Well, he’s been trundling around in her for almost a month and the V5 has now arrived in a nice brown envelope from Swansea. That’s right, the logbook is now in his name. We find out how things are shaping up for Mike Humble and his living room on wheels…
Project Connie seems to behaving itself rather nicely despite very little fettling so far.
With the exception of the gear knob and steering wheel, the only real wood is in the
background – that’s Project Drive for you – but it’s all in hand readers!
I’ll confess, there was just a hint of buyer’s regret shortly after rolling home in the 75 SE T. Quite a few different cars were on the hit list and, literally days after the last £20 had been stuffed into the trousers of the semi-retired trader she came from, a mate in the trade, who goes back decades with me, informed me of a Jaguar X-Type diesel.
It was too leggy for him to retail but he informed me it was more on the button than a Saville Row tailor. Nige’s word is his bond (stand on me) but too late… I was back in the wobbly world of the Rover 75 – the bed was truly made for me to lie in, but boy what a comfy bed it is.
Using it as a daily hasn’t really brought up many major problems and most of the issues she does have were spotted during the poke and prod down at the trader’s premises. A foreign body in the road caused some damage to the exhaust flexi pipe shortly after purchase and that has necessitated the replacement of the aforementioned part and the catalytic converter.
A new old stock part was sourced locally for a very agreeable price and fitted for mates’ rates at a local garage. By the way, just in case you were wondering, the French tourist is doing well in Redhill Hospital. Ahem… I jest..
The 148bhp 1.8-litre Turbo is using zero coolant and oil. There’s a couple of minor leaks
from the camshaft carrier (one of which you can just spot right above the alternator bracket),
pulley seals and valve cover gasket – fiddly but worthwhile tasks. Performance is swift and
quiet – not startlingly rapid but torquey and progressive. Revised higher final drive gearing
makes motorway munching much, much better and less rev demanding than the
Besides a deep clean of the engine bay, nothing has been tinkered or touched with the exceptions of the spark plugs, air and cabin filters. The sparkers had a gap so large you could almost slide a jam butty through and the pollen filter was soaking wet and covered with more feathers than a flock of seagulls.
The dreaded middle plenum was blocked up (what a surprise, eh?) though the ECU was fine, done in time just after the recent Sussex monsoon that hit us last week. One thing is dead certain, despite the full service history the book and papers proudly state, it’s not been half as well cared for as you would imagine.
However, that’s what made me say hello to such a good buy, a nice Rover in decent order that requires revival – a car every inch on the cusp of turning into a doom machine. AROnlinereader and mate Pete Melville popped by just the other day with a boot full of OBD equipment to mind meld if you like with the Rover’s brain. My own scanner is only a basic device and I was keen to see that was lurking in the memory.
The results were disappointing – or, in reality, pleasing with only a code or two for a misfire that points towards the life-expired plugs and maybe the leads. He seemed reasonably impressed after a quick blast up the local by-pass, too.
Former spanner guy, site fan, banter buddie and present Snap-On training guru, Pete
Melville, went through the ECU and under bonnet electrical bits with all the ruthlessness
and speed of a bad pint – and found very little for me to worry about. Win!
She does drive really well for an unloved clunker – and I do mean that most sincerely folks. Fuel consumption is quite impressive, as is the refinement and torque. That said, as Andy Williams crooned, the Days of Wine and Roses are far from here and there are, of course, the items listed below which require attention if I am to bring it anywhere near the same standard of the last Rover 75 we brought back from the dead.
Anyway, so far, it’s looking pretty good.
These consist of the following to date and are not exhaustive:
- Totally shot rear foot and park brake discs and shoes
- Leaking camshaft carrier
- Weeping camshaft pulley seals
- Drive and PAS belts require replacement soon
- Slight rattle from the driver’s side anti-roll bar drop link
- Laughably poor quality imitation wood fascia requires removal and burning with fire
- Driver’s side door seal split and perished
- Polish and restore the plastic headlamp lenses
- The deepest interior clean and valet known to mankind.
- Source and fit some mudflaps
Moving on to Rover and then PSV / HGV, he has circumnavigated most departments of dealerships including parts, service and latterly - the showroom. Mike has owned all sorts of rubbish from Lada to Leyland and also holds both Heavy Goods & Public Service Vehicle licences, he buys & sells buses and coaches during the week. Mike runs his own automotive web site and writes for a number of motoring or commercial vehicle themed publications
Latest posts by Mike Humble (see all)
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- Review : A week with Honda UK’s Civic prototype - 30 September 2019
- Events : Cummins Centenary Party – display vehicles invited - 14 July 2019