My 3500s project - future daily drive

Update time.

After successfully fitting the spare timing cover, complete with new rope seal, i was a happy bunny indeed. It fired up, had good oil pressure and all was well. I let it warm up and then went to take my mate home in it (he had been helping with the reassembly). As I was driving out of my estate we noticed the ignition light had started flickering, we decided to turn back and have a look, about 300m from home i realised the oil pressure gauge was at zero! Arrrrrrgghhh! Pulled up onto the drive and switched off ASAP.

Tried tapping the oil pump with a mallet incase the bypass was stuck, fired it up, no pressure and just starting to tap. Tried again, fired up and tapping was worse.

Two weeks of mucking about with oil pumps covers, gaskets, gears and endlessly winding the oil pump drive with a drill etc and I eventually had it back with oil pressure. I believe the cause was a couple of things:
  • The oil pump gasket was apparently too thick, when I measured it I found it was 20 thou, most people seem to think 10-12 thou is standard.
  • I had fitted my original pump gears to the "new" timing chest as mine were less scored. When I compared them, the spare ones were slightly taller so got refitted.
So with pressure restored the P6 went back into daily service, as fuelling and parking the Land-rover everyday had sent my wallet to intensive care (18-20mpg and £10 a day parking).

A few weeks ago I started getting a misfire at low rpms. Datalogs didnt show anything obvious...

I checked the plugs and leads and all resistances etc were ok, but one of the coilpack towers was slightly corroded where the boot can't have been seated correctly. I swapped this coilpack out for a spare I had and that fixed the misfire instantly.

Then a couple of weeks ago my wife and I went to our niece's birthday party which was being held on an industrial estate in St Albans. I took this shot of the car which came out quite well for something snapped on a phone, (just ignore the aircon units above).

Last week I left the office, walked to the car and went to start the car. It would catch and fire each time, but die after 2-3 seconds. I diagnosed this as a dead EFI pump and the car was trying to run on the facet pump alone. I called the AA who were useless and couldn't help me as I was in a multistorey carpark. To cut a long story short by 9pm I ended up getting my wife to load up her car with tools and my spare pump and drive the 35 miles to meet me. I fixed the car, and the AA have since refunded my membership fee.

The pump that died last week was one that I thought had died previously when I was stranded some point last year at the side of the M3. This was pump trouble, and the pump was making a horrendous howling noise at the time. I found afterwards that I had plumbed my swirl pot wrong, and when plumbed correctly the pump worked ok so i carried on using it and kept the replacement I had bought on the shelf. I had obviously shortened its life quite considerably with the plumbing error!

This weekend the car is being pressed into service transporting my friend Tim to his wedding (I'm best man) - I hope it behaves!
So we all know that our old Rovers were fast in their day, and this weekend I had a chance to prove it by signing up for the Pistonheads Sunday Service at Silverstone. For £40 you got a half an hour track session, and I had been persuaded by my friend (who drives a Monaro) to come along and see what the P6 could do.

All in all it was a great day, and the P6 got a lot of attention. It didn't let the side down either, as although most of the cars were flying by me on the straights (Nobles, Porsches etc) the more normal saloons had a tougher time. They definitely got me in the corners though! Body roll under hard cornering was err.... impressive.

The car ran perfectly fine throughout the session, temps were all fine, pressure good, got some brake fade at the end of the session though!


The two red V8's:

Ready for the off:

On track:

All in all the half hour was perfect, and i'd recommend it to anyone!


Staff member
My son is trying to persuade me to go to one of these with Sparky, and so far I have resisted the temptation.

Looks like fun though, car looks good.

Well, I've now done over 50,000 miles in the old girl and she's still going strong. In fact looking back at my records on , 24,881 of those miles have been on EFI!

Recent changes have been a new set of rear tyres - the old ones were getting quite low and in anything but totally dry weather would just spin up on acceleration. I went for the same again, Dunlop Sport Bluresponse.

Also had to change my top rear shock bushes as they had succumbed to the constant pounding from all the speed humps and enormous Surrey potholes I have to traverse on a daily basis and I had started to get a knocking.

My PAS belt was squealing terribly - a new Gates branded belt seems to have cured that.

Finally, the secondhand electric fan that I grabbed off of an MPI powered Discovery (which is basically a T-series engine without the turbo) years ago finally died, leading me to purchase a replacement fan on ebay. Strangely enough, I ended up getting the same type of unit, but the advert stated that my new one had come off a Rover 200. The upshot of this is that I now have a working fan again which fitted without having to modify anything I had done before, and it even has a Rover logo on the motor casing!

Things that need looking at are:
  • I think the rubber bit on the end of my gearstick has disintegrated and fallen off - gearchanges have become incredibly vague.
  • I have an annoying resonant rattle from somewhere in the dash that needs investigating.
  • My throttle position sensor is dying - which is no big deal as load sensing is based on manifold air pressure, but it does mean that most of the time my overrun fuel cut is not triggering - which is costing me one and a bit mpg.
Other than that, its all good :)
Well that cursed it! This morning I went to back off the drive and the car felt odd and draggy. Got out to have a look and one of my new tyres was flat!

Changed the wheel only to find a massive woodscrew in the shoulder of the tyre. Only a week and a bit old!

Update time !

Just returned today from a short trip to the South west - my wife and I are expecting our first child and so thought we should get away before the little blighter (all being well) arrives in August. We decided to take the P6 - what better way is there to travel? The trip was great and on the car front it was mostly uneventful, which is always good.

So we set off last Thursday, and set course from our place in Hampshire to Exeter, Devon via the A303. We both went to Uni there so hit Pizza hut for lunch for old times sake, beforeheadingi nto town to see how things have changed. It was sad to see the Royal Clarence in its current state after it burned down some months ago:

We cruised up to campus - that has changed a lot! Before we hit the road again to Barnstaple along the delightful A377 - the weather was perfect, the sun was out and the road was blissfully quiet. National speed limit roads with sweeping bends criss-crossing back and forth with the Tarka branch line, heaven...

On arrival we checked into our hotel before going to checkout the town:

It was pretty dead so we headed over to the station which holds a few memories for us, the new GWR branding looks great:

We then headed back for the night.

Day 2 saw us head for Clovelly -which you have to pay to enter these days!

Before heading onwards to Bude where we picked up some sandwiches:

Which we then took with us to Crackington Haven - a beautiful spot:

Before jumping back into the car and making our way to Tintagel:

After which we drove out along the coast to Port Isaac (no pictures :( ) and down to our final destination of St Ives:

We spent the week pottering about down there, with a trip to the Eden Project on one of the days:

The Rainforest Biome:

The Mediterranean Biome:

Having covered 255 miles today alone I can honestly say that our cars are the perfect tourers. My only niggle was the car jumping out of 3rd gear down some of the steeper hills!
Nice pictures. We had our family holiday down there on a couple of occasions late '70s/early '80s in our 2000 TC. For some reason (possibly because it was the most direct route) my dad always chose to use Porlock Hill on our way to Ilfracombe. In those days there were signs on certain parts of it advising drivers to engage bottom gear!

Time for another update.

A couple of weeks after getting back from St Ives, I went up to the Peak district for a weekend walking with a couple of buddies. The car as usual took the 200 mile journey in it's stride, taking two of us comfortably up there with no stops! As you would expect from a journey like that in a car like ours we arrived fresh as a daisy and just in time for a couple of beers before bed. Here's a rubbish shot of the car outside the hotel on the Saturday morning:

Then it was coming up to MOT time, so I checked the front wheels and found a bit of play in the bearings. This was sorted:

And where I had attacked some of the rust at the bottom of the drivers side rear door and left it in grey primer, like this:

I touched it up with some red from a rattlecan. The shade is as you'd expect not quite right, but its close enough for now until I can get it resprayed:

Then the rear drivers side shock bush had gone at the top - too many speed humps on my daily commute. Got it up on the ramps:

And then it passed its MOT with no issues :)

Recently I decided that the air filter should be changed. I was right! - see below for comparison of old vs. new:

And then last week I managed to resolve a misfire that had developed over the last month or so at a very specfic point - 1,000-1,200 rpm and a load of around 50kPa. On checking the resistance of the HT leads i found that they were all between 5-13k Ohm, with the exception of cylinder 3 which even though it is the second shortest lead was measuring at 18k! I made up a new lead, which read down at 5k and the misfire is cured. Lovely.

Finally, the wideband has started giving intermittent readings recently and I suspect the sensor is on its way out. For this reason I have disabled the EGO based feedback on the EFI to stop it screwing up the fuelling because of bad readings. I have a new sensor in the garage somewhere, just need to find half an hour to fit it.

Fuel economy is back up a bit with the new filter and the misfire cured, even with the EGO control off - result!

Apologies for the size of pictures - I am trying a new image host.


Well it's been a while! Towards the end of summer, in September I noticed that I had some free play in the steering on the passenger side wheel. Further investigation proved that the steering idler was to blame. It was tight to the bracket, which was securely fastened to the chassis but jiggling about with a pry bar you could get some movement from the base of it. There was also a tell tale clunk over bumps that tallied with various posts on here. I decided that it wasn't a good idea to continue using the car for daily duties until I had this resolved, and so the Land-Rover was pressed into service:

I was saved by one of the members on here from down under: mikecoombs :)- he very kindly dug out a replacement he had and shipped it to me! However, its arrival took longer than expected due to the incompetency of the UK courier service "Yodel". It arrived shortly before Christmas.... they had evidently managed to smash up the box it was in as it was covered in tape that said "Repacked by Yodel" :mad::

But inside the package all was well (Excuse the shot of my hand/finger at the bottom):

So a few weeks later (having a 6 month old baby can make finding a window for this kind of work tricky) and with the weather being perfect for tinkering on cars I got to work:

The old idler was definitely dead - it had almost zero resistance and just flopped back and forth in your hand. The new one was much stiffer and took some effort to get it to move.

After fitting everything back together I used some scrap steel to make up what was effectively a massive set of calipers so that I could measure the toe setting accurately:

This took a lot of mucking about taking measurements, making adjustments, shunting the car back and forth to get it to settle to its new default position, before repeating the whole process again. It didn't help that a couple of times as I was getting close I did not engage brain and then turned the adjuster the wrong way!

So the car was back together, but at this point the amount of salt that was being spread on the roads was horrific and I didn't want to get that stuff all over my lovely P6 (Sorry Land-rover). It was treated to a wash:

And that's how it sat for a few more weeks. The snow came, and the salt content grew steadily higher on the roads, so the P6 was confined to the driveway for its on safety. The 90 took it all in its stride, here it is as we were packing up to leave Center Parcs in Longleat:

So the P6 sat and sat....until yesterday! :):) The salt had been washed away by the recent rain we've had and I had to go Richmond for my offshore medical. Not knowing where I would be able to park I decided not to risk taking the Land-Rover as its height can be a limiting factor when finding car parks. I fired up the P6 Tuesday night, let it warm up and checked everything, took it out for some fuel and that was it. Next day it performed flawlessly taking me to my appointment and then to work:

It was great to be back behind the wheel again, especially in the sunshine. The EV6 style injectors I fitted prior to taking the car off the road seem to be performing well and the car is definitely faster than I remember! It just goes and goes, and is especially lovely cruising on the motorway with the throttle barely cracked open, window down, listening to the rumble of the engine. It's funny how different the P6 and the Landrover sound, considering they are both 3.5's - the big difference is the exhaust, as the 90 has a 4-2-1 system that is slightly bigger bore than the P6. Somehow the P6 sounds a little bit more raw in a good way, the 90 is still good, but a bit more muted perhaps.

May not last long though, they are predicting another cold snap and the signs on the M3 this morning said they were salt spreading again...:rolleyes: Luckily I took the Land-Rover today!
Unexpected update - the car had been running well, and gave me great economy last week when I had to spend the first three days commuting down to Southampton for work. The journey was bliss compared to my normal London-bound route, here it is parked up at Warsash:

Then this week I noticed that i had what sounded like a slight exhaust blow, however this grew and on my way home yesterday I had what sounded like a bird chirping under the bonnet! The sound was coming from the drivers side bank, i tried tightening up the exhaust manifold, downpipe with no success.

Then with the car running up on ramps with myself lying underneath, I noticed the head gasket looked like a bit was missing, and sure enough when I put my gloved finger up to the gap the sound changed, I had found the source - the headgasket...

By the time I had diagnosed this, popped out to fuel up the Defender and got back to it to make a start it was just before 10pm. I half considered leaving making a start until today as it was so late, but part of me thought I should take advantage of the warm dry weather, so i got cracking:

Before I started:

A short time later:

Later still, the fluid in the bores is 3in1 - I didn't have any wd40 to chase away the coolant that dropped into them when the head came off , so squirted in some 3in1 and wiped it around:

Close up view - blown out at Cylinder #6:

The gasket itself:

And this is where I stopped when I packed up at 11:30 - not bad for just over an hour and a half!

I have spare gaskets and seals in stock so hopefully I can get it back together tonight, reassembly always takes longer though due to all the cleaning...

Onward and upwards!
Well it took longer than I hoped to get it all back together, as predicted the cleaning of everything ate up a lot of time. Was back together on Thursday night, and this morning after quickly checking that hose clips were tight and topping off the coolant it fired up as normal. Took it out for a short run in the sun and all is well again, happy days. :)


Well-Known Member
Well done that man. It is always a relief when it works properly once again and doesn't leak anymore. Look forward to more photos from your travels in your red rocket.
Well done that man. It is always a relief when it works properly once again and doesn't leak anymore. Look forward to more photos from your travels in your red rocket.
Thank you - it was a big relief indeed! :) I had a bad experience once when changing the heads on my Landrover, I foolishly used a cheap Britpart gasket i had lying about on one side and it leaked water like a sieve! I now use decent gaskets, but the fear is still very much present when I get to the point of starting up. :eek:


Well-Known Member
I made the mistake of re-using the old head bolts when I replaced the head gaskets the other year. Turned out they weren't up to the job, so when I did it all again this January I plumped for new bolts from Rimmers. Touch wood, almost two thousand miles later, they seem to have done the trick. I used composite gaskets this time instead of tin. Can't say I've noticed the drop in compression, the blue beastie still takes off like a scalded cat when asked. I've often wondered if red cars are just that little bit quicker, perhaps?


Well-Known Member
Very, Very jealous! What a terrific thread, learned a lot here.
A few questions please. Have read elsewhere that post 1976 inlets wont fit on pre 76 heads/blocks - if you got a hotwire injection system on your 3.5 that story would seem to be wrong? You seem to have had no issue with plenum clearance under the bonnet, as Quattro reported ?
Also seen is a mention of a spacer required when using a P6 clutch slave on an LT77 bellhousing - any details available please? I know you need a propshaft from an auto to fit an LT77, but not much more. Is a change required to sizes of clutch master or slave?
Re your water pump - have done 2 on a Porsche 928 as part of a cam belt change - std practice is to replace the water pump bolts, chase the block threads (no timing cover), and use anti-seize. First time I broke 2 bolts in the block, but got them out with heat, tap end with hammer, penetrene, repeat as needed. M6 bolts go in at 7 ft/lb.
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