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Brian Vogel
Grand Master
Username: guyslp

Post Number: 1805
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Tuesday, 29 December, 2015 - 05:10 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hello All,

This is a general call for help in saving someone I don't even know, who doesn't even post here (at least not yet) from himself and his fantasies related to a 1992 Silver Spirit that was flooded and where the water reached to about the middle of the steering wheel. I know some participants here also post on rollsroyceforums.com and that's where this quixotic quest has revealed itself. See the thread Unlocking transmission... for the reveal on the extent of flooding.

I've been through one actual major flood and seen what happens when cars flooded far less severely than this one get passed off either as though they had never been flooded or as "fixable." I've never seen one that was.

If anyone's either been there, done that, and can warn this guy or even has "been near, seen that" and can reinforce what a fool's errand this is please have at it. I hate to see someone go down this road only to absolutely hate the fact that they did later, particularly if no one warned them. If they ignore the warnings, well . . .

If someone's got a complete counterargument to my position I'd also welcome hearing that either here, there, or both. I just have never heard of a car that had flooding anywhere much above the floor, at most, being realistically salvageable.

Brian
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 1867
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Tuesday, 29 December, 2015 - 06:57 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

All vehicles made after electronic door locks and electric windows were made standard fittings are very prone to water-affected electrical components especially the engine management systems if the vehicle is subject to flood damage. The cost of replacing these and other vehicle components is often more than the market value of the vehicle and they are usually "written-off" by the insurers. If the owner has a policy that allows "retention of wreck", unscrupulous characters might retain the car and attempt to sell it to an unsuspecting purchaser. Is there a register of "written-off" vehicles in the country where the car involved is located as these can be the "kiss-of-death" as far as future purchasers of the car are concerned?

My advice is the flood car is purely a future source of mechanical and body spare parts with the electrical components being scrap value only.
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Brian Vogel
Grand Master
Username: guyslp

Post Number: 1807
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Tuesday, 29 December, 2015 - 09:07 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

David,

The individual I refer to lives in or near Lancashire, UK.

It is clear that the car was not misrepresented to him, as he stated in his introductions there that he'd purchased a car that had been in a flood. What he hadn't revealed until this afternoon is just how deep that water had been.

I've already declared that he needs to consider, very, very, carefully whether it makes any sense to do what he thinks he can do, but I'm hoping that some others on those forums (and the "dual participators" who post here and there) will jump in and reinforce that.

This is one case where an insurance company's decision to declare the car a total loss makes absolute sense. It could be a great parts car, but never a viable transportation appliance again (at least not with anything that could vaguely be classified as "reasonable effort").

Brian

P.S.: If I may copy and paste you there, either with or without attribution [your preference] let me know. If it's OK I will.
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Robert Noel Reddington
Grand Master
Username: bob_uk

Post Number: 817
Registered: 5-2015
Posted on Tuesday, 29 December, 2015 - 10:28 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

With flood water comes mud which gets in every thing. I have seen mud between the roof and roof lining. These cars are worthless except for parts. Buying a car and thinking it will be ok after cleaning is madness. Mud in the engine gearbox and final drive. If the engine was running then the rods will be bent. Then there's the smell.
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Christian S. Hansen
Prolific User
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 118
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Tuesday, 29 December, 2015 - 01:26 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Brian...
From the very first time that I posted on the US forum years ago and you replied, it was obvious to me that you are by nature one of the most helpful persons out there, but I suggest that there are limits. Common sense dictates that this "revival effort" is a fool's errand. Problem is that stupid is as stupid does, and you cannot argue with stupid people because they are very experienced (at being stupid) and will beat you up with their experience (since you have essentially none in that realm). Just tell the guy that it is a waste of time and money and to proceed based on his expectations. If he wants a decent driveable RR, then he has made an error with this purchase and instead should simply buy one in decent running shape. On the other hand, if he is a dismantler and intends to sell parts, then this purchase will perhaps pay out over time. I have personal eperience with parting out a "beyond repair" XKE Jaguar and in the end realized multiples of what it was worth "as is"...discounting of course the hassle and time and having to deal with assorted purchasers on my property, etc, etc.
Give him the advice and walk away. I'm just saying.
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Brian Vogel
Grand Master
Username: guyslp

Post Number: 1808
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Tuesday, 29 December, 2015 - 01:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Christian,

I shall simply say that this person strikes me as overenthusiastic and naive. I have no intent of trying to convince him, per se, but it helps to hear the same message from multiple sources when you're in that weird state of rapture that the false belief that you can revive a car that's truly dead can bring to the uninitiated.

Give the advice and walk away is precisely my intent.

Brian, who knows better than to believe you can persuade those who are resistant to reason
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Christian S. Hansen
Prolific User
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 119
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Tuesday, 29 December, 2015 - 03:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I wonder what sort of sales presentation was used...that it had a "most rare, unusual, and extraordinary aquatic patina"??!!
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Christian S. Hansen
Prolific User
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 120
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Tuesday, 29 December, 2015 - 03:58 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

P.S. I would certainly apologize to anyone who feels that my assessment may indeed have been too harsh and without complete knowledge of the circumstances, wonder what the fellow paid for the vehicle, and can appreciate that Rolls-Royce has a lure much like the Sirens calling to sailors at sea. On the other hand, 1992 models in similar mileage range (35,000-50,000 miles) are available in the $15K to $30K range (two on EBay at this moment) and given what even a talented DIY "restoration" is likely to cost in time, $$$, and effort, once all is said and done, and even if the fellow is marginally successful, I can imagine that he will have more than those purchase amounts invested. While anything can be done, the issue is practicality...financial and time. I can imagine that he will waste at least this much trying to "save money".
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David Gore
Moderator
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 1868
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Tuesday, 29 December, 2015 - 04:33 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Brian,

I have no objection to your attribution as my comments are already in the public domain.

I overlooked including further comments regarding the effects of floodwater on air bag and seat belt sensors and the airbags themselves - while this does not apply to the car referred to in the post, it certainly applies to more recent models of all vehicles due to the mandatory fitment of airbags and seat belt pre-tensioners. The cost of replacing these critical items is not cheap and I often see vehicles with relatively minor crash damage and activated air bags delivered to a local wrecker that would have been repaired before air bags became compulsory but are now written-off by insurers as they are uneconomic to repair.
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Brian Vogel
Grand Master
Username: guyslp

Post Number: 1809
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Wednesday, 30 December, 2015 - 12:35 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thanks to all for your input.

One additional piece of information that came out this morning is that this car had belonged to this individual's father and had been purchased as a retirement present for himself and was given to him by his father after having been totaled by the insurance company.

The sentimental attachment part makes the unlikelihood of success of this project break my heart even more.

At this point I have offered my assessment there and pointed him to this thread should he wish to review it.

He is now fully forewarned and if he decides to move forward he has definitely been clearly told what he's actually going to be getting into, which was my one and only objective. This is a situation where a line from one of my favorite songs by The Bangles applies: When it's over, when it's done, let it go. [but another line in the same song is equally false: What is lost can always be regained.]

Brian
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Randy Roberson
Grand Master
Username: wascator

Post Number: 603
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Wednesday, 30 December, 2015 - 02:19 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I looked at a Shadow which was inundated by Hurricane Katrina to the bottom of the speedometer. $6800 asked. It was bought at an insurance auction. At the time I was considering buying a dead car just to learn about, but I decided it was no fun spending time and effort on a parts car. Also, nothing had been done to remove water from the engine etc. It did not stink nor have any mud in it; nevertheless I passed. It was a Shadow II, silver with a red interior, in case you bought it...
I agree with the majority opinion here: a fool's errand; however, he got it free and if he understands what he is doing, let him try it. At least he will learn a lot. Who knows? He can sell it to a dismantler once he gets tired of it.
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Jonas TRACHSEL
Frequent User
Username: jonas_trachsel

Post Number: 73
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Wednesday, 30 December, 2015 - 04:52 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I know of two cars sucessfully resuscitated after severe water damage, both pre-WW2 models. These are obviously easier to revitalise, as they do not contain so much electrical/electronic stuff.
- That well-known 20/25 HP, rebodied by Hermann Graber as a drophead, restored a few years ago to show-winning condition and auctioned off recently. This car went off the road in an accident before WW2 and ended in the lake Geneva. Proof that it was repaired at the time is its existence today. I have seen photographs of this Graber drophead being winched out of the lake, but cannot lay hands on them at the moment, probably in an older RREC Bulletin.
- A 20 HP doctors convertible coupe with dickey of 1929 vintage was totally rebuilt following a flood up 'til the ammeter on 22.08.2005 at a cost of 250k Swiss Francs. The insurance was reported to cover a value of 300k Swiss Francs pre-flood. I still have the detailed report out of the Swiss "Automobil-Revue" of 23.01.2009 to document it.
I know, these are two exceptional cases, not to be compared with the 1992 Silver Spirit.
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Brian Vogel
Grand Master
Username: guyslp

Post Number: 1810
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Wednesday, 30 December, 2015 - 04:59 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Jonas,

Still interesting, and the second one proves my point as far as I'm concerned.

The good news is that the person I posted about has received, and I believe accurately processed, the message but has elected to go forward anyway but with the knowledge that he may very promptly discover (or not so very promptly, but may still discover) it's a no win situation.

Since my only concern was that this not be undertaken in a state of giddy blindness that concern has been assuaged. People have every right to make choices I wouldn't, and I intend to try to be as helpful to him as I can when questions arise regardless of how I personally feel about the likely outcome of the project.

Brian
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Robert Noel Reddington
Grand Master
Username: bob_uk

Post Number: 823
Registered: 5-2015
Posted on Friday, 01 January, 2016 - 10:48 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Floodwater also gets mixed up with sewage. Also was it sea water. I wonder if when the wood dries out will the veneer hold.

In the UK a written off vehicle is recorded as such at the DVLA. This endorsement cannot be removed. Also the car will have to be vehicle identity check. VIC testing. This is to stop a foot pad from cloning a stolen Spirit. The endorsement lowers the value by loads. Add the cost of the repairs and the money side makes no sense. In the end this car is going to cost more than another car of the same pre flooded condition. I suspect that when the car is driven things like rear wheel bearings which felt OK will start to fail. By this stage one is too deep.

Also remember a conversation I had with Dave Gore about a Porsche 911 that caught fire due to water ingress in the seat electrics. It may be ok when first sparked up but it could have a slow short gradually getting hot.

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