New Member and Ammeter Question

#1
Hello, I’m new to this forum and new to owning cars , apart from a couple of cars whilst living in USA and a Saab here in the uk it’s always been British and American motorcycles. I have always turned my head at rover p6 as they always struck me as being unique in a way that I was unable to attribute to any specific characteristic - but I like to get involved with the upkeep and not drive a car that was as mechanically compelling as a hairdryer or a toaster! I am starting to gingerly tackle and list the things that need working on in order of priority, however I noticed that the ammeter sometimes works like it ought to but otherwise it’s needle is stuck on minus 60 but the battery has full charge I don’t know what causes this, does anyone have any ideas?
 
#4
You say "needle is stuck on minus 60 " is that all the time, or does needle return to centre zero when engine is off?
I would suggest that you check the operation of meter first:
1. Engine off, if meter is at zero, check movement when light are turned off. headlights should show -20A or so, obviously much less when on side-lights.
it is difficult to think of any way your meter could genuinely show -60A without short circuit somewhere, and then a fuse should blow.
I would suspect something wrong with meter first. Can you get the meter out and check it on the bench, using spare bulb as load
It is not very clear in wiring diag. in Haynes book, but it looks as if there should be an external 'shunt' across the meter terminals. This would be very low resistance and should show < 1 Ohm if you have a test meter. Without this, the meter would be highly sensitive and give full scale deflection for small current loads.
i am writing this without any direct knowledge of the meter and only going by what little Haynes shows on cct. diag.
if the meter is showing reality, then you will soon have a flat battery and/or smoking wiring.
 

Quagmire

Active Member
#6
Mine used to be my daily from Basingstoke up to Kingston upon Thames every day and did that with no issues for years, the traffic was always horrendous for the last five miles in as you came off the a316, so I think you should be fine :)

Just make sure that the cooling system is in good order, and it's probably worth fitting an electric fuel pump as otherwise you may get the dreaded vaporisation problems when sat in traffic in hot weather like we are having now. When still on carbs I fitted a cylindrical facet at the rear of the car pushing fuel forward and the car was always good as gold even in temps in the low to mid 30's.

As an alternative, a lot of the members on here seem to have success with "Huco" puller pumps mounted in the engine bay.

As Peter has said above, an electric fan is also a good idea!
 
#7
Fuel vapourisation might be a problem, it was with my 3500S, even with an electric fuel pump. Only cured whne the bypss from Carburettor tower to radiator was cleared. Check this! it must be clear.
Thanks to chris York and P6 club tech support for info on this.
Moral; join the club to get help.
 

mrtask

Well-Known Member
#8
Welcome to P6 ownership and to this forum, Mark. I drive my 50 yr old 3500 in London, and love every mile. Judging the number of positive remarks I get from other motorists and passerby they love it too. All the above advice is good. Basically, just drive it, fix any issues you encounter with the help of the brilliant advice you'll find on here. Whereabouts in London are you? I'm up near the northern perimeter. I can recommend a good P6 friendly mechanic in this part of the world who is well versed in these cars, if there should be any jobs you don't want to tackle yourself.
 
#9
Thank you very much for all of the messages and items of advice- I agree with Mr collis’ point it was a gradual process with the ammeter, I think it wasn’t used to 1) being used all the time in London it came from Thames valley area unused , Al that sudden stopping starting, endless lights 20 mph speed limit,bumps, and the heat at the time it gradually gave up the ghost and I don’t blame it. I was beginning to think that London is not the number one place to drive such a car, with its potholes and endless queues also, and after incurring a huge bill from a rescue company that had me as a captive client as also the ignition barrel kept cutting out in tricky places like Hammersmith broadway, the rescue people fixed that to be fair but they also replaced the steering wheel upside down,which is not very confidence inspiring- they replaced the head gasket but did not want to touch anything to do with the valves or the seating and after six weeks and an eye watering bill they returned the car ,seeing the job as done and dusted (£1032incl)! After that i took it straight to T&T in west London ,someone from the club kindly put me on to them and they confirmed my worst fears- I was done like a kipper!
It’s reassuring to hear that with care it can be used more than occasionally, I was bowled over by the time and effort that I got from the club (several lengthy phone calls-thank you) it restored my faith in human nature and put a spring in my step and as far as the car goes. Structurally it’s in very good shape, it has great character and style, a hobby and a project!
 
#10
You say "needle is stuck on minus 60 " is that all the time, or does needle return to centre zero when engine is off?
I would suggest that you check the operation of meter first:
1. Engine off, if meter is at zero, check movement when light are turned off. headlights should show -20A or so, obviously much less when on side-lights.
it is difficult to think of any way your meter could genuinely show -60A without short circuit somewhere, and then a fuse should blow.
I would suspect something wrong with meter first. Can you get the meter out and check it on the bench, using spare bulb as load
It is not very clear in wiring diag. in Haynes book, but it looks as if there should be an external 'shunt' across the meter terminals. This would be very low resistance and should show < 1 Ohm if you have a test meter. Without this, the meter would be highly sensitive and give full scale deflection for small current loads.
i am writing this without any direct knowledge of the meter and only going by what little Haynes shows on cct. diag.
if the meter is showing reality, then you will soon have a flat battery and/or smoking wiring.
I agree, and it was a gradual process probably from the heat the terrible roads in London, and also the ignition barrel was so tired it kept cutting out, and that may have had something to do with it. Also sitting in traffic, battery not charging like it should can’t have helped- I really like those gauges and the ammeter reminds me of my biking days! I’d like to see it work again! Thank you for your reply and sorry for the late answer!
 
#11
Your P6 should be absolutely fine as a daily driver, but as said above it would be a good idea to fit an electric fan. Otherwise there's a tendency to high underbonnet temperatures and fuel vapour lock when idling in traffic on a hot day. The greater volatility of modern fuels probably explains why this is more of a problem nowadays than it was when the cars were new. My car – a K-reg 2000 TC like yours – has a slimline Spal fan and a Revotec controller. We're taking it on a week's tour of Ireland at the end of the month, and I'm confident it will behave perfectly. I hope I haven't tempted fate by saying that.
 
#12
Welcome to P6 ownership and to this forum, Mark. I drive my 50 yr old 3500 in London, and love every mile. Judging the number of positive remarks I get from other motorists and passerby they love it too. All the above advice is good. Basically, just drive it, fix any issues you encounter with the help of the brilliant advice you'll find on here. Whereabouts in London are you? I'm up near the northern perimeter. I can recommend a good P6 friendly mechanic in this part of the world who is well versed in these cars, if there should be any jobs you don't want to tackle yourself.
I would be interested to know which area in North London this P6 man is.
 
#13
Welcome Mark. I too drive my car on a daily basis, much to the amusement of my work colleagues who park alongside me in the garage below the office. I don’t have the fancy doodads that johnsimister mentions but traffic in and out of Wellington is probably somewhat different to London!
 

mrtask

Well-Known Member
#14
I would be interested to know which area in North London this P6 man is.
Unfortunately, the mechanic whom I mentioned has just let me know he isn't in a position to take on any new clients, as he has just discovered he is losing the workshop where he was based. Which really is a shame, because people who know about working on these cars seem few and far between.
 

jp928

Well-Known Member
#15
Re the ammeter, I would disconnect and clean and Deoxit all the ammeter, shunt and any other electrical contacts you can get to. Sometimes just an R&R is enough to improve things.
 

cobraboy

Well-Known Member
#16
I would just like to point out that if the stock radiator fan is replaced by an electric fan this will not not necessarily mean lower under bonnet temps, as the only air movement through the engine bay when the car is stationary will be when the electric fan is actually running.
Retaining the stock fan and having an additional electric fan will ensure constant air movement in stationary traffic.

A clean unblocked radiator is essential in a city based car. My car with tuned 4.6 litre engine would sit in traffic in the hottest ambient temps with a belt driven plastic fan from an SD1 as it's only fan with no overheating issues.
 

jp928

Well-Known Member
#17
Some comments above re under bonnet temps Remind me of a thought I have had before. Has anybody ever looked at ducting cooler air into the air cleaner - assuming a std air cleaner casing? My 928 also has its air cleaner at the back of the engine bay, and its fed by 2 flexible ducts ~100mm/4" dia that come from scoops above thee radiator top. Also to cope with under bonnet temps it runs a hose from the nearside wheel well to the alternator rear cover to keep it cool.

Has anybody tried running a tube from the air cleaner inlet to an area outside the hot area ? Like that behind the nearside headlights? I have ~ 1M of 2-1/2" flexible tubing. (hope you like the unit mixing?)
 
Last edited:

colnerov

Well-Known Member
#18
Hi, Do you mean like Rover did with the SD1? Which took air, blended by a bi-metal flap, from the front of the car and from a shroud over one of the exhaust manifolds, necessary in the colder climate of the UK to avoid too cold an air temperature.

_Rover-sd1-3.jpg

Colin
 

jp928

Well-Known Member
#20
I believe the sd1 set up was related to us pollution rules - no way to get cold air from that piping. i dont think it could do any harm in warmer climes like Oz. next question? did it make a difference?
 
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