[ROVERNET - UK] Oil pump, Oil Change Warning

Robert Heimerl robertime at cavtel.net
Wed Aug 22 16:39:26 BST 2007

[Hi, I've been just reading along for a couple of months,
but here goes...]

Glen, it's not that you're lazy -- you were just taking an
easier route to the same destination (re-priming the oil
pump)!  Removing the oil pump cover on an SD1 is hardly a
picnic.  The "special multi-spline" bolts holding it in
place are very difficult to remove.  You must have 12-point
5/16" sockets and, for one even less accessible bolt, a
miniature 5/16" box wrench.  Moreover, three different
length bolts (screws?) are used.  Because it's not
necessarily obvious which one goes in which location, these
must be kept in specific order.

Now why would I be taking apart my car's oil pump?  I
suggest that all Rover V8 (at least SD1 version) owners read
the following very carefully (from a supplement to the
Haynes shop manual -- "Engine oil and filter - renewal"):

"While the oil is draining, do not attempt to remove the oil
filter, as this will cause the oil pump to drain and could
cause lack of lubrication on restarting."

Instead, the manual directs us to first refill the engine
with oil.

"Now the filter can be removed and discarded."

Another source, Practical Classics' "Rover SD1 Suvival
Guide," from October 1996, has the following statement in
its first paragraph:

"Oil changes require a special procedure: if the oil pump
drains it takes a long time to prime, and MAY NEVER DO SO
COMPLETELY (emphasis added).  Change the oil filter first: 
Crawl under the car with a new filter three-quarters full of
new oil, unscrew the old filter and then hand-tighten the
new one straight on.  Then drain and refill the sump with
fresh oil."

Brilliant, perfectly brilliant, I say!  What other sort of
consumer-unfriendly practices could they come up with?  Only
Rover (or it's remnants) know for sure!  [The fact that
these two sources contradict one another regarding the order
of changing the oil and  filter should reassure the rest of
us, too!]

So how long until my oil pump regains prime?  Hopefully not
the above-referenced "never."  I've not yet reassembled it,
but will use the "packing with vaseline" method recommended
by Glen and a variety of reliable sources.  Interestingly
enough, I've seen a special tool up for auction on eBay.uk,
specifically designed for repriming this pump (via the
distributor method).

How many quick-change oil places would follow the proper
procedures?  How many do-it-yourselfers would know to avoid
this problem?  On my previous SD1, I never had this happen
(and, yes, there are other possible reasons that my current
one may have low oil pressure -- but this developed under
the specific circumstances described above).  And does
anyone out there recommend using single weight oil, rather
than the 20w-50 Castrol GT that I normally use?

Meanwhile, the rather noisy fuel pump on my car (1980 SD1
3.5 V8) decided to pack it in, too.  I've had an interesting
search for this item, cross-referencing Bosch part numbers,
etc., getting quotes from about $100 to $400 (I just got one
for $150).  If anyone's interested, I can share more
detailed information on this subject.  Due to the tiny
vehicle population over here few places actually have a
listing for 1980-81 Rover 3500 components, but eBay is
helpful nowadays. [Yes, these pumps are used on other
vehicles. Can you say "Jaguar" with that appropriately
snooty British style of pronunciation?]

By the way, who is actually being given access to the parts
cars offered by the gentleman in British Columbia?  I guess
we should call him directly, right?

Since I owned one of these cars previously, some out there
may be saying "it serves him right, he should know better." 
Still, I find them interesting.  Anyone else out there who
likes the SD1's?  I noted a disparaging remark recently,
and, yes, know the car's sad story very well.  I also took
in the YouTube BBC History of Rover -- it's quite good,
worthwhile seeing, in spite of the obnoxious "car guy"
mouthing off in front of the last (BMW-developed) Rover 75. 
A friend in London had one on a lease which ended last year,
really liked it.  He'd have to turn to the Chinese to get a
replacement, it appears!


(Rover) Robert

> denlet wrote:
> you can also put an 1/4 liter of "VASELINE" (petroleum
> jelly buy in drugstore ) in the oil pump.Vaseline is
> completely mixed with oil.It's very good to have a good
> pressure for the first start. If you take a drill after
> about 2 mn, you must  have a pressure , the drill turn
> more slowly, the pressure become higher. The best is to
> fill the hydraulic tappets.(leave in a box during 24 H in
> special oil ).
>         thank you           denis
> Good advice, Denis. Some of us are too lazy to take the
> oil pump apart but have lots of time to remove the
> distributor, build a special tool to fit the drill, and
> reinstall the distributor!   ;-)
> Glen
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