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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings! This is a wonderful forum and I have already learned a lot about my Dad's 1975 Silver Shadow that I have inherited. However, I couldn't find a few bits of initial information...

First issue for which I kindly need your experience, advice, and help:
How do I get the car in NEUTRAL so the towing company can tow it to get repaired? Is there a way to manually put it in NEUTRAL?

-Car has been in a garage on jack stands for over 15 years.
-Tires are good, but the wheels will not spin at all.
-No battery (and I suspect after all this time even if I put a new one in it won't resolve this issue, but I'll still try)
-I can manually move the gear shift lever underneath, but wheels still won't spin
-Parking brake is not engaged
-Perhaps the calipers are stuck (?) and I will try shortly to remove tires and push the pistons back in if so.

Thank you in advance for your knowledge and assistance!
 

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Several notes:

1. You must have a fully charged battery in order to shift the car from the column shift lever, as the actual shifting mechanism on the transmission is electromechanical. If your car does allow you to shift manually from underneath then that should work.

2. If your wheels won't turn, even when in park, then something is wrong, and I'd guess stuck brake calipers or stuck parking brake if the parking brake had been applied. When in park and the wheels are off the ground, for the rear wheels you should be able to rotate either one of them and the other will spin in the opposing direction.

3. If the parking brake was engaged, the first thing I'd check is whether it's still "engaged at the wheels" even if it's been disengaged at the pedal itself. 15 years is a long time, discs rust, and if the parking brake pads were in contact all that time they could very well be stuck where they were whether the linkage is keeping them there or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Brian. Great advice all around. I'm going now to put in a new battery and see what happens. I'll also check the calipers to see if they are stuck and more closely inspect the parking brake. I can move the brake linkage underneath at the wheels, but did not think of it being stuck regardless.

I had a shipping company schedule for today to ship the car back to our home in TX to get it fixed/running again. I just assumed I'd put it in neutral and roll it away. My first fail of many most likely! Hopefully they won't have to drag it onto the trailer...

Appreciate it!
Ken
 

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As a completely separate issue, when you have the car towed:

1. Use a flatbed service, nothing else.

2. Be absolutely certain that the towing company uses only the correct point in front to pull the car on to the flatbed. (It's #1 in the top illustration, the same point as the front jacking point.

3. ONLY allow the car to be tied down to the flatbed using "over the wheel" tie downs. Many of these cars have had their subframes damaged or destroyed by using them to chain down the car for transport. Although the second illustration shows the parts that can be used to tie-down from beneath, very few actually want to get in there to access them (particularly in back) and the over-the-wheel tie-down nets are much easier and safer.

Rectangle Font Line Material property Parallel
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow! Outstanding information. I will certainly do so.
I was also thinking of removing the hood ornament and hubcaps so no one would be tempted to steal them in transit to TX. On the other hand, I don't want to break anything further....
 

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Removing the whole grille itself is a fairly easy process. The hubcaps are easy, too, but you have to be very careful to do it the correct way so that you don't end up creating bends along the edges.

You should really get yourself over to the Bentley Heritage Technical Library Page for the SY Series Cars and download all of the manuals that are pertinent to your specific car. Also, be sure to snag,
TSD6166: SY Illustrated Parts Manual, from my Google Drive. You will get a warning that it's too large to virus scan, but it was scanned heaven knows how many times before I ever uploaded it to the cloud. This can be one of the most useful references you can have, sometimes more useful than the workshop manual.

If you do not have an Owner's Handbook, then download: Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and Bentley T Owner's Handbook, 2nd Edition (TSD2394) - Reprinted 1975

See also: Workshop Manuals, Spare Parts Manuals, Technical Service Bulletins & Documentation
 
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The wheels are locked due to clogging of the 2 brake distribution valves. Somewhere along the line, someone stepped on the brake pedal and shoved gunk back to the BDV's. The only way to relieve the pressure at the wheels to make them turn is to crack all the caliper bleeders, 2 per wheel, with a flare nut wrench (no open end wrench) and pray they all bleed.

Otherwise it can only be moved with skates.
 

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It is very common for caliper pistons to become seized and brake pads rusted to the rotors when these cars are left untouched for long periods of time. Try to push the pistons back a bit to allow the pads to be released., a big pair of channel lock pliers are handy for this. You may have to crack the bleed screws on the calipers to allow the pistons to move if other parts of the brake system have deteriorated, such as hoses swollen internally blocking off return of fluid to the reservoir. Use a mix of 50/50 acetone and automatic trans fluid as a penetrant on the bleed screws before you try and loosen them. To remove the grille, lift the bonnet and remove the four 1/4 inch setscrews on the back side of the top of the grille and the three at the bottom on the front side under the bumper and the grille with mascot will easily come off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This community is simply amazing. Thank you one and all. I am heading to the garage now to apply all of these suggestions and hope for the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Gents,
Well, the calipers were seized - I started with the rear wheels and managed with great difficulty to push the pistons in, wiggle some room with the brake pads, and free up the rear wheels. And they turn in opposite directions, but they ONLY turn one revolution and then stop. I assume they will roll the same direction once I put the tires back on them to be towed? And will they go more than one revolution?

I'll hopefully free up the front wheels next and be able to get it towed.

It's a mess - brake system will need to be redone and who knows when a battery is put in if it will move into gear or not.

But it's a neat car. Dad loved it, but passed away and it went on blocks shortly after my wife and I rode away in it on our wedding day. Maybe it will end up as a parts car, but I'm gonna give it the old college try to get her back on the road.
 

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If you've only got the one revolution in opposing directions and then lock behavior then you are not in neutral. You wouldn't even have the "in opposing directions" part were you in neutral.

The presence of the wheels has nothing to do with this behavior, it's got to do with the transmission being in Park.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Final update - finally got all the wheels free and the car is on the ground and ready to roll. I had to remove a brake pad at each wheel they were so seized up.

The rear wheels did roll in opposite directions, but they were free. So if that means I'm in Park at least I'll be armed with that knowledge when the flatbed driver gets here.

I did move the gear shift lever manually to Neutral at the transmission - not sure how to actually get it in neutral - but at least now we can get the car to a shop and get a full diagnosis.

Thanks again for all the help. Glad to be a part of this community now.
 

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When the transmission is in neutral the lever on the side of the transmission is vertical. Does your mechanic/shop have RR brake overhaul experience? This is most important and a very expensive overhaul,
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yessir, I have that lever at vertical. I assumed it went in order (PRNDIL) and put it in the third slot. Nevertheless, the rear wheels spun in opposite directions after I freed them. I have not tried to roll it since it came off the jacks. Waiting for the transport guy to get here before I do that since there are no brakes (!).

The brake overhaul does seems daunting on this vehicle. However, I'm more concerned about the transmission and whether it will work. That seems like a deal breaker.

Yes, thankfully my mechanic has worked on these vehicles for years and has 4 or 5 of them on his lot. I saw his shop when we bought our house after getting stationed in TX 4 years ago - he's like a mile from our house so it was meant to be! At least, I'll keep telling myself that.
 

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I just had the same problem with a SShadow that had been laid up for a few years. Brakes are frozen, but probably not locked up. Easiest way to check this is to raise a front wheel and see if it turns. If it does not, you have four wheels of rust lock.

This is what I followed:

1) Get the tranny into neutral, either by putting in a fresh battery or by going underneath and manually moving the linkage. (If you do that, you may have to disconnect the linkage to the motor. Don't forget to secure it so that it just does not hang off.
2) Hook the two tow hooks up at the rear bumper, under the overriders, and have the tow truck slowly pull the car. The rust will break and the car will roll.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That sounds a lot easier than what I ended up doing! But it was a learning experience and I got all the wheels freed up. Today we loaded it onto a truck and it’s headed to TX where I hope to bring some life back into her.
I made sure the guy used wheel straps to secure the vehicle and also proper tow points.
I also easily removed the grille and hubcaps so they wouldn’t get damaged or stolen in transit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Beautiful! My interior is blue, but needs some minor reconditioning. I find out in about a week when I get back to Fort Worth what it's gonna cost me to have the brake system rebuilt...(yikes!)...
So very soon you may hear a weak voice saying, "Anyone need parts?"
 
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