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MG MGF Technical - Head Gasket

Guys I've got a major headache. All I want to do is enjoy cruising around!

My MGF is currently in my local garage for a replacement head Gasket. This has
>caused my local mechanics much confusion. It arrived in the garage last
>Wednesday morning and since then they haven't even taken the gasket out yet.
>This was to firstly because they couldn't work out how to get to it, so a work
>colleague of mine, who was once a mechanic, phoned Rover on there behalf and
>asked for instructions. He then recited these to my Garage. Since then no I have
>had no further correspondence until today. I was told that there is a great deal
>of water in the Sump, there may be water ingrossed in the boars and it looks as
>thought that oil has come back up the expansion bottle. I was informed by my
>work colleague that this wasn't uncommon for a head gasket fault but the garage
>have said that I may be better off purchasing a new engine as the bottom half of
>the engine could be found faulty. I was told that they would charge 31.75 an
>hour for labor + VAT and just to take the head off to investigate would take at
>least 6 to 8 hour, costing me around 300, before any repair work had actually
>been carried out.
>I was wondering if someone could shed some light on this subject as my
>confidence in my local garage has hit rock bottom and I am considering taking
>the work elsewhere.

For heavens sake dump them and take it to an MG garage - it will cost you but not as much as this bucnh of morons is going to cost!

Ted Newman

Take it elsewhere!!!!
the MGF has some subtle issues regarding bleeding of the water- and if they cannot figure out how to get at the engine then they almost certainly won't do the repair right.
The engine may need replaceing, but this is VERY unlightly. 3500!!
more lightly the head will need a skim 600
but you might get away with as little as 400
Have a look at the dealer guide, or take it to an mg specialist

Will Munns

As above if the garage dont know how to remove the engine panel - then they wont know squat about rebuilding the F engine properly - especially the bleed procedure

Also its important to know why the head failed - they may repair and it could happen again!

Anyone know of a RELIABALE MG garage or specialist nearby ????? Specialists are generally cheaper than MGR - And often MGR dont know how to fix an F either !

Wonder if techspeed would go that far for it ???

I just know its going to be cheaper to get it trailered somewhere and have the job done right rather than have mechanics tinkering on it! - maybe 200 to get it trailered to techspeed = but 1000s saved as they know what there doing and have a reasonable hourly rate!!

Water in the sump doesnt mean engine write off !

This Garage Doesn't know MGF's, take it elsewhere ASAP!

Ben, the advice to go to a specialist is good. When our head gasket went I took it to B&G in Baldock on my trailer. Could do same for you if you are stuck - email me if interested.

As another alternative: Meltech (in Stokenchurch, Bucks) a) knows MGF's (did cup cars) and b) successfully changed the HG on our Astra in August (he DOES know what he's doing - how to find the engine ( :-) ), skimming, correct cooling system bleeding etc!). I think he's 32 / hour (no VAT) from what I remember.

Significantly closer than Baldock.

He's got a trailer (which I'm sure he'd lend me!) and I could come and get you with it (I'm not working at the moment!).

Really depends where you are in Hants...

Drop me an email if interested...


The MG-R dealer it Witney, Oxfordshire's supposed to be good, as well, I hear.

Almost anyone would be a better idea than your local garage, though! Suggesting that you need a new engine, when they don't even know how to look at the old one is not a good sign...
David Bainbridge

Being unable to figure out how to find the engine I lay odds that they have no idea how to correctly lift a K series head without disturbing the liners. Once the seal on the bottom lip is moved then coolant pours into the sump. Unless the engine has suffered huge trauma, like a 1.8i in MGOC workshops that has melted the plug cover, the cambelt covers, the inlet manifold where it bolts to the head and the dizzy cap, before the cambelt broke, then all is reclaimable.

Roger Parker

Eeeek - it's scary to think that these bozos have possesion of you car - get it back quick!
It's normal for any engine with a blown head gasket to get water in the oil. This isn't likely to cause long term damage unless you've been running it like this for ages. I had an old Vauxhall years ago with a cracked head - I kept running it for 6 months on a mixture of oil and water (terrible I know but it was a heap) until I eventually felt sorry for the old girl and mended it. After that it ran for another couple of years until I sold it for 100 - engine was still running fine!

This thread was discussed between 29/01/2002 and 30/01/2002

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