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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Head Gasket advice 1275

OK, so head gasket blown between 3 and 4, looks like it was on it's way between 2 and 3 and a bit of blackness on the gasket bottom (next to the block) between 1 and 2.

Engine is 1275 +60 with MG Metro big valve head, HIF44 on Howley Racing inlet manifold and standard exhaust manifold. Not sure of compression ratio. Pistons are unknown make but dished. The head combustion chambers worked slightly. The head is 2.7645 inch from head face to rocker gasket face. I suspect the timing was a little over advanced as it pinked under load.

The gasket had no identifying marks apart from 9 - 2012F which could be a date code. Copper one side white on other side. It was Copper side up.

The engine is in a Frogeye with cable driven tacho and original dynamo. I was doing 6500+ (the Frogeye tacho was off the scale) in second overtaking and all was ok for a while save for a slight tinkling sound. I got home ok. A couple weeks later took it out in the sunshine and about 10 miles from home the sound got louder and louder so turned around then nursed it home.

There have been a few threads about poor head gasket quality recently so thought I would ask the knowledge collective before attempting replacement.

I have a couple of choices. 1/ I have a NOS Mini 1275 Cooper S head gasket branded King Seal part number BHS 470. With this choice I will be on the road before the weekend. Choice 2/ A guy on eBay imports Cometic MLS head gaskets from USA for 85 but has a 17 day lead time so I won't be on the road for 2 or 3 weeks.

Any other options? Have I been unlucky? Is it down to poor quality parts?

Rob

Rob aka MG Moneypit

WWID? - whack the Cooper gasket on, set the timing properly and accurately, and go drive it. A gentle 50 miles then re-torque the head and then go for it.
David Smith

6,500 plus in second? Ruddy 'ooligan.

What David says sounds about right.
Bernie Higginson

Yes, just use your spare Cooper gasket.

But your description of the failure sounds as though it was progressive from front to back, almost as if the tension on the studs had progressively loosened off. Personally I don't think torque needs to be checked or adjusted on an engine apart from the initial assembly and once again after the bedding in period. Once set up it is better just left alone. But I wonder, are you using proper hardened washers under the head nuts? Mild steel ones will gradually compress and the studs loose their clamping pressure.
Guy W

Check all the surfaces are clean and flat and no thread 'pull' around the head studs and all should be fine with the gasket you have. I run a bog standard HG on my engine (black composite) which has a flowed head 10.75CR LCB etc. Just done 1,400 miles round France with no issues.

Check the timing as this can be more critical.

Bob Beaumont

I would get the head checked for flatness first, then go with the gasket you have. If the ignition timing is out and your'e pulling those sorts of revs then are you not asking for trouble ?
I mean this politely of course :)
P Bentley

I'd go for a Payen BK450. Not keen on the copper ones. Minispares have them for about 12 or a bit more for full head set. I use them with standard 9 studs and rev to more than 6.5k though I do tend to replace it every couple of years.
john payne

I am thinking the same as guy, there seems to be a progression of head studs loosing torque

1st ... I have a cometic head gasket, and love it... notes at the bottom

My thought is to use the new gasket with the advice from those above.

The BK450 by payne is a good choice also as is the AF (xxx ???)

As to the cometic... its reusable up to 7 times, it is a mls its several levels of viton coated steel coated in viton rubber held togather by a brass rivit... if installed correctly its great,

but the draw back, the instructions are badly wanting and vague at best, they make the assumption you know about mls head gaskets

1st ... do not use anti fresse when installing, use only water for the 1st 100 to 200 miles untill the H.gasket is fully set

2nd use a (light) coat of copper seal only on the HG (both sides) a little goes along way and and alot just gums up

For 1st time.. a gentle fast wipe of aceton on the gasket just before install allows the rubber to break down/ become tack for a better stick

Re torque hot after the initial 20 -50 mile hot run and agian before you add in 50% anti to the rad

On the 1275 ... drill out or cut off the rivit on the dissy side of the engine at the front of the engine... the rivit rides to high on top of the vin # ledge and pulls the gasket off set when the engine is torqued and it wont let the HG to do its job correctly

That said... so far so good, it was a learning curve to learn how to install the cometic HG, and little to no
support from cometic but the people here were generious with what they knew and I was able to piece together what I needed to know.

Prop
Prop and the Blackhole Midget

The irony of prop giving advice on head gaskets...
Dean Smith ('73 RWA)

The irony of prop giving advice on head gaskets...

Those that can do, those that cant teach

LOL

the experiance was educational not one id care to try for my doctorates on

Prop

Prop
Prop and the Blackhole Midget

OK, all. Thanks for the advice, I'll get the HG replaced this weekend. Or after I've put a new exhaust on the midget.

It's been a frustrating time lately. After the frog expired a few days later the Renault Megane CC decided to play up but it's been limping along for a while. So I was down to the Midget to get us to work and on Tuesday the exhaust fell off!!!!! So 3 cars off the road, well almost. I've been patching the exhaust up with a spare back box I had in my garage which had the wrong diameter pipes etc, etc.

So this weekend is fix the Midget with a nearly new twin box exhaust, then the Frog then the Renault.

The Renault has a bit of a design flaw, probably common to all cars fitted with Start/Stop buttons. The electronics that energises the relay that starts the engine runs off the same battery that starts the car. So when the battery approaches the end of it's life you press the button, that energises the relay that starts the car that causes the battery voltage to dip below the operating voltage of the electronics which causes the relay to drop out which stops the starter motor from running which restores the battery voltage which causes the relay to energise which causes the starter motor to run which causes the battery voltage to drop etc. etc. until the engine bursts into life. The hammering that this causes knocks teeth off the starter ring and knackers the starter.

Such is progress!!!!!

Rob
Rob aka MG Moneypit

Perhaps the old lady that lives in a shoe down the road could lend you a battery

Im guessing with your luck the battery is some new fandangled thing thats not very common and ultra cha ching

Rob ... I feel for you body, ive been there its just a hidious form of miscontent that the spiritual universe spits in your face, I dont know what it is or its purpose, but that type of luck just sucks the life out of my bones, and its tough to beat, cause it dosnt stop with just the cars, it just permeates all the way thur your daily life, and it can last for weeks

Hang in there and best wishes you can beat this spiritial killer soon before it can metastasize beyound 3 busted cars

Please... no photos of you peddleing to the auto parts store on your 1978 huffy 10 speed bicycle, NO, we dont want to see that.... haha

Prop

Prop
Prop and the Blackhole Midget

I can feel a drift coming on.

Have you seen the new BP system of Oil filled pods that enable an oil change to be done in 90 seconds? It will mean manufacturers building this system into new cars. The picture I saw was like a cube filled with oil that could be slotted into a recepticle next to the engine.

I can just imagine in years to come. Ford will have a cube shaped system, VW a hexagon, Mercedes a triangle. You need and oil change sir? that will be 2000 pounds please. But Ford only charge 500!! Yes sir but ours are triangular so Fords don't fit. That will be 3000 then sir. What's the extra for? We had to programme the ECU to accept the cheap oil!!!!

Rob
Rob aka MG Moneypit

I started a thread for this yesterday onthe general side ...

90 sec oil change xxxxxxx

Im with you, the more I think about it the more it has the appearance of a screw you scam

How do you add oil to top off, can you still.check oil level, is this going to be copy righted and you dont own the rights to change your own oil, and like you rob mentioned, everyone will have a differant cell

What happens if you refill the cell yourself... do you get penalised somehow, fined, taxed, imprisioned, beat up by the VW goonie squad

The good news its 5 years away and only avialable on one high race car that has to be driven on the track, not on the street

Im not a fan of the idea

Prop
Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Rob,

Reminds me of Apollo 13 with the air scrubbers, maybe you'll be able to fit other makes oil units with some gaffer tape and other bits that may be to hand.
David Billington

David ...

Thats an interesting thought, but I got a bur that wont be possiable

There is a popular coffee maker here in the states that makes these special one off cups of coffee, but there perpiotory, you dont own the rights to make your own coffee... it simply wont work if you jimmy rig it... its a kurgan ???

I think this new oil cell will be the same way, I.cant imagine them do this stunt then allowing anyone with a screw driver to rip them off

Prop
Prop and the Blackhole Midget

It'll be like with inkjet cartridges. Cheap refill kits will emerge on fleabay and help you make a mess of the kitchen table.
Alex G Matla

The only thing new about this is the removable cartridge.
It's just dry sump lubrication with a twist. The difference being, you remove the oil tank and fit a new one.
I wonder if you'll be able to take out the cartridge,empty it, refill with fresh oil and refit it, or are they all sealed? As Prop says, if they are sealed, how do you check and top up?
For sure, it will work out more expensive, otherwise why would they want to do it?
Bernie Higginson

At the very least "you" won't be able to take out the cartridge, empty and refill it! Anti pollution laws will prevent any such thing. It will be a licensed garage service item only, with the engine software arranged so that it has to be reset before the engine will start again.

More likely still, will be the advent of non-fluid lubrication systems that use new materials for things like bearing surfaces that require no conventional oil at all, or are otherwise sealed for life components.
Guy W

Guy. I didn't mean when I said empty it, to imply that one should dispose of the old oil irresponsibly, but to recycle it as in a normal oil change.
You are probably right that there would be some sort of software arrangement to prevent the home mechanic from carrying out changes.
Bernie Higginson

Bernie, of course I know you didn't mean that. But legislation already attempts to prevent such a thing and the time is fast approaching when manufacturers will be required to design systems that would make oil changing at home an impossibility.
Guy W

Nice thread drift guys. Ooop's I started it!!!!

Put the exhaust back on the Midget. I had a low use twin box system in stock so fitted that. Trouble was, it was a 1500 system but with my constant companion Mr. Angle Grinder and a bit of ingenuity, I got it to fit.

So now I can get back to the original post.
Head studs are the ones with the dimple in the end and the washers are the extra thick hard washers so I'll be applying 50 LbFt of torque.

I'll be taking the studs out to make sure there is no frazing of the holes in the block.

I seem to remember a trick with VHT paint. Anyone remember it? Also I remember a YouTube video about gluing fuse wire between each pair of cylinders to the top of the block before putting the HG on. Anyone remember that?

Rob

Rob aka MG Moneypit

I wouldn't mess about with paint and fuse wire! Just make sure both faces are clean and flat. Torque it down carefully, check the ignition timing and crank it up.
Bob Beaumont

I do remeber various converstations with fuse / copper wire strands...the purpose being if the area between the cly was low/ damaged but not to the point of having the block deck resurfaced
Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Make sure both faces are clean and flat, remove any oil/crud that comes out of the stud holes as you screw them in, a final wipe of both surfaces with thinners/panel wipe etc then go for it. If you have a nice new Payen gasket in a packet then don't take it out till the last minute and try not to touch the surface too much - the Payen composite (and possibly the copper ones) are coated with a slightly sticky covering and it attracts dirt easily.

It all sounds a bit OTT but better to take a lot of care than to have it go again.

Now we can start the discussion about re-torquing!
john payne

A problem I had earlier this year was with a faulty? Payen gasket. After replacing the valve oil seals I refitted the head with a new gasket. I found I had a bad oil leak from the inlet side front of the head. After removing the head again and comparing with a 2nd new gasket I found the problem (see photo). Very frustrating! - I'm not sure if this was a one off or a batch problem?

Jim


J Smith

Yes, I can imagine that was a bit frustrating Jim! Hopefully just a one off but worth checking in the future.

There is another Payen gasket which is exactly the same but the hole you had a problem with has a rubber seal insted of the copper ring, I think it's the updated version. I still use the old one though.
john payne

That's interesting John. Do you know if the updated Payen gasket you mention has a seperate rubber seal (o-ring?) - or is it built into the gasket? If the former then maybe it was a good gasket I had but missing the o-ring. The two gaskets in my photo did have exactly the same part no embossed on them.

Jim
J Smith

Eeer, mirror immage gasket?


Alex G Matla

Almost - except for the 'Front' markings!



J Smith

I see the part numbers on the packaging are different - does that explain the difference?
David Smith

The DK450 is a full decoke set and includes a BK450 gasket. I bought that from a certain mg specialist. When I discovered the problem, it was late on a Saturday morning and the only option if I wanted to get it back together that weekend was to get a BK450 from Minispares instead - which is only a few miles from me.
Jim
J Smith

OK, all up and running again.

I decided to clean up the garage before doing the HG and found a Payen AF470 in my stock of items. For the life of me I don't even remember buying this but it has a 2014 date on the picking list label that MOSS put on.

I also found an exhaust bracket I bought years ago, the same exhaust bracket I bought from MOSS on Thursday to fit the twin box exhaust on my Midget which had the crumbling cherry bomb exhaust. In the end I didn't need either of them because there was one already on the Midget. I could have sworn it wasn't there on Thursday morning when I checked what I needed to buy!!!!

HG went on no problem after a good clean-up of head and block. I found the stud holes in the block were already chamfered so just made sure everthing was clean. Took the Frog out for a gentle drive to warm everything up and will check everything when it's cooled down.

I included an image of the same area as the problem one that J Smith had. As you can see there is a formed rubber seal in this position.

Rob


Rob aka MG Moneypit

I also uploaded an image of the same area of the King Seal Mini Cooper S HG for comparison.

Rob


Rob aka MG Moneypit

Glad to hear you got yours sorted Rob!
Thanks for the pics. It seems to confirm that I was unfortunate and had a duff HG....

Jim
J Smith

Did you retorque the head after the drive while it was still hot ???

Prop
Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Darn it Prop. Why didn't you remind me earlier?

I'll just have to take a trip out tonight to the local pub to warm it up again!!!

Rob
Rob aka MG Moneypit

Haha... thats what friends are for.

As a child when we would go on long trips for vaction, id always wait till we were about 100miles dosn the road then ask mom if she remembered to turn off the coffee maker or some fire hazzard item like that... I always liked the creation of the oddity of that akward moment ....only once did we turn around and drive the 80 miles back to check

Prop
Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Hello All, I am new to this forum. I have a question not directly linked to this topic......
I am looking for a way to contact Alex G. Matla. Reason; we might be related, both have a MG Midget. ! Alex if you read this, please contact me. A Dutch Matla too...
A.S. Matla

Hey A.S. That's weird! Where about do you live then? I'm in The Hague; sh*tty of peace.
Alex G Matla

It get's even weirder.... My birth name is Alexander..... I have inherited my father's 1972 RWA Midget.... and his initials are W.G.... drop me a line at asmatla@zonnet.nl
A.S. Matla

Help, ist like the zombie virus in the Walking Dead, there are now A.Matla's everywhere!!!

Somebody call the National guard before the A.Matla's take over Holland!

Welcome Alexander, btw be carefull with putting your email adres out there, you might get a lot of spam as a result.
Arie

arie,

The malta heard, is a force that cant be stopped, it just keeps going, it cant be bought, it cant be reasoned with, it wont negotiate, it just keeps going, it will never stop....

its a malta zombie heard

Btw... did you mean to write spam or sperm

Prop
Prop and the Blackhole Midget

This thread was discussed between 07/10/2015 and 17/10/2015

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG Midget and Sprite Technical BBS is active now.