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Rover P6 2000/2200

Do you drive this great classic or are thinking of buying one? Here’s how to ensure that you get the best out of your car for ye Published: 9th Oct 2012 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Rover P6 2000/2200
Rover P6 2000/2200
Rover P6 2000/2200
Rover P6 2000/2200
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When launched in ‘63, Rover’s P6 was regarded state-of-theart. And while it’s never the most DIY-friendly of classics, there’s not much that you can’t accomplish on your drive although an official workshop manual is worthwhile. There’s good spares and specialist support but spark plug choice is important. As an add on to ‘Engine Output, it’s worth noting Vauxhall tuner Blydenstein used a Rover cam in the ohc racing Viva for starters. Reverse logic, can a hot Vauxhall cam now be substituted?

MOD&MEND

Do you drive this great classic or are thinking of buying one? Here’s how to ensure that you get the best out of your car for years to come…

When launched in ‘63, Rover’s P6 was regarded state-of-theart. And while it’s never the most DIY-friendly of classics, there’s not much that you can’t accomplish on your drive although an official workshop manual is worthwhile. There’s good spares and specialist support but spark plug choice is important. As an add on to ‘Engine Output, it’s worth noting Vauxhall tuner Blydenstein used a Rover cam in the ohc racing Viva for starters. Reverse logic, can a hot Vauxhall cam now be substituted?

1 ENGINE OUTPUT

Mod

There’s zero tuning gear; the most logical step on SCs is to go TC but the head and manifolds must also be changed to post any real gain. Have your head gas fl owed and Newman Cams of Kent re-profile existing camshaft – or experiment with a tuned Vauxhall Magnum 2.3 ohc type (see above) and re-jet – perhaps 125bhp from a TC.

Mend

The 2.2 head boasts larger valves, JR Wadhams sells an unleaded type for £495, worth having if the head has to come off for tappet re-shimming anyway. Cracked carburettor heat shield means rattling from inside the inlet manifold. Water leaking from block’s side cover plates due to rot, but used plates are available for £30-40.

2 BOTTOM END

Mod

It’s a tough unit and parts supply remains good. Obvious improvement is to upgrade to later 2.2-litre block rather than mess with boring out the old engine. A further overbore to 40 thou with special pistons gives around 2.3-litres for £300.

Mend

The sump can be dropped in situ meaning tackling the crank’s shells and main bearings or a piston re-ring doesn’t involve engine out job – ditto the oil pump. On SCs in particular, check exhaust manifold mounting fl anges as these can crack; used manifolds are typically £35-50 apiece.

3 FRONT SUSPENSION

Mod

P6 is rather roll prone so harder, adjustable or gas dampers are a wise investment as they last longer, too at £60 for Wadhams. 2200 and V8 springs are stiffer than 2000. Power assistance is desirable. It can be retro-fitted for over £300 but it’s far harder than on the V8 says Red Hat Rovers.

Mend

Make sure there are no tight spots, indicating that the steering box has been over-tightened to take out play. The front suspension suffers from worn ball joints at the bottom of the suspension legs; once they’re in need of replacement there’ll be an obvious clonk. Ball joints need special puller.

4 BRAKES

Mod

Upgrade to 3500 spec is cost effective and worthwhile and probably all that needs doing. Pre ‘66 cars used Dunlop system, Girling afterwards and parts for former are scarce which is why many convert to Girling but you‘ll need the front suspension legs from a later car as well as the complete final drive assembly.

Mend

Those in-board rears! They’re a pain to work on and special tools are ideally required. Neglect is rife… The handbrake is iffy and the rear calipers can leak fl uid as a result – but very gradually so it’s not especially obvious. Things will be made worse if the back axle has leaked oil all over the discs as it is prone to do.

5 INTERIOR AND TRIM

Mod

For its era the P6 was lavishly equipped with leather but this changed to fabric trim on later cars. That said swapping cabins is easy enough plus you can also fit later dash with better dials if you wish but it’s more involved. Most folk suffer the standard thin steering wheel as it aids steering ease.

Mend

All parts are virtually obsolete and even second-hand are hard to source. Cheaper leather trim on cars built between 1971 and 1973 is prone to shrinking and tearing. Carpets are around £275, seat recovers £260 for JR Wadhams.

6 TRANSMISSION

Mod

As V8 manual was essentially an uprated P6 ‘box, an SD1 unit can be fitted albeit with some graft; it’s finding one that’s hard these days. 2200s used tougher clutch and V8 rear axle and worth considering if you are carrying out a full restoration. Converting an auto to manual is doable but involved.

Mend

Gearchange was never that great even when new. Pre-1971 cars in particular, suffered a tortuous linkage run and are especially prone to obstructive first gears (only engine oil is used by the way). New bushings are available, but fitting them means removing the engine and gearbox. Rear axles can be come noisy with age but it’s rarely terminal.

7 BODY AND CHASSIS

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Novel skeleton construction means panel replacement is in theory simple and parts supply is decent; fibreglass alternatives were available at the time, too but devalue car. Rare two-door convertibles and estates have been coachbuilt as well as big wheel arched racer/rally so shows what can be done and parts may still be around.

Mend

Sills crucial to the car’s strength and don’t be fooled by outer panels; also important to check them ills from inside the car; peel back the carpets and have a periodic poke. Remove back seat and ensure inspect these areas regularly, too. Door height adjustment is easy as it’s by the hinges.

8 ELECTRICS

Mod

An alternator was fitted to all P6s apart from some pre-1970 cars, which featured a dynamo; conversion to AC is simple and worthwhile. That 11AC unit is scarce now, and its separate regulator often packs up, so it’s generally replaced with an 11ACR unit which features an integral regulator. Again the swap presents no real problems for the typical enthusiast.

Mend

The 12-way fusebox fitted on post- 1971 cars can melt so look here first for any ills, but the switchgear and instrumentation is reliable and it’s all available at major autojumbles or via the owners club. Harder to find are front sidelight/fl asher units, while the number plate lamp also rots readily and new ones aren’t available. Poor electrics could be nothing more than a poor feed from battery-mounted boot that wants renewing.

9 REAR SUSPENSION

Mod

Tougher more durable 3500 rear suspension is a worthwhile fit if you’re overhauling anyway along with uprated adjustable dampers and poly bushing but harder (export or Police spec) springs are now virtually extinct.

Mend

De Dion axle is durable but, and it’s important you check rubber gaiter on the de Dion tube. If this is split it will allow dirt in and the grease out. Once this has been allowed to happen there’s a very real danger of the sliding joint seizing up – can rot out, too. 3500 has larger rims and 185 14 tyres but looks identical.

10 DETAILS

A popular car in the US, American models had unusual spec and trim changes (such as square mounted number plates) which you may like better. We’d always opt to fitting better uprated rad, Kenlowe electric fan and electronic ignition on all models. Fially, while the V8 looks like a made to measure fit, converting a 2000/2200 to 3500 is bloody hard work…

 



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