1997 Rover 214 - Agent K
A friend of mine has a 214 with an interesting problem.
When the coolant level was checked, there was a thick layer of oily sludge at the bottom of the expansion bottle. The engine doesn\'t appear to be mixing oil and coolant within the combustion chambers ie through a blown head gasket, and it doesnt overheat. The temperature gauge stays in the normal range even when stuck in traffic. There is no signs of \'mayonaise\' under the oil filler cap either.
What he wants to know is; Does this engine use wet-liners being as it is of all alloy construction, and if so does the head have to come off to replace any liner gaskets?
1997 Rover 214 - Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up)
Need to know a little more such as : has your friend had the vehicle long, does the coolant need replenishing regularly, does it start cleanly each morning?
The oil sludge maybe as a result of a previous gasket failure. The gasket may be showing signs of impending failure.. This engine has liners but to my knowledge they are not 'wet' type. Gasket failure will not always result in oil contamination hence no mayonnaise but oil can transfer into the waterways under pressure.I personally would remove the expansion tank and clean thoroughly. Add some Forte biodegradeable cooling system degreaser to the system and clean the block and radiator then look for the arrival of more sludge into the fresh coolant. Be warned though that the head gaskets on these will give up suddenly and spectacularly so act quickly.

Happiness is a T70 at full chat!
1997 Rover 214 - Agent K
Thanks for replying.
My friend has owned the vehicle for about a year. The car starts and runs cleanly from cold and isn't losing coolant. I would be inclined to agree with you about residual oil contamination floating about the coolant galleries. I don't think it had a service history with the car and I suspect it may of suffered a previous head gasket failure.
I haven't seen Forte degreaser in my local Halfords - any idea where he can get some?
Incidentally, another colleague of mine owns a 1997 216 which has also suffered coolant failure/overheating and warped head all because the inlet manifold seals let go and dumped the coolant very rapidly indeed! Not the cheapest engines to repair either!

Andrew Pullen

Happiness is listening to a TVR 450 SEAC driving through a busy highstreet.
1997 Rover 214 - Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up)
450 SEAC Ahhh last of the proper TVR's!
Happiness is a T70 at full chat!
1997 Rover 214 - Agent K
I'm still saving up for it. Hopefully I will get one before our 'nanny state' government bans all engines over 900cc or widens the London access toll to include the entire U.K!
Am I correct in assuming you are a fan of TVR's and/or big V8 engines?

Andrew Pullen
1997 Rover 214 - Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up)
I am a fan of big V8's as long as they come from the other side of the pond, preferably Chevrolet and in the back of a T70 or Ford and in the front of a Cobra or Tiger. My dream car after my Marcos would be a 3000 'M' in my view the prettiest TVR ever, and very exclusive. Not like the jellymoulds they churn out now with every tom ,dick and hooray henry owning one! ;-}
Tongue firmly in cheek

Happiness is a T70 at full chat!
1997 Rover 214 - Dynamic Dave
I haven't seen Forte degreaser in my local Halfords - any
idea where he can get some?

That's because Forte products are only available to the trade.
1997 Rover 214 - Robin the Technician
There is a Vauxhall bulletin (it applies to rover's too) which says that to clean out a coolant system of sludge you can use bleach/water 50/50 mix. Do this (see my bit below on bleeding)and then run the engine for about 10 mins then drain and refill with 50% antifreeze/ water mix. This method does not harm the system whatsoever and makes the system spanking clean. Be aware though that bleeding the air out of a 'k' series is an absolute pig. You have to keep twisting the hoses to get air out. There is also a type of one way valve fitted inside an outlet pipe on the manifold which contributes to the bleeding problem. It is worth the effort though. Your colleague can expect the head gasket to need replacing in the near future and the head will most probably need skimming too. Most 'k' series do.
Hope this helps.

Value my car