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Rover SD1, Some Minor Repairs

Like usual, I don’t mess around when I get a new toy, so after work I cracked into the Rover again.

The first thing I had to do was put the battery back in the car, because it had spent 24 hours on charge. Unfortunately the “charge indicator” is still showing red, so the previous owner may have nuked the poor thing and it may need replacing (im hoping the receipt for it is in the pile that are on their way to me, but I’m not holding my breath). In the meantime it seems to be working OK, as it started the car multiple times without trouble. I can’t trust it though.

As mentioned earlier, the battery hold down is missing. I didn’t really want the damn thing flying around in the engine bay, so I channelled my inner MacGyver and ended up with this.

Now it won’t slide into the alternator and make bad things happen.

I also tested out the front screen wash…. which is lethargic at best, like most things in this car. It appears a previous owner has decided that instead of replacing the failed washer pump, they would just install a secondary, standalone pump on the guard. So now it sucks through the old, dead pump and then sprinkles out onto the windscreen.

I’ll try to get a replacement standard pump at some point and do away with the standalone one. I’ll need to see if I can clean the washer jet out too, as the washer bottle was full of gross water and algae (and no doubt the jet is too). This is the color of some of the water in the bottle, and it just got greener and lumpier.

There was no washer additive at all, just water and growth.

I removed the bottle, gave it a real good shake and rinse. A quick scrub with some Simple Green and its a bit cleaner and no more algae. The bottle is heavily stained though. I refilled with some nice clean water, and a quality additive.

I did happen to find one thing that isn’t lethargic on this car (almost everything else is!)…. the headlight washers. They spray with a vigor I have never seen, it’s a shame it just ends up covering the front of the car in water and additive. Oh, and in this instance, my face too, oops 😂

With the battery back in the car, and the car actually running and driving again I decided to shoot down and get some gas. The fuel gauge had been wavering between below “E”, and 1/4 of a tank since I got it, and the light kept coming on and off randomly.

54L went in the 66L tank, so obviously there was still some in there. It’s good to know how inaccurate the gauge actually is, and how much I can rely on it. Not much, is the answer. EDIT: Upon reading the owners manual, the light switches on at 12L left in the tank, so in this instance, the gauge is woefully inaccurate, but the light is spot on.

The idle was a bit low though, has been since I got the car, so I took to putting the car in neutral at intersections to keep the revs up. It also stalled a couple of times when navigating my driveway, due to the load from the power steering pump. I tweaked this when I got home and now have a solid idle at around 800rpm, where it should be, instead of under 500rpm. It does dip down when in gear, like all autos do, but it doesn’t try to stall anymore.

I can also conclude that the work I did on the throttle pot has completely cured the surging at cruise, it now settles in a nice smooth cruise and drives like a champ. Nothing like idling along, arm out the window in the sun, listening to the burble of the exhaust 😀

Winning. A great end to an otherwise unpleasant work day.

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