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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I recently acquired a 1997 Rover 414i and am uncertain if its performance is normal or not. I've done my research and unless I am mistaken the engine should produce 103bhp. First of all, does this sound right?

The problem, if it is a problem is this: When accelerating in first gear the car is most of the time very sluggish. When accelerating when already underway is not a problem. It seems that the car has very little pull while the RPM are less than 2000. Is this normal? I am used to drive a 1.2 Renault Clio 8V and that feels like a rocket in comparison. I do realize the weight of the cars is different, but I would expect 103bhp to cope well with the Rover's weight.

I don't know if this helps: The way I can describe how it feels is this: It's as if the engine has the potential to accelerate the car faster, but it just does not do it. Could it be something to do with electronic throttle management?

Thanks.
 

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other_manufacturer
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welcome to the forum.

it does indeed have 103bhp.

When was it last serviced? What is your fuel consumption like?

The K series enjoys being revved. You won't make any power until after 3k revs. Keep the gears low and the revs high and you have a totally different driving experience.
 

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I know just what you mean.

My father has a 414, and it has felt like that from new.

Remember that while the car does have 103hp, the max torque isn't reached until 4,500 rpm.
As you say it is a heavy car for the power- so has a relatively poor power to weight ratio, treat the old girl with a bit of respect and let her gain speed gracefully.
 

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Just floor it in 1st gear and she'll soon reward you with a bit of power. Not all engines are the same. While your 1.2 Clio felt quicker, mostly because it was a match box on wheels, it probably wasn't and would have probably started losing power higher up the rev range where the K series is just getting started.

Get her over 4,500 and she'll come on song. 1st gear to 6,000 rpm then to 2nd gear and same again and then tell us how it was.;)
 

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Nah - I'm with Ashy on this one,provided the car gets looked after, checked, topped up etc.

Warm up gently - then rev the nuts off it.
 

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There are a few 8v 414's knocking about... but they were a 'special edition' :wtf: whats so special about an 8v is beyond me. My 8v feels quick, but its a 200
 

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Hi Julian,

I have owned a couple of 214 SEi's with the same engine.I found them to be very good IF looked after.Water is your main concern,check it weekly.More often if temp ever goes over 1/2-2/3.Also they are sensitive to distributor caps & rotor arms,plugs as well - proper gap etc.Any corrosion will knock performance off.Pristine is best,check air filter also.If the exhaust has any blowing it will throw the fuelling out - normally gets worse.2nd & 3rd gear is were the urge comes in,1st is a bit short really.

Best regards, Steve.
 

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Have had a 414i for over 7 years (103 bhp).

Keep changing the oil and filter (6k), plugs + air filter (12k), distributor cap + rotor arm (25-30k). Check the water level reguarly !!!

Warm her up gently, then above 2000-2500k she should purrrrrr along with a punchy responsive engine.

Happy motoring
 

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Hi Julian,

I have owned a couple of 214 SEi's with the same engine.I found them to be very good IF looked after.Water is your main concern,check it weekly.More often if temp ever goes over 1/2-2/3.Also they are sensitive to distributor caps & rotor arms,plugs as well - proper gap etc.Any corrosion will knock performance off.
I agree, as well as the '96 414 we also have a '95 214 Si, and it is interesting to compare the two side by side.(HHR v R8)
The 414 is the most refined, but feels slower and is less fun. The R8 214 on the other hand is more responsive, has a better steering lock and with lighter steering is much more agile.
The R8 may be noisier and ride a bit harsher, but is the better car in my opinion.
 

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hurtful towards the car?
Nope, it's a revvy engine by design and has been put through rigorous design tests before it's was put into production. The K series will rev at 6,000 revs all day long without complaint.
People who travel everywhere under 3,000 revs, constantly change gear below that and labour the engine do more harm.
 

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I'l second that Ashy, mines normally run till around 6k in 1st before change, and usually runs at around 5.5k on dual carriageways etc, is a bit loud, buts its something to love about it!

I love the 3.5k 'kick' of the car! And the suprise 'a rover' brings to many people! Oh, mines an R8 214Sli btw, so i would assume it to be a lot lighter than your 400? (Also, whats the difference weight wise between Mk2/3?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks to all for the invaluable feedback.

I do like to keep the revs quite high, on any car for that matter, to keep it more responsive. My father keeps telling me to shift gears because for some reason he's uncomfortable with the higher revs. :)

I've come to the conclusion that the drawback is basically that the 1st gear ratio is too high and would have ideally been lower. This particulary applies for a country like Malta where we have no highways as such and high top speed (>120kph) is not a priority.

Thanks to all,
Cheers!
 

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Out of idle interest, I decided to "test" this high rev theory.

Yeah, it does shift something nicely - however isn't this going to drink the petrol something rotten?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just writing a follow up to my original post. I took the car for a service and was pleased to find out that the performance issue was due to a problem and not inherent to the car itself. Basically the mechanic told me that the distributor cap was barely attached and would have soon come off on it's own! Also he mentioned, if i remember correctly, some blocked or disconnected vent air hoses??? Anyway, I am now very happy with the performance.

Cheers!
Julian.
 
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