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NigeT

Rovershite "the petri" - rofflable or scrap?

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The time's nearing for my old man to part with his 1996-vintage Ronda 620 after 17 unmemorable but extremely reliable years. It's properly shite. A shade over 123,000 miles on the clock. Largely abused and neglected, no idea how cambelt's survived 17 years. I gave it the decade's first oil change a few months ago and it's got a fairly recent clutch and slave cylinder. ABS light doesn't come on from cold but does when car is restarted. Exhaust leak has been bodged for the past few years to pass MOT. Handbrake is useless as to be non existent. And paintwork is simply beyond shite with matching toxic-looking racing green moss and mould. Advisories on MOT for bushes, and there's no need to slow down for speedhumps, one of its more practical features. Was swiped by a truck on the M25 in 2007 so has a category mark following the repair. Engine runs nicely despite never getting new plugs or other luxuries apart from an occasional air filter, never overheated and doesn't use much oil. Not too rusty at all structurally. Interior is foul. Rev counter is erratic. He'll be keeping the noble workhorse until the MOT expires in June and maybe beyond so it's not for sale yet but thought it was worth posting anyway in all its glory.  

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Yeah nice.

 

Best to get rid (just) before the MOT runs out. It's usually easier to get a banger through an MOT than it is to sell it without one. And being stuck with a non-MOT'd car is a pain. Scrap is always an option, but rarely a cause for celebration. Personally I find it sad. My ford Ka has been sat on my mother in law's drive for a year and a half because I let the MOT lapse and haven't had the heart to scrap it. I failed to sell it on here for £50. I should have just spent £200 getting it MOT'd - it would easily sell for double that with a year's ticket... As it is now it's not insured, taxed, or MOT'd so doing anything with it is a ballache, and nobody apart from the scrap man wants to tow it away.

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Nice car - mine's a 1996 Si in BRG with less than half the miles of this one. SLi has wood and rear electrics, and an extra L, but that's about it in terms of differences I think.

 

The seats are something else aren't they ? Beige yes, but ridiculously comfortable - o yes.

 

I'm an expert* on the rear brakes/handbrake on these now, by the way (following my 'get the 620 thru the test' exploits). Dunno where you're located but happy to help if needed

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Thanks a million for the offer but suspect you're rather too far away (the green monster is in Tadworth, Surrey, though I'm up in sunny Scotland). For the past couple of years (as Dad's bodger in chief) I adjusted the handbrake at the adjuster nut below the central console, was enough to pass the MOT but now it won't go any further. Rear pads were low so I replaced them a couple of months ago (shims had even rusted to almost nothing) but it didn't do the trick. I didn't have time to look at the self-adjusting handbrake mechanism, wonder if that just needs a bit of greasing or whether a new cable is called for. Seats actually gave me backache whenever I drove it a fair distance, maybe as I'm 6'3 and wiry though the only cars that haven't given me backache are my CLK and a couple of SLK's I had. Dad's way shorter and wider and has always been very comfortable. 

 

 

Nice car - mine's a 1996 Si in BRG with less than half the miles of this one. SLi has wood and rear electrics, and an extra L, but that's about it in terms of differences I think.

 

The seats are something else aren't they ? Beige yes, but ridiculously comfortable - o yes.

 

I'm an expert* on the rear brakes/handbrake on these now, by the way (following my 'get the 620 thru the test' exploits). Dunno where you're located but happy to help if needed

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Yeah, essentially the adjuster at the wheel gets gunked up with crap.

 

The trick is to thoroughly clean them up with degreaser then rinse them with hot water - to do this you do need to remove the cover.

 

Then disconnect the handbrake cable from the adjuster mechanism (pop out the clip then lift the pin out), pop the spring out (a bugger to get back in, but I've mastered it now) then clean everything some more, and rotate the nut on which the spring sits a few times with a spanner. Put it all back together again but leave the cover off for now.

 

Then you actually need to back off the adjuster nut under the arm rest until the adjuster hits the stop on the mechanism at the wheel (or is as near as dammit). Then fire up the car, squish the brake pedal a few times to enable the self-adjuster to reset, switch off engine then pull up handbrake lever one click. Tighten up under-arm-rest adjuster nut until you get a small amount of bind on the wheels. Release handbrake, no binding, job done. Pop the cover back on, home for tea. Ideally you want between 7-11 clicks (mine's on 9 and it passed MoT)

 

All tightening the adjuster under the arm rest does is add more and more tension to the cable - going back to basics and cleaning/re-setting everything gets you a working handbrake again - its in section 1 of the HBOL I seem to recall, as a service item no less !

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Thought a Petri update was overdue. With a couple of weeks left before the MOT my father booked the Rover into the local garage for a pre-MOT. Being useless at bangernomics and fearful of more modern replacement options, he spent way more than its value on a complete new exhaust and more in order to get it another year's ticket before I could visit and either a) lock him in a padded cell until he saw sense or b) incur the wrath of Mrs T by doing the work myself and saving what would have been an inheritance someday.  Supposedly the handbrake needed some new part, more than simple freeing up of the mechanism. Had advisories on bushes, oil leak (seepage but no driveway incontinence yet) a balding inner tyre upfront and registration plate lamp that I've now replaced years after it blew, Only 243 Sli manuals still on the road as of Q4 2018, wonder when it'll get into proper classic territory if it isn't already. And whether it's worth writing to car SOS, might be the most uneconomical restoration of all time.  

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Keep running it while ever it cost £200 or so scrape another years test. But obviously a big ticket item  like a clutch going will see it turned to bean cans. Wouldn’t bother selling it, the crazy cats you’ll have enquiring about it will make you feel like scrapping it is the kindest thing you could do.

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There's an active 600 Facebook group which seems to avoid the usual foaming at the mouth old car fanatics those groups tend to attract,  genuinely nice bunch including MG John (McFeely) and his son Martin (MGR regulars will know MG John, frequenter of many MGR forums, also Pistonheads for a while too) so don't think for one minute you'll struggle to part it out if that's the way you choose to go  later down the line - parts both body and mechanical are hard to find, especially for the pre-96 600/Accords.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/31752176123

I do want to upspec mine to SLi trim where possible (all the wooden bits) plus there's a few mechanical and body bits which are incredibly unobtainium these days.

 

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