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Rover SD1, More Warrant Prep & a Service

Warrant day is getting close, and since my parts arrived, it was time to get the car ready for it.

My shipment from Rimmers arrived the other day, so it was time to give the Rover some more love.

My first mission was to change the oil and filter. I didn’t really have a proper history of the servicing, so I didn’t know when it was last changed, or what was used. The filter appeared new, but the oil was black as anything. The filter had to be removed when the oil cooler was removed before my ownership, but I’m guessing that didn’t extend to an actual oil change 😐

This is a very easy car to do an oil change on, as long as you keep the rules in mind. The main rule, DO NOT REMOVE THE OIL FILTER WITH AN EMPTY SUMP!

It’s a weird quirk as normally I would drain the oil, and whilst that’s draining I would whip the filter off and get the new one ready. If you do this in the Rover, it will drain the oil pump and then you need to prime the oil pump by removing the distributor, and using a priming tool…. Crazy. The way around this is to drain the oil, put the plug in, and then fill it to the correct level. Only then can you remove the filter safely.

Finally I have a car where I don’t need to run it up on blocks of wood to get the jack under it. My low profile jack only barely fits, but hey, it does! It’s a bit dodgy jacking the car up from the front jacking point though…. very very wobbly and it leans to the right, but with some care and a bit of speed, I managed to get the axle stands under the reinforced points.

Once up, I slid myself under and drained the oil. The HUGE drain plug is a 1-1/8″, and it should have a copper crush washer. Mine had a random copper washer, and some old sealant. Typical. I sourced a new crush washer from Rimmers.

Once drained, I spun the crush washer on and wound the plug back into the sump. Then in went 5L of Valvoline VR1 Racing 10W-40. This may seem like an odd oil for an old dinosaur, but it makes sense on paper. Its high in ZDDP/Zinc, which is awesome for reducing wear on the flat tappet cam. It’s also the correct weight as per the owner’s manual, and a semi-synthetic. See, makes sense. Hopefully.

Sealed for my protection, eh?

Pouring the oil in was an adventure. Apparently my valve cover gaskets are so stuffed that if I poured the oil in too quick, it would build up in the head, and then pour out the front of the valve cover. Oops. They are on my to-do list, and I have the parts now.

With 5L of oil in the sump (it takes about 5.5L all up, including filter), I spun the old filter off, drained it out (all over the under tray), poured some fresh oil into my new filter and spun it on. Genuine Ryco, yo. Might go genuine Land Rover next time for lols.

With the king lead on the coil disconnected, I cranked the engine over for a few seconds to build pressure and fill the filter.  Connected the lead back up, fired the car up and watched as the pressure gauge rose and settled to a nice level. Excellent. With the extra 500ml added, it was bang on Full.

After that I cracked open a new can of brake clean, and went nuts under the car, degreasing all the oil that had found its way under the car. Hopefully it stays this clean, but I suspect there are still some leaks here and there. I’ll check when it’s on the hoist for the warrant. It did leave a hell of a mess on the ground though.

Next on the list was the brakes. Since I got the car the wear indicator on the dash has been coming on and off randomly, and recently it’s been more on than off. I had a quick look when it was on the hoist last and noticed the pads were actually quite low. I made the decision to grab some new pads and change them out and see if the light went away.

ABC in town supplied me with a set of ICER 180672 pads, which are for a few super high performance vehicles like the Ford Transit, Iveco Daily, and the Alfa Romeo AR8 (which I didn’t know existed until now….). Look at it, what a high performance machine, with all that stunning Alfa design.

Anyway, the pads are also designed for the Landy Disco, which makes sense.

So no they aren’t race car pads, but hey, it’s not a race car anyway. The SD1 weighs less than a Disco by a fair whack, so I wont be stressing the pads out.

This is what I was working with. It’s hard to see, but only a couple of mm pad left.

The 4 piston Rover calipers are very easy to change the pads on, once you know what to do. Some of the brake pad kits come with new springs, but use split pins instead of the solid pins mine have. Apparently the split pins are a direct replacement for the solid pins, but in the interest of originality I decided to stay with my solid pin setup. I purchased new pins and springs from Rimmers.

Getting the old pins out was as easy as pushing the spring towards the rotor, and then pushing the pin out. The pin is held in place in the caliper by the spring.

My pins and springs were in decent shape, but I wanted new ones anyway. I’ll keep the old ones as spares.

With the pins and springs out you can wiggle and jiggle the pads out of the back of the caliper.

I gently used a small pry-bar to lever back the pistons one by one, with the upper bleeder open. The color of the fluid coming out was disgusting (and the reason I decided to change the fluid completely).

The old pads were pretty worn. They had started to wear through the sensor, so no wonder it was lighting up on the dash.

Now, keep in mind that these pads had to be changed to pass the last warrant….. there is NO way they were new pads when fitted. *sigh*

With the pistons pushed back I applied copper grease to the backings of the pads, and slipped them in. New springs and pins were also greased up and fitted.

The wear indicator was reconnected.

And that was one side done. Easy. I did the same to the other side, and the pads were also in a similar condition. The rotors, thankfully, are in good shape with no real lip on them. I didn’t fancy having to change them.

With the help of my awesome fiancé, I flushed and bled the brakes. Before starting I sucked almost all the old fluid out of the reservoir and refilled with fresh new fluid. Starting at the RH Rear bleeder (only one in the rear), I flushed the fluid through until I could see it change color. The fronts were an interesting job to bleed. Both front calipers have three, yes three, bleed valves. It calls for starting with the LH caliper, by bleeding both of the lower valves together, and then moving to the upper valve.

Once both the fronts were done, this is what I was left with. A clear, backlit, jar of old brake fluid.

That is NOT a nice color. It should be a nice clear golden color. More neglect 🙁

The results though are pretty good. I did some heavy 60-10 KPH stops to bed the brakes in, and now they work very well. The pedal is far more progressive than it was, and it pulls up nice and quick, not to mention straight. The wear indicator is also unlit too. Result.

Dont make the rookie move I did, and forget to torque the wheel nuts up when you refit the wheels…. I’m lucky I remembered before driving too far down the road, and had the factory wheel brace in the car so I could tighten them up. 😳 The manual calls for 88NM of torque to be used. Also, when road testing, take your phone with you…

The final job for the day, was some new spark plugs. The manual calls for a set of BPR6ES gapped to 0.9mm. I grabbed a set from work a while back, although in factory gap of 1.1, so I had to manually gap them down.

Taking the old plugs out was both a pleasant, and annoying surprise. The plugs were in OK condition, the gap was a bit big, but the color was good. They were the wrong plugs though. 7x BPR4ES, and 1x BP5ES. Yup, one lone plug that wasnt a resistor plug, and a different temp range. All of them were the wrong temp range anyway. The wrong temperature range can result in detonation, overheating of the plug and generally bad running and a short lifespan of the plug.

With the new plugs in, the car feels like it running much more solid. Not necessarily more powerful, but not as weak.

It’s astounding that so many things im finding wrong with this car are simple little things that a previous owner has chosen to do wrong, or on the cheap. Getting the correct plugs isn’t rocket surgery, and they are pretty common and cheap.

Its been a long day, but my gosh the car just keeps getting better and better. I’m very happy with how it’s coming along. Next test is the warrant.

On another note, I finally got through the first tank of gas since I got the car. About half the tank was wasted with fuel leaks, and running issues. The second half was pure enjoyment.

I did 190 KM, or about 118 Miles to a tank. Lol. 21.6L/100KM. 😆 Worth it!

The next tank will be better, if I can keep my foot off the carpet.

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