The Facelift

Part way through it's production, the 600 was facelifted with a number of changes - the most important of which was as a result of tightening emission regulation.

Wasting the spark...

The wasted spark ignition system introduced mid 90's on the rover 600 series replaced the more traditional distributer based system on the pre facelift or mk1 models.

The original mk1 distributor based system used the traditional system of distributor cap, rotor arm and single coil fired from the ECU which took signals from the crank and cam sensors to control the ignition.

With wasted spark the physical distribution of spark was removed and replaced with a double coilpack which fires a spark on both the compression and exhaust stroke of the engine, wasting one of the sparks. This system is simpler and all electronic.

It is generally considered Rover tweeked the ECU maps on wasted spark cars for emissions reasons to produce marginally less power than their distributer based counterparts - although it is accepted that any changes are very small with rover still claiming the same bhp and torque figures.

Apart from the obvious changes to the ignition system and the different ECU, wasted spark engines had a slightly different wiring loom with no provision for a cam sensor and batch injection rather than sequential. The engine loom to body loom also used different connectors. The camshafts had no spigots for distributor or cam sensor drives while the carriers remained the same and the holes were blanked off.

Cool as standard...

The only other visible changes to the engine are between those models with and without air-con. Apart from the condenser unit, pipework, additional wiring and relays the metal thermostat housing was replaced with a special pipe with bleedscrew which contained the thermostat held in place with a pipe clip. The alternator was also changed for a different type and relocated. Facelift models came equipped with a/c as standard.

Ch ch ch changes...

A number of other changes were made between the mk1 (distributor) and mk2 (wasted spark) models which include:

  • Radio display clock
  • Door Pocket Cup holders
  • Type B differential
  • Upgraded differential seals
  • Different crank sensor
  • Klinger head gasket
  • Colour coordinated plastic trim
  • Key symbol on dash dials
  • Headlight adjuster
  • High level brake light
  • Leather armrest
  • Removal of radio cover
  • Aircon available as standard
  • Removal of electric driver seat adjuster
  • Centre rear seat reel belt & rear headrests
  • Different exhaust flanges/catalytic converter
  • Radio central locking replacing Infra Red system

As a cost saving drive across all models, later cars shared the same manifold as the NASP T series engine embossed with "injection" instead of "turbo". The entire 600 range was rebadged as "600" instead of denoting the engine size/model type such as "618" "620" etc.

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