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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys

So after a year and a half of planning and accumulating parts, work has finally begun on putting the k turbo I bought in January in my ZR. Well at least I've started getting the engine ready to go in. Got the head off today ready to check liner heights and change all the gaskets. I'll be doing a light port and polish while it's off too but first I'm off to pick up the 1.8 gearbox I need as I've got a 1.4 at the minute. Once I've got that I'll be putting the ratios from the diesel box I got a while back in it along with some stronger caged bearings. Still got a few things to get like a standard spec turbo as the GT2871 I bought previously is a bit big for the current build but it will go on one day when I can afford a forged bottom end. I've also got to get hold of some PG1 driveshafts, gear linkages, starter motor and clutch kit, as well as stuff like intercooler and piping etc, a mapped ecu, afpr, boost contoller and a load of other smaller bits but for now I'm focussing on getting the engine in the car as space is at a premium at home.
This is a pic of the ZR that's getting the turbo, in the garden before we had 5 cars between 3 of us :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So I picked up the gearbox, the clutch arm is seized and it could do with a good clean but other than that it seems to be good. I also measured my liner heights and they are all less than 0.002" proud so not sure the MLS gasket would be the best route although they were all at the same heights and the engine had the MLS gasket on when I took it apart. I'll get to work cleaning up the head and block surfaces and double check the measurements once all the gunk is removed and go from there.
 

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Yeah keep posting, seeing an amazing build progress is inspiring for the rest of us.

On the clutch arm that's common (same as L series I think). Mine had a warm up and a little 3in1 oil which helped but I think the better fix is the upgraded arm with grease nipple, which you could diy if you have access to lathe drill tap etc. Maybe worth it with the effort you are putting in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the support guys :D. I got to work cleaning up the block and head surfaces today and the head was in rather good condition, no fire ring indentation and perfectly straight. I'll have to measure it to see if it's been skimmed before but if it hasn't it's done pretty damn well if it's the original! The block was a little worse off unfortunately, it cleaned up alright but there's slight pitting on the intake side between cylinders 2 and 3. It's definitely noticable when you run your finger over it but it's not deep so the proper thing to do would be to have the block skimmed which would also bring the liners up to above the block but would mean stripping the bottom end out which I don't have the space to do and really didn't want to do anyway so I'm thinking of using something like this https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wurth-Epoxy-Repair-Stick-Aluminium/dp/B006BZ5GS4 to get a flat surface and the put an elastomer gasket on. Hopefully it should last long enough for me to get my setup up and running, people have apparently been running heads repaired with it for several years with no issues and as we all know, people on the internet never lie. I'm planning on going forged in a year or 2 so I'll probably replace the block then anyway. Other than that, the pistons and liners seem to have no visible damage other than the piston faces being black but that's not unexpected on an engine of this age especially not when the old turbo was leaking oil like a sieve. I also managed to get the clutch arm moving at least with copious amounts of wd-40 and some taps from a hammer although it's stll pretty stiff so I'll look into that upgraded arm.

Head mostly cleaned up


Liners pretty much flush with the block


Block surface cleaned up


Close up of pitting
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So spent a couple of days taking gearboxes apart, the petrol box seems in good condition inside at least. The diesel one his some slight surface corrosion on one of the selector forks but that'll clean off easy enough and the gears all seem in good shape, the only bit that concerns me slightly is the rust where the driveshafts go. It's not so bad on the splines themselves but it's fairly gunked up on the bit that has the spirally bits cut into it (technical term I know). Hopefully I should be able to clean it up no problem though. Now I just need to get a new set of U spec bearings to put in the petrol bellhousing and replace the other bearings and seals and stick it all back together.
I'm picking the aluminium putty tomorrow so that should hopefully mean the engine will be near enough ready to go back together although I'm thinking of doing a light port and polish on the head while it's off so I'll likely do that while I'm waiting for the head gasket kit and gearbox bearings to arrive. Once all that's done I'll just need a clutch kit and the engine will be ready to go in although admittedly a fair way from starting up, you kinda need a starter motor for that among other things ;) .

Petrol box apart


Now to start on the diesel box


Diesel gears and diff


Both boxes apart. As mention previously, not much space!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you look up bodgery in the dictionary, it'll just have this picture.


That's the aluminum putty on and sanded perfectly flat (honest). I'm not expecting great things from it but hopefully it'll seal a bit better than it would have with the pitting. Either way I've ordered a head gasket/cambelt kit so that should be here by the end of the week so I'll pass the time by cleaning up the head and the VVC cross member I'd forgotten I'd bought a little while ago. I'm also trying to find a place that does cheap, decent quality steel caged bearings for the PG1, best I've found so far is all the bearings and seals for £180.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I de-rusted and painted the crossmember so that's another job done. I then set about taking the cam bearing ladder, cams and lifters off the head, there's a little bit of wear on the cam journals and the sides of the lifters but nothing too bad considering the mileage of the engine. I also test fitted the diesel shafts in the K series bell housing to see what bearings were the right size, the input shaft slotted straight in no problem but the output shaft bearing (the roller bearing) internal diameter was too small. The outer diameter was the same as the one in the diesel box so I'll just have to replace the one in the petrol box with a diesel one. I'll probably replace the input shaft bearing regardless as it's one of the one's that's prone to wear along with the diff bearings.

Painted crossmember.


Cam bearing ladder, cams and lifters set to one side.


Partially disassembled head.
 

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mg_zs
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Going GREAT guns! Fair play.


All I need for my build is the intercooler pipes and I`ll be throwing my turbo lump in. The costs just keep adding up don`t they? I noticed you didn`t mention brakes in your list, are you going to fit 160/180 discs and calipers? I bought a set of second hand calipers off a 180, stripped them down bare, rebuilt with a Big Red kit and painted them silver with VHT and bought a new set of drilled and grooved discs.


Regards the steel caged bearings, have you approached the legend that is MG John? That`s who I bought mine off.


Keep the updates coming, eagerly following. Good luck, with the build AND with the wife when she realises just how out of control the cost of the build has got!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the support Pilzy :D. I'm planning on going to a 160 brake setup once I can afford it but for now I'll just have to keep to the speed limits like I definitely already do... I won't be tracking the car so shouldn't be too bad as long as I'm fairly careful and besides I'll need some decent tyres first cos I hit ABS super early even with standard 105 brakes now because of the budget tyres that are on it. As for bearings I'm thinking of just reusing the most of the bearings from the diesel box once I've double checked they're good and just change the diff and bell housing input shaft bearings for new steel caged ones as they're fairly easy and cheap to get. I know what you mean about the costs adding up, I keep having to add things to my shopping list almost as fast as I cross things off. Fortunately no angry wife to worry about just a sorry looking bank balance :(. Good luck with your build, let me know how it goes.
 

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Another thing I remembered:


Are you uprating the flywheel and clutch? The recommendation I got was to go for a Freelander flywheel and a Borg & Beck HK6278 clutch, as they are better suited to handle the additional torque.
 

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There used to be a chap on Rovertech.net who was the guru on gearbox bearings. You may also have seen the PG1 guide on there, best I one I know.

I have a PG1 box on my maestro T16 tubby, the box was from my Maestro EFi and to be honest the gearing is too low, 1st is pointless, pick your ratios carefully.

The ZR160 brakes are the same as the ZS180, both will fit your car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm planning on using the regular size flywheel I got dirt cheap off an MGF 120 with either a stage 1 or 2 clutch depending on how money's looking when I get to it, hopefully should be sufficient for now. As for the gearbox, I'm planning on using the car for road trips and such so I wanted nice long cruiser gears hence going for the diesel gearset. A stock 160 ZR box would have me hitting 7000rpm in 5th at 137mph and, considering I've had 127 out of my 1.4 on the way through Germany, I figured I'd need more for a car with double the power. The diesel ratios put me at 191mph at the top of 5th so that should be plenty :D. A nice relaxed 2600rpm at 70mph should help fuel economy too as opposed to the 3600rpm I'd be at with the 160 box and the turbo should give it plenty of lower to mid range torque to get it going with the long ratios.
 

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It`s a real science isn`t it, selecting your gear set.


To be honest, I am completely uneducated in what, from your brief explanation above, is an extremely important part of the build. A chop and change box of mixed gear sets would seem to be the best way forward. I think a LOT of further research is called for.


Spent ALL weekend on my brakes. Bought a set of 180 calipers from a breaker for £50. Then bought the Big Red caliper refurb kit. My, what an absolute pleasure rear calipers are to work with!!! Errrrrrm..... NOT! Got the job done though and it do look very nice! I silver VHT painted/clear coated the parts of the discs not touched by the pads as I HATE rusty discs. Another step closer to BOOST!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah gear ratios are really important and obviously the optimal ones depend on what you're wanting to do with the car e.g. the box I'm putting together would be terrible for a race car even at long circuits as the ratios are far too long and hurt acceleration. I've got a spreadsheet that I put together to calculate speeds at certain RPMs and vice versa based on ratios which you're welcome to have a look at. It includes all the PG1 gearsets and final drives as well as a few other boxes' ratios. https://drive.google.com/file/d/17-O3uhfyG9EqAEa_K6nP-Ph9zgpambjg/view?usp=sharing

Good to hear you're making progress though, I've been caught up helping with my dad's car for the last week or so and then I'm away for a race at Spa for most of this week so my progress has sort of come to a halt. I should be able to get back into once I'm back next week and hopefully my HG kit will have arrived by then so I can start putting the engine back together. I should probably get round to ordering those gearbox bearings at some point too :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Been busy the last couple of weeks but just started to get back into it. Took the intake valves out today but it's crazy hot in the conservatory so couldn't spend too long in there. Should be able to get the rest of the valves out and get to work cleaning up the head by the end of the weekend hopefully.



 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
No pics today but I got the rest of the valves and valve seals out then cleaned up the head with some brake cleaner and the shower so I can get to work smoothing out the ports tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
After 3 days of dremmeling I've finally finished the "quick" clean up of the ports and combustion chambers of my head. As you can see it's by no means perfect but it's shinier and that's all that matters really :p. I'll be starting cleaning up my valves tomorrow as they're fairly gunked up with carbon and then I can put it all back together again.

Intake port before


And an exhaust port after cos following on is for losers :p


The other end of the intake before


And after


And an exhaust port before


And after


And the combustion chamber before


And after, nice and shiny :grin:
 
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