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Rover Vitesse, Bumper and Rivnuts

It was finally time to reassemble the front end of the car, since I didn’t need the under tray off anymore.

To replace the sump gasket I needed to remove the under tray, which requires removal of a few different parts to get there. She doesn’t look quite the same without it!

Before refitting everything I chose to remove and relocate the air filter. Previously it was located up behind the front panel, in front of the radiator and required the front spoiler and under tray to be removed to change it. Since every time I take the fibreglass front spoiler off it risks more and more damage (its pretty fragile from all the hits it took when lowered), I want to limit how often it comes off. You can just spot the air filter on the right in this photo, with the zip ties supporting it

Sadly it won’t be getting as much fresh, cold air as it was, but I think I’ll live with that just to help keep my spoiler in one piece. Previous testing with Effie shows that Intake Air Temps dont increase too much over ambient anyway.

The front of the Vitesse needs some care taken during reassembly, as everything needs to go together in a very specific order. The bumper MUST go on before the under tray, as you cannot get to the rear, outer nuts of the bumper mounts with the under tray in place. Ask me how I know… >_< I had to loosen off each side so I could tighten the bumper bolts

Using my [patent pending] “single-hand-bucket-support-o-matic” to hold the tray in place. It’s a very awkward thing to lift by yourself

BUT, before the bumper could go on I wanted to do a small mod to the front panel. The front deep chin spoiler is usually held on with self tapping screws. Unfortunately mine were all stuffed at some point, one side had no screw at the front, and the other side was this random coarse thread screw into a random hole.

Due to it being such a coarse thread it never tightened properly. I had a bright idea the other day to get a Rivnut gun from Supercheap, and use a Rivnut on each side instead. A Rivnut (or Rivet Nut) is a metal insert that you use a tool to crush into place, that has an internal thread. This allows you to screw a bolt into thin metal without tapping it with a thread.

This awesome GIF from Aliexpress, of all places, shows how they work

First I drilled the hole out to the correct size (7mm in this case), wound the nut onto the tool, popped it into the hole and crushed it. The crushing, or squeezing action both holds it to the metal, and also because the insert is serrated, stops it rotating when the bolt is tightened.

This one has an M5 thread, so I used an M5 bolt in it

You can see a green o-ring behind the head of the bolt. This was a misguided attempt to create some padding against the fibreglass, but the o-ring just broke and fell out when tightened. I might try a fibre washer next time. Rinse and repeat for the other one

There isn’t a lot of space to tighten the bolt with the bumper and spoiler on, but a 1/4″ extension and socket worked perfect. Bumper went on first, then the under tray and then front spoiler.

She looks so much better all back together again. So pretty.

As a quick follow-up on fixing the headlight; I checked the alignment and its the weirdest thing, despite being completely relocated, the alignment was perfect. It’ll get tested shortly on a beam setter when I take her for a WOF.

The WOF just expired, which highlights the fact that the car has now been back on the road for 6 months, in which time I covered 1000 Miles. Not many, but more than it had for the past few years combined. There have been some issues, but I’m quickly getting on top of them all.

I think she has earned a clean and polish this week. I haven’t washed any of the cars since moving here….. oops.

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