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Rover SD1, Water Pump Replacement

Sigh. This car must have the cleanest coolant of any car – ever.

I replaced the water pump today. The old one started leaking from the weep hole, indicating that an internal seal had failed.

I’m not overly sad about having to replace it. Someone badly painted it black at some point and it was bloody ugly. It wasnt in good shape anyway.

Since the car was already in the garage overnight, the first step was to drop the coolant. Again. It seems like this car gets new coolant every month or so.

I caught most of it this time, with minimal spillage. Wish they had added a drain plug to the radiator when they reconditioned it. Yes that’s coolant on the grille and valance…. 🙃

The coils had to be moved out of the way so I could take the tension off the alt belt to remove it. Thankfully someone smart built the coil bracket and it moves out of the way easily with only two bolts. The fan was also removed.

Then it was a matter of undoing all the bolts, and removing the pump. Thankfully someone in the past had used grease and copper grease on all the bolts, and all of them came out ok, not a single one broke. Guess I don’t need the Ez-Out set that I purchased last night.

It wasnt a pretty sight. Badly painted

The reason im replacing it. The weep hole.

Looks like it was an original Leyland part. Maybe it was rebuilt years ago?

This hose outlet has been weeping since I got the car. Even with the brand new hoses. This is why, it’s got a horrific buildup on it. I tried to wire brush some of this off last time I had the hose off, and got no where.

The insides don’t look much better. Some weird crusty stuff inside it

And compared to the new pump

The new pump is much nicer to look at, and it spins smoother too, so maybe the bearings on the old one were starting to go.

The replacement pump has a shorter snout than the old one, so the fan will sit slightly further away from the radiator

The front cover of the engine looked pretty good. No buildup and only slight discolouration.

I swapped over the pulley, with all new bolts and washers

And then a fail. I forgot to fit this bolt, and it wont go through the hole with the pulley on. Oops

These are the PN for the pulley bolts and washers. 3x each

So I didn’t lose track of where the bolts go (even though in the end it didn’t matter as its pretty obvious), I traced the pump onto some paper and laid the bolts out as I removed them

Water pump came with a new gasket, which I fitted with a thin smear of sealant on each side

Now this is where it gets annoying. I ordered all the bolts as per the parts guide, and even though I ordered more than the quantity needed, I still didn’t have everything I needed. Maybe I mucked up, who knows.

I needed 5x BH505441, which are the really long bolts

Somehow I ended up with 2x slightly shorter bolts too, which were useless. I needed 5x SH504091, the shorter bolts

I also needed standard flat washers for each short bolt, which somehow I completely missed. This wasn’t an issue as I ended up just reusing all the washers as they were in good shape. A couple of the long bolts have weird, really thick washers too, which don’t show in the parts guide.

There was one bolt at the top of the water pump which is a different size to all the others. Its short, but 5/16″. I think it might be 254020 in the guide, but Rimmers doesn’t list it. I reused mine, but you would be buggered if you broke it off.

The newly fitted pump looks awesome. So much nicer.

With the shorter snout I chose to try the “correct” fan, that wouldn’t fit with the other pump.

Looks good, but dammit, the bloody thing has a stuffed clutch. Locks when cold. So I had to swap back to the other one, which I will now stay with. I can trust and rely on it. Its a bit colder than I would like to run, but i have set the Speeduino up to compensate. I’ll change to an electric fan at some point anyway.

Since the coolant was out again, I chose now to loop the coolant lines for the throttle body. I don’t need the coolant “hot spot” anymore. Apparently its there to stop the throttle plate freezing over, but there are other theories about it helping fuel atomization when cold too. Either way, I’ll let Speeduino do what it needs to do, without warm air being added in after the IAT. It was easy to do, remove one hose, and loop the other into the inlet manifold.

Also, since I found the source of the intake drone, I refitted the air inlet trumpet

All buttoned back up and ready to go

I finally got to drive the car again, to bleed the system and get it up to temp. God its good to drive this car, I love it. The last tune we did was really good, it pulls like a freight train and drives very smooth.

System bled OK, heater is hot, and coolant temp is stable. Its holding all its coolant for the most part. I noticed that the long bolt that goes into a coolant gallery is weeping, so I’ll need to get some sealant on that one.

I did find come up against the infamous Rover SD1 engine ground issue though. When trying to start the car, it would act like it had a flat battery, despite it being a new battery and even adding a jump pack to it. I remembered hearing about another SD1 owner that had a grounding issue and mentioned that their throttle cable ended up being the main engine ground and melted.

Sure enough, the cable was warm to the touch. Dammit, the main cable was attached, on both ends, and obviously still wasn’t good. Back when I fitted the coil bracket, I moved the ground strap to one of the bolts on the alternator bracket, and it was working fine. I loosened it off, gave it a wiggle, did it up again, and bam, the car started. Guess I’ll need to look at that at some point, maybe even add another ground just in case. Oh well, its working again now. Typical Rover.

Oh, and just as a little teaser…

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