Wild Rover - NADA 3500S

You can make red side repeater lenses from orange ones by simply spraying them with red lens tint spray. I did this originally, as a set of four orange lenses (as stated the same as P5b) can be bought for very little money. I did eventually buy a pair of red original lenses and on close inspection, the difference between the originals and the sprayed ones is virtually un-noticeable. I actually got mine mixed up and I am still not sure if I have the originals or the sprayed ones on my car!
While I was messing around with the lenses this weekend I decided to see if the old ones were salvagable.

Here are a few pictures taked before - these came right off the car.
Then I started the cleaning process: first, a good old wash and degrease. Then I worked my way through the wet and dry, starting with 320 all the way up through 2000 grit. I finished up with a polishing compound made for cleaning plastic lenses.

Here's the after results.
I tried the same with the fronts, but the colour has just been bleached right out of them.

I have sent an email to David Green - thanks for the information and suggestion Chris - so I am waiting to hear back on the availability of some good used P5 repeater lenses. There are some for sale on eBay, they are half the price of the reds, but still not exactly cheap.

I was also looking for the indicator lenses for below the front bumper - again, a set of NOS on eBay was commanding quite a price - I have since found out that they were the same lens fitted to US spec MG and Triumphs and can be bought for $12 - way cheaper than the NADA Rover ones.

I am going to have a quick look at the idea of buying a degasser. I had thought of knocking out a few of the clear front indicator lenses and red rears, but unless I am happy with the quality I wouldn't want to sell them on. If I can figure it all out without breaking the bank I will let you all know. As it's a hobby for me I don't see it as a source of income and I would only be doing it to help out and cover costs - maybe a little beer money...


You can buy a set of four orange side repeater lenses from JR Wadhams online for £16 + P&P. They are istd under P5 lights and lenses.

I also twigged that the lower indicator units were MGB US spec, and I managed to pick up a pair of NOS fron the US! The question is are yours single lenses or are they the two part ones? The two part ones can be bought easily from Moss MG (again online) as the orange sidelight lens, normally clear in the UK, is standard in Italy and radily available.

The proper Rover units have a single bulb fitting. The MGB ones have a twin filament bulb fitting as they were used for both sidelight and indicator. I just used the indicator side of the bulb and cut the other wire off!
Cheers Richard,

I just ordered some from JR Wadhams. I got two for less than the price of one listed on eBay.

I have the single orange lens under my bumper - same as yours. Did you get the complete lamp or just the lens? I need at least one complete lamp (LH) as the fire took its toll on mine.

Thanks again for the tip about JRW

I like the mould at home, it's something I've been thinking about for a few bits and pieces, so it's good to know it can be done, and done pretty well.
Well, I finally got the engine out last week - I really feel like I have turned a corner. I know that I am still barely scratching the surface of what needs to be done, but getting the engine out was always one of my mileposts.

I was given an engine crane, part of the delay was waiting for it to be dug out of storage and ready for collection, but still, a free crane was worth waiting for. The crane itself turned out to have a bit of a slow leak in the hydraulics - not serious enough to be a problem, but bad enough to be an annoyance. I had everything undone and ready to go and had the crane in place - everything was going smoothly until the gearbox mount snagged on one of the exhaust U-bolts - every time I got under the car to try and release the mount the crane would gradually lower the engine making the problem a tiny bit worse. I ended up with a bit of a dent in the slam panel where the engine came to rest - good thing I planned on some body work!

It was the end of a long day - I woke up to a flood and we had to have the carpets pulled up, but that's a different story. The whole thing was really getting under my skin, so the angle grinder was brought out and the offending U-bolt dealt with. After that it was relatively plain sailing and the engine came out without a bother.

I bought a cheapish engine stand yesterday - $50 with a 750 lbs capacity - I tried to get an idea of the engine weight, but there seemed to be some minor differences of opinion out there. Eventually I found this http://www.v8register.net/subpages/v8en ... nsions.htm and as it had a diagram I decided it must have some authority, so I settled on 230 kgs or 506 lbs in old money. I had planned on buying the stand with 1000 lbs capacity, but they were out of stock. I figured I had a 30% margain of safety and just bought the cheaper stand.

Anyhoo, the engine now resides on it's stand and is quite easily moved around to where I want it. Next will be a strip and rebuild - all of which will take some time as money will be a controlling factor here. Can anyone recommend a good book that will explain rebuilding the Rover V8 at an idiot's level of comprehension? I know I have seen one or two out there, but recommendations would be very helpful.

I have also pulled the front right suspension to pieces - you may have seen the spring photo on another thread - for those who missed it, here it is again: I was really quite surprised - I knew all the bushes and ball joints were toast because of the fire, but I really didn't expect that :shock: If there was a strawberry with a moustache on top it would look a little like Zebedee.

I had sort of planned to put HD springs all round, so I guess this just made my mind up for me.


D and D Fabrications are Rover/Buick 215 specialists your side; tho' they are lousy at answering emails they're good on the 'phone, decent pricing, very knowledgeable and helpful


and lots of these engines are used by the ( North American ) folks at:

http://www.britishv8.org too, for repowering MG-B's mostly, tho' there is one drop-dead-gorgeous NADA P6B there as well...

There is a great deal of interchangeability between the Buick/Olds/Pontiac 215 ( and even the later V-6 ) and the Rover V8, you won't have any trouble sourcing parts or info.

Can anyone recommend a good book that will explain rebuilding the Rover V8
Books: ( all available from Amazon ) I posted reviews here:


Good luck + great to see your project coming along!

BTW; this guy builds a Rover V8 for his MG on YouTube;



So Cal V8

Active Member
I haven't had a great deal of time recently, work, holiday, helping out my mate - so not much has happened on the Wild Rover front. Lack of funding is also slowing things up a bit.

I do have a quick question that has popped up during the tear down of WR's engine - I have been reading up on engine rebuilding and one of the things I had considered was deburring the block. The machine shop I spoke to also mentioned deburring as a good idea. While I was trying to clean some of the gunk off the engine this evening I came across something interesting and I would like to get some feedback from the experts please. I have a couple of photos, but the quality isn't great - sorry!
It looks as if the block has already been deburred... :?

Did Rover do this to all their engines? It seems unlikely, but I suppose it's possible. Does anyone know? Or, is it more likely that this engine has been out and rebuilt in the past? Either way, it saves me from having to do it, so I suppose it's all good - just curious...

Here are a couple of pictures from my St. Patrick's day weekend...
And a photo of the B & B we visited in Northern California recently...
Graham, thanks for the info and the links - it's great to be able to check here to find all the help and knowledge I need. :D


Hi So Cal!

Holiday looks to have been well Yee Ha!

There is one thing that is worth considering for your engine rebuild - that's chemically dip cleaning the karge parts, block, heads, inlet manifold,crank and rods. Rover's get very gunked up inside,as you've spotted! Even in normal times this can fur up their passageways - oil in particular, but water too. If the engnie has had a light roasting as well, the case for a chemical clean is even stronger. A particular concern would be the oil feed from the block up into the front of the cylinder heads and on into the rocker pedestals. It'll make it look shiny and attractive on the outside too!



Well-Known Member
Gotta love that big white Lincoln, eh!? 2 or 4 door? Glad to see you guys pulled the 460 out on a concrete drive. Back when I had my '71 Town Coupé my buddy and I tried to extricate the lump and box with a hired engine crane on the street outside my long-suffering mother's place. The crane wheels sank down into the asphalt as it took the weight of that iron boat anchor! Wouldn't then slide out from beneath the car as we had envisaged. :lol:
I thought de-burring the block meant smoothing the inside of, for example, the valley area, so that oil returns faster from the head area? What does taking the casting flash off the outside achieve?
Quit teasing us with the photos of sunny So & NorCal already, will ya? You're makin' me jealous! Even on a sunny day the eastern parts of Berlin don't manage to look quite as bright and verdant. I'm going to have to find the funds to take a holiday on the US west coast, it has been a life long dream and needs to be realised... Ukiah, Vineland, etc. Down PCH, maybe pay you a visit? OK, I'll shut up now and stop daydreaming and drag my lazy posterior to my garage to achieve something, as I've also been too busy of late, like yourself.

unstable load

Well-Known Member
I also thought deburring applied to the insides of the engine.
A mate that used to drive a VW Beetle went as far as polishing
and then powder coating the inside of his motor.

unstable load

Well-Known Member
Yep, he never got the chance if I recall.
The motor went Bang with a capital B!! :)
Something about making sure it's properly in gear before dropping the clutch and flooring it at the lights........ :roll:
Made the most horrible noise with the detached conrod beating the engine to bits... :shock:

So Cal V8

Active Member
mrtask said:
Gotta love that big white Lincoln, eh!? 2 or 4 door?
The Lincoln's a two door Al. As for the concrete drive being better than asphalt - probably so, but it made one hell of a thump when the crane tipped over and the 460 hit the deck :shock: Because the engine bay is so vast, we had the cherry picker on full extension just to reach in - this meant that one of us had to stand on the crane to counteract the engine - I was getting the stand and my mate got so excited he got off the base of the crane and down it went :oops:

I'll try and keep you up to date on the Lincoln build as well.

unstable load said:
I also thought deburring applied to the insides of the engine.
Everything I have read, and the blocks that I have seen have had all the hard edges deburred. Based on my reading it is done for several reasons - to remove any weak areas left by the casting where the moulds seperated that could lead to cracks or other "stress risers"; it also done to make the block easier to handle - no sharp edges to cut yourself on.

My engine shows definite signs of having being ground or sanded around the areas I have cleaned so far. I don't know if Rover was so thorough in the manufacturing process that this was done by the factory - anyone know? My guess is that someone has been in there at some time in the car's 40 year history.

I am looking for a local machine shop to do a proper clean - obviously I need to find someone familiar with aluminium engines as the regular chemical processes used willl leave me with nothing but a few blobs of ally. I have been recommended to a shop that knows the Rover engine, but I haven't had a chance to check them out yet.

I tried to get some photos of the water jacket through the core plugs - it seems pretty clean in there


unstable load

Well-Known Member
Everything I have read, and the blocks that I have seen have had all the hard edges deburred. Based on my reading it is done for several reasons - to remove any weak areas left by the casting where the moulds seperated that could lead to cracks or other "stress risers"; it also done to make the block easier to handle - no sharp edges to cut yourself on.
Makes sense, I assumed that was part of the standard manufacturing process and that if it was specifically mentioned, then it was probably internal. Live and learn!
Cheers, mate.

So Cal V8

Active Member

It's been a very, very long time since I posted an update about the Wild Rover. I actually can't believe just how long it has been.

Progress has been made, not much, but some. I am a little embarrassed at how long this is taking me, especially when I see just how much some of you take on, and how quickly you get projects completed.

I will post an update soon, but first I have a question. Actually, I am re-asking an old question, but with some additional information.

When I first got the car the previous owner had stated that he thought there was some "frame damage" due to having hit a large pothole at high speed. There was some evidence of the damage sustained - inner wing on the left hand side had been punched through - but there was nothing definitive.

Today I was cleaning up the engine bay ready to repaint and tidy up. The weld under the RHS headlights has broken away. The top rail/slam panel has a pretty decent amount of flex in that area. I had posted photos before, but now that it is sandblasted clean it shows up a little better.

Is this a straightforward weld and go job, or is there more to this?

Now, what I hadn't seen before due to all the crud and accumulated dirt was a pretty hefty crack just behind the LHS headlight mounts.

Same question I guess - is this a relatively easy repair, or am I looking at something much more in depth?

I know that it's hard to gauge just looking at a couple of photos, but the collective thoughts and advice of the forum is extremely welcome! I can take more photos if needs be - anxiously awaiting some opinions.

Thanks in advance.



Progress has been slow on the WR - at some points it has been non-existent. I pretty much knew that this was going to be a long term project when I started, I just didn't really know what "long term" meant. Even with my original timetable, which was pretty generous at three years, I am still a long way off. I am sure this isn't new to a lot of you who have already undertaken something like this before, but it's still a little bit of a surprise to me at how these things go - when you have the time, money seems to be a factor, when you have the money, time seems to be the issue and then when you have time and money you sometimes just lack the motivation. I know, whah, whah, whah...

WR has been locked up in the garage for the last 18 months - I was given a notice by the City - move it from my drive or face a fine. City ordinance says that you cannot have a vehicle on your drive unless it is operational. Now as much as I enjoy a good debate, I was pretty sure I wouldn't prevail as WR has no engine or transmission and was on three wheels as I had stripped the right front suspension.

I did bits a pieces while it was in the garage, but I wasn't really making progress - until, finally, I had all of the parts I needed to rebuild the front suspension, I also had the inclination and some time.

I started by sandblasting the inner wheel well, followed by etch primer, primer, chassis black and rubberized undercoating. All of the steering components were painted with POR 15 - I sprayed some and brush painted others, both came out very nicely. I replaced all of the bushings and ball joints.

I used my home powder coater to finish the top link pivot blocks and I sent my springs out for powder with my local guy. I was going to go for a standard black finish, but he talked me out of it and persuaded me to go with a blue that he likes (can't remember the colour name).

I started to reassemble everything, and while I won't go into detail, I can tell you that the springs were *expleting* awkward. It actually took me multiple attempts to get the whole lot back together. At one point I screwed up pretty badly and had to find a new top link and pivot block - luckily I knew where there was a car that had been dismantled long ago and it was easy to source the parts. I was quite mindful about keeping the 90 degree angle with the top link on pivot block - I do wonder about that, but want to put that whole experience behind me for now.

One of the challenges I faced was finding a local machine shop to press my ball joints and bushes. I have a small 6 ton press in my workshop and it's fine for the easy stuff, but IIRC the top link pivot block tool 30 tons to press it on (I may be wrong, but I think that was the number). I live near Huntington Beach and Brea - for those of you familiar with Boyd Coddington and Chip Foose that's were their workshops are (in Boyd's case, was). There are lots of custom car and bike builders around here and quite a few of those TV shows like Overhaulin' are filmed here. What I am trying to say is the auto industry is alive and well locally, however... it was nigh on impossible to find a machine shop that would take on small jobs like my ball joints. I drove from one end of the county to the other with no luck - one place turned me away while I was walking across the parking lot - I was carrying the front steering pillar. I finally found a small shop run by a really nice Mexican fella who is happy to do the odd little jobs I bring him - he is fast, reasonable, friendly and does good work.

Another reason for the delay in rebuilding the suspension was some of the parts I had acquired. I knew I needed ball joints top and bottom for the steering pillar and so when I came across a pair of NOS steering pillars on eBay for less than the price of four new ball joints I jumped at the chance. They came from a reputable supplier who knows his P6s and knew me and my car, so I felt happy with my purchase. I put the parts to one side when they arrived until I was ready to do the job - I prepped and painted them with POR 15 and they looked good. Then one day I was in the garage just looking at them and it slowly dawned on me that it wasn't a "pair" is was actually two right hand side pillars. No matter - it would just be cheaper to salvage the ball joints instead of shipping the item back to the UK.

The next problem took more time to figure out - I reassembled the front steering but the pillar kept making contact with the bodywork - big gouges out of my freshly painted wheel well. Plus the bolt holes for the caliper were a different size, as was the bolt hole for the heat shield. I solved those problems only to find that the caliper mounting points rubbed against the disc quite badly... Finally after much discussion with Tom (302 Rover) and Pierre in the UK we figured out that it was the completely wrong swivel pillar for my car. As bad as this was, it at least meant I knew what the problem, and therefore the solution was. I recommissioned my original part - I removed and reused the ball joints from the NOS part and hey presto, it fit. I won't say it was easy, because it wasn't, but I will leave the spring story for another time. The moral of this particular story is to try and reuse your original parts before you think of replacing them, even with NOS items.

I have fitted GAZ adjustable shocks, but I was at the end of my rope when I did it, so I think they might be upside down - any reference photos or suggestions welcome.

At last I got WR back on all four wheels - having had a few disastrous attempts in the week before I did the deed while my wife was at work and there was no one there to hear my sobs if it all went wrong again. I must confess that there was a hint of a tear in my eye when I finally was able to put the front wheel back on and lower WR to the ground. I had a stupid grin on my face and a real sense of achievement - I know I haven't done anything earth shattering here, but it was something I managed myself albeit with a lot of help and advice from others along the way.

Wild Rover is back on the driveway now, still no engine or transmission, but I bought a nice car cover for him, so the nasty man from the City can't really tell what state he's in.

I am scraping and sandblasting the engine bay ready for a new coat of paint - I am going to try out Lizard Skin coating to help out with noise and heat reduction. I plan on rebuilding the left suspension and seriously hope it doesn't take anywhere near as long as the right side took.


Looking good.

From what I've seen of Overhaulin', "restoration" seems to consist of junking 90% of a complete car & replacing it with brand new, totally non-original parts. :roll:
If the rest of the local motor industry is based on the same premise then I'm not surprised you struggled to find someone to take on your small, but straightforward job.