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MG ZT, Rover 25
5,787 Posts
K-series engine oil leak – cam end oil seal replacement

I really thought the bad oil leak was coming from a head-gasket failure, but there was not the usual loss of coolant associated with HGF on the K-series.


Looking much closer I saw an accumulation of oil under the distributor (the distributor was replaced by a cover plate on later coil pack engines).


On removing it, it was clear the cam end seal was leaking oil.


The other end seals showed no signs of leakage. On the 214 they are behind the cam belt sprockets on the lhs (as you see it when working on it from the front) of the engine and behind the distributor and a metal cover plate on the rhs. The ones on the lhs are more difficult as you need to remover the cam belt and sprockets to get to them – best to time their replacement with a cam belt change if you can!


To repair (rhs):

1) Remove air cleaner top cover.
2) Remove the cover plate or distributor (at the rear on older models).
3) If seal shows signs of leaking, carefully screw in 2 small self-tapping screws opposite each other into rubber and pull seal out using pliers.


4) Clean oil and residue off components and the spill area and check sealing surfaces for damage.
5) Place the seal into the recess with the lip inner. Note that the seals are different on the rhs and lhs of the engine. The rhs seals are brown and lhs black.
6) Used a 30mm socket (or similar) and a rubber hammer to drift the seal into place. Compare position with the other fitted seal if you are not sure.


7) Refit the cover plate or distributor.

8) Start engine and check for leaks after running a while.

To repair (lhs):
Same as above but the timing cover, belt, sprockets need to be removed and correctly aligned and replaced. You will need to refer to another guide for details of this noting that refitting the timing components correctly is critical to avoid engine damage.

1,087 Posts
Great guide - followed this and changed the gearbox end seals on mine in a half hour today. :)

It's well worth noting that it is easier at the gearbox end to remove the upper and lower airbox to improve access at this end...


44 Posts
This is a very interesting read; thanks.

I've a issue with some oil leakage on my R25 and this guide will be of some use.

Have you any experience with changing the seals at the L.H.S? If so, what, if any, special tools are required? I'm thinking, if the Cam Drive Sprockets need to come off, I'll need some kind of service tool?


1 Posts
timing end camshaft seals

Service tools are required to get the timing belt off, one is a flywheel lock, the other is he standard cam gear lock used for these engines.

The DIY method to loosen the cam pulley bolts is to loosen then SLIGHTLY once the 2 locks are in place before undoing anything. This uses the OLD belt to maintain tension so it's OK to stretch it backwards as you're replacing it.

Then when reassembling, use the old blt wrapped around the pulleys to hold them in place while torquing up the pulley bolts. They aren't too tight so this works fine, check you manual but IIRC it's something like 45 Nm. REMEMBER to use Locktite on the pulley bolts.
BUT if you've never done a timing belt on these engines before then DO NOT START on this.

Once the pulley bolts are torqued up then it's just a small matter of replacing the timing belt. LOL
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