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Roverdoing it: A fool and his money


RoadworkUK
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I've cross-posted this on the Rover800 forum as well, but thought I'd open it up and share it with you. Any input or bright ideas will be much appreciated.

R227NOJ has been mine for a few months now. For FREE. It works 100% and just needs tax / insurism to hit the road. But, I don't want to press it into service until it's had a cambelt change. It's never had one in 15 years, which isnt a great idea on a KV6. So, with a long weekend to enjoy, the head-scratching started in earnest this morning, first, some photos.

noj1.jpg

Mark at the bottom of the o/s passenger door will have to be investigated, I hadn't noticed it until I uploaded the pic...

noj2.jpg

Generally extremely straight, there are a few parking ripples on the doors that I shall employ a friendly chap with pushy-pully tools to have a fiddle with.

noj3.jpg

noj9.jpg

noj4.jpg

Nothing much wrong in here, actually needs a damn good clean, isn't as spotless as it looks in the photos. Fortunately I know a friendly Pole who's a dab hand with a steam cleaner and accepts payment in Lager.

noj7.jpg

Could probably do with a few more miles on the clock.

noj6.jpg

This is the worst bit of rust I've found. Surface stuff on the wheelarch rim (of course) which will need attacking as soon as possible. Of course, I've not been underneath or behind the bumpers, hopefully there shouldn't be anything sinister lurking.

noj8.jpg

This bit desparately needs to not be a stumbling point. It starts literally on the button and sounds beautiful. No hint of tappety-ness or belty-ness, nothing untowards at all. Temperature seems fine. Basically in rude health.

But has never had a cambelt change.

I'm now in a quandary to working out how best to tackle things. I've invested £170 so far on a set of belts. The question now is whether to invest further cash on a reasonably priced man to do the job for me, or to dive in at the deep end and do the job myself.

Bear in mind, of course, that I don't have a locking kit, although as Richard points out, doubtless one could be fabricated.

Access looks like being an utter toerag. I'm guessing that, without recourse to an engine-out job, I'm best popping the o/s engine mount and lifting the engine a couple of inches for a bit more clearance, but that'll only help with the main belt. The two small belts on the nearside will call for removal of the induction manifold to get to.

So, to pay or to do? How would you hit it?

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I imagine Lord Sterling will be very impressed with your acquisition.

 

Was a manual with a KV6 a common option on these? Would have thought an auto would have been a better combination. Still, I prefer manual boxes, whatever the car is.

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I imagine Lord Sterling will be very impressed with your acquisition.

 

Was a manual with a KV6 a common option on these? Would have thought an auto would have been a better combination. Still, I prefer manual boxes, whatever the car is.

 

He's made some very polite noises over on Rover800!

 

I've not seen that many manual KV6s, you're right. I quite like the idea. It's such a nice sounding engine, and (I have to say) quick. Also no immediate sign of OMGHGF(x2)!! or even any minor oil seepage.

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Not sure about the 800, but on the 75 it's not a job for the faint hearted - I think the book time is around six and a half hours and it should be done at 90K.

 

That is why you see KV6 engined 75's for sale with around 89 K on the clock.

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What a cracking car that looks like. a KV6 manual 800 (that hasnt had terminal engine failure) is a supa rare thing now I reckon.

 

As for the belt, have you done any timing belts before? if so, I would get stuck in. I think it'll be a right bast of a job, but you will get there in the end and be a 5* mechanic in my eyes!!! If you haven't done one before, then its not a good place to start however. Have you got a decent manual describing the procedure and showing all the timing marks etc??

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As for the belt, have you done any timing belts before? ...... Have you got a decent manual describing the procedure and showing all the timing marks etc??

 

Hmmm. Well, I've done one before, in the A4, but that was (believe it or not) a lot easier thanks to complete removability of the whole front of the car. And the fact that it's a longitudinal engine, with the belt on the right end. The KV6 has three bloody belts and it's all sideways.

 

Manual-wise, well, both versions of the Haynes book of fire kindling helpfully avoid the KV6. I do have the Rover factory RAVE manual, and it describes the belt change procedure albeit without the engine being surrounded by car.

 

I think, all in, i probably have enough info. It's just the skill and time I'm concerned about.

 

Financially, paying a geezer to do it would be a bind, but then again Id be getting a magnificent example of Rover adequacy 8) for the price of a cambelt change.

 

I suppose I can't lose either way.... (???)

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I think if you've done an A4 I would say you have defo got enough nouse to do the Rover one, the Audi is a double overhead cam right? And i'm sure its got plenty of serpentine belts and tubes and wires and what have you. Just think of it as doing two A4's simultaneously with no room to see anything.

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....Just think of it as doing two A4's simultaneously with no room to see anything.

 

I like that as a philosophical approach! What can possibly go wrong.

 

I cursed almost continuously while I was doing the A4, particularly when it started to look like this:-

 

15112008171-1.jpg

 

...but that looks like a walk in the park compared to the 825!

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Chris, as said on the rover800 forum, that car looks excellent. I didnt know it was a manual! That would be something quite popular on the 800 forum, there are a fair few manual-lovers there.

 

As has been said, try and get yourself a cam-locking tool, either borrowed or make one yourself (I think someone posted up a 'how to' in the '800' section of the MG-Rover forum) changing the cambelt(s) on the KV6 is a pig of a job to do and not having a cam-locking tool only makes it worse as I understand it.

 

Good luck mate, you've got yourself a great car there.

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Wat and I will have to agree to disagree here, as I prefer automatic on any car. Which is fine, he can have the DIY ones, I'll take the luxury option and we'll both be happy.

 

Meanwhile, what a lovely-looking Rover! Cambelts? Definitely pay, if you have someone to hand. Transverse engines are a pig to get at, whatever you need to do. Mind, even with the engine facing the right way, it isn't always a bed of roses, but at least your chances are better.

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Crikey. I'd be petrified about starting to do that. Good luck, it does sound worth persevering with.

 

I was very pleased to find a receipt for the belt being changed on the Camry V6, that also has a 24v unit sitting sideways. Something must be a bit simpler though, as the bill from a Toyota main dealer was only £144 in 2006. Sorry, that's of no help at all is it? If it helps I am on borrowed time as HGF could still be an issue...

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...Good luck mate, you've got yourself a great car there.

 

Cheers Mr Sterling! Re. locking kit, Mr Moss told me about the DIY tool instructions, I've spent the evening on MG-Rover but I'm ballsed if I can find them. The searc continues tomorrow.

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Wat and I will have to agree to disagree here, as I prefer automatic on any car. Which is fine, he can have the DIY ones, I'll take the luxury option and we'll both be happy.

 

I like a manual on a multivalve, turbo or otherwise hi-revving motor, but a badermatic on torquey, grunty motors; V8s and diesels. I take it both ways.

 

It'd be a shame to have an auto on the KV6, it sounds too good around the top end and on the overrun.

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Crikey. I'd be petrified about starting to do that. Good luck, it does sound worth persevering with.

 

I have a feeling that the lack of VS1290 tools could be my undoing. I might have to throw magic cash at the issue...

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Fine by me, take it and enjoy! :D Neither of us is harming anyone else by these choices, so we can afford to just bask in the delight they give us.

 

Except I've just bought yet another car (see new thread) with a manual box. Dammit, I've completely failed to find myself an automatic since we moved here. :(

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Well, who'da thunk that working on a KV6 engined 800 would be an utter pain in the crevice?

 

I've made a start on the long process of stripping the car of the many layers of nonsense that are in the way. I can understand why this is such a pricey job to farm out. I'm going to do a juicy technical journal posting over on the Rover800 forum, but for now:

 

rover2.jpg

 

The parents cars are exiled from the garage,

 

oilfilter.jpg

 

Genius design requires the O/S wheel to be removed just to change the oil filter...

 

firstevening.jpg

 

Bits removed so far:- various covers, intake manifold chamber, rear engine steady bar, rear LH cambelt cover. There are a frightening number of vacuum tubes and multi-plugs to reconnect, too.

 

And to do this job I highly recommend that you wear a genuine Amercan GM Goodrench workshop shirt, previously worn by an enormous guy called Earl.

 

rover1.jpg

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Fair play to you for having a go. Is the KV6 cambelt procedure as involved as it is in the 75? I seem to recall the latter takes something crazy like 9 hours book time, and I would have thought the 800's engine bay might be even narrower (as they aren't a wide motor for an executive-class car).

 

Definitely worthwhile though as age takes a toll on the belt as well as mileage. I had a 16-year-old Jetta that had only done 51k; belt interval per VW was 60k with no mileage specified, but the original belt was literally hanging on by threads when replaced.

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Fair play to you for having a go. Is the KV6 cambelt procedure as involved as it is in the 75? I seem to recall the latter takes something crazy like 9 hours book time, and I would have thought the 800's engine bay might be even narrower (as they aren't a wide motor for an executive-class car).

 

The answer I've universally recieved to that is Yes. All the qualified techs I've spoken to say that they hate doing any KV6, especially the 800, and that if somebody asks for a quote they tend to not go out of their way to be too competitive.

 

I'm probably wrong here, but everything about it feels like this engine was never meant to go in this car. The positioning of some of the ancilliaries and the accessibility is downright criminal.

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Ah, I see. I noticed the other day that a local MG specialist had a KV6 Sterling for sale (it's on eBay) for a cheap price - closer inspection of the ad identified a leaking waterpump (but the fact it has racked up 164k so far is impressive nonetheless!). Hence my conclusion it must be an involved job (or they didn't feel their example warranted a higher price from doing the work).

 

Best of luck to you anyway. Being a mechanical amateur (minor servicing, suspension and disc/pad changes being my limit), the only successful cambelt change* I've ever done was on a 1987 Mazda 323 1300 - very simple, mind, so I had it done in an hour.

 

* I've only done one other, an Omega V6 - great access once all the intake trunking gubbins comes out of the way (like your A4 I guess) but I just couldn't get it timed up, and after the 24th attempt I'd ground the hex heads of the pulley bolts to cheese.

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Good work Earl!, I want to change the cambelt in the Mk3 Escort but my lack of experance puts me off so i was planning on farming it out to my tamed mechanic to do, If your tackling this then there's no reason why i shouldn't do my CVH one and save myself £50.

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Spoke to a specialist recently about cambelt changes on the MG ZS with the KV6. They seem to consider it easier to remove the engine first now that they're pretty well practised at it...

 

Wonderful car you've got there though. Once the belt issue is overcome, it'll be a corking motor.

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... I'd ground the hex heads of the pulley bolts to cheese.

 

Yeah, that's my biggest fear. Other than that inevitability, providing that the instructions are good enough, there's not much that can't be tackled. It's a shame they made it so labour intensive that a cambelt change on anything the age of mine becomes financially unviable. Still, free V6 motoring if I can do it right.... 8)

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They seem to consider it easier to remove the engine first now that they're pretty well practised at it...

 

Says a lot, really! The engine out route did cross my mind, but for the lack of a hoist and so many connectors to worry about, I probably would have done just that. And cheers, it's a lovely old bus to drive and, best of all, it'll be the only car I've owned with working a/c!

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Wow Chris! You're really getting stuck in there :shock: I can just about manage a very simple service on a car, never done anything as major or involved.

 

I guess having a nice warm garage with space helps, I havent even got a driveway to mess around with my cars, all that happens on the road.

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