Finally a tidy 3500S!


Active Member
Hey all,

Thought I'd share with you my latest reason to be happy :D About two weeks after deciding to sell my 5-speed clone due to a mismatch between work needed and mechanical resources available, the car I was hoping to find to replace it showed up - many thanks to fellow forum member roveratle. A mate was selling his cherished, never-welded original 'S' after 14 years, on condition the buyer would provide a good home, due care and attention. The description and photos I got had me getting on a plane (!) to fly across the country on a committed blind date: ETs, PAS, great original interior, good paint gloss, recent engine rebuild, electric fuel pump, Koni Classics, Rover rubber mats, and more. I hadn't sold the first one yet...

She actually started life in the UK in '73, was taken to Sweden in 1976 and LHD-converted (down to dual-circuit brakes), then to Norway in 1995 where she gained SunDyms and PAS (and legally required, stupid extra side indicators). The Swedish owner had done good work on her - everything I touch and prod gives me sticky fingers from antirust product, and an engine bay as good as anything I've seen. Atle's friend has kept her in very good shape too, and helped make the transaction as good as a car purchase gets. Apart from the odd small paint bubble I haven't seen any metal needing attention, no sign of tin worm *anywhere* so far. She's been kept in a tempered garage, not used much for several years (last EU inspection was in 2000), she might never have suffered road salt. She needs a full exhaust and rear brake seals for her inspection, and a tune-up. The rear springs sag and bottom out, esp. the left one, which makes her roll and twist in right-handers and over bumps at speed.

No hesitation, though! Last night I completed the 7,5-hr journey from Oslo to the west coast (I mean, who SHIPS their cars anyway 8)), choosing the quick route through the southern mountains for two reasons - time saved and gorgeous, swooping, bendy ups and downs for hours on end. The radio was out but the forward silencer was opening up nicely, so I was well entertained while the suspension rubbers got into the motion of hairpins, hard braking and rude frost heaves at 100km/h - she showed herself to be a good, tight vehicle on the road. I was cruising. I'm over the moon.



Well-Known Member
Looking good, Tor! Sounds like a very nice first drive in a splendid new old car. Looks smashing, does the previous owners proud, and I'm sure it has found it's way into the right hands. Lucky fellow.


Active Member
Thanks guys. These cars are addictive...

She's sitting in the drive now, until I can sort out a suitable exhaust and get her through MOT.


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Staff member
Hello Tor,

Very nice indeed! It is such a wonderful experience owning and driving a new old car, especially a real classic like that one.

Well done... :D


Active Member
And hey presto, only a year later, she's MOT'ed (rather generously I thought, as the LH rear caliper was dripping, despite my rebuild...) and registered. Only a cracking RHF flexi pipe was uncovered, and the garage happened to have a new one lying around. You have no idea how rare that is in these parts.

But that's it! Now for getting the suspension right (as per other thread in corresponding section) and ignition upgrades + electric fan similar to what Quattro has. Had my rostyles looked at and they're just as warped as they should be 8) Hope my SD1 Vitesse rims turn out to be good!


Well-Known Member
Tor said:
electric fan similar to what Quattro has
Well done Tor

Once I've sorted my gear selection my next job is to fit an electric fan just like the one Quattro has on Sparky. I was gonna have it manually switched but I quite like the idea of the inline thermostatic fan controller in the top rad pipe hmmmmmmm :idea:

I'll post some pics of the job when I get round to doing it...... unless you manage to install yours first :wink:



Active Member
Cheers Dave. I think I'll stick a probe in the actual radiator mesh and not risk a leak... Mine will also have a manual override, maybe using a rear screen heater switch for styling issues... I'm curious a) whether curved or straight fan blades make a difference with noise, and b) what a suitable wattage/cooling effect compromise might be. I'll be keen to know how you get on!
For an explanation on curved vs straight bladed fans see my response just posted on Simon Owen's thread.

I really don't see why anybody uses either of the cack handed ways Kenlowe use to control their fans. They send shudders down my spine as a mechanical engineer! The probe under the hose ought to be an obvious no-no. Why would you want to damage the longevity of your cooling system in so crass a manner? As for sticking a probe between the fins - Either it won't make contact with what its trying to measure, so you will only get an approximate idea of how hot things are.... Or it will be in hard contact with something delicate with inevitable consequences.....

There are three simple alternatives:

First. Use the sensor currently feeding your temperature gauge to double up feeding a small circuit to switch the fan relay.

Second. Fit the alternative thermostat elbow for the V8 which has a boss cast into it to accept a temperature sensor of the type used to feed your current temperature gauge. Use this to feed a small circuit to switch the fan relay.

Third. Get your radiator recored with a three row core and while you're at it get them to insert a standard rad fan switch from a modern car into the hot side collector tank. You don't even need a rad fan relay then!

Equipment for the first two options is widely available - Demon-Tweeks springs to mind. The third will not give any rad shop any problem at all.

Now they would've made great sales brochure shots!
I agree! Can't help wondering if Rover had featured a car with Rostyles in all their brochures, would Rostyles be more common? It's weird but Rover's UK market brochures almost always showed the car at it's most basic, usually in white or grey for series 1s or almond or mexico for series 2s and no options. Whereas the US market brochures showed red or april yellow cars with Rostyles, Magstars, AC, sunroofs, sundym, racing mirrors etc. Consequently, NADA cars often came with more toys.


Active Member
Since the last update the car's mostly been in storage, and today being sunny and dry I took her out for a little drive - after fitting the Moto-Lita wheel I had picked up and red tail indicator lenses. The lenses look brilliant! Not to mention the wheel. I'll be ordering the "correct" yellow LEDs to make the tail indicators flash amber.

The 15-inch steering wheel is perfect. The thick rim and slightly smaller diameter gives the car just as much of a sportier feel that I was hoping it would, and I have full view of the main dials. It does obstruct view of the ammeter and fuel gauges. In the latter case that can be good as I won't feel depressed watching the needle sink when I feel like throwing the car about a bit. adamhotrod's thread on Jinx gave me the perfect solution for the centre and badge.

Found that both brake fluid reservoirs are losing fluid now, it used to be the main one near the bulkhead through a weep in the LHS rear caliper. I assume I'll find fluid in the servo and my heart sinks a bit at the idea of an overhaul. I had to do it on the last car and it's a dirty old job. Added to replacing virtually all the suspension bushes it'll keep my hands full once I get going.



Active Member
Yesterday came time to pull the rear suspension to begin rebushing all the links and sort out the leaky brakes again. Quite a heavy job to do without the use of a lift or a pit, but piece by piece it came out nicely. It's had a POR-15 treatment in the past that has held up well, but it's chipped quite a bit so I'll renew the rust protection with some prep work, rust eater, primer and some fresh grey POR-15 if I can find it locally. I've also various brake kits in the post and have decided to get rid of the silicone fluid while everything is out and in bits anyway. I've talked to five brake specialist garages now and the amount of conflicting information on getting all of it out is such that I'm just going to use some suitable solvent that won't eat rubber and let rip.

The LHS caliper was weeping, and dropped a load of fluid when the cap came off. I recall the bore was all right, but the piston was pitted so two new stainless ones have been ordered and a pair of seals are waiting. I have a pair of liners for the bore, but it's proving prohibitively expensive getting them fitted so that might have to be skipped. I'll not renew the rest of the seals as they're a year old and have seen little use.

The forward diff mounting is drenched in oil and has failed, requiring a new seal to the diff extension. The two bolts holding it to the crossmember were also completely loose, which will account for at least one rattle. The clamp on the end of the tube is fitted at an angle but I'll refit it straight and don't assume it will mean much unless someone points out it has to to with drivetrain alignment. The diff ventilation feature seems to be intact.

The rear trailing arm bushes can be seen below :shock: I think they account for some of the sag on the LHS I've posted about previously, and which I'm hoping will come right gradually as the car gets a full bush job. The bush on that side was also the worst, the sleeve having separated from the rubber. The other worn ones are in the crossmember and panhard rod.

Maybe half of the bushes are still serviceable but there's no point in doing half a job... 8)



Staff member
With the rear trailing arm bushes looking like that, are you going to have a good look (A real good look) at the lower elbow mounting?

Mine looked fine until I wire brushed them