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Anthony & Amanda van der Vliet
New User
Username: ant_and_amanda

Post Number: 5
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Friday, 09 April, 2004 - 13:19:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Some advice if we may.

We realise that the answer to this may be very much related to personal choice, but we thought we should ask for some general opinions.

Keeping the the car as ORIGINAL (or as Genuine) as possible.

We own a 1965 Silver Cloud III, and after doing 4,700 odd kilometres on the CWT, a few problems have come to light.

On buying this car, we hoped to keep it as original and genuine as possible, but now we wonder, to what lengths should we go. It is not a Concours winning car, and even thought it is in very good condition, we have bought it for our pleasure.

The generator (Lucas N38) needs new brushes, so we thought we would recondition it, including bushes and bearings, but have found these almost impossible to find. We can get a new generator, or an exchange unit from England, (fairly expensive) or should we just have it rebuilt here, with whatever is available? Then some people suggest that we change it to an alternator.

Secondly, it is getting hard to start, and once started, runs well, but then brakes down as it gets warmer. We think it is in the ignition system. Coil, dissy, leads, points, spark plugs etc. Do we try and replace these with genuine parts, or move on and fit a better coil, and/or electronic ignition, better leads, longlife spark plugs etc?

Any suggestions would be appreciated, even on location of parts, and/or who might do the work. (We live in Newcastle, but Sydney isn't out of the question). Also, if anyone has moved on with modern replacement parts, how are the results.

Come on, add your suggestions and ideas, this could be the start of a great debate.

Many thanks, in advance, Ant. and Amanda.
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John Dare
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 144.138.194.121
Posted on Friday, 09 April, 2004 - 18:41:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

My gentle opinion only. NOT an order (or a UKASE) nor a "carved in stone" directive!. 1/fit an alternator as the overall benefits are difficult to ignore. 2/ fit "Optima" (or equiv."spiral cell" technology battery. 3/ fit "Pertronix" solid state self contained (no visible connections outside the distributor!) ignition module. Dont buy this item locally through official agents as either Robert Chapman 03 9 720 3997) or I, can probably supply at lower cost. 4/fit new ign.leads and maybe new ign. coil. 5/if you are still not happy with "immeadiate" start, contact R.Chapman re lightweight/compact gear reduction starter motor which draws less current etc. Many Shadow owners already have these "Nippondenso" based units fitted in lieu of old the original "Lucas" starter motor. For obvious reasons I would keep the general appearance of the car as original. John Vawser in Sydney could fit all these modifications for you should you elect to install all or some of them.
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Anthony & Amanda van der Vliet
Experienced User
Username: ant_and_amanda

Post Number: 6
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Saturday, 10 April, 2004 - 11:57:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thank you John, all is taken as good advice, and on thinking about this, and reading more, we have also thought that we can keep all the original items and supply/refit them if and when we pass it on to the following custodian. Yes, we were thinking of John V. as well, as we had great service from him on our stop in Sydney on the CWT, (at very short notice, might we add).

More responses welcome, please add your thoughts and ideas, please, anyone.

Regards, Ant. and Amanda.
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 235
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Saturday, 10 April, 2004 - 12:24:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Anthony and Amanda,

I am surprised you are unable to get your Lucas generator overhauled in Newcastle - I have used a local auto electrician now located in Engadine who works miracles with Lucas items at reasonable cost however he is too far away for practical use by you.

When I lived in Newcastle, I used to be a member of the local MG Car Club and they had lots of information on local specialists who could be relied on to achieve "miracles" commonly required for British manufactured vehicles! I suggest you look them up in the phone book and get the contact details for their technical officer who should be able to point you on the right direction otherwise I would try the Head Teacher of Automotive Trades at the Newcastle TAFE as he would probably be aware of Lucas specialists in Newcastle.

Whilst I agree with John Dare's advice regarding the alternator especially for an "everyday driver"; I also see merit in keeping the car as original as possible even if it will never be a concours entrant - if you car has A/C installed then the alternator is a necessity.
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William H. Trovinger II
Prolific User
Username: bill_trovinger

Post Number: 94
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Saturday, 10 April, 2004 - 14:01:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Anthony and Amanda;

As I do not own a Cloud (76 Shadow) I cannot give you any personal advice or comment on this matter. I will state that you have my favorite Cloud the III.

There is a Cloud II listed on eBay right now that has all the alterations you are talking about. Thought I would mention it incase you have not seen it:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=6384&item=2471184986&rd=1

Regards,
Bill
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Bill Coburn
Grand Master
Username: bill_coburn

Post Number: 125
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Saturday, 10 April, 2004 - 20:26:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

If we bought a 40 year old refrigerator that seemed ideal for our purpose and outwardly complete and clean we would probably put it in the kitchen turn it on and wait for the results. People buy Rolls-Royces and seem to be under the illusion that they can adopt the same approach. If I bought a Cloud three right now that seemed to be in very good condition I would set about determining just how good that condition is. A complete check short of major dismantling is surely in order. A compression check, electronic analysis of ignition, transmission check and adjustment, differential seals, wheel bearings, flow test of radiator, water leaks, new coolant hoses,careful check of wiring, battery condition and security, brake cylinders, linings, drum oversizes, flexible hoses, petrol tank drain and flush, fuel pump replace all filters, water pump seals, engine mounts. Exhaust leaks and pipe supports central prop shaft bearing and support, universals. Obviously tyres, power steering hoses and pump. THEN start with reasonable trips well within rescue resources until you gain confidence in the car. Sorry if I burst the illusion but NO car should be regarded as a reliable car after 40 years unless its condition is carefully documented. This is particularly true of Rolls-Royces since they are relatively complex and as the old saying goes, more things are there to go wrong. To ignore this as so many have done results in a non functioning car that gets relegated to the back of a shed to be 'fixed' one day. The marque deserves better than that! PS the C48 generator fitted to these cars is quite capable of handling air conditioning and all the other car's requirements asnd parts are certainly still available.
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Anthony & Amanda van der Vliet
Experienced User
Username: ant_and_amanda

Post Number: 7
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Saturday, 10 April, 2004 - 21:47:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Bill,

Let us introduce ourselves, as, from your input, it seems that you do not know of us.

We joined the club some two years ago, after being invited to do so by Allan S, (SCII LWB). This was after he and I had a great conversation about the R-R Cloud series. We were honoured to be asked and accepted into membership, as this was sure to help us in our quest to own a R-R. You can imagine how much more information and input we could attain from club members, in our selection to purchase the right R-R, model and condition wise.

We purchased a Silver Cloud III, as late a model as we could get, after completing many years of research, before and after our membership. Being from engineering background, I believe that we were thorough in our selection and inspection of this vehicle and many others, before we made our purchase, (as anyone that knew about it at the time can atest to). Our Cloud also has a very fine providence.

Due to my background I have to disagree with you as far as your comment about "relatively complex". This is not a Shadow or one of the later models, and I find it amazing in how relatively simple and straight forward, although extremely well engineered, that this vehicle is.

In the year that we have had it, I have done a number of mechanical and electrical inspections and we have travelled some considerable distance, at times long individual trips, in extreme conditions, all without trouble.

Regardless of all of the above, and considering the age of the vehicle, it is impossible to inspect everything to 100% degree. We also cannot expect the vehicle to be as new, if we wanted that, we should have bought a new car.

We are VERY happy and impressed with the condition and drivability of this car, and are very aware, that things can still go wrong.

No "illusion" was burst, we didn't have one to start with. (I don't think this model comes standard with it).

This was not the basis of this message stream, but more to the point, what ideas did other people have in regard to using modern innovations in an older car so as to attain improved performance/economy/reliability, or do we try and keep it original and genuine.

We hope that this paints a clearer picture of the debate that we intended to instigate.

PS, our Cloud is fitted with a Lucas N38 generator, and a GM Harrison underdash Air Conditioner.

PSS, Bill, you forgot to let us know where the parts may be available, and/or who you suggest we might contact for advice or mechanical/electrical work.

All the Best, Ant. and Amanda.
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Richard Treacy
Grand Master
Username: richard_treacy

Post Number: 145
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Saturday, 10 April, 2004 - 22:01:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

There is a widely used Lucas brush which fits these generators. I have mislaid the Lucas part number, but any Lucas outlet will match yours to sample for about $5 a pair. One shameful previous R-R "specialist" sold me a pair of Lucas brushes once for $95 under the guise of an R-R part number. When I looked at them, I saw that they were identical to the Lucas ones I had in reserve and had the same identification markings. Also, the leads come out at the sides of the Lucas brushes, not the centres of the brushes on the R-R part, although this doesn't matter at all. I sent them straight back in disgust.

OK, an alternator is far superior, but the car has survived just nicely for 40 years with a generator, so why open up a can of worms ?

There are any number of specialists who will rewind a failed armature or stator for less than $100. I even had a commutator made from scratch by a commutator manufacturer in Lane Cove, Sydney, (the only one around I understand, but there are a number in the UK too), for the RA5 generator on my R-Type. It was not expensive. The armature was then rewound and fitted with the new commutator by a guy in Artarmon, Sydney. I don't have the bills with me, but all up it was less than $200 and like new.

If all is OK, best is to clean the whole thing up, pack the bearings which seem to last forever, fit new brushes and put it back on the car.

Whilst not a stickler for originality, too often you will see mods from over 10 years ago. They may have seemed right at the time, but all too often seem quite wrong now and impossible to reverse.

As for that LWB SCII on Ebay, the leather sounds rough, and look at those sagged springs ! He rates the suspension as 10/10 despite this. Typical Ebay. At least he admits that the transmission leaks I suppose. I love the way they like to tell you a light bulb has blown (for heavens sakes, how many Americans does it take to change a light bulb ?) suggesting everything else is perfect.
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Anthony & Amanda van der Vliet
Experienced User
Username: ant_and_amanda

Post Number: 8
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Saturday, 10 April, 2004 - 22:26:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Richard,

Thanks for the input, all adds to the knowledge base.

Being a R-R owner, (a short time) and enthusiast, (since a child), I keep a close eye on anything R-R, especially since the innovation of internet.

MMmmmmm, eBay, especially some sellers, (funny, may even be the one listing the LWB SCII), advertise original or genuine articles, and then may send out copied tapes or photo copied booklets of copyright material or pattern articles.

Be very wary, but justice is on it's way, I'm sure.

It certainly pays to read between the lines, and have a look at the history of items up for auction, by that particular seller.

Never the less, there is a lot of bargains to be had, and a lot of fun, in using eBay.

Thanks again, Ant. and Amanda.
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Bill Coburn
Grand Master
Username: bill_coburn

Post Number: 126
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Sunday, 11 April, 2004 - 09:04:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Dear Ant and Amanda. Thank you for your re-assurance. It is a relief that you are aware of what you have taken on. I have a fellow owner in Canberra who bought a Shadow for a lot of money and I afraid the next stop is the wreckers. He sought no advice prior to buying. I am intrigued with your generator - is that original as I thought the C48 went through to the very early Shadows? You mentioned HT leads. These are swines of things to change and require among other manoeuvres the removal of the starter motor. There is a mob in Sydney called Thundercords who will make you excellent replacement leads from a sample complete with all new fittings and numbers leads. They will need the rubber lead holders however. I am pulling an S2 back to life and will replace the distributor with an electronic version. This can be converted back for a purist later if desired. The carburetters usually need close attention. The floats puncture, the needle valves wear the diaphrgms go hard and the throttle spindle bushes wear oval. All very fixable. But coming back to my original thrust we have had not a few new owners who buy some frightening specimens and come onto this forum with an innocent enquiry such as "coolant is pouring out of the tell tale holes in my engine. Should I block them up with silicone as the others appear to be? I apologise for 'mis-reading you'.
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Bill Vatter
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 68.19.42.152
Posted on Sunday, 11 April, 2004 - 13:25:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

General comment pertaining to originality:

Original components were very good quality. Poor reliability comes from poor maintenance or repairs not made to factory standards. Care for your car properly and it will serve you very well. You may find the car has some quirks that need to be worked out by correctly repairing whatever shows up as you drive the car. If you do that, what need do you have for non-standard parts like electronic ignition or alternators?

Regarding electronic ignitions, the only advantage I can see in these is that there is no part (ignition points) to wear out. Most people do not recognize the main drawback to electronic ignition: When failure occurs (which can happen without warning in any electronic component) you are stopped, really stopped. No amount of tinkering will get you to the next town. You either need a new electronic unit, or you need to reinstall your old points set-up. But wait, the distributor will not be correctly timed for the points because this conversion requires an adjustment of the distributor after the electronic ignition is installed. Personal opinion, I like the old-fashioned points, because I can see what is working right and what is not working, and with some simple tools, I can most likely get myself going again. Points work equally well as electronics, just need routine maintenance. But hey --- It is an old car and routine maintenance is part of the hobby.

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John Dare
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 144.138.194.249
Posted on Sunday, 11 April, 2004 - 21:08:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Dear Anthony and Amanda. When I first carefully addressed your enquiry I did consider mentioning inexpensive (relativley) "state of the art" U.S built,integrated air conditioning systems, custom designed for "S" series cars. I suggest these (having supplied/supervised installation of three such systems to date!) where you do not presently have A/C in your car, OR you do have the original factory system, which, not suprisingly, needs (or will eventually require) major work/ or re-build after 40 years of service. I deliberately avoided such a reference as I suspected this could generate "disapproval" from a variety of sectors. Just as well I decided not to mention the A/C or (WORSE!) Front DISC BRAKE conversions for "S" series cars, notwithstanding the cost of original brake drums/improved efficiency from discs etc. Nay, I will say no more except to wish you years of pleasure with your fine motor car.
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Anthony & Amanda van der Vliet
Experienced User
Username: ant_and_amanda

Post Number: 9
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Sunday, 11 April, 2004 - 23:48:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Bill V,

Very interesting points, and ones that we should consider when making any decisions from here on in.


Hi John D,

Yes, we are glad you did not mention the unmentionable, as that might have generated some disapproval from a variety of sectors, and that is really not the aim. (We might contact you later, instead).


All the same, thanks everyone, for the hearty contributions so far, and hoping for more to be added in the future. It is very interesting to receive so many differing opinions, especially when we try to remain open minded towards taking in different peoples ideas and beliefs.

Thanks, Ant. and Amanda.