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Christian S. Hansen
Grand Master
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 751
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Monday, 12 March, 2018 - 05:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

1953 Silver Wraith, Freestone & Webb Saloon, WVH45

I can appreciate that finding evidence of water in your sump oil is not a good thing, but once you do, how does one go about chasing down likely sources before opening up the engine?

Symptom is a bit of milky residue on underside of the oil filler cap. Not a lot yet, but there should be none and it will likely only get worse. Although the car was only just delivered from Chicago area I cannot really bring myself to believe that it may just be caused by residual condensation due to climate change and having been at a painting shop for the last 8 months and sitting idle. While it is remotely possible that this minor amount "may" burn off in time, it is equally likely that it is harbinger of worse to come. Any thoughts? I like to have a game plan of why I am doing something and what I am looking for before embarking on a task like pulling an engine apart. Yes, it could be head gasket which is easy enough to rectify, but there are also a plethora of other more troubling sources of the moisture. Any thoughts as to testing for the source?

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Patrick Lockyer.
Grand Master
Username: pat_lockyer

Post Number: 1806
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Monday, 12 March, 2018 - 08:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

"I can appreciate that finding evidence of water in your sump oil is not a good thing, but once you do, how does one go about chasing down likely sources before opening up the engine?"

Pressure test the the coolant system.

"Symptom is a bit of milky residue on underside of the oil filler cap."

Could be a failed open thermostat not allowing the engine to get hot in a quick time.
More common is the case of condensation from an engine not running long enough to warm up the oil etc.
After a good run when hot remove the filler cap from the rocker cover also the dip stick and let the condensation breath off until cold, then give the car a good run till hot and recheck the oil filler cap when cold for any condensation.
Hopefully none.

Any loss of coolant?
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Jonas TRACHSEL
Prolific User
Username: jonas_trachsel

Post Number: 163
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 13 March, 2018 - 01:06 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I would as a first step just drain the old oil with the condensed water from the long idleness and refill with fresh oil. Then take the car for a drive until thoroughly hot. Let it cool down and recheck the oil filler cap/dip stick for signs of water. Two gallons of fresh oil is no great outlay and anyway advisable after nine months of idleness.
JoT
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christopher carnley
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 5.80.53.239
Posted on Monday, 12 March, 2018 - 07:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Poor oil and it turns into mayonnaise as the rocker cover is always open to the moist air.
Change the oil, wipe its nose and "Bingo"
"Not rocker panel".

"Hold the Mayo".. Airplane.

(Message approved by david_gore)
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Bill Vatter
Frequent User
Username: bill_vatter

Post Number: 69
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Tuesday, 13 March, 2018 - 12:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Above comments valid.

All of the water pump flow goes to the water gallery that runs full length of the block underneath the deck bridge area located between the exhaust valves and the cylinder bores. These six places, where exhaust gasses flow across on the top, are the hottest places of the block. Precisely positioned openings in the water gallery shoot a very strong flow against the bottom of those specific areas. If overheating accompanied by loss of coolant occurs, it is possible these hot spots will become dry, and then the deck bridge will become very hot indeed, perhaps as hot as 1000 deg. C. Cracking in that situation is very likely.

If it was my car, I would change oil and then give the car a good run and see what happens. If the water indication is present in the oil, I would suspect a cracked block as described above. perhaps you will be lucky and find a bad cylinder head gasket.
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Christian S. Hansen
Grand Master
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 752
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Tuesday, 13 March, 2018 - 01:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thanks, Gentlemen.
Oil recently changed and no evidence of water there (oil not milky). Sounds like running up to temperature and venting a few times is the first task. As I am preoccupied with business stress for the next week or so and the SW is not with me at home, this may have to wait a while, but I will report back.

P.S. The thread title may be misleading. There is not yet discernible water in the oil per se, only evidence in the form of the white residue on the filler cap where normally there should be none

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Norman Geeson
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 81.110.34.153
Posted on Wednesday, 14 March, 2018 - 08:32 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Christian

The evidence seems to be in your initial posting “only just delivered from Chicago area”, not exactly a damp free area. My own car, that I ran for 28 years, always exhibited that problem if it was used in Winter months and so did all the other fleet R-R & B cars that I ran as an engineer. That is unless they were engaged on long journey work.

My bet is that you are likely to find the rockers sludged and needing a clean and also the interior of the rocker shaft.


If you don’t find evidence of water when you drain the oil after standing Then I doubt you have coolant leakage. Patrick Lockyer has covered the points you require but it would be handy to know just which cylinder block is fitted, the part number should be adjacent to the dip stick hole. Each of these blocks have different potential areas for leakage.


As a matter of interest this chassis is listed as an H.J.Mulliner but your post suggests Freestone and Webb, any reason or did you just get the chassis number wrong?

(Message approved by david_gore)
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Christian S. Hansen
Grand Master
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 754
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Thursday, 15 March, 2018 - 09:56 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Norman...
Thanks for the input which I will follow as time allows over the next few weeks. Meanwhile, I will jump straight to the relevant issue...Christian is not paying attention! You are correct...HJ Mulliner. I had F&W on my mind as the Silver Dawn I was also fussing with over the weekend is a F&W, as is the PII that has been the subject of much recent angst!

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Christian S. Hansen
Grand Master
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 771
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Wednesday, 11 April, 2018 - 05:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Having driven the Silver Wraith on a daily basis for the past several weeks, I am pleased to update that the milky colored residue under oil filler cap burned off after the first few trips and has not returned. Good!

'53 Silver Wraith

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C M Carnley
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 86.138.60.27
Posted on Wednesday, 11 April, 2018 - 08:30 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Told you!
That mascot is most incongruous.

(Message approved by david_gore)
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Christian S. Hansen
Grand Master
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 772
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Thursday, 12 April, 2018 - 08:58 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Maybe, but only RR people know it. Everyone else thinks it is as it should be and is gorgeous. If I don't get at least a handful of compliments on the car every time I go out, it is an off day.
Also, is no more incongruous that the front of the Phantom I. See below. Of course I do not expect to change anyone's opinion. I am just saying.

S426MR

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gordon le feuvre
Prolific User
Username: triumph

Post Number: 239
Registered: 7-2012
Posted on Thursday, 12 April, 2018 - 05:36 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Christian, as everyone says change oil & run. live on island 40sq. miles, so car has NO chance of ever properly getting up to temperature unless ferry trip to France. Have seen hundreds of cars, R-R and other with "mayo" in rocker cover over my 50 odd years in motor trade.
1. CARRY OUT COOLANT PRESSURE TEST
2. MAKE SURE THEROSTAT GOOD AND TO TEMP.
3.MAKE SURE BREATHER AND MESH/FILTER CLEAN & OPEN
4. HAVE FUN, GO FOR DECENT DRIVE
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Christian S. Hansen
Grand Master
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 773
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Thursday, 12 April, 2018 - 06:05 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Gordon...
The Silver Wraith is a hold over from Pre-War days. Coolant not pressurized. No thermostat either other than the calorstat in radiator top tank that opens and closes the radiator vanes accordingly. Works to control air flow over radiator rather than water flow thru it! Archaic but meets the purpose and is better(?) than the Silver Ghost and early Phantoms where the driver manually adjusted the radiator vanes to control coolant temperatures, as well as a lot of other things (mixture, advance, ride, windows, cab heating) we (the motoring public) began to take for granted as the chassis evolved over the decades!
I drive one of the RR every day for fun...whether I have any place to go or not...simply for the fun of it. Into town to grocery store for only one item is good enough excuse for a cruise!

.
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James Senior
New User
Username: jamess

Post Number: 9
Registered: 9-2016
Posted on Friday, 13 April, 2018 - 04:11 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Small correction to the previous post for accuracy.

Only the very early Silver Wraiths has the radiator calorstat alone. The majority had that AND a bypass thermostat. The picture below is from our 1949 S.W. when I was flushing the radiator out last year.

J

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Christian S. Hansen
Grand Master
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 774
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Friday, 13 April, 2018 - 06:24 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I wonder what the thoughts were for having both systems. Even if the engine thermostat is working, if the radiator mounted calorstat is not, the whole system is defeated. If vanes stay open, coolant takes quite long to get up to temperature due to excess air flow and if vanes stay closed the coolant is prone to running too hot/overheating due to lack of air flow. The position of the vanes has a profound effect on coolant temperature in absence of block mounted thermostat. Why the use of both, I wonder?

.
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James Senior
New User
Username: jamess

Post Number: 10
Registered: 9-2016
Posted on Saturday, 14 April, 2018 - 04:53 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Well I guess this was the model in which they made the transition. It would seem evident to me that it wasn't essential to have both as all subsequent models dispensed with the opening and closing vanes. That also suggests, and it stands to reason, that the engine block mounted thermostat which switches between fully closed (and an open bypass) to fully open (with a closed off bypass) was more effective at getting the engine up to temperature fast than the calorstat operated vanes. Don't forget that even with the vanes 'closed' a lot of air can still flow through what is an enormous radiator!
Another aspect you could consider is legacy and perception of quality. I remember as a child first seeing the fixed vane radiator on a Silver Dawn an being appalled at how cheap it looked in comparison to earlier models! No doubt there were people who felt the same about the Silver Wraith comparing them to pre-war models as well.

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