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MG MGF Technical - ?2nd HGF I din't believe it!

Noticed a few spots of coolant on the floor, just 1996 VVC

inboard of the front of the right rear wheel......closer inspection shows green coolant on the main ?beam/subframe......


i was looking into the cause of a slight coolant drop....



coolant clear, oil only 'oily'


However it does screech for a second on starting (alternator belt!) but has done so for weeks.


Please, any theories for causes other than "that one"?


I will drive slowly home & take off the engine cover for a look......

Had an HGF/head skim last year, so I am very worried now.......


Can it 'leak coolant' like this from an HGF over time & not cause the dramatic steam/mayo scenario that seems common.
Or am I looking at another several hundred quid to keep it on the road?
mournfully yours,
Charlie, Kent UK
Charles Dundas

>>Can it 'leak coolant' like this from an HGF over time & not cause the dramatic steam/mayo scenario that seems common.<<
Yes - you only get the 'mayo' if coolant contaminates the oil. A small Head gasket leak will appear as steam until the car stops - then you will get a very small amount of coolant (unless the gasket really fails - that's when you get the clouds of steam and coolant everywhere).
You may instead just have a hose leak or water pump problem.

If it's a head gasket problem, I'd expect a serious failure real soon now; the fact that you've not got floods of water/steam hopefully means it's just a leak from somewhere and can be cheaply fixed.
Mine went from no discernible problem (no water loss) to completely failed in 8 miles.
Steve

Charles , check for water eminating from the gasket below the middle of the 1st and 2nd exhaust manifold outlets, this is where it is normaly to be found if the gasket is leaking water.
Mike
Mike

Front edge of gasket looks ok, drips traced back to the bottom edge of the flywheel that has the alternator belt.............


Will have to wait until monday/tuesday to get it pressure tested.


Water pump? Hopefully, but could it still be HGF behind the plastic timing belt cover?
Bl**y well hope not!


Still, now drips of clear coolant are visible, so no driving until checked, I reckon.

thanks, will post an update soon as I know the outcome.(so, no brake pedal adjuster/K&N just yet)
Charles Dundas

A visual inspection is all that is needed to confirm whether this is a HGF or not, but unfortunately, your description is classic HGF Charles :o(((
Rob Bell

I'll keep my fingers crossed.
Erik

Charlie,
Which head gasket did you have fitted last time, the Rover one or the MS/Piper one?
Jason H
Jason H

Rover HG fitted, steel dowels etc.
Taking it to the garage today!
Charles Dundas

Charles,

I've just discovered a similar problem on my '99 F which has done about 53,000km. I first noticed the patch on the garage floor on the weekend and is more on the left handside (towards the rear left wheel). The patch is very small, about 2-3 cm in dia. but green in colour. There is no discernable drop in coolant level in the expansion tank.

I have also noticed a slight jarring sound on initial start up - ie, when the engine is completely cold - buggered if I know what that means.

My car is booked in next Tues for a check so I hope it ain't anything more serious than needing some tightening of some bolts etc.

Will get back and let you know what the diagnosis is.

Phil
Phil

Guys

I have just has a similar problem. Turns out it was the hose from the engine block to one of the pipes that run to the front of the car. 30 for a new hose from a dealer and 1 hour to fit. The hose was split at the top bend where it goes down to the pipes below. A fairly easy task.
David Law

If it of any help. Had a steady leak in the same general area - just inboard of the right rear wheel, which seemed to come from the bottom/rear of the cam belt cover. This continued for about 3 months with no other symtoms at all. Then it stopped, and there have been 6 months and no leak! Beats me.
david

David,
Run out of water ? ;-)
Will Munns

Great news David! :o)

As Will infers - did the mechanic re-bleed the coolant system to remove any potential airlocks?
Rob Bell

Hi

I noticed the problem over a period of time with the green fluid on the garage floor. Then one day I noticed steam from the back of the car and my water levels had reduced dramatically. After cooling down I added water and that's when I noticed the water coming from the split in the hose. I drained the system from the bottom hoses and fitted the new hose and filled up again. I used the info on bleeding the system that was available on the BB, very useful. No problems since and not a drop of water lost.
David Law

Awaiting news!

My (basic ) understanding is that HGF is commonest from the front right of the block, by the exhaust manifold outlet No.1, but left side is often a hose leak(mine was)

No hoses on the right, so HGF/water pump the 2 most likely causes.


If the dreaded HGF again, can the head be skimmed again?

If not, what cost new, or 2nd hand?
cheers
charlie
Charlie dundas

Charlie,

> >My (basic ) understanding is that HGF is commonest from the front right of the block, by the exhaust manifold outlet No.1, but left side is often a hose leak(mine was)

Yes you're right - unfortunately I've experienced both.

> >If the dreaded HGF again, can the head be skimmed again?

Unlikely I believe, as I don't think that there is that much tolerance available. However, you need to speak to a real guru, like Dave Andrews, who may also have access to some reasonably priced heads if you do need a new one.

If your interested he'll also perform his magic on the head and give you a bonus for your trouble. A little extra cost, but hey, what the hell when you've got to pay for the head to come off anyway. I've also been there and done that - with my first HGF - a massive oil/water mix that went way back to ruin even the air filter.

HGF no 2 for me was the classic 'water to outside world' just above the alternator - sounds just like your symptoms. This was despite steel dowels and a Mike Satur gasket from HGF no 1. The extra pinning through of the rubber beading around the outer edge of the gasket didn't help. It just lifted either side of a point where it was pinned. :-(

Theories for such 'classic' HGFs? Well, one is that the block isn't 100% flat resulting in uneven torque of the head. This coupled with the hot spot around the area above the alternator and there is a propensity for blowing the rubber bead.

Solutions? Dave Andrews advice was to use a sealant around the gasket to help. Either that or take the block out and ensure it is 100% flat - not a cheap option!

HTH,

Dave
Dave

Hi all,
with repeted HGFs - isnt it possible that unequal liner height might be the real problem ? Then it really doesnt make any diff. whats done to the head...

BR, Carl.
Carl Blom

> >with repeated HGFs - isnt it possible that unequal liner height might be the real problem ? Then it really doesnt make any diff. whats done to the head...

Yes Carl, I see your point, but it seems that the liner heights on my car were _all_ just slightly proud of the block - not unequal AFAIK. I'm also led to believe that on some of the racing Fs they deliberately make the liners proud of the block to ensure a firm 'nip' on the fire ring.

I'm no expert here - just repeating what the experts tell me!
Dave

WATER PUMP!


Just collected it, rather shocked when I was phoned to be told it was fixed, as I was expecting bad news (but hoping it wasn't)


No screech on startup, new cambelt (again!) as the old one was contaminated with coolant.

thanks for all your comments.
charlie, kent UK
Charles Dundas

Charlie,

Thanks for the update - good news then :-)

Dave

but I'm leaving it until the weekend to bleed it again before any serious use. Paranoid, me?
Charlie Dundas

When I had my HGF fixed I also had a new water pump fitted, sounds like I made a wise decision, as I do wonder what condition the water pump will be in after a HGF if it has been run dry.
Glad to hear it wasn't a full blown HGF.
Jason H
Jason H

This thread was discussed between 27/06/2003 and 04/07/2003

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