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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Pre 1995 the K series engine supposedly diddn't have head gasket problems - my parents 1993 214 got to 85k miles and no signs of HGF, my friends 1990 214 got to 120k miles and no sign of HGF. Both of these had the METAL inlet manifold and NEVER EVER in their life lost ANY coolant what so ever. The bonnet on my parents was lifted once maybe twice a year.

Now the plastic inlet manifold from 1995 has a crappy gasket, as most of you know. They leak coolant. I know loads that are leaking it. My dads 1998 416 at 42k miles has just started leaking and lost practicly all coolant in 3 weeks. NOW its only because I check the coolant regularly that I picked up on this and topped it up, had I have been "most other people" then I think that it would have ended up overheating and end in HEAD GASKET FAILURE

I mean seriously you cant expect little old lady down the road to check her coolant level every few weeks can you? Infact I dont know anyone who checks under the bonnet as much as me.

Take a look on ebay at the MK2 Rover 214 1989-1995 - the ones that supposedly do not suffer from HGF. WELL I have noticed that actually some of the old MK2 214's have had HGF and there are actually quite a few on there at the moment with HGF or has recently had the head gasket replaced. BUT these tend to be the 1995 models fitted with the PLASTIC INLET MANIFOLD, particularly the SEI versions as they all tend to be 1995's fitted with plastic inlet manifolds. Practicly NONE of the 214's fitted with the METAL inlet manifold mention anything about head gasket failure at all. And lots have done 120k miles or more.
 

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that is a plausible explanation for HGF but what about the ones which got HGF but with no leaking inlet manifold?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
that is a plausible explanation for HGF but what about the ones which got HGF but with no leaking inlet manifold?
Same as any other engine really. Im not saying that every HGF is down to the inlet manifold leaking. But I certainly think a lot of them are down to this, wheather the owner knows this or not.
 

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Same as any other engine really. Im not saying that every HGF is down to the inlet manifold leaking. But I certainly think a lot of them are down to this, wheather the owner knows this or not.
Mine was. Coolant loss with no sign of HGF/leaks/misfiring or anything. Turns out it was going into NO 3 cylinder due to failed inlet manifold. HGF became apparent within weeks of havinbg it fixed.
 

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Pre 1995 the K series engine supposedly diddn't have head gasket problems - my parents 1993 214 got to 85k miles and no signs of HGF, my friends 1990 214 got to 120k miles and no sign of HGF. Both of these had the METAL inlet manifold and NEVER EVER in their life lost ANY coolant what so ever. The bonnet on my parents was lifted once maybe twice a year.

Now the plastic inlet manifold from 1995 has a crappy gasket, as most of you know. They leak coolant. I know loads that are leaking it. My dads 1998 416 at 42k miles has just started leaking and lost practicly all coolant in 3 weeks. NOW its only because I check the coolant regularly that I picked up on this and topped it up, had I have been "most other people" then I think that it would have ended up overheating and end in HEAD GASKET FAILURE

I mean seriously you cant expect little old lady down the road to check her coolant level every few weeks can you? Infact I dont know anyone who checks under the bonnet as much as me.

Take a look on ebay at the MK2 Rover 214 1989-1995 - the ones that supposedly do not suffer from HGF. WELL I have noticed that actually some of the old MK2 214's have had HGF and there are actually quite a few on there at the moment with HGF or has recently had the head gasket replaced. BUT these tend to be the 1995 models fitted with the PLASTIC INLET MANIFOLD, particularly the SEI versions as they all tend to be 1995's fitted with plastic inlet manifolds. Practicly NONE of the 214's fitted with the METAL inlet manifold mention anything about head gasket failure at all. And lots have done 120k miles or more.
Early model MPI's (Plastic manifold) were prone to the inlet manifold leaking coolant, as a rule into the cylinders. other than a very small coolant loss the other obvious sign of this would be poor cold starting/idling as this leaking coolant would cause a miss-fire, however once the engine warmed up a little the gasket expanded and sealed the leak thus giving no other obvious signs of failure.

MG-R modified this gasket in later years and eliminated the problem (the original gasket was black, the newer modified one Green).

It's fair to say some HGFs could have been caused by the gradual coolant loss etc, but it is not 'THE' cause of HGF in the K-series, sadly.
 

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The plastic inlet manifold WAS fitted to the earlier engines in the R8.

As above, there were problems with the manifold leaking, but the engine block was different back then and not the fully floating wet liner bodge up they changed it to post 1995/1996 to enable larger capacities of 1600 and 1800.

I have seen several R8's go to well over 100K, with plastic manifolds and the earlier engine block.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
but it is not 'THE' cause of HGF in the K-series, sadly.
I think its one of the causes though. But the main cause is that the head gasket itself I think which is absolutely crap. I mean its the worst head gasket I have ever come across. The LR MLS gasket should sort it completely I reckon.
 

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i have a 95 r8 214 with 80k and still on the original hg, it has a plastic manifold which has had a new gasket because it was leaking, it lost nearly all coolant over night. i noticed the puddle on the drive.

if it had been more subtle then ,maybe i wouldnt have noticed and would have had hgf.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
i have any 95 r8 214 with 80k and still on the original hg, it has a plastic manifold which has had a new gasket because it was leaking, it lost nearly all coolant over night. i noticed the puddle on the drive.

if it had been more subtle then ,maybe i wouldnt have noticed and would have had hgf.
That is exactly the type of thing im talking about. It only takes someone to not check the coolant, or not know thats its lost its coolant and then chances are its gunna get HGF.
 

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The gasket is not the best.

However, the cooling system design, in particular surrounding the thermostat is dross. Thermal cycling, localised boiling, air locks which knacker the beading, etc, etc.

If you look under the bonnet of a car with the later PRT thermostat layout, it looks like something off scrap heap challenge. Not sure how well it works.

Also, when they gutted the engine into a full floating wet liner design, the block seemed to become too flexible, hence the change of ladder with the LR gasket in 2005.

One big mess basically. Lack of testing and lack of localised management will to acknowedge the problem and sort it made the engine, into the joke it is today.

I was somewhere recently with an experienced, respected Elise guy and one of the K series powered Elises blew up. "K series, otherwise known as a grenade the guy joked".
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Im still convinced that any K series - MK1 or MK2 block, if fitted with the good old metal inlet manifold OR possibly the new gasket fitted to the plastic ones, with the new LR MLS head gasket and oil rail and steel dowles would completely solve the head gasket issues.

Infact my grandad has been doing experiments on head gaskets. Its actually quite simple - the old head gasket can not withstand heat and the orange beeding just comes away from the surface - the new multi layer steel head gasket can with stand far far greater temperatures due to the design and materials used.
 

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Im still convinced that any K series - MK1 or MK2 block, if fitted with the good old metal inlet manifold OR possibly the new gasket fitted to the plastic ones, with the new LR MLS head gasket and oil rail and steel dowles would completely solve the head gasket issues.
Not so sadly, you are still only treating the symptom, not the cause!, also this new LR gasket is very new on the market, so only time will tell if it does help.

Have a read of this>> http://www.mgf.ultimatemg.com/group2/common_problems/hgf_pages/why_do_hgfs.htm
 

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Im still convinced that any K series - MK1 or MK2 block, if fitted with the good old metal inlet manifold OR possibly the new gasket fitted to the plastic ones, with the new LR MLS head gasket and oil rail and steel dowles would completely solve the head gasket issues.

Infact my grandad has been doing experiments on head gaskets. Its actually quite simple - the old head gasket can not withstand heat and the orange beeding just comes away from the surface - the new multi layer steel head gasket can with stand far far greater temperatures due to the design and materials used.
Have you given any consideration to the fact that MGR mucked about with the castings and caused thousands of flawed engines to be put together somewhere around 2002 with soft blocks and heads?

What about the fact that some engines from factory had liners which are out of spec for the LR gasket in terms of deck height and adjacent stand proud??

What about the liners which are known to move about and sometimes drop on some engines rendering them out of spec for the LR gasket when measured for repair.

What about the LR gasket in terms of longetivity?? It has not been around that long to be fully tested and how do we know it will cope with the inherent design issues with the K series - thermal cycling, localised boiling, etc.

How convinced. . . . .are you and on what basis?

The early K series was a very good engine. Strong enough, reliable, offering good performance and economy.

The post 1995/1996 changes ruined its reputation and turned it into a joke.
 

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Out of interest, I was working on a T series this weekend in a 1998 420.

What a good engine that turned into.

I know they are long stroke and this means they are poor on emissions and fuel efficiency, but they offer really nice performance in terms of torque and mid range, together with seemingly unburstable reliability.

Yes, it has a couple of oil leaks in places that you may not find on some of the German stuff (sump and cam covers), but even so, it was a bloody good
engine and is silent, barely even run in at 70K.

Given the choice between a T series and a K, I would choose the T series every time as it is so dependable.

I guarantee that a semi-looked after, post 1996 T series would get to over 150K without ever having the head off and would offer low servicing costs over this period as all you would be doing is routine maintenance, plus a couple of cam cover oil seals and thermostat here and there.
 

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Have you given any consideration to the fact that MGR mucked about with the castings and caused thousands of flawed engines to be put together somewhere around 2002 with soft blocks and heads?
Which may explain the VERY high failure of early TF's.... 20-30K miles seems to be about the norm...... thats if you are lucky!. :mad:
 

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Im still convinced that any K series - MK1 or MK2 block, if fitted with the good old metal inlet manifold OR possibly the new gasket fitted to the plastic ones, with the new LR MLS head gasket and oil rail and steel dowles would completely solve the head gasket issues.

Infact my grandad has been doing experiments on head gaskets. Its actually quite simple - the old head gasket can not withstand heat and the orange beeding just comes away from the surface - the new multi layer steel head gasket can with stand far far greater temperatures due to the design and materials used.
Whats the first thing that your average mechanic does as they raise the bonnet to check the oil or do some other form work? They lean on the mainfold. This can cause the unbraced plastic manifold to flex and lose the squeeze on the already lightly squeezed green inlet gasket seal. The brass bushings fitted to the plastic inlet manifold eventually creep out under bolt tension too, and may require filling down to be flush with the manifold face before reassembly of the manifold to the head.
 

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Which may explain the VERY high failure of early TF's.... 20-30K miles seems to be about the norm...... thats if you are lucky!. :mad:
Yep. :(

An alarming amount of cars produced in 2002 and early 2003 karked it at very low mileages, incl turbos.

There is a thread with Dr Dave doing a 52 plate 160 on here at a very low mileage.

Repeat failures very common with these as the physical castings were mucked about with in an attempt to save doe. Seemingly little testing done to see impact of these changes and production continued meaning thousands of naff motors out the gates :(

Heads and blocks very easily become scrap with these = big bills!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Have you given any consideration to the fact that MGR mucked about with the castings and caused thousands of flawed engines to be put together somewhere around 2002 with soft blocks and heads?

What about the fact that some engines from factory had liners which are out of spec for the LR gasket in terms of deck height and adjacent stand proud??

What about the liners which are known to move about and sometimes drop on some engines rendering them out of spec for the LR gasket when measured for repair.

What about the LR gasket in terms of longetivity?? It has not been around that long to be fully tested and how do we know it will cope with the inherent design issues with the K series - thermal cycling, localised boiling, etc.

How convinced. . . . .are you and on what basis?

The early K series was a very good engine. Strong enough, reliable, offering good performance and economy.

The post 1995/1996 changes ruined its reputation and turned it into a joke.
Ok Im not going to tell you you are wrong, you maybe correct. There could well be some flaws. I have never heard of anyone with liner problems though. Apart from when they have sunk due to severe overheating.

My point is, that the new LR multi layer steel head gasket, and pritty much any other manufacturers head gasket for that matter, needs a lot more heat and abuse for it to fail than that crap one fitted to the k series with its perthetic orange beeding.
 
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