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MG MGF Technical - 160 MGZR head on MGF

A 160 head from a MGZR is going on my MGF and I was wondering firstly, if anyone out there has done this? and secondly, if so I would be grateful of any tips with regards to modifications I might need make becuase it's a 160 head?
P Marron

I don't know anyone who has done this DIY yet, but the head is a direct swap: it is, effectively a 145PS VVC head with the area around the valve seats machined out - as shown here:

The physical dimensions of the head are identical :o)
Rob Bell

Great link, thanks. I note that the bhp is higher. That's good news!
P Marron

Be very interested to know how this goes. Please keep us/me updated.
Neil H

Garage have fitted the head and first they said job was finished and all the noises (tapetts) had gone, and it was running well. But now they say there is another strange noise coming from the engine which they want to get to the bottom of. Mechanic thinks the sump needs to come off and see if there are any blockages in the oilways...and this is after it's been well flushed! What the hell next?!
P Marron

So where you fitting this to get over problems you had with your old head? or with the engine in general?

What were they.
Neil H

Hmm - do you know the full history of the engine? The cam and I think main bearing ladders use a special gunge sealant thingy (sorry - need more coffee before getting more technical! LOL). It's possible that if the engine has been rebuilt at some time that the oil galleries have been blocked off.

I presume that your mechanic is thinking that the bottom end bearings have had it? :o(

Might be worth considering replacement with second hand bearing ladder... Not sure, but it might be possible to do this without removing the engine.
Rob Bell

Yep, the oil passage ways were blocked with either the gunge sealant or (in mechanics opinion) gasket seal stuff, from a prior head gasket change (!). Sounds like the same to me! The sump was removed and this led to the discovery of it. So, engine flushed and cleaned, it's running & sounding correct. Picking up tomorrow, so can't wait to have a drive and see...

The head that was replaced is probably ok in hindsight just neededing a good old soak and flush. First of all I was told by a Rover MG auhthorised dealer that the VVC units needed replacing and they quoted my alot of money - the same amount as I paid for the car!! So the replacement head offered by another specialist worked out much cheaper, and it's off a 160. Hopefully it'll see me the other side of next summer untill anything major will need doing.
P Marron

I think that you'll be pleased with the performance improvement too! :o)
Rob Bell

Hope so! I think the next thing I will do is upgrade the air filter...and I'm also upgrading the sound system to one of these...

along with an amp and better speakers...
P Marron

Nice :o)
Rob Bell

> The cam and I think main bearing ladders use a special gunge sealant thingy

GCC108 IIRC, but the oilway(not the right word - the ladder section that distributes oil to the oilways) is held in with the head bolts, so removing the * is a head off job.

I guess that the oil pickup was gunked up, or folded or leaky, this is just a sump off job.
Will Munns

GUG705548GM is the liquid gasket used for the cam ladder - not sure about the stuff used elsewhere Will?
Rob Bell

Head gasket went!!

...and it did some serious munching in the top of the engine...engine seized it's back to the garage...
P Marron

I figure your F was a also a VVC
David Peters

>> Head gasket went!!
...and it did some serious munching in the top of the engine...engine seized it's back to the garage... <<

OMG! That sounds serious. I hope that nothing too expensive has been damaged?
Rob Bell

Yep, terrible, it sounded like all the top of the engine got munched to bits! Anyway it's now going to have a whole engine put in...the garage writing off the cost of the head they stuck on. The replacement engine is from a 53 reg car with 8k on it and it's going in this week...
P Marron

Oil starvation as well?

probably best to cut losses and fit new engine.

Does this mean that the garage may have a 160 head that needs a new home?
Rob Bell

the garage will have a 160 head fit for the bin possibly!! - by the sounds the engine made! It was a terrible munching sound. When I heard it I thought the pistons had shattered and either gone down inside the engine or through the head!!

may well have been an oil starvation also, but I had driven about 90 miles ok, parked up for about half hour before returning. The top of the engine was noisy though on the trip, but I risked it on the mechanics advice...he thought it would die down after the oil had warmed up...and i had also driven about 90 miles the day I picked the car up without noise...
P Marron

If it's scrap, then I'll have it off you? I'd like to be able to cut a head up to demonstrate the port design, so a mangled VVC mechanism isn't a problem!

Are the mechanics going to perform a 'post mortem' to find out the true cause of the failure?
Rob Bell

The engine is in and I'm picking the car up this weekend. Not sure if the mechanics will do a post mortem, the knackered head is still on the old engine. I'll ask.
P Marron

The old head was completely knackered and scrapped according to the mechanic. I saw the engine...Piston no.3 had shattered and decided to deposit large chunks of metal into the guts of the was a very ugly sight...

Anyway the new engine's in and running last it sounds as it should. It's from a 160 ZR which has done about 12k. Very pleased with it. I've got an air filter on the way from eBay also which I'll fit. Will also do some overall maintenance this winter, so that come sring/summer, it'll be top notch.

P Marron

>> Piston no.3 had shattered and decided to deposit large chunks of metal into the guts of the was a very ugly sight...<<

Ouch! Good to hear that the new engine has been installed, and things are now running as they should be! :o)
Rob Bell

This thread was discussed between 17/11/2004 and 06/12/2004

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