Road­wor­thy Rover

Classics Monthly - - Driver's Diary -

My Rover 2000’s MoT ran out a few weeks ago, but as there was salt on the roads and rain and snow in the air I wasn’t plan­ning on us­ing it, so let that wait un­til bet­ter weather. When I gave it a check over, only two things looked bro­ken. The wind­screen washer pump had bro­ken and the hazard lights didn’t flash, al­though I knew about that as the in­di­ca­tor re­lay had packed up so I’d stolen the hazard one as a get-home fix months ear­lier.

I was pass­ing Winns In­ter­na­tional in East Grin­stead so called in to pick up both, and while there saw a new old stock in­te­rior light in per­fect con­di­tion so grabbed that as a nice fin­ish­ing touch for af­ter the re­paint.

Fit­ting both parts only took five min­utes. The new re­lay fits into the clip un­der the dash and makes the nice think-think sound. When I bought the car 25 years ago some­one had by­passed the washer bot­tle pump in the lid and fit­ted one on the wing. I imag­ine it must have been a cheaper fix, but the pipes just needed con­nect­ing cor­rectly, then it was on to the test sta­tion.

It’s al­ways good to have a tester who un­der­stands old cars and I’m lucky to have found one. The ex­haust had a slight blow on a joint which he patched for me be­fore the test and then the only ad­vi­sory was for the non-struc­tural cor­ro­sion which the car is booked in for re­pair­ing soon. With it back on the road I’m look­ing for­ward to get­ting it into the bodyshop.

Af­ter get­ting stuck tak­ing the tim­ing cover off the Rover 3500’s V8 I spent ages look­ing for what I’d missed, but couldn’t see any­thing. Even­tu­ally I put a call for help on a fo­rum and a few peo­ple sug­gested ideas, but I’d done them al­ready, leav­ing the con­clu­sion I’d come to and some­one on­line sug­gested that when the SD1 tim­ing cover was

I broke out the grinder and started hack­ing into the rear arch but soon started to feel I’d bit­ten off more than I could chew!

fit­ted they had used some kind of in­stant gas­ket that’s bonded it in place. That will need heat and brav­ery to re­move so I left it for now.

Hav­ing hit a wall on one mas­sive task I de­cided to start an­other. My Mk1 MR2 has the usual near-ter­mi­nal rusty arches. The driver’s side was pro­fes­sion­ally welded a few years ago but the job was big­ger than planned and went over bud­get leav­ing me to fix the pas­sen­ger side, so it re­mained un­der a cover for a while.

I fi­nally broke out the grinder and started hack­ing into the rear arch. I soon started to feel I’d bit­ten off more than I could chew! Un­der the plas­tic side skirt an old re­pair had rot­ted through and when I dug through the thick filler, fi­bre glass and gaffer tape of pre­vi­ous re­pairs and got back to me­tal the outer panel had rot­ted back to a frilly edge and the in­ner arch has many holes to patch.

I started by cut­ting a clean edge to the outer arch. I have a re­pair panel and nor­mally you would over­lap and save orig­i­nal steel but here I’ve just had to mark the re­pair panel edges and cut to that as so much has gone.

Now I’ve started cut­ting back and patch­ing holes in the in­ner panel, test­ing my limited weld­ing skills to the limit!

Freshly MoT’d Rover is al­ready booked in for body­work and paint.

The old screen­wash mo­tor had come apart.

New lid made the old bot­tle look shabby.

MoT re­vealed Rover’s un­der­side has re­mained sound.

Re­pair patches were shaped by hand for MR2.

Whee­larch was made from filler, fi­bre­glass and gaffer tape.

The prob­lem soon turned out to be worse than thought.

Holes in in­ner arch will need sort­ing be­fore re­pair panel can be added.

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