RoverP5.com Review: Rover 3 & 3.5 Litre Workshop Manual Saloon and Coupe. This is an essential book for anyone who owns a Rover P5 or P5B. The manual provides an in-depth guide to working on both the Rover P5 and P5B, from changing a bulb to rebuilding the engine.
Here we’re reviewing the current version of the manual, available below. This is actually a re-print of the original factory manual, which brings advantages and disadvantages.
Firstly, the level of detail is truly impressive. The manual is A4 format and is printed in black and white, with detailed line drawings and text showing the key steps. This is all divided into sections (Engine, Transmission, Brakes, Electrics etc.) which makes finding what you want easy. Practically everything is covered in great detail.
There are a few downsides. The current version of the manual has been reprinted at half original size, with two pages on one page (the factory versions were full size, obviously). This makes some of the diagrams quite small. The best solution to this is to buy the Parts Catalogue as well, as the diagrams in that are much larger and clearer, with fantastic detail of each part (we’ll review this shortly).
Being printed two-pages to one-page also means that the manual needs to be read ‘sideways’ with the spine at the top, which makes it a little awkward to read, but this doesn’t detract from the invaluable content. The alternative would have been to re-print the whole thing full size, but then it would be too heavy to be usable.
Another niggle worth mentioning is that the manual is split into a main section for the Rover P5, then a separate addendum for the Rover P5B which just covers the areas that are different to the P5. The factory manual was split in the same way, so we can’t blame the publishers for this. It means that sometimes you need to flip between two different sections, but it is made clear what applies to which cars.
There are also a few errors that were never fixed. Only a few, and they have been corrected on the Rover P5 Forum, but worth keeping in mind as you use it.
You could seek-out an original print of the manual. These do appear on eBay, but are quite often well-worn. You need to be sure you get the right version and possibly combination of manuals for your car. This isn’t always easy. There’s also the problem that many original manuals will be workshop-soiled, and sometimes the binding comes loose, making using them very problematic.
Originally Rover published a ‘Rover 3 Litre Workshop Manual’, which was for the P5. There were multiple updates as the car changed through its lifetime. When the P5B launched, Rover created a separate ‘Rover 3.5 Litre Workshop Manual Supplement Saloon and Coupe’, which was to be used in addition to the most recent 3 Litre manual. This means that depending on what car you had, you may have needed a combination of manuals.
Versions of the Rover Workshop Manual for the Rover P5 (3 Litre) and P5B (3.5 Litre).
If you have a P5B, no third-party manuals are available or were produced when the car was on sale, and none have been printed since. I assume the anticipated sales didn’t make the effort worth it.
If you have a P5, then you could buy a used aftermarket manual – there were manuals offered by Autobooks, Autopress Ltd and Pearsons. These are no longer in print, but sometimes they’re available on eBay. However, they don’t have the level of detail the reviewed version contains. You may also struggle to find a copy in good condition, as they have been out of print for some time.
3rd-Party Workshop Manuals for the Rover P5 (3 Litre).
Assuming you want a new print, then there is no alternative to buying the version of the manual that we’ve reviewed here. A few downsides, but overall this really is the best workshop manual if you own a Rover P5 or P5B.