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Rover SD1, Door Work. Speakers, Grease and Switches.

It was a stunning day outside today, so I decided to get out and do some much needed work on the Rover.

Way back in December last year I did some work on the right hand rear door, replacing the failed window regulator, reconditioning the window switch, and fitting a new door handle gasket. I needed to do the same work (except the regulator) on the other doors, but it’s just been put off time and time again.

Today I decided to bite the bullet and just finish the work. I started on the left hand rear door. Step one is to remove the door card.

Once again, its secured with one screw in the carpet at the bottom, and a screw in the handle recess.

A whole bunch of clips later, and the door card is off. This door looks like it hasn’t been worked on before. The moisture barrier didn’t have any replacement tape on it, or damage. Yes, apparently the duct tape is genuine BLMC fitment.

I removed the handle surround and the handle so I could partly remove the barrier to gain access to the door innards.

The old tape was very hard and the adhesive was slimy and sticky. I peeled off as much old tape as I could around the top and sides (left the bottom undisturbed as it was holding fine).

This is the back of the door handle. There are two small 7mm nuts that you back off to loosen the handle. Once loose, you can just slip the new gasket over the handle and tighten the nuts back up. Done.

Out of all four handles, this one was the only one that had some old gasket still in place. Super brittle and crusty.

New gasket fitted. Much improvement, and the handle feels nice and solid now

The other job I did whilst in the door was to lubricate all the rails for the window. I didn’t take any photos of this because it’s a flippin messy job, and mostly done blind. I covered greasing the rails in this post. The window was already pretty good, but now it’s smooth and fast, and I know it’ll keep working happily for a bit longer.

Speaking of windows, another job I did was to refurbish the window switch. I popped it out of the door card and took it into the garage for cleaning. I know from the other door that the switches are prone to corrosion, but are easy to clean. Most of the window switches, except the drivers one, are a bit dodgy and need a few tries before they work.

Off with the cap, and the extent of the corrosion was visible.

Well that wont be helping anything. Serious corrosion on the base terminals, and the pin wasnt flash either. Some scraping with a fine scraper, and some sanding and I have nice bright contacts again. I smothered the lot in dielectric grease before assembling.

With that done, back on went the door card, and I moved onto the front passengers door.

Much the same as the rears, there is a screw in the handle recess, but this has a screw up top instead of in the carpet.

With the door card off, I was greeted by another door that looks like it hasn’t been worked on since new. Although, unfortunately this one has some issues with the moisture barrier…. in the form of a hole

A hole, which no matter how careful I was, just kept getting bigger and bigger. For some reason the plastic in the middle of the sheet was super brittle and fragile. It just shattered and crumbled when you look at it. The rest of the sheet seemed to be fine.

I lubricated the rails, and cleaned the window switch on this door too. The window is now very smooth and the switch works every time (previously worked about 1/10 times).

The door handle gasket was a bit more special to do than the rears. I had been warned about doing these as the handle is a prick to get at. Its tucked up and hidden, and unlike the rear, has no access hole.

No worries, using my trusty random screwdriver, a 1/4″ wobbly extension and a 7mm socket I could reach one of the nuts. I found that if you insert the screwdriver above the white plastic door lock lever you had a pretty decent clear shot.

The other nut, closer to the front edge of the door, can be accessed with a 1/4″ ratchet and 7mm socket…. and sticking your arm inside the door. Its tight.

With the new gasket on there, back on went the moisture barrier…. with some new duct tape and some creative hole patching.

But of course I’m not done there. See that little speaker up there? Yeah, its stuffed. No foam around the cone and bits have been falling out of the door for ages now. I had to fade the radio to the rear so the fronts don’t distort. Time has not been kind.

Four screws and out it comes. It’s in this cool little mount which protects the speaker from water.

Popped the old speaker out, and BAM, the new 4″ Pioneer TS-G1045R speaker fits like a glove.

I even reused the original screws. Plugged it into the standard wiring, and away we go. Couldnt be easier really.

Peeking through the door card.

And onto the final door. The mighty captains door. It all comes off like the passengers one, except for a few more wires to disconnect.

This door had been opened at some point. Someone had used more masking tape on it. Unlike the rear one this tape wasnt blue, and was only at the bottom. It was still old as though.

Heres a slightly more detailed pictorial on accessing the door handle nuts, featuring my small torch.

Hey nut

Hey screwdriver

Being friends


New gasket made a ton of differences on this door. It’s always bothered me, being the door I use all the time, that the handle was loose as a goose and clunked around when I opened the door. Now it’s solid as a rock and feels good.

Another thing that bothered me was that the door card was loose when I pulled the door closed. It turns out this bracket from the door card to handle recess (which is bolted firmly to door) was loose and turned sideways, and missing the screw.

I reconditioned all the switches on this door too, so they all work without issue now. Another new speaker slotted in, and I refit the door card, and now its tight and glorious. It doesn’t feel like im going to hulk the door card off when I close the door now.

Over all, it’s a job well done, and a job worth doing. I shouldn’t have put it off this long, it was actually an easy job to do, it just took ages. Now I can listen to music without having the sound faded all the way into the rear of the car.


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6 years ago

Looking familiar to me. Unfortunately I ripped some of the clips off the doorcard. Where did you get the gaskets for the outer door handle? Ugly and brittle on my Vitesse.

1 year ago

Hello, Im dying to know if it’s possible to replace the Series 1 (1980) door cards with the Series 2, much improved ones. The old ones on mine are saggy and broken and maybe can be restored if I can repair the cardboard backing and find all the clips and things that have broken and been lost over the years, but I much prefer the look and integrity of the Series 2 cards and would like to pursue that if they can be swapped with relative ease. Thanks! Geoffrey – Santa Barbara