I DROVE my Rover 216 Coupe to the test station this afternoon and realised that things really weren’t that well. With a huge smoke trail behind the car and the engine popping and banging on three-cylinders, I knew that something was badly amiss with the project car I’d been working on.
After letting it warm up and checking for signs of head gasket failure (and finding none), I left it with my tester and walked home, sulking as I went. A call the following morning brought the news I’d been dreading: there’s no compression on one cylinder. After posting the results on the forum, both Brian Gunn and Kyle Roberts (the two best car people I know) came back with the same stark message – my car had cracked a cylinder liner. Damn!
That leaves me with an uncomfortable dilemma – get the liner repaired, source another engine, or break the car for spares. Given the low-mileage and general good condition of the car, it would be a crime to break it but, at the same time, it wasn’t a car I intended to keep (there’s no space in my life for a Rover 200 Coupe right now, as much as I wish there were), and I’d always intended to sell it.
What, then, should I do: sell the car with no MoT and running on three cylinders as a £150 project car, bite the bullet and pay for the engine to be rebuilt (I am no K-Series expert and know they need specialist love and attention), or find another running donkey and have that levered in? None of those options are particularly palatable right now (I’m still saving hard to pay for the last bits of my SD1 resto) but breaking the car would have the same effect on my heart…
I’d love to hear your opinions.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.