Rover V8 Hot Rod - 1 step forward, 2 steps back

Published on 20 June 2024 at 22:00

I guess it had to happen, progress was steady but a couple of problems cropped up that soon put a stop to all that. The first problem showed itself when I tried to move the car forward half a foot so I could glue the magnets on to the propshaft to activate the speedo - the left rear wheel was solid. I found out the caliper had seized and no amount of brutality would shift it, definitely a bin job, a new one is on order. I found one for under 40 quid so it's not the end of the world but it has stopped me from attempting to move the car under it's own power for the first time. Never mind, that day is not far away.

The next problem was the alternator, I have never tested it until now and it doesn't work. I had a spare one in my stash and that didn't work either, which was more than a little irritating. I found a good used one on line - a Lucas ACR18 that will provide more than enough power. It came just 2 days after ordering and looked in excellent condition, the only problem being that it was completely different to the original one in terms of mounting so new brackets were required and a different belt to drive it. As luck would have it I found a belt in my stash that was the perfect length, making brackets was a simple o level metalwork sort of job, to cut a long story short, I now have a working alternator for the first time. It's charging at over 14 volts and it's got more than enough current for everything fitted to the car.

I still  need to final tune the engine but before I do that I need to sort the cooling system and make up some hoses and adapters to join the Rover inlet and outlet to the mini heater which has different sized pipes. I don't think much tweaking is required, the engine really is running well, far better than I could have hoped for given that the timing, carb balance and mixtures were all set using guess work.

I tried something a bit different on the rear interior sheeting - rather than using rivets or welding like I have always used I decided to use PU18 polyurethane sealant / adhesive - what amazing stuff that is. I wanted something in that area that would ensure that I got no buzzing or ratting from the speakers, this stuff certainly seems to be the answer. I have used it to seal all the panels at the bottom of the car to make sure I don't get water ingress or cause any rust traps. It seems like a sensible precaution, given the stuff is only about 4 quid a tube. I want this car to be built right without spending a fortune, these small things can make a huge difference to the overall quality of the build for very little money and very little effort.


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