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MG MGF Technical - Land-rover or not Land-rover

The blobs of mayo on the dipstick have now been joined by their little friends in the expansion tank.
So, looks like its time for a new head gasket.
I have been given a good price,inc.belt/water pump, BUT, the mechanic(ex MGR) does not wamt to fit the LR gasket, says it puts stresses in the block that it was'nt designed for. I was under the impression that it was the "Holy Grail", now I am more confused than ever. Is he right or wrong?
roy bridge

To me that sounds like a bit of 'bull' - it isn't necessarily the 'holy grail' but others have reported good results.
Ted Newman

The main block can take the crushing forces but the original oil ladder cannot, so that too should be replaced. Full details in the archive and on Rob Bell's website.


there is no diffrence in the clamping on the LR gasket, the bolts and the torque settings are the same
Will Munns

The last point is a good one and begs the question that without increased clamping forces, what advantage is there fitting the LR bits?

I see no advantage in fitting the LR solution and never have.
J Foulger

I agree with the above - Roy, I think your mechanic may be confusing the LR head gasket and oil rail kit with aftermarket kits that include higher tensile through bolts. These in particular do cause stresses within the K-block that they're not designed to take. However, given that the LR gasket and 'rail were designed by MG Rover Powertrain for MG Rover products (not used as the company failed before they could be included on the production line), I think that you can take it that this kit is safe to use. :o)
Rob Bell

Roy, i got the LR gasket fitted when mine went and its been fine.
Yours will be the second skim (if it is needed)? so the extra layer on the LR gasket will make up some of the material skimmed off the head.
I looked into this when mine needed fixing and with Robs help and my local garage this was the best way forward for me with the LR gasket.
m e johnson

as I understand it The landrover gasket bonds to the engine rather than being simply clamped
Will Munns

I am a bit surprised that Ted and Rob haven't pointed you to the archive where Dave Andrews specifically posted back in 2006 from sources inside Rover about the merits of the Land Rover Gasket. To counteract the bandwagon of the placebo Land Rover Gasket cure.

To sum up:
at production on the k series line the gasket required a liner height tolerance finer (for land rover k sreies) than the MGF heads being passed and even then being skimmed down to compensate for the increased height of the gasket.

So confident was the Rover source that they preferred to fit the standard gasket rather than the Land Rover on their compettition tomcat.

Plus the Land Rover GAsket was identical to the Payin Saver gasket specifically designed to save porous heads.

The folly of the oil rail, being an abandoned method to increase clamping forces for the KV6 to be fitted to the MGF etc which on testing was found to collapse the towers at the head.

I want to believe in the LR gasket but there have been 2 failures of it on the and thats within a year.

Jon Baker this the thread from the archives...............................................................

It made interesting reading for me at the time and with other information i gathered i went with the LR gasket in the end.
My f had the uprated Mike satur gasket fitted by the previous owner and that still went 4 years/11,000 miles it lasted.
I also read that this LR gasket would be a good option for perhaps a not so perfect (slightly soft/porous head .
I basically just gathered as much info as i could and then made an informed choice.Was it the right choice.........God i hope so !!!!!!
Cheers guys and let us know how you get on Roy.

m e johnson

Thanks for all the help/remarks guys.
Will have a good look at Rob's site over the weekend, see if I can convince myself one way or the other.
I did speak to the mechanic again today, his take FWIW was that there are 10 year old F's still on the original gasket,also many not, of course. He had never fitted a LR gasket, but had removed two from overheating cars. His opinion is that the LR gasket has not yet got a proven track record.
On the other hand I spoke to Mike Satur's today, they are selling/fitting little else but LR gaskets.
Think I'll sell it and buy a pig ;0)
roy bridge

P.S. just read Dave Andrews thread in the archives, lots of food for thought.
roy bridge

To summarise the argument, you will find people who will make a strong case for or against - and against that back drop it is difficult to come to a definitive decision.

The LR gasket has advantages. It's a multilayer design that does away completely with the elastomeric seal that is the cause of so many head gasket problems.

But it is not a definitive cure to head gasket failure. In fact, compared to the standard gasket, it is even more sensitive to cylinder liner stand proud - you HAVE to get these within tolerance or else the LR gasket is bound to fail. The same is true with the standard gasket, but it is somewhat more forgiving apparently.

The stiffer oil rail is an interesting and controversial area. It is very much in favour amongst the Landrover engineers (who until the schism of Rover and LandRover were all working in the same office as those in Powertrain). However, you will find those in Powertrain who don't think it makes the blindest bit of difference.

For sure, you can't increase the clamping force from the long through bolts - the head will collapse. But there may be some benefit to making the base plate that little more rigid. I don't believe it will make any problems worse. It might even make things slightly better, but probably only significantly so in hard worked, higher-power installations...

FWIW, what I'd do on a standard road engine is probably save my pennies and go the standard route. However, for the engine I am building for the supercharger, I have already purchased a LR gasket set as I would expect to find more benefit to the engine by going down this route...

Basically, no magic bullet. No wrong answer. One option costs more. LR believe in it for the Freelander. Some Powertrain engineers do not. Rob Oldaker intimated that a multilayer gasket was planned for the K-series destined for the mgtf before the company went pop. I suggest a blind fold and a pin as a useful way of making a decision here... ;o)
Rob Bell

Thanks for your comments, Rob, as you say it seems there is no particularly "wrong" way.
I'm begining to think that I'm now reaping the results from a couple of years ago when the dealer messed up fitting the PRT and it overheated briefly, remember Will mentioning at the time.
Pity the cars are not as reliable as the people on this board ;0)
roy bridge

Cheers Guys..
Its really good to get good advice from this forum so we can all make an informed decision on the way forward with our mg,s.
Its one reason i stick with mine. I don,t think the mgf / tf is as bad as it is made out to be apart from the obvious pain in the butt HG problem.

m e johnson

This thread was discussed between 13/12/2007 and 15/12/2007

MG MGF Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGF Technical BBS is active now.