Engine compartment

Routine maintenance
On the following pages will be found full instructions on how to carry out the maintenance and adjustments required on the Rover 3.5 litre models.
The sequence of operations under the headings Engine Compartment, Underbody, Passenger Compartment, Boot Compartment, Exterior and Road Test will enable the work to be carried out in the most efficient manner.
Absolute cleanliness is essential when carrying out the maintenance work that follows.

Every maintenance inspection
Check for oil leaks in engine compartment, rectify as necessary.

Steering box-At free service 1.500 km (1,000 miles) and thereafter every 10.000 km (6,000 miles) or 6 months.
Check security of steering box mountings, rectify as necessary.

Brake fluid reservoir-Every month and at every maintenance inspection.

The reservoir cap incorporates a float and level switch which operates the amber brake warning light, should the level in the reservoir fall below the safe limit

Check fluid level in brake reservoir, top up if necessary to rib on reservoir. Use Castrol Girling Crimson Brake and Clutch Fluid (Specification J. 1703).
If significant topping up is required check master cylinder, brake disc and wheel cylinders and brake pipes for leakage; any leakage must be rectified immediately.
When removing reservoir cap do not disconnect the wires; care should be taken when withdrawing the float unit to ensure that the brake fluid does not drip on to the car.

Check operation of reservoir level safety switch as follows:
Ignition 'on', hand brake 'off': unscrew and lift filler cap 25mm (1 in.), warning light should be illuminated.

If the warning light is not illuminated, the operation of the float unit and the wiring connections must be investigated.

Brake fluid reservoir
B-Float unit

Automatic transmission fluid level-At free service 1.500 km (1,000 miles) and thereafter every 10.000 km (6,000 miles) or 6 months.

The torque converter and automatic gearbox are lubricated as one unit. As the fluid for operating the torque converter is fed from the transmission casing it is essential when checking the level or topping up the automatic gearbox that the engine is run at idling speed for about two minutes to transfer fluid from transmission casing to torque converter, otherwise a false level reading will be obtained. Do not add anti-friction additives to the automatic transmission fluid.
Check as follows:
1 Absolute cleanliness is essential. Use only nylon rag for cleaning.
2 Stand car on level ground. Engine idling and selector at the 'P' position.
3 Lift bonnet to expose dipstick which is at the rear of the air cleaner.
4 Clean area around dipstick hole. Remove dipstick, wipe dry and check fluid level. Take the dipstick reading immediately after the dipstick has been fully inserted to avoid misreadings by splashing. The difference between full and low marks on dipstick represents approximately 0,5 litre (one pint).
5 With the engine idling and the selector at 'P', add the recommended grade of fluid to bring the level up to the 'full' mark. Do not overfill.

On earlier models:
6 When the transmission is hot, top-up to the upper mark on the side G337 of the dipstick marked 'HOT'. With transmission cold, top up to the upper mark on the side of the dipstick marked 'COLD'. It is most important to ascertain if the transmission is hot or cold when topping up and to use the appropriate mark, otherwise over-filling or under-filling will result.
7 If significant topping up is required check for leakage at oil seals
and sump joint, rectify immediately.

Fluid level dipstick-plug in engine compartment
B-Tube for dipstick
Fluid level dipstick (early models illustrated)
A-Transmission cold, top-up to upper mark on 'COLD' side of dipstick
B-Transmission hot, top-up to upper mark on HOT side of dipstick

Sparking plugs-Check every 10.000 km (6,000 miles) or 6 months; replace every 20.000 km (12,000 miles) or 12 months.
Use the special sparking plug spanner and tommy bar supplied in the tool kit when removing or refitting sparking plugs.
IMPORTANT-Take great care when fitting sparking plugs not to cross-thread the plug otherwise costly damage to the cylinder head will result.
Check or replace the sparking plugs as applicable; if the plugs are in good condition clean and re-set the electrode gaps to 0,60 mm (0.025 in.), at the same time file the end of the central electrode until bright metal can be seen.

It is important that only Champion L87Y sparking plugs are used for replacements.

High tension leads-Check every 20.000 km (12,000 miles) or 12 months. Check high tension leads for signs of insulating, cracking or deterioration and corrosion at the end contacts.

Distributor contact points-At free service 1.500 km (1,000 miles) and thereafter every 10.000 km (6,000 miles) or 6 months. If necessary replace every 20.000/km (12,000 miles) or 12 months.
To obtain satisfactory engine performance it is most important that p the contact points are adjusted to the dwell angle which is 26 degrees -28 degrees using suitable workshop equipment. This work should be carried out by your local Rover Distributor or Dealer.

However, if it becomes necessary to change the contact points, and specialised checking equipment is not available, they may be adjusted as follows:
I Remove the distributor cap; then turn the engine, using a 0.937 In AF socket spanner on the front pulley-retaining bolt, until the contacts are fully open.
2 The clearance should be 0,35 to 0,40 mm (0.014 to 0.016 in.) with the feeler gauge a sliding fit between the contacts.
3 Adjust by turning the adjusting nut clockwise to increase gap and anticlockwise to reduce gap.
4 Replace the distributor cap.

IMPORTANT At the first available opportunity after the contact points have been adjusted as detailed above they must be finally set to the dwell angle using specialised equipment. At the same time check the ignition timing which should be dynamically set to 60 BTDC at 600 revs/min.

Sparking plug
A-Sparking plug

Distributor contact points
A-Contact points
B-Adjuster for contact points

Distributor maintenance-At free service 1.500 km (1,000 miles) and thereafter every 10.000 km (6,000 miles) or 6 months.

Lubricate as follows:
1 Remove the distributor cap and rotor arm.
2 Lightly smear the cam with clean engine oil.
3 Add a few drops of thin machine oil to lubricate the cam bearing and distributor shaft.
4 Add a few drops of thin machine oil through the hole in the contact breaker base plate, to lubricate the automatic timing control. See illustration.
5 Remove the nut on the terminal block and lift off the spring and moving contact, also remove adjustable contact secured with a screw and nut. Ensure that the contacts are free from grease or oil; if they are burned or blackened, clean with a fine carborundum stone and wipe with a petrol-moistened cloth. Add a smear of grease to contact pivot before replacing the contacts. Then adjust as detailed in previous operation.
6 Wipe the inside and outside of the cap with a soft dry cloth; ensure that the small carbon brush works freely in its holder.
7 Replace rotor arm and distributor cap.
8 Adjust contact points. Dwell angle 26 degrees -28 degrees.
9 Check ignition setting: 60 BTDC at 600 revs/mm.

A-Lubricate at this point
B-contact breaker lever pivot
C-Rotor arm
D-Carbon brush
Setting dwell angle and ignition timing-At free service 1.500 km (1,000 miles) and thereafter every 10.000 km (6,000 miles) or 6 months.
To set the dwell angle and ignition timing requires special equipment and this work must be carried out by a Rover Distributor or Dealer.

Fan and power steering pump belt adjustment-At free service 1.500 km (1,000 miles) and thereafter every maintenance inspection.
Check by thumb pressure between the pump and crankshaft pulleys and between alternator and crankshaft pulleys at point marked 'C'. Movement should be:
Fan belt: 11 to 14mm (0.437 to 0.562in.).
Power steering pump belt: 6 to 9 mm (0.25 to 0.312 in.).

If necessary adjust as follows:
Fan belt
1 Slacken the bolts securing the alternator to the front cover and the adjustment link.
2 Pivot the alternator inwards or outwards as necessary and adjust until the correct tension is obtained.
3 Tighten alternator adjusting bolts.

Power steering pump belt adjustment
A-Pivot bolts
B-Adjusting bolt
C-Check at this point 6 to 9 mm (0.25 to 0.312 in.) free movement

Fan belt adjustment
A-Adjusting bolt
B-Pivot bolts
C-Check at this point 11 to 14mm (0.437 to 0.562 in.) free movement

Power steering pump belt-This operation must be carried out from
underneath the vehicle
1 Slacken the pivot bolts securing the power steering pump to the mounting bracket, slacken the adjusting bolt.
2 Pivot the pump inwards or outwards as necessary and adjust until the correct belt tension is obtained.
3 Tighten adjusting and pivot bolts.

Radiator water level-Every 1.000 km (750 miles) and at every maintenance inspection
To prevent corrosion of the aluminium alloy engine parts it is imperative that the cooling system is filled with a solution of water and anti-freeze, winter or summer, or water and Inhibitor during the summer only. Never fill or top up with plain water otherwise damage to the engine will result.
The radiator filler cap is under the bonnet panel.
With a cold engine the correct water level is 25 mm (1 inch) below the bottom of the filler neck.

Radiator filler cap
A-Filler cap

Warning: The cooling system is pressurised and great care must be taken when removing the radiator filler cap, when the engine is hot, otherwise personal scalding could result.
When removing the filler cap, first turn it anticlockwise to the stop and allow all pressure to escape, before pressing it down and turning further in the same direction to lift it off.

When replacing the filler cap it is important that it is tightened down fully, not just to the first stop. Failure to tighten the filler cap properly may result in water loss, with possible damage to the engine through overheating.
If the cooling system is being refilled after draining or a large quantity of water needs to be added proceed as follows:
1 Place the left-hand heater lever at the 'hot' position.
2 Pull up knob on the rear heater valve.
3 Fill radiator with a solution of either water and anti-freeze or water and inhibitor. See next item for details of anti-freeze and Inhibitor solutions and quantity to be used.
4 Push knob down on rear heater valve.
5 Run engine at a fast idle until top radiator hose is warm, that is thermostat open.
6 With engine still running at a fast idle fill radiator to the bottom of the neck of the filler tube.
7 Place left-hand heater lever at the 'off' position. Pull up knob on the rear heater valve. Run engine at fast idle for one minute to purge air from rear car heater. Place left-hand heater at the 'hot' position.
8 Top-up system to bottom of radiator filler neck with engine Idling. It is essential to again check the water level and top-up if necessary when the engine has attained normal running temperature.
9 The water level will fall to 25 mm (1 in.) below the bottom of the filler neck when engine is cold.

Radiator drain plug
A-Drain plug, under valance at right-hand side


Cylinder block drain tap
A-Drain tap, two fitted, one each side of engine

IMPORTANT During the warm-up period of the filling procedure the radiator filler cap should be removed only when the engine is idling.
Use soft water wherever possible; if the local water supply is hard, rainwater should be used.
Cooling system-At free service 1,500 km (1,000 miles) and thereafter every 10,000 km (6,000 miles) or 6 months.
Examining the cooling and heating system for leaks, rectify as necessary.
Renew hoses every 80.000 km (48,000 miles).

Frost precautions and engine protection

During the winter and summer months a special anti-freeze mixture is used in Rover 3.5 litre cars to prevent corrosion of the aluminium alloy engine parts. It is most important therefore if the cooling system is drained at any time, to refill with a solution of water and antifreeze during winter and summer, or water and inhibitor during the summer only.
Recommended solutions are:
Anti-freeze-Bluecol AA, coloured green, or any other anti-freeze solution conforming to British Standard 3150.
Inhibitor-Marston Lubricants SQ36. Coolant inhibitor concentrate.
Use one part of anti-freeze to two parts of water.
Use 3 fluid ounces of inhibitor per 4,5 litres (one gallon) of water.

Water level, windscreen washer-At 1,000 km (750 miles) and every maintenance inspection. Top up reservoir to within 12 mm (0.5 in.) below bottom of filler neck.
In cold weather, to prevent freezing of the water, the reservoir should have Isopropyl Alcohol added to the water.

Windscreen washer reservoir
A-Filler cap