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Niclas Olovsson
New User
Username: nicce

Post Number: 3
Registered: 12-2011
Posted on Saturday, 08 September, 2012 - 04:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP


I am chasing a silver shadow that will balance the WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) on cost for a hobby car while still being a good enough example to not drain my finances with necessary repairs (with it will do anyway I can conclude after follow the forum for a while).

Luck has it that I have acquired a bore scope (camera on a flexible rod with a built in light) of 50 cm length (19,68 inches) and 1 cm (0,39 inches) in diameter and wonder what you would recommend that I inspect with such a device?

I have seen mentioning of inspection of the combustion chambers via the spark plug opening as a point but I was thinking of hard to reach leak areas and eventual rust spots that would be good to inspect?

Best Regards, Niclas
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David Hughes
Experienced User
Username: wedcar

Post Number: 33
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Saturday, 08 September, 2012 - 06:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Niclas
Great to be able to look inside "chassis rails" (albeit the Shadow is a monocoque body without "chassis" )with such a camera, I suspect most prospective vendors would be unlikely to agree to intrusive inspections.
My humble suggestion would be to find a car that appeals and then pay to have a professional RR technician look over the car and give an independent assessment in writing. A couple of hundred dollars/euro/kronor spent may save you thousands. In my experience certainly has.
Best Regards
David Hughes
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Peter Talbot
Prolific User
Username: squerryes

Post Number: 148
Registered: 7-2010
Posted on Saturday, 08 September, 2012 - 08:21 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Niclas - Greetings from Westerham

I agree with David's appreciation 100%.

By all means do an internal and external visual inspection, check out the service history (watch out for gaps in the record), and take it on an extended test drive. Then take it to a specialist RR garage, and spend a few hundred dollars on a detailed inspection, written report, and get an estimate for any repairs required - it will be money well spent.

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Peter Talbot
Prolific User
Username: squerryes

Post Number: 149
Registered: 7-2010
Posted on Saturday, 08 September, 2012 - 08:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Niclas - follow-up.

See you located Sweden - go to: then track through the website and you will find that The Rolls Royce Enthusiasts Club has a branch in Sweden - lots of useful info/contacts.

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Omar M. Shams
Prolific User
Username: omar

Post Number: 281
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Sunday, 09 September, 2012 - 12:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I would not use the borescope at all.
The results of the images are only good for people who have used this tool lots of times and have a good concept of scale. often people look at boresope images and read more into what they see than is real. Unless you are an expert boresope operator, I would suggest you stick with traditional methods of inspections.
Good luck with the purchase of your car.
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Paul Yorke
Grand Master
Username: paul_yorke

Post Number: 855
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Sunday, 09 September, 2012 - 06:09 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP


As already stated, no amount of borescopes or other devices will compare to an experienced eye and ear.

I can't think of one inspection I have done that hasn't paid for itself as a minimum, and saved thousands for other purchasers. Especially the ones where I've told them to walk away from the car!

If you want to narrow down the field and do some checks yourself with it first, it may be helpful for checking inside the bottom of the wings and sills for rust. This will entail removing boot trim for the rear wings, rubber grommets on the inside of the sills and possibly some of the front wheel arch shield. These all rust from the inside outwards so can be tricky to spot.

I guess the question is how much rust you should expect or accept there? I doubt if there is a UK car that is rust free but if you can waxoyl it and stop it progressing you will have a fighting chance. If the rest of the car passes inspection you can try and get a reduction in price for the future repairs.

Check every switch and electrical device etc is working to. A couple of windows not working, a fan rattling and an inoperative seat can soon add up to £1000 before you know it.

By all means look at the service history but look at ALL the oils for colour , quality and smell. Check steering joints and drive shafts for fresh grease etc. No amount of stamps in the book will make up for things not actually being lubricated and fluids changed because it's 'only done a few hundred miles this year'!
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Niclas Olovsson
New User
Username: nicce

Post Number: 4
Registered: 12-2011
Posted on Monday, 10 September, 2012 - 06:05 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thanks all for your great advice!

Indeed, my plan is to only try to weed out the worst examples myself but to a proper inspection through a RR technician before I sign the dotted line... :-)
...and mentally prepare myself on that I will need to look at several examples and not rush it to get the right car.

Thanks for the warning - I will practice on the Toyota so I know what I would expect from a fairly new car... :-)
...and for sure not rely on the borescope as the only inspection tool.

I will confess that I am a member of the Swedish section but I lurk a lot in the Au forum since the activity and amount of knowledge is so great here... :-)

Thanks for the tips concerning rust areas - I consider myself ok with mechanic and electric issues but hydraulics, rust and metal work is not a strength, so that I fear the most... :-)

Concerning low mileage and maintenance I had an interesting experience this weekend, I had the opportunity to test drive a 73 SS with only 4800 km (under 3000 miles) on the clock, In many aspects it was running great, engine and steering was the best on any SS-1 I driven, but unfortunately it clearly had suffered from the lack of usage in drive-line and break system.

Cheers, Niclas
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James Feller
Prolific User
Username: james_feller

Post Number: 228
Registered: 5-2008
Posted on Monday, 10 September, 2012 - 02:26 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

to be expected Niclas, Pauls advice is paramount wrt KLM or Miles travelled. While little mileage is nice to see on the clock, if it marries well with the service books then thats even better, could actually be a horrible expirence waiting to happen if the car has been dormant or hardly driven all its life....These cars were designed to travel and be driven hundreds of thousands of miles without much more than regular oil changes and greasing inspections on a time elapsed basis. While it might be shiny and show very low milage and the heart says yes, your head should say hmmmm what about the mechanicals? These cars like most others of their era and luxury, were designed to actually be a car and not a museum piece. Sure I would not want or leap at a car with 300K miles on it either but i'd certianly consider it perhapes a better $$$ alternative if its service history and condition were excellent, to say something with 20K miles, 35 years old with no history and parked and not driven in 10 years..... examples of what I mean is replacing items that will fail as they havent been used... the braking system alone is $5000K+, engines if worn, overheated or knackered these days can cost about $50K to rebuild, gearboxes are GM400's and are about quite cheap at say $1500 to put right if badly worn. Paul and Omar are right though, ( Its very rare that major components such as the engine or gearboxs are buggered) the most frustrating, annoying, common and potentially expensive things are electrical maladies. These can really play havoc in these old cars if they have not been used much. The AC system is a classic example, it is frightfully expensive I hear to replace servos, servo motors and control boards and the like. The irony is that the system is so well made and so reliable if used all the time the car runs that most people never ever have a problem. About the only thing one may have to do is recharge a compressor every 4-5 years. Set the system to AUTO and it all works without having to be mucked around with or touched again, which, I might add is what it was designed for! I would be very concerned about the HVAC system of a RR or Bentley that has not been used much.... the compressors are the cheapest part of the system and they are still about $600 to replace.....god knows the labour involved in pulling the HVAC internal system out of the car or dash and fixing anything gone wrong through lack of use with the servo assisted blend flaps and motors.
As for electric windows and locking etc etc, these will of course slow down over the years and some relay work revives them without too much heartache. Central locking, even in the best cars does sometimes 'fail', mostly through lack of use rather than the system being broken. I left my Spirit once for about 6 months without locking or unlocking it with the key ( I drove it of course but as it sits in a secure garage i never lock my cars ) the system refused to do anything for a few moments the one time I did want it to centrally lock. I jiggled the key a few times in the lock and hey presto all good again, dry microswitches....
So the upshot to my loooooog post is to highlight and agree with Paul, careful about VERY VERY low milege cars for their age. Vital and hideously expensive systems degrade on our cars with lack of use, ESPECIALLY the braking and leveling systems. The engines are bullet proof but HATE being overheated and despite my personal quest of attempting to have leak free Crewe V8 engines...they will ALWAYS surprise you and find a way to put a drop or two of engine oil on the floor. They are a very understressed low revving V8 and thus require driving to keep them happy. Yes the do 'crud up' if not used often but so long as the ignition and fuel systems are clean and working drive them at highspeed at least 4 or 5 times a month to blow the cobwebs out. The exhaust systems on SS are mostly mild steel and do rust out. SS II and beyond I believe are mostly stainless system and last pretty much forever. My '86 Spirit and '89 Turbo RL still have their original exhaust systems in perfect working order with the Crewe part numbers still visible on the silencers after all these years.
So, go for it Niclas and look at as many cars as you can and check for all the visible signs, rust, corrosion, poor repair or panel work, condition and that the items in the car WORK! Once you have found what you think you want, get it inspected by a RR & Bentley technition. Oh and BTW....if its not leaking oil somewhere then there is no oil in it.......standard RR&B joke.....Happy hunting!!!



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