MG-Rover.org Forums banner
21 - 29 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
'06 MG ZR +120 (HQM) '04 MG ZR 105 (IAB)
Joined
·
9,464 Posts
I am like most of the others on this thread - if there are no definite signs of HGF, then I would strongly advise ;leaving well alone. The head gaskets very rarely fail suddenly and catastrophically - if you perform regular checks on coolant condition and level, and at the same time check the oil filler cap for emulsion and check around the pipework (and around the head/block join) and below the water pump for signs of leakage, you will have plenty of warning that something is going amiss without there being any risk of serious damage to the engine.

As for changing the gasket for 'peace of mind'; it achieves nothing of the sort. There are enough repeat failures after a head gasket replacement to suggest that unless done very carefully and thoroughly, there is possibly an increased chance of it failing within an unacceptably short time, possibly earlier than the replaced gasket would have failed.

As suggested above, you don't really know how to proceed until you have the head off and check the liner protrusion above the block. The official Rover spec was minimum 3 thou, but in practice a lot of people have achieved a successful and long lasting repair with protrusion significantly less than this. The elastomer gasket is inherently weak because of the likelihood of localised overheating within the engine, so if liners are low it is well worth the investment in time and money to remove the liners and put the 3 thou shims beneath the shoulders (the shims are only thirty something pounds a set of four). This enables you to use the stronger MLS gasket types, and having used two of the SAIC/N series six layer gaskets on my own cars (coupled with the experiences of others who have used this gasket), I would always use it as a first choice, despite the added cost of the higher tensile bolts and stronger/stiffer oil rail which really need to be fitted with it to be sure of getting the full benefit of the six-layer gasket.

.......optional head skim - £150.....
That price looks a bit high - I would expect a skim and hardness test to be less than half that! (the last skim that I had done was under £50 in 2017).
 

·
Registered
04 MG TF Sunstorm 135
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
At the end of the you can listen to all the brilliant advice on here and you decide. its your car, your time and your money. if you do it yourself it will cost something like below as i did mine 18 months ago as i was in similar position to you.

cam locking tool £10
mls gasket kit with cambelt , new oil rail, bolts ,water pump the lot - £199
anti freeze - £25
oil - £40
oil filter £10
optional head skim - £150

i also put new plugs, new leads, new fuel filter but this is all optional

Confidence from doing it yourself - £££ PRICELESS £££

i could have paid a garage to do it, i did it myself and now i know my car engine almost inside out. Now i will tackle any job myself.

what were the risks? apart from not setting the timing if you are careless and dont do what you are supposed to. My worst part was undoing the bottom engine mount bolts the 5 inch ones that go into subframe, oiled them a week before and slowly undid them. if they broke then i think that might have been the worst part of the job.

and if you get stuck you post a help on here and everyone will help. i am even sure if you were that stuck one of us on here would offer to come and help, i know i would if you lived local.
Out of interest how long did it take you? Any specific tools you ended up needing that you wouldn't have thought etc? I suppose just anything that caught you out or would have liked to have known before you started? . By the looks of things ill probably do the cam cover gasket soonish and leave the HG until it starts to get warmer next year
 

·
Registered
04 MG TF Sunstorm 135
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I am like most of the others on this thread - if there are no definite signs of HGF, then I would strongly advise ;leaving well alone. The head gaskets very rarely fail suddenly and catastrophically - if you perform regular checks on coolant condition and level, and at the same time check the oil filler cap for emulsion and check around the pipework (and around the head/block join) and below the water pump for signs of leakage, you will have plenty of warning that something is going amiss without there being any risk of serious damage to the engine.

As for changing the gasket for 'peace of mind'; it achieves nothing of the sort. There are enough repeat failures after a head gasket replacement to suggest that unless done very carefully and thoroughly, there is possibly an increased chance of it failing within an unacceptably short time, possibly earlier than the replaced gasket would have failed.

As suggested above, you don't really know how to proceed until you have the head off and check the liner protrusion above the block. The official Rover spec was minimum 3 thou, but in practice a lot of people have achieved a successful and long lasting repair with protrusion significantly less than this. The elastomer gasket is inherently weak because of the likelihood of localised overheating within the engine, so if liners are low it is well worth the investment in time and money to remove the liners and put the 3 thou shims beneath the shoulders (the shims are only thirty something pounds a set of four). This enables you to use the stronger MLS gasket types, and having used two of the SAIC/N series six layer gaskets on my own cars (coupled with the experiences of others who have used this gasket), I would always use it as a first choice, despite the added cost of the higher tensile bolts and stronger/stiffer oil rail which really need to be fitted with it to be sure of getting the full benefit of the six-layer gasket.


That price looks a bit high - I would expect a skim and hardness test to be less than half that! (the last skim that I had done was under £50 in 2017).
With the head, could I not just get it skimmed and then use the MLS gasket? or just be able to use whichever gasket I want in a sense
 

·
Registered
mg_tf
Joined
·
489 Posts
I fear for how this is going to work out - judging by your last question. Also, on the question of skimming the head, there would be a maximum amount of metal you can remove from this head, and obviously, you don’t know how much was taken off previously!
To my mind, it would be necessary to do a good bit of general reading, before finally deciding whether you want to balk the general opinion you asked for on here, and decide to take this head off. Again, sorry to appear critical, but if you are asking what special tools etc. you will need, then it would suggest you haven‘t yet done the necessary homework.
Again it might be me, but if you are itching to have a go at a K Series head gasket, then why not find yourself a doer-upper and practice on that, and get it out of your system?
Kind regards,
Austin.
 

·
Registered
04 MG TF Sunstorm 135
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I fear for how this is going to work out - judging by your last question. Also, on the question of skimming the head, there would be a maximum amount of metal you can remove from this head, and obviously, you don’t know how much was taken off previously!
To my mind, it would be necessary to do a good bit of general reading, before finally deciding whether you want to balk the general opinion you asked for on here, and decide to take this head off. Again, sorry to appear critical, but if you are asking what special tools etc. you will need, then it would suggest you haven‘t yet done the necessary homework.
Again it might be me, but if you are itching to have a go at a K Series head gasket, then why not find yourself a doer-upper and practice on that, and get it out of your system?
Kind regards,
Austin.
Its not that I just want to have a go, its that by the sounds of things I "could" save a good chunk of change if I did it myself ( I did mention in one of my replies that id most likely do the HG next summer or when it gets warmer, so I'm not planning to go straight at it next week haha I fully understand that it's not a quick 10 min job). I know what I need but I was wondering if there's anything extra that would be helpful as I myself haven't ever worked on a k series. By asking the original question and creating this thread I planned on getting some advice that I could pair with further reading, videos, manuals etc before I actually go ahead and start the job.

I do however plan to change the cam cover gasket as after some reading and a call with the MGF centre, three is a good chance that that's what caused oil in the cylinder head spark plug holes and potentially the misfiring cylinder 4. Another positive of this is getting more familiar with the engine itself.

Thanks
 

·
Registered
04 MG TF Sunstorm 135
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #27 ·
In this regard the issue isn’t with the head but the hight of the cylinder liners to the block.
Ah my bad, I was reading it on my drive home from work haha ( I wasn't driving but stuck in traffic ;)). Could that be resolved or similarly to the head be skimmed, not sure the word to use here
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,259 Posts
Unless I missed something, there is no necessity for you to get the head skimmed. As long it is flat across the plane (ie within the correct tolerance) no need for skimming. Skimming can be a lazy way of cleaning the surface of the head.

As said above, you need the correct tools and this will take some investment and research.
 
21 - 29 of 29 Posts
Top