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Interested in buying an SD1? Read this first! 
On this website you can see the various models. The SD1 can be divided in three petrol  running cars, the 2000, 2300-2600 six cilinders and the V8 engine. Apart from the 2000 all  engines are available in a series 1 or a series 2 (Mark one and mark two).  If you have set  your mind on a particular car there are a few things to look after once you are buying one  of these classic Rovers. And this is not to discourage you but the Rover SD1 is not well known for its build quality.  Rover had great difficulties to built a reasonable priced car which was reliable. The SD1  built quality where famous but not in a positive way. In particular the series one where  poor but also series two had their problems.   And it is not only rust that Rover has to deal with. Poor quality of door panels, wiring  (Lucas electrical system are known as the “prince of darkness”) are just a few. 
Rover SD1 buyers guide

Rust, what to look out for?!

Rust, oh yes these cars can rust. On various spots on the car, here are just a few items to  look after.   

1) Doors,

Both front and rear. These door panels are folded at the edges as can be seen in this  picture and water comes to places it can not leave. Look out for rust in these areas. New  doors are difficult to find although you might find some door skins. A few years ago  Rimmer Bros bought many Rover SD1 parts from the bankrupt India Rover factory so you  might find new doors from them. However these doors are more heavy and have side  impact protection and can be more difficult to fix on to the car.     

2) Sunroof: 

Yes, it it wonderful driving your SD1 with a sunroof. However, these can  be a real pain. The panels are very rusty and as with the doors they are  no longer produced. Find a proper one or you end up with problems.     

3) Windows.

The SD1 has a special front window which is a bit curved giving structure to the chassis.  When you lift the car with a 2 column lift the chassis will bends causing the windscreen  to come of the car. And that is a area for water to enter the car. Around the front window behind the chrome striping water comes in at the top or behind the dash. The result is  clear, rust around the screen but also in the foot well.     But also check the rear booth. The large rear window is only mounted in a very thin  rubber which over the years has been perished. Water can enter the booth via the rear  window or the rear taillight.  You can check the booth below (spare wheel area) to feel if  there is moisture. Also if the headlining is hanging this is an  indication there is moisture inside the car.  

4)  Suspension: 

The rear suspension from the SD1 is from Boge. It is a self levelling  system which holds the car up with heavy load. These units can go  wrong two ways, either they leak and your car has a very fluffy  rear end. Or the unit sets itself up high, like in the image. The unit  get stiff and harsh an no longer operates as a shock absorber and  the car starts dribbling. Check when you are interested in a car  what suspension is used, Boge units no longer been manufactured  and suspension gets difficult for these cars. 

 

Engines and gearboxes.

The O-Series engine fitted to the 2000 is generally very reliable.  They show up in some other Leyland cars and are rugged and  reliable.  Inline sixes (2300-2600) should be closely checked for signs of camshaft wear and top end  noise. These engines have their problems with engine cooloing and lubrication of the  camshaft. Check the oil and oil pressure carefully. Also heating and cooling of the engine.  And see if it runs smoothly with enough power. V8s are long-lived, and you can find these engines in many BL cars ranging from Land  Rovers to TWR, and from busses to carriers. Parts are not so much an issue here but this  is different with the EFI and Vitesse models. Electronic parts become a rarity nowadays.  Be sure the engine has a good oil pressure and revs freely. Carefully look for signs of any  overheating, and ensure that there is evidence of regular oil changes.  The 77mm gearboxes are generally reliable, but it is not unknown for these to break.  Automatic gearboxes are reliable if they are serviced regular, so it is essential to check  that drive and reverse engage without a “thump” and that all changes are smooth and  slurred. Also check for oil leaking under the car.  Other things to inspect are: Differential, check for oil leaking, when the oil gets too low these can sieze.  Rear dampers; Rover SD1 cars ranging from 2600 upwards are equiped with Boge Nivomat  self levelling suspension as can be read on the website. Replacement can be done  nowadays but unit are way over 500 euro a set.  Paint: series one cars are known for bad paintwork it is highly unlikely you will find one  that has not received some paint later in life. Check everywhere, and inparticular areas  like:  ° Front and rear wheel arches.  ° Boot floor. ° Sunroof mechanisms and drain holes.  ° Outer sills.  ° Door bottoms. ° Valance panels, front and rear.  ° Bonnet and tailgate – inside and out.  ° Floors – lift carpets to check for signs of water damage.  ° Leaky windscreens – check surrounding panels 
Buyersguide
Interested in buying an SD1? Read this first! 
Not to discourage you immediately but the Rover SD1 is not well known for its build  quality. Rover had great difficulties to built a reasonable priced car which was  reliable. The SD1 built quality where famous but not in a positive way. In particular  the series one where poor but also series two had this problem.   And it is not only rust that Rover has to deal with. Poor quality of door panels,  wiring (Lucas electrical system are known as the “prince of darkness”) are just a  few.
Rover SD1 buyers guide

Rust, what to look out for?!

Rust, oh yes these cars can rust. On various spots on the car, here are just a few  items to look after.    1) Doors, but front and rear. Door panels are folded at the edges as can be seen in  this picture and water comes to places it can not leave. Look out for rust in these  areas. New doors are difficult to find although you might find some door skins. A  few years ago Rimmer Bros bought many Rover SD1 parts from the bankrupt India  Rover factory so you might find new doors from them. However these doors are  more heavy and have side impact protection and can be more difficult to fix on to  the car.    2) Sunroof:  Yes, it it wonderful driving your SD1 with a sunroof. However,  these can be a real pain. The panels are very rusty and as with the  doors they are no longer produced. Find a proper one or you end  up with problems.      3) Windows. The SD1 has a special front window which is a bit curved giving structure to the  chassis. When you lift the car with a 2 column lift the chassis will bends causing  the windscreen to come of the car. And that is a area for water to enter the car.  Around the front window behind the chrome striping water comes in at the top or  behind the dash. The result is clear, rust around the screen but also in the foot  well.     But also check the rear booth. The large rear window is only mounted in a very  thin rubber which over the years has been perished. Water can enter the booth via  the rear window or the rear taillight.  You can check the booth below (spare wheel  area) to feel if there is moisture. Also if the headlining is hanging this is an  indication there is moisture inside the car.   4)  Suspension:  The rear suspension from the SD1 is from Boge. It is a self levelling system which  holds the car up with heavy load. These units can go wrong two ways, either they  leak and your car has a very fluffy rear end. Or the unit sets itself up high, like in  the image. The unit get stiff and harsh an no longer operates as a shock absorber  and the car starts dribbling. Check when you are interested in a car what  suspension is used, Boge units no longer been manufactured and suspension gets  difficult for these cars.     
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