Before removing the Cylinder Head on my latest ZT-T 1.8t project car, thought I'd peruse the images I took when doing Cylinder Head Gasket renewal on the first ZT 1.8t "HGF" project I bought back in Spring 2014. Simply to refresh my few remaining grey cells still up and running... many having fallen by the wayside from years of wear and tear ...
Came across this image of my Cylinder Liner check method. If the 1mm feeler gauge blade butts firmly up against the edge of the Cylinder Liner, that is proof positive that it is proud. :~
I used that MG ZT 1.8t saloon today and also had a look at the coolant level in the Expansion Bottle. All looked good. The very low winter sun actually focused a strong shaft of light on the bottom of the Expansion Bottle. Then all was far easier to see with that concentrated sunlight. This chance observation convinced me to use a small torch for future checks. Makes a big difference.
Previously, I have checked Liner heights more systematically like this :~
However, if the Liners are proud of the surrounding block around all four points where they interface with the block, that 1mm Feeler gauge blade so far has proved a simple effective check.
This "First" ZT 1.8t project car warms up far quicker with good heater output soon after starting than my two ZT-Ts in regular/occasional use this cold weather. It warmed up quickly again today too... not quite as good heater output as my MG ZS 1.8 but much better heat output than the ZT-Ts. This ZT Saloon was given the SPEEDFlush treatment soon after completion of the CHG renewal and that cleared away a lot of muck from the cooling system and that hopefully included the heater matrix.
By the way, this first car was yet another "they all do that" and sometime after on a very cold night, lots of steam from the front of the bonnet. Investigation next day in the daylight revealed :~
The short J-shaped hose to the turbocharger had fractured.
Fortunately I had a good used spare hose following visits to local breaker yards. Glad I did, Rimmer Bros list that little hose north of fifty quid before postage!
So that now makes THREE 1.8T ZTs I have taken on and soon after each suffered a fatigued coolant hose with lots of steam.
This was the second :~
That top hose let go big time at Motorway Speed. Massive clouds of steam out the rear offside , ie, not the exhaust side which was an immediate clue for me as I coasted to a stop.
Plus my current project also had this problem.This time the shorter top hose the other side of the T-Piece. :~
Fortunately I had a spare ....
No more coolant loss but, CHG damage already done....will overheat after a few gentle miles. Had that "fail" not happened, I would not have the car as a project. Old saying... It's an ill wind...etc.
When the temperature improves making working outside less chilling, I'll get stuck in replacing that car's CHG. Irrespective of liner height checks, I shall use the Elastomer Cylinder Head Gasket this time along with new Water Pump ( sans evaporator ). Previously, I have always used the MLS version ( Multi-Layer-Steel ) and so far fitting over a dozen MLS gaskets along with the all important shim, no cause to change my mind about that. However, I want to see how the Elastomer version shapes up with my efforts this time.
I hope this will become a reliable car when I've fitted that new CHG. Hope so.
Could these three so called "failure" HGFs all have become failures due to leaking worn out coolant hoses? Coolant loss passing unchecked or unnoticed is a killer of CHGs. No way of knowing exactly what happened in previous ownership but, in my ownership, looks like they played a major part.
Well, at my age it's an interesting way to pass the time.