November 10, 2014

Tomorrow is a big day - we pick up another 620ti for use in restoring T497 LAR.

Tomorrow we're going to be picking up another 620ti - however with over 220,000 miles and a lot of the interior missing, this one is going to be used to maintain our 75,000 mile example this blog is focused on (T497 LAR). 

While we do want to keep as many of our fine cars on the road as possible, after careful assessment I've decided this one will be more suited to other 600 owners in need of parts, and for the restoration of our car. To this end, the car will be stripped of every nut and bolt which will be carefully stored for when times get 'tough' and basic parts are hard to find - the remaining shell will be removed with no panels or fittings remaining. 

It's not often I have to strip a car for spare parts, but the gearbox from this car will give T497 LAR a new lease of life, and the engine will be going in a car belonging to a good friend of mine (not the usual ZR / ZS either, something truly unique). 

November 03, 2014

Thermostat Replacement - and lovely warm heaters.

After owning the 620ti for a few days, I've noticed the heaters aren't always as hot as they could be, and the temperature gauge doesn't always reach the 'normal' level (just under half-way). 

I've had similar on my old Rover 75 CDTi - the thermostats fitted to all CDTi models are prone to opening early with age (you can fix this with an inline thermostat, available here: 75/ZT CDTi Thermostat Kit). The only fix is replacement, however on the 75/ZT CDTi models this isn't easy. Luckily on the 620ti it's a very simple job - the thermostat is located in the top radiator hose on A/C models. 

To remove some care is needed - the thermostats tend to bond to the hose, so need careful removal to avoid damage to the hose. I used the blunt end of a normal kitchen knife and a small amount of dishwashing liquid to lubricate it - this allowed me to gently prise the hose off the thermostat. 

Here's the thermostat once removed:

It's clearly seen better days, and is slightly open even when cold and removed from the car. 

With the new item fitted, the heaters are blisteringly hot (great for clearing the windscreen and keeping your feet warm!) and the engine reaches running temperature much more quickly. 

Replacements are available below - they also fit most Rover 420 models fitted with the T Series engine. 

Click here: T Series Thermostat - PEL10017

November 01, 2014

So, I've bought another 620ti.

After many happy months with the ZT-T, it occurs to me she could do with a couple of months off the road for some work - I like to do work on my cars at my own pace, so the search for a cheap runabout begun. Possible cars included an MG ZS, a Rover 45 or perhaps a Rover 600 diesel. 

Unfortunately things never pan out as planned - evidence of this being that a lovely condition Rover 620ti appeared on Facebook late one night. I felt compelled to chat to the owner about the car - having only 74,000 miles and 3 owners, she's certainly an anomaly given that most are 5+ owner and 100,000 mile vehicles by now. 

Before I'd really had time to think, I'd arranged a time to go and pick her up, driven there in my friend's trusty MG ZT. On a dark Yorkshire evening, I pulled up to the present owner's house to see a Nightfire Red Rover 600 peering out of the drive - initial impressions were excellent. The paintwork seemed good, she started well and there was no evidence of previous accident damage. One set of 3 keys and a large folder of service history later, I was on my way home. 

I've since been making a quick list of items that'll need attention at some point:

  • Boost comes in a little late, usually around 3,300RPM
  • The 'battery' light is dimly lit during normal use - alternator output is OK, so it's likely the monitor output of the alternator at fault
  • Tyre sidewalls are slightly cracked - the tyres have been on the car a good few years (out of date tyre model - Pirelli P6000)
  • Slight 'bouncing' when coming on and off the throttle, suspect lower engine mount
  • Exhaust has a blow from the centre section - the front and rear looks new, but the centre section is held together with exhaust putty
  • Lower front coolant rail is corroded (but not leaking) - will likely clean up OK, but I'd like to stop it getting any worse.

Tax for the vehicle is less expensive than the ZT-T I'll be working on - £126.50 for 6 months (as I'm not sure how long she'll be around) and insurance came in at just over £800 (25 year old driver, 6 years NCD, good postcode). 

Here's a few pictures I've taken so far:

Low mileage:


I shall post updates as I have them - thanks for reading.