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Peter Kentwell
Experienced User
Username: pete_kentwell

Post Number: 10
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Monday, 22 March, 2004 - 21:25:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Dear All - I am going to replace all 4 road wheels for my SS11 (1980). Introcar quote 186 pounds, before shipping, per wheel. Does anyone have any better suggestions as to where I might be able to source alternatives. Kind regards. Pete.
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 229
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Tuesday, 23 March, 2004 - 00:58:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Peter,

If my memory is correct, Bentley of Sydney [MacMillans] had genuine factory alloy wheels available ex-stock for a similar price INCLUDING import duty when I checked over a year ago.

Don't forget you will have to pay duty [GST?] on top of purchase price/freight to bring the wheels into Australia.
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Richard Treacy
Grand Master
Username: richard_treacy

Post Number: 138
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Tuesday, 23 March, 2004 - 03:58:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Yes, David, but if they are the (in my opinion darned ugly) early alloys offered in 6.5 inch form as options on Mulsannes and Spirits, or the standard 7.5s on Turbo Rs (15 and 16 inch diameter), I would rather the steel wheels. I gave an unmarked set of those alloys away for free complete with fairly new Avon CR27s and replaced them with some more interesting new ones on my Turbo R.

My opinion of course when it comes to appearance, but there definitely are plenty of the early alloys going begging for next to nothing out there.
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John Dare
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 144.138.194.113
Posted on Tuesday, 23 March, 2004 - 05:49:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Dear Peter, It is not clear to me from your original post as to exactly what TYPE of replacement wheels you are looking for. Please clarify so that I might be able to assist.
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Peter Kentwell
Frequent User
Username: pete_kentwell

Post Number: 11
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Tuesday, 23 March, 2004 - 19:53:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi John (and thanks to others). The wheels I am seeking are replacement steel originals, or copies, 15"x6.5", that have the same offset and capacity to secure the hubcaps. The rationale behind the decision is that at least two of the current (original) wheels have a 'hop' in them and/or are slightly buckled. After 2 years of going through a painstaking elimination process to get rid of an incredibly frustrating vibration that starts around 80klm/hr and is most annoying around cruising speeds, this is just about my last throw of the dice!!
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Richard Treacy
Grand Master
Username: richard_treacy

Post Number: 139
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Tuesday, 23 March, 2004 - 21:55:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Peter,

I strongly recommend you borrow a set of wheels and tyres to be sure that is the problem. If you run Avon Turbosteels, be aware they are often impossible to balance unles done loaded on the car. Not many tyre outlets have the expensive quipment to do this. A whell maker like Clarkes Wheels Greenacre or Milperra on the old Hume Highway just off the old Great Western Highway, can check your wheels for trueness, straighten or repair them, make up new wheels to order or fit new rims to your existing centres. I had a set made up for my R-Type from scratch by Clarke's. Their contacts are below, and I can recommend them for a consultation whatever you do. You will have a pleasant surprise I believe.

These may be best and most economical options. Based on what you say, I would not buy new rims, but have them corrected if found to be faulty.

Clarke's Wheel Service
11/ 9 Ladbroke St Milperra 2214 (02)97926621

Clarkes Wheel Service
2 Wesley St Greenacre 2190 (02) 96421094
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Peter Kentwell
Frequent User
Username: pete_kentwell

Post Number: 12
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Monday, 29 March, 2004 - 19:04:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thanks Richard for the advice and I will look up similar firms in the Brisbane/Gold Coast areas where I live. I have also been given some leads through the QLD RRO Club that I'm following up - I'll let everyone know how I go but it could be a couple of weeks. Regards.
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John Dare
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 144.138.194.90
Posted on Tuesday, 30 March, 2004 - 16:29:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Peter.. let me know if your wheels were repairable., If not I can supply 2 good used ones. I may have 2 that are powdercoated or maybe only one so painted and the other just bare and "as is". I will need to check further if you are interested. Rgds J
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Peter Kentwell
Frequent User
Username: pete_kentwell

Post Number: 13
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Tuesday, 18 May, 2004 - 15:56:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Dear All (SRH40222)
I've had all 4 wheels reconditioned and the car is about as smooth as it's ever been BUT I still have a vibration!!! I am now told that it is probably the transmission converter and I am having that balanced next week. I live in hope. Regards.
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Richard Treacy
Grand Master
Username: richard_treacy

Post Number: 183
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Tuesday, 18 May, 2004 - 18:49:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hey, hold on: pulling the converter out is a bit extreme. What makes you suspect that ?

Is the vibration road speed or engine speed related ? Unless it is present in neutral when you rev the motor, leave the converter well alone I beg you.

If the vibrations are road speed related as I suspect (you have had the wheels fixed afterall and they are purely road speed related) look first at the rear end. Your car has Detroit joints connecting the differential to the wheel hubs. If you swap the shaft assemblies left to right, the vibration usually goes as they wear in one direction only. This is a relatively simple and quick job requiring no spare parts. Also, they have a silly Woodruff key hub which often comes loose and wears leading to vibrations, so maybe you should check them too.

If you must remove the converter, be sure to have it opened up, cleaned out, and you MUST replace the sprag clutch and needle roller.

If you insist on rebuilding and balancing the converter but vibrations persist, do have a good look at your drive shafts.

Converter vibrations are very rare and purely engine speed related. The flexplate does a good job of stopping any vibrations anyhow. Usually only damage to the flexplate or severely poor installation will cause converter vibrations. I can tell you this fresh: I have changed my converter twice in the last week (I was sent the wrong converter first time for my Turbo R, 6 bolts but otherwise the same converter as yours), and finally it is perfect. Once correct, they never go bad. In fact, they usually start with a shimmy, but after a hundred km or so the flexplate beds down and there is no more shimmy, let alone vibration.
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Peter Kentwell
Frequent User
Username: pete_kentwell

Post Number: 14
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Thursday, 20 May, 2004 - 10:26:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thanks Richard and I have had the half-shafts swapped too. The vibration does occur at what I would guess to be somewhere around 2,000 to 2,500 rev, when in idle which transposes to about 110-120klm when on the road. I will make sure that the sprag clutch and needle roller are replaced. Thanks again for your advice and I will let you know how it goes. Regards. Pete.
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Richard Treacy
Grand Master
Username: richard_treacy

Post Number: 185
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Thursday, 20 May, 2004 - 19:22:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Dear Peter,

OK, if it's in the converter area, go for it.

few tips which you probably already know, but here gos anyhow.

There is a B*****d bolt on every job. Yours is the dipstick tube retaining bolt on the rear of the right hand cylinder head facing the firewall.

On you car, and all up until 1987, it is possible to disconnect the dipstick tube at the sump only and leave the tube fixing at the top bracket untouched. Try this, and just move the tube to one side. However, the manuals do instruct you to remove the tube completely,

If do you have the dipstick tube removed, cut the retaining bracket to convert the hole into a slot. Place a spacer behind the washer, and tighten the bolt such that you can slide the bracket down. Final tightening is then very easy and will save you or your mechanic many grazed knuckles and lots of time. This is a must for post-1987 cars, but also a must if you do need to remove the dipstick tube on any Turbo 400 transmission. The alternative is an aftermarket flexible firewall-mounted tube.

Check whether you have metric or UNC converter bolts as they changed in 1977, but exchanges have meant that any 3-bolt converter could have either by now.

The metric holes are slightly larger. If you have UNC bolts, centring the converter on the flexplate is hit and miss if the flexplate is drilled or reamed for metric bolts. Naturally, a badly centred converter will vibrate.

Use a 2" offset 9/16" ring spanner for the converter-flexplate bolts: a 14mm or 15mm ring spanner will not work safely. If in any doubt, jack the motor up and use a 6-flat socket or Metrinch 9/16 socket between the subframe and sump to avoid a disasterous butchering of the bolt heads. 12-point sockets and ring spanners can be risky.

If the bolt heads are damaged, you will have a huge problem to remove those bolts as access is unreasonably limited: engine out.

Next, do check the flexplate carefully for cracks or bending.

Of course, mark the tailshaft relative to the transmission output flange for refitting, and the same applies to the converter itself. Modern balancing is so precise that the converter orientation is largely irrelevant, but best be on the safe side.

When your car was assembled, balancing machines at the time were far less precise than today. The heavy side of the flexplate/flywheel/ring gear assembly was marked with a yellow radial stripe on the flexplate. The light side of the converter was marked with a white "L". The two were matched to minimise any poor balance rather than to exacerbate it.

Be sure to put at least 50g of high-temperature grease (preferably that used in CV joints) into the converter spigot cavity in the end of the crankshaft.

Lastly, do replace the oil with Dexron III or better still Transmax, definitely replace the gearbox front seal, and of course replace the transmission filter. If the old transmission sump gasket is in good condition, reuse it even if you have a new one handy (this week I reused mine and kept the new one for later use). With a very little gasket cement, a good used seal will work best and will not need to be tightened down five times. Unless the rear seal is leaking, leave it well alone as it is easily replaced in-situ.

Good luck !

RT.
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Richard Treacy
Grand Master
Username: richard_treacy

Post Number: 186
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Thursday, 20 May, 2004 - 19:32:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Peter,

Where are you located ?
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Richard Treacy
Grand Master
Username: richard_treacy

Post Number: 187
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Saturday, 22 May, 2004 - 01:38:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

One more quick note: when did the vibrations start, or rather was the converter changed just before you noticed them ?

In the extreme, with UNC bolts in a flexplate prepared for metric bolts, the converter spigot can even miss its aperture and lead to rather unacceptable vibrations. You can rectify this without removing the transmission by removing the cover plates, loosening the flexplate and pop it into the aperture.

Also, you can rotate the converter by 60 degrees and see if the balance improves.

All good stuff without major trauma. Genuine converter faults leading to vibrations are unheard of, whilst repair and installation errors are very common causes.

Just a thought.

RT.
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Bill Coburn
Grand Master
Username: bill_coburn

Post Number: 153
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Saturday, 22 May, 2004 - 10:46:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Sorry to throw a possible red herring into the soup but I repeat a recent experience I had with an '87 Spirit. This car had an inherant vibration which actually would shake the steering wheel. New balanced tyres did not help and as far as one can see there was nothing else to cause the shake. I put the car securely on stands removed the rear wheels and ran it and was intrigued to note that the whole engine and transmission shook. I was at a loss of where to start when the transmission decided to assert itself and fail to engage top gear and refuse to go backwards. Clearly the transmission had to come out. The centre support was most seriously worn in its central bush to the extent that the plastic 'piston rings' on the oil delivery sleeve were almost worn away. Replacement of most of these bits (second hand from a Chev truck by the way and the transmission is as smooth as it should be and there is no vibration. Passed on for what it is worth!
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Peter Kentwell
Frequent User
Username: pete_kentwell

Post Number: 15
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Monday, 24 May, 2004 - 12:55:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thanks again Richard and Bill for the expert advice. I have decided to get the transmission reconditioned in the one job and am going to a highly recommended transmission specialist where I live on the Gold Coast. It's booked in on Wednesday and I'll pick it up on Friday afternoon. I'll update the site with how it goes over the weekend. Regards. Pete.
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Richard Treacy
Grand Master
Username: richard_treacy

Post Number: 190
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Wednesday, 26 May, 2004 - 00:15:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

That's a really excellent decision, so at least you can draw the line on the transmission and converter.

You are lucky in Australia as there are world-best transmission shops in most cities. We have an excellent one in Canberra who did our T-Series transmission and converter. What's more, they give excellent warranties.

Your transmission has a different casing (it has a very early GM bellhousing pattern) but the same internals as the Turbo 400s used in larger Holdens and Jags etc, so there is no learning to be done or spares issue. The only thing is to insist on heavy duty roller sprags for the transmission and converter as there are several options. Our cars have torque well above the mainstream applications, although they rev lower. The later Turbos like mine use the same transmission for a massive torque of around 750 NM, whereas a 350 Chev produces around 300 from memory but revs harder.

Your transmission will come out without removing the adaptor plate unlike the Shadows before 1970. In theory it comes out without disturbing the engine mounts, but I always remove them anyhow to lower the motor and move it rearwards to access the flexplate. Ask you man to mark the height of the rear mounts if he disturbs them as they are adjustable and must go back as they were. This is very critical, and even more so with later cars where 1mm either way upsets things. Also recommend him my dipstick mod if applicable.

Here in Switzerland there is only one good specialist located in Lucerne. Auto transmissions are rare in this backward country, mainly because a 2 litre car is considered large, and I figure you need at least 3 litres of motor to have an enjoyable auto box. The guy asked me what an overhaul costs in Oz. When I told him he thought I was joking. A converter overhaul by them costs as much as a full transmission and converter overhaul in Oz.

Do ask them to check the tailshaft for damage and universal wear.

How and when did your vibrations start ?

RT.
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Peter Kentwell
Frequent User
Username: pete_kentwell

Post Number: 16
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Sunday, 06 June, 2004 - 12:08:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Dear All - I got my car back last weekend but haven't been able to get it out and onto a highway since yesterday - hence the delay in letting you know how it's gone. The transmission feels so tight and the vibration is non-existent!!! For the very first time in 2 years now, since I picked the car up in Melbourne and drove it back to the Gold Coast, I have what I had always imagined a Rolls Royce to ride like. It is simply superb. Richard, Geneva & Canberra sound like DOFA or Primary Industries posts? My Father was a Dep Sec in Primary Industries and has always said that if he was to live anywhere else in the World, it would be Geneva! Many thanks for all you tips and advice over the last 2 years - while it has been something of an extremely painstaking process of elimination, it now seems to have been all worthwhile and I have got to know so much about these beautiful vehicles in process. Kind regards. Pete.
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Bill Coburn
Grand Master
Username: bill_coburn

Post Number: 169
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Sunday, 06 June, 2004 - 18:34:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Peter can we know what was causing the vibration?
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Peter Kentwell
Frequent User
Username: pete_kentwell

Post Number: 17
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Monday, 14 June, 2004 - 12:34:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Bill - the converter apparently. I've also got say though that the transmission feels quite different - much more of a solid feel. Overall, very pleased. Regards.
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Bill Coburn
Grand Master
Username: bill_coburn

Post Number: 176
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Monday, 14 June, 2004 - 18:44:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Veeery interesting. My transmission bloke is a bit skeptical of the RR version of the 400. Says it needs balls - so to speak but I prefer the smooth imperceptable changes etc. Richard's account of thread changes in production should not be a problem unless they are ignored by an indifferent mechanic. Clearly one needs to warn the operator and if practical supervise him. My bloke always changes the converter with a transmission overhaul since you don't know what nasties may have lodged there ready to come out at the inappropriate time! What is great Peter is that you persisted and didn't just sell the thing as a elegant bucket o bolts and bad mouth the Marque for the rest of your motoring life!
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Robert Perez
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 152.163.100.195
Posted on Tuesday, 25 October, 2005 - 12:49:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Does anyone know he bolt pattern for a 1977 Silver Shdow II.
Thank You

(Message approved by david_gore)
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 521
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Wednesday, 26 October, 2005 - 16:55:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Robert,

Use the measuring procedure described in the following link and take the information to a local tyre/wheel specialist who should be able to match it with locally available alternatives for you:

http://au.rrforums.net/forum/messages/17/570.html
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Richard Treacy
Grand Master
Username: richard_treacy

Post Number: 914
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Wednesday, 26 October, 2005 - 20:32:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

The precise measure of the PCD is 5/159.9

I forget the offset for standard wheels, but if you follow the diagram in the link it is easily measured.