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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.



Suitable Lubricants


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


Castrol Valvemaster.



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).



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