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MG MGF Technical - Auw nuts - HGF!

Well, on thursday I had a coolanty smell and the water was close to the bottom of the tank, topped up, maybe 1/4 pint. Friday coolant smell worse, took another 1/4 pint, Not run dry, not overheated. Pull the engine cover off yesterday cant see nothing unless the car is reved, then two beads of coolant appear on to the alternator.


So - how much more difficult is this going to be than when I had the engine on the floor?

Access -> access pannel in RHS wheelarch? tips on removal?

Nuts -> I cant see any that look difficult - inlet, exaust, water and head bolts all look OK

Skim -> just how much do I have to remove to get a skim, what evils lay in store when refitting ('stard seals etc.)

Will Munns

Aww no Will - really sorry to hear this :-(
Dolly D

It happens to all of us, but (and this is the stinger - stop reading now if your not brave of heart)

B&G replaced the HG 2 years ago (although I'm not sure it was dodgy then, it is now!)
Will Munns

I fyou caught it early and there was no overheating will it still need a skim?
Bob Millar

Bad luck Will - just as you were beginning to get your finger nails clean after building the midget.

Not always the case sadly, I'm just prepairing myself for the worse, after all- it did fail again after 2 years.

Has anyone any experience with using instant gasket to reinforce the waterways?
Will Munns

Sorry to hear the bad news Will :o(

I have seen folks replace HGs with the engine in situ - so this is certainly possible. You'll have to be prepared to partially drop the subframe in order to replace / remove the cam belt (you might as well do this if the engine is being taken apart).

Removing the wheel arch access panel is a necessity - especially for re-tightening the cam belt (for which you'll need to employ the "Woolcott Manuoevre"). No specific tips on access panel removal - but be aware that the retaining self tapping screw (mild steel) that holds the card panel to the (aluminium) cradle is going to shear off. Drill out the old one, and use a new screw...

Before skimming the head, get it tested for porousity and hardness, and an engine shop will be able to readily tell you whether the head has warped (a straight edge will tell you this as well - there is a nice section in the engine manual that covers the DIY inspection process quite nicely). But at the end of the day, I'd be tempted to simply replace the gasket, as the likelihood of this kind of damage on your car is small.

Good luck (you're going to be a true K-series guru soon Will!!! ;o))

Rob Bell

>for which you'll need to employ the "Woolcott Manuoevre"

go on go on go on.

Not planning on cam belt, as it was done 2 years ago, and it makes the job MUCH easier not having to undo the 210Nm nut on the crankshaft
Will Munns

Scarlet Fever

>> go on go on go on. <<

Better let Tim have his moment of glory - he's certainly got this down to a fine art now :o)

BTW the Draper catalogue is a rich source of invaluable specialist tools - like the K-series cam locking tool (cheap too).
Rob Bell

Sorry to hear about the HGF :( While having the straight edge handy for checking the head - also have a check on liner height! But carefully without disturbing them and do some kind of clamping so they will stay untouched during work. Note: Repeated HGF can be a sign of uneven liner height.
And of course the relevant copies of "MG World" will be handy during the excercise ;o)

BR, Carl.
Carl Blom

So am I reading this correctly Will..... this is your 2nd gasket change ??
Dick O'Pullar

>this is your 2nd gasket change ??

(reading one way) Yes, but it may be the first failure - last time I had to compleatly strip the engine down to pull the crank so I could get a hole drilled in the end

(reading the other) Yes, but I'm not sure it was really needed last time - a case of "water loss, that'll be 600 please"

Getting close to home time now - rob, can you steal Tims thunder.
Will Munns

Sorry Will, I've just started a new job so I've had to say good bye to my internet friends :o(

Anyway the Woolcott Manouvre is used to retention the Cam belt. This can be a bit of a sod, but with an 8mm cranked spanner and a VERY long screwdriver the belt can be simple tensioned from the off-side wheel arch. Remove the cam belt cover from the top (it'll already be off) and then have a chum undo the 8mm retenion bolt while you push the tensioner up with the long screwdriver from inside the wheel arch (with fibre cover removered of course) I think Rob may have pics but I'm not sure...... When the time comes you could drop me a line and I could see if I can come up to help....


Sorry, you will also need a long power bar and an 8mm hex bit too to undo the centre tensioner bolt....

A cautionary tale, regarding head skimming. Not having much knowledge of "K" series construction, it may or may not be relevant i.e. do cams run in carriers, or direct in the head.Anyway, for what it's worth, here goes. Some years ago I bought a vauxhall Astra, within 2 weeks, camshaft snapped,like a carrot.Checked everything I could think of, nothing obvious, replaced camshaft.Week later,bang, gone again.Hmm, proper examination needed.Checked up on history of car, found it had suffered HGF, boiled, and warped the head.On dismantling, found head/block face perfect i.e. been skimmed, BUT upper face of head still warped, so on bolting cam/carrier down it actually bent the camshaft,causing the failures.May not be relevent to"K" series,but put it in the memory banks,might come in useful one day. Regards.
H.R. Bridge

Relevent, but not for me 'woo hoo' 8-)

ah, the adjuster, yes I found on the last one that the belt was a complete 'stard unless you comleatly removed the bolt, then the cam tentioner can be wound up further and the job becomes easy.

I couldn't find the last nut on the back of the cam cover, and ended up snapping it, but the only casulty so far is that and a 10mm socket which has gone awol.

Tonight the refit
Will Munns

Rob, bleeding, your site is great, but the a,b,c position animation if _FAR_ to fast, any chace of slowing it down so I get a chance to look at the pictures?
Will Munns

Hmm, you're right Will. I shall slow this down.

Bleed points also shown on this image:
Rob Bell

arn't C&D the same point?
Will Munns

Yup - different perspectives of the same coolant rail bleed point.

I've not included the two famous 'jiggle valves' - see bottom of for more info ;o)
Rob Bell

How's it going Will ??
S Laithwaite


Should have blead the water out properly first, I ended up with loads of water getting in the bores and some getting in the (new) oil.

This engine is _SO_ much easier to work on when it's not in a car!
Will Munns

This thread was discussed between 24/11/2003 and 27/11/2003

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