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I've got the chance of a 1994 825 turbo diesel for £300. It seems to be in pretty good nick mechanically (159k on the clock) and all the electrics seem ok. The wiper mechanism needs sorting - the owner says that a balljoint in the linkage has come adrift. The interior is alright, apart from some warping on the dashboard (common I believe).

The worst areas are the wheel arches - the rears will need tidying up but will survive, sills are OK at the moment and so is the floorpan. The front wings have corrosion in both wheelarches but as the wings bolt off/on this does not worry me. I am also pretty handy with the MIG welder and spray gun so small body jobs will be alright.

However, as I am not too familiar with the 800 or the VM diesel engine, what should I be looking out for? All advice gratefully received.

PS - current owner seems like a genuine guy and has not attempted to hide any faults on the car.
 

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I never thought there was that many of them about. A chap I used to work with picked up a very late model just before they stopped making the 800. It was a T plate!

He still owns it and although he's not said much to me about it I don't remember any problems. What does VM stand for?
 

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VM is the Italian company that makes the engine for diesel 800s. The 2.4 version was used in the Rover SD1 2400 SD Turbo, as well as some Range Rovers in the 80s (before Land Rover's TDi unit came out). You'll find the same 2.5 as in the 800 in Ford Granada/Scorpios and also Jeep Cherokees.

I think it's supposed to be a pretty good engine without major faults. It has 4 separate head gaskets (and if one goes you have to change them all) which can be expensive, so if I was looking to buy one I'd check carefully for HG condition.

They're not that common in Rovers, but if you found a Range Rover or Ford Granada messageboard (do such things exist?!?) maybe people there could give you the run down.
 
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Thanks - the gaskets seem OK and there is no oil in water or vice versa. I plan to go back saturday for a second look just to make sure it is worth doing.

VM engine not withstanding, what do people reckon of the facelifted 800 in general? My impression is that it is not as robust overall as the 200/400 of the same vintage.
 

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Richard Moss said:
My impression is that it is not as robust overall as the 200/400 of the same vintage.

Mechanically I think they're pretty robust, certainly with the Honda 2.7 they are, can't really speak for the 2.5D but I've never heard anything bad about them.

But for some reason they tend to look tatty very easily, maybe the cars ended up in the hands of people that didn't look after them but there are few really nice examples still around.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Sorry, I should have said "electrically and trim wise they don't seem so robust".

It needs a bit of work on the body (front wings) but seems like a decent bet otherwise - climate control, electric seats, electric everything (all works!) etc. for £300.

Now, main problem is getting it from Chesterfield to Wolverhampton.
 

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for 300 quid, why would you bother tidying it up? you cant see the rough wheel arches from the inside! jsut buy it, drive it into the ground (or for a year, whichever comes first) and then sell it on or scrap it.

consider though, that i got a 96 mk1 mondeo td for 400, with no faults and a1 bodywork.. okay, it didnt have aircon, but ive never really needed it.. it's what you want really, dont worry if you miss this one; there'll be another (there was an 825D in my local auctions last night, N reg 95/96.. i think it went for 150 quid. chrome grill was really rusty but otherwise it seemed okay)
 
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Discussion Starter #10
I may well pass up on this one - but have the chance of a similar aged 820 with A/C and a better body/interior for £150. Mot'd, too.
 
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parsec said:
Go for an 827 manual :hyper:

85mph in second gear :dddc:
nice idea but the urban fuel bill will be a crippler!

It's only intended as a runabout to replace our very nice (but left hand drive) 414.
 

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I also believe that the VM 2.4 TD engine made it into a few Alfa Romeo's (155 I think). I believe it was originally intended as a marine engine, but not 100% sure on that. For a diesel engine and for it's time, it was actually quite good, and once the turbo kicked in it really started motoring along. It's most distinguishing feature (IMO) is the Turbo.... beautiful and at the perfect volume to turn heads but not be annoyingly loud over a journey.

My dad had one in his SD1 and it rarely gave any trouble. Towards the turn of the millenium the SD1 had rotted so engine was removed and car scrapped. Stripped it down, got new gaskets, valve springs, etc., from Ford, and put it into a newer SD1 which had very little rust. It was very easy to get it running again, only took 2 starting attempts (wiring wasn't done properly yet so no heat-up cycle for the glow plugs - but was middle of summer so not too bad). However 6 months later car met concrete bollard and that was the end of that. Although, to be fair, car was still driveable and engine ran fine although the radiator wasn't best pleased.
 

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Yes, the VM engine was originally a marine engine, pretty weird design, seperate cylinder heads......


Doesn't mean the heads are that relaible, as a Jeep owner might tell you ;)
 

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What I can say about 800's as against 200's, 400's and 600's is that in the late 90's, and early 00's when buying a used one, you would get the delaer to give you a warranty, normally one of those aftermarket jobbies you see advertised in various price guides etc.

Now, the price you pay on these, depending upon car, can have a multiplication factor, the more unreliable the car, the higher the factor. 800's were in the high section and actually mentioned specifically on the warranty sheet as high risk, basically you paid an awful lot more and got less warranty cover! Drw from that what you will.

As for the 2.5 VM unit, an awful lot of 'P' reg 800 825d taxi's used to go around Aberdeen, until about a year ago, and I remember trying to catch one going to Knockhill in a Belmont Sri (Not something I admit to freely, for obvious reasons) and I shan't mention the speeds, but there's nowt wrong with the performance of 825d's!!

CAM.
 
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