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Old 8th March 2009, 00:00   #1
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Rover 75 Conn SE V6 / MG ZT 260 SE V8 / MG ZT 180 SE V6

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Default Project Drive - Illustrated

Some interesting reading for those that didn’t already know:

“Drive” was a major project within MG Rover Group to significantly “improve their competitiveness” (i.e.) save them money at build by deleting or standardising various items of the car in line with the rest of the vehicle range.

It was first introduced from November 2000 on the Rover 25 & 45, but didn’t start to affect the Rover 75 & ZT until mid January 2001.

Below is a detailed list (in order of introduction) itemising what changes / deletions were carried out on our cars, the date of introduction is quoted as well as the first affected VIN number.

This information was taken from MG Rover’s Technical Workshop Manual, and where possible I have attempted to illustrate the affected change points

1) 15th January 2001 / from VIN 205081 – 75 only
Leather handbrake grip replaced by plastic grip on Rover 75 Classic & Club models

2) 29th January 2001 / from VIN 206392 – 75 only
Bottom coolant hose heat sleeve deletion on 1.8 engine versions only

3) February 2001 / from VIN 205371 – 75 only
The Cigar lighter pop out unit was replaced with a Rover 45 type
(Original on left, replacement on right)

4) 8th March 2001 / from VIN 206814 – 75 & ZT
The VIN plate on all models was changed to include model definition, and smoke rating (diesel only). The style was also changed to include the new company name

5) 26th March 2001 / from VIN 208804 – 75 only
The D post badge was deleted from the D post finishers.

5a) Sometime around 27th April 2001 / from approx VIN 209690 – 75 only
The leather headrests found in the Connoisseur/SE models lost the Rover Viking logo previously embossed into them.

6) 4th May 2001 / from VIN 218882 – 75 only
The plastic front seat belt lower anchorage bolt head cap at base of BC post was deleted

7) 7th May 2001 / from VIN 215291 – KV6 engine 75 only
The high pressure PAS fluid sensor & pipe assembly were deleted. The sensor was no longer required due to a recent re-design to reduce fluid system pressure. The system operates at a maximum 80 bar, the pressure was originally 100 bar.

8) 14th May 2001 / from VIN 215035 – 75 only
The leather style manual gear knobs on Classic & Club models were replaced with the plastic type knob similar to Rover 45 but with reduced gloss finish

9) Unknown Date & VIN – All Derivatives
The unlock button on the car’s key fob was changed from the Rover symbol to a blank generic type

10) 4th June 2001 / from VIN 218712 – 75 only
The boot badge was deleted and replaced with a modified chrome number plate plinth incorporating a small Viking badge

11) 11th June 2001 / from VIN 219627 (approx) – 75 only
The forward catalyst exhaust system heat shield was deleted on 1.8 & KV6 engines

12) 21st June 2001 / from VIN 218712 – 75 only
The self adhesive engine derivative badges (torpedo badges) were deleted from the front door lower finishers

13) 1st July 2001 / from VIN 225237 – 75 only
Sun visor change in specification:
Classic model visors were changed to PVC material.
Club models had the illuminated mirror units, originally fitted as standard, deleted and replaced with non illuminated units – unless requested as an option at build.

14) 13th July 2001 / from VIN 214656 – 75 only
Vehicles which originally had 205/65 R15 size tyres specified, were subsequently fitted with 195/65 R15 ones.

15) 6th August 2001 / from VIN 223061 – 75 TOURER only
The spare wheel cover circular stowage area lid was deleted

16) 3rd September 2001 / from VIN 226529 – 75 & ZT
The original moulded type door reflectors (fitted to all doors) was replaced with new flexible self-adhesive type reflectors.

17) 17th September 2001 / 75 and ZT
The tool kit jack was originally fitted with a handle grip, this was then deleted.

18) 21st October 2001 / from VIN 233774 – 75 & ZT
The original 3 separate labels were replaced by 1 single label incorporating air conditioning, coolant and engine specification information

19) 5th November 2001 / from VIN 234500 – 75 Diesel Auto
The original transmission oil cooler was of the ‘air blast’ design (uses a radiator & cooling fan, wheel arch located). These components were replaced with a fluid type oil cooler.

20) 5th November 2001 / from VIN 235722 – 75 & ZT
The original engine oil cooler has been replaced with a re-designed fluid type cooler. This new cooler could not be fitted retrospectively to earlier engines.

21) 14th November 2001 / from VIN 235915 – 75 & ZT
The rear lamp access panels were deleted and the moulded luggage compartment trim modified.

22) 19th November 2001 / from VIN 235526 – 75 only
The rear parcel shelf sound insulation was deleted. To prevent noise transmission into the vehicle, dynamic absorbers were fitted to the rear dampers (as per the MG ZT)

23) 3rd December 2001 / from VIN 238547 – 75 only
The real wood dashboard fascia was replaced by a wood effect plastic fascia

The picture below is the real wood dash, notice it has the word 'AIRBAG' written in gold lettering onto the wood, and the air vents sit flush to the wood.

and this is the plastic version, it is identifiable by having an 'Airbag' recessed badge instead of the gold lettering, also there is a noticeable gap around each air vent.

24) 10th December 2001 / from VIN 240702 – 75 & ZT
On vehicles fitted with Symphony / High-Line ICE systems, an AM/FM ‘Diversity’ amplifier was located in the passenger side ‘D’ post. This unit was subsequently replaced with the Harmony Non ‘Diversity’ unit, and the rear screen glass spec was changed from part number CQB000220 (full coax) to CQB000350 (single coax). In addition, the IF diversity cable linking the amplifier in the ‘D’ post to the tuner was removed from the wiring harness. So from this point on, all cars only use one FM element from the rear screen instead of a choice of three.

24a) Unknown Date & VIN – 75
The original leather style vehicle document wallet underwent a subtle change from having 'Rover 75' embossed on the inside flap, to having a blank flap without it.

In addition, some time later, the leather wallet was replaced by a thin translucent plastic pouch.

25) 7th January 2002 / from VIN 241521 – Diesel only
On diesel derivatives only the following exhaust changes were made:

Forward exhaust section – The silencer immediately behind the converter has been deleted. The pipe section behind the deleted silencer was originally double skin, this was subsequently changed to single skin.

Rear exhaust section – The long pipe section forward of the rear silencer was also changed from double skin to single skin. The rear silencer was then modified and the internal ‘interleaf’ construction was deleted, externally the rear exhaust section appears the same.

26) 4th March 2002 / from VIN 249425 – 75 & ZT
The driver's grab handle was deleted from all derivatives and replaced with 2 blanking plugs.

27) 4th March 2002 / from VIN 250641 – 75 Diesel saloon with 16” & 17” wheels
The ‘Butile’ sound absorbent material was deleted from the rear parcel shelf. On vehicles with 16” & 17” wheels a ‘Dynamic Absorber’ was then required to reduce transmitted road noise to an acceptable level. This Dynamic Absorber was fitted to the base of the rear suspension dampers. In addition, all ZT models had the Dynamic Absorber fitted.

28) 18th March 2002 / from VIN 251971 – All KV6 engine vehicles
The power steering pump acoustic cover was deleted (part number QVX100082)

29) 8th April 2002 / from VIN 253427 – 75 Classic/SE & Club/SE
The trim piping on the fabric versions of the headrests were deleted.

30) 6th May 2002 / from VIN 255987 – 75 & ZT
All vehicles were fitted with re-shaped (shallower) door mirrors as per the Rover 25/45 style.

31) 23rd May 2002 / from VIN 252351 – ZT only
Originally, the rear brake discs were vented on all ZT derivatives. From the change point indicated, for the ZT entry model (160Ps) only, they were subsequently re-specified to solid rear brake discs.

32) June 2002 – Rover 75 saloon 1.8 petrol & 2.0 diesel only
The rear anti-roll bar assembly ‘A’ in the picture was deleted from the above vehicles.

To enable the same high standards of ride quality to be maintained following this deletion, the following design changes were made to provide greater roll control:

The standard saloon rear subframe bushes were replaced with a new bush that was common to both saloon & tourer. The new subframe had stiffer mounting bushes ‘B’ in the picture, and the standard rear road springs ‘C’ were replaced with uprated springs.

33) 5th August 2002 / from VIN 264921 – 75 & ZT Tourer only
The tailgate latch plastic finisher was deleted.

34) 2nd September 2002 / from VIN 267855 – 75 & ZT Diesel only
The fuel burning heater was deleted as standard fit on all diesels after this date. It was subsequently offered as a line fit or aftermarket option only.

However to simplify fitment, the original cooling hoses and fuel lines were retained and built with bypass hoses and end caps to enable easy conversion if required.

35) 2nd September 2002 / from VIN 266128 – ZT only
The body colour side finishers and lower body colour number plate finisher, was replaced by chrome finishers as per Rover 75. The body colour finishers could still be requested as a line fit option when placing the vehicle order.

36) 2nd September 2002 / from VIN 268228 – 75 & ZT
From the above VIN, the right hand (high tone) horn, part number YEB101130 was deleted

37) 23rd September 2002 / from VIN 269854 – 27 1.8 petrol only
The engine undertray and fixings were deleted on 1.8 petrol models only.

38) 7th October 2002 / from VIN 270369 – All Models
From the above change point, the spare wheel was replaced with the ITR – Instant Tyre Repair kit.

The kit consisted:
Eye protection spectacles
Wheel nut cover removal tool (if applicable)
Locking wheel nut removal tool (if applicable)
Towing eye
Housing for above shaped to fit redundant spare wheel recess.
No Jack was included.

39) 7th October 2002 / from VIN 270482 – 75 Club models only
Up to the change point quoted, all club models featured ATC as standard. From the change point, only Club SE models would be fitted with ATC.

Club models would then on be fitted with manual air conditioning similar to that fitted to Classic SE models, but would include ‘dual’ zone temperature control dials.

39a) October 2002 / from VIN 271838– All Derivatives
The bonnet release 'claw' mechanism was replaced with the conventional MG Rover 'stick your hand in' release catch.

40) 30th October 2002 / from VIN 274483 – 75 & ZT with KV6 engine
From the above VIN’s, the original ‘Bremi’ remote coils have been progressively replaced with ‘Champion’ plug top coils (one coil per cylinder)

Condition before change point:
6 Bremi ignition coils used. 3 bremi direct coils used on the right-hand (rear) bank of cylinders.

3 further Bremi coils attached to the inlet manifold supply the left-hand (front) bank of cylinders remotely via conventional H.T leads.

Condition after change point:
6 ‘Champion’ plug top ignition coils are used. These coils are arranged directly on top of the spark plugs and therefore do not need H.T leads.

These new coils function in exactly the same way as the previous coils using approximately the same peak primary current but with a shorter dwell time.

As with the previous Bremi coils fitted to the rear bank of pre change point engines, no connection can be made to the H.T outlet or spark plug connector for diagnostic purposes.

41) 6th November 2002 / from VIN 274575 – ZT only
The alloy wheel centre caps fitted, were changed to plastic ones.

Plastic on the left, alloy on the right

42) 11th November 2002 / from VIN 275024 – 75 & ZT
The drivers side plenum drain tube (ECX100081) was replaced with a sealing grommet, the passenger side drain tube remained unaltered.

43) 14th November 2002 / from VIN 271850 – 75 & ZT Tourer
The tailgate remote switch situated on the lower A post on all tourers was deleted, and replaced with a blanking plug.

44) 4th December 2002 / from VIN 277641 – All models
The tourer toolkit stowage for the spare wheel / ITR, was replaced with the saloon semi-circular version situated in the spare wheel well.

In addition, the tourer under floor storage tray was deleted.

45) 13th January 2003 / from VIN 279607 – 75 & ZT
The body coloured door mirror caps originally fitted to the base spec ZT & Rover 75 Classic, were replaced by black caps.

46) 15th January 2003 / from VIN 279844 – 75 & ZT
From the above change point, a new airbag DCU was fitted. The supplier changed from Temic to Autoliv, and the connector housing and pin out configuration changed.

The new connector was located to the right side of the centre tunnel with wiring harness secured to the left, also the earth point was relocated to the DCU mounting.

47) 15th January 2003 / from VIN 279844 – 75 & ZT
From this date the main wiring harness on all models was redesigned to incorporate the body harness.

In addition, the original passenger compartment fuse box was replaced with a hard wired modular type fuse box.
The fuse box changes included:
Deletion of separate fuse box component from harness.
Deletion of satellite fuse holders dependant on options.
Deletion of fuse box harness connectors (to back & front of fuse box)
New fuse design, changed from standard blade type to mini type.
New spare fuse holder and fuse remover.
New microtype relays replace the previous larger F4 type.

Deletion of internal diode for reverse polarity warning – the diode was thus incorporated into the harness (situated within the bulk-head protector)
Deletion of the cigar lighter relay, feed now had to come directly from the battery via fuse 3 (15 amp) in the passenger compartment fuse box.

A new accessory link lead kit, part number VUB003120, was made available to connect various accessories to the new fuse box. The kit consisted of 2 link leads which connected to fuse box terminals & an additional lead with an earth eyelet. This allowed mini fuses to be added to the spare fuse positions in the passenger compartment fuse box.

All 3 link leads had the same type of terminal as used on current accessories therefore the current procedure of de-pinning the three way & re-pinning into single housings was carried over.

The side impact sensor style was changed at this time also, the connector colour was altered to blue with the sensor being changed to orange. In addition, the location of these sensors was changed, they were relocated to the inner sill with one facing forward, and the other facing rearward.

A new throttle position sensor was fitted to a re-designed pedal box. The harness connector was visually different.

Finally, from this change point, any redundant connectors resulting from previous component deletions were removed i.e right hand horn connector, A post tailgate release connector etc.

That is as far as I can go with regard to Project Drive, I’m sure there were other modifications beyond January 2003, such as the deletion of the Velour door rubber, and substitution with an all rubber version, but sadly I have no further details - perhaps others can help?.

Last edited by Reebs; 17th December 2013 at 22:13.. Reason: Updated
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