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Rover SD1, Small Fixes

Owning a Rover SD1 means accepting that you will always have something to fix.

I’m a couple of days behind posting, thanks to near constant work on the Rover and MX5, but here we are.

On the weekend I decided to uncover the Rover so that I could use it, as the MX5 warrant was due to expire. I have booked the MX5 in for its warrant check, but its a couple of weeks until I can get it done. In the meantime the Rover will get all the use.

Of course being an SD1 I couldn’t just pull it out and drive it, no, I had to fix it first. Last time I drove it I noticed it rewarded me by leaking coolant from the expansion tank hose at the radiator, and the fuel hose on the fuel filter was once again causing me grief and cracking.

The expansion tank hose is an easy fix. I knew this was going to need replacing as I noticed ages ago that it was cracking on the ends and swelling.

More of my lovely coolant spilled. Damn this car has a thing for coolant.

So I didn’t have to drain the expansion tank I just undid the two screws and raised it up so the coolant was below the outlet

Undo two hose clamps and off comes the hose. Remember to remove the coolant cap first if you havent done so recently, or the system may still have pressure, as I found out; it makes a mess. Take a lot of care removing and refitting hose to the plastic bottle, as the hose barb can be very brittle and breaks off if you’re too rough. Then you’re in a world of pain.

I did originally buy some 8mm ID “coolant overflow” hose, but when fittingĀ it occurred to me that the damn system is under pressure, as it’s not an overflow tank but an expansion tank, so overflow hose is useless. The hose needs to hold pressure.

It looked weird anyway, too narrow. I didn’t have any spare coolant hose on hand so used some of my favourite excess “R9” rated fuel hose

It fits perfect and looks the part. I figure that unlike the fuel system if the hose does fail on here, I have a coolant level warning light that should give me some chance of killing the engine before going too far, and it’s not going to spray fuel everywhere and burn me to the ground.

The old hose was well passed it. Very soft, swollen and cracked

Speaking of cracked. FML, I’m sick of replacing fuel hose now. This hose has been on the car less than 4 months.

I gave up on this hose as its rubbish, and went and purchased some proper branded hose from a local retailer. Unfortunately I can’t source 7.6mm hose locally, so had to settle for 7.9mm. This is R9 EFI rated (as the crap hose should be) and made by Codan in Denmark. This was available, on the shelf per meter from Supercheap Auto.

So with more fuel poured all over the place, on went the new hose. It fits quite well, but does need harder clamping pressure to seal tightly. No leaks, and by golly I hope it’s the last time I have to do those hoses.

In order to satisfy my own curiosity I carefully sliced the old hose so I could see how far the cracking went

I couldn’t see any of the cracking extending into the inner layer of rubber (the marks you see in the photo are from the knife), but the whole outer layer was trashed. I’m not sure if it would be a matter of time for the cracks to work their way into the inner layer, or if they stop there. I would rather just not find that out tbh.

Whilst in the engine bay I also fixed another source of my coolant loss. When I fitted my Speeduino I chose the wrong bolt to mount the CPS wiring bracket to. The bolt I chose goes right into a coolant gallery and never sealed properly with the bracket on the bolt. Whenever I shut the car down it would drop a single drip onto the belts. I knew about this for a while but since the leak was so minor I chose to leave it until I needed to actually add more coolant, and since I lost some from the expansion hose, the time was now.

I whipped the bolt out, removed the bracket and screwed the bolt back in. I moved the bracket to the bolt above, and problem solved. That bracket is looking a bit shabby now, so I might look into designing and 3d printing a new one.

I scored a couple of other good parts from the Whanganui haul, including a pair of decent shape chrome grille strips. My one was painted black by the previous owner, and before British Car Day I used chrome tape to make it shine again. Its nice from far, but far from nice. It did the job.

They are held to the grille with three screws, and if they aren’t broken off, a clip on each end

It needs a good polish, but already it looks noticeably better

Another thing I got from the haul was a pair of the series 1 indicator lenses. I wanted to see what they were like. Three screws and off came my orange lens

I knew the series 1 indicators fitment in the series 2 housing was a bit meh, but it was pretty bad.

I think it looked good though. The clear suits my light Zircon Blue.

I’m not a fan of the fitment, so I went back to the standard orange lenses. I’ll have a think and see if there is any way to make it fit better.

The last part I wanted to fit for the day was the replacement door seal I picked up. Mine was quite badly torn at the bottom rear, and no longer fit correctly, leaving a large gap at the top.

To remove the seal you need to remove the lower sill kick plate. Theres a series of screws the remove. Only the inner section needs to be removed.

I had to loosen off a screw on the B pillar

And remove a screw at the bottom of the B pillar

The seal pulls out. I refit the replacement seal, and reassembled the car. The replacement seal isn’t perfect either, but its a mile better than my old one.

Theres obviously a difference in how worn out my seal was too, as now the driver’s door is a little harder to close but seals a lot tighter. There is a noticeable reduction in wind noise too.

Oh yeah, my yellow bulbs for the fog lamps arrived, so i fitted those too. They aren’t too yellow, more subtle than your usual yellow lens yellow light.

I finished the day with a quick drive and some photos

And then a lovely drive out to the south coast to watch the sunset with the Wife.

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