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Graham Hutton
Experienced User
Username: gph

Post Number: 19
Registered: 1-2019
Posted on Tuesday, 26 February, 2019 - 15:20:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

As a newbie to the world of RR (Spirits specifically) I wanted to ask the panel of experts assembled here on what I should look for and should avoid, or at least be aware of these issues when considering my first purchase.

Let me preface this by telling you the following: I shall "inherit" a 1989 Spirit (I thought it was an '88) at some point in the not too distant future, however this date seems to be getting pushed out further and further ( Yep Dad is still alive and kicking, and doesn't want to quite give the car up just yet, even though he shouldn't even be driving it, but that's another story). that said, he rarely drives his RR and in fact I believe that if it has driven more than a few thousand K's in the last 5 years I would be surprised, add to that the long extended time sitting in his underground garage unused, and IMHO unloved. having read a number of posts and threads in this forum since i first signed on,

I am aware of a few imperatives about RR's (in fact just about any car in reality) as the owner of a 67 MGB which seems to be a bottomless money pit, i am unafraid of the potential ongoing and increasing costs associated with owning a car of age.
so having presented myself as a man who knows that thjis wont be a cheap exercise, I am however aware that some money pits van be deeper than others.

My Target car is a Silver spirit, probably 1988 onward, I like the look of the Spirit II's and III's but I guess every man / woman) has a view of what constitutes the sweet spot in Spirit / Spur motoring. I am over 60, have my own business, I am NOT a mechanic or particularly mechanically minded I accept that I will find myself occasionally at the mercy of those who see the spirit of ecstasy and convert that to deep maintenance pockets, i guess that with more association with other seasoned RR owners this exposure might be mitigated over time.

I am based in Qld, I am besotted with the Marque and I make no apology for it.

So please forgive me my rather verbose introduction to this thread.

Over to you
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Steve Emmott
Frequent User
Username: steve_e

Post Number: 85
Registered: 11-2018
Posted on Tuesday, 26 February, 2019 - 16:54:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Graham you probably already have some good advice close to you from your Dad...ÖÖ. talk with him and see what he has spent over the years.

A money pit to one person can be no more than annual depreciation on a modern car and very difficult to consider what one persons view of expenditure on classic cars up keep is.

I have 7 classic cars ALL what I class as 'electronics free' and only the Ferrari costs that little more due to the stupid cost of bespoke replacement parts. The Shadow parts though do also seem to have sky rocketed in price over the last 30 years. What I find intolerable is the same Lucas part by part number is sold for £38 from a RR spares agent and that same part can be bought from Leacy's an MG parts specialist in UK for £6.95

My MGB is quite cheap to maintain as parts are still very cheap from lots of suppliers and the Lotus' still has lots of common parts across brands which helps keep prices down for parts.

That said if you were asking about a Shadow then I could give you lots of pointers but have really little owner/working knowledge of the later cars.

I am sure though there is probably a book been written on the car so worth a 'google'. Glen Pollen put a link up to an article on buying a used RR a few weeks ago but again the best advice I can give is when you see something of interest get a member here or experienced friend to check the car out.

If you Dad's is in nice condition...ie no rust, no smoking exhaust, no rattles from the engine or pools of oil on the garage floor and decent leather and woodwork then it is probably worth waiting for as I assume he must be around 80 years old...

My only experience of the later RR/B here in UK is they certainly seem to rust out quicker. It was also frightening to see a 1999 Arnage being sold for breaking as the electrical problems with the car had just been too expensive in labour for it worth to be fixed.

That does seem the fate now though of these later gizmo'd cars and I wonder if any will ever become a classic.

Put some decent pictures up of your Dad's and lets see what it looks like.
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Roderick Waite
Prolific User
Username: rodwaite

Post Number: 217
Registered: 1-2012
Posted on Tuesday, 26 February, 2019 - 20:05:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Oo-er! I didn't even buy my first (and only) RR until I was 77 years old ... and I've had her 9 years ... oo-er!

She's a 1984 Spirit (ECH09680) with twin SUs - your car (eventually! all power to your Dad!) will probably be a Mk1 with fuel injection, which will give her more power and better economy. If she's not being used much look at the tyres for flats and sidewall cracks, and the battery may need replacing.

The transmission doesn't like standing around either, nor the aircon compressor, nor the accumulators. The engine oil may need changing - in fact, all the hydraulic fluids. In my case, 3 years after I bought the car, I had an overhaul carried out on the brakes and transmission, replaced the aircon compressor, all 4 accumulators, and the battery, which together cost more than the car had! But she's run like a Swiss watch ever since.

Just had 5 new tyres (after 9 years!) so all set for another 9 years (if I can keep going too ... )
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Graham Hutton
Experienced User
Username: gph

Post Number: 20
Registered: 1-2019
Posted on Tuesday, 26 February, 2019 - 21:02:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

He reckons the rear shocks are playing up.

That said the car is or appears to be in A1 condition. It was a uk delivery, but was cosseted in England before coming to Oz. He is 88 as it happens. But determined to,keep,hold of it. I suppose itís no big deal if I end up with two in the long run :-)
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Steve Emmott
Frequent User
Username: steve_e

Post Number: 86
Registered: 11-2018
Posted on Tuesday, 26 February, 2019 - 22:18:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Graham,

Sounds like a good plan and if you buy the same model you will be able to use one for spares eventually
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Mark Luft
Prolific User
Username: bentleyman1993

Post Number: 245
Registered: 10-2016
Posted on Wednesday, 27 February, 2019 - 01:49:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Graham, buy the best you can afford and have it checked out by someone that knows these cars. It may cost a hundred or three but could save you thousands. I suggest you drive both good and Bad examples. That will give you insight for what to look, feel, and smell for.
Best of luck
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Graham Hutton
Experienced User
Username: gph

Post Number: 21
Registered: 1-2019
Posted on Wednesday, 27 February, 2019 - 09:20:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thanks everyone, I appreciate the advice and I will heed all of it. one thing I will do is to be patient (in spite of itching to get started)
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Graham Hutton
Experienced User
Username: gph

Post Number: 22
Registered: 1-2019
Posted on Wednesday, 27 February, 2019 - 09:28:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

PS. I seem to recall someone (or a few someone's) saying one should steer clear of ex Hong Kong / Indonesia imports, does anyone have an opinion on this?
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 3155
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Wednesday, 27 February, 2019 - 10:15:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Grahame,

I have posted this information over the years based on problems found with cheap used RHD Shadows imported from Hong Kong in the 1990's.

These "low mileage" cars were often afflicted with heavy rusting from the hot humid and often wet Hong Kong climate plus the engines had wear consistent with 100,000+ mileage despite low odometer readings [this was due to the cars being driven by chauffeurs for wealthy owners - the drivers would leave the engines idling with the air-conditioning permanently on while they waited in comfort for the owner to return from whatever function they were attending. This often could be some hours depending on the function which could range from business to more private activities [use your imagination].

imported UK Shadows [especially from the North] often had rust problems and cheap imports often had dubious repairs [drh14434 had this problem as the car was purchased in a decrepit condition to minimise the exorbitant Australian import duty that applied when it was imported in the late 1980's] but their mechanical condition was usually consistent with their mileage apart from neglect from subsequent owners after being traded by the original owner or neglect of approppriate servicing by later UK owners seeking to keep costs to a minimum.

I cannot comment on the later Spirits being similarly afflicted or not as I have not had any contact with owners of imported used Spirits in recent years.

.
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Larry Kavanagh
Grand Master
Username: shadow_11

Post Number: 343
Registered: 5-2016
Posted on Wednesday, 27 February, 2019 - 11:56:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

If you can find a loved Spirit with no rust and a spotless interior with an impeccable service record to show regular and timely servicing by a reputable RR garage (backed up by invoices) you shouldn't go far wrong in my opinion. Low mileage isn't necessarily a bonus with these cars as they tend to respond better when driven regularly. Good Silver Spirits can be had for relatively little money.
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Steve Emmott
Frequent User
Username: steve_e

Post Number: 88
Registered: 11-2018
Posted on Wednesday, 27 February, 2019 - 15:43:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

David G that is very interesting information on the HK cars I had never realised.

We often see used RR/B being offered here in UK from HK claiming rust free due to the good weather.

In Britain we always assume it is the salt put on our icy roads that causes all the rust issues.

Albeit I do know condensation is also a problem as we used to foam fill areas on the cars during assembly especially in the front lower A posts and you could see on many cars rust bubbling coming through years later.

Regarding RR though not that it affects the period Graham is looking to buy one of my colleagues was the Senior Manager of the press tool & body stampings and ex RR.

He always said avoid any RR between around 1972 to 1974. Apparently this was the period just after RR went into difficulties and all the bodies and panels were just left stored many outside. Inevitably rust set in especially on the completed bodies.

When the company was bailed out these car bodies were then just washed down and re-used put back into the build cycle.

My car is just on the cusp of the time period but from the build sheets had already been partly through the system so remained inside the factory.

Thankfully though the first owner had the car Ziebart rust protected from new and mine all looks rust free with no panel replacement having ever been done.
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Clayton Hollister
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, 08 March, 2019 - 04:06:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Check this site for advice on what to look for.

https://robisonservice.blogspot.com/2014/03/inspecting-1980-1999-rolls-royce-or.html

(Message approved by david_gore)
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Graham Hutton
Experienced User
Username: gph

Post Number: 28
Registered: 1-2019
Posted on Friday, 08 March, 2019 - 17:26:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thanks Clayton. Sound advice
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Graham Hutton
Experienced User
Username: gph

Post Number: 39
Registered: 1-2019
Posted on Saturday, 13 April, 2019 - 18:31:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Well after some months searching, a few flights around Australia, I am 95% certain I have found the SS I am looking for. The A/C runs well, very chilly (big tick)
The engine bay is clean and looks well mentioned, although not a lot in recent times, the car hasnít been driven for a wee while, that said, I cranked it up and went for a spin, handles very well, ride seems good, but I have so little to compare it to. I guess after 30 years it wonít be like a new car . Mileage seems about right. 113,000 Klms . Price seems about right. Based on what I have seen for sale.
Issues are as follows (and they need to be rectified before I agree to Buy)
1. Left rear Pax window, motor is making a noise, no movement up or down though.
2. Pax front seat , absolutely no action with any of the electrics, gain, must be fixed before I agree to buy (checked fuses BTW, no issues there, if the motors are bung, what am I looking at to replace or repair?)
3. Antenna doesnít go all the way up or down, needs to be fixed
4. Slight Fan belt squeal, probably just needs a bit of
tightening.
5. Front Fog lights need attention (not that we get much fog in Qld)

The leather is in very good nick.
There is a very small ding in the stainless strip below the drivers side door, hardly noticeable.
The paintwork appears to be immaculate.
Iím not sure about the tyres though, they seem to have plenty of tread, but I know some of you are very particular about tyres.

So while I have almost completely made up my mind, any feed back on the above would be appreciated.
Iím guessing it canít hurt to have the NRMA give it a once over ?
Very tiny stone chip , should be easy to fix that.

I tried 5 times to upload photos, i am giving up that idea. :-(
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Steve Emmott
Prolific User
Username: steve_e

Post Number: 219
Registered: 11-2018
Posted on Saturday, 13 April, 2019 - 19:55:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Graham,

Uploading pictures was a problem for me but Glen and David G sorted me out with PICRESIZE on the web it is free and you just put custom resize and just 640 in the first field and it does it all for you.

Regarding issues..... window regulator/motor systems are easily repaired but could be the worm drive. Still needs to all come out to service and check. Lots of used ones are available complete but be warned they still need servicing usually. I have several to do during warm weather and have lots of spare bits.

IIRC there is a reset relay in the fuse box under the steering wheel for the seats and other functions but I will have to check that. There are several motors under the seats and the multi functional switch so the fact the seat does NOTHING I would suspect just electrical supply failure.

Aerials are not that easy to repair and the slightest deformity in the shafts prevents easy up and down and causes the sticking. You can get to the motor though and regrease easily but first need to give a good clean on the shaft and lubricate and try a few times up and down. New after market aerials can be fitted but they stick up a bit from the wing and require some rewiring but generally only around 60 dollars or so. Fiddly to get off and usually needs the front wing rear inner cover removed and that is a rotten job in itself.

The lower sill trim at base of doors is stainless steel and not coated so can be removed and dents teased out and then easily rubbed down and repolished. The front fitting though is a BA nut behind the sill and this has to be removed from behind the front wing rear liner and again a fiddly job. The rear is attached with just a small bracket on the body that the trim slides onto. Door trims are plated so cannot be easily repaired unless re chromed afterwards but again spares from breakers usually available. They are 'handed' so check if getting a replacement as once the breakers take the bits off it is not that obvious the slight slope at the front.

All trim and body clips are also readily available and doubtful you will remove a piece of outer brightwork trim without breaking the old plastic clips.

Fog lights if the original Lucas LR8 are easily available but you can just replace the inner reflector and glass as required.

I would change the fan belt anyway as it is probably slightly hardened with age.

Now once you have sorted all those bits out enjoy the car before the next lot of issues come along
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Larry Kavanagh
Grand Master
Username: shadow_11

Post Number: 398
Registered: 5-2016
Posted on Sunday, 14 April, 2019 - 05:44:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Graham, the faults you've mention are minor items that you could fix. The hydraulics are the main area of worry on these cars, not being driven for a wee while is a negative because hydraulics like to be kept moving. If the faults you've recorded are the only issues you may have found a nice car. Rather than have the minor items repaired by the owner you could use them as a bargaining tool and fix them yourself. You should definitely consider an inspection by a RR&B old school specialist, most car surveyors don't understand the complexity of the hydraulic systems in these cars or the tendency for them to have worn rear springs and I've heard of bills exceeding £10,000 to have hydraulic/brake issues addressed properly by a RR garage. That said, it's possible to fix a complete hydraulic system for a small fraction of that cost if you study the system and do the work yourself. I would also recommend that you try to drive a few of these cars and you will get to know the difference between a good and bad one. There's no reason why driving a good Silver Shadow shouldn't feel like driving a virtually new car, there should be no rattles or shakes and the ride should be smooth, responsive & virtually silent.
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Robert J. Sprauer
Prolific User
Username: wraithman

Post Number: 235
Registered: 11-2017
Posted on Sunday, 14 April, 2019 - 07:07:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Here's the subframe removed:



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Graham Hutton
Experienced User
Username: gph

Post Number: 40
Registered: 1-2019
Posted on Sunday, 14 April, 2019 - 07:36:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

http://picresize.com/dl.php?i=rsz_d5c6d577-76aa-488e-b424-a955654cb373.jpg
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 3215
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Sunday, 14 April, 2019 - 07:50:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Graham,

Have downloaded and reposted your image:

GH

.
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Graham Hutton
Experienced User
Username: gph

Post Number: 41
Registered: 1-2019
Posted on Sunday, 14 April, 2019 - 08:07:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thanks David, this is a bit of a struggle :-)
We need. FB version of this forum.
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 3216
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Sunday, 14 April, 2019 - 16:17:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Graham,

Sounds good in theory but there would be no possible access to our priceless forum archives as this is only possible with our existing forum software.

Our Administrator has looked at many alternatives over the years but every one investigated so far has been unable to search and access our existing archives and I shudder to think of the work load involved in manually accessing and reloading the threads and files involved.

If you are having problems with posting anything, please message me with the details and I will guide you. If you are having problems with images, the guide below may help:

application/pdfguide
Forum Guide for posting Images.pdf (1526.4 k)


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Graham Hutton
Experienced User
Username: gph

Post Number: 42
Registered: 1-2019
Posted on Sunday, 14 April, 2019 - 16:24:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thanks David, I am a member of a few different forum and they all have their quirky aspects. Having to reidentify myself every time I post here is a wee bit tedious after a while. But I guess it is what it is.
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Graham Hutton
Experienced User
Username: gph

Post Number: 44
Registered: 1-2019
Posted on Monday, 15 April, 2019 - 17:46:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

The aforementioned Spirit has fallen through, a combination of factors which i wont go into here.
That said, watch this space. I have a good feeling
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 3218
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Monday, 15 April, 2019 - 18:37:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Graham,

Have sent you a reply to your PM with more information that should make forum life easier.

Regards David

.
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Roderick Waite
Prolific User
Username: rodwaite

Post Number: 220
Registered: 1-2012
Posted on Tuesday, 16 April, 2019 - 04:41:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Please do not consider Facebook! It is an appalling mish-mash of a Forum.

Pity you're in Australia and I'm in France, Graham! The development of AMD in my eyes means I'll have to give up driving at some point. My 'Echo' would suit you very well, I think ... I bought her sight unseen because of her beautiful colour (Willow Gold)! True I spent a lot of money bringing her up to scratch (not counting the bespoke garage she lives in) but she's a good looker and a nice runner (and I know I won't get my money back!).
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Graham Hutton
Experienced User
Username: gph

Post Number: 45
Registered: 1-2019
Posted on Tuesday, 16 April, 2019 - 06:16:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Roderick, all may not be lost, we spend time in France when we can, my Dad has a home in Burgundy. We were actually booked to fly out yesterday , however business commitments meant we had to postpone our trip.
We will be re making those plans soon.
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Graham Hutton
Experienced User
Username: gph

Post Number: 46
Registered: 1-2019
Posted on Tuesday, 16 April, 2019 - 07:00:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Roderick, I went looking for a previous post where photos of echo were posted to show to my wife, my memory fails me here and I canít recall where they were posted.
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 3219
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Tuesday, 16 April, 2019 - 08:55:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Graham,

I think the image of Roderick's car in the following link will cause some angst and a visit when you are next in France:

http://au.rrforums.net/forum/messages/17002/24635.html
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Graham Hutton
Frequent User
Username: gph

Post Number: 51
Registered: 1-2019
Posted on Tuesday, 23 April, 2019 - 14:06:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

inching closer to pick up date , Friday? fingers crossed



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