It has been a while since I posted some updates. I'll blame full time study at university for that
I have just gone on holidays, so now is the time to carry out some much needed work! Routine maintenance undertaken thus far...drain sump - fill with Penrite HPR 30, drain transmission pan - fill with Castrol Transmax Type F , new inline filter fitted, grease universal joints - Castrol EPL2 and sliding joint - Castrol LM, fit new flame traps, new engine breather filter, fit new fuel filter beneath tank for the electric fuel pump, top up dashpots - Castrol Transmax Type F, lightly oil felt button beneath distributor rotor - machine oil. Tomorrow I plan to install 8 new Champion N9YC plugs.
Over a 10 day period concluding on Tuesday June 27, I carried out a major refurbishment on my Rover's front suspension and steering. I was given outstanding assistance by Rob, a great friend and fellow P6B owner, for which I am truly grateful. The inner bush within the n/s top link was breaking up, in addition there was a knocking that was evident when driving over rough patches. I surmised that was most likely bottom ball joints. So on Sunday afternoon of June 18, the work began. The bumper bar and both front guards were removed in addition to the n/s front door. It was necessary to take off the door as there is limited space available at the location within Rob's garage. My Rover was then raised so as to facilitate greater access.
The failing n/s top link inner bush can be clearly seen.
Splitting the taper for the o/s top ball joint.
Compressing the spring so as to allow removal of the top link.
The dolly that Rob had tooled up on his mill, to facilitate fitment of my NOS bottom ball joints. An old spare ball joint is seen in the photo for a size comparison.
The swivel pillar supported within a jig, the dolly sitting over the ball joint to be fitted.
The ball joint full home. The groove that accommodates the circlip can be clearly seen. The specs of metal were removed and the ball thoroughly cleaned prior to receiving a generous dose of Castrol LMM grease and the refitting of boot and retaining spring. I'll write an additional piece and post within the Steering and Suspension section, providing further details and photographs.
Top link refitted. The outer cone bushes were obtained from JRW, the inner bushes are NOS metalastic items that I purchased some 30 years ago.
New K-Mac progressive springs were fitted. The K-Mac springs that were taken out had been fitted during 1990, at the same time that the top link bushes, that were now being replaced, had been. They saw 266,776 miles (429,509 km) of service.
New Kelpro shock absorber bushes along with new ball ends purchased from T.R Spares circa 1990 were fitted. The shock absorber nyloc nut has yet to be fully tightened.
The camber correction shims can be clearly seen beneath the outside top link attachment. I replaced the Jaguar flexible brake hoses that I had fitted during 2007 with Goodridge stainless steel braided hoses. The o/s stabiliser was also replaced as the integrated ball joint displayed play. This item has only lasted 159,252 miles (256,400km), I was expecting much more. The replacement has a NOS bush fitted, the arm having already travelled 142,464 miles (229,367 km). The integrated ball joint remains very firm indeed. The links retain their existing bushes, which remain in excellent condition, having also been renewed during 2008. The Koni Classic shock absorbers, which I had purchased 22 years ago, having had them uprated by 40%, remain in excellent condition, continuing to operate brilliantly. They had covered at this time 218,545 miles (351,857 km) in service. The top ball joints remain very firm, having thus far covered 143,280 miles (230,680 km) since I fitted them in 2008. I use Castrol LMM in all ball joints.
Having reached the 10 file upload limit with this post, I'll follow with another post shortly.
The n/s steering rod required replacement, as the integrated ball joint closest to the front now had free play. This was the original 1974 factory fit, and had seen 357,596 miles (575,730 km) of service. The photo shows the replacement, a NOS item that I purchased some 30 years ago from T.R Spares in Sydney. I removed the rubber boots so as to provide a generous dose of Castrol LMM. The factory only gave a smattering of grease, much less than is really required to ensure longevity.
The steering idler also required replacement, the refurbished item can be seen above.
It is a bit of a fiddle to extricate it, as room is rather limited. Usually I remove the valance, but this time it remained in place.
In summary, of the bottom ball joints, only the o/s had play, the n/s was still reasonably firm, but I decided to replace it in any case. The o/s stabiliser also had play in the joint, and again the n/s was firm. The n/s steering rod had play, but the o/s in this instance remained firm. The removed steering idler had both play and an oil leak, so the refurbished item was a definite improvement. The subsequent obligatory road test revealed a substantial improvement. The steering and suspension felt very firm and tight, but in a very good way. There was no more knocking and the new springs made bumps that were noticeable previously considerably less so. All in all, I am extremely pleased with the work that Rob and I did, and truly thankful for his friendship, time and assistance.
Yep in 65 million years when the current crop of archaeologists are digging around all they will find is P6's! Comment will be "my old Da' had one of these back in the day and were still digging them up"
Thanks Barten Yes indeed, and you're on the mark there too Graeme! The parts do last substantially longer than might actually be expected. Great quality to start with obviously helps, but regular use I feel also plays an important part.
I changed my Rover's original factory fitted power steering high pressure hose this morning. The hose was date marked (assuming date of manufacture) 17.01.1973, and would run for over 376,000 miles (over 605,000km). I fitted a NOS item that I had purchased from a Sydney Rover dealer in 1989.
Well I had some unwanted excitement in my Rover yesterday. Climbing a hill, there was a shudder followed by a slight vibration. Then I noticed the smoke in the rear view mirror accompanied by the smell of burning rubber. Not a good combination I dare say!! So I pulled over to find the n/s elbow and the de dion tube attempting to part company. Not being at home, I called for a tow, so my Rover and I travelled the 50 odd km back home courtesy of a tilt tray truck.
Subsequent investigations revealed that of the 8 points of retention, only 3 were left intact. All the others including the studs had sheared off. Inspection revealed the de dion had not seized, so that was good to know. Tomorrow I will fit a spare elbow that I had purchased some 28 years ago, as I don't have a set of easy outs to remove the broken bolts that remain inside the elbow.
I had noted on previous occasions that the de dion bolt holes are not evenly spaced, hence the need for studs to provide correct location. One difference though between my Rover's original elbow and the spare is that the former had two studs, the latter only one. The bolt holes in the former in most cases were blind, in the latter they pass all the way through. A modification by the previous owner of the elbow perhaps?
There is very limited meat between the edge of the holes and the edge of the flange, so increasing their size maybe fraught with danger. As it is, I have fitted longer 1" high tensile bolts, and soon some nyloc nuts will be fitted to the other end, so hopefully this episode won't have a repeat.
This morning I spent a relaxed 4 hours fitting my spare elbow, and 7 new high tensile 1/4" x 1" bolts complete with star washers. There is only one stud with this elbow, so one new high tensile nut was also fitted. My Rover's original elbow, now 44 years old showed next to no rust, just a very light dusting of surface rust in a few small places on the inside. The quality of the steel is really fabulous I think. The Rovers will last for decades here in Australia.
Road testing delivered a tight and silent ride, much improved over how it was. Many of the roads that I drive are appalling, so knocks from the suspension are pretty normal, but obviously the bolts had been coming loose for some time, so the slow change in feel and sound went un unnoticed. I usually pride myself on being observant, but this one snuck past. Hopefully there will not be a repeat!