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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I've got a project that consists of putting a Rover K-Series in a Lada. It might work, it might not, but that's by the by for now.

I bought a Rover 25 with a log book that states it had a 1.4 engine. However, the car is a Rover 25 modified to look like an MG ZR, and has a lovely 1.6 K-Series under the bonnet. Well, it did until it came out on Saturday!

The previous owner didn't do the conversion on this car, so wasn't really able to say whether or not it was just a normal 1.6 K-Series engine. But there has been various things done to the car (Such as the MG ZR bodykit, half leather seats from a Streetwise, BMW/Mercedes rear view mirror, cut springs etc) I think some magic has been done to the engine as well.

The most noticeable thing on the engine is that there is a little rod that comes out of the back of the engine on the intake cam side. From what I know this is most likely from a K-Series that had a distributor fitted to it. From what I've read though, I didn't think the 1.6 K-Series ever came out as anything other than an injection engine? Certainly this engine right now is set up for electronic injection with no distributor.

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Before I took the head off (I will try and find photos of it if I can, otherwise on Saturday I'll take them when I'm prepping the engine for storage) I noticed that the cam gears have GKN and the old Austin Rover badge stamped on both of them. This didn't seem odd to me, but I've seen since that some K-Series engines don't have either stamps on them. What's more, I found somewhere (although I can't remember where now) the measurements for the 1.6 lobes and I did a rough measurement and mine don't match up to the 1.6 lobes that I had the measurement for. On top of that, the numbers printed on the cams didn't match numbers expected on a 1.6. But, importantly, there was no indication that these were Piper cams or anything fancy.

Obviously this post would benefit from photos of the cams and I'll get them on Saturday. Part of me feels that this is an "old" engine, maybe one of the first 1.6's released. Or it's a mix of bits. So I thought I'd ask you guys if you knew of Rover cars with the 1.6 K Series that had a distributor so I can learn more about the engine. Or hell, you might even know the people who put it together? The reg is KU51 UFC.

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Cheers!
 

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'06 ZR +120 (HQM) '04 ZR 105 (IAB)
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Your Rover 25 would have originally been fitted with an electronic ignition type (non-distributor) K series.

The distributor is for the ignition system and is nothing to do with the fuel which is as you say an electronic fuel injection system. The protruding shaft is for the distributor and dates the engine to before 1999 and may be from either a Rover 'bubble' 200 or 400 or an MGF. The engines made from 1999 onwards and fitted to the 25 and 45 (and later to the ZR and ZS), late MGF and TF had electronic ignition via two coilpacks mounted on top of the spark plugs for cylinder one and cylinder three. It was thus what is referred to as a 'wasted spark' system as two cylinders recieve a spark at the same time, but one is on its induction/compression stroke, and the other on its power/exhaust stroke so only one fires and so one spark is 'wasted'.

The number cast onto the camshafts is the part number for the cast blanks as they were recieved from Federal-Mogul. They were then machined at Longbridge. The only way to know what they are is to measure the valve 'lift'.

The factory fit cam sprockets were always manufactured by GKN.

I would guess it is probably either just a pre-1999 distributor ignition engine from an earlier car which has been transplanted and fitted with the later cam carrier (to accomodate the coil pack arrangement) or it is a later 'wasted spark' type engine which has had the cylinder head replaced with one from an earlier car - either way it is not ideal as the cylinde head and camshaft carrier were machined as one piece (ie. clamped together) so fitting a cam carrier that is off a different means that the cam journal may not be a perfect match, which may lead to premature wear.

Good luck with the Lada conversion (I am surprised there are any Ladas left, as most of the decent ones used to get bought up by Russian sailors whose ships put in to UK ports, and the cars were taken back to Russia (the UK importer used to dismantle the new cars and rebuild and respray them before sale to UK customers, so they were actually better built than those sold in Russia, and therefore commanded a significant price premium when returned home).
 

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97 BRG MGF. 2009 SKODA SUPERB.
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521 Posts
Your Rover 25 would have originally been fitted with an electronic ignition type (non-distributor) K series.

The distributor is for the ignition system and is nothing to do with the fuel which is as you say an electronic fuel injection system. The protruding shaft is for the distributor and dates the engine to before 1999 and may be from either a Rover 'bubble' 200 or 400 or an MGF. The engines made from 1999 onwards and fitted to the 25 and 45 (and later to the ZR and ZS), late MGF and TF had electronic ignition via two coilpacks mounted on top of the spark plugs for cylinder one and cylinder three. It was thus what is referred to as a 'wasted spark' system as two cylinders recieve a spark at the same time, but one is on its induction/compression stroke, and the other on its power/exhaust stroke so only one fires and so one spark is 'wasted'.

The number cast onto the camshafts is the part number for the cast blanks as they were recieved from Federal-Mogul. They were then machined at Longbridge. The only way to know what they are is to measure the valve 'lift'.

The factory fit cam sprockets were always manufactured by GKN.

I would guess it is probably either just a pre-1999 distributor ignition engine from an earlier car which has been transplanted and fitted with the later cam carrier (to accomodate the coil pack arrangement) or it is a later 'wasted spark' type engine which has had the cylinder head replaced with one from an earlier car - either way it is not ideal as the cylinde head and camshaft carrier were machined as one piece (ie. clamped together) so fitting a cam carrier that is off a different means that the cam journal may not be a perfect match, which may lead to premature wear.

Good luck with the Lada conversion (I am surprised there are any Ladas left, as most of the decent ones used to get bought up by Russian sailors whose ships put in to UK ports, and the cars were taken back to Russia (the UK importer used to dismantle the new cars and rebuild and respray them before sale to UK customers, so they were actually better built than those sold in Russia, and therefore commanded a significant price premium when returned home).
Man in the Car your knowledge about Rover/MG cars amazes me. Respect. Regards. D4KGP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Your Rover 25 would have originally been fitted with an electronic ignition type (non-distributor) K series.

The distributor is for the ignition system and is nothing to do with the fuel which is as you say an electronic fuel injection system. The protruding shaft is for the distributor and dates the engine to before 1999 and may be from either a Rover 'bubble' 200 or 400 or an MGF. The engines made from 1999 onwards and fitted to the 25 and 45 (and later to the ZR and ZS), late MGF and TF had electronic ignition via two coilpacks mounted on top of the spark plugs for cylinder one and cylinder three. It was thus what is referred to as a 'wasted spark' system as two cylinders recieve a spark at the same time, but one is on its induction/compression stroke, and the other on its power/exhaust stroke so only one fires and so one spark is 'wasted'.

The number cast onto the camshafts is the part number for the cast blanks as they were recieved from Federal-Mogul. They were then machined at Longbridge. The only way to know what they are is to measure the valve 'lift'.

The factory fit cam sprockets were always manufactured by GKN.

I would guess it is probably either just a pre-1999 distributor ignition engine from an earlier car which has been transplanted and fitted with the later cam carrier (to accomodate the coil pack arrangement) or it is a later 'wasted spark' type engine which has had the cylinder head replaced with one from an earlier car - either way it is not ideal as the cylinde head and camshaft carrier were machined as one piece (ie. clamped together) so fitting a cam carrier that is off a different means that the cam journal may not be a perfect match, which may lead to premature wear.

Good luck with the Lada conversion (I am surprised there are any Ladas left, as most of the decent ones used to get bought up by Russian sailors whose ships put in to UK ports, and the cars were taken back to Russia (the UK importer used to dismantle the new cars and rebuild and respray them before sale to UK customers, so they were actually better built than those sold in Russia, and therefore commanded a significant price premium when returned home).
Thanks for this.

I took the rocker cover off and had a look at the numbers, I've got them written down somewhere but not to hand now. However both cams had numbers ending in something like "K16..1.4" - I'm assuming the cams themselves are from a 1.4 engine. The engine is now in storage, and with everything I've got going on I won't look to even getting the engine fitted until next year now (losing my garage for the rest of the year while we have an extension built - hopefully). If it fits then I'll look to rebuild it and get the most from it.

As for the Lada, right hand drive ones of my one are like hens teeth. This one I bought in London for £700 and was originally from Lithuania. Given the paperwork I have for it, it last got a Lithuanian MOT was in 1997, and it's been in the UK since at least 1998. It was since bought and sold twice before I got it, none of them bothered to register it until I got it. First thing I did was that, and when I mentioned on the Lada group that I had done it someone offered me £1,500 for it, even though the brakes are shot, clutch is gone, and there are two gaping holes in the floor on the driver and passenger side. The K series isn't too dissimilar in size from the original Lada lump (think from memory the K-Series is slightly smaller), it's just a question of a gearbox going on to it. Could obviously go for a Type 9, but I may try and source a gearbox (or two) from the FSO Polonez as they had the 1.4 K-Series from the factory. I've a Mazda MX5 gearbox in the garage which is first preference. *** packet maths indicate that the clutch plate is the same near enough size that the K-Series has anyway, spigot bearing is it's own issue. But that's for future me to deliberate when it comes time.
 
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