1994 Rover 414Sli

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Vulgalour
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Re: 1994 Rover 414Sli

#361 Post by Vulgalour » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:28 pm

Finally got access to Mike's ramp today and got to see whether or not the new parts I'd bought were correct. The last 2 MoTs it's been a struggled to get the car to pass emissions and I knew the catalytic converter needed replacing. I'd bought the parts ages ago to do the job, I just haven't been able to get stuff together to get the job done and doing it on the drive on my back while possible, was certainly not desireable. I was on the verge of paying someone to do the job for me when everything fell into place and half an hour spent today saw it done.

Up on the trusty old lift...
Image20171110-01 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

Then the old part could be removed. Five bolts that, surprisingly, undid fairly easily once the initial torque was beaten by the breaker bar. No silly business with bolts sheering or the like. It was clear that the smaller gasket was well past its sell by date. having corroded away in places and showing some signs of blowing through.
Image20171110-02 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

It took me a while to find the right part for my car and I ended up with a Klarius branded item. It fits well enough and installation was pretty easy with two of us and the ramp.
Image20171110-03 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

It has made some small differences. The car is actually less noisy now, one of the irritating drone/buzzes is gone so I guess that must have been the old part causing that. Gear change is also better, seemingly, with the car less prone to snatchy gear changes or worse, stalling unexpectedly when setting off. I'm wondering if the latter is an actual improvement or just coincidence at this point, I've only driven the car a few miles. Happy it's now done, at any rate, and that should see me okay for emissions at the next MoT, I hope.

There's a few bits and bobs for me to work through, all of them really superficial items. I do feel very much like the money I've invested in this car has been returned with reliable service and an easy car to live with that isn't monstrously boring. It wants little more than ordinary servicing and cleaning to keep it in really good shape now as far as I can tell. I'd like to get things like the interior light door switches working reliably rather than when they feel like it (probably mucky contacts) and things like that, but honestly that's about as bad as the problems are now so they're not really problems at all.
Current Fleet:
1980 Austin Princess 2 1700 HL
1994 Rover 414 SLi

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Vulgalour
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Re: 1994 Rover 414Sli

#362 Post by Vulgalour » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:31 am

Now I've actually driven the car around my usual routes and some new ones on less familiar, faster roads I can confirm my initial feeling of things being improved are not imagined. This has been confirmed by the rare occurence of a passenger who has confirmed my suspicions.

Noise - it's so quiet the trim rattles are a bit more annoying now and the lack of drone means I don't have to have the radio so loud as I did.
Fuel Economy - improved! Only 2-5mpg, I'll need to do a few more fuel ups to know exactly. I hadn't expected this improvement.
Performance - It's not faster, but it is smoother. Before the new cat' acceleration was snatchy/jerky and it would quickly run out of puff between the gears. Now, when you accelerate it does so smoothly and predictably and just keeps going. It's not a fast car, it never will be since it's only a 1.4, but it's so much easier to get it to go now.
Stalling - it doesn't do this anymore. I was having issues with the car stalling setting off from junctions and sometimes setting off first thing when the car was still cold. These problems have gone completely.
Gear change - It was being troublesome with third and reverse. Now the troubles with third are completely gone. Reverse is sometimes difficult to select but I'm told that's normal for the R65 'box and a foible of MG Fs so I'm putting it down to more of a one-of-those-things deal.

I'm not really sure at this point what I can improve without going into performance territory now. I've got all the stock stuff as good as it's ever likely to get and mechanically it feels completely sorted. I do have the new minor bushes to go on the back but that's more because I want to get them all replaced than because it feels like anything is amiss back there.

To complete the illusion of the car not feeling like it's done 115,000 miles I could do with a better driver's seat as mine is pretty worn out, and figuring out how to stop the dash buzzing/rattling at 50mph. You can imagine how annoying a constant rattle/buzz is that's triggered at 50mph given how many stretches of the M1 are limited to that. I suspect it's a broken clip behind the instrument binnacle, I just haven't had the courage/patience/time/inclination to dismantle the dashboard on my only operational car.

My shopping list is very different these days, it's not the sort of shopping list I normally have:
Windscreen
Roof paint
Repair rear arch - panel got, just time on this one really
Body paint - once I've finished swapping door parts about to get a decent set

That's it. It's a shame paint is so labour intensive, makes it really expensive to get a reasonable finish. I've not put the Concerto conversion on there because I'm having real difficulty getting the last two parts I need to complete it, sadly.
Current Fleet:
1980 Austin Princess 2 1700 HL
1994 Rover 414 SLi

crepello
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Re: 1994 Rover 414Sli

#363 Post by crepello » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:58 am

There's not much refinement to the R65 reverse gearing, just straight-cut teeth and no synchromesh. The idler is just shifted along its shaft to engage. So I'd imagine they'd all be much the same. I can't say that mine gives particular bother in this regard. Is the lubricant up to correct level?

Regarding dash buzzes, my 2010 Civic has this, and that dash is particularly intimidating! My 1991 214S had it too. Eventually I lugged the dash out, as one of the side vent shutters jammed as well. I found that the tarred/mastic felt deadening pad had slumped off the bulkhead, and was probably touching the dash. As all the foam ventilation gaskets had crumbled to sticky dust, I stripped everything back, washed years of dust off and made new gaskets from polythene foam. I don't expect that to crumble. The condition of engine mount rubbers also has a bearing, and some of those are getting scarce. All was fine for a while, until a BMW took a dislike to it!

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Johnny 216GSi
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Re: 1994 Rover 414Sli

#364 Post by Johnny 216GSi » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:07 pm

Vulgalour wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:31 am
...and figuring out how to stop the dash buzzing/rattling at 50mph.
Do you know where it's buzzing from?

I've put spacers behind the rubber buffers that cushion the glovebox, I've identified the "ticking" squeak that comes from the interface between the dash strip and the vinyl of the dash (but don't know what to do about it), and of course the centre console can be removed and jiggled about with or fitted with extra edge padding at will.

Or is I coming from some mysterious place, mid-dash, that you can't get to?

I agree with Francis too - you could suspect an engine mount but a true failure would be felt badly at idle and be visible with engine shake too.
Rover 216GSi K reg. Flame Red over Tempest Grey

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Vulgalour
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Re: 1994 Rover 414Sli

#365 Post by Vulgalour » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:33 pm

Reverse - and typically it's not done it since the last post I made - sometimes pops out of its gate after you're moving so you have to push the clutch in firmly and reselect. It's like it doesn't always go quite in the gate. Was like it before and after the new clutch was fitted and not really any better after a gearbox oil change. I'm told it's just one of those things. I do know the rear gearbox stay is tired, I tried to buy a replacement and got a T series top engine stay instead for some reason which doesn't fit, obviously. Engine mounts appear to be in good order, thankfully, I don't really have anything in the way of drivetrain vibration these days.

Best I can figure out is the buzz is from either behind the driver's side vent or in the middle of the instrument cluster. The centre console and glovebox make noises sometimes but I've narrowed that down to a jiggly tape cassette and a pen, respectively, so those aren't issues.
Current Fleet:
1980 Austin Princess 2 1700 HL
1994 Rover 414 SLi

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Johnny 216GSi
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Location: Birmingham - the home of Rover!

Re: 1994 Rover 414Sli

#366 Post by Johnny 216GSi » Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:50 pm

Vulgalour wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:33 pm
Best I can figure out is the buzz is from either behind the driver's side vent or in the middle of the instrument cluster. The centre console and glovebox make noises sometimes but I've narrowed that down to a jiggly tape cassette and a pen, respectively, so those aren't issues.
Not sure if you can reach up with the lower cowling removed around the internal fuse box to fix anything - I've never needed to and I've never had the complete dash out.

I had a squeaking speedo cable on my 216 and had to replace it to fix the problem. There's not much behind the binnacle to the bulkhead because of the path the speedo cable needs to take. Worst part of getting the binnacle out for me was detaching the mechanical drive from the engine so I could free up a length to actually pull the binnacle forward. Not sure how tricky this is on a 214 but on the 216 it's a rubber boot which should lift but doesn't, and this covers a wire spring clip keeping the cable in the hole.

I'm sure I'll have my dash out at some point just to have a good look around - but it won't be for a while.
Rover 216GSi K reg. Flame Red over Tempest Grey

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Vulgalour
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Re: 1994 Rover 414Sli

#367 Post by Vulgalour » Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:02 pm

I have hands like spades, I can't get them into the dash. It did blow a massive chunk of dessicated grey foam out the vents at me today... didn't change anything, dash still buzzes and vibrates just the same. I need to find an opportunity when I can pull the dash, clean and repair anything that needs it and reinstall with fresh foam and whatnot. It's a bit job to do right so I'm reluctant to do it until I'm really in a mood to tackle it.
Current Fleet:
1980 Austin Princess 2 1700 HL
1994 Rover 414 SLi

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Vulgalour
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Re: 1994 Rover 414Sli

#368 Post by Vulgalour » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:23 pm

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Current Fleet:
1980 Austin Princess 2 1700 HL
1994 Rover 414 SLi

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1234dist
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Re: 1994 Rover 414Sli

#369 Post by 1234dist » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:25 pm

concertina shorty :laughing2
220 Coupe turbo K785OAT (issues :glare )
Rover Sport 220GTI m-series K56AEP
218 VVC Cabriolet R170FEU
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crepello
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Re: 1994 Rover 414Sli

#370 Post by crepello » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:45 pm

1234dist wrote:
Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:25 pm
concertina shorty :laughing2
As in "Honda Concertina"?

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Johnny 216GSi
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Re: 1994 Rover 414Sli

#371 Post by Johnny 216GSi » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:14 am

I'd buy that if it was an all-electric city car! The wheels look huge for some reason - more like a quad bike with an R8-style safety cage!
Rover 216GSi K reg. Flame Red over Tempest Grey

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Vulgalour
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Re: 1994 Rover 414Sli

#372 Post by Vulgalour » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:42 pm

It's a fun little trick using Photoshop and some layers. Works better with some cars than others.

We don't very often get snow and even though the Princess (and only the Princess, weirdly) was covered in big frost fern leaf patterns last night I wasn't expecting to wake up to snow this morning. Made a change being in traffic with other drivers being careful, perhaps a little too careful with some, and the Rover of course performed perfectly well. The only nuisance was the driver's side window fogging up but after all the engine work the heaters are so good now you can open said window and stay warm with the heater only at 3/4!

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Current Fleet:
1980 Austin Princess 2 1700 HL
1994 Rover 414 SLi

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Vulgalour
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Re: 1994 Rover 414Sli

#373 Post by Vulgalour » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:58 pm

As tradition dictates, my daily driver is now littered with tinsel.
Image20171215-01 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

The new thing is me trying to use the camera for updates a bit more, so this here is a microblog from the Potatocam where you can hear and watch me prattle on aimlessly.
https://youtu.be/KVet449XtP8

Apart from the fogging up, the camera doesn't seem willing to pick up the other two issues which are a judder on the return sweep of the wipers which appears to be worn mechanism rather than a wiper issue, and the top of the driver's door frame which doesn't sit flush with the rear door and has wind noise at higher speeds. I suspect the fogging up and door alignment are related, even though the inside of the car is never damp to the touch.
Current Fleet:
1980 Austin Princess 2 1700 HL
1994 Rover 414 SLi

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Vulgalour
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Re: 1994 Rover 414Sli

#374 Post by Vulgalour » Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:56 pm

Just back from the first very long drive in a while, 300ish mile round trip to Lincolnshire. Before I set off I did what I could with the driver's door frame and have improved the fit a little, needs more effort yet, but there's much less wind noise at speed. The heaters are insanely hot once you've been on the motorway for a few miles, I wished it had been colder outside to compensate! The new cat is very definitely a big improvement on noise in the cabin, anything over 55mph was really tiring before, now the car will happily bomb along at 65-70mph and you aren't being driven made by a droning exhaust.

Handling-wise, now that it is happier at higher speeds, I found it has the same trait as my Mk2 Polo at 70mph and above in that it goes extremely light on the front end which isn't a pleasant experience. I rarely drive that fast anyway so I'll deal with it by just sticking to the comfortable zone of 60-65mph where the car is most settled and the various at-speed noises the least bothersome. I imagine some sort of splitter on the front would help keep it planted a bit better. Economy-wise it returned almost 42mpg over the 300ish miles without me trying to eco-drive which is very respectable. Economy is another reason for sticking under 70mph, once you get up there you can watch it drinking fuel.

The friend I was visiting may have a spare power steering pump that can be rebuilt if needed to replace my tired one which would deal with that minor intermittent niggle of the steering weight varying sometimes. Other than that the car is using no fluids and seems in really fine fettle. I was a little stiff getting out of the car after a 2.5 hour drive without a break (that's quite a long drive for me), but didn't have any of the back pain other cars have given me and a quick stretch was all I needed to feel comfortable again. It is a very easy car to live with for the most part, I'm very happy with it at the moment.
Current Fleet:
1980 Austin Princess 2 1700 HL
1994 Rover 414 SLi

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Vulgalour
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Re: 1994 Rover 414Sli

#375 Post by Vulgalour » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:30 pm

Here was the scene from earlier today. My friend has the newer, sportier version of what I drive in the form of a Honda Civ--- sorry, MG ZS.

Image20171217-01 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr
Current Fleet:
1980 Austin Princess 2 1700 HL
1994 Rover 414 SLi

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