampener"

They can be sludged up and corroded on the inside, same with the hollow crank journals, expect to get into those areas and do some serious maintenance.

Go to group E3 and E7, the damper is over designed for what it does.
Scroll to the end for the exploded diagram.

5 (rrtechnical.info)

I mention these things that will cost to put right, things like corroded brake master cylinders and other things like worn front suspension are to be expected.
 

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I have been driving Mk VIs for over 24 years and have covered 160,000 k in the first one (B14BH) and I haven't really taken note of the distances in the others but I drive them as often as practical and used to use them as wedding and hire cars.
I live and work in a small village and tend not to use them regularly for a 3 k commute. The nearest 'city' is 32 k away and more often than not it's a Mk VI that does that journey. That being said, what I call my work truck is a 1950 Mk VI (B229FU) wearing a ratty, bog filled '47 body with roof racks and tow bar. I often drag nearly a tonne behind and sit on the 80 k limit on poor winding country roads. The boot lid has carried everything from refrigerators to generators. I find them hugely reliable and feel the only lack is air conditioning for our hot and wet summers.
Only one of them is remotely original in paint and trim so they will never achieve a good sale price when my survivors need to get rid of them but they please me every time I get in. I do all the work on them myself so that keeps them possible for me. The nearest person I would trust to know what they are doing is 190 k away.
I believe a slightly rough one is sensible unless you aim to win trophies as you can park anywhere and not worry about people touching and minor bumps.
(Rave ends)
 

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The transmissions , clutch and the over-all heavy build quality would make them an excellent work car for hauling and towing.
When I rebuilt mine some 20 years ago, the local auto parts store had the clutch in stock, the splines were the same as a Ford heavy duty clutch.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all who have replied so far. I think you have confirmed what I thought that a properly maintained car is pretty reliable. I just need to make sure I find a genuine car to purchase, so starting to home in on a shortlist to consider.

Cheers Dave
 

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Finding an engine where the distributor is not mounted symmetrically is an indication that the engine more then likely had some major repair done.
It's a huge job to remove the distributor and most often, people install wrong, it will still work, but it's incorrect.

Also, there is a coolant drain tap at the back of the engine, if at all possible, open it up and check for coolant flow.
It should open easily and nice clean coolant should flow from it.
If there is rusty fluid, walk away, or even worse, no coolant at all.
Rusty or no coolant indicates serious neglect and major cost to deal with corrosion.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks again for all of the responses, some very useful information here!

I have a further question about a particular vehicle that is up for sale but I will start a separate thread for this.
 
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