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Rover 800 820 825 827 Coupe Window Cable Replacement

Rover 800 820 825 827 Coupe Window Cable Replacement
Rover 800 820 825 827 Coupe Window Cable Replacement

Car: 1999 Rover 800 825 V6 Coupe (no.2)

Colour: Zircon Silver

After many years of owning standard Rover 200's and 400's with window glass that could come lose and fall out of position at any time they were operated (and usually when it was pouring down with rain too!) it was never going to come as a surprise to us, that the pillarless glass on the Rover 800 and 200 coupes might develop a problem of some sort at some stage!

The Rover 400 we had, would have this problem regularly, and it seemed that many other Rover 200/400 owners were having the same problem too. The glass was held in place on these smaller Rovers, by two small plastic clamps full of adhesive, but once the adhesive failed, there was nothing that would glue them back in place and keep them there, Rover's answer was to purchase new glass each time! After trying every sort of adhesive we could obtain (some of which would hold slightly longer than others, but all of which would fail), eventually we found that using some industrial strength aviation glue did the trick, and once used, the solution was permanent! (Ha Ha, no replacement glass for us then).

By the time we came to have a problem with a Rover 200 coupe window cable snapping, again we found the replacements from Rover were so expensive, it would hardly make economical sense for us to replace the cable on the car. Fortunately after dismantling the door and removing the window, we quickly realised that we could fix the cable with some new cable off a pedal bike! The only problem was the brake/gear cable (I can't remember now, which of these it was) off a pedal bike would not be long enough! Thankfully we quickly worked out the cable off a tandem bike would be! So after a trip to the local bike shop just 5 minutes away, we had a very cheap replacement cable!

The brake/gear cable even had ends on it so that it could simply be inserted very easily into the correct locations on the car window, although the other ends of the wire we would have to cut to length and make our own ends for. After a couple of failed attempts at rewinding the 220 Coupe windows correctly for it to work, and also, after we had purchased the final cable in the bike shop, we had managed to fix our first coupe window successfully. Some time shortly after the other window cable snapped, but by now we knew exactly how to fix it!

So (a few years later) when a low mileage 1999 Rover 800 Coupe, identical to the one I already owned came up for sale, with the only known problem being an unworking passenger side widow, I quickly bought it, hoping we could keep the two matching cars, by selling the fastback.

After purchasing the car I suspected and even said, 'I bet there is some wood in the door', so it was no surprise to find some! It appears that this was the mechanics solution at fixing the window, but when the alternative is a pillarless glass that will drop at anytime the button is pressed, it did make a little bit of sense!

Anyway now we had the car, meant that we could try and fix it! Although it was obvious that the cable we needed this time would have to be a bit thicker than bike cable we had used in the past! Fortunately we were able to acquire a length of wire just long enough at the time, although it was only going to be enough for 1 attempt!!!

The cable we had acquired was the same thickness, but was wound together in a different way to the original window cable and was therefore nowhere near as flexible, fortunately though it was flexible enough to be able to use it.

It was only now I have finally come to write this window cable replacement up, that we have remembered just how difficult this was to try and do!

Rover 800 820 825 827 Coupe Window Cable Replacement
Just as I suspected! ...Removing the door panel revealed more wood than a Morris Minor Traveller! (and a snapped cable!)

Rover 800 820 825 827 Coupe Window Cable Replacement
The door mirror was removed and the top section of the door (with the glass and runners attached) was unbolted, and simply lifted out.

Rover 800 820 825 827 Coupe Window Cable Replacement
This is where the bung is located in the Rover 800 Coupes (and similar can be found in the Rover 200 coupes) that stops them rattling when the window is wound fully down. The trouble is this is the bung that causes the glass to get scratched!
The rubber bung is stuck to a piece of metal, which rusts over time, and as it rusts, it gets permanently closer to the moving glass, the closer it gets, the worse the scratches then get, because any dirt or grit on it can reach the window as it is powered up or down.
In the past, I have slid a long sharp blade down the side of the glass on the coupe doors and sliced the front face off! This might cause the window to rattle slightly but at least it stops the glass from getting scratched.
While the window was out I made sure this one was trimmed too, as it was much easier than when the glass is in place.

Rover 800 820 825 827 Coupe Window Cable Replacement
It's always a good idea to take a photo of things before you take them apart. Although because the cable had snapped I could not photo which cable was supposed to cross the other cable in the middle of the window frame.

Rover 800 820 825 827 Coupe Window Cable Replacement
This photo only shows the hole into which 1 of the cables goes to the motor, as the other had snapped and the parts were just loose within the passenger door.

Rover 800 820 825 827 Coupe Window Cable Replacement
The window was able to move on its frame, but the cable could not be released as it was clamped by the window brackets.
(We drew around them with marker, in case this would help setting them back later).
We had to cut one of the bolts in the brackets to remove it. (The bracket on left in photo). That was a difficult and time consuming process!

Rover 800 820 825 827 Coupe Window Cable Replacement
Now we just had to match up some cable. We had about three different samples, but only 1 was anywhere near the original cable width and so even though it was not quite as flexible we had to opt for it.

Rover 800 820 825 827 Coupe Window Cable Replacement
Using bike cables on Rover 200 Coupe window glass, meant that we had end pieces already fitted to the wires, but with the 800 coupe we were going to have to improvise! We would simply use the insides of the most appropriate sized terminal strips we could find! Now we had some new cable we could finally attempt a repair! (Although this amount of cable was going not going to allow for much error!)

Rover 800 820 825 827 Coupe Window Cable Replacement
We first had to try and confirm which of the other holes on the motor that the broken cable had come out of!

Rover 800 820 825 827 Coupe Window Cable Replacement
We removed the front plate off the motor to reveal the cable appeared to be messed up and was somehow going in and the wrong way around the spool!

Rover 800 820 825 827 Coupe Window Cable Replacement
The spool was removed revealing the entangled mess! The old cable was well and truly mangled. In fact it had also done a bit of damage to the plastic spool and housing.
The rough bits of plastic were cut off and the channels in the spool were made neat again with needle files.

Rover 800 820 825 827 Coupe Window Cable Replacement
We cut the wire we had into 2 pieces each was just a bit longer than those that had been removed, yet we had to get this right, because there was only enough for the two lengths! To get the new wires into the spool, only required small cable ends, and so we really had to do some filing of the brass terminal strips! The screws were tightened up and the screw heads were cut off, so that the new cable ends would fit into the spool correctly.
They were then soldered to the cable to provide a bit of additional strength.

Rover 800 820 825 827 Coupe Window Cable Replacement
The cables were wound onto the spool. At this stage we were guessing how much to wind on from each cable and wound on about the same from each, using up as many of the spool tracks as possible. (We could not photo this as it was tricky enough to hold the cables ono the spool, and push the spool into the housing to be able to have any free hands!)

Rover 800 820 825 827 Coupe Window Cable Replacement
We still did not know which cable should pass over which cable, but went ahead with this way.
Because we had put a bit of each wire around the spool we had the glass up the track a little, not knowing if it would be right!

Rover 800 820 825 827 Coupe Window Cable Replacement
We had fitted more (filed) electrical connectors to the cable so that they fit in the window bracket. The cables were kept long for adjustments as it was some years since we had repaired a 200 Coupe window, and could not remember any of what was correct or not.
We then flipped the motor over to its normal position.

Rover 800 820 825 827 Coupe Window Cable Replacement
The only way to find out if it worked was to try it, so we fitted it back in the door, and although it went up, we could hear a problem when we tried to lower it a little, so we just left it up and decided to call it a day!

The next day we removed it from the car again, I am not sure if we had to change the way the cables crossed each other, but we had to rewind the spool. The wire had again tangled a little! Rather than cut it, we straightened it as best we could, so that we would get extra attempts if we needed them!

The next fitting was just as difficult but the tension on the springs seemed to be getting better. But still that cable went bad.
(The difficulty was we did not know what both original lengths should be, but knowing 1 of them did help, and this was marked in marker on that cable).
We decided that we should wind 1 cable fully onto the spool with the window in either the fully open or fully closed position (this was all done a couple of years ago and I am not sure whether the window was up or down), this would stop the extra strain we were causing on the cable, because the glass would reach it's stop point before the spool runs out of cable.

It worked, but rather than just cut the ends off the cable, we took the thing apart once more! This allowed us to remove the small slightly damaged cable from around the spool by cutting the excess off from this end. (had we cut it any earlier, we would not of ended up with fresh undamaged cable on the spool).

So we had to make another end stop for the fresh spool end of the cable, then move the end stop at the other end by the amount we had cut off the cable. (The cable had been only just long enough for our trial and error attempts!).
Then after fitting it all back in the door, and with the fresher cable around the spool, and spring tensions all suitably set up, the window had a lease of new life.

Cable snips were then used just to trim off the excess cable from the window bracket, and the door panel and fittings were all put back in place.
Not only was the window working, but because the rubber bung in the door had been trimmed, the glass won't get scratched now either!

Much as it took such a while to find this matching coupe and much as I wanted to keep this car, it was only sold, as we really did need to keep the Fastback for its practicality. (Even though the Fastback had twice the mileage and was in need of many parts replacing (you can see all the work we did on that, this was all after selling this coupe!), the following few months proved we had kept it for the right reasons, and even though it has cost a lot to maintain the fastback since then replacing many parts for new ones, it will never be as good as this coupe was).


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