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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there ...

There is a possibility that my TF (Jan '04) is in the early stages of HGF, due to the fact that I'm losing coolant (1cm a week) and i can't see any leaks (that I can find).

My local MG Rover garage is taking a peek today and will let me know what they discover. However on talking to them this morning he mentioned a couple of points which I would like your opinions on, based on other threads i've read here:

1) on reparing HGF some garages skim the engine heads, which is a mistake as there is a slight "bend" in the head and block so that when it gets hot it straightens up to make a perfect seal with the gasket.

2) they find that the landrover head gasket is not as good as the standard rover one and do not use it in replacements.

any thoughts on this?

cheers :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
pete, the cap looks ok to me ... although i certainly am no expert!
would that be a recommended step regardless? i've read here that some people have problems with the halfords 606 cap on the TF. any truth to that? or rimmer bros are quoting me £5.33 for a replacement.
 

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you can't see problems with the cap, the valve fails to keep the pressure and releases coolant, for a £5er its got to be worth a go ;). afaia, the Halfords cap is fine :dunno:
 

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1) on reparing HGF some garages skim the engine heads, which is a mistake as there is a slight "bend" in the head and block so that when it gets hot it straightens up to make a perfect seal with the gasket.

2) they find that the landrover head gasket is not as good as the standard rover one and do not use it in replacements.


cheers :)
I suspect you do not have HGF, if the coolant cap doesn't help then you may have a leaky water pump or pipes.

1. That statement would put me off the garage in question, it's true that some times the head doesn’t need skimming as it hasn’t got hot enough to warp, but if the head has warped then it must be skimmed.

2. I suspect they are having problem with the LR gasket because of above. Having said that I am still not convinced that its any better then the last MGR gasket, but as there are problems getting hold of that gasket the LR maybe the only option.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, surprise surprise my local garage has just called to confirm that "it is HGF". their point being that they can't find a leak and that there is "emulsified oil "on the dipstick. they are quoting £700 + VAT to do the head gasket plus the cambelt, tensioner and water pump at the same time.

but obviously i'm going to try a new cap for a fiver first!

however, if the new cap does not solve the coolant loss then is the above price fair for the work involved?
 

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Sounds about normal for a HGF in a F/TF, if the coolant cap doesn't solve the problem get them to investigate the water pump first, as the cam belt will have to come of anyway. How much "emulsified oil" is on the dipstick?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
How much "emulsified oil" is on the dipstick?
A little bit down at the bottom, according to my untrained eyes. The rest seems like regular oil colour to me, no irregularities. but i certainly wouldn't want to bet my TF on it!

The halfords cap is only £2.99.
I just came back from Halfords to pick up a 606, however they only had two in stock and both boxes had different caps ... typical! one was yellow with a black inside with 2 circular "appendages". the other one is black with a simple round white inside with a hole in the middle ...

not wishing to leave empty handed i opted for the black fella:


does this one look like the right one?
 

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as for the dip stick, do you do short journeys ??[/quote]

Very good point Pete, I did some short journeys in the cooler spring days and found a very small creamy bead of emulsion on the tip of my dipstick, I have absolutely no water loss, my coolant is clean and the oil is nice and clear, so my bet is for two different issues - short journey internal condensation within the dipstick/filler area and an external coolant leak somewhere less obvious like the water pump which will not be apparent until the cam belt cover is removed. Incidentally I bought the Halfords 606 yellow cap and it functions perfectly.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
short journeys ... well, the car really doesn't get used a lot during the week. and some weekends i'll only take for her for a short blast. you thinking condensation?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
if i had a garage check the water pump (and do the cambelt at the same time to save on year 4 service later in the year) and the pump comes up not guilty how much more work would it be to do the head gasket?
 

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Anything between £400 and £700 worth at a garage. I haven't done it myself but the location fo the engine is the reason for the high costs.
 

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short journeys ... well, the car really doesn't get used a lot during the week. and some weekends i'll only take for her for a short blast. you thinking condensation?
there's your culprit then, I'll bet its simply condensation on the dipstick. A new expansion cap and an Italian tune up is what is required before you start spending £stupid ;)
 

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I'm with Pete, definately sounds like lack of use and a duff cap, garages are far to quick to shout 'HGF' i've noticed.. :)

And NickT did you get that cap from the Wellingborough Halfords? I keep meaning to buy another to keep in the car but never get round to it.
 

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id shoot the garage in question so far as there ability to trace a problem seems to be have a stab at it at best. first thing they should of asked is does the car do short journeys most of the time. after that should come either a sniffer test or pressurise the cooling system or both in my opinion as this will show up hgf failure quite easily in most cases as most minor leaks become projected streams, no leaks then yes your looking at hgf failure. other things to do would be a compression test aswell and a few other bits all of which wouldn't take much more than a couple of hours at most but more than likely they just want to take your money, which is the issue with most garages nowadays more just we'll replace it than we'll find out if that's actually the problem

chris
 
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