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Rover SD1 Question?

Bret

Yoda
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Hey Folks,

I don’t spend that much time over here in the Land Rover forum but I need some thoughts on a 1980 Rover 3500 SD1 I’ll be inspecting this afternoon.

Not sure if I want to use this for a V8 swap or as a driver but it’s been sitting in a local museum’s warehouse for a couple of years now. Not sure if it was ever on display or not but I was told it is in pretty good condition by one of the curators but I don’t want to walk into the place unarmed with my checkbook in my teeth.

Any advice would be welcome.
 

tony barnhill

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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They're pretty good road cars - had one once & loved it.....but they don't garner big prices...search Rover SD1 & you'll find several pages on the 'net.
 

Sherlock

Yoda
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Seems to me, that I've been told that the best Rover V8 to swap into an MGB is a crate engine from over in the U.K., rather than the ones found in an SD1 Rover...

And I'm not just saying that because I don't want to see another British saloon car chopped up... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif That is what I heard from someone once.

If you do consider purchasing it I wouldn't pay too much, as their value over here is very low.

And for a little fun... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/devilgrin.gif An SD1 Rover can easily be uprated with a higher output Rover V8 to create a great sleeper car to fool everyone with.
 
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The SD1 is well thought of here in the UK. It remains fairly popular and there are clubs that you could get more information from:


https://www.austin-rover.co.uk/index.htm?sd1indexf.htm

https://www.roversd1club.net/home.asp

The car was produced in a number of model- with luck this might be a top-of-the-line late model with electronic fuel injection, in good but ignored condition just waiting to be revived....

Good luck with it.... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yesnod.gif

As for its suitability as a donor- the base model only produced around 130 HP and I would think that you could get a later Land Rover engine that was larger and more powerful if you were so inclined....
 

Sherlock

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@James

The SD1 Rover was only sold in North America briefly during 1980/81, according to a book I have the engine offered was the 133 HP block...

A few people since then have uprated the engines in their cars to gain a little more power.
 
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Seems like Tony just sold one not long ago....

...uh duh. He just said he owned one. Seems like I remember that he said in his ad about it though, that it was the car of choice during the 80's to haul royalty around! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif
 
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[ QUOTE ]
....it was the car of choice during the 80's to haul royalty around! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif

[/ QUOTE ]

It was very popular with the local constabulary for cop cars... and with businessmen as "executive" model company cars....
 

swift6

Yoda
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My friend Bill here in Fort Collins has two SD1's, three P6B's and three or four P6's (only a few are driveable). He is a Rover FANATIC! I sent a photo into the ran when parked section of Classic Motorsports of some of his derelicts and I believe it is in the current edition. He also has a shed full of P6 suspension pieces.

He uses one of the SD1's as a daily driver. A few weeks ago I was talking to him when he was closing up his shop and we looked into the parking lot and both thought out loud... "How many places in the US do think you could find an SD1 and a TR8 sitting in the same parking lot as daily drivers." We couldn't think of any others. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Back to Bret's question. One thing that Bill discovered with his SD1's is that the computers for the fuel-injection are a bit fragile. Fuel injected TR8 owners are also aware of this and a few people in the TR8 circles have taken to repairing them. To get around this Bill has simply converted the car to a Holley 390cfm four barrel carb. Same as TR8 owners tend to do. If this car that Bret is looking at has been very carefully stored then it could be allright.

Bill is also a factory trained Rover mechanic from "back in the day" and worked for a large Rover importer in New Jersey. Which probably explains his fascination and loyalty. One of his SD1's he bought new from that importer when he worked for them. Which is also where he got the numbers of about 2000 SD1's imported and about 800 were sent back. Giving a total of about 1200 sold in the US in 1980/81.

There was a high performance model sold in the UK that was called a "Vitesse". Which I believe had higher flowing heads, higher compression, lowered suspension etc... A very attractive version of the SD1. Rimmer Bros have an extensive catalog dedicated to the car as well.

These really are great cars.

/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers.gif
 
OP
Bret

Bret

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Just so you guys know I don’t really plan on using it as a donor car. Just looking at all of the various possibilities.

As for those who frown on the idea of “Chopping up another British Saloon”. A vehicles’ worthiness to remain “unmolested” IMHO has to meet certain criteria to be left alone. If a specimen is remotely collectible (regardless of condition) I’ll leave it alone. If it is in pristine condition (regardless of its collector car status) I’ll leave it alone. But should it fall somewhere in-between say not a vary collectable vehicle in fairly rough condition – I’d say it’s fair game as a sacrifice donor vehicle for the transplant.

Anyway I tried to view the vehicle yesterday but the guy in charge of the museum’s warehouse that handles collection sales had to close up shop before I could get there. But we did talk at length about the vehicle and some of the others in the collection not on display that may or may not go up for sale too. The Rover is black & seems to have all the options available at that time (Sunroof etc.) & was running great the last time they checked it out - but at the moment she won’t start. He suspects the inertia switch is not allowing the vehicle to start and plans on working on it next week. As I am working in the area I offered my assistance if he needs it and he agreed to give me a call early in the week. There is “some rust” he exclaims but insists it’s not that bad and everything else works great. While my own experience with rust tells me otherwise I tend to believe the guy as he’s not the owner but the curator of the warehouse and hopefully has no vested interest in deceiving potential buyers.

But I promise you Roverphiles that if the vehicle turns out to really nice I will walk away.
 
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Bret

Bret

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No worries James, I didn’t take it one way or another. Like I said I’m just looking at all the possibilities. I am just aware that there are a number of folks who turn their noses up at the prospect.

Anyway the idea of a stuffing the SD1’s engine into my 78B isn’t really in the stars (I have other plans /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif ) right now. Besides the hoops you have to jump through in the Peoples Republic of Kalifornia to meet emissions after an engine swap are nightmarishly aggravating & time consuming. While not impossible – the smart thing to do would be to make sure the SD1 passes the states smog test first and then transfer “everything” emissions related along with the power plant (EFI, Cats etc.) and probably would necessitate a complete re-design of the exhaust system. Of course to keep it legal I wouldn’t be allowed swap from EFI to carburetion.

But say I was really considering such an endeavor I’d look for an older (Pre-1976) MGB as the platform to stuff the SD1 drive train into and avoid the emissions certification hassles.

Cheers,
Bret
 
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[ QUOTE ]
(I have other plans /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif )

[/ QUOTE ]
That Moss supercharger setup would be quite nice - hehehehehe
 
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Bret

Bret

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[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
(I have other plans /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif )

[/ QUOTE ]
That Moss supercharger setup would be quite nice - hehehehehe

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes, the SC would be nice. But because Kalifornia strict emissions regulations it’ll never happen. It’d make more sense to stuff the 1980 SD1’s V8 into my B and claw my way through the mind numbing certification process, than to install a Moss Supercharger that will never be smog legal.

But actually the “Plan” is to use Moss’s EFI kit with a fully balanced & “tweaked” big bore (+20 to +40) 1800cc engine or maybe one of those really nice 2.0L’s MGOC sells. All that & still be completely smog legal and comes with its own no fuss CARB certification already done.
 
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You might need to have the ECU remapped (might be easy if Moss would work with ya on it) though to actually take any advantage of the internal engine mods with the EFI setup. The EFI is a direct replacement for the stock ZS carb, but designed to be slightly more efficient. The main problem with the stock ZS setup is the intake manifold arrangment itself is not efficient. That's the main reason (and the emissions crap) that these engines are rated at so much lower HP figures.

(try drinking from 4 glasses of pepsi, with 1 straw /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif)
 
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Bret

Bret

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[ QUOTE ]
You might need to have the ECU remapped (might be easy if Moss would work with ya on it) though to actually take any advantage of the internal engine mods with the EFI setup. The EFI is a direct replacement for the stock ZS carb, but designed to be slightly more efficient. The main problem with the stock ZS setup is the intake manifold arrangment itself is not efficient. That's the main reason (and the emissions crap) that these engines are rated at so much lower HP figures.

(try drinking from 4 glasses of pepsi, with 1 straw /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif)

[/ QUOTE ]

I was wondering if you where going to bring that up or not. Aside form some head flow improvements I plan on taking a clue from some modern tuner techniques used to help engines breath better. The biggest investment I have planned is to have some work to the cast manifold to help the air move better. There is an abrasive liquid media-flow honing process that will alter the size, shape & the finish of the manifold’s inner lining. Afterwards I plan on finishing it up with a nice ceramic coating. While not as good as a header this should be more than sufficient for what I have planned.
 
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Not too sure how the Moss EFI is sensored, but there are several aftermarket programable fuel ECU's that might be up to the task.

Sounds like an awful lot of time, money, R&D, etc just to get a few extra ponies out of it though. Might want to consider an older car that you can get away with modding easier (around CA's laws). That might be a cheaper solution?
 
OP
Bret

Bret

Yoda
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[ QUOTE ]
Not too sure how the Moss EFI is sensored, but there are several aftermarket programable fuel ECU's that might be up to the task.

[/ QUOTE ]
You may be right but the Moss EFI kit is the only one that I know of that is already CARB certified. (a must to be legal in the golden state) I am not aware of any others that are.

[ QUOTE ]
Sounds like an awful lot of time, money, R&D, etc just to get a few extra ponies out of it though. Might want to consider an older car that you can get away with modding easier (around CA's laws). That might be a cheaper solution?

[/ QUOTE ]
This is true but the strict Kalifornia emissions laws just got me in such a lather that I don’t care about the money anymore – its more of a personal challenge now. I’m not interested in crossing my fingers and/or detuning my B every time I need a smog test anymore. Nor am I going to hope that the inspectors are stupid & miss or don’t catch something illegal, when I bring my baby in for a test.

So now it is more of a pride issue because I refuse to let the smog Nazis dictate whether or not my B remains street legal just because I want to tweak it a little.
 

tony barnhill

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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When we go to the UK, that's all I rent (well, with the exception of an MG for weekend fun)
 

jp928

Freshman Member
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I ran a couple of SD1 5 speeds from early 80s to 94, and despite some reliability issues(clutch master failure, ignition lock jamming etc) enjoyed them a lot. They were low engine spec in Oz (8.13:1 CR), but very good bottom end, flexible. Later experience with an English spec P6B S, and a 3.9 Discovery convinced me that the best combo (for a 5 speed) would be the 3.9 injected with 9.25:1 CR - revved much better than the lower compression, but still good low down.

jp
 

AngliaGT

Yoda
Silver
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Whatever happened to Bret? And,of course,it always catches me
off-guard when I see one of Tony's posts.
 
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