Jump to content

Operation BROWN CAR (Rover P6 3500S): ...Our survey says!

Recommended Posts

On 21/04/2021 at 16:42, Crackers said:

Is there anyone located between London and the South Coast who has some slightly perverse fetish for changing suspension bushings? Apply within!

(I make excellent tea, purchase cake and biscuits, offer frequent helpful* advice, and can provide many many beer tokens in return for the privilege* of working on this fine 4 wheeled conveyance)

I’m not sure how to get the rear axle/de Dion assembly out but I can get polybushes in and out using specialist* tools. Stripping the assembly will probably take longer than changing the bushes. As SiC says don’t bother with rubber; quality is too variable and you don’t want to be doing this job every 2-3 years. Get polybushes to your ride comfort level and they should outlive the car.

I have never worked on a P6. It may or may not go well.

I would make the brakes your first priority, however if the whole rear suspension unit has to come off to do the rear brakes then might as do the lot in one go.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've asked them for a quote to do the front calipers/flexi lines, replace a bit of fuel line and a front-rear brake line, and replace the clutch master cylinder as that's leaking back (explains why the pedal went to the floor a couple of times, I didn't think much of it but I suppose it won't fix itself). 

The suspension bits can wait for now. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Talbot said:

All of which is almost without doubt within your skill-set to do yourself.  Save £500.  Spend it on fuel.  Drive 54 miles.

Without doubt, you say?

Your estimation of my ability is rather optimistic 😂

Link to post
Share on other sites

In all seriousness, I probably could do the brakes myself, but between work and studies I've not got that much time at the moment. If I snapped a bolt or made some other mess of it (which is almost guaranteed) , then I'm left with a stranded broken car and would have to pay them to fix anyway. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

All of the above can be completed with a set of ring spanners and a couple of screwdrivers.  The only bit that might be a bit interesting is making up new brake pipe ends, but about 20 mins of practice will see you making better ends than you get from most motor factors.

Snapping a bolt is unlikely.  What's more likely is rounding off a brake pipe tube bolt, but as you're changing them anyway, just hack them off and put new ones on.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not a smart person. Trust me, I've had 20 years to figure that out. 

I would - genuinely - like to do it. However my previous form with ANYTHING mechanical is poor, I can make a mess of literally anything. 

I'll have a think.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Crackers said:

I've asked them for a quote to do the front calipers/flexi lines, replace a bit of fuel line and a front-rear brake line, and replace the clutch master cylinder as that's leaking back (explains why the pedal went to the floor a couple of times, I didn't think much of it but I suppose it won't fix itself). 

The suspension bits can wait for now. 

This sounds like a sensible plan. That way it can be done, and you can get back to using it  for the summer and cross the other jobs off over time.

Prioritising is always the way forward... apparently.

DIY vs Garage? If it goes to the garage it all gets done in one go, and the car is back. If you’re anything like me that little lot would have to be done in small sessions over time whilst I figured out exactly what needs doing at each stage, and realised which bit of tool I don’t have and need to get. It would likely take me a good while. Not all of us are blessed with the aptitude and experience of others on here to do these kinds of jobs in 10 minutes and with nothing but a toothpick and a bit of old rope. Depends what’s more important, getting the car back fixed more quickly, or doing the jobs yourself. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, brownnova said:

This sounds like a sensible plan.



Give over!

9 minutes ago, Talbot said:

Am I beling a little blasé about this?

No, not at all - if I had the skills and space, and could be confident about doing it, then I would. But, with the space, time, equipment and experience I've got (or, more to the point, haven't got) I'm not so confident in doing it.

I'm a pretty hopeless spanner monkey with world-champion status for making little mistakes that cripple a whole job. When the job in question is brakes, arguably the most important system on the whole car, I'd be more comfortable getting them sorted by someone that knows what they're doing. 

Then again, I'm also a massive tightwad so the fact I can save a lot of money by doing it on my own, is rather attractive! 💵😁

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, I'll caveat my comment:

1 hour ago, Talbot said:

All of which is almost without doubt within your skill-set to do yourself  *with some guidance*.  Save £500.  Spend it on fuel.  Drive 54 miles.

and I had to work out the fuel consumption from my rather glib comment about how much fuel your V8 uses:

0.59 MPG.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I really need to make up my mind on what to do now. I'd like to do at least *some* of this myself, but I also know myself too well and it could easily end up being an "I'll get round to it" job and I'll spend the summer not driving it. My next couple of months are going to be mega busy with all sorts of assessments at Uni, and I could use not having the hassle of potentially making a minor problem, much worse. 

On the other hand, I wouldn't mind a few hundred quid in my back pocket.

Meh. I hate making decisions - they're usually wrong.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You've bought yourself into classic car ownership. At some point you will need to learn a little more than rudimentary spannering skills, or earn loads of money to pay for even the smallest jobs.

Decide which of those shitty jobs you're going to attack, get the parts ordered up, make sure you have the required quality tools and pick your weekend. You'll possibly be amazed at the sense of achievement once you've knocked your first tricky one out, ooeer!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I think in your present lifestyle situation I would also farm out the first couple of jobs.  My feeling (and sorry experience) is - if you push yourself into doing a job you're not in the mindset for and are also against time pressures ..then something WILL go wrong.  

But., I'd also recommend you don't have all the jobs done in one go, or even with one garage.  After all most any big franchise exhaust, tyres and brakes centre can do your brake's flexi pipes and calipers, and it shouldn't cost an arm and leg ..because they're facing close competition for your business,  and they buy parts cheaper than any smaller garage. Get those done, and relax. 

Deal with the next issue in a couple of weeks time, perhaps the clutch.  I'm just thinking out-loud here ; of what is the priority to keep you mobile and the car reliable.?  It., the clutch slave-cylinder, may possibly be done by the same place as you had the brake pipes replaced., but only if you reckon they've done a good job at a fair price.

Importantly.. the spacing of repeat business  allows you to start a customer relationship with them.   Whereas if you dump the car into any garage and give them a list - you're just a rich kid with a car the mechanic is envious of.  Take your time, show interest and be friendly with the guys on the shop floor ..and ask their opinion of other things that you "wonder if that might need changing ..sometime / later ?".   In effect you are an enthusiast (not a cry baby) who is respecting them for their knowledge and hard-earned experience ..and that is a very different attitude to many customers they've had to deal with.!    

My apologies if I'm teaching grandpa to blow.. or suck ?, eggs.

Other tasks, like the fuel pipes, is mostly replacing a length of tube into existing securing clips on the chassis and refitting pipe end clips. You can do them yourself one weekend. (do the task on Saturday then if anything goes wrong or you run out of time.. then you have Sunday to finish things off).   However.. do ensure that you do NOT have full petrol tanks, and that whatever fuel is in them can be shut off the instance any pipe is touched.  And do ensure you get the latest ethanol-proof pipes, and don't  p around with old clips if they are crusty with rust. 

Tip Soon after I bought my little old Shitroen, in Slovenia, which had lain forgotten in the back of a garage for a few decades., I had my friends jack the car up and spray penetrating oil on every  fastening they could see, and to likewise do the same under the bonnet.  A month later, I then asked them to do it again.  It was a couple of months before I was able to get out there or anyone worked on the car, but I was pleased because those fastenings did come undone without a struggle.     

You can beat this and win  ..just by taking things at your own pace. 


Link to post
Share on other sites

You say the clutch master is bleeding back. I recommend having a go at rebuilding it as the first job. It's cheap (the seal kit is £11 and if the bore is fucked only £39 for a whole new item), it's low stress*, hard to do wrong and gives you a nice introduction to hydraulic circuit bleeding which will make rebuilding the brake calipers look much less daunting, since it's effectively the same job on differently shaped components. 

*admittedly I never bled the clutch on my manual P6, might be a pain in the arse

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yo @Crackers

Managed to have a look for those old tools today...

None of it is brilliant tbh, but you might be able to make use of what was good enough to use!?

1; Assorted imperial spanner’s.


2; 1/2’’ drive flex head ratchet & extension bar, pliers, big water pump grips (great for pushing brake caliper pistons back etc).


3; Assorted metric spanner’s.


4; Metric spanner’s.


5; 1/2’’ drive bi-hex imperial sockets.


6; 1/2’’ drive hex impact sockets, imperial.


7; Assorted 3/8’’ & 1/4’’ drive imperial sockets. All smaller sizes.


8; pair spark plug sockets.


9; 1/2’’ drive assorted metric sockets.


10; 1/2’’ drive assorted metric sockets, larger sizes.


I thought I had more than that tbh but I must have binned them already. As I say, they’re not perfect, at all, but useable to get you going. Pick what you want, if any!, and they’re yours! If not I’ll bin them.


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

A smol update. 

Car has been away for a couple of weeks, initially for a general inspection but I requested a few small but fiddly jobs were done too. The clutch master finally arrived yesterday so has been fitted, and has apparently transformed the clutch operation, they can't get it to reproduce the strange judder any more on a long drive so we're calling that fixed (for now). 

That's a big relief as a new clutch would have been the most expensive job out of everything that it needs. 

Picking it up on Friday, it'll go under the cover for a few weeks while I stew my head with work and uni assignments, then come June it'll be brakes+suspension tinkering time. Need to start looking at parts and get some stuff ordered, having had a quick look today I'm probably going to whack polybushes all over it as it should be easier and the price difference is negligible. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Crackers said:

I'm probably going to whack polybushes all over it

I'll probably change my mind on this at some stage, as is my usual form.

Or I might not.

Who knows. 


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Crackers said:

Yes, works fantastically. Thankfully!

The calipers I have are in bits and really need a pair of handbrake pistons but they are unobtainable so look after yours.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just picked it up from the garage. 

They definitely lined these up outside on purpose. Check out that brown! 

I didn't really spot the GT6 too well as I was looking into the sun - shame really as they're one of my favourite cars. 

I only took the one pic... Feel like a prat for not doing a few more! 


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 weeks later...

Smol P6 update. 

I still haven't fixed anything, mainly due to laziness and other commitments. I really need to get round to it soon, but the car being stored 40 miles from home dampens progress a bit. All the planned work will make a noticeable improvement to the driving, so I haven't really got an excuse not to do it. 

Continues to drive OK, still sounds awesome and turns heads wherever I go. 

Shiny paint is shiny. 


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...