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Clayts' Rover rammel and a Honda coupe - Shear excitement 11Aug19

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With the recent addition of the 420 to the fleet it's high time I started a project thread devoted to all four Rovers.

 

I've done some half-hearted attempts in the past, then done a few updates on the News 24 as and when I remembered.

 

Today will be an intro to the fleet only with a little potted history about things wot I've done, and then I'll aim to be more blog-like in my approach to my skillful* fettling.

 

So without further ado, welcome to the fleet.

 

2004 Streetwise S - purchased May 2017

 

post-20951-0-44410000-1556138586_thumb.jpg

 

It was a toss up between this and a top spec K11 Micra, but this won the day. This car marked my return behind the wheel after almost 18 years and thus was a monumental step forward for me.

 

I'd given up driving mainly because public transport is so good in Nottingham but when my parents relocated to Newmarket from St Albans, the train journey to Suffolk was ridiculously long-winded and incorporated 55 minute waits at Cambridge to catch the connecting train to Newmarket, so enough was enough.

 

Purchased from a shady man in East Leake ('which car ?' when I rang up) who was dealing from his front garden, this Streetwise stole my heart from day one. Annoyingly I missed out on getting it for £250 when this guy bought it and flipped it, and span a tale of a part exchange in Manchester where his old car lot had been. I wanted to call bullshit, but the price was right, £420 exchanged hands, and this came home with me.

 

There were some issues, notably no horn nor rear fog lights (fucked Pektron BCU) but that aside, this car has wanted nothing other than consumables (tyres, exhaust, brake pads) and has never FTP (apart from user error - leaving the boot open and the dashcam on drained the battery on two occasions). The willing puppy and commutawagon, until recently this has always been my goto car, which I can always rely upon.

 

It will continue to serve as commutawagon, not least due to its petiteness which ensures parking is easy, and its miserly fuel sipping.

 

 

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1992 Rover 214 SLi - purchased October 2018

 

post-20951-0-90086800-1556139208_thumb.jpg

 

http://autoshite.com/topic/33469-1992-rover-214-sli-good-vibrations/

 

A Sunday night eBay auction bid in the last 10 seconds saw me the proud owner finally of an R8 for £301.99

 

The advert was minimalist to say the least, with the seller advising he was selling it because he'd bought it off someone who failed to disclose it was a Cat C.

 

Low mileage and impeccable MoT history led me to my most foolish and impetuous purchase of all time (well, actually the £100 Skoda Estelle probably wins that one) and so off to Barnsley I went to pick it up after work one cold October evening.

 

Never buy a car in the dark or in the rain. Fail on both counts. To be fair, the seller was a genuine enough bloke and admitted he'd been flipping cars for a few years. He provided some reasonable documents and said he felt a fool for buying a Cat C and just wanted rid. I later discovered he made a £150 loss on this car, so it was clear he was desperate to get rid.

 

The car was a total nail, but I will always honour any blind purchase (there's been a few) so, gulping nervously, I nursed the shuddering wreck back home to Nottingham, shitting my pants because (1) there was but a wisp of petrol vapour in the tank and (2) the car vibrated like a bucking bronco. I misfired and spluttered all the way home via much needed fuel stop and, once past the 0-2000rpm range, the old girl coped admirably on the M1 and was happy zipping along at 70-80.

 

This car currently sits in the 'ornament' category and has barely been used in anger. I've managed to resolve a fair few issues already, but it needs some money spending (new exhaust etc) and I'm in no hurry. This really is the true definition of project and I'm hoping, Broxtowe Council pending, to shove it in a garage and forget about it for a few years.

 

 

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1996 Rover 620 Si Auto - purchased January 2019

 

post-20951-0-80096000-1556139884_thumb.jpg

 

http://autoshite.com/topic/34223-clayts-rover-620si-271-400-miles-two-days-its-a-good-un/

 

Another eBay purchase but this time just down the road in Hucknall, I actually did go to see this one before bidding. I think the fact I took the time out to do so won me over as the family, already experiencing the high quality* calibre of eBay winning bidders, elected to sell it to me rather than the winning bidder (they made out it was undriveable) and for the ridiculously low sum of £230.

 

Okay, it had real issues, the power steering leak being the biggest problem. My trials and tribulations and bodged attempts at fixing were covered in News 24, but irrespective of the leak it was pressed into service immediately and I soon learned to love its charms.

 

The car inevitably failed the test in March, but 4 weeks later it has a shiny new ticket and it was all my own work which gained that certificate which makes it the first car ever that I've not scrapped after a horrible fail. Cost of getting parts to get it through the MoT came to £77, well worth it for another year's bargey waftiness.

 

A great long distance cruiser, ridiculously comfortable, and also surprisingly rare on the road, this fully resprayed and gorgeous looking beast is my number one go to car for the 'commute' to the parents.

 

Is likely to disappear off to Chesterfield for a month or two to help out a friend and colleague in need, but will be displayed at FOTU this year, much to the approval of the Facebook 600 appreciation society - truly unexceptional, but deffo a car which is rapidly declining in number and spottage.

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1994 Rover 420 SLi - purchased April 2019

 

post-20951-0-77372300-1556140402_thumb.jpg

 

I admitted to flat4alfa on Saturday that I'd coveted this car ever since he did his collection thread. When he came to sell it I was not financially able to buy outright as I probably would have done and thus had to settle for a random roffle ticket which, unsurprisingly, failed to nail me the winning prize.

 

Good timing and a desperate lucky* winner saw me engaged in immediate negotiations, and the collection was hurriedly arranged to free up some front garden/road/street corner space for flat4alfa due to some twitching curtains. To say I got a bloody good deal is an understatement, and it was clearly a wrench for flat4alfa having to part company with her.

 

I dutifully promised to look after the old girl, and as soon as I set off I immediately realised I'd got the car I'd been looking for all this time. No word of a lie, this car is me all over - everything is just so right - Nightfire Red, leather, sunroof, sweet T-series engine, low down grunt - there is nothing not to like. It's perfect (almost) in every way.

 

There really is nothing but minor improvements needed to this car thanks to impeccable previous Shite-ownership, and some basic essentials (tyres, basic servicing, some annoying gremlins, rust proofing, etc). I'm aiming to do flat4alfa proud and, if I ever come to sell, first dibs will go to him.

 

A happy man, a lovely car, and one that has received nothing but plaudits from those who know me, and even some who don't.

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You are a man of exquisite taste and class. However.....

 

To be truly at one with the Roververse you need* a lovely Rover 45 Club CVT in your stable.

 

Step this way to PBK Motor Emporium for the deal of a lifetime and a kebab.

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1994 Rover 420 SLi - purchased April 2019

 

IMG_20190420_193728222.jpg

 

I admitted to flat4alfa on Saturday that I'd coveted this car ever since he did his collection thread. When he came to sell it I was not financially able to buy outright as I probably would have done and thus had to settle for a random roffle ticket which, unsurprisingly, failed to nail me the winning prize.

 

Good timing and a desperate lucky* winner saw me engaged in immediate negotiations, and the collection was hurriedly arranged to free up some front garden/road/street corner space for flat4alfa due to some twitching curtains. To say I got a bloody good deal is an understatement, and it was clearly a wrench for flat4alfa having to part company with her.

 

I dutifully promised to look after the old girl, and as soon as I set off I immediately realised I'd got the car I'd been looking for all this time. No word of a lie, this car is me all over - everything is just so right - Nightfire Red, leather, sunroof, sweet T-series engine, low down grunt - there is nothing not to like. It's perfect (almost) in every way.

 

There really is nothing but minor improvements needed to this car thanks to impeccable previous Shite-ownership, and some basic essentials (tyres, basic servicing, some annoying gremlins, rust proofing, etc). I'm aiming to do flat4alfa proud and, if I ever come to sell, first dibs will go to him.

 

A happy man, a lovely car, and one that has recieved nothing but plaudits from those who know me, and even some who don't.

I am so pleased, to see you happy. We have never met or spoken, but the tone of your message was enough for me. I (we) did however consider Cavcrafts kind offer of a 1.7 puma very very carefully, and if the daughter's Bini fails the MOT on Saturday I may regret my decision making.

 

I will be donating £100 to the paper cup project liverpool

And £5.57 to AS forum funds

I will be giving a Solicitor the rest, and that might pay for local authority searches.

 

Anyway here is the link if anyone else feels like donating. https://fareshare.org.uk/get-involved/fundraise-for-us/donate/

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You are a man of exquisite taste and class. However.....

 

To be truly at one with the Roververse you need* a lovely Rover 45 Club CVT in your stable.

 

Step this way to PBK Motor Emporium for the deal of a lifetime and a kebab.

 

A 45 did briefly enter the fleet and then quietly shuffle off this mortal coil, a V6 Connie with a Jatco box. This was a veritable bargain and some quick eBay messaging secured a £250 BIN blind purchase from Warwick.

 

post-20951-0-06772600-1556187979_thumb.jpg

 

When the buyer sheepishly collected me from the station he admitted there were no back seat cushions, but I just laughed it off by saying, it's a £250 car mate. The car started, drove and (just about) stopped but there were many issues with the brakes which I never fully resolved - 45/HH-Rs have notoriously ever-binding calipers. There was no service history and the ever-present cambelt roulette was therefore present, which is no laughing matter on the KV6 engine and a costly service item if you lack the capability to DIY, as is the case with my sorry-looking knowledge/skill set.

 

The MoT fail list was long and, given the cost of the repairs would far exceed the cost of the car, the law of Bangernomics was applied and the car was sold to Dodgy Neighbour Paul for scrap (legitimately, I hasten to add - well, aside from the cash bit, of course) for £175, so effectively £75 for 5 months wafting. The car no longer exists and I got the appropriate notification from DVLA so all (almost) above board.

 

I do miss it, but a 45 would be surplus to requirements on the fleet afraid to say, Ken, as its place was eventually taken by the equally vroomtastic 620, admittedly without that mighty fine V6 burble.

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What a fantastic little collection. Makes you wonder why Rover went under with products like that, I mean who in their right mind would buy an Astra or Escort over one of these.

 

Always loved the R8, learned to drive in one of those, imo it's the only model that the 'big grill' facelift actually worked on - still prefer the original though given the choice.

Loving the Streetwise too, I had one a few years back (Olympic edition with 'unique' blue paint and big alloys, there's a photo of it somewhere on here) and was a nice little thing to zoom about in. Way ahead of it's time too these fake SUVs being all the rage now.

It did always amuse me though that for all its jacked up suspension the roofline and bonnet still sat considerably lower than the current Focus etc.

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It did always amuse me though that for all its jacked up suspension the roofline and bonnet still sat considerably lower than the current Focus etc.

 

True enough - it's positively dwarfed by current SUVs but there are little design cues in most of them which almost certainly date back to the Streetwise - MG Rover way too early to the party : immaculate* timing as ever. Funnily enough, even the 214 is roughly the same height as the Streetwise !

 

The Olympics are pretty sought after these days - only 500 made I believe. They still pop up with OMG Olympic Tax added.

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True enough - it's positively dwarfed by current SUVs but there are little design cues in most of them which almost certainly date back to the Streetwise - MG Rover way too early to the party : immaculate* timing as ever. Funnily enough, even the 214 is roughly the same height as the Streetwise !

 

The Olympics are pretty sought after these days - only 500 made I believe. They still pop up with OMG Olympic Tax added.

 

Don't think there was much of a raise on the suspension, only difference was the front springs and dampers (and a spacer at the top of the rear shocks). I had a set of 'standard height' suspension which I planned to fit (as they look rather cool lowered back to standard) but never got round to it.

 

Was using it as a daily at the time and had ideas to keep it as a project and fit an engine from the ZR160 but in the end I let it go for £500 when it failed it's MOT as I didn't really have the space.

 

In fact here's the thread on here http://autoshite.com/topic/21897-futureshite-rover-streetwise-4sailsold/ where you short sighted fools / fine folks could have had the chance to snap up this pioneering piece of motoring history!

Looks like it lived until April last year before dropping off the DVLA's records.

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(1) £13 show plate off Facebook - can you guess* which car it's for ?

 

post-20951-0-16128000-1556303769_thumb.jpg

 

Come in handy for FOTU that will

 

(2) Yes, I know the carpet needs cleaning

 

(3) Yes the plate is banana shaped, but at least postie didn't make me go to the sorting office to pick it up

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A little niggle with the 420 half-sorted - windscreen washers.

 

Prodded and poked and got driver's side sorted so it wasn't squirting on the roof and into passing pedestrians' faces, nearside not working cos the little elbow connector has split:

 

post-20951-0-79312200-1556303966_thumb.jpg

 

99p on eBay and should be sorted Tuesday.

 

Electrical issues - forgetful radio, clock, no HRW, no interior light, no intermittent wiper - no further forward

Driver's seat (handle to slide forward/back has become detached) - no further forward. Or backward.

Replacement tyres - on the hunt for some part worns tomorrow from either Vale Tyre Services or Loom's.

Driver's mirror - to fart about with to reattach mirror to casing (sellotape holding well) and possibly solder some iffy wiring

Minor servicing tomorrow - oil change/filter (latter provided FOC by flat4alfa); brake fluid renewal/bleeding

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Would genuinely love an R8. I was watching a 420 tourer on eBay, what a good looking car. Makes you wonder where it all went wrong

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If I ever do get the 214 in working order chances are I'll offer it up on here before anywhere. Hope you can wait until 2023 though, Matty... (seriously, I hope very much it'll be sooner)

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Radio memory, clock and interior light possibly all on the same fuse? Maybe a short on one of the door switches if so?

 

Yup, Fuse 12 - already twigged it last night, courtesy of the official Rover workshop manual for Electronic Buffoons . Blowing a hoolie and pissing down at present, but that won't stop me.

 

Also sourced a whole set of matching alloys with half decent tyres for not much money (correction, quarter decent tyres - they're Evergreen - other ditchfinders are available - however they have a damned sight more tread than two of the tyres on the 420). I'll be collecting later today. Later down the line the surplus alloy wheels could possibly go on the 214.

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So, a trek over to B33 yesterday bagged me four more alloys (matching) for the 420, replete with half decent tread on three Evergreen EH23s and an Avon ZV5. Also gave me a chance to give the 620 a good run out (probably off to Chesterfield this week on loan).

 

Time to sort this mess out - (alloy in spare wheel well also has an iffy tyre on it)

 

post-20951-0-06515700-1556468097_thumb.jpg

 

Thought I'd put the Avon on, being the quality* tyre. Within about two minutes it has lost 2 psi. Evergreen it is then...

 

post-20951-0-34106600-1556468571_thumb.jpg

 

Swapped the spare steelie for another Evergreen alloy, then dumped the unused four in the 214's boot for safekeeping.

 

Different angle as neighbour's Vectra parked up half way through the job...

 

I also don't like locking wheel nuts very much (the removal tools are made of cheese, and have a tendency to break), but equally so I don't like exposed locking wheel nuts either, as they look messy:

 

post-20951-0-86617100-1556468507_thumb.jpg

 

I raided the Streetwise's glove box where there were some caps (to be fair there were three in the 420's glovebox, but the Streetwise's were shinier). That'll do it:

 

post-20951-0-70563000-1556468607_thumb.jpg

 

(I noted with amusement the cap removal tool in the 420 was knackered - they always crack. Luckily the Streetwise has an unnecessary one now in full working order).

 

I also am still scratching my head with electrical issues. I had a look at the door actuators - they should look like this:

 

post-20951-0-06660600-1556468692_thumb.jpg

 

The driver's rear looked like this:

 

post-20951-0-56800700-1556468756_thumb.jpg

 

Stole one off the 214 SLi.

 

Difference made to electrical woes ? Fuck all.

 

I did manage to get the clock working perfectly on a quick drive out to Eastwood, but as soon as I touched the side light switch, it reset. Rover's guide for Electrical Buffoons leads the way here, so am still investigating.

 

Also got appropriate torx socket to get the driver's seat out and refix the slider lever.

 

Slow progress then.

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A bonus side effect of my tinkering on the 420 yesterday was that I now have a functioning and blinking alarm light on the dash - I suspect the missing switch wasn't completing the circuit. It was probably fixed yesterday but I didn't notice until today. I can officially retire the cranky old 'break in 5 minutes' steering wheel lock now.

 

In other news, the sellotape has been removed from the o/s mirror and the glass reconnected to the fixing (bugger to do on these) -  we now have a moving electric mirror again but likely not heated due to a broken wire. That'll do for now.

 

Elsewhere, contradictory advice in the HBOL, Rover's offishul electronic fault finding manual, the fuse panel itself and the owner's handbook means fuse 12 has now been replaced with a 15A rather than a 10A fuse and we now have a working clock which backlights when the engine is fired up, and the radio remembers the code (or rather it doesn't need to now as I have deactivated the code). However, as soon as I fiddle with the interior light (which still doesn't work) everything resets, so suspect something hinky is going on there - but for now two out of three ain't bad.

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Some more minor fettling on the 420 today, with a full on Pela-assisted oil change. about 4 litres came out, another few ml from the filter, and naturally some all over the ground. 

If you ever needed proof these Pela pumps suck the living bejaysus out of the injun and get every last drip out, then me putting exactly 4.5 litre of Wilko's finest 10w40 in, the offishul capacity of the T-series, should be proof enough.

Hassle free oil change, which enabled me to quickly whip out one knackered sidelight bulb and replace it - did t'other side too cos symmetry. No faffing about with wheel arch liner removals on these R8s - literally a 30 second job.

Next up, replacing the multi-function unit, which lives behind the fusebox. This controls the heated rear window (currently broken), buzzer for leaving lights on (currently broken), intermittent wipers (currently broken) and courtesy light delay (currently broken). There is a self-test function you can use on the MFU which proved there was life down there, just nowt working. 

£10 replacement off the Bay, five screws off to the fuse panel, and that's as far as I've got for now.

Yesterday I was able to plumb all the windscreen washer pipes back in (had to wait for a T-connector as well as the elbow replacement I'd ordered, as I clumsily snapped the existing T). I replaced one section of hose, and now have 3.5 jets as opposed to 1.5, so that's a massive improvement and MoT passworthy in my book.

Also got the V5 today.

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Well at least I learned how to swap out an MFU. Difference made - none whatsoever. Bah.

Back to basics on the troubleshooting then. Thankfully the Rover Electrical Fault Finding manual is rather helpful, so it'll be a process of elimination for many months I fear. There's nothing life-critical, just niggles, and I can live with the idiosyncrasies in the meantime. Must be a short or a bad earth somewhere. Cleaned all the door actuators out, and also greased the very squeaky n/s/r door.

The two biggest bugbears left to sort out are:

(1) the driver's seat doesn't move fwd/back (MoT fail I think) - spent the best part of an hour cursing and swearing trying to get the lever mechanism working - had limited success and only managed to push it back and forth a few times before it broke again. Now I need to grow another 6 inches or fix it before I drive it again... seat out next, hoping I didn't need to do this, but the job is super fiddly due to presence of pretensioners slap bang in the middle of where I need access to; and

(2) the annoying underside rattle/buzz at precisely 1750rpm when giving it the beans (fine when slow) - suggests something loose somewhere, had a quick prod of the first heatshield but seemed fixed. Will get it up on axle stands and have a proper prod around under there.

Streetwise and 214 will hopefully get a little love over the rest of the weekend, weather permitting.

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Successful bodge to the 420 drivers seat means its MoT passworthy now, so will try and get it booked in for this week at my lucky test centre.

After lots of swearing, and about four hours (in four x 60 min slots due to swear count reaching infinity) I managed to get the plastic clips back into the slider and drove a split pin through a handy hole in one of them to prevent it popping out, as it had been doing if you so much as looked at it.

Park yer arse, lift the handle, wheeeeeeee - we have 'fore' and 'aft' movement again.

Have now got the seat exactly where I want it. Which, somewhat curiously, is exactly where it was when flat4alfa had it. Ho hum. The things we do for the Ministry, eh ?

Meanwhile, Streetwise got treated to a new handbrake and gear lever gaiter in black leather with red stitching (ex-ZR). Photo when I can be arsed.

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I did some analysis of the figures for the Rover 420 SLi on How Many Left.

Wow only 46 on the road, another 94 SORN'd

925667402_420hml.thumb.png.29603e1bfe5bbf929e3dd2f060cd1576.png

But hang on a minute.....that includes HHRs....

So....

583806981_420r8rarerstill.thumb.png.f90eb09c0240b7f226fe232ea9301f63.png

 

Blimey. Even taking 1995 (the year the R8 ended and the HHR started) into account we actually have just 12 R8 420 SLis left on the road and 41 on SORN.

To celebrate* I stuck some new Aero wipers on to get it through the MoT on Friday (the old ones will go back on but the passenger side one was splitting and I don't want an advisory for a piffling thing)

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