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MG MGA - Blown head gasket

I was having a very enjoyable drive last week, on a rare dry day here in Berkshire, when the old lady started sounding a bit rough. As I headed home I didn’t think she was going to make it as her coughing and spluttering got progressively worse … but she did, so I then set about the task of trying to work out what was wrong with her. Having established that the ignition system was OK I concluded that it was probably a blown head gasket. With the head off, it wasn’t difficult to see the problem – a big gap in the gasket between the second and third cylinders! So, my question is …

What could have caused it? And more importantly, what should I pay special attention to when fitting a new one to stop it happening again?

Thanks, Robert S


Robert Sinclair

Hi Robert

Had exactly the same about a year ago. I put it down to a poor quality gasket as it was only about 500kms old. Checked and cleaned both head and block and fitted a quality head gasket, torqued to spec. and retorqued after 200kms, touch wood no re-occurrence. I can check the make of the gasket I bought if it helps.

Barry
B Bridgens

Thanks Barry. I've already got a new one, from MG Owner's Club, but it would be good to know if there's a better one I should invest in before fitting it.
Robert
Robert Sinclair

Hi Robert

The gasket I bought was from Limora.com part#205143 it cost €18 made of copper. The original was part of a top end gasket set and appeared to made of a composite material with steel to seal around each cylinder and oil/ water hole. I think if the gasket you have is copper then you should be safe.

Barry
B Bridgens

Hi Robert
I believe Barney's site talks about head gaskets. I have fitted a Payen make, which I purchased on EBay.
Brian
Brian Paddon

I was told Payen resin one is to be preferred and has additional resin around the outside of the water passages that are a known leak point with the traditional flat gaskets.
Dave

http://www2.mg-cars.org.uk/images/bbs/posts/6_2013070209220630927_41754401501086_1373403555.jpg
Dave Swinburne

The black Payen resin gasket is very high quality.

Retorque after the first heat cycle and again after 500 kms. and leave it alone after that.

Lars
L. Christiansen

I have sourced the black Payen Head Gasket from Motor Parts Direct if there is one near you. Their part number is AEEAK660 £18 including VAT.

Best Alan
AR Terry

I have fitted the Payen type head-gasket to my big-bore 1950cc MGB engine and all seems to be fine. The big-bore size means that there is very little actual metal between the bores and so the gasket needs to be very strong to cope with this.

Payen head-gaskets are of laminated construction which is apparently a much more robust design than the solid copper types.

Colyn
Colyn Firth

Thanks Alan for telling me about Motor Parts Direct. I've been looking in vain for a UK supplier for the last couple of days and even got as far as contacting a couple of US suppliers about the possibility of shipping one over. The best I could find though was British Parts Northwest, in Oregon, who quoted $21 for the gasket and $60 for shipping! MPD has a branch in Winchester, which isn't too far away, so I'll give them a call tomorrow and see if they can get one for me.
Thanks to all for your comments.
Robert Sinclair

how about http://www.britishclassiccarspares.com/acatalog/Online_Parts_List_HEAD_GASKET_SETS__PAYEN__39.html
or will a MGB one do https://www.ukmgparts.com/product/mgb-midcat-3-submgb3-crankshaft-pistons-rods-flywheel-bearings-cam-etc-3-bearing-engine/head-gasket-set-mgb-1800-payen-ajm1163
or even http://www.mossmotors.com/Shop/ViewProducts.aspx?PlateIndexID=109116 or better still http://www.thewedgeshopstore.com/head-gasket-payen-mgb-mga-1622/

dave
Dave Swinburne

The first link is for Bumper to Bumper, who I've already tried, but their website won't accept online orders and their phone keeps ringing out. The second link is Brown and Gammons, but they only sell standard copper head gaskets for MGAs, and the last two are both US retailers, so I'd be looking at around $60 to have it shipped. The good news though is that I've spoken to my local Motor Parts Direct depot, who will have one for me on Tuesday. So if anybody else in the UK wants one, that's the place to go. Thanks again Alan.

Robert
Robert Sinclair

Hey that's great news Robert, get a spare while your at it.

Regards
Alan
AR Terry

Lol - at the risk of breaching forum rules - I can supply if people are desparate!
Chris at Octarine Services

At special forum price Chris?
AR Terry

Lol - probably do it at cost + postage.

I have some on order at the moment - full top end sets, I don't know what the current price is - everything has shot up thanks to the weak pound - pistons I was buying at £170 +VAT are now £270 +VAT!!

Don't get me started on the fallout from Brexit....

I see B&G are charging £33 and Ebay is £25 + post - should be less than that!
Chris at Octarine Services

This thread was discussed between 20/08/2017 and 26/08/2017

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