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Rover SD1, Two steps forward, 4 steps back.

Another day, another attempt at fixing things in the Rover.

Well, first off, I’ll say it. The car is parked up for the near future whilst it waits on some rather important parts. I did some work to the car today, as ill explain below, but whilst checking my work with the engine running I discovered a very serious fuel leak from the return line off the pressure regulator. Its dripping at a rate of a drop every couple of seconds, and there was a growing puddle at the back of the engine.

I did note a slight fuel smell, and the puddle of liquid (which I checked with the engine off, and couldn’t tell if it was oil or not) when I test drove the car, but I decided to overlook it as I couldn’t see any injector hoses leaking. Just this morning I ordered some new injector seals so I could take the injectors out and replace the perished fuel hoses. It appears that the fuel lines have all been replaced in the past, but it’s either with low quality hose, or just so long ago its perished again. I can tell this because of the clamps on the injectors, instead of the usual metal ferrule.

This is the condition of the fuel hoses and why I wanted to change them. The fuel filter also looks old as, so I have a replacement for that ready to go.

Anyway, the plan today was to go out and condition all the leather in a desperate attempt to get some much-needed moisture into the leather. I went over every seat with a thick layer of my good conditioner, and it seems to have made the leather a bit softer. I’ll need to do another couple of coats, and then I’ll give them a good clean. The leather was so neglected that it was hard and starting to crack. Thankfully other than cosmetic cracks it’s actually in really good shape, no rips/tears or anything. No photos, because nothing to see here.

Once that was done I moved into the engine bay to check the throttle pot reading, and make sure it was set correctly. When I removed it I just reinstalled it back where it came from, I didn’t check it.

The initial reading had me thinking something was dead, as I got a solid 0.00V with closed throttle, when it should read 0.32V +/-. Opening the throttle showed that it was reading the voltage correctly, but it was well out of adjustment. WOT was at only 2.83V, when it should be close to 4.7V.

I tweaked the position by loosening off the two screws and rotating the pot until I got the reading I wanted with the throttle closed. Unfortunately WOT was still low, only 3.17V. I’m not sure if this is because the sensor is just stuffed, or because of what I did when I moved the wiper on the tracks. Either way, it should be a lot better down low now, but may still fall a little flat at WOT. This isn’t an issue, ill replace the pot when I install Speeduino. In the meantime it now starts easily, and idles better. Havent managed to drive it though due to the fuel leak.

Whilst under the bonnet I decided that I should fix the most important thing in the car…. the under bonnet lights. Should the inevitable happen and I break down at night, these little babies will help me pretend i’m a mechanic and get it going again.

The standard lights were in bad shape, with no light being emitted, and the housing full of crud. Obviously they aren’t sealed all too well and have had 30 years of water ingress to deal with.

In the interests of slightly and subtly modernising the car, I installed a pair of LED bulbs I had kicking around. They use less power, but the light output will be a billion times better than the old bulbs (if they even went, mind you).

I cleaned all the contacts in the socket, but there is a lot of rust on the terminals on the back. I also used some dielectric grease to lubricate and seal the central contact, and insides of the socket. The housing got a good cleaning with some Simple Green, and they came up well. All screws were in bad shape visually due to rust, but appeared to be solid with good threads. I smothered them in some copper grease to help keep the rust at bay, and help stop them seizing in if I need to remove them in the future.

And at night!

Great success.

So now I have a great blue whale stuck in my driveway, also blocking in the S401. I can move it if I HAVE to, but will try not to run it if possible. As soon as the injector seals arrive, i’ll get some new hose and proper fuel line safe clamps (unlike what’s on there, which is likely half the issue), pull the plenum off and replace all the fuel lines.

The previous owner is lucky him and his family┬ádidn’t die in a fireball whilst driving this thing 😲

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