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mg_zr
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

This is my first post so hi to everybody on here. Not the greatest way to start my time on here but I've got some major problems with my wee ZR. As it was idling in my drive, the revs died away and the car stopped.

£200 later and the diagnosis from my local Vauxhall dealer was that it had jumped the teeth and sent the timing out. After quoting me £2500 for a new engine and taking £200 for diagnosing the fault, I decided to take the car away.

A mechanic mate of mines doesn't seem to think the damage is as drastic as the dealer made out. They very kindly left the engine stripped down and dumped it in the boot. I've taken a few pictures in the hope someone on here can see how bad the damage is. I know that the main bits when this happens are the gasket, valves and pistons.

This is whats left of the valves so I definately need these replacing.


Am I right in assuming that the pistons should have grooves cut in them already for the valves to sit flush with? From left to right as you look into the engine bay. Only the 2nd and 4th have any marks in them.








And how they gave it back to me.




So I suppose the question is, can it be fixed without having to spend a fortune on a new engine? Sorry if this is a bit of a long winded post but I'm hoping someone out there with some mechanical know how can help.

I can get all my parts at trade prices and I know a couple of mechanics at work who can do the work.

Cheers folks.
 

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in all , i don't think its the worst thing that could have happened, its a fairly straight forward job. thought it sounds very bad. but the engine is definetly repairable.

your going to be needing to replace those pistons thats are stabbed aswell.

i get one of you mechanic buddys to sort it out, do you have a warrenty on the car?

how is the condition of the head, any damage to it?
 

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Not overly mechanical myself when it comes to engines but If it's an engine rebuild, I got quoted about £1000-£1500 for one.

Hope you get it sorted.
 

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mg_zr
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Cheers for the replies chaps.

I'm hoping that it wont need too much doing to it. Looks like I'll need new valves, two new pistons and a head kit. Not sure about the price though, think I can get a head kit for about £30, will have to check the prices for valves and pistons later.

Anyone know how much for those and if I'll need anything else sorting?
 

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rover_200_coupe
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To be honest, and I know I will probably be slated for this but If you don't have that sort of cash to throw around, reakon you could get away with just doing the valves or even a second hand head from ebay or the scrappy's Those pistons don't look that bad, I have certainly seen a lot worse and I know of occasions where the pistons have been left as is but this is usually on older cars.... still if you have the cash, its best to get it sorted but I know (God forbid) that it ever happens to me and I am not flush with the cash for repair and it looked like that, I would clean up the pistons and and just re build the head.

Obviously though, its your call and I am sure the consensus on here will be new pistons as well.

Good luck though.

Sean
 

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Can't really make a comment on the pistons until they have been cleaned up first. That's the damage you can see. What about the rest of the bottom end, rods, bearings, crank etc.
What sort of state is the head in?
 

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mg_zr
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
TD,

I'm not sure why it jumped the teeth. The car had the head gasket done about 15,000 miles ago, last May. At the time they also replaced the cam belt. The belt itself looks fine, still tight and doesn't look in the slightest worn.

Can I replace just the two pistons or do I have to replace all four?

Anyone with any ideas on a price?

Cheers
 

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Are the valves even bent/damaged? All I see is some removed valves which look dirty....possibly damaged. Obviously its hard to tell damage from pics.
 

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Are the valves even bent/damaged? All I see is some removed valves which look dirty....possibly damaged. Obviously its hard to tell damage from pics.
Yes the valves are deffinatley damaged, theres about 4 inches of valve stem missing from them all. what can be seen in the picture is only the head of the valves, there should be a long stem coming out of each one, looking a bit like an air horn
 

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mg_zs
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If I was looking getting that car back on the road I would go and buy a salvage ZR/ZS/25/45 and do an engine change.

Far less work involved and almost certainly cheaper.

Low mileage cars can regularly be seen going through salvage yards for silly money. Aim for a 25 or 45, they fetch far less than the MG's and a 45 will also generally be cheaper than a 25. Go for one with rear or side damage, do your engine swap, then you should find you can make most of your money back selling the parts you don't need on ebay and weighing in the rest along with your scrap engine.

Engine changes on ZR's are simple and the job can be done in a day quite easily. Is your car a 1.4? If so its also a good chance to do an upgrade...maybe get hold of a 1.6 or 1.8? Only slightly higher power output but the difference is very pleasing!
 

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mg_zr
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Mines is a 120+ so I'd need the 1800 engine. If I get a 1.8 from a 25 or 45 will I get the same power that I used to have?

Sounds silly I know but I'd better ask lol!
 

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mg_zs
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Yes power output will be the same.

Just keep an eye on the universal salvage and maybe sites like raw2k. you wont be waiting long for one to turn up!
 

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mg_zr
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just been looking on ebay.

Are all the K series engines the same? Theres a guy got an 1800cc K series thats come out of a 1999 218is. It says...

This will also fit MGF, Land Rover Freelander and is ideal for a kit car conversion or Metro etc...
Would it fit? Looks exactly the same as the one I've got.

Cheers!
 

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mg_zs
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Yes it would fit but if I were you I would stay away from Ebay.

Apart from anything else Ebay can be expensive. There are quite a few people who turn a nice profit from buying salvage from places like Universal and then just putting it on Ebay. Golden rule for Ebay is sell only when it comes to cars and parts.

If I were you I would also aim for something a little newer than a 1999 218 lump unless the mileage is low, warranted and backed up by some service history.
 

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Oh yes. No idea why I diddnt realise the valves are missing there stems - they should be much longer.

It seems strange that they are all broken in the same place? Would they snap off like that at all - let alone several in the same place?....I am probably totally wrong - but when I first saw the picture I thought "looks like theyve put a grinder to the valves".
 

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mg_zr
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Why wouldn't that surprise me! I'm on the hunt for a new K series 1800 engine now though, cant wait to get her back on the road.
 

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rover_25
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I've had this problem caused by tesioner bolt breaking. As well as valves most of my guides had bits broken off the bottom or were cracked.
I got valve & guide set to install myself but had to get seats recut, might have been easier to get machine shop to do it all.
It runs OK but it knocks when cold so I wish i'd looked at big ends now.
 
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