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Reginald Nutsack's K-series Kapers - ROVER 623 MOT GUFF


Mr_Bo11ox
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This thread is far too technical for this site.

 

What happened to k seal and removing thermostats? This is what we do when our crap overheats, we do not have heads skimmed or use payen gaskets.

 

This site is'nt what it used to be etc.....

 

 

Seriously, I doff my cap to you.

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Payen have uprated the original gasket, which has a blue seal rather than orange. I believe it is far superior to the MLS, which was designed to try and get round problems which were the fault of the owners rather than the gaskets.. lack of coolant changes, lack of coolant, lack of servicing etc. The original gasket allows for slight movement of the mating surfaces, which the K will do, whereas the MLS just seems to have oil leaks at the corners after a while. I also believe the inlet manifold gasket was to blame in many cases of HGF diagnosis, as the symptoms are the same, and is changed as part of a HG change usually so the symptoms disappear magically. The K series was subject to thousands and thousands of miles of testing before being released, from the Arctic to the desert with no issues, whereas the MLS was rushed out to try and save the K series reputation.

 

The Elise and Caterham etc used the K and are driven much harder than a giffer 75, but seem to no suffer from issues... coincidence, or more caring owners?

 

All the above is IMO of course, and based on working on the K without the common motor trade "knee jerk" Oh, its a Rover, it's the head gasket mate...

 

I've found it's usually not, or it's not the head gaskets fault..

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The Elise and Caterham etc used the K and are driven much harder than a giffer 75, but seem to no suffer from issues... coincidence, or more caring owners?

 

 

To be fair, the K is a lot more suited to hurling exceedingly light sports cars around than the great bulk of the Rover 75 or Freelander. Neighbours are fastidious with servicing on their Freelander, and it has still blown three head gaskets.

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To be fair, the K is a lot more suited to hurling exceedingly light sports cars around than the great bulk of the Rover 75 or Freelander. Neighbours are fastidious with servicing on their Freelander, and it has still blown three head gaskets.

Half an hour on a track in summer is probably as hard on an engine as 6 months in a Freeloader..If it's blown 3 gaskets, they haven't cured the problem at least twice.In cases like these they are usually hard boiled enough first time to have dropped the liners below the block, or they didn't change the sticky thermostat or change the pump or flush the partially blocked rad..or just hashed it together as " it's only a f***kin Rover- head gaskets always go on them just get it running and oot of ma  ****** garage."  Has it been serviced correctly? Proper OAT coolant every 2 years, replace the rad cap every year? Even if it has a full LRSH only means someone has stamped the book in a Land Rover garage..  I've blown many gaskets having been within earshot of this attitude over the years.

 

 

There are far FAR worse engines out there for stupid design faults and kamikaze tendancies- mostly French and one is under the bonnet of my Volvo. Another one towed in to us last week, uneconomical to repair. and headed over the bridge......04 plate C-Max...and I sent it for the good of the customer. One day the K series will be admired for its longevity and excellent engineering when 100,000 miles becomes a distant goal again.

 

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I think the MLS and the Payen are OK, both are legitimate ways of making a decent head gasket but they both have advantages and disadvantages I reckon and its not at all clear which is best overall.

 

The elastomer gasket seals up better for defo, both in terms of internal and external links. I'm sure its more tolerant of liner height variation and so on too. But, the relative movement of head, block and liners, after lots of hot and cold cycles, eventually pulls the rubber beads off the gasket and either lets water out externally (causing an overheat) or lets the oil get into the water system and vice versa. I reckon this will be accelerated if the wrong coolant is used as it will accelerate degradation of the rubber beads or the bonding agent that holds them onto the gasket. When one of these gaskets lets go it will be fine one minute then kippered the next. All the K-series HG fails I've pulled apart (not hundreds admittedly!!!) have had the rubber beads hanging off the gasket.

 

The MLS gasket doesnt have any rubber so doesnt have the above problem. But, not having any rubber element means its got to be worse at sealing. I reckon you're at much greater risk of an external oil or coolant leak with an MLS gasket. How can a metal-on-metal gasket give a perfect waterproof seal long term on something thats getting hot and cold over and over? I just don't see how it can. BUT the difference is if you just top up the oil and water it could last indefinitely I reckon. It won't fail catastrophically.

 

I wonder if Payen have changed the rubber compound when they started using the blue stuff. If they have found a way to increase the longevity of those rubber beads then they have probably cracked it I reckon. If they are making gaskets for lots of car manufacturers they probably have access to huge reserves of data about the effect of different antifreezes etc on the rubber compounds they use and maybe they have come up with something better (in terms of rubber sealing bead material) than Rover managed back in 1989 or whatever.

 

I am gonna use the Payen again in the unlikely event I get involved in any more K series meltdowns. I dont know for certain what they have done (if anything) with those rubber sealing beads but for me the MLS is just different rather than obviously better.

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Indeed. Neighbour's first HGF was dealer repaired and lasted 20k miles. Then a specialist went all uprated gasket and it lasted 40k miles. You can't deny an engine has some design flaws if that happens to someone who is pretty anal about servicing. I rate the K, I really do, but I accept it has issues, especially in 1.8 form.

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YO!!!

 

Been on the Rover a lot this weekend (sounds like a euphemism but isnt)

 

Last week it was up and running but I was shitting myself that it was gonna freeze and pop my newly fixed-up 1800 K series. I was not shitting myself enough to go up the garage and drain the water out though. Well i am pleased to report that no damage has been done. This weekend I flushed the cooling system out twice with an Aldi biological washing powder tablet each time after which I filled it up with OAT coolant (admittedly a little weaker than I would have liked, but I ran out) which seems to have done the biz. Oh yeah I washed the expansion bottle out with thinners again. Now it seems to be 99.5% oil free although the heater is still a bit shit which is annoying.

 

So this weekend i ah been mainly de-snagging:

 

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if you recall, some fudge-walloper had helpfully sawn off the bonnet safety catch. Well I made a new one out of a bit of threaded bar and welded it on

 

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Also got a new striker plate thingy to replace the missing one, got that from McGuinnesses in Stoke for the excellent price of £0 although I had to spend £15 on a battery for the 25GTi to be allowed it at such a preferential rate.

 

My bonnet woes weren't over though as I discovered the root cause of all this bodgery - a seized-up LH secondary bonnet cable. I tried to free it off and pulled the end off it like Desperate Dan. Looked it up on Rimming Brothers website when I got home - £27!!!! fuck that, I need to have a better idea than spend that kind of money on a flipping glorified bicycle brake cab..... hmm thats an idea.

 

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Ah well the bonnet can't fly up in my face any more so I will get this sorted in due course. Need to have a fully working bonnet cable though, thats hardly too much to ask is it FFS

 

Next I found someone flogging a get of genuine locking nutz  on the bay for TEN POOND so i had them:

 

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To my surprise the key fitted the two remaining nuts on my car so I didnt have to butcher them!!! Result, now I have two ignition keys and the LWN key as well!!! Now I can take the wheels off and on as many times as I like.

 

Next, GSF car parts were having a 35% off special offer so I splashed 15 Sterling (see what I did there?) on a new cambelt:

 

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I am a flippin whiz on these K's now, took about half an hour to fit and didnt bend any valves. Lovely!!! Oh those pics are n the wrong order. Chucked all the covers on and the wheelarch liner back in as well, need to get a few new clips for that though, not from the Rimmers mind as they charge about £12/side for a handful of wanky clips

 

Next I started to pull the interior to bits as the stench was just too much. Took ages to get it all out as there are about 1,000,000 clips holding everything. I won in the end though:

 

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Nice to see a big flipping dint in the floor that had cracked all the soundproofing off leaving a load of bare metal!!! Suppose I will hammer that out and paint it with summert.

 

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The carpet in these is a hell of thing. Its got an integral foam rubber backing (presumably for soundproofing) thats anything up to like 1.5" thick!!! It weighs a flippin ton and getting it out of the car is a right war.

 

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Anyway I did get it out in the end but by this point after wrestling the seats out I was bloody knackered so went home. Came back today though, I had an idea about thaking the interior up to my mate who has a bees knees upholstery cleaner, but in the end he wasnt available so i drafted in some help from SCOTTISH POWER:

 

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Then I just spent ages blasting it with a hosepipe and scrubbing it with a stiff brush. Also found some wank 'WILKO upholstery cleaner' that was so rubbish it could hardly get itself out of the aerosol can, but I used a load of it anyway, dont know if it did owt.

 

Spent about 45 mins hosing and scrubbing:

 

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Think it did an OK job to be fair. Loads of minging water came running out of it. left it hangin up to dry.

 

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While the interior was out I had a look at the handbrake compensator which I has read on the ZT forum was made of monkey metal and bends over time. Mine was starting to go:

 

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Not sure if it makes any difference to owt or not but I bent it back and welded a reinforcer on:

 

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The handbrake is a bit shit on this Rover, I think the rear brakes must need attention (certainly the front pads need replacing) but I can eliminate this little thing from my enquiries when faffing with the brakes next time.

 

I wanted to start putting the interior back together, but the foam backing on the carpet soaked a load of water up and that is gonna take an age to dry, specially in the cold damp winter weather. SO I laid the carpet out on the bonnet of the Maser and left it to dry for a few days. Looking forward to putting it back in though as that is gonna smarten the job up a lot.

 

Also gave the revolting centre console a scrub:

 

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Not mint but 100x better which is good enough for me.

 

Next I want to clean the seats but I'm not sure what to do. I havent got a wetvac or upholstery cleaner. Havent even got hot water up the garage. My landlady has a steam cleaner which she says I can use but are those things any good? I cant see how blasting a bit of steam on is going to do a lot. Although it might kill whatever bugs are making the foul smell i suppose. The seats are out the car so I could cart them up to my mates house but I doubt I'll have time in the next couple of weeks so I dont know about that. Basically I dont know.

 

Jobs left to do: New front pads, investigate the shit handbrake, clean the seats and refit the interior, polish the scratches out the windscreen, fix the slow puncture (which is in a rubbish tyre on a wheel thats badly kerbed and slightly burned by my efforts to get the locking wheelnut out, so I might be better off just getting a whole wheel if I can find a cheap one) and attack the outside with the polishing mop. I think I am gonna put this on the road for a while once its ready cos I thnk by the time i get it MOT'd it will be a fairly well-sorted example, even if it is a shit 1.8 NA version.

 

Then NO MORE ROVERS!!!

 

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Nah my garage mate is storing it for his mate, its a track car with twin webers and a very noisy racing gearbox of some sort. Its a pain in the arse cos you have to start it up and shift it out the way every time you want to get something in or out the garage, I wish it would FRO to be honest

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Next I want to clean the seats but I'm not sure what to do. I havent got a wetvac or upholstery cleaner. Havent even got hot water up the garage. My landlady has a steam cleaner which she says I can use but are those things any good? I cant see how blasting a bit of steam on is going to do a lot. Although it might kill whatever bugs are making the foul smell i suppose. The seats are out the car so I could cart them up to my mates house but I doubt I'll have time in the next couple of weeks so I dont know about that. Basically I dont know.

 

Spray bottle with some cleaning shiz in, some cloths and a brush and a wet vac (suction only will be fine). Basically spray a bit, scrub a bit, suck out. Repeat as needed. 

 

A steam cleaner is good, as it blasts the stains from the fabric out out of sight into the foam as dirty water. Could lead to watermarks though. They are fucking ace at reviving the pile though.

 

It's a shame you cant fire a pressure washer at those carpets then wet vac off to get them 90% dry. I did this in the Puma, and the refitted jsut the drivers seat and went for a random drive up to warwick services and back (ah the joys of being single) with the heaters on full whack and the windows open a crack. Sped the drying process up, although it wasnt december at the time...

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I did wetvac the carpets after hsoing em and the top side is pretty dry but the foam on the bottom is wringing wet and is gonna take yonks to dry out.

 

I think I might have a crack with the steam cleaner, seemingly you dont use any cleaning products just give it a good blast with the steamer and then a rub with a cloth?

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