A Mostly British Obsession

New Air Cleaner on the Rover

New air cleaner on Rover SD1

It’s shiny (tacky!) chrome and ridiculously over-sized…but my new air cleaner actually filters the air going into the engine on the SD1. Found on eBay for not much money, surely it reminds the thoughtful viewer of the triangular Rover badge on the front of the car. (Surely! Well, maybe I’ll try to find a Rover-viking-ship decal to decorate it.)

The cleaner is so huge that the bonnet only has about a half inch of clearance when closed–but close it does. I actually started laughing when I un-boxed it in the house. The British do have a tradition of placing air cleaners larger than their engines onto their cars, though, so I’ve got the right spirit.

Old air cleaner on Rover SD1

Above is what was on the car until earlier this evening, as sold to me. It’s the air cleaner off something like a Chevy S-10, and, aside from looking a bit staid, it wasn’t actually doing anything.

Carb opening vs. air cleaner opening

The carb has a 4″ opening, and the vast majority of air cleaners are just like my new one and the old one, a 5″ opening (dimensions rounded to nearest inch!). When this cleaner was on the car, there were huge gaps all around the outside where it meets the carb, which is a far easier route for air than through the filter. Hence, the filter wasn’t doing diddly. Not sure why anyone would install this, but I guess the previous owner may never have checked, or felt that any filter was better than nothing (not true if no filtering is going on!).

Adapter to allow the more common 5

I fitted this $5 adapter, which allows the far more common 5″ air cleaners to be used on the smaller carb. Once it was in place I lowered, with the help of six assistants, the sparkly monstrosity seen at the top of the page into place, and the car is now being fed filtered air. (I don’t think airflow to the carb is going to be a problem.)

In other SD1 news, the previous owner never hooked a vacuum line to the vacuum-powered climate controls after doing the carb conversion. (Twiddling the levers controlling heat and what-not did nothing, oddly enough.) I put a “T” into the vacuum line from the carb to the distributor and they’re sorta working again. The vacuum line from the base of the carb may be “ported” vacuum, though, when what ideally would be needed would be “manifold” vacuum. Now that I type this, the line to the brake booster has to be manifold vacuum, and that’s where I should get the feed from. Duh.

I have got to get the inlet manifold gasket changed, it’s leaking oil and water at a prodigious rate. Have the new one sitting on the bench, maybe I’ll be able to find some time this weekend.

1 Comment

  1. Kevin Teabag

    Actually, I don’t think the chrome air cleaner looks all that bad. Certainly better than the Chevy S-10 air cleaner that was on before. I do hope you resist the temptation to put a “Kal Kustom” sticker on it. Otherwise, I kinda like the bling.


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