Lubrication & Maintenance of the Rolls-Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost
You never really own a Silver Ghost but simply care for it and hand it over the next generation.
Following this Service Schedule will ensure your car is in good order in another 100 years time!
Daily or Every 250 miles
Check fuel level in tank, typical range 160 - 180 miles (carry 2 galls spare fuel).
Check engine oil level by opening nearside chassis mounted tap, on level ground. Add engine oil from spare can (keep chassis mounted spare oil tank for back-up). Few cars have dip sticks.
Overfill engine oil by approximately 1 pint if daily mileage is expected to exceed 250 miles.
Lubricate engine valve guides and tappets with engine oil and/or add 1 pint of two stroke oil to each 20 gallons of petrol.
Lubricate cardon shaft (clutch to gearbox universal joint). Depress clutch and turn clutch cone until oil hole or plug on cardon shaft are uppermost. Apply approximately one egg cup full of gear oil.
Lubricate transmission sphere. Add approximately 1/4 pint of gear oil.
Lubricate centre torque tube bearing. Add approximately one egg cup full of gear oil.
Lubricate prop-shaft joints on open prop-shaft cars with gear oil.
Check radiator correct coolant level is approximately 4" from top face of filler neck.
Inspect tyres for damage and check pressures.
Beaded edge wheels (895 x 135 or 935 x 135) 60 to 65 psi.
Straight sided wheels (33 x 5) 55 to 60 psi.
Well based wheels (21 x 7) 35 to 40 psi.
Note: Depending on weight and loading of car.
Visually check engine and underside of car for excessive leaks, etc.
Weekly or Every 500 miles
In addition to previous:
Lubricate magneto drive brake and magneto driveshaft universal joints with few drops of gear oil.
Lubricate distributor governor housing & air pump with few drops of engine oil.
Lubricate distributor oiler with few drops of engine oil.
Lubricate fan oiler with few drops of gear oil.
Screw both water pump greasers in one or two flats and check tightness of gland nut by hand.
Lubricate water pump drive coupling with gear oil.
Lubricate steering box. Remove cover plate. Apply gear oil up to level of housing.
Lubricate upper steering column thrust bearing with a few drops of gear oil.
Check clutch lubrication. There should be approximately one egg-cup full of oil visible in the clutch cone well.
If insufficient (judder noticeable while reversing) add engine oil or ATF. If excessive (clutch slipping and difficulty engaging first gear) drain or remove excess oil with syringe.
Lubricate clutch thrust bearing with a few drops of gear oil.
Lubricate starter motor clutch and chain with a few drops of gear oil.
Check for major oil leaks: gearbox, axle, etc. If apparent, check levels.
Ensure battery fully charged, particularly trembler battery (if fitted).
Clean carburettor with carb cleaner or WD40 and soft rag. Remove float lid, blow out float bowel and jets.
Dismantle and clean air valve (do not use abrasives or metal polish).
Monthly or Every 1,000 miles
In addition to previous:
Lubricate radiator and front engine mounting points with gear oil.
Check and correct engine oil level in chassis mounted spare oil tank.
Check and correct gearbox oil level with gear oil. (Level should be approximately 1.5” deep in bottom of gearbox or 6” down from top cover). Consult handbook as levels vary with different series of cars.
Check and correct rear axle oil level with gear oil.
Check rear brake drum oil drain tubes are clear of debris.
Do not overfill Gearbox or Transmission. Excess oil from sphere and prop-shaft centre bearing will cause oil to run into final drive. This is not of particular concern as it should exit via drain tubes in brake drum drain tubes, however occasionally it may be necessary to reduce the oil level in the final drive unit.
Clean and re-pack water pump grease caps with Castrol Water Pump Grease.
Check fan belt and adjust as necessary.
Check dynamo belt and adjust as necessary.
On original Whittle drive belts (fan and dynamo) lubricate swivel link joints with engine oil or WD40 and wipe off excess and clean.
Check clutch fork clearance (1/4”) and adjust if necessary.
Check clutch brake clearance (1/16”) and adjust if necessary.
Clutch clearance at pedal: Not less than ½" and not more than 1" pedal clearance with floorboards in place.
Check handbrake and adjust if necessary (see Rolls-Royce manual).
Check transmission brake when fitted and adjust if necessary. Take care not to have too tight as the brake drum expands when hot.
Check and adjust foot brake using knurled knob on driver side chassis rail (if no adjustment left consult Rolls-Royce manual for correct bake adjustment).
Check antifreeze strength (ratio antifreeze to water, Summer 1:3, Winter 1:1).
Service battery as necessary.
Annually or Every 2,500 miles
In addition to previous:
Renew engine oil and clean sump filter. Release timing cover drain plug, overfill engine oil by 1 pint to refill timing cover.
Clean and check sparking plugs (advisable to renew) Champion D16 or NGK AB6 or equivalent.
Sparking plug gaps:
Battery ignition plug gap 0.025". Battery plugs over inlet valves.
Magneto ignition plug gap 0.020". Magneto plugs over exhaust valves (or intermediate positions).
Check contact breaker points (advisable to renew). Magneto contact breaker points gap 0.015".
Battery Ignition Distributor contact breaker point gap 0.020".
Distributor Trembler Coil contact breaker points gap 0.018” to 0.020”.
Note: Contact Breaker Points and Magneto Points are Platinum plated and should not be cleaned to the detriment of the plating otherwise poor contact and performance will result.
Clean distributor cap. Distributor cap segment clearances 0.004" (check for run out marks on inside of cap).
Check and adjust valve clearances, piston at TDC, cold 0.004". Firing order: 1 4 2 6 3 5 (no1 cylinder at front of engine).
Check magneto contact breaker points (advisable to renew).
Check trembler coil if fitted.
Clean and adjust contact points (advisable to renew).
Note: Do not disturb any settings unless it is necessary to correct poor performance.
Release fuel tank drain plug to remove any debris or water.
Clean fuel tank filter.
Lubricate all chassis oilers including springs, shackles, brake shafts, linkages, steering joints and kingpins with gear oil.
Bi-Annually or Every 5,000 miles
In addition to previous:
Remove brake drums to check brake drums and shoes for wear or glazing, clean any oil or brake dust.
Adjust foot and handbrake as detailed in manual.
Remove front hubs and clean and replace bearings with Castrol High Temperature Bearing Grease.
Engine Oil, Castrol Classic 20w/50 (worn engines, Castrol Classic GP50)
Gear Oil, Castrol EP90 (worn transmissions, Castrol EP140)
Engine Valve Guides and Tappets, Engine Oil,
Distributor Governor Housing, Engine Oil
Distributor, Engine Oil
Magneto, Engine Oil
Magneto Drive Brake, Gear Oil
Magneto Drive Shaft Joints, Gear Oil
CB Point Mechanisms, Castrol Spheerol SX2 Grease
Fan Bearings, Gear Oil
Fan Belt, lubricate with engine oil or WD40 and wipe off residue
Water Pump, Castrol Water Pump Grease
Water Pump Drive Coupling, Gear Oil
Clutch Housing, Engine Oil or ATF
Clutch Thrust Bearing, Gear Oil
Cardon Shaft, Gear Oil
Gearbox, Gear Oil
Sphere, Gear Oil
Prop-shaft Centre Bearing, Gear Oil
Prop-shaft Joints (Open Shaft Cars) Gear Oil
Final Drive (Rear Axle) Gear Oil
Steering Box, Gear Oil or Millers Worm Steering Box Oil
Steering Column Thrust Race, Gear Oil
Steering Joints and King Pins, Gear Oil
Road Springs, Gear Oil
Spring Shackles, Gear Oil
Rear Spring Rollers, Gear Oil
External Surfaces, Links and Pins, Gear Oil
Torque Arms, Gear Oil
Shock Absorber Leathers, Engine Oil
Shock Absorber Links, Gear Oil
Brake Equalisers and Shafts, Gear Oil
Starting Handle & Radiator Mounts, Gear Oil
Gear Lever & Hand Brake, Gear Oil
Wheel Bearings, Castrol High Temperature Bearing Grease
Wheel Hubs and Splines, Castrol Spheerol SX2 Grease
Control Linkages, Engine Oil
Brake Clevises, Gear Oil
Starter Motor, Gear Oil
Starter Motor Reduction Gear and Chain, Gear Oil
Dynamo Oilers, Engine Oil
Dynamo Drive Belt (Whittle Type) Engine Oil or WD40
Dynamo Sprag Clutch, Engine Oil
Battery Terminals, Castrol Spheerol SX2 Grease
Klaxon Horn, Engine Oil
Mechanical Air Pump, Engine Oil
Hand Air Pump, Engine Oil
Door Bonnet Hinges and Locks, Engine Oil
General Purpose Lubrication, Castrol Spheerol SX2 Grease
Bluecol, blue Ethylene Glycol antifreeze at a ratio of: Summer 1:3, Winter 1:1
Note: A greater cooling effect will be noticed when using pure rainwater or distilled water.
Lead Replacement Fuel Additive
Oils Viscosity Equivalent Chart
ISO (International Standard Organization),
SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers).
Viscosity ISO Grade SAE Engine Equivalents SAE Gear Oil Equivalents
ISO GRADE 32 10W
ISO GRADE 46 20W
ISO GRADE 68 25W
ISO GRADE 100 30W
ISO GRADE 150 40W 80/90
ISO GRADE 220 50W 90
ISO GRADE 320 -- 90/110
ISO GRADE 460 -- 120/140
ISO GRADE 680 -- 140/160
These notes have been compiled for owners operating British cars in Great Britain. In the case of Springfield cars operating in the U.S.A. or other parts of the World certain settings will vary and lubricants stated may not be available. While most of the instructions apply, in certain areas we recommend you consult the relevant owner’s handbook.
Note: The UK pint is 20 fluid ounces, while the US pint is only 16 fl oz. The British Imperial pint is 568.261 ml (20 fluid ounces), while the US Customary pint is 473.176 ml (16 fl oz). The British Imperial quart is 1.13 litres (40 fl oz), while the US Customary quart is 0.94 litres (32 fl oz).