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5,142 Posts
Puzzled why folks use the term "Fail" or "Failed" when a more accurate term surely should be ...

worn..or ... wear.

Nothing lasts forever and most things wear ...

Please take lots of images when you do the Belts and the Linkage Kit. I and no doubt many others will really appreciate seeing those. That way we all learn.
:nerd: The term fail is ok with me as a starter. From there you can go on, investigate, and decide whether its fair wear and tear, early life failure, or perhaps misuse.

12 Posts
Today, I put my MG up for sale. It's been tremendous fun, but it's time for a change. I daren't add up the parts cost, but we never went into car ownership to make money, right? It's floating around the Facebook groups and Gumtree as I'm not a fully paid up member here, but if you spot HV04TNN, that's me.

Premium Member
635 Posts
Today, the ZS got a full service and a new exhaust.

  • Oil & oil filter change. Castrol semi-synth 10w40 this time, with an OEM filter.
  • Air filter. OEM.
  • Fuel filter. Bosche.
  • Sparkplugs. NGK PFR6N-11. Not as difficult to change the rear bank as I feared, but you need the right sized socket extension (I used a flexible extension). Also, use a magnetic spark plug socket - I consider this one of the best tools I've bought in years. Old plugs had ~76k on them and were visibly worn.
  • One new ignition coil (working, I think - but had a big crack down the side).
  • Cam position sensor from DMGRS - a Siemens VDO unit replacing the emergency unbranded one I got from ECP - because it was not working well, with random loss of power. If you have a choice, always go with decent branded sensors.
  • A Piper stainless steel back box, with the "A" tip. An absolute bugger to fit as it's so much bigger than the standard one - a perfect fit when in but I actually resorted to putting a jack under it to force it into place...! No more fitting rusty mild steel exhausts every 2 years.
On the test drive, it felt like there was more power. And the Piper exhaust makes a lovely noise - louder, but the closest I've had to OEM yet!

Premium Member
635 Posts
Right then..

Start of November, found a pool of water in the drivers side footwell.

I took out out the seats and carpet so I could try it out properly. The leak was caused by a combination of blocked channels under the windscreen plus seam gaps behind the front wings - several threads on this in these forums. All sorted, tested under the hose and no new leaks. A nice opportunity to get the carpets really clean too!

But, given that 'it never rains but it pours'.. I found coolant on the carpet. The heater matrix was leaking.

So, by stealing an hour or two here and there over the next 5 weeks:
  • I stripped out the dash,
  • drained the coolant,
  • removed the heater unit,
  • changed the heater matrix with a second hand one (risky approach - maybe this one only has a month's life left in it?)
  • replaced the heater unit,
  • improved the seals around the air vents - the poor fit goes some way to explaining the poor performance,
  • refilled with coolant (no leaks!),
  • rebuilt the dash,
  • test fired the engine and very pleased to see no leaks as coolant pressure built up. Any leak at this point would have meant a lot of disassembling.
  • Added new soundproofing to the floor,
  • reinstalled the carpet,
  • reinstalled the seats,
  • took it for a drive.
Since I was doing a lot of interior work on the car, I replaced the original Kenwood head unit and 10 disc MP3 changer, including all my old custom Car PC bits and FM tuner. A good friend to me over my long commutes in past years.
Now I have a new JVCKenwood headunit with DAB and Bluetooth - all I need these days. As a bonus this has a reversing camera - chosen basically because I can run the cables nicely while the interior is out. It's nice to have proper phone integration too.

And finally, since it got cold while the car was parked up, I put the winter tyres on.

Lessons learned:
1. Removing the dash is not difficult.
2. But removing the heater matrix is a lot of extra work on top of removing the dash.
3. I have very little free time.
4. Having lost my comfortable garage, any rainy weather puts a stop to a lot of work. Cold weather makes work uncomfortable.

I still have the cam belts to do, but I think I'll wait for spring.
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