My new project arrives .. A Mk11 MG ZXT-T 1.8t. - MG-Rover.org Forums
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post #1 of 203 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 19:48 Thread Starter
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My new project arrives .. A Mk11 MG ZXT-T 1.8t.

Some of you may remember my previous project to fit a low mileage MG6 engine into an MG ZT 1.8t Saloon. Owing to ongoing health issues, now largely a thing of the past, I've hardly touched that project owing to that and other circumstances. In a way that has been a positive delay because the project car was not as nice as my other ZT and when another member here contacted me enquiring if I'd like to add his "poorly" ZT-T 1.8t to my collection it soon became an offer I could not refuse. By sheer coincidence, much like waiting for a bus and two come along at once ~ not that I use a bus but I used to do when I lived in London many years ago ~ on the same day another member here offered me another of my favourite cars, a Rover 620ti needing some TLC. Anyway, with the help of my younger son James, I collected the ZT-T yesterday. Here it is :~







The pictures show it in a better light as is often the case with pictures of cars. Actually, it is the basis of a tidy car with some TLC and rather more serious work. The engine has much of the cylinder head in the rear tourer hatch and the actual cylinder head resting unattached on the block.

Having looked at the car more closely it did not take long for a no brainer decision to be taken to put the MG6 engine in the ZT-T and repair one of the 1.8t K-Series for the saloon. That's the plan. My sons agree. More follows.

Apparently ... in a parallel universe MGJohn drives .........A.......

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Arrrrrggghhhhh......... ......
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post #2 of 203 (permalink) Old 12-10-2015, 07:33
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Hi John
Glad to hear you got back ok. Be interesting to see how it goes with the N series in it. What's it rated at?
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post #3 of 203 (permalink) Old 12-10-2015, 19:04 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JensenHealey View Post
Hi John
Glad to hear you got back ok. Be interesting to see how it goes with the N series in it. What's it rated at?
Hi Jeff, it's rated about the same at the original 1.8t K-Series as far as I know. I had actually driven the donor MG6 before it met a premature end having only covered a mere 21,000 miles at that time.

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Arrrrrggghhhhh......... ......
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post #4 of 203 (permalink) Old 14-10-2015, 18:02 Thread Starter
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A closer look today ~ the first close look.

Had time for a closer look, the first real look at this ZT-T today. Got the Nilfisk Power Washer set up and gave the wheels and bodywork a careful blast to get the moss, algae and other muck off of it. Still far from clean and the engine compartment will get a good seeing to soon. I also replaced the slightly undersized battery showing a mere 9.7 Volts and hardly operating anything powerfully poor thing. Replaced it with an identical one showing 12.7 volts ~ made a big difference. Here's a few images of today's start. Put the original battery on charge and after and hour, showed healthy level of volts.

Underneath all that muck is I suspect, a half-decent car... .:~



I have seen some poor and tatty Alloy Wheels in my time, these are definitely up there ... Images taken AFTER a pressure wash with detergent using the Nilfisk. :~

Off Side Rear :~



Off side front ~ I think this is the worst :~



Now John, this is your mission. If you chose to accept. Sort that lot out ...



More seriously, from what the previous owner told me, there's a distinct possibility that the car's original engine is BER ~ Beyond Economical Repair. I have yet to look at the engine closely, the head is simply resting on the block. Could be it IS repairable as my own time is free and I can take as much as I like....

Finally, and here's a bit of a coincidence. The rear tailgate windscreen wiper :~



What coincidence ? Well yesterday my cousin asked me to obtain a new tailgate rear screen wiper for her 52-plate Saxo. Got one from my local Citroen dealership ~ cost eight quid. Easy to fit. That dealership also has the local MG franchise so I took a closer look at some of the cars they had there. Nice to see some of the staff with a big MG badge on their clothes. Looking at tailgate wiper blade on the ZT-T .... It looks an identical component to the Citroen one! Size, angle and style all look the same. I'm taking the Saxo for its annual MoT tomorrow so will check it is the same item. Could be useful to know.

Apparently ... in a parallel universe MGJohn drives .........A.......

B>>M>>W ....

Arrrrrggghhhhh......... ......
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post #5 of 203 (permalink) Old 17-10-2015, 19:20 Thread Starter
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Demands on my time elsewhere means not much done today. Bit of cleaning and looking at what needs to be done. The level of corrosion on the Gridspoke Alloy Wheels is the worst I can ever remember seeing on any MG or Rover. My eldest son who works away most of the week, had a first sight of the car today and he was also surprised at the level of corrosion on the wheels. He looks forward to helping with the project.

According to my son, these later cars are prone to this sort of thing. The cash strapped company looked to make savings during the run-up to the receivers being called in and one of the things to suffer was the quality of the protective coatings on these later car's wheels. I'm not 100% convinced of this. Could be these wheels were "cleaned" aggressively and heavy handed treatment too. Not much evidence of Kerbing.

Here's some pictures of what all the wheels look like. I shall replace all with some 18" refurbished hairpins with new tyres I have standing by. Then get these tatty wheels refurbished to an acceptable standard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Son Martin.
.
Please don't get them done in your favourite "Brilliant White Gloss" Dad. Must be silver ...!!

.
I may have to disappoint him about that....

Have a look at the attached images and tell me what you think has caused such severe corrosion resulting from the lifting of the protective coating. Is this sort of thing more widespread with Alloy Wheels fitted to later MGs and Rovers? The MGF VVC Alloy Wheels fitted to my MG Montego still look like new after nearly twenty years. IIRC, the bear the wording "Made in Italy" ... Typical! Those on my wife's 17" Straights on her MG ZS, "Made in Poland" ... Again typical ...

See attached images of the ZT-T's Grid Spokes....

Meantime ..

Nowt wrong with Brilliant White Gloss Lad. I think they're ... er... brilliant ..





Double click on any of the attached images to get an enlarged close up of the corrosion damage.

Apparently ... in a parallel universe MGJohn drives .........A.......

B>>M>>W ....

Arrrrrggghhhhh......... ......
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post #6 of 203 (permalink) Old 20-10-2015, 09:04
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I got a set of gridspokes from PX wheels about seven years back and they are still in very good condition to this day.Even though my original wheels were only just over four years old they already had bad flaking and corrosion just like yours john,not as bad but they were in poor shape.

Great looking ZTT fantastic colour. I do like white wheels you have done but I would go with silver sparkle when you do the refurb.
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post #7 of 203 (permalink) Old 26-10-2015, 09:22
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Excellent stuff John, now you have an MG in the best bodystyle and colour.

The Gridspokes and 11 spokes fitted to Mk2 cars were made in Turkey, and what you have there is typical really.

I have to agree with your son on this one though, they will look nicer in silver sparkle and not white.

A change is as good as a rest as they say, looking forward to seeing the progress on this one.

Brian
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post #8 of 203 (permalink) Old 26-10-2015, 20:33 Thread Starter
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Hi Brian, hardly had an opportunity to touch this ZT-T since I got it. Had to MoT THREE of the family's cars and one of my own... All passed no advisories except my trusty Rover 620ti Workhorse of the past ten years. Poor handbrake ( O/S/R ) and split nearside CV-J Rubber Boot. The latter really badly split as I found out when tackling the job today :~



Although there was lots of that really messy lubricant flung about on the inside of the Vitesse 17" Alloy, took close to a half hour to clean that up, I was pleased to observe that there was still most of the lubricant where needed, in the outer CV-J. Even so, I used a spare known good Outer CV-J as it was quicker to do it that way, leaving the rest of the driveshaft still inserted in the gearbox.

Using a refurbished O/S/R 600 Brake Caliper ( refurb by me ) I was delighted to get that rear O/S caliper working well on the handbrake.

I set up a series of images of both jobs over on the 600 forum here :~

So, what have you done to your Rover 600 Today?

Part of the ongoing "What have you done with your Rover 600" thread here :~

http://forums.mg-rover.org/showthrea...93#post8168593

Apparently ... in a parallel universe MGJohn drives .........A.......

B>>M>>W ....

Arrrrrggghhhhh......... ......
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post #9 of 203 (permalink) Old 28-10-2015, 23:08
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Hi John,

Looks a great project and love the Firefrost red. Regarding your grimey bodywork and refurbed wheels I have a couple products I would recommend as I have become a bit of a car cleaning freak haha

For a car that is covered in lots of dirt from being laid up or maybe harmful brick dust etc... I recommend Auto Finesse Avalanche snow foam. It's a pre wash rinse and loosens all of the bedded in dirt as it dwells for about 5 minutes, then it is jet washed off without dragging across the paintwork and inflicting "swirls" and scratches. It's also great fun and leaves the car surprising clean and ready for washing. You may need an attachment for your jet wash.
http://www.cleanyourcar.co.uk/washin...prod_1239.html

Regarding the state of wheels that are heavily corroded or down to their white undercoat, I feel this is due to highly acidic wheel cleaners people use to remove brake dust; such as Wonderwheels and even Megauiars "Hot Wheels". They are harmful to the protective coating and once worn through the road salt and water can creep under the surface. For this (especially your lovely white wheels) I recommend Valetpro Bilberry wheel cleaner which is 100% safe on all finishes and highly effective.
http://www.cleanyourcar.co.uk/index....&productId=499
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post #10 of 203 (permalink) Old 29-10-2015, 12:10
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Will people PLEASE stop saying what a great colour it is and how it's potentially a great looking car. Otherwise I'll be forced to go and have a little cry, having let it go for a song!

It is a nice colour and it was a great car to drive for 4 years, but it was just beyond economical repair for me. I hope John ha a successful rescue with it. I might even give him what he paid for it to get it back!
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post #11 of 203 (permalink) Old 29-10-2015, 15:35 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JensenHealey View Post
Will people PLEASE stop saying what a great colour it is and how it's potentially a great looking car. Otherwise I'll be forced to go and have a little cry, having let it go for a song!

It is a nice colour and it was a great car to drive for 4 years, but it was just beyond economical repair for me. I hope John ha a successful rescue with it. I might even give him what he paid for it to get it back!
Now that would be a real bargain when I've put the MG 6 engine in it...

Apparently ... in a parallel universe MGJohn drives .........A.......

B>>M>>W ....

Arrrrrggghhhhh......... ......
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post #12 of 203 (permalink) Old 29-10-2015, 19:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MGJohn View Post
Now that would be a real bargain when I've put the MG 6 engine in it...
Oh, ok, double what you paid for it!
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post #13 of 203 (permalink) Old 07-12-2015, 15:29 Thread Starter
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Had a look at the engine today.

Nearly two months since I got this car and only today was I able to have the first close look at the engine. Family demands on my time and working on other family members' cars added to fewer daylight hours meant nothing done. Beautiful weather day today with lots of nice sunshine so with an hour available this afternoon, had a closer look at this project. This is what I found. All four cylinder liners flush level with the surrounding block and the most "skimmed" cylinder head I've ever seen! Plus a few annoying minor bodges I will rectify if I ever get this car mobile again.









The fuel lines and most of the electrical connections were still firmly attached to the cylinder head. I guess the cylinder head was simply lifted sufficiently to check liner heights etc by the travelling K-Series specialist. Then the news was given to the previous owner who decided not to repair.

Having spent the best part of three days getting my son's Rover through the Mot, I was pleased when he offered to remove the original engine for me. He's thirty and six foot three so makes easy work of K-Series engine removal. Anyway, it will be half an engine as the head and manifolds already detached. He will then help fitting the MG6 Engine. If I get this car up to my requirements, which seems likely, I will use it for a few years. Nice to have that extra "Tourer" ( whatever happened to the word Estate? ) load space although the ZS and Rover 25 hatches in the family can take quite a lot of stuff.

Ongoing and updates when time allows.

Apparently ... in a parallel universe MGJohn drives .........A.......

B>>M>>W ....

Arrrrrggghhhhh......... ......
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post #14 of 203 (permalink) Old 08-12-2015, 07:56
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Odd, when Daniel came and took the head off it was definitely right off - it was on the ground next to the car! We thought one liner was marginally proud, 2 flush, and one we couldn't decide - either flush or slightly low.
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post #15 of 203 (permalink) Old 08-12-2015, 09:45 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JensenHealey View Post
Odd, when Daniel came and took the head off it was definitely right off - it was on the ground next to the car! We thought one liner was marginally proud, 2 flush, and one we couldn't decide - either flush or slightly low.
Thanks for that input Jeff.

When I ran my finger over the liner-block interfaces, as in one of the pictures. Two of the liners moved slightly in their locations. Running my finger over the other two liners showed no movement, they were secure. I have known that to happen with a 1.8 K-Series which has never over heated so could be quite normal.

Head completely removed. Must have started to reconnect. some of the various pipes and wires when the head was rested on top of the block. Was the engine over heated when the first signs appeared?

That skimmed head is remarkable. I would never re-use it. I have a refurbished head on standby. When out of the car, I will rebuild that engine ~ using shims under the stepped cylinder liners to restore the liner height if necessary. It will be an interesting learning experience and may result in a usable engine again.

Apparently ... in a parallel universe MGJohn drives .........A.......

B>>M>>W ....

Arrrrrggghhhhh......... ......
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post #16 of 203 (permalink) Old 28-12-2015, 19:41 Thread Starter
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Cool Some further progress.

Today was the first time for several weeks that it was not wet underfoot. Quite dry in fact so this fine mild afternoon, my older son and I got stuck in with engine removal. First thing was to release the big 22mm Crankshaft Pulley Bolt using my trusty DeWalt 240volt mains power Impact Driver. Loosened that big bolt in less than a second. My son put his weight on the length of wood to stop any unwanted cylinder liner upward movement. They will have to come out anyway later when I rebuild that engine using liner shims.



My son removing some of the various parts to allow engine removal.



Alternator removed followed by the AirCon Compressor :~



I was pleased we were able to remove these items without needing to degas the AirCon system.



General view of work area with removed 1/2 engine :~



We discovered the support for the longer off-side driveshaft. Had no idea that existed as all our previous work involved K-Series engines on the smaller MG and Rover cars. Note the Inner CV-Joint has become dislocated. About 300ml of Gearbox Oil escaped. Funny that. Normally Driveshafts are difficult to release... this one popped out during simple engine removal. ...



At long last, engine removed. :~



View of engine compartment with Engine removed :~



Although this is the final image, it actually was of one of the early first jobs started today. Removal of the Exhaust Manifold to allow better access for removal of other items which really restrict access. Such as Turbocharger Oil Supply and Drain Pipes. I show it to illustrate how to undo the single down facing Exhaust Manifold to Turbocharger Stud's 13mm Nut. The three others face upwards and are thus much easier to access. Two pairs of hands helped here. My son held a good quality Ring Spanner firmly on the down facing stud's nut and I used a long 1/2" Drive Extension Bar to lever the Nut into submission. Once the unmistakable "crack" was heard, the rest of the removal was easy using only the ring spanner. I learned this approach by experimenting on scrapyard cars when removing a Turbocharger Assembly. It works.


Apparently ... in a parallel universe MGJohn drives .........A.......

B>>M>>W ....

Arrrrrggghhhhh......... ......

Last edited by MGJohn; 28-12-2015 at 19:52. Reason: To add :~ I was pleased we were able to remove these items without needing to degas the AirCon system.
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post #17 of 203 (permalink) Old 29-12-2015, 15:55 Thread Starter
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Cool More progress. Checking K and MG6 1.8t component compatibility.

Another fine day in Gloucestershire, still dry and mild with a little sunshine occasionally. So, with the old newly removed K-Series 1.8t on a trestle, I tackled the Clutch and Dual Mass Flywheel removal and checking the location dowels etc are identical to those on the MG6 engine. Looks like they are. The MG6 uses the old style Rover/MG Reluctor Rings in the back, engine side of the flywheel. The ZT uses the outer circumference of the DMF for the Reluctor Ring location.



Soon had the complete Clutch and DMF Assembly removed :~



So fitting the Rover MG component DMF to the MG6 engine enables MG ZT's Bell Housing location for the sensor to still operate. I now have a low mileage clutch and flywheel assembly for an MG6 spare. 21,000 miles and obviously still looks like new. The Clutch Driven Plate of the 95,000 mile ZT is only half worn but, I will get a new one or better still, if the almost new one on the MG6 clutch component can be used, so much the better. If not, will buy a new plate or clutch kit.



Not bad wear rate for 95,000. I think the assembly is the original. No signs of tools being used previously on the various bolts I removed.

The MG6 Engine prior to placing it on my trestle for component fitting from the ZT when they've been given a thorough clean. Some are oily and filthy. Can't have that ...



I did offer up and fit the ZT's Power Steering Pump's Bracket to the location on the MG6 engine. Perfect fit and the three threaded bolt holes where the bracket for the off side drive shaft support where present. There is a Knock Sensor in the MG6 engine and other items not used on the ZT engine which will need blanking plates.

Apparently ... in a parallel universe MGJohn drives .........A.......

B>>M>>W ....

Arrrrrggghhhhh......... ......
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post #18 of 203 (permalink) Old 01-01-2016, 02:01 Thread Starter
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Rectifying previous silly mistake damage.

A while back I bit off more than I could chew when attempting to move this MG6 engine single handed. Big mistake, lost my grip and it tipped over damaging both inner and outer plastic Timing Belt Covers at the top above the Inlet Camshaft Pulley. The MG6 covers look identical to K-Series ones and as I had a spare set, planned to remove the damaged ones and replace them. Although some carry the same MG-R part nos., they are not quite identical. The MG6 ones appear of a better design and quality in several areas. The following pictures show the progress of the job and some of the slight differences. I was able to mix and match some K and MG6 Covers and the end result was just what was required.

This picture shows with the top outer cover removed to show the damaged inner cover top left:~



Removing all the Pulleys, Tensioner etc and replacing the top inner cover. :~



This image clearly shows the differences of the lower Timing Belt Covers. Superior MG6 item on the right. The K-Series has an open lower part, the MG6 is enclosed and has an additional securing fastener show by the arrow. Unlike the K-Series item, the MG6 has all five fastener bolt locations reinforced with metal sleeves for added strength and more positive location.



Thought I would replace the CRANKshaft Polyvee Drivebelt Pulley with a K-Series item I had refurbished. It cannot be fitted unless the K-Series lower cover is used. Owing to the smaller boss of the MG6 Pulley.



Before refitting all the Covers, after timing up the engine a second time, first time the Inlet CAMshaft Pulley was one tooth retarded despite very careful assembly. Had this happen before and appears to happen when the longest run of the Timing Belt, that run from the Exhaust CAMshaft Pulley down to the CRANKshaft Pulley is not sufficiently taught. Then all looked good once I had rotated the CRANKshaft Pulley just a tad to take up any slack and realigned the belt correctly spot on. That worked before and it did again.

Then I carefully rotated the engine at least four times on the big 22mm CRANKshaft Pulley Bolt manually with a breaker bar. This also demonstrated the engine had good compression. It should have, only covered 21,000 miles in the MG6 which I had driven some months before it was written off.



A final check to ensure the four CAMshaft Timing Indexes are correctly aligned with a straight edge after manually rotating engine several times to check for any metal-to-metal contact. :~



Finally, replaced all the covers to complete the job. The engine is now ready to fit in the car .... if it ever stops raining ...



By the way, now we have had the opportunity to look at it more closely, my son and I were impressed with a number of features on this MG6 engine. We both know the K-Series well and like those engines having worked on many ... over twenty of our own, family and friends' cars. Whoever reworked this engine paid attention to a range of items and the MG6 unit appears all the better for it. We like what we found.

I shall carefully clean all various the ZT-T Engine ancillary brackets prior to fitting them to the MG6 unit. I had already offered up most of them and all the various threaded and dowel locations appear identical to the K-Series ones and are a perfect fit.

The low quailty of these images is mainly due to working in a poor artificial light with hand held compact digital camera.
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B>>M>>W ....

Arrrrrggghhhhh......... ......
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post #19 of 203 (permalink) Old 01-01-2016, 11:53 Thread Starter
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New Clutch Driven plate ordered. Part number UQB000380

Although there is several thousand miles left in the old plate, wise to renew whilst the opportunity is there. No extra work with engine and gearbox separated. Quick search of ebay shows MG-R one ~ Part number UQB000380 ~ listed for 50 posted. So bought that.

Apparently ... in a parallel universe MGJohn drives .........A.......

B>>M>>W ....

Arrrrrggghhhhh......... ......
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post #20 of 203 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 13:28
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Looking good!
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