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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 14-03-2017, 16:17 Thread Starter
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Oil leak

Ive got an oil leak from the top end of the 1.4 K series, trouble is I'm not sure if its the rocker cover gasket or other gaskets/seals? but its certainly got worse as its covered the gearbox in oil and the alternator belt, meaning its leaking on both sides. recently did a coolant flush today, from pure water to 50/50, yes I said pure water, the previous owner didn't use antifreeze.


The engines been reconditioned but I don't understand why they only put water in the cooling system, it also had an oil leak before I bought the car, but that was "fixed"
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 14-03-2017, 17:10
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Best thing to do is get some brake cleaner and a rag and clean it up as best you can then run it up and see where it comes from.
At the top of the engine there is not a lot of places it can leak from. Either rocker gasket, camshaft seals, cam carrier or head gasket.
Usual suspect is the rocker gasket, cheap and easy to change.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 15-03-2017, 20:35 Thread Starter
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Best thing to do is get some brake cleaner and a rag and clean it up as best you can then run it up and see where it comes from.
At the top of the engine there is not a lot of places it can leak from. Either rocker gasket, camshaft seals, cam carrier or head gasket.
Usual suspect is the rocker gasket, cheap and easy to change.


Replaced the rocker cover gasket, cleaned up the oil and all, gave the car a little drive, came back and found out that its not leaking from the gasket but the metal plating covering the camshaft, guessing I have to buy a gasket sealant for these? Kinda disappointed!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 15-03-2017, 20:40
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If it's leaking from between the head and the upper cam carrier, it is sealed with an anaerobic sealant - Loctite 574.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 15-03-2017, 22:20 Thread Starter
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If it's leaking from between the head and the upper cam carrier, it is sealed with an anaerobic sealant - Loctite 574.

do I take it apart and re-sill or just re-sill again?


Not sure but I got this Black Instant Gasket (260*C) from Motor Factors, not sure if that would work or does it have to be anaerobic sealant?
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 15-03-2017, 22:52
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Yes, you will need to split the upper cam carrier away from the top of the head (it means removing the cam belt, so you will need a cam locking tool for refitting and setting the timing). The mating surfaces will need cleaning of all oil and remains of old sealant, and then apply a thin bead to the areas where the parts make contact (there is a diagram somewhere on this site I think, or you will find one in a Haynes manual).

You must use the correct type of anaerobic sealant - some sealant is likely to squeeze out into the oilways, and an anaerobic sealant will set between the mating surfaces where the air is excluded, but any that oozes into the oil ways will remain liquid and be flushed away by the flow of oil without causing any blockages. Using a normal type of sealant or RTV is very likely to cause blockages in the oilways, and may restrict or stop oil getting to the cam journals, the hydraulic lifters or to the valve stems which will cause future problems due to wear.

You can either use the genuine MG Rover sealant (part number LVV000108EVA), or Loctite 574 which is the commonly recommended alternative.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 16-03-2017, 18:44 Thread Starter
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Yes, you will need to split the upper cam carrier away from the top of the head (it means removing the cam belt, so you will need a cam locking tool for refitting and setting the timing). The mating surfaces will need cleaning of all oil and remains of old sealant, and then apply a thin bead to the areas where the parts make contact (there is a diagram somewhere on this site I think, or you will find one in a Haynes manual).

You must use the correct type of anaerobic sealant - some sealant is likely to squeeze out into the oilways, and an anaerobic sealant will set between the mating surfaces where the air is excluded, but any that oozes into the oil ways will remain liquid and be flushed away by the flow of oil without causing any blockages. Using a normal type of sealant or RTV is very likely to cause blockages in the oilways, and may restrict or stop oil getting to the cam journals, the hydraulic lifters or to the valve stems which will cause future problems due to wear.

You can either use the genuine MG Rover sealant (part number LVV000108EVA), or Loctite 574 which is the commonly recommended alternative.


Perfect, ill order some sealant from motor factors, might just well replace the cam seals also as its worth it and hopefully the oil will remain inside the engine, not everywhere else!
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 17-03-2017, 16:03
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...but the metal plating covering the camshaft, ...
If this is the plate on the end of the camshaft I suspect you'll just need to replace the leaking cam end seal(s). Easy job on the g/b side. Best timed with a cam belt change on the other side:

K-series engine oil leak cam end oil seal replacement

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 17-03-2017, 20:17
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I had missed that post #3 - Alex must have posted it whilst I was composing mine

From that description, I would agree - it is most likely the camshaft seal that is leaking (there is no seal or sealant between the end plate and the head). The cam seals are relatively easy to change, and there is no need to seperate the upper cam carrier from the head to do so.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 18-03-2017, 11:36
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If the leak continues, it is a good idea to check crankshaft oil seal an gasket oil pump
I had a similar problem and the cause was crankshaft oil seal
Visible simptoms:
traces of visible oil leakage around cylinder head (front camshaft)
oil leakage visible around oil seal camshaft
oil leakage visible aound alternator zone

Rover 416 SI engine k series.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 18-03-2017, 15:02 Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone, I will take the car to the college where I will be fixing it with a teacher, Anyone know about the lowering springs >> Mg zr 160 springs and normal R25 dampers, how much would that lower the car by?
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 18-03-2017, 16:57
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Just get a set of springs and dampers complete from a ZR 105 or 120. The front springs on the 160 are silghtly longer than those for the 105 and 120 (at least in part to take account of the extra weight of the VVC head and mechanism). They can be used on a non-VVC car, but the 105/120 ones would be better.

I wouldn't advise fitting the ZR springs to Rover 25 dampers - you will end up with the dampers working very near their lowest limit of travel (and I am not sure on the distance between the spring cups on the 25 dampers - the ZR springs may be a loose fit = potential MOT test failure).
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