General How To.... Diagnose a K Series Head Gasket Failure - Page 5 - MG-Rover.org Forums
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post #81 of 265 (permalink) Old 16-06-2009, 11:25
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MGF overheating problem. I am confused

I have a 2000 MGF which is overheating. I am not sure what to do to correct it. I do not want to spend cash on replacing the head gasket until I know if the problem I have is likely to be head gasket related.

The car runs well, has plenty of power and no oil emulsion in the oil. I cannot see any leaks. The pipes underneath and gasket have been replaced by a previous owner. I had it overheat recently and the recovery guy tested many things out and said the pump was working fine and nothing seemed un toward. He bled the system and we headed home with the temp gauge going up and down. After about 30 miles we overheated again. Since then a garage has looked at it and bled the system. They said some of the radiator core was not working but not enough to cause overheating. I can now drive it for 20 minutes or so at speeds of up to 50 MPH and the water temperature gauge remains just below half way. The oil temperature goes just above 120 degrees. The fan then cuts in and the coolant starts to boil.

For those experts out there, does this sound like a head gasket problem? Your thoughts would be appreciated.
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post #82 of 265 (permalink) Old 16-06-2009, 22:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiggert View Post
I have a 2000 MGF which is overheating. I am not sure what to do to correct it. I do not want to spend cash on replacing the head gasket until I know if the problem I have is likely to be head gasket related.

The car runs well, has plenty of power and no oil emulsion in the oil. I cannot see any leaks. The pipes underneath and gasket have been replaced by a previous owner. I had it overheat recently and the recovery guy tested many things out and said the pump was working fine and nothing seemed un toward. He bled the system and we headed home with the temp gauge going up and down. After about 30 miles we overheated again. Since then a garage has looked at it and bled the system. They said some of the radiator core was not working but not enough to cause overheating. I can now drive it for 20 minutes or so at speeds of up to 50 MPH and the water temperature gauge remains just below half way. The oil temperature goes just above 120 degrees. The fan then cuts in and the coolant starts to boil.

For those experts out there, does this sound like a head gasket problem? Your thoughts would be appreciated.
If there's no contamination or water loss it's likely to be something other than HGF but if the problem isn't rectified soon it could cause HGF.

Has the thermostat operation been checked? The thermostat rarely fails in the closed position but if it did overheating would occour as the coolant fails to circulate. One other thing to change which only costs a few pound is the coolant expansion bottle cap, the cap regulates the system pressure and has been the cause of over pressurisation and boiling.

Was the water pump changed by the previous owner when the HG failed?

Cheers,
Ian.
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post #83 of 265 (permalink) Old 16-06-2009, 22:52
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Could be incorrect ratio of water/antifreeze mix.
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post #84 of 265 (permalink) Old 17-06-2009, 06:29 Thread Starter
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Replace the radiator, you can't afford to run round with a dodgy one. At the same time, fit a new stat and have a poke around in the back of the water pump to see if the rotor is still in one piece. Antifreeze mix will not cause the problem, it will run quite happily on straight water untill the cooling system corrodes away!
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post #85 of 265 (permalink) Old 12-07-2009, 22:27
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this explain how delicate is k series engines
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tb-ucz_Fpg&NR=1
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post #86 of 265 (permalink) Old 12-07-2009, 23:38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ursus-2 View Post
this explain how delicate is k series engines
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tb-ucz_Fpg&NR=1
That video in no way offers any explanation for the k-series being delicate. Just informs people that to buy unbranded (ie not Payen) bolts and use them is very high risk after the information provided in part two. It also reinforces the knowledge that anyone who has ever suffered HGF will have gained that the cost control/lack of quality control and extensive real world testing in place resulted in them sourcing new/untested (at least in the long term) headgasket technology (the elastomeric beading).

The engine, along with the correct quality bolts and gasket results in a very durable, powerful, light engine when maintained well.
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post #87 of 265 (permalink) Old 13-08-2009, 09:42
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HGF Rover 216 Cab P Reg

Hi, i'm new to this site but does look great as i'm no car mechanic.

driving home from work (motorway) i heard a ticking noise as i excellerated it got louder the more i drove, started to lose power in 5 gear but manage up the slip road in 3rd.

got towed home and started looking, i notice there was no water in the water tank so filled it up, also white smoke from exhaust, dip stick and oil cap when car running idle, increase on revs, white smoke is not thick.

temp gauge in car does not work so couldn't tell if car had overheated.

started car up when everything was cool, seems to struggle to start but does nearly straight away.

can also see the same smoke coming from where the exhaust joins the exhaust manifold.

drove a 100 yards don't seem to be how it was prior, but that might be me being paranoid.

when i looked at where i'd parked there was a liquid on the floor from the area the exhaust was, checked it and it's water.

cannot see any signs of water leakage from around engine

also have not noticed the fan kick in during the car being on

please advise me on if it seems like HGF as i'm clueless when it comes to this stuff.
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post #88 of 265 (permalink) Old 13-08-2009, 16:12
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This needs to be posted as a seperate thread......................

anyway, firstly take the oil filler cap off and tell us what you see. also on the dipstick, and what is the oil level like.

The car most certainly overheated, and that ticking could be a piston ring, but one thing at a time.
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post #89 of 265 (permalink) Old 14-08-2009, 10:06
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the oil level is fine, i filled it 3 weeks ago before doing a 300 mile trip still the same level.

taken the oil filler cap off and inside looks normal, black oil.

i have looked for signs of oil water mixing in oil and water it all looks normal
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post #90 of 265 (permalink) Old 22-08-2009, 14:59
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Originally Posted by ShamrockRover View Post
Heres the deal, replaced the headgasket with the two part modified gasket, replaced the thermostat, changed oil and filter, drilled out the ball bearing valve on the manifold, bled an bled and bled and even bypassed the heater matrix and still getting huge amount of air in the system. Car starts first time and sounds great, drive for five minutes and top rad hose becomes solid, if i dont open the bottle the water cant circulate hence the fan wont kick in and im back to square one. Just one little thought, if the head bolts werent tightened down to full torque would i have exhaust gases leakin into my water system. We never got new bolts and was somewhat hesitant to torque to the ful 20 kn 180'. Any ideas as the kids goe back to school on Wednesday and we only have one car now.
Head bolts should definately be 20Nm and then 2x 180degree turns.

Does both the top and bottom rad hoses get hot?
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post #91 of 265 (permalink) Old 23-08-2009, 00:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShamrockRover View Post
Heres the deal, replaced the headgasket with the two part modified gasket, replaced the thermostat, changed oil and filter, drilled out the ball bearing valve on the manifold, bled an bled and bled and even bypassed the heater matrix and still getting huge amount of air in the system. Car starts first time and sounds great, drive for five minutes and top rad hose becomes solid, if i dont open the bottle the water cant circulate hence the fan wont kick in and im back to square one. Just one little thought, if the head bolts werent tightened down to full torque would i have exhaust gases leakin into my water system. We never got new bolts and was somewhat hesitant to torque to the ful 20 kn 180'. Any ideas as the kids goe back to school on Wednesday and we only have one car now.

I will give you a bump, for the chance that either Rover technician 1955 Diesel or highly experienced Dr Dave sees this.
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post #92 of 265 (permalink) Old 23-08-2009, 08:50 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShamrockRover View Post
if i dont open the bottle the water cant circulate hence the fan wont kick in
That bit is confusing. Removing the cap should make no difference to the flow through the bottle and this flow is not required for the coolant to flow past the temperature sensor so I'm assuming that this is something to do with your air lock problem.

How do you know that you have an air lock? No heater and engine boiling up? A pressurised top hose is not an indication and you should not take too much notice of it unless the filler cap starts to vent pressure.

Are you bleeding it with the heater set to hot and have you tried flushing everything through?

At the end of the day, If you are sure it is generating repeat air locks, then they are probably from a leaking head gasket. However, if this is the case, I would also expect some indication of water in the bores if it is as bad as you suggest.
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post #93 of 265 (permalink) Old 23-08-2009, 20:04 Thread Starter
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The system is supposed to run under pressure, this will not prevent flow but will stop the coolant from boiling. You only have a problem if there is so much pressure that the cap starts to vent steam.

If you remove the cap when the engine is hot, there will be a huge gush of water as the coolant in the engine suddenly boils. Don't do it! You'll hurt yourself and damage the engine.

Coolant will circulate through the header tank because you have removed the ball valve in the manifold. With this in place, it only circulates when the stat is open and the revs raised. Removing it does no harm, but I would recommend a restrictor to tame the flow a little. Otherwise, the high flow can draw air into the coolant.
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post #94 of 265 (permalink) Old 30-08-2009, 20:15
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Intermitent coolent loss.......

Hi all - sorry newby here (although some mechanical knowledge) Recently purchased a 200 1.4 16v 1999 with only 57k on the clock so I thought a bargain at 350 quid - even with a rattly valve adjuster and the time clock worked!!!!! After a week of no problems I suddenly found coolant loss - topped up header tank and again fine for a week then more coolant loss - it loses about a litre at a time. No sludge (mayo) in the sump or header tank, no loss of power. I have found coolant around the block so presumed it was HGF - however some of the dampness has been above the head gasket at the reat of the block so I am wondering if it is the inlet manifold gasket ?? I have never heard of an intermitant head gasket failure so what are your thoughts ??
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post #95 of 265 (permalink) Old 31-08-2009, 06:36 Thread Starter
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Change the inlet gasket and see how it goes. It sounds from your description that this may well be the problem and it will give you the chance of inspecting all the other plumbing back there at the same time.
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post #96 of 265 (permalink) Old 25-11-2009, 23:39
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Question Cleaning up the mess afterwards

Hi, I have just searched through this thread, but haven't found what I'm looking for...
I have just had to look at a a very sick 1.4 ZR, basically overheating because the cooling system is filled with emulsion. If the radiator is blocked, the coolant rushes through the expansion bottle via the top-hose bleed tube as a line of least resistance (the radiator should normally take the main flow when the thermostat is opened). As mentioned earlier in this thread, the radiators on the 200/400/600 series Rovers are very fine-cored, so block solid with relative ease.
Before I completely write the head gasket off as a failure, I want to clean the cooling system up to find out if the oil transfer path has failed totally at the head-gasket face or not (no contamination of the oil sump). I have seen loads of failures in the past on K's where just the cooling system is contaminated, through the head "shuffling" around on poor nylon dowels.
Now, back to my question - any good ideas about the best way of cleaning the cooling system (especially radiator) of mayonaise? I am currently trying the old "trade" trick of running the system with a biological washing powder in a series of flushes up to running temperature. It is working, but the radiator is taking a while to clear the sludge across the whole height (the overheating was caused by the radiator only passing coolant on the top two core tubes). Any better ideas? This is the way that oil cooler failure is sorted out on Vw's and Audi's, by the way!
Cheers,
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post #97 of 265 (permalink) Old 26-11-2009, 09:55 Thread Starter
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Agreed, the radiator can be a problem if the contamination is very bad. I have used Forte Bio Degreaser in the past with good results. I think I left it in for about a week! Others on the forum have suggested that it might be a good time to just replace the radiator if it is looking a bit used, they are not that expensive.
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post #98 of 265 (permalink) Old 26-11-2009, 23:53
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Unhappy Contaminated radiator cleaning

Hi again,
Well, I've tried cleaning the radiator out a bit more today. All was going fine until I "posted" my endoscopic camera down the end-tank on the top-hose end. Got some encouraging pictures, then lost the focus, then realised that I had lost the lens off the camera probe....
So, it was to Euro Car Parts that I re-visited, as the cleaning process is not working well enough inside the flue-ways, and the core was starting to look a bit "bald" in one or two places near the top. What I hadn't appreciated is that the radiators are fantastically cheap, as long as you don't have an air-con model.....The A/C rad is roughly 85 to the standard rad's 45. However, if I am ever to see my lens again, I need to cut the end-tank off the old radiator, so the customer is going to have to understand on this one (somehow). I had already primed him for the cost of a new rad at 45, on top of a head gasket kit from Payens. I shall have to work quickly on the head to save 40 labour......
The biological powder has really shifted all of the emulsion from the rest of the system, as every hose that has been removed is totally clean inside, and it smells nice as well!! I will take some conventional camera pictures of the head and coolant galleries when the whole lot comes apart.
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post #99 of 265 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 23:14
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Is it worth replacing HG?

Hi - I am a new user and apologies if this point has already been covered elsewhere. I have also had a related discussion on another forum elsewhere on the internet.

My car apparently has a problem with HG. I had water leaking from the exhaust in Feb 2009, and at that time simply added some 'Bars Leaks' or similar, to the coolant. The water loss seemed to go away, however the engine is now starting to sound rough again.

If we assume for a moment that there is an HG problem, my question is, what is the best way forward?

Should I go ahead with getting the HG changed? If so when, and is there a recommended firm (or one of several) who could do this work in a reliable way? I understand one of the problems with K series engines is their reputation, ie they are thought to have head gasket problems so they get into a vicious circle, including where HG problems are not fixed correctly, they recur, and this is unfairly blamed on the engine itself rather than the quality of the work carried out.

One proposed solution is to get he HG fixed properly, using an MLS gasket instead of the standard one. Is this liklely to be much more expensive - or have any other, non-financial downsides - compared with the standard HG? Again should I be looking for a specialist firm to do the work, rather than simply buying an MLS gasket myself and asking a generalist mechanic to fit it?

Incidentally I should make clear I have no mechnical ability myself!

If for the time being I simply add more 'Bar Leaks' liquid, am I just storing up more trouble for the future? Will it actually make the long-term situation worse, or will it simply delay my having to replace the HG?

If I wait until HGF actually happens, are we talking about my engine being wrecked and needing to be replaced? Or is HGF a status - which can last weeks/months, ie where I am now - rather than a single catastrophic 'event'?

Many Thanks
James Joyce
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post #100 of 265 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 23:55
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Originally Posted by james_joyce View Post
Hi - I am a new user and apologies if this point has already been covered elsewhere. I have also had a related discussion on another forum elsewhere on the internet.

My car apparently has a problem with HG. I had water leaking from the exhaust in Feb 2009, and at that time simply added some 'Bars Leaks' or similar, to the coolant. The water loss seemed to go away, however the engine is now starting to sound rough again.

If we assume for a moment that there is an HG problem, my question is, what is the best way forward?

Should I go ahead with getting the HG changed? If so when, and is there a recommended firm (or one of several) who could do this work in a reliable way? I understand one of the problems with K series engines is their reputation, ie they are thought to have head gasket problems so they get into a vicious circle, including where HG problems are not fixed correctly, they recur, and this is unfairly blamed on the engine itself rather than the quality of the work carried out.

One proposed solution is to get he HG fixed properly, using an MLS gasket instead of the standard one. Is this liklely to be much more expensive - or have any other, non-financial downsides - compared with the standard HG? Again should I be looking for a specialist firm to do the work, rather than simply buying an MLS gasket myself and asking a generalist mechanic to fit it?

Incidentally I should make clear I have no mechnical ability myself!

If for the time being I simply add more 'Bar Leaks' liquid, am I just storing up more trouble for the future? Will it actually make the long-term situation worse, or will it simply delay my having to replace the HG?

If I wait until HGF actually happens, are we talking about my engine being wrecked and needing to be replaced? Or is HGF a status - which can last weeks/months, ie where I am now - rather than a single catastrophic 'event'?

Many Thanks
James Joyce
HGF isn't normally catastrophic although it does depend upon the nature of the failure.

If your HG has failed and you do want a guranteed repair your best option would be to contact your local X-part service/repair centre. http://www.xpart.com/RVE108069b1ad2f...c3b60da,,.aspx They should be experts with the K-series HG's and know what they're doing.

Don't automatically assume that the MLS gasket is superior to the original, the MLS gasket requires perfect mating surfaces and also the cylinder liner height is an important factor too with less toleance than the SLS gasket. It's impossible to tell exactly which gasket will be the best for your engine until the cylinder head has been removed.

The price difference between the MLS and SLS gaskets is minimal. As with all mechanical work, the labour is the most expensive part of the repair.


All the above is assuming that you have HGF and I don't think you have. Judging by the information in your post I would be more inclined to replace the inlet manifold gasket, it's a known weak point. When the inlet manifold gasket leaks it can leak internally (also externally) into cylinder 1 and/or 4, the coolant will exit the exhaust as water vapour/steam. Rough running can also occur due to the coolant entering the cylinders.

Many HG's have been placed over the year through being wongly diagnosed by so called 'expert mechanics'. Don't fall into the trap of having your HG replaced when it may not be the cause.

Are you experiencing any other symptoms?

Regards,
Ian.
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