The Hunt For Driveability in a 416

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The Origina lNom
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The Hunt For Driveability in a 416

#1 Post by The Origina lNom » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:41 pm

Hi guys, After driving my Rover 416 D16 SOHC for two years i have been slowly modifying it.
I got the car with 35000 miles on it and I had owned several different mode l/ year Rovers in the past.
My first mod was to change the wheels from boggo stock 5 1/2 inch wide thrillers to a set of hairpin alloys to which I fitted a set of 205/50/16 Falken 914s. I have since changed to the same tyre in 55 profile which ( according to the occasional back seat driver), has made the ride more comfortable for them. I then started experimenting with alloy wheel spacers and have 7mm spacers from Germany which are just below the maximum for the width/profile of the tyre without them sticking out beyond the lip of the rear wing. i could have used 8mm spacers if I had used 50 profile tyres. The look of the rear end now looks more aggressive and I have no problems with traction under power even on an adverse camber hairpin bend.
I then bought a set of new ZS180 brake calipers and carriers from Rimmers which I hand painted in silver Hammerite
i then fitted them with a set of Aeroquip style lines which i had purchased some years ago along with a set of Pagid coated discs and Textar pads (which are the same as Pagids) to prevent rust. The ABS on my car takes care of rear lock-ups and this gave me much improved braking for minimal weight gain.

I now had stonking brakes.
Next purchase was a pair of front and rear ZS180 anti roll bars which I have fitted and improved the stability when cornering.

Yesterday i decided i needed a touch more power so I bypassed the throttle body with the coolant.this involved buying a metre of rubber fuel line from Halfords which handily contained two screw tightening hose clips.
This did yield a barely noticeable power increase when cold but after an hour sitting in traffic the engine was noticeably more willing.
Today I fitted 15m bonnet hinge spacers from eBay which make my bonnet stick up under the windscreen. It looks odd but the engine runs noticeably cooler on the gauge and it definitely improved the power output.
i will change to 15mm spacers as an interim measure as I believe they will do the same job more discreetly prior to fitting Landrover stainless steel bonnet vents next summer.

I will have this done before they are fitted because I want the engine to run as efficiently as possible including economically.
I have fitted new Bilstein front shock absorbers with ZS120 springs which lowered the front slightly. Initially these fitted the std replacement Bilsteins without need for a spring compressor but the springs acquired some ' give ', so I fitted some ZR top spring cups which compressed the springs by 1cm and firmed the feel of the front to my satisfaction without raising the front ride height. Edit The ZS120 springs are too soft but very , very comfortable and a great improvement over standard but I am now thinking a matching set of Spax springs would be the way to go.
Long term goal is Weight loss so I may have to invest in a titanium bolt factory
Update 1/04/19: i have fitted 7mm rear wheel spacers and changed to 55 profile Falken 914s on the back and in conjunction with the Spax rear shocks the rear end now looks super aggressive. I have retained the 50 profile 914s on the front for the moment. I suddenly have a lot less body roll and the ride quality is a lot firmer due to the Spax springs. I also replaced my uncoated rear discs with pagid coated items as the Hammerite paint was looking grotty.
Time to revisit the front end as it now has its nose in the air.
I have new lower front shock Superflex bushes to fit and i think i need matching Spax front springs to level the suspension out.Pity about the ZS120 spring experiment but it had to be tried.
Pictures will be coming soon.
Last edited by The Origina lNom on Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:53 pm, edited 8 times in total.

burtonm
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Re: The Hunt For Driveability in a 416

#2 Post by burtonm » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:52 am

Intrigued about the 'teg manifold.
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Re: The Hunt For Driveability in a 416

#3 Post by GTiJohn » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:11 am

Interesting mods - pics would be good (via Flickr or similar).

The ARB bushes and new dampers should help you with steering response but won't change the amount of handshake angle you need - to do that you'd need to change the steering ratio by fitting a different steering rack. All R8 PAS racks have the same ratio and this is shared with R3. The later R3s have a different valve arrangement and reduced rack travel to allow bigger tyres to be fitted on the MG ZS versions. The 'valve under' design of the R8 steering rack makes fitting any different racks very difficult, if not impossible. The ZS gear is probably your best bet but that would need to go in with the matching ZS rear subframe which was designed purely to fit with Rover engines and so would need careful modification to fit the rear engine mount and PAS pipe runs.

Another small change worth considering is to fit the slightest shorter front suspension tiebars from the R3 along with polybushes where the attach to the front subframe. This in increases the castor angle slightly, adding a little extra weight to the steering. Remember to get the wheel alignment reset after you do this.
I like Twin Cams.... and Single Cams

The Origina lNom
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Re: The Hunt For Driveability in a 416

#4 Post by The Origina lNom » Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:43 pm

BurtonM The Integra manifold is 4 into 2 then the downpipe is 2 into 1 its longer with the fake cat than the standard arrangement so a custom mid section is needed to fit the standard backbox. Edit: I no longer intend to fit this as I have come up with a better alternative.
The only difference that I can see from the 416GTi is that the Teg one has the air sensor built into it.
GTi John, thank you. I intend to try swapping over the front wishbones as I have been informed many times this changes the camber.
I have two ZS steering racks which I intend to fit last before the steering gets set up on a super-duper computerised jig.
Last edited by The Origina lNom on Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:13 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Hunt For Driveability in a 416

#5 Post by GTiJohn » Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:03 am

I intend to try swapping over the front wishbones
It's only the forward-facing tie bars that need changing to affect the caster as the bushes in the lower arm and the lower balljoints just take up the little bit of twist.

If your lower arms are worse for wear it would be worth changing them at the same time though.
I like Twin Cams.... and Single Cams

The Origina lNom
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Re: The Hunt For Driveability in a 416

#6 Post by The Origina lNom » Sun Sep 30, 2018 2:57 pm

Thank you, I was told that the top wishbones on all Rover 400s had them fitted contra their markings. ie the wishbone marked as L was fitted to the RHS and visa versa.

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Re: The Hunt For Driveability in a 416

#7 Post by GTiJohn » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:22 am

The Origina lNom wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 2:57 pm
Thank you, I was told that the top wishbones on all Rover 400s had them fitted contra their markings. ie the wishbone marked as L was fitted to the RHS and visa versa.
The R8 400 is a Macpherson strut front suspension. The latter HH-R 400 has double wishbones at the front and I think the clever chassis chaps reversed the fitment of the upper wishbones as you say, on the MG variants to get more castor angle. Of course that's then a nice little upgrade you can do on an other HH-R.
I like Twin Cams.... and Single Cams

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Re: The Hunt For Driveability in a 416

#8 Post by The Origina lNom » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:51 pm

Update:
Saturday the front Bilstein front shocks were fitted along with ZS120 front springs.
I suffered a mild panic attack when the old shocks came apart because the original springs were at least 8cm longer than the new ZS120 ones. I was worried that the tyres would hit the front wings when it was taken off the jack.
I held my water for fifteen minutes and having fitted the new Superflex ARB bushes to the end of the ZS180 ARB I lowered it to find it gave me 45mm between the top of the tyre and the front wing.
Edit: I subsequently found the front was too soft so to tension the springs a little more I fitted a top spring cup which was about 12mm high as a spacer to pre-tension the spring.
Feeling a lot happier now, the other side was tackled.
After much digging around in my shed , I found my expensive new alloy strutbrace bought from Germany made by Wiechers. This was duly fitted after carefully bending the aircon pipe out of the way. The mountings were pre-drilled and there is no length adjuster/ tensioner so another scarey few minutes wre had whilst the car was raised/lowered until the bolt holes lined up.
After driving the car and doing some heavy braking I still have a 40mm gap between front tyre top and wheel arch with no tyre scrubbing at all, even under emergency braking.
The guess about the spring rates and height was not completely correct but in combination with the Bilsteins it gives the car a lot more stability without the crashing bumpiness of Koni adjustables which in my opinion are better suited to track day cars than everyday transport.
Last edited by The Origina lNom on Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: The Hunt For Driveability in a 416

#9 Post by GTiJohn » Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:11 pm

Fitted length and rate are the 2 main variables for a spring. A spring is too short if its fitted length is shorter than needed to cope with full suspension travel as it can become loose. You'd have spotted this when you put the strut assy together.
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Re: The Hunt For Driveability in a 416

#10 Post by The Origina lNom » Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:34 pm

Indeed, the ZS spring was only just under tension when fitted to the new shock with the damping rod fully extended.The top spring cup made sure it will not give problems in the future.
The standard spring on the standard shock was under considerable tension due to. its length.
I did consider swapping wishbone sides but I decided that was for another day when I was better prepared and with a six point tracking appointment booked.
Maybe early next year after the rear suspension has been revamped.
I have a pair of Honda lower arms that will lower the rear by 5mm once I get the lower shock mount reduced/machined to fit the fork of Rover shocks. I intend to use the Superflex lower shock bush to use standard Rover bolts.
I have used different lowering springs and shocks on different vehicles and this car is the one I decided to give a custom suspension package due to the number of awfully surfaced roads.
Last edited by The Origina lNom on Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:20 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: The Hunt For Driveability in a 416

#11 Post by GTiJohn » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:38 pm

The Origina lNom wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:34 pm
Indeed, the ZS spring was only just under tension when fitted to the new shock with the damping rod fully extended.
The standard spring on the standard shock was under considerable tension due to. its length.
Listen for knocks when driving and have a look after a few miles under your wheels to see if they move as there might be a little bit of extra dynamic movement in the damper. The matching ZS dampers might have slightly less travel than your originl damper.
I like Twin Cams.... and Single Cams

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Re: The Hunt For Driveability in a 416

#12 Post by The Origina lNom » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:39 pm

Thank you but i did compare the old standard shock with the new Bilstein R8 shock and they were identical lengths. The difference was in the springs. The ZS120 springs were shorter and thicker than the standard.
I now need to find some designer rear springs as Rover 400s are known for giving a very uncomfortable ride in the back. I am constantly listening for knocks and the suspension seems to be examined on a regular basis.
ZS120 rear springs do not seem to be readily available on eBay and

Spax dont tell you what spring rates they use (which I've always found annoying) but they do say it drops the ride height 35mm but not which end.
I think i may wait until Spring and visit http://www.dfaulknersprings.com/?gclid= ... Aqh48P8HAQ with a standard 416 spring and my new Bilstein rears.
Last edited by The Origina lNom on Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Hunt For Driveability in a 416

#13 Post by The Origina lNom » Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:34 pm

Update:
I just ordered a racing 4-2-1 black coated manifold with 2.25 inch down pipes into 2.25 cat replacement pipe from California via eBay.
I was reading a post that I saved from Rovertech that mentioned 2.25 was the optimum width for the exhaust pipe. Apparently this will mate up with a Rover Diesel mid section and rear box. I don't know which Diesel though ?
The standard pipe width is 1.75 so I'm hopeful this will liberate another 5bhp.
I will try to get some pics up soon.

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Re: The Hunt For Driveability in a 416

#14 Post by 220 GSi turbo » Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:11 pm

The Origina lNom wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:34 pm

I was reading a post that I saved from Rovertech that mentioned 2.25 was the optimum width for the exhaust pipe. Apparently this will mate up with a Rover Diesel mid section and rear box. I don't know which Diesel though ?
I would suggest that if the original Rovertech post was discussing an R8-based 216 or 416, the exhaust from a 218 or 418 diesel (Peugeot engine) was being used.

On your HH/R-based 416, you could look at exhausts from the 420D or 45/ZS diesel with the L-series engine, unless anybody knows if R8 exhaust sections will fit on an HH/R?
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The Origina lNom
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Re: The Hunt For Driveability in a 416

#15 Post by The Origina lNom » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:01 pm

Thank you. I have abandoned the idea of using a diesel 57mm mid and tail section due to the considerable weight and I wish to retain some lowqer and midrange torque.
I am searching for a mid section that has the correct flanges.
Edit: I have found a used 45mm o/d mid pipe in the Black Hole.
Last edited by The Origina lNom on Thu Sep 05, 2019 5:44 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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