Rover 820 Vitesse Sport Lux Gold

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n1tr0_9
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Rover 820 Vitesse Sport Lux Gold

Post by n1tr0_9 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:27 am

Dammn, bought another Rover, its an illness. I'm up to five now but this one isn't my fault. It belonged to a good friend of mine who was threatening to break/scrap/sell for cheap. Long story short...it had a coolant leak, he kept topping it up with fresh water until we got hit by the beast from the east. Guess what happened? Yes, it froze. Cue lots of water leaks strange noises and suspected head gasket issues.

Anyway, he was going to get rid as he had some pressure to shift it off his drive and although he loved the car, he didn't have time to investigate or sort it further. I said I would have it as I quite fancied trying to at least find out what happened, and if it was terminal I would keep the suspension and wheels for my 827.

I'm storing at work, and in the same parking space that was occupied by my very decrepit Alfa 147. SO that had to go so that I didn curse word off my boss or colleagues by filling the car park with scrap. I rang another contact of mine and said he could have the Alfa for free if he collected the Rover and dropped it off and took Alfa away. Deal done and that's what happened.

Got Alfa started and green slime cleaned off

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Rover delivered

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Video of unloading ceremony

https://youtu.be/RwPTugIkVDQ

Bye bye Alfa. Not a bad car really, paid £800, did 25,000 miles in 1 year and then retired it.

Loaded up and away

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Not had much time at all to inspect the Rover. Its quite evident a front core plug has gone as it pisses water over the turbo, I guess it keeps it cool? It actually idles ok, not too lumpy, which makes me think the head gasket is ok, however it makes an array of funny gurgling noises and a weird intermittent nasty squeaky, no idea where its coming from.

Took it for a quick run to see if it pulled ok. Ive never had an 820 turbo, but this is meant to be 200bhp. Feels nothing like it, more like 100 bhp, but then its done 147,000 miles. The 827 is considerable faster.

Anyway ill be giving it a good poking Friday night, so watch this space for further developments.

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Re: Rover 820 Vitesse Sport Lux Gold

Post by Fastback » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:47 pm

Unusual colour, didn't even know they did a Vitesse (Sport had been dropped after '96 as they were all 200PS/197bhp then) in White Gold/Champagne Gold (Coupe aside). I thought there was a restricted palette for the Vitesse FB, although I can find no evidence to support that notion.
Please, please, please make it work and not butcher it for parts. :)

From a fellow Vitesse Lux Fastback (y' know the ultra rare Vitesse type on two counts) owner.
Mark
'96 820 Vitesse Lux Fastback, rolling resto
'99 825 Sterling Fastback, up and running :D
'96 825 SLi Fastback, just waiting. :|
Previous:- 'J' 820Si Fastback, part Tickford
MG Maestro 2.0i (I loved that car, I did)

n1tr0_9
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Re: Rover 820 Vitesse Sport Lux Gold

Post by n1tr0_9 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:39 pm

To be honest no idea if it’s a lux sport or whatever, but it’s a vitesse with a turbo and leather in gold. I don’t know much about the later cars at all.

Discovered today a massive oil leak from the left side of the cylinder head and that the power steering cooler is about to disintegrate!!!!

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scoobyh123
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Re: Rover 820 Vitesse Sport Lux Gold

Post by scoobyh123 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:24 pm

The gurgling noises are probably the water pump cavitating because there's not enough coolant in it and same for the squeaks/squeals - probably the water pump complaining as it's dry.

Sounds like you might get away with new core plugs, a cooling system flush then new fluids (oil/filter change, new antifreeze - not the red sh!t!) and then be able to sort out the other problems with it. :wink: :D
Cheers,
Dave


'94 827 Sterling saloon
'88 Volvo 760 V6 Estate
All auto :D
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n1tr0_9
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Re: Rover 820 Vitesse Sport Lux Gold

Post by n1tr0_9 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:30 am

A new development.... big oil leak from left of cylinder head. Looks like it’s coming from head gasket level. Doh. Before I panic I’m gonna clean it all up, run it and see if I can confirm where leak is from.

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Re: Rover 820 Vitesse Sport Lux Gold

Post by n1tr0_9 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:58 am

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Nuts4my827
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Re: Rover 820 Vitesse Sport Lux Gold

Post by Nuts4my827 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:10 am

Nice car. That is a normal leak for a T Series.


Simple compression test will tell you if the gasket has gon. Suspect not.
Phil B
95 827 Stirling: Nightfire Saloon.
96 Coupé 827 Manual White Gold.
97 Coupé 820 Vitesse Gunmetal.
99 820 Vitesse Nightfire Fastback. SERIOUS amount of welding done. Lived in a fettid garage for years.
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n1tr0_9
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Re: Rover 820 Vitesse Sport Lux Gold

Post by n1tr0_9 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:46 am

Nuts4my827 wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:10 am
Nice car. That is a normal leak for a T Series.
What is usually the source? I can see oil higher up but it’s more of a thin film? Thanks

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Re: Rover 820 Vitesse Sport Lux Gold

Post by scoobyh123 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:30 am

Phil is spot on, that's standard issue for a T-Series!

If that's the only oil leak from the head, there's a much lower chance of HGF having occurred.

It can be fixed using a short piece of copper pipe (that stuff gets everywhere! :P ) fitted in the oilway like a dowel. I believe the details are on the forum somewhere, not sure where though.

The leak from further up is probably the rocker cover gaskets and/or the rocker covers themselves. They can be distorted through being over-tightened to try and cure oil leaks.
Cheers,
Dave


'94 827 Sterling saloon
'88 Volvo 760 V6 Estate
All auto :D
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'95 827 Coupé LPG gone but not forgotten!

n1tr0_9
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Re: Rover 820 Vitesse Sport Lux Gold

Post by n1tr0_9 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:22 am

Ahh ok. So to fix the oil leak its a head off job. Bummer.

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scoobyh123
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Re: Rover 820 Vitesse Sport Lux Gold

Post by scoobyh123 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:42 am

n1tr0_9 wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:22 am
Ahh ok. So to fix the oil leak its a head off job. Bummer.
It is but most people live with it until it either gets too bad or the head has to come off for another reason.

Might also be worth getting the injectors ultrasonically cleaned and flow tested, i've seen the damage done when a couple of injectors have got dirty and caused problems and it doesn't take long to melt a piston, especially on boost.

http://www.emeraldm3d.com/emerald-servi ... oning.html

For the sake of £72, it's cheap insurance compared to another engine! If the power is down as much as you suggest then there's a good chance the injectors need cleaning. There could be other causes but first thing is sort those core plugs and see what you've got from there. :wink: :D
Cheers,
Dave


'94 827 Sterling saloon
'88 Volvo 760 V6 Estate
All auto :D
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'95 827 Coupé LPG gone but not forgotten!

n1tr0_9
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Re: Rover 820 Vitesse Sport Lux Gold

Post by n1tr0_9 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:12 pm

Started my first proper poking session on the car. First bodywork. In the main, extremely solid. Previous owner spend money wen needed to get the important parts solid. The rear ends of both sills have had new metal, the rear arches have had some treatment, and both front wings replaced. The colour match isn't the greatest, but light grandpa curse word metallic gold is gonna be a tricky match. Also front wing alignment is poor, particularly offside. Should be an easy fix tough.

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On to the interior. I had the big flash on my camera, so that has made it look better than it is. It is actually in very good condition for 147,000 miles but needs a deep clean. No major cracking in the leather and most importantly no tears. There is a tiny bit of damage to drivers piping and a wear patch on seat base, but all minor stuff. Rear seats are mint!

Got to say the interior is really plush. Super comfy leather and its PRPOER LEATHER, not that wibblepoo stuff you got in French cars of the era, this is real nice stiff thick hide leather. It still smells leathery. Looking forward to cleaning it up.

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This car also has twin airbags, heated seats, electric seats and everything works, apart from the air con. Also has lovely carpets and best of all the head lining isn't sagging like on my mk1 827.

Door cards are pretty good. Again grubby, but not damaged. This being a later model, it has the plush stitched and cushioned leather inserts and the ROVER monogram running through the wood trims.

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Lots of 800's have dash warp over the instrument cluster, this one is perfect. Buttons missing from the radio/CD and the sides of the leather gearknob has delaminated making a weird flappy thing?

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I cant close the glove box at them moment as the dash covering has come away. Needs gueing with some contact adhesive. Again an easy fix.

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On to the engine bay. Scuttle panel and the plate above the servo are total scrap. Really make the car look nasty, but are just bolt on parts. Only difficulty will be finding better ones as they all seem to go like this.

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The header tanks on 800's get brittle and crack. This ne has a Volvo replacement, but it is just balanced in there, so I will have to make some proper brackets for it. Also needs a good clean out as its full of rusty water.

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Here is the main source of the oil leak. Front nearside (left side) of the cylinder head. Ive been reading and the only way of really fixing ths is to replace head gasket with steel multilayer item. Balls. Also leaks from cam covers.

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This is the offending core plug that when pressurised pisses water all over the turbo. To get to it i'll have to remove the turbo and exhaust manifold. Not that big a deal really, but my concern is that without antifreeze all the core plugs will be rusting from inside out and its only a matter if time before another one goes.

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Did a compression check to check general engine healthiness. Remember I bought this car blind having bee told that the engine was likely goosed and head gasket gone. Well I did the comp test and it came back 138 to 150 psi across all 4. That's less than 10% on a car that's done 147,000 miles. Pretty happy with that. The more I look at this car the more I'm sure head gasket is ok (apart from leaking oil) as there is no mayo in oil, has a steady idle, and comp test is good. I also pulled the cam covers to check for sludge and cam wear. Looks nice and golden inside, and no major sludge. Result.

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Last thing I spotted was a very rusty power steering cooler. I understand these are no longer available. A fellow 800 owner has said you can make a replacement out of 10 mm copper plumbing pipe, which is an option, but I'm gonna try and get an original if I can.

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scoobyh123
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Re: Rover 820 Vitesse Sport Lux Gold

Post by scoobyh123 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:42 pm

The Volvo expansion tank will sit there like that quite happily for as long as you need it to - would make more sense to make a bracket for it though!

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Your paint code should be GMN (plate on the bottom of the left B pillar) and most places can mix a good match.

I'm not even sure an MLS gasket is available for the T series, doubt it'll cure the oil leak from the corner of the head though!

The air-con will almost certainly work if you recharge it with one of the kits available or get it regassed at one of the various places offering it.

Seems like you've got a good basis for a project there with not much major work, just a lot of niggly stuff - should be good when it's all done! :wink: :D
Cheers,
Dave


'94 827 Sterling saloon
'88 Volvo 760 V6 Estate
All auto :D
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'95 827 Coupé LPG gone but not forgotten!

n1tr0_9
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Re: Rover 820 Vitesse Sport Lux Gold

Post by n1tr0_9 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:59 pm

Yes thanks Dave, the more I look at it, the more I think it has the making of a decent car. Previous owner loved it, and I'm very keen to get it up and running nicely.

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Re: Rover 820 Vitesse Sport Lux Gold

Post by scoobyh123 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:12 pm

I forgot to mention, if it sounds as if you have a sticky hydraulic tappet or ten, adding some synthetic ATF (i like Carlube ATF-U) to the engine oil (about 0.5L to a nearly full of oil engine) will free them up, generally clean the engine internally and also help revive oil seals.

Could be worth checking/cleaning the breathers as well to help minimise the oil leak from the front left. The ATF will clean the oil separator to a certain degree which will help too. Cleaning the insides of the throttle body and the air channels in it will also help with general performance/idling and also you can use the carb/intake cleaner to make sure all the breather stubs are clear and clean. :wink: :D
Cheers,
Dave


'94 827 Sterling saloon
'88 Volvo 760 V6 Estate
All auto :D
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'95 827 Coupé LPG gone but not forgotten!

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