How do I - change Inlet manifold gasket? (K Series) - Forums
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post #1 of 120 (permalink) Old 01-10-2007, 22:53 Thread Starter
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How do I - change Inlet manifold gasket? (K Series)

Inlet manifold gasket failure is a common failure on the k series fitted with the 'black plastic' inlet manifold - and can be a big cause of HGF. So heres a brief guide on changing the gasket:

First obviously you need to determine that your inlet manifold gasket is leaking - in the case of this 1998 Rover 416 there was slow, intermittent coolant loss which could be seen when the car had been sat for a good few hours (over night) coupled with misfiring upon startup in the morning (although it only misfired when it leaked) I couldnt decided weather its the head gasket or not so thought I would try changing the inlet manifold gasket first for what its worth.

STEP 1: Unclip air filter housing and unclip the connected hose at the throttle body using a flat bladed screw driver. The whole top half of the air filter housing/box can now be lifted away and placed to one side.

STEP 2: In order to free the manifold and let it lean back you will need to disconnect various pipes and connectors. I started off by just removing the obvious - the 2 oil/breather pipes connected to the rocker cover....(a pair of pliers is needed) and the electrical connection that is secured to the manifold.....more of less directly behind the oil filler cap.

Should be looking something like this:

STEP 3: drain the coolant. Some say dont drain the coolant but I chose to and took the opportunity to flush the radiator etc. To drain coolant remove the bottom radiator hose......on mine I had to remove the lower underside plastic panel as that was the only way I could undo the circlip as it was facing to the ground. To remove this panel is quite obvious - remove the (4 at a guess?) bolts on the underside, and then undo the 2 plastic screws in each front wheel arch.

STEP 4: With the coolant drained, lower the car back down. (I kept it slightly raised some of the times to make it easier)

STEP 5: Is really just having a look to see what may obstruct taking the manifold off. (Or leaning it out of the way) I removed and disconnected things as I went along as I hadn't done the task before, but you can do it before:

-Disconnect the smaller coolant hose from the 'elbow' at the front corner of the engine - the hose that runs under the distributor and along side the air filter box. Moving this hose helps access to the very end lower bolt on the manifold (same side).

-On 400 models completely remove the small thin piping that runs from the top of the coolant expansion tank, to the manifold, and then finishing off at the radiator....its obvious how to remove it and it just gets in the way other wise.

-If you follow the the fuel piping from the fuel filter, under the manifold you will get to a metal clip that screws to the manifold....unbolt this - it doesnt free much space as the pipes are metal so 'non bendable' - but every little helps.

-Remove the centre HT lead from the distibutor cap and free it from the manifold as its clipped to the underside and gets in the way. (No need to remove it from coil)

-follow the throttle cable from the throttle body, and free it from any clips

- some of the electrical connectors/sensors around the throttle body area etc. get in the way so just un-clip them

STEP 6 - once you have had a look and disconnected everything that will get in the way, you are now ready to remove the bolts of the manifold.

You need a size 10 socket for the lower bolts, and a size 13 socket for the 3 upper nuts. Access can be very fiddly indeed - just take your time ,and try using various extension bars. (you would be surprised how just using a differnt socket/extension bar can make all the differnece) There should be 4 lower bolts, and 3 upper nuts.

Once the nuts/bolts have been removed and put aside, gently wiggle the manifold with both hands to free it if its stuck. It will start to come away and then you should be able to pull it away from the engine and ease it off the top studs.

There should now be a small gap between the manifold and the engine, I think I had already removed the old gasket in this picture:

With a bit of persausion you should be able to move the manifold enough (again check any cables etc. getting in the way) to remove the old gasket....It will probably be a bit 'stuck' in the grooves of the manifold.

Cleaning up, and reassembly..................
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post #2 of 120 (permalink) Old 01-10-2007, 22:54 Thread Starter
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STEP 7 - cleaning up

You need to clean the mating surfaces of the manifold and the engine otherwise the new gasket may not seal. I used an old rag (cut up t-shirt), a tooth brush and some white spirit. There was also some stuck on debris on mine in a couple of places - so I gently used some emery paper.

Here you can see the left side of the picture with the clean mating surface, compared to the right side of the picture - uncleaned:

You will also need to clean the 'grooves' in the manifold - again to make sure the new gasket seals. A brush is best for this.

STEP 8 - fitting new gasket

The new gasket you will need is the modified version - green in colour. MG Rover part number: LKJ101110SLP

Unlike the old gasket, the new green one doesn't matter which way round it goes, both sides are the same. As long as you line up the rubber 'lugs' at the bottom into the appropriate grooves on the manifold then you cant go wrong.

Start of at one end gently pushing the new gasket into the groove in the manifold, it will seem easy at first but once its round 1 port it will start to require a bit of persausion and stretching to fit. I worked my way round from top then round the bottom. Be sure it fits nicely into the grooves in the manifold:

Once you have done this, double check that there is no grit, dirt or foreign objects on the mating surface. Now you can now slowly and gently slide the manifold onto the studs.

Keep the manifold firm up against the engine untill you have got a couple of nuts in to secure it. (Pulling it away again may disturb the gasket)

Tighten the nuts and bolts of the manifold back up in sequence, starting from the middle. A torque wrench is very usefull - wants to be 25NM.

You can now re-connect everything you disconnected, remember to check all hoses are snug and circlips are tight (wouldnt want a coolant hose poping off whilst driving!) and re-check every thing again. Remember to clip the hose of the air filter back to the throttle body (dont want that coming off else the engine will suck in unfiltered air)

Im no expert at bleeding the system. But remove the bleed screw on the metal coolant pipe under the distributor and have a friend SLOWLY poor the coolant into the expansion tank. A funnel is helpfull. And make sure you have a constant flow into the tank (dont pour some in, wait to drain completely, and pour more else you can get air in system). When there is a nice flow of coolant coming out the bleed hole then nip it back up. Put the heater on full, run the engine with the cap off for a few minutes whilst squeezing hoses. Remember to put the cap back on the tank! Let the engine warm up keeping an eye on the coolant level and the temperature guage. Keep the blowers on - they should warm up nicely.

Last edited by Rover_King; 01-10-2007 at 23:34.
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post #3 of 120 (permalink) Old 02-10-2007, 04:41
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Very nice guide Rover-King, people are always asking how if this job is easy.
A definite sticky or should go into How To.
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post #4 of 120 (permalink) Old 02-10-2007, 16:05
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Top guide Rover_King.
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post #5 of 120 (permalink) Old 02-10-2007, 16:17
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Well done, lots of detail and good pics.

Moved to the "How To" section.
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post #6 of 120 (permalink) Old 02-10-2007, 16:30
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nice work son, very helpful guide.
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post #7 of 120 (permalink) Old 06-12-2007, 22:03 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bluezs View Post
Excellent "How to" mate.

Am considering changing IMG on my ZS - very slight coolant loss at present (am almost psychotic about checking levels and tend to do so before almost every use of the car, sometimes it needs a very small top up of about 50-100mls or so, would take months, if not years, to empty reservoir) and can see nowhere that it is escaping from. There is occasionally a slight misfire on start up as mentioned at the start of this item.

Seems a bit of a poor design - if MGR had made it so a stub of pipe were screwed into head, then simply a clearance hole in the manifold I bet the gasket would virtually never let go.

Was going to do mine today but think I need to invest in some 1/4" (toytown) sockets / extension / knuckle to get to lower nuts & bolts.

Couple of observations from changing mine on ZS:

Manifold is held on with all studs & nuts rather than bolts in lower holes.
Undo small bolt that holds dipstick tube bracket / thermostat housing - doesn't have to be removed, 3 or 4 turns should do, to allow a little bit of movement.
Only item I disconnected was a wiring plug attached to bracket near throttle body and unclipped top of air box.(Circled in blue). Also the two breather pipes that run from cam cover to manifold.
Remove 2 spire bolts / screws that hold fuel pipe to underside of manifold.
Did try to remove coolant pipe at front of engine but it didn't want to let go of its stub (hose clip fell apart when being undone!)
Well worth draining coolant - I didn't and got a couple of cylinders full of water. Removed spark plugs and cranked engine over before starting it to empty cylinders. No problem, just a little more hassle to remove coils, plugs etc.
Gasket looks to have been letting a little coolant through judging by marks, also it appears to have been leaking from an inlet point of view on a couple of cylinders. Now actually sounds quieter, though didn't suspect anything before.
Possible to do it with a 1/4" socket set with either "wobble" extentions or universal joint - got to be good quality set though, think cheopo ones would just shear off.
Only just seen your post. My dads too started off leaking very very slowly, would require only a tiny top on now and then. But then one day I looked under the car as I wanted to see what suspension setup it had or something like that, cant remember, anyway I noticed coolant around the sump, so I checked the expansion tank to find it was empty.

So has the inlet manifold gasket change solved the loss of coolant and misfiring? Also can I ask how many miles is on the clock?
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post #8 of 120 (permalink) Old 24-04-2008, 01:39
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Did this today using your thread as guide! Saying the bottom screws were a bit fiddly was an understatement but that may be because i only removed the top two hoses lol

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post #9 of 120 (permalink) Old 27-04-2008, 22:40
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Is this the item required to be replaced?
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post #10 of 120 (permalink) Old 27-04-2008, 22:53
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Yes, the original gasket was black.

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post #11 of 120 (permalink) Old 12-06-2008, 17:59
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inlet manifold

can anyone help does this thread work the same for a rover 75 k-series 1.8 seems i have the same problem with leaking only when cooling is this correct,and can there be another cause to this leaking thanks
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post #12 of 120 (permalink) Old 12-06-2008, 18:02
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Originally Posted by technozen View Post
Yes, the original gasket was black.
Depends where you get one from. When i got mine from my local motor factors it was brown, made be BGA.
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post #13 of 120 (permalink) Old 06-07-2008, 13:18
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I had to do this on the wifes car last night, and being a total Rover virgin, used this guide as a help.
Took about an hour and quarter, including cuppa in the middle.

Just a couple of recommendations if i may.

Use shallow socket, 13mm and a wobble bar. 3/8 drive is best. The bottom nuts are a pain to reach, particularly the one by No4 cylinder. By coincidende thars where my gasket was leaking, and judging by the rust residue on the gasket, it had been seeping into no4, which could explain why some days it started sluggishly.
i would suggest getting hold of a magnetic screwdriver thing, to retrieve dropped nuts off the innaccessable bits of the engine.

All in all a graet guide. Thanks for posting.

As an aside, sometimes car wouldn't start till 2nd or 3rd time. We solved that one by loosening petrol filler cap. Seems to be vacuuming on fuel supply.
Since the wife has been leaving the cap loose a quarter turn, it hasn't happened.
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post #14 of 120 (permalink) Old 01-11-2008, 16:14
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Did this job today.

I already had in stock a FAI (green) inlet manifold gasket, but just a gut feeling told me that the "feel" of the gasket wasn't quite correct. So I popped out to Unipart to get a Unipart Inlet Manifold Gasket (Part No: GUG814841MG) - and sure enough, the material feels completely different (much more compliant and elasticated), slightly thicker, and had additional locating ribs.

So - be careful - a £3 gasket is a £3 gasket! The Unipart gasket was £6 - but looked, felt and fitted much better.

edit: As mentioned earlier, later cars had "patchlock" studs for all the fixings, and you only need a 13mm socket/ring spanner to undo all the nuts. The torque has been revised to 17Nm. There is a technical service bulletin to change the earlier nut/bolt combination to exclusively all patchlock studs and nuts for the earlier cars - see link below:

Last edited by veeeight; 02-11-2008 at 10:42.
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post #15 of 120 (permalink) Old 24-12-2008, 16:09
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hi im going to attempt this gasket change and do my rad at the same time,haynes manual says dis connect the fuel hose this neccesary? thanks
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post #16 of 120 (permalink) Old 24-12-2008, 17:37
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No, the fuel rail feed hose can be left connected.

Disconnecting the throttle cable will give you more room to manoeuvre the manifold away from the head.

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post #17 of 120 (permalink) Old 12-01-2009, 22:31
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hmmm I am losing a little coolant every day... max to min in around 8 days and when I accelerate it seems sluggish, like thereís too much air and not enough petrol and also my injectors makes a suction sound, like a baby sucking on a empty bottle lol, sorry about the examples and quite a bit of steam too even if I drive it for a few hours and stop at lights I still see steam in my rear mirror.

If I do this job do you think it could help, I have a 2002 1.8i (not sure if itís a VVC engine, not sure what the difference is) but I assume it will be the same steps.

can I also just add, sorry for putting it in this post but on a scale of 1%-100% on my engine temperature gauge my needle stops on around 48% and NEVER goes over, if I leave the engine on for 20min till the fan kicks in it still does not move up then back down, is this common to get to about 48% and stop.

Thank you and MINT GUIDE mate
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post #18 of 120 (permalink) Old 13-01-2009, 01:29
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Is this the right one for a 1.8i 2002 MG ZR Please;

Its is VERY cheap :S would of thought £8ish... want the best you know

thank you!
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post #19 of 120 (permalink) Old 13-01-2009, 20:07
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sorry to flood this page but i need to replace this manifold, will i need to do something to the petrol line or just unscrew it at the filter
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post #20 of 120 (permalink) Old 13-01-2009, 23:54
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mart_roch, if your car is the zr 160 then you will have the vvc engine...and my temp gauge never reads on half way line, its always a bit below, this is normal though apparently so no worries there
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