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Downgrading from a Rover 800

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I recognise that part as it runs from the lower part of the radiator to the engine block. If you cant repair it or get it braized, then try Rimmer Brothers, they still have  lots of 800 spares for Mk1's and 2's.

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10 minutes ago, tommytwo said:

 

I recognise that part as it runs from the lower part of the radiator to the engine block. If you cant repair it or get it braized, then try Rimmer Brothers, they still have  lots of 800 spares for Mk1's and 2's.

 

Correct, not a part they stock unfortunately. Think mines a little too rusty for brazing but I’ve got a lead on another one currently so hopefully this can all be sorted next week.

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Took it for an MOT

FAILED

Did a lot better than I thought though, to be fair. Needs a rear brake hose & CV boot and it should be good, was really nice to get behind the wheel of it. Seems to be airlocked though, so that needs sorting out before it’s put into use. Hoping I can get it sorted for Friday.

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6 hours ago, Microwave said:

 I’m concerned it’s going to fail on rear brake performance so a blast down the bypass before the retest is in order methinks

Hasn't it already passed the brake test? 

On 8/7/2019 at 3:17 PM, Microwave said:

Took it for an MOT

FAILED

Did a lot better than I thought though, to be fair. Needs a rear brake hose & CV boot and it should be good.... 

If all it failed on is the hose and CV then surely that's all they need to check at the (free) re-test. 

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UPDATE TIME

Also story time: Other day when I came back from the test centre for the original MOT in which it failed, the positive terminal popped off when I hit a bump and made all the electrics go apeshit. The next day when I came to start the car, I got absolutely nothing from it and I couldn't even jump it to get anything out of it. The battery in it was brand new, so I was quite confused. I went into the battery recycling bin at work and pulled out some random "knackered" battery, stuck it in the car and it fired right up. However, the SRS light had decided to now come on, the window switches stopped working (common fault) and the radio had completely cut out on me. Interesting. I did a little lap of the car park, and the airbag light went on and off intermittently, as did the functionality of the window switches. I put it down to the fusebox solder joints and thought nothing of it really. I did test the power draw off the battery with the car off, and it was pulling something like 12 amps while off and unlocked, which is obviously mega high.

Anyway, fast forward to today and it had flattened yet ANOTHER battery and once again I couldn't even jump it. Off I went to find the car's original battery, which I had on charge a few days ago. Stuck that in, fired right up with the same issues. The car was booked in for the re-test at 12:30 and it was like 12:20, so I didn't really have time to diagnose it, I just hoped to Christ that it would go off by the time I reached the test centre (spoiler alert: it didn't. Did notice on the way there that the wipers were running abnormally fast, which is relevant in a sec). Having wasted my own time driving there for them to tell me not to waste my re-test, I went back home and after a brief discussion with a friend, we came to the conclusion pretty quickly that the alternator was probably draining the battery and over/undervolting. Connected a tester up and turns out it was pulling 17v. No good. Within 5 minutes, the alternator was off and I took it to a local place in the hopes that they could sort it out same day. 20 quid and 10 minutes later, I had a working alternator again! Got it fitted, everything was finally sorted so I drove to the test centre at which point:

oIbj7Ka.png

It passed! No advisories either. Since then, I've done nothing but drive the thing all day. I've put about 80 or 90 miles on it, with a 300 or so mile trip planned tomorrow. Have some photos:

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The car has been pretty flawless, however the minute I got out onto a 50 MPH road it became particularly obvious that someone had tried to fix this thing on the cheap. Rather than last time, where I watched the temperature gauge creep up, I watched it drop... and drop... and drop right down to stone cold. I think someone had tried looking for a radiator, failed, gave up and just took the thermostat out, so that's on tomorrow's list of things to sort out/look at... as is the knackered headlight socket (shouldn't have passed MOT with this tbqh), the still sometimes intermittent sunroof switch and the fact that it looks appalling on the interior as well as exterior. I've been taking it fairly easy all day, not getting into boost too much because I don't fancy revving an engine that thinks it's cold to 6.5k RPM.

Shall update if anything goes particularly wrong. 

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28 minutes ago, Joey spud said:

I have never been a Rover licker but a late 800 hatch in nightfire red like yours could sway me.

I think nightfire red works really well on these and the 600's.

I'd quite like one with the tan sort of coloured interior.

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4 hours ago, cpjitservices said:

Hey man hows the Rover 75 estate that you have/had? 

 

Still going strong?

Yup.  Still my "main" car in fact.  Only job it really needs at the moment is the aircon sorting - the belt is proving to be a complete twat of a job to do though, as there's no clearance between the tensioner and the inner wing to get a spanner in - assume that's why the belt was never replaced before.

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What is the first thing you think to do after getting a car that's been stood for the best part of a year to be road legal?

You take it on a 400+ mile round trip of course.

Yesterday was a busy day for this thing. Started off by doing about 60 miles worth of errands, followed by a 150-ish mile trip up to Hartlepool to show a friend the Rover, to look at his recently imported Toyota Blade Master G (give that one a google) and to sort some dodgy stuff out on the car. The car was very well behaved on the way there, bar the fact that it thought it was stone cold the whole time I was on the motorway, which is a nice contrast to the last time I did this trip in this car, where I had to pull over onto the hard shoulder 2 or 3 times because the gauge was creeping up. The tyres could really do with balancing, as at about 80-90 the car starts to rattle itself to death, but the tyres that are on it are just so shit that I don't think it's worth doing. I would seriously love to meet the person who decided to put a different brand of tyre on each corner of the car. It makes the handling so dangerously shit, especially in the wet. 

Anyway, got there and reserved a thermostat at Euro for 3 pound odd. Turns out they used this thermostat on absolutely everything for decades, including the Mini (to absolutely nobody's surprise, cheers Rover). Got back, took the housing off expecting not to find a thermostat whatsoever, but to my surprise there was actually a relatively new one in there, just with an awfully fucked gasket of some description. Got that cleaned up, new one put in with the correct paper gasket and thankfully, it no longer loses heat (or water, it had dropped a little when I came to cold start it yesterday morning). Checked the oil at the same time, and as my friend gracefully put it, it was "engine blowingly low". Oops. Put a full litre of Triple QX wank in, and it was barely past the minimum, so god knows where that's all gone. I did notice a drop or two under the car yesterday when it was parked on the driveway, but that seems to line up with one of the valve cover gasket seals. Don't think it will have lost a litre through that though, so I'm just gonna assume it was low in the first place when the oil was changed (not by myself, might I add). Checked the oil and coolant this morning and neither had dropped even a little bit even after lots of caning, so I'm gonna call it all ok. On the test run out, my mate took some belter photos of the car (@nutnation.photos on Instagram, do have a look):

https://imgur.com/gallery/FhulL6n

After I was done up there, I drove it the full 150 or so miles back home without a hiccup. It really is a wonderful car, and it's growing on me more and more everytime I drive it. The smells, the sounds (happy turbo noises) and just the way it looks. I can't help but look back at it everytime I park it up and walk away, it's just such a unique shape that looks massively out of place in a car park full of boring moderns. It's not a perfect car by any means, and a lot of cheaper modern stuff will put it to shame, but it's just got so much character. Yes, your DSG Golf might twat me on the straights AND in corners, but I can guarantee you I'm having a lot more fun. Everything that feels wrong about it also feels so right at the same time, like the hilariously shit brakes, the overly assisted and vague steering, the rattles and squeaks. It wouldn't be the same without. Because remember... above all, it's a Rover.

kDZb7Gj.jpg

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Excellent to see that this us back up and running, and behaving itself! Well done, you must be chuffed!  

6 hours ago, Fumbler said:

Brilliant work. I might add that taking it out on a long trip is standard* practice after a car is declared roadworthy after a number of years.

I need to do this with the Saab as I haven’t yet... hmmm... 

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I'm so pleased this is back among us!  To my own surprise I loved the 820 I had, and in the supermarket pics, well just look at it!  Handsomest car on the pitch by some distance!  I hope you have many more happy miles in it.

And if you're up in the Lakes any time.... ;)  I'm usually at the Lakeland Motor Museum, first Saturday every month, with my Cadillac, so I'm hard to miss!

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On me dinner at work, thought I’d write up a small update on my thoughts regarding this car:

The car has performed flawlessly in pretty much every way. Without looking I’d say I’ve put about a thousand miles on it now, a fair bit of town usage but mostly motorways, as I practically live on motorways going to and from different houses and places of work.

I’ll start this off by addressing some of the issues I found with the way it drives when I first got it:

At the time, I thought the overly assisted steering was horrendous, and I did still until recently but now that I’m used to it I do actually quite like it a lot. It feels weighty enough around tight-ish bends at lower speeds, as long as you don’t give it stupid quick inputs, and that LSD really helps now and then. On the motorway, you can properly sit back, a couple fingers resting on the wheel, just tapping the throttle now and then. For some reason, it carries speed really well on the motorway. Not sure if it’s to do with the relatively aerodynamic shape or not. 

My other complaint previously was the “soft, not spongey” brakes. They are still shit, but they do make for a very pleasant drive around town, and it’s actually quite nice to have to work to stop the car. This is a stark contrast to practically any modern car, where even tapping the brakes sends you head first through the windscreen. I will say, however, is that it suffers from something that modern cars also suffer from, but in exactly the opposite way. In a modern car, you can choose the shittest, least sporty spec and still receive an overly harsh ride & solid seats. In the 800, even in “sporty” Vitesse form, the ride and overall drive is still far too soft and wafty. When I do actually try to go fast down twisty roads, I often find myself slowing down dramatically at the last second out of fear of losing steering feel mid corner (this happens a lot on these extremely wank tyres) and ultimately critically understeering into a tree/wall etc

Now, my other car is a 2015 Toyota Aygo x-play (one up from shitspec). As I said to somebody else earlier in the week, it is absolutely amazing how much better the cheap, modern Toyota is in practically every conceivable way (is it really that surprising though?). I feel far more comfortable pushing the Toyota up to and beyond it’s limits, as it does nothing but inspire confidence, even at stupid speeds like 90+ through wide, sweeping bends. The steering is better, the brakes (even if overly twitchy) are miles better, it’s better on the motorway bar the fact that it gets buffeted by wind easily... etc etc

But at the end of the day, the Rover is a quirky old shitbox that makes whooshing noises and for that reason I love it. Like I said in a previous post, it wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t shit. I’d be really interested to drive a similar car from the era from another manufacturer, to see how it compares (as I write this, I’m sat opposite a Cavalier GSI2000... hmmm)

Gonna be honest though, not sure how much longer I’m going to be able to afford to drive this, as it costs more in petrol and insurance than I expected. Would rather swap it than sell it if it ever came to that though. 

 

Edit: oh aye, photos

XZJUFqC.jpg

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I'd be of a mind to use it as a second car and get something like a 1.2 Corsa C for daily driver duty.  That should be a cheaper insure, a cheaper commute, etc etc.

You'd then be able to get that one on a limited miles policy, SORN it when you're not using it, and only take it out when you want to go for a drive somewhere for the sake of it, so you can enjoy owning such a magnificent machine.

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3 hours ago, DaveDorson said:

 

I'd be of a mind to use it as a second car and get something like a 1.2 Corsa C for daily driver duty.  That should be a cheaper insure, a cheaper commute, etc etc

 

My Aygo is my daily driver, I’d already be skint if I daily drove this thing.

12 hours ago, Heidel_Kakao said:

 

I never knew you could get a 800 with a factory LSD, everyday is a school day.

 

Yes sir, Vitesses came with Torsen LSDs.

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Right, update time.

In short, it's being an absolute bastard.

The car had been blocked at the back of the driveway at my parents by 3 other cars for a week or so, didn't have time to drive it etc. Finally got round to driving it, took it to the shops and all was well ("scrap" battery that I had put in it a couple weeks earlier had held up just fine, so that's always good). Didn't cane it on the drive whatsoever, just took it easy. When I got back, I pulled into the drive, shut the car off and a big fuck off cloud of steam poured out from under the bonnet. "Oh my fucking god it's on fire" was my first thought. Run out, open the bonnet and have a look. No fire. Look closer, and a previously bodged coolant hose right next to the thermostat was pissing out all over the exhaust, hence mega steam. I let the car sit for a bit once again because of this, but the other day I HAD to drive the car to go and pick up something that just wouldn't fit in my other car, despite me really not wanting to. When I got out onto the road in it and got to a set of lights on a main road, it starts doing its best impression of a Pontiac Fiero again. Now, I personally didn't give a shit but I thought everyone else might be a little concerned at the thought of a 25 year old Rover looking like its on fire in front of them. Pulled over, had a look again and it had got worse. Coolant was now actually pooling on the manifold as it was spraying out the back of the hose, creating a lot more steam. I didn't really have a choice in terms of turning back around, so I soldiered on and drove 30 miles down the motorway, taking it nice and easy at 60MPH to allow the car to run cool enough, just incase. Basically, when the car is warming up it leaks everywhere. When the car is hot (motorway temps), it's perfectly fine. However, this means when you park the car up and turn it off, it loses shitloads of coolant.

JtltTdb.jpg

The pipe in question, rather visibly shagged. There's a very small, un-noticeable crack or split on the back of it, which causes it to spray all over the engine/manifold.

I tried to get the hose clamps off, but they're far too rusted on and were just getting mashed up. My next idea was to use self-amalgamating tape. The hose is in a really awkward place, making it hard to stretch out the tape and apply it tightly. I tried my best however, and put quite a few layers on.

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Topped up the coolant, as it had lost about 2 litres of the stuff on that last day of use. Blower is refusing to work again, probably making it hard for it to bleed.

laiwoux.jpg

Of course, I haven't been able to cure it. Under load it's still dripping quite a bit, but atleast it's no longer spraying out the back of the hose and onto the manifold. If I get brave, I might give it a run around town later and see what's what. Gonna try some more layers of tape before that, though.

I'm a bit miffed that it's had to sit for so long, as the insurance on this thing really isn't that cheap and I'm paying for it monthly. It's set to renew on the 20th, and I'm not sure if I'm going to renew it or not. If I don't, it might be time to sell and get something far cheaper to run. Driving this thing in winter is absolutely out of the question for me.

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