Rolls-Royce Phantom III - cross-shaft removal


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R-R PIII - removing cross-shaft

The secret revealed

Given the reliance on special tools for every other operation on this engine it is surprising how agricultural is the method for extracting this precision gear set.   The picture on the left shows the cross-shaft half way through being withdrawn.


  • Having removed the screw-in plug from either side of the shaft cavity next pull out the split-pin and undo the nut from each end of the shaft.
  • Screw a flat ended nut onto the 'A' (off side) end of the shaft until it is flush with the end of the thread.
  • Using a soft (eg copper) 0.5" diameter drift and a good hammer, give a sharp tap on the 'A' end of the shaft in line with its axis; this should release the gear from its taper by slightly displacing the shaft.
  • Remove the nut, gear and spacing washer.
  • Use the hammer and drift to drive the shaft through to the 'B' side of the engine.   The 'B' side spacing tube and collars will be driven out by the centre gear locknut.

This picture shows the shaft half way out; the centre gear being above and to the right of the camshaft.

R-R PIII - Distributor drive cross-shaft


The cross-shaft components.  The 'A' side spacing tube is still in the block.  The 'B' side spacing tube is a one-piece assembly with the two machined end disks.  The Woodruff key has been removed from the shaft for safe keeping.

R-R PIII - cross-shaft spacer Centre cam driven gear and 'B' side distributor drive gear separated by the spacer tube - all covered in years' worth of stubborn oil slime.
R-R PIII - cross-shaft centr gear The centre gear lock nut, which is situated on the 'B' side of the gear, is held in place by a tab washer.
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