Good news - managed to start the 214 this afternoon, after a very slow, deliberate process of elimination over the last few days.
Yesterday I swapped out the new plugs for the old ones, made no difference. I replaced the king lead too as the one installed was a bit ropey. Got a good bargain off eBay, a set of new Bougicord HT leads for £7.47 which included the longer lead needed for those 214/414s that have the coil stuck behind the nearside headlight.
It turned out to be the ol' TADTS of a dodgy earth connection to the slam panel - so simple really. Unbolted it all, Brillo padded all the connectors and the nut, and bingo - started first time. For good measure I also gave the crank position sensor connector a squirt out with some contact cleaner.
The vibration is, of course, still there, but I've nailed that too - crack between the flexi pipe and the front section of the exhaust. May try a bodge job first with some bandage/paste, but hopefully the car will be pressed into daily duties soon so I can rest up the Streetwise and do all the bits I need to on that.
Now all I need to do is replace all the old bits I stuck back on during my elimination phase with the new bits - dizzy cap, rotor arm, spark plugs and I'll probably put the other Bougicords on for good measure. Also a nice new battery in there with much better CCA.
So close now....
1992 Rover 214SLi (Oct 2018->) status: broken 1996 Rover 620 Si auto (Jan 2019->) status: failed MOT; 2004 Rover Streetwise S (May 2017->) status: willing puppy/daily;
Historical choddage (stopped driving 1999-2016)
1969 VW Beetle 1300; 1977 Morris Marina 1.3 Super; 1983 Skoda Estelle 120L; 19can't remember: Rover Metro; Vauxhall Corsa; Vauxhall Cavalier ;
2001 Rover 45 V6 Connie (May to Oct 2018); 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser CRD Limited (Jan 18 to Jan 19 - roffled off here, now with fellow Shiter's missus here)