"The K-Series Head Gasket" - PPC Magazine technical article. - Page 3 - MG-Rover.org Forums
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post #41 of 104 (permalink) Old 12-01-2010, 08:52
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Originally Posted by 1955diesel View Post
Considering how sensitive to overheating the K series head gasket is I'm appalled at the way some people on these pages treat their cooling systems. The Forum is thick with reports of long standing coolant loss issues, systems frozen due to lack of antifreeze, discoloured coolant and the like. Quite a few people also report boiling up and then driving home "carefully" without refilling the system.

Thanks for the rant!

They do it because in the olden days when engines were cast iron blocks, you could get away with it.
Bad habits maybe.
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post #42 of 104 (permalink) Old 12-01-2010, 09:45
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I sometimes think the rise of the internet has a lot to answer for!

Conflicting advice etc.

My own feeling is when the bar stool experts are in full flow, they should also qualify their claims for short cuts and ingnoring enginnering practice and be prepared to pay out of their own pocket for rectification when a hapless individual follows poor advice and it all goes wrong.

Common sense tells you that if there is a max and min mark on a header etc you would always want to maintain it at maximum in normal circumstances. The min level is there to tell you that you are entering the danger zone not that everything is ok! The distance between the 2 should be considered a safety net.
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post #43 of 104 (permalink) Old 12-01-2010, 13:57
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Originally Posted by pete l View Post
Half way between min and max is the maximum mark.
Hmmm. So the max isn't the max? I'm not sure what you mean.


I'd always fill to the max line, and never let it go below the min. That's what min and max mean. Seemples.
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post #44 of 104 (permalink) Old 12-01-2010, 14:51
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I'll rephrase it.

Half way between empty tank and full to the brim tank is the maximum mark.

I f you look carefully you will see a -MIN mark, the max mark is the join, ridge thing half way up the tank.
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post #45 of 104 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 13:38
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Is the HGF still as bad with the 1.6????
My TF has done 29,000 on the clock and is 2005 54 reg.

Opinons?
Will it go?

Last edited by JPritchardTF; 03-04-2010 at 20:14.
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post #46 of 104 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 18:03
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Exclamation Rover 25 catalytic coverter

Can anyone help please.....
my Rover 25's engine maintenance amber light is on perpetually, i took it to the garage and they said i need a new Rover catalytic converter because the one currently in it isnt Rover's. And for that they are going to charge over 300 Quid. Does that sound about right as i am a new driver.
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post #47 of 104 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 08:51
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If you are not sure get a second opinion, you will need to make sure the garage you use has diagnostic equipment and know how to use it, many dont. The EM fault light can be on for a range of reasons, you read the fault codes first to establish if that shows a problem, it should be logged as thats what triggers the light, other running flaults can be a bit tricker to detect and need live diagnostic analysis to see whats happening.

Its true non genuine Cats are usually quite short life items so this could be true but quite rare for this to be your problem. K series engine is quite clean and even without the cat in place the O2 sensors are still able to operate within range and not trigger the management light.

300 is lot to spend if its not needed, worth checking.
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post #48 of 104 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 07:24
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Originally Posted by 1955diesel View Post
This is a theory of mine, but I'll never be in a position to put it to the test now. I've put the question to someone who worked on the project and been told that it will not work, but I'm not sure I believe the answer.
The 6th layer - ie the shim was introduced into the MLS gasket to allow heads that had lost their heat treatment and gone soft to remain serviceable.

- NOT because that was an end the Designers wanted to achieve but because, most garages/dealers/tuners etc do not understand that K is unique in mass produced engines in having a heat treated alloy head - LM25. most production engines - Ford/honda/bmw/toyota/vw etc etc etc use cheap 226 alloy which is why they have so much more m,etal in the engines and are consequently are so heavy.

K was intended to be light and efficient - Spen's whole concept of the ECV3 project was based on this radical idea, the trouble is that it was too radical for most people to understand.
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post #49 of 104 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 07:53
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Other manufacturers are using heat treated alloys and have done for many years, Rover was the first when K series was introduced but virtually all have caught up and gone beyond what the K series acheived.

The K series is very light but that is largley down to minimal material in its construction however having seen the disaster that followed for Rover other manufacturers have played safe.

The head saver shim was not actually first introduced for Rover but Ford, the Zetec engine has very simliar issues to K series and there are 2 functions to the shim, to even out clamp loads and reduce high stress points, even more appropriate on heads that have reduced in hardness and secondly to carry a heat activated laquer that melts into surface voids that can lead to other under surface cavities. This is a a result of the high speed casting methods Rover developed and others now use. The head saver shim idea was shunted over to Land Rover (then owned by Ford) as a potential fix for the K series failures in Freelanders running the K18 engine.

Heads must still be within a hardness of 95BrHd to have any chance of being serviceable even with a head saver shim. If you calculate the load on the head in a K series during ignition stroke you will see that the thin stainless steel shim will not make much difference if the head is too soft.

In a true competition engine using these shims can cause issues as it will effectively lower compression ratios, in engines with no adjustment in cam timing it will also affect this, this is critcal to developing power. but perfectly good in a moderately tuned or road engine where long term service is important.

Still one of the most ignored but critical elements on the K engine is the liner protrusion heights. Solving the head issuse is pretty easy.

The success of the repair is that its not just 1 thing, it a range of elements that when all done correctly will give a relaible and high performing engine
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post #50 of 104 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 08:33
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Originally Posted by Rally Matt View Post
Other manufacturers are using heat treated alloys and have done for many years, Rover was the first when K series was introduced but virtually all have caught up and gone beyond what the K series achieved.

The K series is very light but that is largely down to minimal material in its construction however having seen the disaster that followed for Rover other manufacturers have played safe.

The head saver shim was not actually first introduced for Rover but Ford, the Zetec engine has very similar issues to K series and there are 2 functions to the shim, to even out clamp loads and reduce high stress points, even more appropriate on heads that have reduced in hardness and secondly to carry a heat activated lacquer that melts into surface voids that can lead to other under surface cavities. This is a a result of the high speed casting methods Rover developed and others now use. The head saver shim idea was shunted over to Land Rover (then owned by Ford) as a potential fix for the K series failures in Freelanders running the K18 engine.

Heads must still be within a hardness of 95BrHd to have any chance of being serviceable even with a head saver shim. If you calculate the load on the head in a K series during ignition stroke you will see that the thin stainless steel shim will not make much difference if the head is too soft.

In a true competition engine using these shims can cause issues as it will effectively lower compression ratios, in engines with no adjustment in cam timing it will also affect this, this is critcal to developing power. but perfectly good in a moderately tuned or road engine where long term service is important.

Still one of the most ignored but critical elements on the K engine is the liner protrusion heights. Solving the head issuse is pretty easy.

The success of the repair is that its not just 1 thing, it a range of elements that when all done correctly will give a relaible and high performing engine

Part of what you say is absolutely correct, hardness testing of the head to min 95 brinnell, and the cause of most failures. Many garages do not understand this nor did /do many tuners


I have spent many hours with the gasket engineers at Payen Federal Mogul and Rover talking to and learning about the gasket technology. The fire ring is very sophisticated and designed to work with an engine that experiences head shuffle - like F1 engines.

The shim came about in a round about way. Payen were obviously working with Rover who were supplying parts through WSR to Judd for the touring car. Judd had a particular problem with gaskets eating into the head at the rear of the engine. NOT the front, just the rear, and tried all sorts of things to address this, 3 dowels, elastomer to seal, etc etc etc. They could not stop the issue, until they made a saver shim. Thus Judd were the first to incorporate one on a K.

Unfortunately, as so often happens the cause of the problem was not only missed by Judd, but Rover and Payen were not in the loop because they were not actually working on the Judd engine, just trying to help on the phone. What had happened was that Judd had removed one of the lugs at the rear of the engine which normally mounts the gearbox in order to clear the Hewland diff. Now I new from Robert Allebon then responsible for cranks at Eastworks that extra webs had had to be cast in those mounting lugs for production blocks, because DL1 pre production blocks without that extra web were cracking heads, losing gaskets by firerings working into the rear of the engine because of the twist put on the rear of the engine by the gearbox, in a road going car with road tires. Imagine how much worse it was with 180lbft, a Hewland box and Slicks for Judd. When I saw that, the answer was to radically redesign the gearbox mounting with stiffening plates along the block that doweled to the bell housing. The problem went away.

However the shim idea was in the air. Ford who were after a "visible" solution to the "HGF" issue persued the shim idea through payen with MLS, the added befit that it would alow soft heads to be reused.

Ford did not understand the issues, and fought a political war to introduce MLS AND shim, against the advice and wishes of the Rover design team. Some I know were furious about that, and in fact MLS was never signed off, it never passed all the tests a gasket needed to to be signed off, but was just sold on by Ford into the dealers after the collapse.

Same is sort of true about the new fire ringless gasket. Spoke to some of the guys at SAIC, old Eastworks engineers who know about it, but have no idea who makes it, and I can tell you the chinese made K uses a fire ring identical to the one on the Payen gaskets. No one in the office yesterday, had any faith that the ringless gasket could ever work on any K.

Last edited by Stu; 12-09-2010 at 15:56.
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post #51 of 104 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 08:38
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Here is the Judd block with 3 dowels at rear

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post #52 of 104 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 09:14
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Hmmmm the Chinese made K series engines we had through a while back certainly had ringless gaskets on. Certainly ringless gaskets seem to be working fine (touching some thick beech right now!)

In competition engines using shims is not new and really Judd were next in a long line if you want to be pedantic, but certainly it was a newish idea on road engines. Gosnay have been making them for years.

I am surprised Judd didn't wire ring the head/liners. Its pretty easy with liners to machine the groove and then fit wires in. many similar competition engines use this method. but there again I guess that the liners are so thin on the K series, not really looked at the 2.0 engine so don't know. 2.0 was not legal in rally (until S2000) so we have never bothered with it. Its certainly turned out to be a disaster in Super 2000, too weak and expensive not enough power compared to Skoda, PSA, Ford, FIAT Super 2000 engines.

Interesting the effect of engine warp at rear end. Although the K series is slighly flexible at best, oil ladder uprate does help but the engine is "on the limit" with what materials and building methods Rover were using. If they used better parts and made it better it would have helped a lot.
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post #53 of 104 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 09:29
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Hmmmm the Chinese made K series engines we had through a while back certainly had ringless gaskets on. Certainly ringless gaskets seem to be working fine (touching some thick beech right now!)
ave

And were your Chinese engines SAIC or pre hook up Nanjing made engines?
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post #54 of 104 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 09:34
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In competition engines using shims is not new and really Judd were next in a long line if you want to be pedantic, but certainly it was a newish idea on road engines. Gosnay have been making them for years.
I believe Gosnay made them for Judd, and then sold them themselves. I was asked for advice by Gosnays when they were the subject of a lawsuit because of failures that happened with the shim a few years back.
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post #55 of 104 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 09:41
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I am surprised Judd didn't wire ring the head/liners. Its pretty easy with liners to machine the groove and then fit wires in. many similar competition engines use this method. but there again I guess that the liners are so thin on the K series, not really looked at the 2.0 engine so don't know. 2.0 was not legal in rally (until S2000) so we have never bothered with it. Its certainly turned out to be a disaster in Super 2000, too weak and expensive not enough power compared to Skoda, PSA, Ford, FIAT Super 2000 engines.

Interesting the effect of engine warp at rear end. Although the K series is slighly flexible at best, oil ladder uprate does help but the engine is "on the limit" with what materials and building methods Rover were using. If they used better parts and made it better it would have helped a lot.

No need the oe gasket works very well. IT IS NOT THE GASKET that fails, until a long time after the problem starts at any rate. 'HGF" IS A COMPLETE MISNOMER, engines fail because of thermal shock which distorts the head, causes leaks, then hotspots which causes annealing of the head, compounded by low liner heights, but the cause is always the head bending because of inadequate water temp control.

Materials and design of block is fine, trouble is people mess with it without understanding design and get it wrong, the 2002 - mid 2006 Touring car engine was an example in the case of lopping off the lugs.
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post #56 of 104 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 09:45
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[QUOTE=KingK_series;
However the shim idea was in the air. Ford who were after a "visible" solution to the "HGF" issue persued the shim idea through payen with MLS, the added befit that it would alow soft heads to be reused.

Ford did not understand the issues, and fought a political war to introduce MLS AND shim, against the advice and wishes of the Rover design team. Some I know were furious about that, and in fact MLS was never signed off, it never passed all the tests a gasket needed to to be signed off, but was just sold on by Ford into the dealers after the collapse.
[/QUOTE]

Are you saying we should not be using the MLS gasket with head saver shim ??
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post #57 of 104 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 09:51
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No need the oe gasket works very well. IT IS NOT THE GASKET that fails, until a long time after the problem starts at any rate. 'HGF" IS A COMPLETE MISNOMER, engines fail because of thermal shock which distorts the head, causes leaks, then hotspots which causes annealing of the head, compounded by low liner heights, but the cause is always the head bending because of inadequate water temp control.

Materials and design of block is fine, trouble is people mess with it without understanding design and get it wrong, the 2002 - mid 2006 Touring car engine was an example in the case of lopping off the lugs.

Here is a S2000 Kseries, one of 5 that threw a rod on the first race.

the piston was designed with a stupidly tall compression height [[to use an existing forging] which with a stroked crank in this case Judd's 93.3mm crank, it meant rod centre of 129mm. As I said designing problems into the engine.

All unnecessary had they simply put more thought and money into the piston rod design.

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post #58 of 104 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 09:56
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Are you saying we should not be using the MLS gasket with head saver shim ??

I use MLS without shim, because the shim defeats the technology of the Payen fire ring whichis sophisticated and well proven, with liner standproud at 0.125mm, OE longbolts for cheap engines, my own studs for blueprinted engines, but most importantly of all a PRT [PEL500150] if you don't have that you ain't got a chance.

Only time I have had a "hgf" was when someone did their own install - in a hurry - and got an air lock. Lesson - never let others do install or start up.
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post #59 of 104 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 10:03
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I use MLS without shim, because the shim defeats the technology of the Payen fire ring whichis sophisticated and well proven, with liner standproud at 0.125mm, OE longbolts for cheap engines...
What is your view on the new "stronger" long bolts?
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post #60 of 104 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 10:41
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What is your view on the new "stronger" long bolts?

Well I use my own stronger studs - so yes good idea, more clamping load, but the trouble is the block and the crank path were machined for the old OE unheat- treated bolt , about grade 8. So use a stiffer bolt and you will distort the block more, crushing the crank in it's path.

A similar situation happens at Scholar - they hone liners in blocks and occasionally crank paths, They are honed with their own grade 10.8, 10mm bolt done up to 60lbft. The OE bolt sequence 20Nm + 180+180 is equivalent to 40 NM - about 32lbft



And as my uncle used to say," midbogglingly stupid"

Last edited by Stu; 12-09-2010 at 15:58.
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