Mercedade's '98 Vitesse in BRG

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mercedade
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Mercedade's '98 Vitesse in BRG

Post by mercedade » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:49 pm

As some of you will know, I bought Ross' Vitesse from him last weekend http://www.rover800.info/forum/viewtopi ... =15&t=9456

So I've started my commuting in it this week and thus far...I love it.

I'd been eyeing it up admiringly throughout the whole of my Galant ownership and basically decided it was too good an opportunity to pass up - there aren't many road legal cars you can buy with 200bhp for under £500, even less for the £350 Ross was advertising it for at one point! I ended up paying more, but that's more to do with my own tardiness in realising I could actually go for it - still think I got a good deal.

First impressions:

It's an 800 - it is STAGGERING just how dated it feels compared to the Galant, which is only 18 months younger. My first 800 was a star-ship mileage (330k) diesel, my second was a lowered/noisy/gangsta Mk1 827. This is my third, and it's remarkable how there is so little to choose between them. Obviously equipment varies, as does performance, but there's no denying that you're essentially driving a 14 year old car which is actually 28 years old (if you start from the first of the 800s). At the end of its production life, its target market must have been miniscule - a performance car dressed up to look like a gentleman's club, based on a 15 year old design? Bonkers.

HOWEVER - none of that is a bad thing. The interior is a genuinely lovely place to be - the best condition 800 I've had by some considerable distance. The interior is spotless bar some wear on the driver's seat bolster (finished off very nicely by a rear ash tray supplied by Brad to fill the gap from the missing one) and absolutely everything works. It even smells right, thanks to the leather slapped everywhere.

The seats are the most comfortable too - I like leather to look at, but I genuinely believe that sitting in full leather seats (from experiece of either of my Jags or the 825 diesel) aggravates my back pain - perhaps something to do with the effort required to stop yourself slipping about? It's a pretty tenuous link I know, but I never seemed to have that problem in cloth seats, so the 1/2 leather is perfect for me.

Exterior:

Again, I'm very very impressed. It's had a pretty decent sill repair on one side, and a solid but ugly (if virtually hidden) repair on the other. For what I paid, I'm happy. I'll attempt to clean up the ugly one over Xmas, and chuck a little oil in the sills to prevent a re-occurrence. The other stuff (scuffed bumpers, not-quite matched paint on wing repairs, small dent in drivers door) - again, I've certainly paid more for much worse. Overall impression though is of a very tidy car.

Of course, one thing I'd forgotten is just how poor 800 headlights really are. The lights themselves are pretty clear and clean (and have Rover headlight covers on) but the light dispersal is as bad as I remember. Have some of the Halfords high power bulbs to put in (left over from the 827) to give it a bit more juice.

Performance:

I've had a 2.0 T series (non-turbo) before in my 220 GTi and thought it was a great, great engine. Basically, the addition of the turbo seems to allow it to maintain the performance of the 220 despite the significant extra weight of the 800. It is a hugely entertaining drive. Hopefully, I'll improve on my current 28 mpg once I stop wanting to overtake everything on the duel carriageway...

So future jobs:

Headlight bulbs
Fit stereo gear (I have already fitted a CD player and rear speakers)
Might fit the 16" Rover Sports I have for winter, the tread is virtually new on those
Have a play with the driver's switchpack - it works, but the 'up' for drivers window is tough sometimes.
Cure the damp boot - it's not getting a soaking, but there is some condensation, so will re-seal rear lights and go from there.

I'll take some pictures over the weekend in daylight...
Adrian
1998 Rover Mk2 820 Vitesse Hatchback (green)
Gone...1992 Rover Mk1 827 SLi Manual (green)
Gone...1998 Rover Mk2 825 Diesel (green)

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Very Tall Brad
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Re: Mercedade's '98 Vitesse in BRG

Post by Very Tall Brad » Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:01 pm

I was lucky that Ade was able to call in at my house last Saturday on his way home from collecting the car. I was very impressed with the condition, I must say. Very shiny indeed.

I agree that these cars are dated and that they were severely dated back in 1998. However, as Ade implies, there is a certain charm to them in many ways. The interiors can be a great place to spend a lot of time and space isn't bad overall.

I never took to my Vitesse's as I found them too hard and crashy - not at all 'Roverlike'. But I am old and Ade only recently left school. Good luck with the car.
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Re: Mercedade's '98 Vitesse in BRG

Post by Jango » Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:36 pm

Might fit the 16" Rover Sports I have for winter,


Erm....no, they don't suit a Mk2 and erm..cough..I need one or two or a set for my Mk1 SLi if you could be persuaded to part with them :D
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Re: Mercedade's '98 Vitesse in BRG

Post by rosshenocsr » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:17 pm

I am so glad you are enjoying the car, i am pleased that it has a good home. I think for the first couple of months i used to get 20-28mpg, but then when i used it as a cruiser i would get 32-35mpg. Which is good as rover quote only 29mpg ave/mixed driving.

I wanted some rover sports for it but never got around to it (the press photos for the mk2 vitesse shows rover sports would be available as oe spec....................wondor if this did happen???)
For snow i used to have snow socks which worked well. I have to say i never found the headlamps to be dim, i had some vectra c's before and they have very bad beams. (the electric head lamp leveling switch is not set on 3 is it??)
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Re: Mercedade's '98 Vitesse in BRG

Post by Alex SBY » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:37 pm

Jango wrote:Erm....no, they don't suit a Mk2 and erm..cough..I need one or two or a set for my Mk1 SLi if you could be persuaded to part with them :D
I think they look great. Decide for yourself, as fitted to a car I owned last year (sadly the car no longer lives). My 827 manual sports these wheels at the moment...

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SJG
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Re: Mercedade's '98 Vitesse in BRG

Post by SJG » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:07 pm

I like these wheels, I had them on my old 820 sli which I owned a good number of years ago.
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mercedade
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Re: Mercedade's '98 Vitesse in BRG

Post by mercedade » Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:17 pm

Very Tall Brad wrote:... and Ade only recently left school...
Well, not quite, but this 30 year old is going to take that as a compliment!
Adrian
1998 Rover Mk2 820 Vitesse Hatchback (green)
Gone...1992 Rover Mk1 827 SLi Manual (green)
Gone...1998 Rover Mk2 825 Diesel (green)

mercedade
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Re: Mercedade's '98 Vitesse in BRG

Post by mercedade » Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:20 pm

Jango wrote: I need one or two or a set for my Mk1 SLi if you could be persuaded to part with them :D
:D

Funnily enough, that was exactly my original plan when I bought them - fit them to the Mk1 SLi which I then sold 4/5 weeks later.

However, winter use on the Vitesse is what they'll be used for I'm afraid.
Last edited by mercedade on Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
Adrian
1998 Rover Mk2 820 Vitesse Hatchback (green)
Gone...1992 Rover Mk1 827 SLi Manual (green)
Gone...1998 Rover Mk2 825 Diesel (green)

mercedade
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Re: Mercedade's '98 Vitesse in BRG

Post by mercedade » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:03 pm

rosshenocsr wrote:I have to say i never found the headlamps to be dim, i had some vectra c's before and they have very bad beams. (the electric head lamp leveling switch is not set on 3 is it??)
I think it's compared to the Galant - it had tiny looking lenses but a really impressive throw of light.

Rover-wise, I remember having exactly the same problem with the 825 SD and even the 827 to a lesser extent, so it's not a problem with the Vitesse specifically.

And no - switch is on 0. I actually put it on 2 for a bit as it seemed to be aiming high, but I'll get it lined up when I'm down south over Xmas when I pop round the garage I used to work in.
Adrian
1998 Rover Mk2 820 Vitesse Hatchback (green)
Gone...1992 Rover Mk1 827 SLi Manual (green)
Gone...1998 Rover Mk2 825 Diesel (green)

mercedade
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Re: Mercedade's '98 Vitesse in BRG

Post by mercedade » Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:58 am

It was MOT day yesterday - although it doesn't run out until mid August, I like having 4 weeks to repair/save/panic/scrap whatever the tester finds.

I basically did exactly the opposite of what I recommend to people who ask me. I took it to a national chain (National Tyre) and used a 50% off voucher. This is basically an open invitation to fail my car, and fail it expensively on suspension components.

The night before the test, I trial fitted some 17" alloys from a 1994 Prelude I snapped up from ebay - 4 almost brand new tyres on reasonable wheels delivered to my house, all-in costing less one mid-range tyre - just to make sure. In the process discovered that since doing my front brake pads a few weeks ago, at some point the o/s/f outer CV boot had come off. It was still intact, just the metal clip had vanished. My guess is that I disturbed it whilst scrubbing up the ABS sensor and reluctor ring.

Quick cable tie job, clean up the grease (which had gone EVERYWHERE - I now appreciate the value of the dust shields keeping the CV grease off the brake discs) and pack two wheels+tyres in the boot in case MOT man doesn't like my front tyres which, to my mind, are getting a little low.

Result? A RESULT!

Fail, but only on handbrake efficiency (n/s). So this weekend will see me digging out the excellent thread (I think it's on .org) which has all the pictures of the self-adjusting mechanism, getting the wire brush and WD40 out, then following the excellent thread on here for reftting and adjusting rear pads, then back for a free re-rest and we're good to go! The only advisory note was for a small oil leak - it doesn't ever drip, there's just a very small patch with a constant film of oil, almost certainly weeping from a rocker cover gasket.

I can thoroughly recommend the National Tyre in Newton-le-Willows - I've used them for a couple of years and, provided you get the vouchers for tracking, oil changes etc - they're cheap and decent quality.
Adrian
1998 Rover Mk2 820 Vitesse Hatchback (green)
Gone...1992 Rover Mk1 827 SLi Manual (green)
Gone...1998 Rover Mk2 825 Diesel (green)

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Re: Mercedade's '98 Vitesse in BRG

Post by SJG » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:09 pm

Look forward to hearing the offical result next week, well done good news.
Rover Vitesse Coupe - 1997

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mercedade
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Re: Mercedade's '98 Vitesse in BRG

Post by mercedade » Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:30 pm

And....done, and certified for another 13 months.

Ended up spending £65 on a new (recon, actually) caliper. I could have had it cheaper from ebay but my motorfactors got it the same day, which meant I could fit it the next day and take it back for the free retest, which saved me a bit of cash overall.

Now to treat it to some wheel-love as a reward.
Adrian
1998 Rover Mk2 820 Vitesse Hatchback (green)
Gone...1992 Rover Mk1 827 SLi Manual (green)
Gone...1998 Rover Mk2 825 Diesel (green)

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Re: Mercedade's '98 Vitesse in BRG

Post by Richard Moss » Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:11 pm

Good news
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Re: Mercedade's '98 Vitesse in BRG

Post by Alucard7002 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:13 am

mercedade wrote:
Fail, but only on handbrake efficiency (n/s). So this weekend will see me digging out the excellent thread (I think it's on .org) which has all the pictures of the self-adjusting mechanism, getting the wire brush and WD40 out, then following the excellent thread on here for reftting and adjusting rear pads, then back for a free re-rest and we're good to go!
Was this the thread perchance :wink:


viewtopic.php?f=9&t=4094

Super fiddly and not worth doing unless you're bloody minded enough and have enough spare time to do it.

I see you've bought a recon caliper, definitely the way to go.
Dušan

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Previous:
1999 820Si - BRG - SOLD!
1997 820 Vitesse - Pewter Grey - SCRAPPED
2007 Ford Transit - SOLD!
1993 827 Sterling - British Racing Green - SCRAPPED
1997 820 Sterling - Zircon Silver - CRASHED

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Re: Mercedade's '98 Vitesse in BRG

Post by Richard Moss » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:54 am

Thankfully it's the same caliper as the MGF / TF so should be readily available fo the foreseeable future
Out in the desert with a 2000 Nissan Patrol, 1996 Cherokee 4L, 1996 Grand Cherokee 4L. Back home: 1969 MGC GT
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