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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,
I have just signed up to the forum and I hope you don't mind me asking for some expert opinion on a Rover 75 a mechanic friend is selling that I am very tempted by? I have never actually owned a car and am not mechanical but I love of the history of these cars. I know they're getting old now so I'm thinking this might be the time to go for it if I am ever to have a good one before they become really scarce and problematic.. Car details:

W Reg Cowley-built, 1.8 K-series engine Club edition. 51,000 miles. Zircon silver, grey velour interior. (Pics below).
-Excellent condition body and interior
-One owner from new, full service history. Owner has turned 90 and too old to drive now hence sale via his neighbour. Kept in garaged for most of its life.
-Head gasket replaced at 41,000 miles
-Cam belt and clutch also replaced in past.
-MoT passed last week with two advisories on a suspension ball joint and tyre which will be fixed.
-Cam belt they say will also be replaced with a service being done next week at the same time.

Im happy their asking a fair price I am just anxious of the head gasket going again. Not sure if its a good thing it's gone and been replaced or if they are just as liable to go again (I know this is a hot topic having read other threads)!? The receipt of the replacement carried out in 2011 for £580 says:
"Head sent to specialist for repair:
-Refit cyl head using new gaskets and head bolts
-Refill cooling system with antifreeze mix
-Change engine oil filter".
'Water pump'
is also listed on the list of costs.
I'm afraid I don't know any more about what spec the new gaskets were but does this sound a good repair?

I live in Bristol and know there is a good MG Rover specialist up in Brislington I have spoken to who I could take it to for a service/ parts if things go wrong. Would very much appreciate people's thoughts on whether I can expect any other issues or if you think should be relatively trouble free?
Many thanks!
Tim
Tire Wheel Automotive parking light Car Automotive side marker light
Car Vehicle Speedometer Gear shift White
 

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The car looks good in the pictures.

Don't worry too much about head gasket failure. Keep a keen eye on the coolant level, and if you notice it start to drop then find out why and fix it. The 1.8 is otherwise robust and is the simplest engine in the range. The Cowley cars are very well built so if the car has been looked after (which it seems it has) then it should give years of trouble-free and luxurious service. The cars are well supported in the aftermarket so any issues you encounter can generally be easily identified and resolved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks LeRich much appreciated. Good to know about the engine, again I was concerned this was the 'worst' of the range but if it quite simple and I read also quite easily accessible compared to the diesels that is something.
 

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mg_tf
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Hello Tim,
It would appear that there are quite a number of positives about this car, not least the fact that it’s had a new clutch in the recent past. This issue (probably with the slave cylinder) can be very expensive to sort, and many cars have been sent to scrap, since they don’t justify the expense.
The only thing I would question is the intended replacement of the Cambelt (again). Great, but it’s essential to ensure that only good quality parts are used for this critical application.
If the price you are expected to pay for this car is ‘influenced’ by this cambelt (and water pump?) change, then it may well be worth getting an estimate from the folks you mentioned are going to be responsible for its future maintenance, and getting it done yourself.
Kind regards,
Austin.
 

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I have a 1.8T brilliant car very reliable and Cowley cars are more value than Longbridgeb(so I'm told) a w reg would also be pre project drive car so would have less things cut back on on it go for it buy it you will love it . it's only going to start rising in value soon these cars are part of British motor history.
Regards Adam
 

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MG ZT, Rover 25
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You would struggle to get better, by the sounds of it. As had been said, these early Cowley cars seem more desirable. The non-turbo 1.8 won't win any races, but it's a fairly economical package, and suits me. I would not worry too much about the HG unless the car is consuming coolant.

I see you are in Bristol as well. I'm keeping an eye on what happens to the LEZ in the town centre later this year. This was originally going to affect only diesels, but after the council renewed their fleet of diesel vans, they seem to have changed the rules to affect older petrol and diesels instead. Btw, which garage are you referring to?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone for the advice very helpful. I am going to inspect tomorrow so will ask about the cambelt. Austin, is there a specific Rover cambelt that is advised?

Gnu, yes good point on the LEZ, I read in Evening Post they're going with the smaller zone (Bounded by Cumberland Rd, Hotwells, Portway). I live in Easton and don't intend to use a car to get across the city so would just be excursions and trips away. Not ideal but I don't think it would affect my routes really.

The garage I rang was MJN Rover, seemed a really nice bloke and told me what to look out for. I see there's also SMG Rover not far away but looks a bit suspect to me with some of the prices of their second hand MGs and Rovers.
 

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Good luck on the viewing. I've heard MJN (Mark) is good, but not used them as I do most maint myself. I'd say Gates, or any mainstream make for the cam belt. Avoid old stock though as they are polymer and will deteriorate with age.
 

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mg_tf
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Hello Tim,
I too would go along with insisting on a Gates kit. Equally important would be the quality of the water pump. I would again be investing (very) wisely with that. Ask them what make they are going to use.
Kind regards,
Austin.
 

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mg_tf
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Hello Tim,
Apologies fir the delay.
My first choice would be ‘genuine MG Rover’ - who actually manufactures these now for the official parts suppliers?
Airtex has been mentioned as a once supplier to MG Rover, and some of these seem to find their way on to EBay.
Gates also supply kits which include water pumps. Who makes them and how reliable?

As I see it Tim, you can specify to the garage doing the work, exactly what you want used in terms of parts, but the reality is you have little if any control over what make of parts they will eventually use, and you won’t be any the wiser whether they do or don’t use what you specify.

If this were mine, (repeating) I would be arranging to get this done with whoever is going to
look after the car for you - having come to an arrangement with them that you buy and supply the parts that you (in caps) want used.
Kind regards,
Austin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks again Austin. That's very helpful. I spoke with my mechanic friend about the cambelt, they knew about Gates and are clued up on Rover's so given my lack of knowledge really I will trust their judgement on this one as I said to use the best one they can for the job.

The car really is in great condition, I've attached some extra photos. Is the first time I've sat in and driven one and is like being in a first class cabin on the Titanic or something, so I have committed to buy. Looks like new under the bonnet and the wheel and jack kit under the boot has never been used. English Heritage sticker on the windscreen a good sign it hasn't been abused by a boy racer!

One other thing living in these tight terrace streets and not being a great at parking, I'd really like some rear sensors for reverse parking installed. An auto electrics garage quoted £210 for the system and installation - seems like a lot to me (but I wouldn't be able to do it myself). I've read people have done this themselves so given how cheap the actual kits are maybe is quite a tricky job to fix and explains the price?
 

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MG ZT, Rover 25
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That looks really good (y)

I hope you can find somewhere safe to park!
 

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Thanks again Austin. That's very helpful. I spoke with my mechanic friend about the cambelt, they knew about Gates and are clued up on Rover's so given my lack of knowledge really I will trust their judgement on this one as I said to use the best one they can for the job.

The car really is in great condition, I've attached some extra photos. Is the first time I've sat in and driven one and is like being in a first class cabin on the Titanic or something, so I have committed to buy. Looks like new under the bonnet and the wheel and jack kit under the boot has never been used. English Heritage sticker on the windscreen a good sign it hasn't been abused by a boy racer!

One other thing living in these tight terrace streets and not being a great at parking, I'd really like some rear sensors for reverse parking installed. An auto electrics garage quoted £210 for the system and installation - seems like a lot to me (but I wouldn't be able to do it myself). I've read people have done this themselves so given how cheap the actual kits are maybe is quite a tricky job to fix and explains the price?
It does look in excellent condition. Did you finally get it ??---You said COMMITED TO BUY.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi everyone, hope its ok to return to this old thread. I should have confirmed I bought this and have loved the car, enjoying a Summer's light motoring..

Then last month I checked the coolant and it wasn't showing in the reservoir so I topped up with water to the correct level (approx 1 pint). A 30 mile journey and checked again - another pint needed to show correct level. 30 more miles and check - about 200ml needed. A couple of smaller 5 mile journeys required about 100ml needed. So I took it to a local Bristol Rover specialist garage for a look and pressure test.

The pressure test wasnt out of ordinary but they found some evidence of coolant leak underneath (not in oil) and apparently discoloration around what was a replacement multi-layer gasket fitted at 39,000 miles in 2011 (car is now 52,000). They advised this was the issue, topped up the coolant again and put some K- seal in it. I questioned this beforehand having read it can muck up the engine but they said it would be ok in a standard 1.8L but eventually would need a HG change.

Reading into this further I'm now paranoid I shouldn't have done this. A Rover man I spoke to after was aghast I let k-seal be put in and maybe could have got a second opinion but probably no going back now is got the k-seal in it.

Sorry if it's going over old ground but can anyone recommend what they'd do if they were me?! I don't want to drive around in it if k-seal makes things worse or maybe the damage is done just driving it 5 miles home... Maybe I should just get it all out and have the HG changed?

Thank you.
Tim
 

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K-seal can block water passages within the engine as well heater radiator. Blocked water passages in the engine might lead to overheated engine. Blocked heater radiator would lead to no heating in the car.
Also k-seal can lead to coolant radiator blockage, and in that case coolant would not be able to cool the engine and overheating might occure.

From my point of view I would flush all coolant system, find reliable Rover specialist or call mobile mechanics which are good in Rover engines and see what they will say about HG replacement. If needed I would replace HG and not use k-seal again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
K-seal can block water passages within the engine as well heater radiator. Blocked water passages in the engine might lead to overheated engine. Blocked heater radiator would lead to no heating in the car.
Also k-seal can lead to coolant radiator blockage, and in that case coolant would not be able to cool the engine and overheating might occure.

From my point of view I would flush all coolant system, find reliable Rover specialist or call mobile mechanics which are good in Rover engines and see what they will say about HG replacement. If needed I would replace HG and not use k-seal again.
Thanks Roverlike, appreciated.
 

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if you have put k seal in it, the engine is basically scrap, it turns to jelly and blocks everything up, you'll never get it all out
 

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I would not be so gloomily about it. I’ve bought cars that have obviously had k-seal put in and they‘ve been ok. It can reduce the effectiveness of the heater/ radiator, but not I’ve not seen a major engine failures. If I were you I’d carry on and see whether your coolant loss has been stopped. If it hasn’t then a good flush and proper repair of where the leak is would be in order. It may not be the HG so don’t jump to the conclusion it is without looking carefully. I’ve flushed out k-seal and got nice uncloudy coolant again, but it takes a few flushes, and running with heater on in between flushes. Also, be aware that intensive flushing with a product may find new leaks as it will remove gunk that may have been holding them back.

Btw which garage was it that added the k-seal?
 
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