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Rover SD1 Headunit Install & Window Reg Replacement

Finally, the weather let up for a few minutes today, so I carried out some more work.

The past week has just been a complete write off. First NZ was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, and although it was in the South Island, about 400km away from where I live, my city still took some damage. Thankfully we are OK, no damage at home and life goes on. It did slow everything down and cause disruption for a bit, especially when waiting on parts from the South Island, where there is very limited transportation options due to major infrastructure damage (IE: The main state highway up the Island is complete cut off by massive landslides and broken up roads).

Then, the next day, we got hit with massive flooding. Only some minor leaks in my garage, and the Rover ended up with some water in the boot… but due to flooding and slips it took a heck of a long time to get home, once the roads even reopened. Its been a crazy week.

Anyway, the tape on the Rovers window held up and kept the water out. During the week a replacement rear window regulator and battery hold down arrived; Many thanks to Gareth at SD1 Travelled Spares for supplying these. I also picked up a new ground lead from the battery, and a new negative terminal.

The first job on the list was to install the new negative lead. I got a 4GA lead with ring terminals on each end, and a brass terminal with a stud and wing-nut on it for quick removal of the negative lead. This new lead is about twice as thick as the old one, and much better condition.

I also fit the original battery hold down. It’s a weird design, and its no wonder this style isn’t used anymore, but hey, its original and better than rope 😆

It was a bit of a bad joke trying to get the hooks to stay in place whilst you hooked the other one in. Got there in the end though.

After that, I got on with fitting the headunit to fill the gaping hole.

Cut the plugs off the standard radio, leaving enough on the radio that I could join the plugs back on if needed.

Chopped the radio harness up, as it still had all the bits from the MX5 wiring, like the steering wheel controls (which for obvious reasons aren’t needed).


Soldered it all together.

Note the two speakers connected to the harness. Fronts only here, the rears are powered by the same output via the factory fader control in the console.

Also tested the stereo bracket in the standard garnish. Looks mint, almost like it was made for it.

The next fun thing was to get it all into the dash, and test the wiring. One thing I wasnt sure of, because the wiring diagrams I used didn’t mention it, is that the purple wire with brown trace is for the auto antenna trigger. Everything else is as per this diagram.

I plugged it in, and bam, it worked straight away. Stoked.

Fitting the frame was bit of a prick. Limited space, rivets in the way, and it had to go in on an angle so it cleared the dash. Got there though.

Worked like a charm (although I forgot to plug the external mic in for bluetooth so it needs to come out again). The front speakers are buggered, but sound still came out of them and the radio reception was good. Bluetooth audio worked too.

I had a quick look at fitting the rear 6×9 speakers, but sadly they are WAY too big and I need to go back to the drawing board and work out what to do there. The standard speaker is a 4″ in a mount which IIRC is about 7×4. Apparently 6×9 will fit and its been done before, I just don’t know how.

Since the weather was still holding out and not raining again, I made a split second decision to replace the failed window regulator. It was seized solid, and the window wouldn’t shut. No real pictures of this process because it was very messy, and there were no hands free since my better half was holding the glass up from slipping down and smashing.

The process is easy though. This is the door,

Start by removing the door handle mount. Disconnect the linkage at the bottom, buy popping the little metal clip holding it in, up, and the pushing the linkage out of the plastic clip. Two screws on either side (not the three in the middle).

And then remove the lower rail. Another two bolts and the rail plate comes out. Take note of which way around it goes.

Then get your lovely assistant to hold the glass, as well as make life easier for them by strapping the glass to the frame with lots of tape. Once they are comfortable with the glass, undo the four bolts holding the regulator and motor to the door. Make sure the motor connector is disconnected of course, and before I did this I used a battery to activate the motor on the replacement regulator to try to get it into the same position as the failed one. Once the four bolts are out, all the weight of the glass is on the regulator, tape and assistant.

The only thing left to do with the old one is to disengage it from the rails, and then pull it out. There are two rails on the bottom of the glass. Slot the replacement into the door housing, and engage it with the rails. I found I could only get it to engage in the rails from the front edge of the rails (edge towards the front edge of the door). These are the rails (albeit after I had greased them)

Bolt it in, refit the lower rail, reinstall the door handle plate and away you go.

I suspect the reason for the original failure was due to the complete lack of lubrication on any of the rails. All of them were completely dry, and the main gear had only traces of dry grease, but some heavy wear. Before fitting the new regulator I applied grease to all moving parts, and anything I couldn’t get grease into, I sprayed liberally with a sticky liquid lubricant that won’t wash away. I also applied grease to the rails. I sprayed lubricant on the runners and tracks inside the door that the glass runs on too.

This is the old seized regulator. The only traces of grease you can see are where I hosed it with lubricant to try to free it up (without success, even out of the car its dead). The regulator appears good, but the motor is stuffed.

It’s now the world’s quickest window to go down, but is a bit lethargic going up. Its getting better though, it started really slow and almost stalled half way up, but now it goes up without fail, it’s just not fast. This is testing with the engine off though, and apparently they are faster with a bit more voltage going to the motors. It’s good to have the glass going right up, and no more tape.

I still have to refit the door card, but before I do that I have some new door handle gaskets on the way as all of mine are long gone. I will be lubricating all the window regulators as I take the door cards off to do other work, like the handle gaskets and front speakers. A little maintenance would probably have saved this regulator before it died, but i suspect the window seized in its rail without being completely shut due to lack of lubrication, and then someone just kept holding or pressing the UP button until the motor died.

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