Coolant Dumping 1974 Shadow Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Register | Edit Profile

Australian RR Forums » Silver Shadow Series » Coolant Dumping 1974 Shadow « Previous Next »

Author Message
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Michael Moran
New User
Username: mjcmoran

Post Number: 5
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 08 October, 2013 - 05:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

A couple of years ago I had an embarrassing moment getting the bride to the church on time (a friend fortunately not my business). The car overheated. Of course this occurred with no warning as for quite inexplicable reasons RR did not include an engine temperature gauge in this model. I have read that the cylinder head warning buzzer comes on too late to any useful purpose and in fact did not sound. Why the devil did they omit this vital indicator? Not even a warning lamp apart from 'Low Coolant'. I wrote a post about this and it was suggested I fit a gauge (instructions were enclosed) but doing this in Poland with any sort of 'craftwork fitting' was hard to accomplish so I left this idea.

Anyway instead I replaced almost everything associated with the cooling system (new hoses, fan belts, thermostat, viscous fan coupling, flushed and checked the radiator and header tank for pressure leaks, checked internal pressure and filler seals replaced, checked water pump function). Coolant is the correct older 'blue' non-organic variety changed every two years.

All went well until yesterday. Before setting out on a longer trip than usual I checked all levels - oil, transmission, hydraulics and coolant (just below the neck of the filler). I was on a 500 mile round trip to a party in a village outside Poznan in Poland mainly driven on motorway from Warsaw. No overheating issues on the way out with cruise control set to 70 mph and passing bursts up to say 85 mph.

However on the return (same roads and speed) I stopped at a filling station and after a few minutes with the engine off coolant began to pour from the overflow pipe. About a cupful I suppose. This stopped after about a minute and has not recurred. Embarrassment and emotional Polish shouts...the car causes an absurd amount of interest in Poland not always welcome in such cases of incontinence!

Any thoughts or advice?

Michael
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Jeff Young
Prolific User
Username: jeyjey

Post Number: 179
Registered: 10-2010
Posted on Tuesday, 08 October, 2013 - 08:01 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Michael,

Sounds like nothing more than heat-soak. When you shut it off at the petrol station, the temp goes up a bit first (due to the lack of airflow over the radiator) before it goes down (due to the engine no longer generating heat). This will expel a bit of coolant, and as long as it's only a cup I wouldn't worry about it. Just don't keep it topped-up quite as high.

Cheers,
Jeff.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Brian Vogel
Grand Master
Username: guyslp

Post Number: 645
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Tuesday, 08 October, 2013 - 11:09 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I second Jeff's opinion. I had precisely the same thing happen, once, with my 1978 Silver Shadow II when I arrived at home and parked after a "healthy exercise" drive in warm weather.

This sort of "throwing-up" from a very full cooling system and heat-soak is very upsetting to experience if you have no idea what's just happened.

If your coolant level still looks good afterward, and it doesn't do this again with the newly self-determined full level it's probably nothing. If this keeps up you may have a steam valve going bad.

Brian
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Geoff Wootton
Grand Master
Username: dounraey

Post Number: 331
Registered: 5-2012
Posted on Wednesday, 09 October, 2013 - 03:22 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Michael

I would like to third Jeff's opinion. It happened on my 74 SY1 after some hard driving on a hot day. Just a one off with about the same coolant loss as you experienced.

BTW - do you still have the pointer the instructions on fitting a temperature gauge.

Geoff.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Michael Moran
New User
Username: mjcmoran

Post Number: 6
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Wednesday, 09 October, 2013 - 04:44 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hello Geoff

Was it you who sent me those instructions a couple of years ago?

If so do send them again as I do not think I saved them. Now I feel I might well try and go ahead with the idea.

Thanks Geoff.

Michael
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Michael Moran
New User
Username: mjcmoran

Post Number: 7
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Wednesday, 09 October, 2013 - 05:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I am going to install a new steam valve, steam valve seal and cover plate gasket as a precaution.
The only thing I did not do when restoring the cooling system! It has been a rather a costly operation the complete replacement of everything associated with cooling but not as costly as an overheated engine.

The whole situation with regard to the cooling system and its cavalier lack of warning mechanisms of any form (except the indication of a low level of coolant and the overheated cylinder head buzzer which is next to useless) is nothing short of scandalous on the Silver Shadow I in my opinion.

'This is a Rolls-Royce Sir! They never overheat. Your clearly ill-informed attitude concerning this is quite beyond me. No gauge is needed!'

This is the implied response to an 'amateur' complaint such as mine.

The engineering attitude to the monitoring of cooling on the SS I is absurd if you know anything about the fallibility of any ageing mechanical contrivance, even one as 'perfect' as an RR. An overheated engine is a disaster of the first magnitude.

I just cannot understand Rolls-Royce thinking or lack of it considering the engine build criteria of the associated the aircraft division and the many fail-safe warning systems built into aircraft engines.

Perhaps someone might enlighten me on what was the odd Crewe philosophy in this area? There is always a reason.

Michael
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Bob Reynolds
Frequent User
Username: bobreynolds

Post Number: 56
Registered: 8-2012
Posted on Wednesday, 09 October, 2013 - 08:52 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I quite agree. The story that they deleted the gauge because it was innaccurate is absurd, if true. Are we to believe that Rolls Royce (the pinnacle of British engineering) weren't capable of installing an accurate temperature gauge in their no-expense-spared cars, when every other family car had one? Even my Mini 850 of the same era had a temperature gauge (and an oil pressure gauge, which the RR also doesn't have).

I too would be interested in retro-fitting a temparature gauge. I have bought a temperature gauge from an early Shadow and installed it in the dashboard in place of the ammeter, but that's as far as it's got yet!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Michael Moran
New User
Username: mjcmoran

Post Number: 8
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Wednesday, 09 October, 2013 - 09:36 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hello Bob

I did not know that there were temperature gauges on early Shadows. Very interesting...

Incidentally I am an Australian. This overheating issue is a real bete noir for me and I will tell you why.

My father Dr. Ray Moran owned Regal Red Shadow SRH 8096 in Sydney in the 1970s. He cooked the engine on a trip to the Gold Coast in 1978. He had had the car serviced before the trip but the bulb on the dash warning of low coolant had blown. He did not test the bulbs with the dash button before he set off and clearly the service people did not either. So when he lost coolant en route(for whatever never explained reason) there was no sign or warning until heat began to come through the passenger floor and my mother commented on her hot feet. So here they were stranded somewhere on the Pacific Highway with a car full of luggage, my mother and disabled aunt. Kangaroos hopping about in the heat and everyone expiring. If the outcome was not so awful it would be quite funny.

A frightful story unfolded as the stress of the experience itself and the expense were ghastly and my father never quite recovered from it. He visited me in London where I was living armed with a parts list as long as your arm. We discovered later that the block had cracked so the car eventually acquired a 'new' engine from a burnt out Shadow - not sure whose car this was.

He suffered a heart attack after contracting the flu while in London on that occasion and died whilst there from long-standing heart disease. This unfortunate RR coolant episode and the resultant stress on him certainly did not help matters.

My mother was eventually left with the job of installing the new power plant with all the complex ancillaries. It almost drove her mad as parts kept arriving from the UK whilst she was grieving. She was the least technically minded person on earth. John Vawser Motors did the work if you want to check the veracity of this tale. He suffered too I believe.

So you can see why I might feel strongly, become alarmed easily and am super-sensitive about this omission of a temperature gauge on these cars. The episode with my father, the wedding fiasco and now this.

I will try and obtain an early gauge and fit it here.

Not meaning to depress you chaps but...not so Regal a story.

Best

Michael
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

richard george yeaman
Prolific User
Username: richyrich

Post Number: 121
Registered: 4-2012
Posted on Wednesday, 09 October, 2013 - 10:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Michael.
What a horrific story, I am sure there are members of this forum who would be able to devise some suitable and simple temperature gauge and possibly an oil pressure gauge which would take the uncertainty out of driving these old cars and I don't think fitting a gauge out of an older SS1 is an option as RR clearly thought that having none was a better option.

Richard.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mark Aldridge
Prolific User
Username: mark_aldridge

Post Number: 109
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Wednesday, 09 October, 2013 - 10:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I have retro fitted oil pressure and water temp guages to my 1975 Shadow. I used VDO electric units, with the oil sender replacing a blanking plug in the filter assembly and an adapter in the top hose to take the temp sender. All parts were from Merlin Motorsport in the UK, about 8 years ago. The guages sit where the original radio was fitted, and I have a radio/cd/ bluetooth phone in place of the cassette player.
Mark
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Michael Moran
New User
Username: mjcmoran

Post Number: 9
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Wednesday, 09 October, 2013 - 11:09 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Mark

I have a feeling you sent me a picture after the wedding fiasco.

Perhaps you could give me a repeat? Sounds excellent.

Mike
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

richard george yeaman
Prolific User
Username: richyrich

Post Number: 122
Registered: 4-2012
Posted on Wednesday, 09 October, 2013 - 11:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi mark funny that's where I thought would be a good place for them to go my old radio still sits in there not wired up a set of gauges in there would be much more useful I also would be interested in this addition as usual all help greatly appreciated.

Richard
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Mark Aldridge
Prolific User
Username: mark_aldridge

Post Number: 110
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Thursday, 10 October, 2013 - 05:18 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Richard, I used a home made mount fitted to the original radio mount to hold the gauges, and then trimmed it to match the dashboard. The fiddly job is drilling a hole through the bulkhead for the wires! Also the VDO oil sender unit has a NPT thread not BSP like the car and in an ideal world a converter needs to be made although I fitted the Npt thread to the BSP with the aid of a thread sealer (bad practice).

Mark
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

richard george yeaman
Prolific User
Username: richyrich

Post Number: 123
Registered: 4-2012
Posted on Thursday, 10 October, 2013 - 05:40 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Mark thank you for that I will see if I can get the parts gathered up and get them fitted over the winter months.

Richard.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Randy Roberson
Prolific User
Username: wascator

Post Number: 162
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Friday, 11 October, 2013 - 12:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I ditto several opinions of a burping cooling system: combine a topped-off system with post-shutdown heat soak, and you might lose a cuppa. I had a '66 Mustang that would do this until I quit topping it off.. I have let cars idle a couple minutes before shutdown anytime possible (I.e. usually) and it did not seem to make much difference.
I also understand the fear engendered by the combination of a Lovely Car, which is getting on in years, with an all-aluminum engine, which is expensive to repair, and which does not have a proper coolant temperature gauge. Somewhere (it might have been Jon Waples' "Shadow Owners' Companion") I saw a Car which had the clock replaced by a combination temp-oil pressure gauge from an aircraft. I cringe at modifications but I have looked into wireless gauges, which might allow a small semi-portable display to sit on the top roll during driving then be neatly tucked away. Such things are available, for a price: seem to be used on larger boats, for example. I might end up running a discrete wire and clipping a small gauge on the bottom of the instrument panel. This does not seem classy enough, though. Maybe some of our more entrepreneurial Members will get to work?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Michael Moran
New User
Username: mjcmoran

Post Number: 10
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Friday, 11 October, 2013 - 03:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thanks Randy

This email set me exploring on the Internet for any possible engine temperature sensors that do not require bulkhead drilling, wiring and fairly extensive and fiddly modification within the cabin.


Incidentally, what is the normal running temperature of the RR V8 engine?

Michael
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Richard Treacy
Grand Master
Username: richard_treacy

Post Number: 2924
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Friday, 11 October, 2013 - 04:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Your story is just tragic. I need say no more.

There can be any number of reasons for that coolant loss. Assuming that the thermostat is OK, normally on an SY air locks are not usually a problem as the header tank is on top and the system is self-bleeding. SZs are worse, and Arnages are almost impossible to bleed leading to numerous head gasket failures out there. Pity al of us with later cars as bleeding the coolant system is a real chore. Forget about heat soak etc. These cars should never lose coolant or overheat unless something is wrong. As you have experienced, if something goes wrong then the consequences can be alarming when not rectified, and fobbing it off as heat soak is just……

A loose hose will allow air to suck in on cooling, then its expansion next time hot causes coolant loss, but that is unlikey as noted. Do check the hose clips for tightmess though, and even a new thermostat is known to fail: check it in boiling water if you have doubts.

So what else ? That blasted steam valve of course. When our T-Series was new it had no less than 7 steam valves fitted under warranty due to coolant loss. A new one these days costs as much as a Stanislaw Wyspianski masterpiece, but in a few weeks a reproduction will be available at the right price.

As to locating the temperature gauge, a reaaly good accessory, there is only one place that works. It is also the easiest as in-situ fitment is straightforward. Drill a hole and tap it to suit a VDO sender in the front of the thermostat housing BELOW the thermostat as on a MkVI, S1,2,3. SY2 and SZ. Replace the ammeter with a similar-looking VDO temperature gauge = there is one in the Cockpit range which looks like it was always meant to be there. Done. Putting the sender in the hose after the thermostat is nonsense. It will tell much at allother than that the moptor is warmish and is virtually useless as you need to read the engine coolant temperature. Early SYs have the sender at the rear of the B-bank cylinder head – a bad choice. They over-read chronically so what did Crewe do to stop complaints ? They deleted it !!

RT.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Michael Moran
Experienced User
Username: mjcmoran

Post Number: 11
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Friday, 11 October, 2013 - 04:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Great to hear from you again Richard!

I never told you that particularly awful story in the long and detailed postings we had on the R-REC Message Board.

By the way I still refer to your invaluable advice on a whole range of RR Shadow issues and saved many of your selflessly detailed postings which must have taken you hours to put together. We miss you! Incidentally, although this is certainly not the place to air opinions, the recent kerfuffle at the R-REC beggars belief.

I have ordered up a new steam valve, thermostat (another horror - the recent R-REC Bulletin article on these was very enlightening) and appropriate gaskets from Flying Spares and we will see how that goes.

I have had no further trouble however since the embarrassing forecourt episode even after the final 200 kms autobhan run into Warsaw at an average 70 mph and an ambient temperature a low 14C.

Thanks for the VDO and sensor fitting advice Richard - I will follow this up.

Michael

Add Your Message Here
Post:
Bold text Italics Underline Create a hyperlink Insert a clipart image

Username: Posting Information:
This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Please quote Chassis Numbers for all vehicles mentioned.
Password:
E-mail:
Options: Enable HTML code in message
Automatically activate URLs in message
Action: