Thursday, 12 April 2018


Unfortunately all did not go as well as I had hoped. I first fitted the two pipes that run from the master cylinder to the PDA valve and they fitted very neatly, my bending was accurate enough. Sadly I had failed to notice that at the PDA end of the pipes the screw in connectors are different sizes and when I came to connect the pipes they just wouldn't connect. I tried to reroute them and did manage to get them correctly connected, but it looked really messy.

The old steel pipes were undamaged but scruffy and partially covered in black paint. I wire brushed the paint off and then using my bench grinder with polishing mops I got them to a presentable state and refitted them. They fitted well and looked good.

I went on to fit the pipes to each front wheel, the long pipe from the PDA valve on the nearside that ran underneath the car to the offside wheel fitted well and clipped neatly into place.

The short run, from the PDA to the nearside wheel again fitted well, but the connector to the flexible hose was wrong. After some head scratching I decided I would buy a cheap pipe flaring kit from EBay, I could rescue the correct fitting from the old pipe and awaited the kit to arrive.

For less than a tenner the kit worked well, it also included a pipe cutter, I checked out a couple of YouTube instructional videos and then had a couple of try out on my discarded pipes. When I was confident I cut off the flair and removed the incorrect connector from the actual pipe and slipped on the old  connector and thankfully got a good looking double flair onto the pipe and in no time at all it was fitted.

The difficult run was the one right to the back brakes. Crawling around under the car, I eventually managed to unclip the old pipe by mostly breaking the clips, which also hold the fuel line. Replacement pipe clips are on order, but I did manage to get the new pipe into place and connected at both end and ready to bleed.

Jacquie was convinced to climb up into the car and I instructed her how to press and release the brake pedal on my command. We started with one of the back brakes and all was going well, when I noticed a puddle on the floor under the front of the car. I dried the underside of the transmission from which the fluid was dripping from, but I could not see anywhere that the leak could have come from, all the joints were dry, so I decided to leave it for the day as I was tired and disheartened and thought that one of the pipes must have a pin prick hole in it.

The next morning Jacquie was back in the driving seat and I was underneath with my torch looking for a leak as Jacquie applied pressure to the brake pedal, nothing, nada, no leaks anywhere and I can only assume that when I jacked the car up, trapped water and degreaser from when I degreased the engine must have found a route down to the gound. The next three brakes where quickly bled and I was reasonable happy, but the pedal was a tad spongy. Jacquie agreed to help me once more and it didn't take long to whip each wheel of in turn and indeed a little bit of air was extracted and now a super hard pedal.

Just got to fit the new, dual pipe clips which have arrived, not looking forward to that job, but it is essential as I noticed that the fuel line is actually touching the front UJ of the propshaft.

Saturday, 7 April 2018


There were a few things that needed tarting up before I could start putting things back under the bonnet. Battery clamp, windscreen wiper motor and clamp all got several costs of smooth Hammerite.

The most difficult bit was reconnecting the two pipes from the auto gearbox to the oil cooler and I spent along time under the car getting them correctly positioned, got there in the end though.

Before I put the battery back in with its shiny clamp, I put it on charge and it only took a few hours before it was fully charged, so it is obviously in very good condition. The servo, master cylinder, alternator, header tank and wiper motor followed, plenty of room to adjust the belt tension on the alternator without the  radiator and power steering pump in the way.

The last thing to be fitted was the two, now polished ID plates, which I riveted back down in their correct location, just to the left of the bonnet hinge position.

I had had a tiny leak from the now redundant little pipe at the top of the radiator that originally went to the expansion tank. I set about sealing that with solder and blow torch and when done I put the radiator back in and connected up all the pipes, then the steering pump. The last thing in was the screen washer bottle. Next job is the brake pipes, we shall see then how accurate my pipe bending is.

Thursday, 29 March 2018


As soon as we were back home form our stint of house sitting, despite the snow on the ground I finished flatting back the red Hammerite paint from under the bonnet area. The weather warmed up just enough after the Beast from the East departed for me to consider painting the area. I don't like leaving masking tape in place for too long as it has a tendency to get properly stuck, but the weather forecast suggested that I had a big enough window to get the job done.

I only got the near side masked off when I ran out of masking tape, I thought I had another roll, but obviously not. Rather than waste the day, particularly as the sun was shining I decided to prime as much as the masking safely allowed. two large cans of primer later, I was very pleased with the result compared to the drivers side.

After a trip to Halfords and armed with three rolls of tape and another couple of large cans of white primer and plenty of newspaper, I finished off the masking and applied three coats of primer to the rest of the under bonnet area. What an improvement.

The next day was top coat day. I had five smaller cans of Rover White so I was prepared for another trip to Halfords to buy more, but to my surprise the coverage was very good. Again three coats allowing about twenty minutes between coats and five empty cans later the job was done. A few runs but as most of it will be concealed behind steering pumps, screen washer bottles etc, I was more than happy.

I waited until the next day before I carefully peeled aways the masking tape and newspaper, I was still happy! I decided I would wait a few more days for the paint to harden before I started refitting everything.

Monday, 26 March 2018


Been back home for awhile now and things are moving on nicely with Sella despite the awful weather during March, but I did forget to post the last job I accomplished whilst I still had use of that nice warm shed.

 I had brought the old brake pipes with me plus the new, neatly coiled up ones. The pipes were all numbered and a information sheet told me which coil would eventually go where, the ends of each pipe was already flared and fitted with the correct screw connector. Before I could start bending the shiny new pipes to shape I had to straighten them out, I started the process by pulling the pipe through a length of plastic pipe and finished off strengthening them by hand.

When I was satisfied I mounted various sized sockets in the vice, depending on the curvature of the bend required and stated to pull the pipe gently around the socket, ensuring that I didn't over bend, continually checking with the original pipe for curvature and angles.

 I didn't make too many mistakes, although some of them finished up either a little short or slightly longer than the originals. Hopefully I will be able to make the necessary adjustments when I come to fit them back on the car, worst scenario is that on the long ones I have to trim back and reflair the end, we shall soon see.

Saturday, 17 February 2018


I had opportunity to spend a few hours back in my garage, so I decided I would refit the newly refurbished callipers back on the car. As often is the case it was not the 'quick job I expected it to be

I remembered that I had to thump the callipers with my rubber mallet to remove them and I realised pretty soon that it was going to be really difficult to get the bolt holes lined up just by thumping my shiny callipers back into place. I clamped the calliper into the vice and gradually filed each side of the top lug that was the cause of the tightness. It was slow going but eventually with a bit of cooper grease on the each side of the lug, I got the bottom bolt located and with a minimum of tapping I thought the top bolt was correctly located. Both bolts tightened, but unfortunately the top one when fully home just kept on turning round. When I removed it the thread was completely buggered.

I found a new correct sized, 7/16 UNF bolt in my bolt box, but not unexpectedly, with the calliper removed, it would only screw in about two turns. I would need to  order a 7/16 tap and tap the thread clean before I could progress, but before I finished for the morning, I applied the angle grinder to the lug until the it would slip snugly into place allowing easy adjustment to ensure the bolt holes lined up.

The same day the following week I was back in the garage armed with my new tap and it only took a few moments to clean the thread and my new bolt firmly screwed fully home. Above photo shows the tap passing through the unthreaded lug and into the damaged thread in the other lug on the far side of the gap. The calliper slipped into place and I thankfully tightened both bolts up nice and tight, I fitted the new stainless flexible hose and turned my attention to the other side.

This calliper was also a tight fit. I didn't waste any time I took the angle grinder to it and very quickly it slipped into place and bolted up with out a problem. Over two hours to fit the first one and only about 30 minutes to do the second, but got there in the end.

Monday, 12 February 2018


Callipers all ready to go back on the car, but Stella s in the garage and and I'm in the shed in our friends country residence so servo and master cylinder is next on the job list.

It said in manual to just separate the master cylinder from the servo, but they were a little reluctant to come apart, however reassured by the manual, I pulled a little harder and eventually they did.

I started on the servo which was fine except it looked a bit scruffy, a gentle rubbing didn't produce a genie, but a smooth surface ready for three coats of primer and another three of Rover Platinum Silver and it was looking good.

I had already got a refurb kit for the master cylinder, I have refurbed master cylinders so I wasn't expecting any problems, the first spring coil retainer was removed easily, allowing access to a second circlip, this was also removed without problem apart from breaking it.

I then came up against a solid white nylon ring that would not budge. I consulted the Stag Forum where it recommended drilling through this disc and inserting self tapping screws to help remove it, but even when this disc was removed there was a further circlip deep down inside the barrel that needed special long nose circlip pliers to remove. The concern was that it would be easy to scratch the bore and the general consensus was that it was probably better to fork out for a professionally refurb cylinder that had the barrel bored out and sleeved with a stainless steel liner.

I made the decision and ordered an exchange service, master cylinder, new for old, just like Aladdin's lamp. All I had to do was bolt the original plastic brake fluid reservoir onto the master cylinder and two nuts secured the cylinder to the servo. It is all back in the garage now, waiting to be reattached to the car when the engine bay has been repainted.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018


We have been ensconced in our country house for  a week now, we house sit once a year, whilst good friends, the owners, go way down South for a month. The big plus is that there is a very large, heated, brightly lit and well equipped shed in the back garden.

I usually make good use of  this facility and this year it coincided with refurbing the brakes on the Stag. Before we left home I removed the discs from the brake callipers and blew out the two pistons from each calliper by using  the airline from my compressor, I managed to bruise my left thumbnail as the first piston suddenly popped out, after that I was a little more careful.

 I carefully transported all the bits into my temporary work shop and thoroughly cleaned everything using brake cleaner after removing the old rubber seals and thin, very rusty, retaining rings that held the dust seals in place. All was going well, one set of new rubber seals fitted and the thin dust seal metal retaining ring fitted. Beginners luck I guess as when I tried to fit the next retaining ring I just couldn't get it to sit inside the groove in the calliper and I damaged two of the rings beyond use in trying. The photo shows one of the old rusty rings and one of the new ones I damaged along with the new rubber seals and rings. I seriously considered that I would have to buy two new or reconditioned callipers.

The next day I brought back from my garage a few more tools and I was able to gently coax the last bright metal retaining ring from the refurb kits into place, that was a relief.

 I had hoped that the pistons, when cleaned and polished could be reused, but on close inspection, although the actual sealing surfaces looked OK there was two much rust elsewhere, so I decided to order new ones and another refurb kit to replace the metal rings that I had buggered.

All arrived now and using the method previously adopted the last two metal rings were eased into place. I lubed the new pistons with brake fluid and one by one pushed them in by hand as far as I could and then I used a G clamp to push them fully in.

After I carefully masked off all the bits that I didn't want to paint, like the new pistons i started to spray with special high temperature calliper paint.

The paint takes much longer to dry than normal spray paint, so after three coats I will leave it overnight to harden before I turn the callipers over and spray three coats on the underside.

Callipers nice and shiny now and just have the brake pads to fit, then ready to take back to my cold garage to refit to Stella. that will be the start of putting it all back together. I still have lots of rubbing down in the engine bay yet before I can respray, but warmer weather seems along way off at the moment.