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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, the time has come to replace the timing belt on my 96 F as it’s been a few years (about 4 maybe) the car only does about 500 miles per year but I want to get this sorted as the next job.

I have looked at a few kits including the water pump and tensioner which vary in price from £50-£120 via a number of stockists some of which are well known and others off a well known auction site.

A couple of questions, is there a kit that people recommend or indeed one to avoid and is there anything else that I should get done while it’s in the garage getting this work done (I’m lucky enough my brother in law takes it in so mates rates apply).

This year I have had new callipers, discs and pads and last week I treated the car to new front bearings so all that’s sorted 👍👍👍
 

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As Austin has said, Gates is a name to trust.

Alternatively I have used QH (Quinton Hazell) parts for many years and they have never let me down.

There is also genuine MG Rover parts available, but some of those worry me and make me wonder if they are cheapo copies in rip off box’s...

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the responses so far, yes I was a bit wary of the MG Rover boxed parts as they must be some years old now too especially if they are genuine parts!
Another couple of questions is how do I tell if my engine has the manual or automatic tensioner and are all the water pumps the same on the F?
 

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Thanks for the responses so far, yes I was a bit wary of the MG Rover boxed parts as they must be some years old now too especially if they are genuine parts!
Another couple of questions is how do I tell if my engine has the manual or automatic tensioner and are all the water pumps the same on the F?
If I was doing mine again soon, I would stick my reg in the Euro Car Parts website and see which parts it showed me (tensioner style, belt width etc).

Hope that helps?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If I was doing mine again soon, I would stick my reg in the Euro Car Parts website and see which parts it showed me (tensioner style, belt width etc).

Hope that helps?
Thanks Ian, yes will give that a go...

Hopefully they also have a sale on, they are a bit like DFS with their sofas 🛋😂
 

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'06 MG ZR +120 (HQM) '04 MG ZR 105 (IAB)
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As Austin has said, Gates is a name to trust.

There is also genuine MG Rover parts available, but some of those worry me and make me wonder if they are cheapo copies in rip off box’s..
Whilst there have definitely been changes to the supplier for some of the 'Genuine MG Rover' parts supplied by XPart, the genuine MGR timing belts for the K series are still the same Gates Powergrip belts as originally factory fitted. The water pumps however are not the original fit Airtex ones, although I see no reason why they should necessarily be of inferior quality.

...... I was a bit wary of the MG Rover boxed parts as they must be some years old now too especially if they are genuine parts!
Another couple of questions is how do I tell if my engine has the manual or automatic tensioner and are all the water pumps the same on the F?
I doubt if any of the timing belts currently supplied by XPart are old stock. XPart had a clear out several years ago and there were a lot of 'old stock' items among the parts offloaded - there were a few sellers on eBay selling some of the old stock Rover/Gates timing belts very cheap. They were not actually that old even so - I had one on my ZR until it came due for the next change last year, and there was no sign of any unexpected age related deterioration.

Just because MG Rover is no longer in business doesn't mean that all the companies that manufactured the genuine original components have suddenly disappeared too ;) MG Rover had already sold of the 'Genuine MG Rover' parts supplier (XPart) long before MGR went bust; XPart are still in existence (now owned by Leacy Classics), and still having new 'Genuine MG Rover' parts manufactured to maintain stocks of those items which are regularly needed, such as service parts. Whilst there are still a lot of old stock parts that date from before 2005 (some from before 2000 even!), these will be parts which do not have a 'sell-by-date', and any parts which are liable to deteriorate due to age will have been superceded by parts manufactured recently.

Rover changed to the auto timing belt tensioner in 1999, so I would expect a 1996 model to have the manual tensioner. Water pumps are the same for all four cylinder K series engines.
 

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Don't forget the K series was fitted to many vehicles including the Freelander and the Lotus Elise so there is plenty of options still available for OE belts and water pumps...plus sometimes cheaper than buying for the MG
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Rover changed to the auto timing belt tensioner in 1999, so I would expect a 1996 model to have the manual tensioner. Water pumps are the same for all four cylinder K series engines.
Thanks for that, that’s really useful I will take a punt on the manual tensioner, at least I know the water pump will be the correct one!
 

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I did mine recently with a Gates 'box' of belt, tensioner and water pump and pleased with the quality and v-f-m.
_DSF3436.jpg
I think whilst you are 'down there' it'd be rude not to fit a new alternator belt...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I did mine recently with a Gates 'box' of belt, tensioner and water pump and pleased with the quality and v-f-m.

I think whilst you are 'down there' it'd be rude not to fit a new alternator belt...
Thanks ArntyR yes, that’s a great suggestion and is now added to the list 👍
 

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ECP and competitive prices?? Great % discount on so called ‘listed retail prices’ - but the what-you-pay price? Even their subsidiary company Car Parts for Less often work out cheaper when you apply their much lower %discount code!

Very valid point about renewing the alternator belt - again with Gates, as well as a good flush of the cooling system, and new antifreeze.

While the engine cover plate is off, I would be taking the opportunity of renewing the then-accessible fuel filter - Bosch would be a good replacement. Also the oil and filter ( I use Mann or Bosch and avoid ECP’s ‘deal’ which includes the once well respected Crossland brand). Far easier to add the new oil while the engine cover is off, via the actual oil filler cap on the rocker cover.
Good luck with it.
Kind regards,
Austin.
 

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Yep you'll probably lose about 6l, or so, of coolant when you drain it cold - and replacement with new will be a good 'refresh'.

Plus, be fastidious with bleeding (and repeating) from the 3 bleed points, rad then heater then engine bay (bum in the air helps...no...the car's...:oops:) and be prepared to keep checking coolant level - I added about a litre as it settled over the next week or so.
 

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If you are buying any OEM parts for the engine it is worth putting “L” at the end of the part number, as said sometime it makes the part cheaper or much more expensive. My recent cam belt, pump and change of leaky seals was done with a mixture of Land Rover and MGR branded parts.

When it came to refilling the coolant system, I bought a very small funnel and removed the radiator bled screw/bolt and filled the radiator directly, this seemed to reduce the amount of air that needed to bled off.
 
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