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Hi, I'm a newbie to modern MG's (have had a midget and B in the past) and recently got my newly acquired 2004 TF 160 roadworthy tested (In Victoria, Australia). The mechanic mentioned a minor coolant leak, which on investigation appears to be coming from the H/G joint, along with a smidgion of oil, in the area underneath the exhaust manifold. I'm guessing that this is a sign of impending H/G failure and that I'm up for a bit of work in the next few weeks. What recommendations can be made for a supplier - probably from the UK - for a set of gaskets, bolts and any other bits. I'm fairly comfortable doing the mechanical stuff but maybe putting the vvc bits back will be a challenge. . .maybe youtube will be useful.

All advice welcome !!
 

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NSW Australia and I've found TR Spares in Sydney are good, very helpful, however their prices can be higher than Rimmers due to wholesaler markup so almost always use Rimmers now. Triumph Rover Spares in South Australia are wrecking a couple of Fs and TFs, I don't know what they're like on new parts but good on used.

I had HGF shortly after getting my MGF about five years ago, I used the updated elastomer gasket but it started to seep coolant at the gearbox end after about 3.5 years.

Just over a year ago I did the Rover MLS with uprated oil rail. I peened the fire ring area and also ported the head and de-clagged the exhaust manifold while I was in there. A big job, the car was off the road for a month doing it in my spare time and I got the machine shop to re-assemble the head when I ran out of time and energy.

The porting noticeably improved low end torque, although this was on a small valve / MPI head not a VVC. I replaced the bolts the first time but am not convinced it's necessary if they measure up ok. I reused the second set last year. Replace water pump, cam belts and tensioner of course. No coolant loss since.

David
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for this info guys. It looks like a full set of bits from Rimmers and when it's all here I'll make a start. I'll probably do some minor port work and definitely weld and clean out the manifold. Does the head need a skim at all??
 

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mg_tf
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The advice over the years seems to be only skim the head if needed but if it is flat to leave alone.
 

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I didn't skim the first time, because the head appeared flat using my straight edge and feeler gauge. It had not overheated between first and second removal, but second time around the machinist (using a longer engineer's straight edge and with his more experienced eye), found a slight warp which may have been there the first time and I just couldn't spot it. It would not have contributed to the coolant leak but might have lead to fire ring trouble down the track.

The other issue is how much the fire rings have indented into the head, usually more on the exhaust side, this is the reason some folk, me included, peen the fire ring area before skimming - to compress and work harden the metal there. The top shim in the MLS kit which I believe is stainless steel, is to make up thickness lost in the skimming, and to present a harder surface to the fire rings than the alloy of the head.

Check liner stand proud of course, I reckon it's realistic to DIY that, but if you're an amateur like me, best to get expert opinion on the state of your head.

David
 

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dont swear by the MLS gasket, its not always the best option, you NEED to measure your liner heights, they should be 4thou proud of the block, if all of them are then use the mls, if any have dropped you need to use the payen 750 gasket, the improved oil rail and headbolts are well worth it.
 

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2006 MG ZR +120 (HQM) 2004 MG ZR 105 (IAB)
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....... The top shim in the MLS kit which I believe is stainless steel, is to make up thickness lost in the skimming, and to present a harder surface to the fire rings than the alloy of the head.
Its principal purpose is to protect the head face from fire ring indentation by providing a more resistant surface than the alloy and to spread some of the clamping force over a slightly wider area.

It isn't intended to replace material removed during a skim, and must be fitted whether or not the head is skimmed. The Victor Reinz version of the original type MLS gasket very sensibly has all three layers fixed together, so it can't be omitted.

If it is necessary to remove sufficient material to reduce the head beyond the minimum height specified in the Rover manual (ie.removing more than the max 0.2mm which Rover specified), then you will need to fit a Gosnay's type head saver shim of appropriate thickness.


If liners are proud of the block by more than at least two thou, and are of even height, I would highly recommend using the SAIC six-layer MLS gasket (as already mentioned by mowog73) - it is a completely different design which does away with the need for solid fire rings altogether, and thus removes one of the major issues relating to overheating and HGF. I have had one fitted to one of my ZRs for over 6 years and about 55000 miles and it has proved 100% solid up to now, with absolutely no coolant top up required within the 5 year change period.
 
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