Rover 623 GSi ... bringing it back up to spec - MG-Rover.org Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 29-04-2013, 10:03 Thread Starter
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Rover 623 GSi ... bringing it back up to spec

A short time ago we acquired this 97 vintage Rover 623 GSi from a trader in Essex. She has 131k on the clock and was in need of a bit of TLC. When I arrived to pick up the car this is what I was greted with:-



Despite it having passed an MOT only two hours before they were still fixing things.









They had pressure washed the engine compartment and flooded the plug holes. She must have been covered in mud before they did this is all I can think.

The car had been "supposedly" valeted but it's obvious it was not done. A quick wipe over is how I would describe it. It was also supposed to have been serviced however that also was not done:-



Hmmm how old?



Leads taped up?



Cam cover should be black but the blasted the paint off it.

So we had some work to do to bring her up to scratch.

The 130 mile drive home was uneventful but we discovered a few things that made me doubt the validity of the MOT.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 29-04-2013, 10:35 Thread Starter
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Once home the cleaning could begin. A good wash then a polish made her a bit more presentable on the outside:-



There is some damage to the front bumper/spoiler to be addressed at a leter date:-



and this dent to the boot lid:-



Options for this repair are being considered.

Meanwhile the interior needed some cleaning especially the steering wheel which was filthy. One had to wash ones hands after driving it! A clean revealed this:-





Wear to the surface and clean it looked pretty awful. So thinking cap on and refinishing the wheel seemed a good idea. I had seen the results of some club members doing the wheels in their 75's and one bought a half wood wheel and dyed the leather to suit his seats as it was the wrong colour.

As the interior of the 623 is "Stone beige" and the 75 with it's personal line interior has the wheel rim in the same colour as the seats etc I thought why not dye the rime beige. A small bottle of "Stubies" dye was bought via post and the refurbishment started:-



Cleaned but no dye.





First coating of the beige dye.



Second coat.

It took five coats to achieve this:-





Of course removing the wheel would have made the job easier. It took several days to get the wheel dyed. The auto shift lever was also filthy so that was cleaned and dyed to match:-



In it's cleaned but standard state



Nearly done.



Dyed to match. The handbrake looks kinda out of place now but I have it in mind to try and make a Walnut wooden grip for that.

Next cleaning job was the seat belt and clasp which were badly grease stained and blackened. Some carpet cleaner scrubbed in helped quite a bit on the belt and it removed the black from the clasp. Another treatment of the belt should restore it's beige colour.

The leather seat need a bit of TLC to bring them back to top spec but that will have to wait whilst we sort out the other bits and bobs.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 29-04-2013, 10:51 Thread Starter
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Things now ground to a halt as we had to wait on a VOSA inspection to see if my suspicions were correct about the MOT ............................ the inspection proved that the MOT on the car was not carried out properly and we had some serious issues to fix namely O/S/R brake being not working very well due to being seized.

The odd thing was that the brakes binding was not noticeable when driving the car. On inspection I found this:-





It took a great deal of effort to remove the caliper and even more to wind the piston back in. It's pretty well seized. So a reconditioned caliper was ordered. before re-assembly of the caliper and pads they were cleaned off to make sure they were free to move. it was then noticed that the pads had been over heated and cooked. It was possible to crumble the edges and there ware small bright round bits stuck tot eh edge of the pads. A wire brush brushed over the pads surface revealed pits in the surface so new pads would be required.

On refitting them it was found that the disc was warped. It would spin freely then suddenly stop. I didn't measure the run out as after new pads were needed so might as well fit new discs and know when they were fitted. So a set of Mintex discs and pads were ordered up.

These arrived on the Thursday and were fitted Sunday. In the fitting it was found that the flexi hose to the caliper needs replacing so a new pair have been ordered.

The question in my mind is how did two testers miss this?

Bleeding the brakes showed up another issue .............................. the front pads are getting low an the discs are just worn enough to make not worth fitting new pads too. So new discs and pads are on order for the front. So now an almost complete brake overhaul is happening.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 29-04-2013, 11:21 Thread Starter
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While we were stalled awaiting the VOSA inspection I decided that the Air bag could really do with something to lift it's appearance. Other Rovers have a nice bright Rover badge there but the later 600's just have the boring black embossed one.

After enquiring about a vinyl one and realising that it would mean cutting the embossing away to make it fit neatly some thought on how to work with what Rover gave us took place:-



After some shop browsing it was decided to try painting it:-



First with gold Leaf.





The paint would need some protection so some spray clear lacquer was purchased:-





and after masking up sprayed on. Once fully hardened off the lacquers edge will be feathered back using fine wet'n'dry paper.

Now fitted:-



Oh yes the little horn images were also gold leafed.

To my eyes at least it lifts the steering wheel and makes it more "Rover". The air bag was purchased off e-bay. It was a bit of a swine to change over.

Next is to strip out the heater motor and find out why it only works when it feels like it. All speeds work when it decide to play ball but often it just does not work at all. And trace the water ingress into the N/S of the boot.

At a later date another set of alloys will be acquired for winter use. The Lower grill will be stainless meshed with this:-



Am undecided whether to mesh the main grill of not as yet. Other upgrades etc have yet to be decided upon.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 29-04-2013, 11:24
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Where did you get the dye from?

Been looking for some red dye for ages!

Been looking to do this to my ZR steering wheel but red like the BRM style!
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 29-04-2013, 20:45 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaz View Post
Where did you get the dye from?

Been looking for some red dye for ages!

Been looking to do this to my ZR steering wheel but red like the BRM style!

I got mine from "Stubie" on the 75/ZT forums but I think you will find this is the same dye:-

E-Bay item #221217759133

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Rover-75-L...item33819b1f9d

This listing seems to have more colours:-

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Leather-dy...item4d0bd6ac6b

as "Stubie" tends to stick with the 75/ZT colours but ask them what they can do.

In the future I intend to restore the leather seats. A little voice keeps telling me to change them to Red instead of Beige. Will just have to wait and see who wins out in the argument.

Hope that helps.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 29-04-2013, 20:52
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steering wheel looks great mate you done a cracking job on the air bag
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 29-04-2013, 21:05
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The airbag looks great!

1999 (V) Rover 400 iXLd
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Wanted: 400 Brooklands Green (HYF) doors, hatch bumpers and front wings.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 29-04-2013, 21:47
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Love what you did with the steering wheel and hand break, will DEFFINETLY be watching this thread. Lovely car.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-05-2013, 02:01
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Nice project but it needs lowering.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 10:44 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ROVER-25X View Post
Nice project but it needs lowering.

Not practical for us. Mother aka "The Old Dragon" has enough trouble getting into and out of it now. lower and we would need a hoist/crane. I am their F/T carer so things like Doctors/hospital visits I have to get her there. She can drive still and is insured on the cars but right now she could not do to a fall where she hurt herself. dad has reached the stage where it's almost impossible to get him into and out of the car so hospital transport is having to take him now.

Then there is the dreadful condition of the local roads. My 75 grounds out as it is and it has not been lowered either.

meanwhile the 623 is off having the new flexi rear hoses fitted and new discs + pads for the front. new brakes front and back that will make.

Have also ordered new rear shocks as the originals are weeping. They should arrive next week. Unipart gas/oil shocks
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 10:52 Thread Starter
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Sitting in the drivers seat the other day outside the surgery running my eyes over the dash I came to the conclusion it needs a little lifting visually. First I had to strip off what ever dreadful silicone stuff someone has applied to it. It's dreadfully gloss and more yellow than beige.

The centre air vents look stark in black against it so I think some more walnut is required. The 75 is going to get some more walnut fitted to cover the black plastic. there is a chap who makes the trim to fit the door switches, the interior light surrounds and the ATC console. He does chrome trims for the air vents for the 75's.

So I will have a go at getting some walnut effect wrap and try to wrap the vent surrounds, the window switch panel, rear ashtray cover. The small side vent I might have a go and chrome paint for them.

Might not be to the taste of some here but ho-hum we will see how it goes and looks.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 20:54 Thread Starter
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Update...new brakes now all fitted

Got the car back this evening with it's new front brakes and new rear hoses fitted. Just got the bed them in now. So in the last week she has had new discs + Pads fitted front and rear, reconditioned O/S/R caliper and two rear caliper flexi hoses and a fluid change. Bill was a bit higher than I expected but still cheap compared to most garages.

He did say the front wheel bearings were not great so will pen them down for renewal later in the year and the N/S disc was a right cow to get off.

Also got the Air Con system gassed, pressure gauge showed nowt when he connected up but now we have little bubbles going past the inspection glass. It's not working great but he said pop back after the weekend and we will check it again. Now with a bit of pressure in it the compressor runs.

Fingers crossed the seals are OK.

That's another "To-Do" ticked off the list.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-05-2013, 08:42 Thread Starter
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had a look at the N/S rear light as it's where I suspect that the water ingress may be from. It was rather dirty so a quick clean to give the seal a chance:-



Looking fairly good. The strip seal was not attached in places so possibly part of the problem. The inner "U" shaped seal was also dirty ...................... Hmmmmm

Was about to go into town to get some silicone to seal them up when I looked on Rimmers site. New seals are less than 2 so new ones will be ordered on Tuesday. Then noticed this:-



RUST ........................ that is going to need to be dealt with.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 13-03-2014, 14:02 Thread Starter
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Not had much to report the car has been performing flawlessly but it's now almost a year since she was bought and the MOT was coming up due. So a quick look over then a clean and she was taken in this morning and passed with no advisories.

She will need a rear tyre before that long as it's getting down to near the wear mark so a new pair will most likely be got for her in a few months.

Hope to have her in the body and paint shop later in the year as well, refurbish the wheels and do the two small rust spots on the lower rear arch and the rust spot on the front wing.


In the mean time she will doing her service as before. Oh yes she has just clocked over 137,000 miles.
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 14-03-2014, 22:58
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Well done, very much enjoy reading your project threads. Lots of details, lots of pics.

And who said Rovers are unreliable ey? My brother-in-laws 1988 Toyota Corolla had exactly the same brake issues!
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 17-03-2014, 15:50
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What's your over all opinion of these Honda engines? I'm after a cheap second run about soon and I'm leaning towards Rover 214/216s, Rover 416/420s and I'm also considering Rover 600s, how ever I've never owned a Honda engined Rover before as I just prefer the K-series, T-series and L-series. I don't know why, I suppose it's just because I've always had them.

I know the Honda units are reliable but I don't know how much of an exciting engine it is.
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 22-04-2014, 12:13 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyTaffy93 View Post
What's your over all opinion of these Honda engines? I'm after a cheap second run about soon and I'm leaning towards Rover 214/216s, Rover 416/420s and I'm also considering Rover 600s, how ever I've never owned a Honda engined Rover before as I just prefer the K-series, T-series and L-series. I don't know why, I suppose it's just because I've always had them.

I know the Honda units are reliable but I don't know how much of an exciting engine it is.

Sorry missed your question, no notification.....Hmmmm?, oh well the 2.3 DOHC produces about 160 BHP so it's not a slouch even with the auto box. manual I would expect it to be quite exciting to drive.
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 29-10-2014, 07:33
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Comparing yours and mine "i just bought it" threads, it looks like i got a great deal and did well to avoid the dodgy dealer you went to. Even so your car didnt take much to bring back to prime condition. Mine needs bits and pieces, paintwork in a few areas and i just noticed the headlining is sagging a little. I have ordered new mintex rear discs and pads for 35 from ebay, most parts seem to be cheap which is an advantage of having a modern classic :-)
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 30-10-2014, 02:10 Thread Starter
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Well I have a slight mishap in mine. Not sure how but caught the drivers side flip down pocket getting in and broke it ...................Doh... something to sort out now. Other than that the interior is in rather good condition for it's age and mileage.

It's in daily use at the moment, well almost daily that is, which reminds me must get some more oil and another filter and so another oil change on her.

Edit:- It seems that I neven mentioned that I got a correct colour repacement O/S/R door and aboot lid to replace the damaged ones ages ago now.
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