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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just purchased a beautiful 1973 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow but has been stored for over
16 years. I have it running great changed oil, filter, trans. fluid, coolant, plugs and wires and
water pump. All parts from Zionsville Bentley. Brakes were locked up when purchased.
Now all wheels roll free after caliper pistons pushed back in but will now not bleed at
any wheel and no brakes. Any suggestions? This car only has 18591 miles and is pristine.
Thanks for any help.
Robert Hamilton
 

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Your system needs a complete rebuild. From cleaning the reservoir tank and the small filters within, all rubber hoses within the brake system, all components removed and cleaned. The brake distribution valves are clogged with rubber hose break down debris and rust.. This is the deal breaker with cars left not running for a long time.
 

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If you are someone who enjoys working on cars, a very interesting winter project for you.

My tip is to buy reconditioned accumulators from Kelly or Jim. It's not worth the hassle of rebuilding them yourself.
 

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Robert, do you know the correct procedure for bleeding the brakes? Shadows are unlike other cars in that the engine must be running to bleed the brakes and the brake pedal is kept down, not pumped, while bleeding. There are two red brake warning lights on the dash, are these illuminated at any time? If they are not illuminating have you pushed the test button to see if the bulbs are good in those lamps? Have you read through the hydraulic section of the workshop manual and understand the components and operation of the brake system? The most important components are the accumulator spheres and valves, they are almost certainly shot from age but if the two brake warning lamps are working you can get an idea of the condition of the spheres and valves with a simple test. First thing I would do though is remove the lid on the brake fluid reservoir, then the baffles and check condition of the filters. The bottom of the reservoir will collect debris from deteriorating hoses and other components and can clog the filters, starving the pumps of fluid. Clean the bottom and filters if dirty and partially fill the reservoir with normal DOT 3 or 4. Then, run the engine with the brake reservoir lid off and watch the open ports in the bottom of the reservoir, if the pumps are working you will see a return flow coming up from the ports. That will confirm whether the pumps are working or not and give you a starting point for overhauling the system. If you can answer the questions above we can guide you further on what to do next.

Fluid Gas Liquid Cuisine Dish


Hopefully your reservoir will not look like this. Front compartment filter completely clogged with debris.


Light Product Lighting Circuit component Auto part


These are the accumulator spheres and valves that control the braking system pressure and braking reserve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Robert, do you know the correct procedure for bleeding the brakes? Shadows are unlike other cars in that the engine must be running to bleed the brakes and the brake pedal is kept down, not pumped, while bleeding. There are two red brake warning lights on the dash, are these illuminated at any time? If they are not illuminating have you pushed the test button to see if the bulbs are good in those lamps? Have you read through the hydraulic section of the workshop manual and understand the components and operation of the brake system? The most important components are the accumulator spheres and valves, they are almost certainly shot from age but if the two brake warning lamps are working you can get an idea of the condition of the spheres and valves with a simple test. First thing I would do though is remove the lid on the brake fluid reservoir, then the baffles and check condition of the filters. The bottom of the reservoir will collect debris from deteriorating hoses and other components and can clog the filters, starving the pumps of fluid. Clean the bottom and filters if dirty and partially fill the reservoir with normal DOT 3 or 4. Then, run the engine with the brake reservoir lid off and watch the open ports in the bottom of the reservoir, if the pumps are working you will see a return flow coming up from the ports. That will confirm whether the pumps are working or not and give you a starting point for overhauling the system. If you can answer the questions above we can guide you further on what to do next.

View attachment 30806

Hopefully your reservoir will not look like this. Front compartment filter completely clogged with debris.


View attachment 30807

These are the accumulator spheres and valves that control the braking system pressure and braking reserve.
Robert, do you know the correct procedure for bleeding the brakes? Shadows are unlike other cars in that the engine must be running to bleed the brakes and the brake pedal is kept down, not pumped, while bleeding. There are two red brake warning lights on the dash, are these illuminated at any time? If they are not illuminating have you pushed the test button to see if the bulbs are good in those lamps? Have you read through the hydraulic section of the workshop manual and understand the components and operation of the brake system? The most important components are the accumulator spheres and valves, they are almost certainly shot from age but if the two brake warning lamps are working you can get an idea of the condition of the spheres and valves with a simple test. First thing I would do though is remove the lid on the brake fluid reservoir, then the baffles and check condition of the filters. The bottom of the reservoir will collect debris from deteriorating hoses and other components and can clog the filters, starving the pumps of fluid. Clean the bottom and filters if dirty and partially fill the reservoir with normal DOT 3 or 4. Then, run the engine with the brake reservoir lid off and watch the open ports in the bottom of the reservoir, if the pumps are working you will see a return flow coming up from the ports. That will confirm whether the pumps are working or not and give you a starting point for overhauling the system. If you can answer the questions above we can guide you further on what to do next.

View attachment 30806

Hopefully your reservoir will not look like this. Front compartment filter completely clogged with debris.


View attachment 30807

These are the accumulator spheres and valves that control the braking system pressure and braking reserve.
GREAT INFO as a starting point, All others were doom and gloom. I will keep in touch. God Bless. Robert
 

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It's not doom and gloom...Just reality when a RR sits for a very long time. If you do not have a shop to do the work or no funds or lack the expertise........yes the car is doomed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Robert, do you know the correct procedure for bleeding the brakes? Shadows are unlike other cars in that the engine must be running to bleed the brakes and the brake pedal is kept down, not pumped, while bleeding. There are two red brake warning lights on the dash, are these illuminated at any time? If they are not illuminating have you pushed the test button to see if the bulbs are good in those lamps? Have you read through the hydraulic section of the workshop manual and understand the components and operation of the brake system? The most important components are the accumulator spheres and valves, they are almost certainly shot from age but if the two brake warning lamps are working you can get an idea of the condition of the spheres and valves with a simple test. First thing I would do though is remove the lid on the brake fluid reservoir, then the baffles and check condition of the filters. The bottom of the reservoir will collect debris from deteriorating hoses and other components and can clog the filters, starving the pumps of fluid. Clean the bottom and filters if dirty and partially fill the reservoir with normal DOT 3 or 4. Then, run the engine with the brake reservoir lid off and watch the open ports in the bottom of the reservoir, if the pumps are working you will see a return flow coming up from the ports. That will confirm whether the pumps are working or not and give you a starting point for overhauling the system. If you can answer the questions above we can guide you further on what to do next.

View attachment 30806

Hopefully your reservoir will not look like this. Front compartment filter completely clogged with debris.


View attachment 30807

These are the accumulator spheres and valves that control the braking system pressure and braking reserve.
Mr Walters, you are once again dead on. I removed brake res. top and baffles and found
a great deal of sediment. I will clean Monday and start look for bubbles. You have been a
God send. I do not work on Sunday so I will let you know Monday of progress. I cannot
tell you how much I appreciate your help.
Thank you
Robert
 

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If you have a master cylinder, there will be 3 screens in the tank. Remove with a 1" socket, clean carefully and check for tears in the screens.
 

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Mr Walters, you are once again dead on. I removed brake res. top and baffles and found
a great deal of sediment. I will clean Monday and start look for bubbles. You have been a
God send. I do not work on Sunday so I will let you know Monday of progress. I cannot
tell you how much I appreciate your help.
Thank you
Robert
Why are the nay sayers all gloom and doom ? they speak honestly and because it’s a big problem
DOT brake fluid has a habit of absorbing water, this has been left , in your case 16 years, in a steel system, it will have caused a lot of damage
It’s not irreparable but it all will be affected and it all will need to be removed and refurbished
You will need deep pockets, hence the nay sayers telling you this will be a significant cost both in parts and labour
The hydraulic system on this car is complex but do able
Good luck on your adventure
 

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I was also puzzled by the "doom and gloom" statement. Maybe my comment about the refurbishment being an interesting winter project (which it is) gave the impression that it would take months to restore the brake/hydraulic system. This is not the case. A professional could restore the brake system (clean reservoir, refurb pumps, accumulators and acv's and replace hoses in a single day, two at most). The reason I saw it as a winter project was primarily to use the time when the car is garaged away from the salted winter roads for a very leisurely refurbishment.
 

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One of the best things about this hobby (and I will call it that), is having a nice warm two car garage, or bigger, to carefully take things apart, learn about and know that the job was done right.
Cleaning, polishing and painting along the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Mr. Wraithman:
After I took reservoir..apart as I said it was very covered on bottom with sediment. The 3 1" bolts with screens had collapsed to about 3/4 of an inch so maybe the inner springs were old.
Anyway I ordered 3 new ones ($68.00 a piece ouch). I also ordered the top screen with 2 new gaskets the one piece is no longer available. Last question is the reservoir as I cleaned it
is wiping loose some old silver colored light residue left I suppose from the harsh nature of
brake fluid. The reservoir is now only wiping some silver color on paper towels. Will this be ok after I install new filters? Do I refill with DOT 3 as top shows? Thanks
Robert.
 
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