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153 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys, thought I'd put a thread up here to show you all and benefit from the advice and opinions of the Rn'S collective :)

I've always thought that there's a lot of things about a Rover P6 that makes them an ideal budget gasser- Front panel unbolts, rear wings can be unbolted for easy re-radiusing while the inner wings can accept quite a big rear wheel, V8 straight out of the box, and they look quite high at the front anyway due to the body design which no amount of lowering seems to overcome etc etc.... They're asking for it I think!
So, after not managing to finish my last P6 project when I was younger I decided to take care of some unfinished business and do it right this time :tup:

I sold my 2000SC about 8 years ago and i've wanted one again ever since. So I joined the excellent Rover P6 Owners Club and put an ask on the forum to see if anyone had anything.

The criteria was pretty optimistic- It had to be a V8 this time, had to be tax exempt, could do with it bieng fairly close by and had to be dirt cheap.... Don't ask much do I?! :lol:

But to my suprise a guy on the forum told me about a P6 fitting my criteria that he'd spotted on the driveway of a house just 2 miles from me! Not only that, but he knocked the door up to ask if it was for sale (great because I hate doing that) aswell as getting a price and a phone number for me to call! Legend :smoke:

So me, my brother and our friend Paul went to have a look.
She's been sat for quite a few years, owned by a very nice bloke called Paul who had intentions of restoring her but decided to move her on as he can't find the time to start the project.

Despite her appearance, a rudimetary prod around indicates that she isn't actually too bad in terms of rot.... Certainly more solid than my last 2000SC was!

Engine is all complete, and the owner said she was driving fine before bieng parked up which is the kind of thing you want to hear.

She has black leather which is nice. I really like the leather seats on P6's, and the well worn condition doesn't bother me at all! The doorcard is sitting in the back seat after having its drivers window hastily replaced.

So, a deal was struck at £100 and I went away to make some arrangements to get her shifted. And after an agonizing wait (I wanted to sleep in the thing!) monday was the day that saw my Rover finally at its new home!

I had struck a deal with a local scrap dealer, who had agreed to pick up the P6 and deliver it to my workshop in return for a scrap shell that I needed rid of. No money changing hands.... That's my kind of deal!

With the car moved from its resting place for the last 7 or 8 years she was slowly winched onto the trailer. We were all quite suprised that the old girl rolled so easily!
It was at this stage that it dawned on me that the scrap guys might decide they liked the P6 better than the shell I was offering in payment and could drive away with my pride and joy and weigh it in instead! I was a little nervous going inside to do the paperwork, but thankfully they were still there when I came out and we hauled the P6 over to my place.
Yes, the truck was over-laden somewhat!

And here it is delivered outside my workshop, which went without incident. Now I could have a proper look around the old girl and see what's needed! I was pretty excited, finally I had another P6 again!

The first thing I did was sit in there and make engine noises. I like the dash clocks on the V8 with its rev counter and oil/water guages all lined up. I noticed the mileage was 96,000.

The leather is split and needs a good clean and feed as it's quite dry, but I do love the interiors on these cars, real luxury!

Lovely 3500 V8!

I was really chuffed to see that Paul, the previous owner had kindly included all the mechanical spares he'd had in stock which included a brand new dizzy cap and leads, a replacement distributor, alternator, brand new water pump and a replacement water pump! He said he was just glad to see someone wanting to do something with it as he'd been messed about in the past and he didn't want to see her broken up either.

The years spent sitting on a driveway untouched has taken their toll on the outward appearance of the old girl, but I have to say I love how it looks! Very Christine-esque!

The front wings will need replacing but the previous owner has some panels for me which i'll get off him at a later date. I have some pretty definate plans for what i'm going to do with in terms of body mods anyway :)

But she's solid in all the right places. Bulkhead and inner wings appear nice nad origional with no work needed, the n/s/f inner sill is perfect as is the floor on that side.
The o/s/f inner sill requires repair (but the previous owner kindly included a pair of inner wing repair panels) and there's a hole at the front of the sill, along with needing a replacement outer sill which I have somewhere in my garage.
After that there's just a small hole in the boot that need attending to and some in the rear inner wing, then she'll be ship shape!
All in all I was really chuffed with this purchase!

So, fast-forward to this morning- My bro and our mate Paul came over to have a proper look on their way to picking up my bro's new car. Paul had brought his battery booster and was quite keen to see what would happen if we cranked the thing over- I was curious but less optimistic.

But, after chucking a good battery on from my Escort we stuck the keys in the ignition, pulled the plug lead off the coil and turned the key- She cranked over eagerly and after a few turns to get the compression up we decided to put the coil lead back and push our luck....... She cranked over well, and after a little while to everyones amazement she coughed and splutteres into life!!!

Despite bieng on 8 year old fuel she sounded amazing and settled into an acceptable idle not long after. 8 years worth of crap came shooting out the exhaust but once she was warmed up and the choke was off she purred like a kitten! We left her running for a while which she did with no complaints.


So the plan is to give her a bit of a service with new filters, oil, leads and plugs (maybe even some fresh fuel!). The SU's had to go, they work okay but I just don't like how they look and also I have aspirations to have a scoop sticking out the middle of the bonnet!

More shortly.... Damn picture limit on threads!

153 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I'd been on the lookout for some suitable wheels for this project, which is definately one of the most important things to get so that I can build the rest of the car around them.
My budget was my main concern here as I didn't think i'd be able to get the kind of wheels I needed for the sort of pennies I was willing to spend, but a 'wanted' post on various forum's classifieds netted me some good options. One of those options was from a guy who lives pretty local to me, and after a few pics and phone calls me and my bro went to pick up these for £60:

8.5Jx14 steel 5 slots!

...... A matching pair of skinnier fronts ;D
These where just the sort of thing I was after- A nice period wheel that should suit the P6 down to the ground.
They obviously needed a good clean up to get them presentable again, and although the chrome is too far gone to restore completely they will clean up enough to suit the look of this already patina'd Rover. Let's get on with it then!

^ A water leak in the place they've been stored has caused quite a bit of rust, but I attacked it with a Brillo pad and some other assorted absasives to see what happened.

^ Not too bad!

^ This is the best I could do with the heavily corroded rim, but as said earlier they're not exactly going to be losing me points on the concourse circuit with this car!
The fronts were in better condition and after the same treatment......

^....... They also looked ten times better :)

^ Here's the 'big n little' combo together.... Can't wait to get them on!

^ The tyres are Kelly Superchargers, proper vintage jobs! The fronts are okay but the rears have cracks in the sidewalls so are only good for mocking up purposes.

The rears equate to a 265/60 ish I think, so i'll offer them up when i've radiused the arches enough to get them on the rear and see how far they stick out. The P6 has an offset of about +43, where as these puppies are minus something or other.... Be interesting to see where they sit!

153 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
So, I got the wheels up to the workshop and couldn't resist sticking them next to the P6 to see where about they're going to sit and how much i'm going to be radiusing the rear wings by.

Gives no indication at all for how they're going to look, but it does show roughly the amount of rear arch that's going to be cut out!

^ The rear door and the door aperture will need surgery, but that'll be fairly easy.
A quick masure up revealed that given the width and offset of these rims the current tyres are going to stick out of the arches by about 3 inches! Ideally i'd have about an inch sticking out, so i'm going to need some narrower tyres.

^ Fronts are a fit and forget affair, no problems there. Just got to do some suspension work to raise it by about 4-5 inches.

So then, if the rear tyres had a similar profile to the fronts i'd be alright because they'd still have a proper balloon sidewall but with the tread a little closer to the wheelarch.
Question is guys, what tyres should I be looking for? Crossplys? How wide can you get them? Hard to tell what size I need until we get the rims on there I suppose, but the rims are about 8.5 inches wide and the tyres that are on it are 265's or there abouts, so I reckon i'd need something like a 195 width.... What's that in Crossply talk?

153 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
While I was waiting to get the rear wheel arches sorted I had a play around with the front end height to see what looked best:

^ I've always had a bit of a problem with the front of the P6's styling, mainly the bonnet how it slopes down so straight.
From the rear of the car to the front doors there's quite a nice gentle ark, same can be said for the roofline which is almost Cirtoen DS-like in its profile, and the bonnets angle just doesn't flow with the rest of the car at all to me.

To my mind, a 'nose bleed' stance would fix this- If I raised the front of the car up until the bonnet became flat it would sort of make sense of the angle of the bonnet I think.

^ Try to imagine it at that angle but with the rear raised up a bit too.
Yeah, that looks right to me. I like that. Sort of looks like it's meant to be at that height when you look at the bonnet, I think it looks right at home up there. That's about a 5 inch lift up front courtesy of a scissor jack, but I think the rear needs to come up an inch or two so it might be more like 5 or 6 inches really.

^ Cool! The front ones fit just fine and give us an idea of how it's going to look.

^ If there was any doubt in my mind before that this is the way to go with this car, it's all dissolved away after this mock-up. I think seeing this thing in your rear view mirror coupled with the sound of open headers would be just freakin' awesome!!

The other good thing about the P6 is that the front panel completely unbolts below the headlights! And, the front end sheet metal is quite high anyway so just a little trimming of the wings will make the car seem even higher than it is, getting rid of the other bits of the front end that I don't really like aswell in the process.

^ I'm not really sure how to go about lifting it on its bizzaro suspension set-up yet. The road springs are already quite long, I don't think i'll find anything that's 5 or 6 inches longer from another car.
After my bro came over to assist with the wheel swapping we had a bit of a look at it, and we found two or 3 ways to go about it so we've just got to find the best solution :tup:

194 Posts
Cool:smoke: looks like you got a bargain there, look forward to seeing what you do to this:tup:

Don’t think you will be at your limit for posting pics, sure you are allowed 500, think there is a limit per post though.

153 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Cue a massive drop off in progress for a few months!
I had a bit of a financial meltdown in the middle last year and and to be honest I'm lucky to have come out the other side of it still owning this thing! But I'm back in the game again now and it's time to pick up where I left off!!

I hadn't really done all that much since buying it really, only collecting a few parts and got my plan together. So I suppose gathering more parts is a good place to start before getting my hands dirty!

^ During my 'down time' I got a bit frustrated that I had no cash to put into the project and no progress was being made. So, I put an add on Freecycle to see if I could score some spring assistors so that I could at least get the rear end up a bit.

Sure enough someone answered my Freecycle plea and by bizzarre coincidence that person actually turned out to be Retro Rides member (and of this parish too?) Mattblack! Legend :tup:
The assistors should raise up the rear another inch, and since then I've also scored a set of rear uprated springs and shocks for a fiver off Ebay that will also raise it by about an inch which combined with the assistors and the planned extra tall tyres should see the rear of the P6 at the right altitude for me!
Before I can fit these items though I have to get hold of some rear bushes so that I can replace the lot while its all in bits.

^ Another job that I could do was to remove the front panel and play around with cutting away the front sheetmetal. That's my girl's little brother lending me a hand there ;)

^ I also cropped the bottom of the front wings off to see how it looks too. It doesn't matter so much about making a mistake at this stage because those wings are rotten and are being replaced.
I have a pair of fibreglass front wings on their way from Kevfromwales shortly and I plan to make a flipfront in the future :smoke:

^ More recently I snaffled this series 1 grill, £5 from Ebay!
I much prefer the look of these grills to the plastic sries 2 front end.

^ So that's it loosely fitted on. I need to keep a bit of the front panel for the grille to locate into at the bottom so I'll be trimming the top 2" from it which means the front panel will end just before the front bumper in line with where the front wings have been cut and should look fairly neat.
Also, note that the series 1 grille has a massive gap when the badge is not present! Good badges are £4.2Bn on Ebay so instead I'm thinking of chopping some more of the grill away and putting a moon tank there instead? Unfortunately moon tanks are even more expensive than badges but I know which I'd rather have up front ;)

And, as you can see I also poked the inner headlights out to see how it looks. I like it, looks evil! But.....

^.....I have these from a 60's Volvo that I've had kicking around for a while. I popped them in the grill to see how it looks:

^ I'm undecided. What do you guys reckon? It will all look better once it's all put together properly and the suspension raised, but you get the idea.

So what else I have been doing? Well, unfortunately I found myself having to sell the carbs off the Rover to stay afloat. Like I said I'm fortunate that it was only the carbs! The way I saw it though I was looking to replace the SU's with a Holley or similar anyway so it wasn't going to be the end of the world.

I managed to score a 4 barrel Holley from Ebay for exactly the same price as I sold the SU's for! Great I thought, why isn't everyone doing it?! I soon found out when I priced up a manifold.... Gulp! Over £350 for a new Edelbrock manifold and they go for well over £150 second hand. No, what I needed was a cheaper solution!

^ I'd seen some pictures on my manifold wanted thread showing someone chopping up an SU manifold to fit a single carb. But what I found was the carbs that the SU manifolds are generally being adapted for are the smaller Weber 500's and Carter carbs. Compared to those my Holley is a bit of a monster!
But with nothing to lose I began chopping the tower off the manifold to see what I can do with it.

Here's what you get when you've finished cutting. Obviously it will need much skimming to get flat but I lobbed the carb on to see if it will physically fit on there!

^ Well no, not really! The carb body and mounting holes hang over the manifold so no simple drilling and tapping to be done here. However a quick measure up shows that the 4 barrels of the carb will line up with the inlet holes on the manifold. So once they're enlarged it should bee just a case of getting an adaptor plate to mount the carb to the manifold. So that's keeping mt busy as we speak.

In the meantime......

^ ..... I picked up this Weiand scoop up from a member on here. What do you think?
I'm not sure how it will look on the Rover, I can't quite decide. I do love the idea of it but it has to look right and I think we can only decide that once the P6 is at the right height with the right tyres and everything else finished too.

153 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I've been carrying on with modifying the inlet manifold for the Holley 4 barrel which is taking up a lot of time!

^The underside of my carb looks like this.....

^........ Which, when a pattern is taken from it, shows how much manifold needs removing to get it to work......

^ .......Which is marked out by the purple marker. Not too much to come out, but it's enough to be quite time consuming!

^ I used all sort of tools on it to nibble away at the alloy and I got one side close to where it needs to be. I'm going to keep in that 'divider' as it's fairly integral to the function of the manifold.

I stumbled across this Mr Gasket one at an autojumble for just a tenner which is cool. Just what I needed!

^ The plate is drilled for the carb plus also two inboard holes for mounting to your manifold. These mounting holes are too far out unfortunately and miss the area of manifold that can take a bit of drilling and tapping, so I'm just going to have to drill some more further inboard :)

^ Lots of metal coming out! As you can see the size of my carb means I've had to break into the wall separating the different ports of the manifold.
The left hand side of the inlet takes care of ports 2 & 3 directly with the other side having a passage to feed them aswell but less efficiently, where as the right side feeds 1 & 4 directly and 2 & 3 have less direct passages to them. By providing another route for the air and fuel to feed the other cylinders I'm surely not going to run into trouble am I?
I'. thinking about other manifolds I've seen- Sometimes it's just a hole straight down and then a free-for-all with regards to metering out the mixture to the different cylinders, so surely this can't be much worse than that! I'm hoping it's going to be okay ;)

After a billion stubborn hours with inappropriate tools I decided to buy myself a die grinder drill attachment to make life easier. So that's all the manifold work I can do right now until it arrives early next week!

^ I got this fuel pump off my bro! It's a Lucas type used on Montego Turbo's which says to me that it should give the right sort of PSI as blown Monty's used a single SU carb. But confusingly this same pump is used on injected Jaguars which would suggest a high capacity pump! I'm going to run it with a fuel regulator anyway so it should be A okay :)

^ Finally a little bit of cheating. I really want this car to look like an old drag car survivor from the 70's/80's and so I got this old window sticker to suggest it's seen some racing action back then. It was probably ferrying some old chocker to the chemists and back in '89 rather than lighting 'em up on the drag strip, but I won't tell anyone if you don't! ;)

Lastly for now, can anyone identify that carb I've got? I assumed it was a 390 (I'm new to V8's!) but it does seem pretty big and someone suggested t might be a 600cfm. I'm going to get the numbers off the carb next time I'm at the workshop but what do you guys reckon? If it's a big Holley I might have to punt it on and get something more suitable to a 3.5.

Thanks for taking the time to look in! :smoke:

Fat 'n' Loud
4,766 Posts
Those Volvo light grill thingys need to be horizontal. They're making my eyes go funny.

There are some calculators here that should help you sort your tyre sizes out:
Personally I'd stick a narrowed Sherpa or Jag axle on there and tuck the tyres you've already got right in.

I've always wondered why there aren't more rodded P6s about.

Having a cuppa
2,629 Posts
Interesting. I don't think I,ve ever seen a real rodded P6 so i'll be following this one.
My peronal thought on the headlight holes- How about ducting through to the air filter like the Ford Thunderbolt, just a thought.

Banjo snapper.
3,507 Posts
I'd go with using the inner headlamp holes for ducting too. I don't know what CFM your carb is but I can tell you it's a double pumper, it's way too much for a standard Rover engine regardless of its CFM. If it does turn out to be a 390 double pump, sell it as they're a rare bit of kit.

If it were me, I'd be seriously thinking about fitting a Weber 38DGAS carb from an Essex V6, much better economy than a Holley which even as a 390 is a bit big for a stock engine, it'd be a piece of doddle to adapt to your SU manifold too.

I think you're going to have your work cut out doing anything with that front suspension.

Rods n Sods is Funkie
419 Posts
Interesting Read,Good luck with this project,
I agree with removing Volvo Covers:tup:
Also i would be looking for a new inlet manifold,
(now you have cut through the water jacket):D

Keep looking one will turn up:tup:

5,697 Posts
Alright Steve, looking good...

Really must sort out some time to come down and say Hi...!!

895 Posts
if its any help TC on here used to have custom p6 ,think it had a jag dif narowed the axle him selef to put 295s under the rear 5speed manual from a sd1 im sure he would point you in the right direction if you need any help with this build regards Guy
good luck with this build

78 Bronco BRING IT ON!
440 Posts
Changing the back axle for a jag one is definitely the way to go.Your back axle is a DE-Dion type axle which means it moves forward and backwards when cornering(why they handle so well for their size and weight),but for what you want will be a pain in the arse!That holley definitely is way to big,but I think you may have got a bargin what with the fittings on it so it may help you financially on your way to getting what you really want.I`d try and get another set of SU`s and inlet manifold to keep the motor running and wait until the right parts come up,just so you can still run and move the car.Concentrate on body work for the moment until you`ve got hold of the bits ,axle,inlet manifold ect before ripping it apart any more otherwise you can easily end up with a non running heap of parts and no enthusiasm to carry on.Good luck to you, nice bug scoop by the way,let me know if that ever comes up for sale!

153 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Thanks a lot for your comments guys, appreciated!!
I wish I hadn't posted so many pics on the first page, my super slow knackered computer couldn't cope with it and I had to wait until it got to page 2 to be able to reply! D'oh!

Excellent info on the carb, thanks. I think I'll punt on the carb as the general consensus is that it's too big for this engine. The Weber is looking like the one to go for and I'll start again with the manifold I think. It's no problem though, this is how you learn! :)

Guy & Pixie, you're welcome over any time! I'm just about to move workshops so oonce I'm setled into the new place it'll be better, I'm all over the place at the moment!

Paddy, great advice thank you!

Vince- Yeah she's going up about 2 inches at the back, I think from looking at it I'll only have to massage the doors a little bit, nothing too heavy. I'm going to use the arches from the old front wings to radius the rear arches. I just really like the look of that.
Big fan of your high riding Consul, hope to see it at a show sometime soon!

Loving the P6 burn out!!! Hope mine can manage something similar when she's done!

I think the front suspension is under control now after discussing it on another forum. I would love a straight axle and it will happen but it's first incarnation is going to have to be a cheap and cheerful compromise and then eventually just get it how I want it while it's on the road :)

Some progress/developments coming soon!!! Thanks for looking :)
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