Car Mechanics - staff car

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Phil - Nottingham
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Car Mechanics - staff car

Post by Phil - Nottingham » Mon Nov 24, 2008 8:38 pm

Browsing through this month's Car Mechanics they have apparently sold via Ebay theire "long-term" satff acr after a string of failures and repairs - this wa sonly a Y reg - it seems to me they are just as unreliable as the earlt 800's which we owned and had exactly teh same problems.

Is this typical or are the later Longbridge ones better :P
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47p2
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Re: Car Mechanics - staff car

Post by 47p2 » Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:18 pm

The mechanic who does my MOTs told me on more than one occasion not to go near the 75s, they have lots of problems :(

Paul Gregory
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Re: Car Mechanics - staff car

Post by Paul Gregory » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:44 pm

I have bitten my tongue for long enough, and can't leave this thread unchallenged. I can't comment on the specific car mentioned on here, but I think it is safe to say that the 75 is actually an extemely good car. How do I know? Well I have been running them since 2000 and whilst I have not put a massive mileage on (about 110K between two cars) I am still pleased that I bought (and have kept) both of them. I am, however, not blind to the fact that there are a few things which have caused people some grief, myself included, but I do not think they are any worse, and quite probably better, than many of the alternatives. If you look at the cost of these cars now you cannot help but notice what value for money they are and they were not voted the best used family car in the 2007 Auto Trader awards by not having a strong following.

There has been much debate as to whether the Cowley or Longbridge built cars were best, and I believe it is actually impossible to answer. The Cowley cars were very well spec'd, and over the life of the Longbridge ones the level of spec varied, starting at the same level as Cowley but then dropping off in an effort to reduce manufacturing costs. Many of the changes were however reversed later in the production run.

I can certainly say that one of my 75's has not been the cheapest vehicle I have ever owned but would I part with it? No chance...all I have to do is drive it, and any thoughts about the cost of maintaining it disappear. The 'larger' Rovers have never been cheap vehicles to buy at the beginning of their life, or to run properly throughout it. The R40 75 is no exception. It is a complex car, which inevitably has some things which are not easy for a home mechanic to maintain but that is the same for anything from later SD1 onwards. Does this put me off? No way. Would I buy another one if either of mine got written off? Without hesitation.

There is a growing band of 75 owners in the RSR and I think that already shows that it is a car which is here to stay.
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telferstr
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Re: Car Mechanics - staff car

Post by telferstr » Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:13 pm

Hi,
Very well said Paul. The picture painted by the above is certainly not the one I had experience of, and an absolute insult to this fine car, which well deserved to carry the name of Rover into the 21st centuary.
Like you I covered a good deal of miles in my 3 75s, a total of some 143,500miles. The first was an X registered Rover 75 Classic SE, with the 1.8 engine and manual gearbox, finished in Dorchester Red with a Biege interior. It was a late Cowley build. This car covered 70,000 miles in a 19 month period and gave no trouble whatsoever. When washed and polished it looked stunning and drew many compliments from passers bye when parking etc. It was a great car I was very proud to have it and a joy to drive. My second 75 a Longbridge car, was also a manual 1.8 powered, but a Club SE version. Finished in Arden Green with Biege interior, a combination which also suited the car very well. Again I had no problems with this vehicle, apart from the rear number plate bulbs failing to light up on occasions, but this was cured by squeezing the bulb contacts together. This vehicle had an easier life than my first 75 and covered 36500 miles before I exchange it for a Tourer version.
The Tourer a manual 1.8 Club SE, in White Gold and Dark Grey interior, also behaved without any problems, and if anything sat the road, maybe a little better than the saloons, probably due to the slightly firmer suspension setup of the Tourer version. It covered a total of 37000 miles before we parted with it.
After having three 75s, I decided for a change and currently have a 2.5 V6 Jaguar S-Type, which is very nice indeed. However the interior of the 75 in many ways is superior to that of the S-Type. The 75 seats are just that bit more comfortable and the various storage area in the 75 are very much better than those provided in the S-Type. Maybe I may go back to a 75 in the future who knows, all I can say is it is a great shame that they are no longer built.
So there you have it, the Car Mechanics staff car is well away from what I experienced and possibly was not looked after very well due to it being a general staff car, and therefore not being anybody's particular responsibility.
Regards,
Telfer.
Image
Photo of my second 75ClubSE, colour is Arden Green.
Last edited by telferstr on Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

andrewmcg
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Re: Car Mechanics - staff car

Post by andrewmcg » Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:46 pm

Good morning all on a lovely sunny Sunday morning here in Suffolk
I must endorse and heartily agree with Paul and Telfer regarding the the Rover 75's and as Paul says it seems some cars/models do have the odd failings/gremlins which can be expensive to rectify/find but I feel such failings are often due to lack of a little TLC as was possibly the case with the 'staff car' in question.
I currently own two Automatic Connoisseur SE 75's, a 1999 V reg 2.5 saloon purchased 02 current mileage 74,000, and a 2003 03 reg 2.0 diesel tourer purchased 04 current mileage 53,000 miles, and I am the second owner of both.
The 2.5 saloon during my ownership, other than routine servicing, has had a faulty cam sensor replaced at a cost of £100 in 2005 and coming up to its 10th birthday (well outside Rovers recommended 6 years or 90,000 miles, naughty boy) I recently treated it to new timing belts (3), tensioner, guide pulley, water pump and thermostat housing at a cost of £700, of which roughly 50% was parts and 50% labour.
The mechanic showed me the old belts the teeth were a bit rounded but no signs of cracks but he felt on time alone it was a wise move to replace them as the downside is a written off engine.
I still have to fit, when the summer comes!!!, a replacement rear window winder motor which I purchased via ebay for £15 as the existing one is erratic in operation. Spread over my 7 years ownership I don't consider this expensive motoring, in what I consider a very luxurious and comfortable car which around town averages 26/27 and on a run 30/31 miles to the gallon and I intend keeping it as our second car for as long as I can.
The 2.0 litre diesel tourer during my ownership, other than routine servicing, had a new condensor fan fitted, when the aircon was serviced in 2006, at a cost of £325. Again over 5 years not expensive motoring.
Driving the 2 cars I sometimes have to think, am I in the saloon or the tourer??, but on reflection the saloon is that bit nippier and quieter and is really my preferred car as far as comfort is concerned. The big difference however is consumption, bearing in mind they are both automatics, according to the onboard computer the saloon gives me about 325 miles to a tank of petrol whereas the tourer gives me about 525 miles to a tank of diesel. Consequently the tourer has become the everyday runabout but my preference for luxury and comfort is the saloon.
If the tourer needed replacement I would certainly consider another 75, but I personally am not so keen on the face lift models from 04 onwards, I had one for 2 days while the belts were done on the saloon and was not impressed by the exterior looks nor the updated dashboard instruments.
Since the 80's as everyday cars I have previously owned 3xSD1s automatics, 2x2600,s and a 3.5 VDP efi. The 3.5 was by far the best, but all had odd niggly problems mainly electrical and the first 2600 suffered badly with rust.
Then followed 3x827 automatics, 2 Vitesse and a Sterling, all were super cars but all three suffered with electical gremlins, noisy hydraulic tappets and lifting facia above the wooden dash panel on the drivers side.
As you can see the above cars cover the last 20 odd years of my motoring career which started in 1959 with a 105E Anglia followed by a 1300 Cortina then a 1600e Cortina, then when the family came along we had a series of Peugot 7 seater estates and then, with great delight back to saloons/hatchbacks and my first SD1 in the mid 1980's.
In my mind as an overall view as far as my Rovers were concerned I felt that the 827s were a vast improvement on the SD1s and the 75s are a vast improvement on the 827s, but maybe I am biased??.
All going well I intend to attend this years National Rally in the 75 saloon and hopefully will be joined by other owners of 75's
Regards
Andrew

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richard moss
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Re: Car Mechanics - staff car

Post by richard moss » Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:38 pm

"My mechanic tells me" is hardly the kind of recommendation that I take seriously. Most mechanics are biased towards or against certain marques, after all.

Most motor trade "experts" will tell you that a Rover 800 is unreliable, that you can't get the bits, that they are rot boxes etc. etc. A lot of it is clap trap, often spouted by people who a) make the mistake of listening to Jeremy Clarkson and/or b) seem to confuse the Rover 800 (and 75) with the Morris Marina. My personal experience in 4 years of using 800s as my daily transport is that the only breakdown I've had in nearly 50,000 miles is an alternator on a newly acquired 825 diesel. I got a replacement alternator the next day for just £20. They have cost me next to nothing to maintain and parts have never taken more than 24 hours to get, usually less than 3 hours if not on the shelf. Damned good for a car that's been out of production for a decade. Ask John (47p2) how good his Merc dealer was at supplying the RIGHT water pump for his S class Merc!

I have heard few really bad reports on the 75. The worst seem to be head gaskets on the overworked 1.8, diesel ECUs getting wet the fact that the slave cylinder on the (German) gearbox is INSIDE the bellhousing! Even the headgaskets on the 2.5 KV6 engines have been taken care of.

By the way, JT, the mechanics at the VW dealer where my dad used to work tell me that Mercs are crap** - so I'll never buy one.


** No word of a lie, that's what they always said.
1990 827 Sterling manual
1990 Jaguar Sovereign 4 Litre on LPG
1969 MGC GT (currently hibernating)

telferstr
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Re: Car Mechanics - staff car

Post by telferstr » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:02 pm

Hi, Andrew,
Good to read your post and that you also have found the 75 a good car to own with few real problems. Like you I had a 3.5 SD1 and enjoyed it very much. However to be honest, I think the is 75 much the better car in terms of overall comfort and fittings etc. and with much less built in rust problems.

Richard,
With regard to your comment concerning the 1.8 and Cylinder Head Gaskets failures, yes this can happen, but my 3 never had any engine problems at all. There is now a very much improved Head Gasket Kit available, which goes a long way to address the problem should anyone be unfortunate enough to experience this faiure. The kit consists of 3 Items, namely a Multi Layer Steel Head Gasket, a Cylinder head Shim(fitted black face up and between the new gasket and the Cylinder Head face) and a new Oil Feed Ladder Rail, which requires the engine sump to be removed to fit it. The Ladder Rail is made of and improved material and designed to allow a better clamping effect on the Cylinder Head Gasket than the previous Rail, It was found in some cases that the original Ladder Rail could compress slightly and therefore compromise the sealing capability of the Head Gasket. The Part No for this Kit is ZUA000080 and is available through Xpart and their Agents and also through the Land Rover Dealership network. Xpart will not cover the new gasket by their warranty if the Oil Feed Ladder Rail is not fitted along with the other items in the Kit.
The Kit was developed originally to assist in overcoming the much more serious Head Gasket failures experienced when the 1.8 K Series engine, was fitted in the Land Rover Freelander.
Fitting this Kit, along with new Head Location Steel Dowels instead of the original Plastic ones,(most important that these are changed if found, later engines had Steel Dowels) gives a belt and braces repair on the 75 application, and should go along way to give a satisfactory long term repair. This is subject of course, to the quality of the workmanship being up to the required standard and that the original cause of the gasket failure has been fully establish and corrected as well.
Regards,
Telfer.

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richard moss
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Re: Car Mechanics - staff car

Post by richard moss » Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:21 pm

Telfer - any connection with BAE Prestwick? I used to work at the Flying College there and we had two chaps called Telfer on the staff. After all, Inverkip is just up the road.
1990 827 Sterling manual
1990 Jaguar Sovereign 4 Litre on LPG
1969 MGC GT (currently hibernating)

telferstr
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Re: Car Mechanics - staff car

Post by telferstr » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:20 pm

richard moss wrote:Telfer - any connection with BAE Prestwick? I used to work at the Flying College there and we had two chaps called Telfer on the staff. After all, Inverkip is just up the road.
No Richard, no connection with BAE Prestwick. I served an appreticeship with Albion, former Truck and Bus manufacturers in Glasgow, who exported vehicles world wide. There is still, in Glasgow, the remains of the orignal company, trading as Albion Automotive, but only manufacturing front and rear axles for Vans and Trucks these days. I think they also have a plant in Leyland where they manufactured engine crankshafts etc., but not sure if that is still in operation.
However at one time, Scottish Aviation (fore runners to BAE) at Prestwick, had a division that built Bus Bodies, single and double deckers. Albion Chassis were the base for many of these and I have some pictures of them stored on the computer somewhere. Will dig them out and put them in a post if you are interested.
Telfer is my Christain name but it is usually found as a surname. Many with this name, originate from the Borders/Dumfrieshire areas of Scotland.
Regards,
Telfer.

Paul Gregory
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Re: Car Mechanics - staff car

Post by Paul Gregory » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:48 pm

Good to see another couple of satisfied customers with 75's.
Another fairly common fault which hasn't been mentioned is the failure of the engine cooling fan. There were two types of these fitted - the early 3 speed one, which has a tendancy to wear away its brushes, and the two speed one, which can blow the speed control resistor. There is a resistor upgrade for the latter, though I don't think this is available through XPart. It is worth keeping a check on whether the fan is kicking in properly as without it there is inevitably a risk of overheating and all the grief which this can lead to. Replacement fans are available and they require the front bumper to be taken off to enable replacement. They aren't cheap but are certainly a lot cheaper than a new engine!

If you find yourself in the market for a fairly recent vehicle I think you can do far worse than give the 75 serious consideration...and you may be suprised how much vehicle you can now get for relatively little money. I know of one person who had gone to an auction with a view to buying a Mondeo, and came back with a 75 and the brother of one of my friends also become a 75 driver after realising how much vehicle he could get when compared to things like Focuses etc.

Paul
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