SILVER SHADOW AND BENTLEY 'T' SERIES
Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and its Bentley counterpart the "T"
Series were introduced September and early October 1965.A much revised
version the Silver Shadow II and Bentley T2 were introduced in March 1977
STANDARD STEEL SALOON PRODUCTION
WHEEL BASE PRODUCTION
A trial batch of 10 LWB cars were produced in 1966-67
FOR SILVER SHADOW AND BENTLEY 'T' SERIES
Shadow & Bentley T Series introduced with 6.2 litre V8 engine, four
speed automatic transmission (three speed in LHD), disc brakes,
monocoque structure, all independent suspension
speed automatic transmission standardised for all markets
specification safety equipment with revised facia and instruments.
Picnic tables to rear deleted
capacity increased to 6.7 litres
front suspension and ventilated front disc brakes introduced
lengthened by 6mm; front track widened by 13mm to fit wider 235/70HR
15 tyres. Flared front wheel arches also introduced
delivered cars come with speedometer in KPH
OPUS electronic ignition introduced and compression ratio of Australian
delivered cars lowered to 7.3:1
Shadow II and Bentley T2 introduced with rack and pinion power steering
and automatic air conditioning system. Externally an air dam and
US style bumper bars distinguished this model from earlier cars.
Revised facia, twin exhausts and emission control carburettors.
LWB Shadow now called Silver Wraith II.
Shadow II, Silver Wraith II and Bentley T2 and T2 LWB discontinued
A SILVER SHADOW OR BENTLEY 'T' SERIES
good Silver Shadow or "T" Series makes a most relaxed and
reliable means of transport, however, these cars can be expensive to
restore so great care needs to be taken in selecting the right car.
Expert assistance should be sought before purchasing one of these cars.
The information below is not designed to take the place of expert advice,
but merely to help you narrow the field of cars you might be looking
at. A good service history is imperative for these cars.
The engine if properly serviced can give good service for many hundreds
of thousand kilometres. It is not absolutely silent. When the engine
is started after lying idle for some time there will be some noise until
the hydraulic tappets are pressurised. This is normal. If the noise
persists this may indicate worn tappets or problems with the hydraulic
system that operates the brakes and self-levelling system. Both can
be expensive to overhaul.
Oil leaks are quite common, often the result of over filling but can
be as simple as parking on a steep incline as there is no rear seal
on the crankshaft.
The early right hand drive Silver Shadows had a GM Hydramatic
four-speed gearbox which carried over (with some modification) from
the Silver Cloud III. Be wary of an uneven or lumpy gear change. The
parts for these gearboxes can be difficult to get and the cost of a
complete overhaul can be very expensive.
The later three-speed GM 400 Turbo is a very reliable unit and a much
cheaper proposition to overhaul as parts are readily available. This
gearbox will usually give a much longer service life than the earlier
four-speed 'box. The most common fault is a leak from the front pump
The hydraulic system is vital as it controls both the brakes and the
self levelling system. The hydraulic system is pressurised by two pumps
mounted one at each end of the engine. The pressure is stored in two
hydraulic accumulators. If these fail and the engine stalls you could
find yourself without brakes, which could send your blood pressure up
dramatically in a car weighing over two tons!
Check also the service records to see if the brake fluid (RR363) has
been replaced about annually and that hydraulic hoses have been replaced
at recommended intervals
Australian delivered cars will usually be relatively free of corrosion,
but cars imported from the UK or South East Asia may suffer from extensive
corrosion. The main areas to look at are:
a. Around the wheel arches
b. Under the carpets where moisture can rot out the floor panels
c. Bottom edges of the door trims - timber backing may be rotted.
d. In the boot in the area near the battery box
e. Under the carpet in the boot especially near the tyre pressure flap
for the spare tyre.
Note: Corrosion problems may not be the only issue
when buying an imported car as each state has its own requirements to
register them. It is wise to check these requirements very carefully
before buying an imported car which is not currently registered in Australia.
Suspension and Steering
The Silver Shadow was fitted initially with self levelling on both front
and rear suspension. The front suspension levelling contributed little
if anything to the car and was deleted in 1969 (from chassis number
SRH 7404). The rear self levelling was designed to work rapidly at rest
(to compensate for passenger entry/exit) and slowly when in motion (to
compensate for fuel use) It was never intended to compensate for sagging
rear springs although some owners have had the ride height adjusted
to do so rather than replace the rear springs. This imposes a greater
strain on the system components and is therefore undesirable.
Thuds from the rear end when accelerating can indicate worn torque arm
rubbers and front suspension bushes should be checked carefully.
The Series II cars are fitted with rack and pinion steering and the
rack can be prone to leaks. A small filter in the power steering line
can help to prolong the life of the unit considerably.
The information above has tended to concentrate on the problems to be
avoided in purchasing one of these cars. The Series II cars in particular
are very relaxing and satisfying cars to drive and not particularly
expensive to buy or maintain when compared to a modern car. It should
be remembered that the early cars are approaching 40 years old and will
inevitably require regular maintenance and repairs.The Rolls-Royce Owners'
Club offers associate membership to those looking to purchase a Rolls-Royce
or Bentley motor car. By attending Club events and talking to the owners
you can make an informed decision as to what model best suits your interests.