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Mercedade's Rover 820 Vitesse Lux


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May 2020

I don't like the late 800 dashboard - it's a great big expanse of vinyl and the 23 year old passenger airbag wastes all useable space.

I found a guy selling in Leeds selling off his spares, which included an early Mk2 dashboard with a passenger shelf rather than airbag.

Prepare to meet thy doom


*waves cheerily* hi there!


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Lots and lots and lots of unbolting later





This bit was actually quite straightforward, and refitting the new one would only end up being a pain because plastic glued together in 1993 wasn't as strong nearly 30 years later.

eg - this bastard hold the climate control unit in place (heater sliders on the old dash)


I tried some home-bodge plastic welding, using a couple of cable ties for sacrificial material, which worked OK, but only up to a point


In then end, screws were involved.

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Whilst I had the dash out, I wanted to resolve a long standing irritation. The clutch pedal locating hole for the clutch master cylinder had started to oval out over 145k miles. This gave about an inch of useless travel when pressing the clutch, and a terrible pedal feel. When I pulled the pedal out, I could see that someone had been there before, seemingly with an angle grinder.


 I ummed and ahhed a bit before stumbling across a Facebook post where someone explained how they'd resleeved the hole on theirs with a brass bush. So off to Trafford Park to have a scout round people who might sell that kind of thing...



Lovely! I did have to drill out the existing hole a little, but that pressed in brilliantly with a socket and some grips.

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June-ish 2020

It was time to sort out the number plates and get some old skool vibes going on. I was struggling at the time to get dealer plates or branded Rover plates (since the demise of DMB), so just wanted the correct font at least





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June 2020 still

Saggy bumpers

Every Rover 800 owner at some point will probably have to deal with sagging bumpers, loosely flapping away from the body work. It's caused by the bumper brackets rusting and opening up


So it was time to get them off, replace the brackets, and refit:



Whilst I was under the front bumper, I also replaced the rear washer pump and blasted the line through with air from my tyre pump


And I bought some socks for my eventual return to the office.

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September 2020

On a drive to Wales during that oh-so-brief window when holidays were allowed, I noticed the car was running cool on the motorway. The stat was no more than a year old, but maybe it was toast?

When I got the thermostat housing opened up (always a massive fear, they're thin aluminium and the bolts holding the crown down are always corroded - I was lucky, but it was close. I was lucky I had a spare bolt as the head got ruined taking it off during the head swap), I found a weird thing.


That rubber seal (which looks suspiciously like an oil seal from somewhere) was wedged, trapping the stat open. I have no idea how the car operated perfectly for nearly 10 months, and then that oil seal shifted into a position where it stopped the car warming up properly. The seal must have fallen in during the rebuild, but that could have been a total disaster!


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