Rover SD1 V8 Trike.

The "Beast"

 Big intro before the pictures. Scroll down when bored! (Click on any picture to enlarge).

Where do I start?
In late 1997, After driving / riding a "Back-to-Front" Trike, I decided it was
"A Good Thing". 
I decided to build another.
Two wheels at the front and one at the rear was great for handling.
I've always loved the V8 sound so a Rover V8 it would be.
My first thought was how difficult the front suspension set-up would be to fabricate.
Many kit cars were being built round Cortina Mk3 / Mk4 front ends.
Crossmember, wishbones, springs, steering rack all in one lump.
Off to every scrapyard I could think of. No joy at all.
The Man says, "What about that Manta over there? Thats similar".
Into the back of the car it goes along with..... "I've got a set of Manta Alloys if you're interested"....
Rover SD1 V8 with freshly rebuilt engine bought from Worksop.
"It's so cheap mate 'cos the back axle's falling out and there's no electrics".

Drove it back to my old works where I had been given some free space.
Wanders all over the road, no lights or instruments or anything really......

Just that sound......

It begins......

You don't know what you're in for!  

I had an idea about the rear drive. I'd been thinking about bevel boxes and the like
but decided to keep it simple. (I thought). A friend had a Sierra diff' which I could
weld solid. I would then use one output for chain drive and on the other side, some
kind of brake. "I'll take that caliper with me as well. Cheers!"
How long does it need to be?   

  Quality measuring !

This big ! Room for two. That'll be a short propshaft to be made then.
Original Stainless steel manifolds and system sold on.
More compact Rover P5B manifolds fitted.
No thoughts on back suspension yet. Must start thinking...... 


I can always make the chassis a bit long and shorten it later.
Front springs were too soft so temporary wood blocks were used for height.
Out with the welder.


Sorry about the beard. They were all the rage you know........


Made up some front engine mounts by removing a slice out of the Rover originals.
Made gearbox mounts and welded them in. No thoughts on back suspension yet.
I used the old SD1 gear lever and shortened the connecting linkage.
Mounts were made for the diff.


The Steering was made from a Metro steering column.
From the downward bits, a rod moved forwards / backwards then,
via a lever under the sump, out to the original trackrod ends.


Loads of work. Rear caliper tried on.
Propshaft made by wrapping loads of tape round the front of the Rover shaft then,
sliding over it, the rear of the Sierra prop and welding round. When taken for balancing,
the language was ....... er ...... foul. They were not impressed. Worked though. *smug*.

The fuel tank was made from a Calor gas tank with a Capri filler neck welded in.
Despite washing out many times with fairy liquid and the like, some gas was
trapped in the seams. It was released while finishing off with a bit of vigorous
angle-grinding. Spark + gas = Temporary deafness, one missing eyebrow,
half a missing beard. Bugger! *Not smug*.

Not looking a bad place to sit. Added rear uprights.


Had a brake disc made to match the original size. Made mounting for rear caliper.
I'm thinking the rear drive and rear brake will need some outer bearings.


Made underslung radiator support and side supports.


Fabricated a battery tray for a battery I already had.
It was from a Fiat 126 so I hoped it would be OK.
Had a sit. Thought "What about rear suspension"?


Fitted the seat uprights and simplified the fuel supply system.
The donor car was a VandenPlas with fuel computer.
Rover V8 Auto: Do you really need a computer to know it's using loooooads


Bits 'n' bobs. Seat cushions and backs made from ply.
2 Sherpa downpipes and Ford Capri V6 Exhaust modified and fitted.


Fiat 126 battery fitted.....sorry's going to be a hard life.


Yamaha RD350LC switchgear is purchased and from a scrapyard,
some kind of aluminium external electric box. 7 core cable from a local trailer shop
some trailer lights and a couple of Citroen 2cv headlights.
Switches are stripped and all connections are soldered.


2CV lights are only temporary units for the MOT to be replaced with fibreglass kit car ones.

At Last! I decided on what to do for rear suspension!
Because I did not have access to a lathe (or know how to use one), I had a local engineering
firm make up a rear hub to accept the third Manta alloy. It was fitted with massive bearings.
The hub also carried the rear sprocket. Must get some springs though......


Carried on with the wiring. Nice clean job. Bought a vertical Metro brake servo.
Made bracket to fit it and finally got round to welding the diff' up.
Bought Honda CB250N handlebar clamps.


Wiring almost complete. Decided on two Reliant suspension units for the rear.
They were just a little leaky (said the seller). I bought two new damper units though.


Not sure about top mounts for the two suspension units,
I decided they would look better parallel to the swing arm. 


This massively increased leverage on them. Shiiiiite! They squashed to almost shut.
Rather than re-do all the work, I had a couple of much stronger springs wound for the job.
Expense = Bad for my head.  


Fitted footrest supports and made tops from ally checquer plate.
Foamed and Covered seats. Finished wiring.
Tried all wiring to make sure it was up to MOT standard.
Put some petrol in. The fuel pump started.
The engine fired into life. I sat and listened to it for a few minutes and it seemed OK.
Bled the brakes......errrrrrm......
I'll just give it a little try out.
Started first time. warmed up a little. popped into Drive.
Brakes off......Blip the throttle......

That'll do nicely then.
Put some air in the tyres and off to a pre-booked MOT. Straight there, no deviations allowed.
I had to go via home to stamp the vin number on. I suppose I should have taken the punch to
work but Oh deary me, I forgot......


Passed first time! Back to the workshop by a much longer route.
Now to make it look better.
Stripped everything apart. primed and painted with 2 pack paint.
Every nut and bolt replaced with stainless ones. (Letters ground off all heads and polished).
I was given some "spare" 3 inch polished stainless tubing.
Exhausts altered. The trike was never going to be subtle.
It was now on the Excessively Loud side of Obnoxious!......Perfect!.




Lights finally arrived and were modified and fitted.
I added a couple of Lucas driving lights I had.


Bought some tax......Tricycle.
Finally sprayed the Fuel tank. I left it 'till last to avoid any scratches
as it was close to all the wiring etc.
(To tell the truth, I was shitting myself going near it to
grind off the lettering after the "Beard" incident).

Finally on the road with it's older brother, the "Ex" R2.


These Images are LARGE !

Hope you enjoyed your visit !