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Dicky’s Disastrous Debris - Hampshire parts required 11/4/21


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27 minutes ago, Split_Pin said:

Are these gearboxes replaceable in the same way that an ordinary auto is?

I guess so, it had a recon exchange gearbox fitted by a well regarded transmission specialist, at 31k in 2009. Trouble is the parts are thin on the ground and as it cost the then owner £1,300, I should think it would cost even more now and that’s even if it could be done. I’d love to do it but there’s no way I could afford it. Unless anyone wants to do a “Save the Rover” Dollywobbler style crowdfund!? A secondhand box is an option but they’re also expensive and with no guarantee it’s any better.

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5 hours ago, Parky said:

i understand some CVT’s get very temperamental if the voltage isn’t quite as it should be.  Do you have another battery you could try?

Just put the multimeter on the battery. 12.6v at rest. 14.4v at idle. Sounds reasonable to me.

I did notice the battery earth looked a bit corroded where it screws onto the slam panel, that’s probably worth cleaning up.

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That was pretty bad, can’t have been making a very good earth. The bolt was so rusty it graunched nearly all the way out. There is a second earth cable running down I think to the starter though so you would have thought it could earth through there even if the slam panel one was corroded to fuck like this one was?

Anyway, I cleaned it all up with a wire brush in the electric drill, and took a bit of paint off where it sits too for good measure.

I’ve just taken it around the block, putting my foot down as much as possible to try and provoke it into failing. It pulled like a train and behaved perfectly. 

I can’t believe it was as easy as that bad earth but I suppose stranger things have happened! I’d like to take it for a longer test on faster roads but all the faster roads around here are really congested and have limited places to stop, so not great if it decides to play up.

Hopefully there should be some fault codes stored in the gearbox ECU which the specialist can read.

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Just done 36 miles of hard driving, mostly at 50-60 mph, around the NSL B roads. I was trying to provoke it to play up, including a section where I was chasing a Golf GTI through the twisties (I kept up!) and the gearbox behaved itself perfectly. Weird but I’m still going to get it checked out on Friday.

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Well it sounds promising doesn’t it?  Hopefully a couple of quids worth of earth lead will solve it.  And how many of these poor things have been confined to the scrap heap because folk have assumed it’s a terminal fault?

(Immediately goes to Ebay looking for cheap automatic Rovers with gearbox faults)

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Fingers crossed that was all it was buddy.

I had a 1996 bubble-shape 214 SI a few years back. I bought it cheap after it had been accident repaired following a low speed front end shunt. It drove perfectly and all that, but the speedo didn’t work. A lot of head scratching ensued and I found the problem purely by luck. When the front slam panel had been replaced, the mechanic forgot to attach an earth wire to the same earth point as yours on the panel. I reconnected it and hey presto, one working speedo.

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I just seem to be plagued with electrical faults with my cars lately! The Somerset and Reliant aren’t charging, the ECU on the Royale is faulty, plus the issues with the Rover. Doing the welding on the Royale is a good relief from it all!

I made a start on the sill today and got the rot chopped out. Typically, it was worse than I thought and I had to go back quite a long way to findsound metal.  I shall pop some pictures up once the job is completed. 

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The back of the drivers side sill had always looked a bit crunchy, and I made the mistake of picking at it. 

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I suppose technically this would pass an MoT as it doesn’t have rear seatbelts, but I wanted to do it properly. So out it came:

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The rot had extended into the inner sill so I needed to cut out a bit of that too.

Time to start reconstructive surgery:

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With this sort of repair I like to make the sections a bit oversize and trim to suit once they’re welded in place.

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There was the usual small bit where the inner arch meets the sill that needed a fillet, but it was much better there than most cars I’ve repaired.

Now to annoy the neighbours with the angle grinder and flap disc...

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Much better!

I then had a look at something else that was annoying me, one of the headlights which had constantly had condensation on the inside all the time I’ve had the the car.

It was easy enough to remove the complete headlight unit. Two 8mm bolts at the top and disconnect the wiring plugs and it simply pulls out.

Looks quite manky under there.

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I cleaned up this area and went over that crusty looking bit at the side with the wire wheel in the electric drill. It’s double skinned there and the top skin has rotted through from moisture trapped under the headlight. It’s not that bad considering but I’ll see if i can put a small patch in there and paint it properly before putting the headlight back in.

As for the headlight, when I removed the bulb cover a torrent of water poured out!

These headlights are well designed and can be taken apart easily. Six spring clips hold the glass onto the reflector:

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The reflector has suffered from the damp at the bottom and top but it’s not that bad considering. Also it’s not really that noticeable on the Royale due to being way back behind the massive thick glass lenses. 

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I went round everything with baby wipes, cleaning off the black and green gunk from round the edges etc. 

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Something I like about this car is that every piece of glass is etched with the registration, including front and rear lights. It’s all in really good condition too.

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There is a thin foam seal which is supposed to keep the moisture from getting between the lens and headlight. It looked in really good condition for over 40 years old. Even so, it wasn’t doing it’s job so I cleaned it up then ran a thin bead of clear silicone around the edge. Left for 10 minutes then fitted my nice clean shiny lens.

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So nice I could quite happily install it in the house!

In Rover news, I took it for a blat up the A130 from Southend to Chelmsford and back, about 30 miles or so at 60mph and the gearbox is still behaving itself!

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56 minutes ago, Angrydicky said:

The back of the drivers side sill had always looked a bit crunchy, and I made the mistake of picking at it. 

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I suppose technically this would pass an MoT as it doesn’t have rear seatbelts, but I wanted to do it properly. So out it came:

 

I think that it must be within 30cm of the trailing arm mount so would fail.

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5 hours ago, Bren said:

Don't go looking for grot on one of these - you will find it. Ours was a rotten as a month old lettuce at just ten years old. However yours looks pretty good.

Oh yeah they’re right rotboxes. This is pretty good compared to most so I want to nip it in the bud before it gets any worse.

I want to do something about the front valance as it’s full of filler and no longer attached to the (equally rotten) wings. It just looks a mess.

The bit I’m not looking forward to is the n/sinner wing next to the suspension strut - a classic Senator rot spot and this is no exception. Although again it’s better than most and was an advisory on the last MoT. Left unchecked the turrets can eventually start to sag inwards due to rot here which is quite concerning, potentially ruining the container ship-like handling.

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3 hours ago, Angrydicky said:

Oh yeah they’re right rotboxes. This is pretty good compared to most so I want to nip it in the bud before it gets any worse.

I want to do something about the front valance as it’s full of filler and no longer attached to the (equally rotten) wings. It just looks a mess.

The bit I’m not looking forward to is the n/sinner wing next to the suspension strut - a classic Senator rot spot and this is no exception. Although again it’s better than most and was an advisory on the last MoT. Left unchecked the turrets can eventually start to sag inwards due to rot here which is quite concerning, potentially ruining the container ship-like handling.

Did you say you can get wings from down under? If it were mine I get a couple - when the old ones are off you can do proper repair on the inner wings.

Want to know what happens when the strut towers go? Ours started with rust on the top of the drivers side wing ( the channel between the bonnet) which holed and then split.

One day fatha noticed drivers front tyre was flat. It was down to the wire on the inside - everything had moved so much it had caused the tyre to scrub. At that point it was given to a welder. Mercifully a transit ran into the back of it a few months later - considering the galloping rot it held up well - even the back lights did'nt crack. Transit driver could'nt open his door.

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Got a bit more progress done on the Royale yesterday. 

This corner had all the hallmarks of being rotten as a pear, and the other side doesn’t look any better.

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Started attacking it with a screwdriver and a wire brush on the electric drill.

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Yep, that’s seen better days.

I had to think about how to repair this as it was pretty far gone. An easy mistake people make with this kind of repair is to chop it all out then get overwhelmed with the amount of work required. 

I decided to repair the headlight surround first then I could start repairing the area around it.

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Thats where I got to before getting rained off. I was particularly pleased with the mounting flanges I recreated to bolt the two panels together as per original. There was virtually nothing left and the panels were loose and flapping around before. I’ve got a nut and bolt in finger tight but it should hopefully nip up ok and provide a decent panel gap once all the other metalwork is done on that corner.

In Rover news, I dropped it off this morning. He did the diagnostic check on it and found three strange gearbox fault codes on the ECU. He thinks they’re inkeeping with a power supply issue. He’s cleared them off and test driven it, and is fairly confident that I fixed the fault by cleaning up that slam panel earth wire because he’s seen all sorts of odd electrical faults caused by that connection.

So a big relief there. I’m back to work next week so will start to put some miles under its belt again so hopefully it’ll continue to behave itself.

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44 minutes ago, Angrydicky said:

In Rover news, I dropped it off this morning. He did the diagnostic check on it and found three strange gearbox fault codes on the ECU. He thinks they’re inkeeping with a power supply issue. He’s cleared them off and test driven it, and is fairly confident that I fixed the fault by cleaning up that slam panel earth wire because he’s seen all sorts of odd electrical faults caused by that connection.

What were the codes? Interested to see what it moaned about. 

Doesn't surprise me that those CVT boxes are power supply sensitive. They have a lot of high powered actuators that will run directly off the battery voltage rather than through a regulator. These actuators will need to be both quick and precise. High power means any resistance from poor power supply will cause the voltage to drop. However the voltage at the actuator will change the speed at what they operate at. No doubt they have a lookup table to modify how hard to drive the actuators but there will be limits in the expected voltage. 

I bet the table is something like 11v to 15v. A poor earth/supply feed and a high current load (e.g. 20-80A) can cause the voltage at the actuator itself to drop below that. 

You see similar with modern Electronic Power Steering (EPS) systems throwing an error code if the voltage is out of spec. Again they're high powered actuators that need to be precise in their movement. 

This was the reasoning why earlier in the thread I said about checking all the supply feeds first. Both earth and the power feed right the way along from battery, through fusebox to ECU to box. 

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I did ask but he couldn’t remember two of them! One of them was “gearbox pneumatic selector failure” or something along those lines. 

All I know is that gearbox is complicated and fragile. It’s a shame Rover didn’t use the much stronger Jatco gearbox instead of the CVT.

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2 hours ago, Bren said:

Good work. I have finished all the welding on my SD1 - I spent £180 on bits a few weeks back that I have not had chance to fit.

Great news, what a milestone for you after all that work. 

The Rover specialist I took my 45 to today had a few old Rovers and MGs there including a nice Oporto Red metallic SD1 (EKH 74Y). There was a Maestro van at a garage a bit further along and a black XJS that looked just like zelandeths just pulling out of one of the units as I arrived.

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1 hour ago, Angrydicky said:

I did ask but he couldn’t remember two of them! One of them was “gearbox pneumatic selector failure” or something along those lines. 

All I know is that gearbox is complicated and fragile. It’s a shame Rover didn’t use the much stronger Jatco gearbox instead of the CVT.

I imagine it's possibly because a CVT allows better performance on engines where their torque and power is more on the top end. Let the engine rev to its peak power and hold that while the pulley alter to transfer that energy with the increasing speed. Given they extensively used Jatco on other vehicles, so I bet they would have had a design review meeting and would have considered it but the CVT box won over. 

Same reasons why many small cars use either CVT or Robo (manual box with actuators). Torque converters loose a lot of energy until they lock-up - too much loss for small engines for acceptable performance. 

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It does pull very nicely from low revs and feels faster than my old 600 with the Honda autobox. I do like it.

On the negative side, the CVT is really lazy when it’s cold - it literally refused to move on my parents gravel drive this morning, until it had warmed up sufficiently, then all was well. I was a bit concerned when I first got the car but reading up it seems TADTS.

It only takes five minutes or so to warm up before driving off so not the end of the world really.

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  • Angrydicky changed the title to Dicky’s Disastrous Debris - Hampshire parts required 11/4/21

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