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1994 Rover 414SLi - 08/03 MoT Result...


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#511 OFFLINE   Ghosty

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Posted 03 June 2016 - 12:34 AM

That looks wrong on so many levels. I don't think the white rear plate helps matters either. (Didn't realise .fr were doing that now, I knew they'd changed though. The old ones were better!) 


1994 Rover 216SLi automatic


#512 ONLINE   320touring

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Posted 03 June 2016 - 11:57 AM



we need to recreate this...
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#513 OFFLINE   MikeKnight

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Posted 03 June 2016 - 07:36 PM

That old 600 is gently crumbling away, belongs to the neighbouring garage.  No idea what's wrong with it but it's sad to see it rotting away.

 

The guy who owns it actually came to do some work on it last month.

 

Pumped up the tyre that's perpetually flat and drove it away, to an MOT I believe, then brought it back and it's just sat there for a while now.



#514 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 11:54 AM

As you may have caught elsewhere on the forum, the first show I took the Rover to was the Sunderland and District Classic Vehicle Society do at the seaside last weekend (12th June) that Chompy convinced me and Mike to go to.  Here's the Rover next to Mike's Supra.  Chompy was there in his Applause.
20160612-116.jpg
 
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Racked up another 500 or so miles since then and spent a very pleasant weekend with a friend I've known for longer than I care to remember.  He'd convinced me to take the Rover along to show at the Bourne classic car and bike show this weekend just gone.  Pretty certain I was the furthest travelled, my next nearest competitor for that title was from Birstall.  No trophy, just a smug sense of satisfaction.  Amazingly, there was another R8 there!  It was for sale, from memory it had 49k on the clock and they wanted £1500 for it.  It was very tidy but I'm not sure R8s are worth that much just yet.
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The usual showground area had been flooded because of the interesting summer we're experiencing so the cars were scattered all over which made for a really interesting show as you also got to wander around the town a bit and it had a good atmosphere about it.  I was sat between a gorgeous old Standard (Lichfield, I think it was, not massively up on this era) and an MX-5.
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Got a surprising amount of positive attention, even when I opened the bonnet to reveal the utterly unprepped K series to the admiring onlookers.  The only tiny little niggle was the ticket number I was issued.  So close!
20160620-03.jpg
 
As a bonus, I got my friend to have a drive of the Rover to try and identify the niggly feeling that something was amiss with the car.  It's not anything I've been able to pin down, just a general feeling of something being a bit off.  I suspected a worn shock on the drive over and he confirmed that one of the rears does seem to be considerably less good than the others.  Hardly surprising given that they look like the originals.  We were also trying to find out where the sort-of-shunting was coming from, an issue that doesn't always manifest.  That appears to be the gearbox stay and a tired gearbox-side engine mount.
 
It was reassuring to get a second opinion from someone that really knows their stuff.  It was also satisfying to have the work that has been done on the car be commended.  Said friend is very critical of less than brilliant mechanicals on a car - it's what he does for a living, after all - so to have the car's mechanical health complimented made the hard work of putting everything right all worthwhile.
 
I'd better get pricing up some components.  Any suggestions for good new shock absorber replacements?  They only need to be standard ones, no need for shortened or fancy shocks, just want something that will last well and be up to the task.  I'll just replace all four, might as well so I know they're all done.

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#515 ONLINE   320touring

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 12:42 PM

For OEM dampers I struggle to see past Bilstein (b4 range) or Boge.

worth a scout to see what is out there.
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#516 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 06:12 PM

Looks like a few posts were lost in the Great Forum Fire so as a brief update, shocks have been sorted in the form of a set of OEM brand new ones from a local enthusiast.  Got the rears fitted, haven't done the fronts yet, instead there is a bigger job of greater importance:  The Cambelt.

 

---

 

I have no history for a cambelt change with this car, as previously mentioned, and it has done many, many miles.  I therefore determined that while I had the pennies to do it I really ought to and Mike and I set to this weekend to do just that.  I'd ordered a Gates timing belt and tensioner on the recommendation of a friend that rebuilds K Series engines, a Draper cam locking tool, a waterpump and a thermostat (neither of which I can remember the brand of) and aforementioned friend sent me two replacement inlet manifold gaskets.  I've never done this job before so I was entrusting most of it to Mike as he has, on the MG TF no less so this should be much easier to do given that access is better on the 400.

 

First job was dropping the coolant out, something that I'm getting to be a dab hand at given how many times I've done this to flush the system.  Easiest location I've found is the bottom hose where it joins the rail under the radiator.

20160829-01.jpg

 

Then the expansion bottle needs removing and the power steering reservoir moving out of the way but not removing from the car (I want to change the fluid at some point, I just don't have any in stock).  The hoses that attach to the reservoir are gungy and have been since I got the car, the back of the power steering pump is also gungy.  I don't know if this is down to a leak or something historic that's since been fixed so this was mostly cleaned up to see what new appears.

20160829-02.jpg

 

Next was to remove the cam cover to see what we'd got.  No obvious markings on the belt in this position which we would later learn is a Gates belt, so it's had a timing belt at least once in its life which is something.

20160829-03.jpg

 

The car was jacked up, the driver's side front wheel removed, the partial undertray partially unfastened from the car and then the auxilliary belts were removed.  The power steering belt looked fairly new with minimal wear.

20160829-04.jpg

 

The alternator belt, however, was in very poor condition.  I will be replacing this when I next get paid.

20160829-05.jpg

 

With the lower cambelt cover removed you can see and get access to the crank pulley.  It's not too messy under here, there's some oil on the sump but it's unclear if it's coming from a historic leak further up or is the sump seal itself.

20160829-06.jpg

 

Before removing the old belt by cutting through it, the camshafts were correctly positioned and the locking tool applied.

20160829-07.jpg

 

New and old cambelts, the new one is the darker one.  The belt didn't have any obvious damage other than the teeth being worn compared to the new one so it likely still had some life in it.  I really wish I knew when it was done so I could have said whether or not it was due.

20160829-08.jpg

 

Inlet manifold next which had started leaking again.  The reason for it leaking was quite simply that the gasket that was bought new from Rimmers last year had shrunk and was no longer sealing properly.  This would explain a few minor issues the car was having that I could never really pinpoint.

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A new one was fitted which is much more snug.

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Before that could go back on the car there were some other items to attend to.  We got the old tensioner off and found it had some surface rust and made a shushing noise on rotation very similar to the one I kept hearing when driving the car and could never pinpoint.

20160829-12.jpg

 

The old waterpump seemed in good fettle.  We fitted the new one because I'd bought it and it seems to be common practice to fit a new pump when you do the cambelt.

20160829-13.jpg

 

The thermostat was also changed.  This looks to be the original thermostat for the car and has no jiggle pin like the new one.  Also, the seal on it was deformed (and I have suspected a leak from this area for a while), one side was covered in K-Seal glitter and one side was just a bit gungy.  It's good to know this is now replaced really.

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As we carried on with the job it was getting darker and later and eventually colder.

20160829-16.jpg


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#517 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 06:23 PM

Before fitting the new cambelt, the waterpump was put on with its new O ring and a bit of sealant.

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The tensioner was also fitted, just not fully tightened so we could adjust it properly.  The spring was particularly fiddly and difficult to locate, an important component for the manual tensioner as fitted to this car.

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With a slight jiggle of things Mike got the belt around the crank pulley and all was running quite smoothly.

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Now that everything on the cambelt side was located, the tensioner was fully tightened and everything checked as much as it could be.  We then moved on to the back of the engine to refit the thermostat and housing.  You can see where the inlet manifold has been leaking too.  The thermostat housing is the black-ish lump at the end of the rusty coolant pipe.

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The inlet manifold was cleaned of as much of the gunge as it could be, the mating surfaces of it and the block thoroughly cleaned and after this picture was taken, a smear of suitable sealant used over the green gasket to hopefully prevent it from leaking again.

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With everything buttoned up, new plain water put in and then we attempted to start the car.  Then the key fob decided it didn't want to work which these are prone to whenever the battery is disconnected.  Random pressing of the keyfob buttons eventually saw it spring back to life and we could start the car.  A little bit of cranking to get a full head of fuel and then... it ran.  No drama, no fuss.  Much quieter than before with some of the unidentifiable little noises now gone which makes me think something on the cambelt side of things was on the way out.  Then I heard what seemed like a ticking, which steadily became a dripping and then started to just be water pouring out of the thermostat housing.

 

I was not a happy bunny about that.  Still, the important job was done and Mike has volunteered to remove the thermostat housing and coolant pipe, clean it all up and refit it so that it seals properly and keeps the water in.  Happy that the dangerous bit went smoothly enough, the car was given a wash which it was due for and since Mike was doing the carpets in the Supra, I got him to do my boot carpet too which came up fairly well.

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Best of all, I managed to get the roof aerial to go from this, where it's been stuck for the past year with me regularly dosing it with WD40...

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...to this!

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It's still a bit stiff to operate but getting better with use.  Having the aerial retractable means I don't have to fit the new one I bought which, if I'm honest, is a massive relief as I as dreading that job.  That's your lot for this Rover update, I'll let you all know when it's watertight and I'm using it again.


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#518 OFFLINE   Nyphur

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 06:30 PM

Good work chaps :)


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#519 ONLINE   beko1987

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 06:44 PM

I read that water was pouring out if the waterpump housing, went ah shit then re read and read thermostat housing which seems like a much better place for it to be leaking due to ease of fix! Nice work
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#520 OFFLINE   Ghosty

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 07:11 PM

Those Ronda A-pillar aerials are always a pain.

 

Good job!


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#521 OFFLINE   purplebargeken

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 06:50 AM

Nice work both of you. 



#522 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 06:20 PM

Cheers everyone :)

 

---

 

Minor issues after everything was buttoned together in that the thermostat housing was leaking.  That meant removing it so Mike repainted the scabby coolant pipe and degreased the plastic thermostat housing.  It's a bit of a fiddle to refit.
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Once refitted the housing leaked again so it had to come off, be resealed and put back on the car.  This time it didn't leak, happily, and the car gets up to temperature quickly enough.  Heaters are lovely and hot too.  It's another job that's not so easy, especially getting the bolt in that goes through the housing and dipstick holder into the block.
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All was good, we ran the car up to temperature, made sure there were no air locks anywhere and no leaks and then I took it for a drive around the block.  Drove incredibly smoothly which was unexpected.  Put the car away for the night ready to use it tomorrow.  Picked up my new spark leads to replace the broken ones (that were fairly new, but of rubbish quality even though I didn't pay for rubbish quality) and the alternator belt while out in the Applause.  Got the new leads fitted, turned the key and was greeted with a fountain of fuel in the engine bay.
 
Turns out that when the fuel rail was plugged back in the O ring got snagged.  Why it chose to leak today and not yesterday I can't guess, but this is what came off.
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Luckily, my brother had the injectors from a breaker Picasso which had identical O rings and that solved the problem for free.  Now all the fluids stay where they should, the car runs and drives smoothly and I'm looking forward to the next few small jobs to get things in even better shape.  It's looking much smarter under the bonnet and as things have been de-grimed it's a lot nicer to work under there.
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Next up is going to be an oil change and putting bio-degreaser through the coolant to get the last of the grime out before coolant goes in.  Once I manage to get the new front strut split down properly I can get those on, I've got a backbox to go on too so that I can replace the blowing one.  Then I want to get a new pair of tyres to match the front and a new catalytic converter once I know the inlet manifold gasket is doing its job properly so I don't poison a new catalytic converter.    It's all niggly service things now which is nice, and quite a bit of cosmetic stuff to make it as nice as I want it to be.

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#523 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 03:46 AM

Progress report since this job was done.  Overall, things are fine.  Unfortunately, the thermostat housing started leaking again so I reckon that needs replacing, I can do 50 miles tops before I need to top up the coolant which is a chore.  New thermostat housing is about £35, I'm told metal ones are available but haven't yet found one.  My aerial which I only recently got working has been bent so there's now a knack to extending that properly.

 

On the good side, the car drives, rides and handles lovely.  It's been surprisingly practical having most recently lugged a full compliment of Princess steels with tyres and a Renault 6 gearbox home as well as all the usual daily driver duties.  Continues to be rather excellent on fuel, even around town.  Best of all, since my recurrent back issue has been particularly bad over the past couple of days, the seats have proved to be one of the most comfortable places to be and offered me considerable pain relief.  I cannot express how wonderful this is, I've never had a car where the seats and the driving position actually help improve my back condition, it makes this car very special indeed to me.

 

Unfortunately, I've been so busy with work and my other two cars since the last update that I've done none of the cosmetic jobs I've wanted to on the Rover simply because of a lack of time.  Happily, the car has rewarded me by just being easy to live with and given me the bonus of being a little attention grabber when I've been out and about.


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#524 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 04:30 PM

Almost a month on and everything is still exactly the same.  Did a coolant change earlier in the month so it now actually has coolant in it and not just plain water.  The bio-degreaser cleaned out a lot of slime in the expansion bottle and other nooks and crannies of the engine and I haven't noticed a recurrence of it appearing in the expansion bottle.  Thermostat housing still hasn't been replaced, I've still been unable to get a metal replacement but the water loss has reduced to around 70 mile range before topping up now, seems to depend on driving style and temperature as to how much leaks out and the colder weather seems to be helping reduce water loss.

 

Still haven't done the front shocks, still haven't replaced the backbox and still haven't dealt with the cosmetic bits and bobs.  I just use the car every day for my errands as needed and it performs flawlessly, just like a modern car.  Which it is.  Even at 22 years old.


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#525 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 08:01 PM

Well, since I've replaced my back injury with a cold, I'm still in no fit state to sort out the Rover's engine.  Happily, Mike volunteered his services today so we at least stand a chance of getting the head to the machine shop next week.  Inlet manifold removal was thwarted by a rounded nut (I vaguely recall one was a bit dodgy when we first took it off) so that will come off with the head to make removal of the nut easier on the bench.

 

Cam cover was removed to reveal this.  Looks like it's not just gone coolant to air after all, that's definitely emulsion.

20161119-01.jpg

 

The inside of the cam cover confirms that too.

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Monday the head will come off and go to the machine shop.  For now at least we can see it's not a quick nip up the head bolts and chuck some K Seal in sort of a job even had I been of a mind to bodge it that way.


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#526 OFFLINE   Felly Magic

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 08:13 PM

Damn. Hope you get it sorted, not having much luck with your health, get well soon 


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#527 OFFLINE   MikeKnight

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 09:10 PM

I love these engines, they're so nice to work on. No, honestly, I can even say that with a straight face.

 

Definitely gone coolant-to-oil and likely coolant-to-combustion as it throws water out the exhaust, but the coolant itself stays relatively clear so it's pressurising only in one direction. Leads me to believe it's on an original elastomer head gasket and the elastomer beading on that corner of the engine has failed. Fairly standard stuff. It's not failed catastrophically and I've seen worse, the head will likely require just a minor skim and pressure test.

 

Hope to have it back together and running by the end of next week, or the following week at the very latest. Though I'm also working on an Alfa Romeo 105 engine with a sloppy chain at the same time so will work the Rover in between paying jobs. My machine shop doesn't usually take weeks to return a head and they should have it all done the day after I drop it off as long as I do all the work stripping it properly.


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#528 OFFLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 09:26 PM

What about not skimming it? If you have found the source of the problem (detached sealing bead) and you know it's not had a mega boil up it most likely doesn't need skimming?
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#529 OFFLINE   MikeKnight

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 12:13 AM

I'll let my machine shop decide on if to skim it nor not. Can't always be sure with K heads. My guys won't do it if it doesn't need it. I trust them, they're good guys.

 

With K's I find being patient and methodical the only route to success, otherwise you're renewing gaskets every five minutes because you never got it pressure tested, tested for true, etc.

 

I'm just the spanner monkey who takes it apart and puts it back together. ;D


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#530 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 03:09 AM

I just noticed... was there a SECOND forum fire?  I'm missing the post(s) that tells you it blew the headgasket.  Mind you, it's fairly obvious there's an OMGHGF has happened there.

 

@Mr B:  you're the only person whose said not to bother with a skim.  That's not me calling your opinion into question, you know your onions, just that the majority opinion is that a skim is always required.  We shall see...



#531 OFFLINE   twosmoke300

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 08:18 AM

There is a school of thought that k series heads have a hardened surface that skimming removes . This is ok if you are fitting the two piece head gasket with head saver shim but if you put the original rubber faced type on the liners may beat into the head .
Not sure I believe in that personally but every k series I do gets a pressure test , skim and two piece kit with steel dowels . No come backs yet

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#532 OFFLINE   MikeKnight

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 11:15 AM

Definitely using the MLS head gasket here with steel dowels, the elastomer one was okay for factory but I always go MLS for rebuild.

 

Oddly enough a company volksangyl was looking at for the gasket were adamant he required an elastomer one, nothing else would do. Guess they had a large stock of them and wanted shifting. :P



#533 OFFLINE   Isaac Hunt

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 08:43 PM

I had one of those Multi Layer Steel gaskets fail on a K Series.  Don't know what brand it was or when fitted as the car came with it.  Steady coolant loss (but no mixing of fluids) finally came to an end when 'yoof' got it a bit hot tanking down the Motorway leaving it pressuring cooling system.  The gasket had rotted big time.

 

I though I would experiment a bit.  Got the head off, cleaned the face meticulously with fine wet'n'dry and plenty of Duckoil.  Checked it with a straight edge and a torch and feeler gauges, looked OK to me.   Cleaned the surface of the Block in the same manner.

 

Degreased all surfaces with Brake Cleaner.  Fitted a BG Gaskets 'Elastomer' version.  I later learned from an Ex Rover employee (worked in technical) that they considered these to be the best for a variety of reasons including the construction of the fire rings.  I used old stretch bolts but did nip the top of the pointed tips off them.

 

Anyway, that was Nov 2014 and I've put 30,000 miles on it since.  It has taken only a couple of coolant top ups and they have been minor.  No mixing of fluids.

 

Our other K Series has nipped the gasket and puts a bit of oil in the coolant (this head gasket has been on the car for 21 years, car been in family since new).  I periodically clean out the expansion tank and replace, only takes a few minutes.  No water in oil, car runs fine and has been like it for 3 years and about 25,000 miles.  I'll get to a HG replacement next time the cambelt is due.

 

So my conclusion is that head skims are not always necessary and BG Elastomer Gaskets are OK.  Keep the coolant topped up and on a hot day if stuck in traffic put heater on hot, fan on to keep the heat down and open the windows.

 

I understood the Elastomer Gasket to be more tolerant of liner heights than the MLS.  Other than the MLS that failed (probably due to it being run with plain water for a while before we got the car) I've no experience to talk of.   Like MikeKnight, lots of folk have had good experience of them.



#534 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 01:07 AM

Mike has been an absolute star and got the head off the Rover and today we dropped it off at the machine shop.  We've made the decision to give it the works rather than just doing enough.  That does make things considerably more expensive but it should mean I have an engine in the best health it can be for the rest of the life of the car.

 

So, camshaft cover off...

20161122-02.jpg

 

... then head off.

20161122-01.jpg

 

With the head on the bench you can see that one stubborn nut still holding the inlet manifold on at this stage.  That nut was removed but put up quite a fight so will get replaced.  Those that have seen it in person believe this could well be the original head gasket, which is pretty good going for an elastomer gasket on a 100k+ engine that hasn't been treated kindly in recent years.  At first glance it looks okay really, no obvious points of burning through.

20161122-03.jpg

 

Take a closer look and there are several points where the elastomer seal has failed, highlighted in this image.

20161122-04.jpg

 

The shopping list of parts I've been given are as follows:

Water Pipe Gasket (for small metal water pipe on head)

2 x Oil Filter (one for the flush through, one to go on with clean oil)
Flushing Oil
Bio-degreaser for waterways
MLS Head Gasket
Head Bolt Set
Cam Cover Gasket
Exhaust Manifold Gasket
Camshaft Oil Seals (x4)
Anaerobic Sealant
Inlet Manifold Nut (x1)
 
I already have a new inlet manifold gasket (green type), the oil and coolant so that's not on the list.  The head has been delivered to the machine shop who charge rather more than I'd like and take rather longer than I'd like but do very good work as I've seen on other engines in other cars and aren't shy about taking on obscure and/or maligned stuff like Renault 6 engines and K series heads.
 
The head will be pressure tested and if needed skimmed to be on the safe side.  It will also be getting one of the spark plug hole threads sorted since with the head off the car it was obvious that it was a bad thread and that's why it spat a plug out back in February.  In addition, the head and cam carrier will all get cleaned so everything is in the rudest health it can be before being ready for reassembly.
 
This is going to cost me rather more than I'd like and take a little longer, no one item is particularly expensive or time consuming, it just all adds up together to a larger amount of money and time than is perhaps usually spent on a car like this.  I'm going with the theory that if it's done right it only needs to be done once and I'll end up with a very healthy engine at the end of it.  I'm not bothered about making it high performance, just reliable.  The other reason for repair over replacement is that it costs less to repair properly than to replace with an unknown quantity, be that a new engine or a whole new car.  I've also gone through my options suggested both in person and online and the above is the balance I'm striking, limited to a degree by the available funds.

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#535 ONLINE   320touring

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 12:48 PM

Better the devil you know chief, car is sound and so will the lump be after this:)
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#536 OFFLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 02:50 PM

It's not a cheap gig doing these K series gaskets properly! I learned this the hard way.

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#537 OFFLINE   They_all_do_that_sir

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 06:22 PM

It's not a cheap gig doing these K series gaskets properly! I learned this the hard way.

Same here, took me three attempts to properly cure my 414 (bubble shape, HH-R?). Done the intake gasket at the same time and replaced the plastic locating dowels with metal ones from an earlier K

Once it was done right it was trouble-free for another 30k till I stacked it.....

The K is a wonderful engine when in good fettle. Very light and for its time a fantastic output per cc - 105bhp from a n/a 1400 is still respectable. Easy to see why lotus and Caterham used it for performance applications.

The R8 is a fantastic car, and IMO close to motoring perfection. Dad had a mint 214sli, bought with hardly any miles on it he looked after it, OMGHGF at just over 100k. Fixed and traded against a bubble 414 which was nowhere near as good a car. Although his bubble was much nicer than mine......

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#538 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 08:43 PM

Yesterday I got to drive the Rover home.  It's been a long three weeks without it, that's for sure, but with Mike having a lot of other work on and me not being able to help with this particular job I just had to wait.  All in, it cost around £250 which is cheap when compared against booking it in at a garage which would have set me back somewhere in the region of £700 locally which I simply couldn't afford (and probably would have made me replace the car, in all honesty).
 
It wasn't just the head getting done.  Shortly before the head gasket let go I had acquired a second-hand metal thermostat housing for very little which I hoped would cure the leaking plastic one the car has been afflicted with all the while I've had it.  Mike kindly offered to do this at the same time as the head work.  Mike was also generous enough to take some pictures as he went along so I could do this update on the work.
 
The first job was to dismantle the thermostat housing which was in pretty good shape, thankfully.  It was listed as being from a 1.4 K series engine but not which model of vehicle, it looked to have all the holes where I needed them to be so it was deemed better than what was currently on the car.
 
20161211-01.jpg
 
 
Then... there was a problem.  So, it turns out there's different fittings for different housings.  I did not know this, I had assumed - perhaps foolishly - they were the same across the range.
20161211-02.jpg
 
The coolant hose on my car is not perfect so I wasn't too alarmed when Mike modified it to make the new housing fit.
20161211-03.jpg
 
He did a lovely job cleaning the housing up and fitting it with the new thermostat.  As you can see, we now have two pipes with flanges that won't fit together.
20161211-04.jpg
 
Never fear, jubilees and radiator hose is here!  You can't see any of this at all when the inlet manifold is fitted and it has proven to be a very successful leak cure as I no longer have any loss of coolant down the back of the engine.  Hoorah!  In this shot you can also see the block face before anything was cleaned up.  With the head and inlet manifold fitted it's much harder to get the thermostat housing in place.
20161211-05.jpg
 
The head received a 4 thou skim, was pressure tested and had one of the spark plug holes fitted with a helicoil to resolve the missing thread (which is why it spat a plug out back in February).  The head and cam carrier both received a thorough clean and the block, before anything was refitted, was also cleaned thoroughly.  Then the new MLS gasket and head saver shim along with some Wellseal was all refitted in the order and on the advice of another friend (hi, Adam!) who rebuilds K series for a living.  We had thought the dowels were metal but it turns out they were plastic.  The metal ones in the kit were fitted in their stead.  So this picture, I think, is the head gasket on the block.
20161211-06.jpg
 
And this would be the lovely clean head fitted to the lovely clean block.  In addition to the head gasket and a head-save shim, all the head bolts and camshaft seals were replaced.
20161211-07.jpg
 
Camshafts and cam carrier fitted.  There was sign of some oil starvation beginning, I am told, because some of the oil ways were a bit gunged up.  This is hardly surprising really, the oil that I only changed last year and about 5,000 miles ago was already coal black when it came out.  Hopefully having all this work done will prevent any serious oil starvation issues manifesting.
20161211-08.jpg
 
Then everything was buttoned up.  A new inlet manifold gasket was fitted along with the new alternator belt that we hadn't done when the cambelt was done.
20161211-09.jpg
 
Happily, once everything was plugged in, the car didn't play silly buggers with the key fob and started with no bother.  With that done, oil and coolant were both treated to a flush which the coolant system didn't really need but the oil very definitely did; the flushing oil went in nearly clear and came out jet black.  After that, fresh coolant and oil were put in - 2 oil filters used for that, one for the flush, one for the new oil - and a little patience was employed to get a stubborn air lock out of the coolant system again.  At one point when the oil was drained it looked just like a brain in the drain pan.
20161211-11.jpg
 
With everything done that could be I took the car for a short test drive around the block near the unit just to make sure nothing was going to go seriously wrong too far from home or the unit, gave everything a check and then drove it home.  The coolant system now reliably pressurises, I get no water vapour or just water out of the back box, the engine is very, very quiet and the car drives much smoother.
 
I suspect the head had been on the way out for some time because the car had started feeling sluggish.  Nothing ever manifested and a compression and gas test revealed nothing amiss, just one of those where you have to keep going until something breaks to show you what the problem is.  I'm being very gently-gently this week while I listen for new noises and keep a nose out for any new smells.  So far, so good, but it's only been 20 miles.  The one thing that is nice is being back behind the wheel of it again, I've missed driving this car very much and I've missed the independence it offers me.
20161211-10.jpg

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#539 OFFLINE   AngusToledo

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 09:12 PM

Mike is clearly a bit of a legend. Good to see this one back working again.
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#540 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 12:09 AM

Absolutely he is.  I'd've been totally stuck without his help on this one.






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