I do remember being taught to do them at given points after a head gasket was replaced. This is an early car, with the thinner two-piece head gasket, and the bolts have been removed more than a few times at a guess.
My experience with shim gaskets on the early 2000 is limited, but I've done more than I could ever count on V8 engines, never retorqued any of them, and never had problems, and I'd be inclined to use that experience if I ever did a 2000 shim gasket, which I would have to admit, is pretty unlikely now..
Everything's back together now & after a full warm up & a few miles round town tonight, I will cross my fingers & say that OCC is running beautifully again . The white smoke has stopped, the pinking I couldn't get rid of has now gone altogether & the valve gap I adjusted has stopped all the clacking sound .
OCC is now running really well; probably the best I've had from it
I've still been struggling with the paint on the o/s doors though & my 4th attempt (or thereabouts) achieved this:
This is nice & shiny for a change but a slightly different shade, so back to the drawing board yet again....
After I've faffed about with various shades & various mixes over the last 8 years, I managed to get it as near as makes no difference on the next attempt:
This was straight after I 'd done it & it will polish up nicely. (The direct sun makes the whole car look like a different colour!)
The annoying thing is that this is the first paint I got 8 years ago & I've still got around 2 1/2 litres left - enough to finish the car. I've spent several years convinced I'd not mixed this properly in the first place, so have been trying to get a another good match ever since.
After welding in a repair section at the bottom of the door frame, I cut a skin section from a pattern lower door skin I've had lying around for years:
This is now fitted:
I'm not a fan of lots of filler, although I have to admit I'm not skilled enough (particularly welding thin panels) to avoid it altogether. However, when I started stripping the paint from this door, I saw I was in good company.... there's a great wodge of it in the middle of the door skin
My intention is to get both the near side doors sprayed before the cold & damp weather arrives, which I've a fair chance of doing. The inner faces & edges etc will be just tidied up with the small airbrush I've got as this can be done 'on the bench' which I can keep reasonably warm in winter. The original paint is pretty good in those places though, so it shouldn't be a problem.
Once completed, only the boot lid will be to repaint & the car will broadly be finished . It will be 18 years since I first got the car. Our daughter is getting married next summer all being well & it looks like OCC (& possibly Hazel) are the appointed motors
Here are both n/s doors loosely hung back on the car after paint stripping, but just the handles to remove & finish off:
Most of the filler is not my doing....honest
Here it is a few days later:
As before with my spraying, not perfect by any means, but it will be passable after a good polish
I'm leaving the door edges as noted before, because they're not bad & will clean up reasonably well:
You'll have noticed that I've not yet removed the windows & frames, but I will do this later. I wanted to get the colour done before the weather turns & the air gets damp. I'll have to be careful not to damage the paint. The bottom inner edge of each door also needs colour, but I'll do this with my airbrush at a later date.
The rear window hardly moves up or down, due to dry grease & a rusty guiding pad holder, so I'll give both mechanisms & good clean & re-grease & do any repairs as necessary.
Just another difference on early cars, or perhaps on all series 1s:
I've renewed some worn-out door fittings but had to change the outer barrel when I changed this push button as the underside casting is narrower on the early one on the left. The later one doesn't fit the door
I've generally replaced the window guide pads using ones from the inside rivetted to where the original one was. Here's the new one in place on the N/S rear door, with the old one for comparison:
I've stripped the innards out of each door as I've gone round. This is a time-consuming job & you get a bit sick of it by door number 4 (or probably door number 2 actually ) but it's worth the hassle. It enables you to change the pads as above because the glass needs to come out, but it also means you can fully degrease, clean & re-grease the winder mechanism (or change it for another if broken, like I did on the driver's door on this car).
Cleaning & oiling the spring is particularly beneficial. Typically Rover, the spring gives you some extra force when winding the window up, but if it's rusted, it won't. The difference is worth the effort:
After a full clean of the door cards & polishing the fittings, it's very inviting:
The seat & door card colour match looks far better in the flesh
Just the boot lid to go now. In a way, it's the final bit of the car's history being covered up, which is a shame. However, it should look the part when it's finished & the whole project will only have taken me 18 years....
I have now cut & polished the front passenger door by hand:
This took some time & involved passes with 800, 1200 & 2000 grit wet&dry, followed by Farecla G3, T-Cut & then Autoglym polish. It really still needs a machine polish but I'm pleased so far. I did put a lot of paint on so I can do a bit more.
As with the other panels, it's certainly not perfect & if I did it again I'd be even more careful with the preparation. The rear door in comparison has not been done at this stage, although I have had 1200 w&d on the part you can see.
I've also finished off the driver's side rear door & have refitted the internals. This handle was the last part of the car still untouched since 1978 & it clearly had some ingrained dirt on it!