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Rover Vitesse, Up In The Air – Part 3

With the brakes rebuilt, it was time to get it all together and back on the ground.

It’s finally time to finish the work I started a month ago. The calipers are now rebuilt, and ready to fit.

Before I got all excited and fitted the calipers, I wanted to get the rest of the car ready, so it needed the front under tray and spoiler refitted. When I removed the old undertray I noted it was completely buggered, and cracked in multiple places. It was held together with hopes and dreams (and engine oil).

Thankfully smart me kept the spare under tray I got with my bulk lot of parts ages ago, so I pulled that down out of the ceiling and fitted it to the car. It’s not perfect, it has a couple of broken spots but its way better than the old one.

I refitted the front spoiler too, making it a bit more secure than it was previously. I still need to fix the cracks, but it looks OK from a distance.

Another thing I needed to fix, since my parts came in, is why there was always a bad fuel smell from the rear of the car. When taking the LH rear shock out I noticed the fuel tank vent hose looked pretty average. Upon removal, this is what I noted

Yes, they go right through the hose

Well that will do it. Everyone should check this hose, as when the tank is full fuel could potentially leak out of this hose. Rimmers have the hose available, so on went a new one of those and a new clamp.

Now, back to the main task. Brakes.

Refitting is easy, it’s just the two bolts per caliper.

The perfectly aligned genuine pipe on the LH side. I had a bit of a fight on my hands with the braided hose nut that clamps to the strut, but a rattle gun freed that up.

Doesn’t look bad

The RH side, as I mentioned in my previous brake post, doesn’t have a genuine pipe available. The fittings are the same as the LH side, but as I suspected, the kink in the pipe is slightly out of place.

It lines up nicely with that lower slot, but needs to come to the right a bit. Some gentle pressure, and it all came together. It’s not perfect, but a lot easier than making a new pipe.

In went the pads, with new retainer plates and reused pins

And then it was a matter of bleeding the brakes. I started with the two front ones just to get fluid into them, and then bled as per the book, starting at the rear.

The fluid from the rear lines was pretty gross. Dark and it appeared to have some floating matter in it. Thankfully with all the work I have done, all of the fluid in the master cylinder had been replaced, so I flushed the lines and it all came through nice. It took a bit of work to get all the air out of the front, but the pedal now feels pretty good. I think it will get better again as the pads bed in a bit better.

Oh wait, so does that mean she is on the road again?! Yes.

Oh yes she is.

She has lost of a bit of her aggressive low stance, but still sits lower than Effie, and the improvements in ride quality and not smashing the front spoiler on everything make up for it. The springs should settle a bit too over time.



Ignore the massive difference in gloss…!

So, how does she drive?

Gearbox is much quieter, although a little more notchy. Hopefully this wears in a bit as I drive her more.

The brakes? Well they were a bit pants initially, but even that was better than it was. Now with some hard braking to bed the pads in, she pulls up pretty well. Pulls up straight, and can lock the brakes if needed. The pedal has a little mush to it, so I’ll need to bleed the brakes again, obviously there is still some air in there, but it’s so much better than it was.

Oh, and the suspension? Bloody awesome. Instead of being all crashy and thumpy like it was, the ride is firm, but she floats over bumps like she should. The rear that used to bottom out harshly, regularly, now dampens nicely. I tested it on a couple of bumps that I used to dodge because it literally hurt to go over them, and it was almost a pleasure now. I haven’t driven her hard yet because I need to get an alignment, but already I can tell the cornering is flatter and more controlled. Oh, and I can get in and out of the garage without blocks now.

Its cost a lot, and taken a bit of time, but it was all well worth it.

Parts Used

CRC1468 – Fuel Tank Vent Hose
CRC3238 – Front LH Brake Pipe to Caliper x2
RO1140 – Pad Retaining Kit Vented

Please note these parts are specific to my car and may vary. Please check before ordering.

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6 years ago

Awesome as always. I learn so much from reading your blog. Thanks!