Rover K-Series Advice, Car Mechanics. by Roverite


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Roverite
The July edition of Car Mechanics magazine contained a 'Star' letter, relating to the K series head gasket failure problems, by a chap called Mike Humble. As the 1.8 75s & MGZTs are the most maligned in the R40 range and can often be bought for peanuts, I thought it worth relating his comments on here.

He states that alloy sumps were first introduced on the MGF, and MGR changed the cylinder block design to an 'open deck' type to accommodate the new liners for the larger 1.8 versions. This compromised block strength and resistance to flex under high torque loadings. This allowed the the head to 'shuffle'; the nylon dowels were also compromised and the silicone sealing beads were wiped out.

The excellent 'through head' bolt design was also compromised. The bolts end up threading into an oil ladder at the bottom of the internal block casting. By fitting a modified ladder, the flexing problem is dramatically reduced; it is made of aviation high tensile LM aluminium, which is over 25% more rigid under all engine temperatures.

The above modifications are currently used on the MGF and MG6, and has eliminated HGF (Head Gasket Failure). The parts are available from X-part and only adds about one hour to the job. Providing all the other checks are made, such as liner protrusion, head surface condition, cooling system, etc., it is a fit and forget modification.

He warns about avoiding cut-price options of uprated head sets, many from Asia. Go to a specialist who will fit the 'full' conversion.

I think this letter put the situation in a very concise way. Basically, do the full conversion and pay the higher price and you will be unlikely to ever have the problem again. The 1.8s scare people; yes there was an inherent design fault, but the problem is perpetuated by not doing the remedial work properly, this results in the owner experiencing ongoing problems.

Roverite.

Posted 26 Jun 2013, 08:24 #1 

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MrDoodles
That's good to know, as I've been thinking about buying a cheap MG TF to go with Ed for the Summer months and the only thing that was putting me off, was the 1.8 K Series! :)
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Posted 26 Jun 2013, 09:20 #2 

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Borg Warner
When I had mine replaced some 3 years ago now I had to push the so-called MG garage expert to replace the oil ladder as well; all he wanted to do was the actual head gasket (mind you when I suffered FFS he insisted on replacing the the entire unit and put it in incorrectly - twice?). The IMG failed 2 years ago but I caught that in time and so-far so-good.

Go on Mark you know you want to. Make sure the coolant pipes front to rear are sound and in stainless steel, all the tyres are good, as I think they are (or were) difficult to get with the correct speed rating? There's a good section on .ORG but I'm sure you know that anyway and the MGOC are starting to look after them as well. You can't take it with you.

Gary M.

Posted 26 Jun 2013, 16:59 #3 

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Trebor
Hi Colin, this is also a good article which i came across a while ago

http://www.fisher-services.co.uk/mgf-he ... rticle.htm
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Posted 26 Jun 2013, 17:13 #4 

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MrDoodles
Borg Warner wrote:Go on Mark you know you want to. Make sure the coolant pipes front to rear are sound and in stainless steel, all the tyres are good, as I think they are (or were) difficult to get with the correct speed rating? There's a good section on .ORG but I'm sure you know that anyway and the MGOC are starting to look after them as well. You can't take it with you.


The only thing I'll be leaving behind Gary are debts! ;) :lol:
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Posted 26 Jun 2013, 18:59 #5 

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Trebor
MrDoodles wrote:
Borg Warner wrote:Go on Mark you know you want to. Make sure the coolant pipes front to rear are sound and in stainless steel, all the tyres are good, as I think they are (or were) difficult to get with the correct speed rating? There's a good section on .ORG but I'm sure you know that anyway and the MGOC are starting to look after them as well. You can't take it with you.


The only thing I'll be leaving behind Gary are debts! ;) :lol:


And you can take them with you !
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Planning is an unnatural process, much better to just get on with things, that way failure comes as a complete surprise instead of being preceeded by a period of worry and doubt

Posted 26 Jun 2013, 19:01 #6 

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Roverite
Trebor wrote:Hi Colin, this is also a good article which i came across a while ago

http://www.fisher-services.co.uk/mgf-he ... rticle.htm


That is fantastic and certainly gives more detail than my original quote from Car Mechanics.

Perhaps this should be put into the How To section (if its not already there), so that prospective owners can see how easy it is to effect a cure. It may also help to keep more 1.8s on the road and away from the scrap yards. With a few mods like this, the 1.8 now looks like a real bargain.

Roverite.

Posted 27 Jun 2013, 12:38 #7 


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