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Servicing a Scimitar

Updated: May 7, 2022


The mk1 Reliant Scimitar

Mk1 Reliant Scimitar
Mk1 Reliant scimitar

This Mk1 Reliant Scimitar was brought in for a service and inspection having been converted from the original 3.0 Ford v6 to 3.5 rover v8. This in my opinion was an excellent idea, the rover v8 only weighs slightly more than the Ford v6. This despite having 2 extra pistons is thanks to its all aluminium construction over the fords cast iron construction. Combine that with the extra power of the v8 and there isn’t really a down side. Plus who doesn’t love a v8.

Scimitar rear brake strip down
Scimitar rear brake strip down

Starting at the back the rear brake shoes were in good shape. The wheel cylinders also looked pretty new. All that was needed was a slight adjustment to bring the trailing ends of the shoes closer to the drums. This assures maximum surface contact, efficiency and even wearing.

Scimitar front brake check
Scimitar front brake check

Front brakes were also in good shape. Disks and pads are wearing evenly. Just a clean up of the old brake dust was needed. Bearings and bushes are also checked at this point. Bushes were fine with no movement but there was a small amount of lateral movement detected in the front wheel bearings. This was not enough to warrant changing them at this stage.

Ball joints are also regreased while the wheels are off.

With the under tray removed the oil and filter can be changed. The customer has been notified of the leaking into the under tray. This is more than likely coming from the rear crank oil seal.

A simple job like changing the spark plugs was surprisingly difficult due to the size of the engine that has been shoehorned into a car it wasn’t meant for. The best access was through the inner wings.

Its not easy to see from this picture but wobbling the steering knuckle revealed a significant amount of play between the column and the knuckle. This is due to an electric power steering column that has been retrofitted using an in known mix match of parts. A similar problem is also found further up the column inside the car. These 2 combined account for the vague steering experienced on the test drive.

In an ideal world new parts would be fitted in order for the column to fit snugly inside the knuckle. Unfortunately not knowing what parts were used for the conversion this wasn’t possible. In order to make this set up work material would have to be added to the column in the form of welds. These will be ground back until a snug fitment is achieved.

Steering bolted back together and solid.

Last up on this one was a leaking master cylinder.

This was an easy enough fix. The fluid pot unbolts from inside and then 2 rubber o rings were replaced before re fitting.


Another nice one to work on. 1 or 2 issues to be sorted at a later date but for now it’s back on the road. Hope to see it back in the workshop another day.


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