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Rover SD1, Some Warrant Prep

For a classic car owner, there is one thing that happens every six months that is sure to bring dread. The Warrant of Fitness.

A Warrant of Fitness, or WOF/Warrant for short, is an inspection to check the roadworthiness of a car. For older cars it’s every six months, whilst modern cars get away with every year, or in the case of new cars, every three years.

Everything is checked. The body structure, brakes, suspension, electrics, wheels, tires, wipers, seat belts, etc etc. Lots of things to fail on.

For classic car owners, especially British classic car owners, this isn’t a fun time.

The Rover is due for a warrant next month, and honestly, there are a few things that needed doing to pass it. Only small things though, which is a relief.

The main things I know about are the front washer jet being woeful, the rear washer and wiper not working at all, and the brake wear indicator coming on. Everything else is basically as it was when it passed its last warrant (with minimal mileage since).

Today was a lovely day outside, other than the horrible gusty wind, so I decided to spend some time on the Rover. I have been driving it as much as possible, and other than the odd little thing, it’s been solid and reliable *touches wood*. Its even been really enjoyable to cruise around in.

I started today by replacing the remaining two waist mouldings, on the LH windows. The old ones were solid as a rock, cracking and wavy. Not good-looking, and they were putting pressure on the glass making them harder to roll up and down. I wont go into much detail here, but this post has more info.

So that’s all the windows done now, and boy does it look a lot better. The RH side ones I did a while back are still holding up well. I had read of some owners having their seals shrink, but so far despite living outside in direct sun, mine havent.

After that success I just couldn’t be stopped. Next on my hit list was the washer pumps. I have previously mentioned the weird setup for the front washer pump and how it just wasn’t effective. The rear pump also did not work. It was time to fix them, as both would need to work well to pass the warrant.

The setup from the previous owner, was a Series 1 pump mounted on the inner guard, sucking through the seized standard washer pump. It’s a real bodge job to get around replacing the seized pump.

It wasnt very effective, and the standard jet was old and blocked too (might have something to do with the bottle being full of algae when I got the car). I noticed in the bundle of parts I picked up the other week, that there was a washer bottle in there. It wasn’t from an EFI car; maybe a late 6 cylinder from the looks of it, but it did have two pumps. As it turns out, the pumps are exactly the same as used on the EFI bottles, just in a different location.

It was just a matter of unscrewing the old ones, and screwing the replacements into the retainers in the bottle. Easy. Before I did this though, I tested each pump by feeding 12v to them, and both worked well. The old pumps? The rear washer pump is completely seized, and cannot be freed, but the front one was only binding and some spinning by hand and then feeding 12v, and it came to life, so will be a good spare.

With the replacement pumps in, I refit the bottle, removed the extra pump, hooked up the wiring and hoses, and filled the bottle with water and washer fluid. The results? Both pumps now function correctly, but neither the front or rear washer jets are any good. The front one just barely dribbles out, and the rear does nothing.

Well, not nothing. Magically, replacing the pump has now made the rear wiper work (which previously didn’t). I also saw a sign of life from the rear jet after much pressing of the button….

Yup, a nice thick goopy stream of brown liquid poured down the rear window. Still no water though.

I grabbed one of my favourite T-Pins, and stuck it in the jet. Wiggled it around a bit, pulled it out and hit the button. Another stream of brown stuff down the glass. Ugh. I repeated clearing the jet, and finally saw some brown water coming through. I held the button on whilst clearing the jet with the pin, which unfortunately resulted in a lot of that brown goo ending up on my hands, but hey, the washer jet was clear now and after a while the water coming out was nice and clear too.

Great success.

The front jet needed some attention too, but good thing I preempted this by buying a new washer jet from Rimmers a while back. I pulled the old one out, and fit the replacement. Easy.

With the new jet in, it was a different ball game. Lots of water on the glass, although, lots of water going in all directions too. Quality British design no doubt. But it works, and that’s another tick on the warrant sheet.

Finally, I fixed a small thing that was bothering me for ages. I flipped the bottle around so it faced the correct direction 😄

There are still a few more little things to work through, like changing the front pads. I have the pads, but I’m waiting on a new fitting kit from Rimmers before I can fit them. I also need to give the car a full detail, as I will be dragging her along to the British Car Day in Feb.

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