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Old 26th March 2019, 16:15   #1
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Default Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine

Manu is a very good friend of mine who inherited his father’s 1936 Rolls-Royce 25/30HP Thrupp & Maberly Limousine. Pics below are from over 15 years ago. Mr. Raman used to repair the car himself back in the day:

Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-rr.jpg

Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-rrr.jpg

It won the Best in Class – Pre-War Classic Rolls Royce during the Cartier Hyderabad event in 2017. More on this here. Since the Cartier event, the car was sent back to Mysore to Manu’s parental home, jacked up and garaged. Manu made it a point to take it out for a drive during his visit every other month. Since the Cartier event, the Rolls needed a routine service.

Kudos to KPS who egged him on and advised him on the restoration process. You can read a brief history about the car and the restoration process here (Classic Rolls Royces in India). I dare say that KPS and Christopher Rodericks (the restorer) know this car inside out thoroughly.

Last weekend, on a Saturday night, a gang of us decide to meet at the club. Manu tells me that he is taking Christopher over to Mysore to service the car the next day and invites me to tag along.

“Prepare to get down and dirty”

We leave at 6.00am. Manu was up since 5 since they needed to load up with the oil cans, tools, axle stands (I thought the Rolls was already jacked up!) and a trolley jack. The plan was to reach by 9, complete the service by 1 PM and return back at 2 PM. The drive was an interesting 3 hours in getting to know Chris, talking about the vintage car scene in India etc. A little past 9, we reach and after a quick coffee and freshen up get down to business. Meanwhile, the family's driver had uncovered the car and was getting it ready.

Note, due to the strong sunlight and the paucity of time, I did not get to take many external shots. I was focussing on assisting or observing the service and not on taking pics. Most of the pics are mainly about the oily bits!

Last edited by GTO : 30th April 2019 at 06:36.
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Old 26th March 2019, 16:22   #2
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Default re: Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine

It was time to connect the battery up which was located beneath the rear passenger compartment. Note the spanner box and provision for a safe box. One lifts the carpet and accesses the wooden hatch.

Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4409.jpg


The car was then “unjacked”. Unjacked? Yep, the Rolls has individual screw jacks. One under the front engine and two under each wheel. The objective is to reduce down time while on a journey. More on these convenience features as we go along. The jack handle is a simple geared device, one does not need biceps, all one does is lay your piece of Wilton carpet on the muddy surface, kneel down and hook the rod into the eye of the jack and you lightly rotate the handle with nary a struggle.

Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4408.jpg


The car is prepped and ready to start. Manu retrieves this hot old lady from within the house. She is also the radiator cap. Manu removes it for safekeeping when garaged.

Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4406.jpg

Chris walks around and finds certain parts of the engine compartment has spots of light oxidation. Rat Pee! While looking into the tool box under the compartment, we find obvious “solid” evidence of the rat’s presence. After a quick all-round check. Chris asks us to start the old girl and she starts on the first try.

It’s a Rolls, what do you expect!

We let it run for a minute in order to let the oil circulate. The engine runs smoothly although it sounds a little gravelly.


Last edited by ajmat : 29th April 2019 at 16:41.
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Old 26th March 2019, 16:23   #3
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Default re: Weekend Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25/30HP Thrupp & Maberly Limousine

Time for a trial run. Manu reverses it out and we hop in. Chris rides up front and I take the best seat of the house.

The Rear Seat.

The legroom is amazing, it beats the E Class hands down!

Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4415.jpg

No air conditioning so one winds down the windows, opens the three-quarter pane and relaxes in ones three-piece suit (after all, you would be changing suits at least twice a day!). Not shown are the accessories in the passenger compartment for powder puffs, makeup and cigar holders. These were removed for safekeeping.

The interiors have been retrimmed in green leather
Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4429.jpg

Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4431.jpg

Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4432.jpg

Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4437.jpg


The passenger compartment is complete with jump seats which retract into a cabinet. Best for those familiar with Indian toilets methinks!

Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4436.jpg

The ride is what you would expect in a leaf sprung carriage. The car is noisy by modern standards, but you feel no vibrations except a juddering when starting from first.

We tank her up. V-power Bekaaa? Alaa, Naarmaal petrol !

Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4416.jpg


Chris then takes the wheel for a while and I move to the passenger side. We then drive into the Mysore University campus. I then take over. Driver ergonomics was not a consideration. It was recommended that I slide across from the passenger side. I could see why!
Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4428.jpg

The lower part of the wheel imprints into my stomach. Not a car for pot bellied thugs! Steering wheel fairly advanced for its day. Dual horns - tap for a soft tone, press for a loud blast. Twiddle with the timing advance and yes, one can stiffen the suspension. DCC is old hat!

Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4438.jpg

The gear lever and handbrake are on the right. Before I take off, I familiarize myself. Gears are 4 on the floor within a gate (a la Ferrari which was then a glint in Enzo’s eye at that time!). No synchromesh on 1st and 2nd. I was also asked to note the fly-on/fly-off handbrake.

Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4440.jpg

The pedals were straight forward but the braking is an art. The foot brake was better for reducing speed and the handbrake was to be used when slowing down to a stop. . My right hand was going to be busier than my teenage days!

I gingerly engage 1st and the car shuddered like one does after the first kiss! She takes off and I slot into 2nd and she crashes, bit like your first argument. I get there after a bit of double declutching, getting into third was easy although the throw was long. It was predictable and not as vague as an XUV500!. You put the car into gear as opposed to smoothly guiding the lever in other cars. I made the mistake of trying to crash down into second gear at road humps. Later, I realized the old girl had enough torque at the low end.

Ergonomics are not a strong point but the number of controls are minimal. Note the indicator switch on the right. That is actually from a Bentley. One twiddles it right to turn left and vice versa. Great brain training exercise! Note the switch cluster, it is still a part of every Rolls Royce even today!

Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4439.jpg

The steering was hard work, in addition to muscles in your arms, you need muscles in your stomach, add to that a turning circle of a ship and you get the picture. It was a bit like dating that Shot Putt champion, a little tough to steer but she'll get you all the way!

Last edited by ajmat : 1st May 2019 at 12:20.
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Old 26th March 2019, 16:24   #4
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Default re: Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine

We return back. The grill which is integral of the radiator had a purplish tinge – do not touch. She was nice and hot.

We jacked her up and began to drain the oil out.
Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4421.jpg

4.2 Litre and 6 cylinders of Britains finest engineering (at the time!) revealed!
Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4424.jpg

Boo to all that electronic drive modes and ride controls. These linkages control control the distributor advance/retard as also the shock absorber fluid.
Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4441.jpg


The water pump in black. It is sealed with a combination of packing and grease. If the pump starts leaking, merely tighten the bolt and increase the pressure of the packing. Wish VW would do this for their 2.0 TDI engines!

Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4442.jpg

Chris then removed the plugs and inspected them. The first plug seemed get a bit more fuel dumped on it. All plugs were cleaned, and gaps reset. The coils sparks was checked. Believe it or not, this Rolls uses modern NGK plugs, the original plugs made it run rough and backfire! No one wants a flatulent dowager!

Next, the points were checked (not done that since my Ambassador days!) and cleaned them with a special paper. We helped turn the engine to TDC and while Chris adjusted the gap and timing. Once complete, it is time to address the rat problem. Chris applies polish on the engine and polishes the covers. Rats hate this apparently.

Chris then showed some of the convenience features and built in redundancy measures to avoid breakdowns.

Twin Coils – when one fails, merely unplug it and connect the other.

Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4423.jpg

A reel of fuse wire built into the fuse box

Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4449.jpg

Also to note were a spare set of points bolted in a compartment on the bulkhead and also twin fuel pumps

Chris then removed the wheels and check the bearings. Removing the wheels is another convenience feature. None of all that locating the studs and bolts, standing on the wheel brace, the stress, the cuss words!. Heck, you need not even touch the dirty bits!

You merely place the special tool on the central wheel hub and match the serrations, you tighten a small plunger to push the hub centre in. It disengages, merely twirl the tool and unscrew the hub off.



Chris checks the hub and brake drum.

Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4444.jpg

Note the thin profile and the fins. He coats the axle and the spindle lightly with the old oil to prevent surface corrosion. We repeat for the remaining wheels.

It is then time to replenish the oil. No need to get your hands dirty with dipstick. There is a meter on the block.

Empty and Full!
Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4445.jpg Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4447.jpg


We pour 7 litres of Shells finest fossil fluid and start her up. She is smooth as a nut. Manu and I take turns driving her around. Chris deemed her in good health and encouraged Manu to drive it on longer trips around and give it more of a challenge. (Manu was a bit scared to drive too far away in case anything happened!)

It was 12.30. Time to wrap up, have lunch with Manu's mother and return home.
Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4454.jpg

Driving the Rolls was an experience, people stop and wave, people take pictures and give you thumbs up. Traffic actually give way to you as a way of giving respect. Like a respected old lady, no one crowds you in unlike what happens to supercars. Again, this is Mysore!

We roll up and the car is prepared for storage. Although Manu lives in Bangalore, the car will remain in Mysore, that with its old buildings, less traffic, open roads, she is happiest over there.

It was a privilege to have piloted an icon and a pleasure to have met with Chris. Once again, thanks KPS for ensuring this beauty was resurrected into one of the best.

I always loved piloting an old Mercedes and using the bonnet star as the crosshair but nothing beats having a silver lady flying ahead of you.

Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4419.jpg

Last edited by ajmat : 29th April 2019 at 17:00. Reason: removed some extra spaces
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Old 29th April 2019, 17:00   #5
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Default re: Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine

Note from Moderator

Moving to Vintage Car and Classics - Pre-War Section

Last edited by ajmat : 29th April 2019 at 17:02.
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Old 29th April 2019, 21:33   #6
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Default re: Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
Last weekend, on a Saturday night, a gang of us decide to meet over a drink at the club. Manu tells me that he is taking Christopher over to Mysore to service the car the next day and invites me to tag along.

“Prepare to get down and dirty”
Wow, nice thread! Not everyone gets a chance to "spanner" a Vintage Rolls.

Thanks Ajmat for the lovely pics as well

Best Regards & Drive Safe

Ram

Last edited by ajmat : 30th April 2019 at 11:43. Reason: correcting my name!
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Old 30th April 2019, 09:57   #7
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Default re: Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine

Simple, straight & best narrative with photos that just do enough justice to the car.
However I could not understand the screw JACK. Are they permanently welded to frame?
Manu/Chris should try tobacco stuffed in old socks to keep rats at bay. It kind-a works.

Though Ajmat has clarified but we still cannot enough on photos.
Those tail-lights looks so puny for car that size.
That steering side shot will be my phone wallpaper for sometime to come.

Raab Rakha
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Old 30th April 2019, 11:47   #8
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Simple, straight & best narrative with photos that just do enough justice to the car.
However I could not understand the screw JACK. Are they permanently welded to frame?
Manu/Chris should try tobacco stuffed in old socks to keep rats at bay. It kind-a works.

Though Ajmat has clarified but we still cannot enough on photos.
Those tail-lights looks so puny for car that size.
That steering side shot will be my phone wallpaper for sometime to come.

Raab Rakha
There are 3 screwjacks welded under the chassis. I did not examine them closely but my guess is that they fold up flat. We used a trolley jack during the service.

We used polish for the engine and all us non-smokers did not know where to find a pouch of tobacco on a Sunday morning!

The lights are puny as they tend to interrupt the lines of the car. Nowadays, it is quite the opposite!
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Old 30th April 2019, 11:56   #9
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Default re: Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine

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Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
It was a privilege to have piloted an icon and a pleasure to have met with Chris. Once again, thanks KPS for ensuring this beauty was resurrected into one of the best.
Thanks ajmat for sharing your experience. Full credit to Manu and his mother for taking up the responsibility of bring back this car to its glory. I was just the motivator.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ariesonu View Post
However I could not understand the screw JACK. Are they permanently welded to frame?
Raab Rakha

Yes Sonu, these jacks are permanently fixed to the frame. Two jack in the rear for each wheel and one in the front.

Here is a picture of the front jack on my Daimler, which has the similar system. I have marked the jack for easy identification
Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4104.jpg

Hope this clears your doubts.

Thanks

KPS
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Old 30th April 2019, 13:02   #10
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Default re: Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine

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Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
We used polish for the engine and all us non-smokers did not know where to find a pouch of tobacco on a Sunday morning!
Rubber over wires is an attraction for rats & they can/will chew through anything. RR engine bay is no-nonsense but has thick wires running around.
I recently tried a thick cloth based electrical tape (procured from a sub-station / no brand) on my Fiats & so far results are satisfactory. Though the wires have now become little less amiable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KPS View Post
Yes Sonu, these jacks are permanently fixed to the frame. Two jack in the rear for each wheel and one in the front.
Hope this clears your doubts.
Crystal clear KPS. Such simple innovations & I recently struggled for 45 minutes to get the Innova spare tyre freed, not to mention puny jack provided there-along. I will reserve my comments as I cannot say that accompanied jack was original or not.

I may sound greedy but didn't you all took one last shot with RR, before journey back home.

Raab Rakha.
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Old 30th April 2019, 14:04   #11
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Default Re: Weekend Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25/30HP Thrupp & Maberly Limousine

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Originally Posted by ajmat View Post

The Rear Seat.

The legroom is amazing, it beats the E Class hands down!



The interiors have been retrimmed in green leather
The foot brake was better for reducing speed and the handbrake was to be used when slowing down to a stop. . My right hand was going to be busier than my teenage days!
What a car!
Hats off to you Ajmat for penning such a beautiful write-up!

And as for this, 'My right hand was going to be busier than my teenage days!'
I feel that this sentence should be out of jurisdiction of rule no 8


Cheers,

AB
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Old 30th April 2019, 15:11   #12
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Default Re: Weekend Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25/30HP Thrupp & Maberly Limousine

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Originally Posted by coriollis View Post
What a car!
Hats off to you Ajmat for penning such a beautiful write-up!

And as for this, 'My right hand was going to be busier than my teenage days!'
I feel that this sentence should be out of jurisdiction of rule no 8


Cheers,

AB
I'm actually left handed. Yes, the teenage days were quite some time back, no cars, riding was restricted to cycles and having to use those cycle pumps.
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Old 30th April 2019, 15:30   #13
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Default re: Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine

lovely car! Great to see you all tinkering with it. Very basic engineering, but some of it pretty advanced for its time.

Keep it up!

Jeroen
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Old 30th April 2019, 15:54   #14
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Default re: Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine

As usual a beautiful write up for a beautiful car from you, Ajit.

A small question and maybe KPS can answer this better. Are these tail lamps from Rolls Royce or they are from (1956/57?) Morris Minor?

Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine-img_4454.jpg
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Old 30th April 2019, 16:14   #15
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Default re: Sunday Spannering with a 1936 Rolls-Royce 25 / 30 HP Limousine

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Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
A small question and maybe KPS can answer this better. Are these tail lamps from Rolls Royce or they are from (1956/57?) Morris Minor?
Spot On. These Lucas glass lenses were also used in the Morris Minor. That is why they are very expensive.

It must be noted that for Rolls Royces, the body was built by different but specialist body builders, who had their own individual styles. So tail lights would depend on the option taken by the specialist body builder based on the build lines.

Cheers

KPS
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