New to ZRs

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  1. #1
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    New to ZRs

    Took the ZR plunge on Tuesday and bought my first ZR, a ZR120 - 2003 with 49k miles on the clock, no rust, nice interior, two caring lady owners but.....never had head gasket done or cambelt replaced. Wish me luck.....

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  3. #2
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    Nice, welcome, mine was done at 62K its on 63K right now lol. i would get them done just to be on the save side.

  4. #3
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    I would not advise having the head gasket touched unless and until there are are signs of failure. There are far too many instances of a head gasket failure occuring soon after it has been replaced - very often through use of a cheap inferior gasket, or an inferior mechanic who doesn't know what he is doing.

    You should keep a check on the coolant level and engine oil, and only investigate further if the coolant needs to be topped up frequently, or you are getting signs of emulsified oil in the coolant header tank or the engine oil filler cap or dipstick.

    The most common time for HGF to be reported is between 60 thousand and 90 thousand miles, but there have been many failures at much lower mileages (some even below 10 thousand miles), but equally, many go on much further - I know of one K engined ZR which has done more than 150k and still has its original head gasket. People get too hung up about the head gasket, but it really doesn't have to be a massive issue if you keep a regular check on the fluids, and the MG and Rover cars sell for so little nowadays that their cost leaves plenty of scope for paying for a head gasket replacement if it becomes necessary.

    However, if it has never had the cambelt replaced, this should be done as soon as possible - the recommended change interval is 90 thousand miles or 6 years (whichever is sooner) - at 14 years old, it could snap at any time, and that will mean the head will have to come off to replace the inevitable bent valves (if the belt breaks at high revs, you will probably be looking at cracked piston crowns too, and a very large repair bill).

    Quote Originally Posted by Buggane
    Took the ZR plunge on Tuesday and bought my first ZR, a ZR120 - 2003 with 49k miles on the clock, no rust, nice interior, two caring lady owners but.....never had head gasket done or cambelt replaced. Wish me luck.....
    Welcome to the forum It does sound like a good buy - the 120 gives you a significantly better performance than the 105, but without the massive insurance premiums that usually go with the 160. The 120 wasn't a particularly popular choice new, so there aren't as many of them around.

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil C View Post
    I would not advise having the head gasket touched unless and until there are are signs of failure. There are far too many instances of a head gasket failure occuring soon after it has been replaced - very often through use of a cheap inferior gasket, or an inferior mechanic who doesn't know what he is doing.

    You should keep a check on the coolant level and engine oil, and only investigate further if the coolant needs to be topped up frequently, or you are getting signs of emulsified oil in the coolant header tank or the engine oil filler cap or dipstick.

    The most common time for HGF to be reported is between 60 thousand and 90 thousand miles, but there have been many failures at much lower mileages (some even below 10 thousand miles), but equally, many go on much further - I know of one K engined ZR which has done more than 150k and still has its original head gasket. People get too hung up about the head gasket, but it really doesn't have to be a massive issue if you keep a regular check on the fluids, and the MG and Rover cars sell for so little nowadays that their cost leaves plenty of scope for paying for a head gasket replacement if it becomes necessary.

    However, if it has never had the cambelt replaced, this should be done as soon as possible - the recommended change interval is 90 thousand miles or 6 years (whichever is sooner) - at 14 years old, it could snap at any time, and that will mean the head will have to come off to replace the inevitable bent valves (if the belt breaks at high revs, you will probably be looking at cracked piston crowns too, and a very large repair bill).


    Welcome to the forum It does sound like a good buy - the 120 gives you a significantly better performance than the 105, but without the massive insurance premiums that usually go with the 160. The 120 wasn't a particularly popular choice new, so there aren't as many of them around.
    Nice info but it all depends on the old owners as well, if i ever brought another zr of a muslim i will get the head done within days (not like i'm going to again), he said two caring ladies, now if its like ladies here its a head being done asap.

    Not many look after their cars and can never find the problems with the cars till they pop up later on.

  7. #5
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    A muslim driving a ZR?

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOHNDQ View Post
    A muslim driving a ZR?
    Yep i know he moved to a bmw after but from what i heard he got it took off him after a few weeks for dealing drugs, (not sure how he had it taken off him just for that, must of had more to it) drives in a mercedes now.

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  10. #7
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    Makes more sense to wait until there are signs that the gasket is failing rather than waste money replacing it for no reason. Too many people fall for this 'replace it for peace-of-mind' nonsense, and then having spent a lot of money on it, find it goes again soon after (because it hasn't been done properly.

    Not many gaskets 'pop'. There are virtually always warning signs - traces of emulsified oil in the expansion tank or in the oil filler cap, pressure in the system even when cold, continual/increasing coolant loss with no sign of external leaks. The suposed 'sudden' HGFs are almost always due to people not checking fluids regularly and running the car for weeks or even months oblivious to those first signs because they haven't looked under the bonnet. Then the shortage of coolant leads to an overheat, this causes damage to the gasket, and the excessive pressure caused by the combination of air locks blocking coolant circulation and the coolant within the engine boiling violently then leads to the gasket blowing catastrophically.

    As an indication of the timescale that can be involved; I ran a ZR for nearly 18 months with slight coolant loss and residual pressure in the system due to a slight weakness at the fire rings before I actually got the head gasket changed. Just keep an eye on the fluids and you will normally catch a weak head gasket long before it becomes a major failure.

    To be honest, I would be more worried about a K series engine that has had the gasket replaced than one that is still on the original (unless I knew who had done the replacement and could rely on them doing it properly and fully).

  11. #8
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    I always do the gaskets on my K Series I just like to no its been done right and check liners and know its got a good quality kit on it. Id rather do that than be stuck at side of road some where cooking then ending up needed a new head and block my attitude is prevention is better than cure. Trouble is in fairness it's easier for me as I do the jobs myself only costs parts. Must say tho not seen a K on original gasket for about 6 years.... Until weekend when I took a engine and box out of a 48k Lotus Elise to build up as a drag engine.

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  13. #9
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    It is a peace of mind quote, its a quote for a reason and everyone uses it,

    if you get it done take it to a good place and most of the times you can watch them do it, (from a office) but this is why people get them done on the K ones as its just what john said above.

    plus you can get good kits for cheap (not the stupid prices like rimmers) i'm sure there will be links on here some where.
    Last edited by whitetop; 17-03-17 at 00:01.

  14. #10
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    Disconnect mg rover spares normally have good deals on Payen stuff there good quality parts

 

 

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