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Rover head gasket syndrome? - Naj
Hi all, my first post here...

I don\'t believe it, my first car, 1997 Rover 241 Si 16v, ive had for 6 weeks and i think the (god damm) head gasket is gone. I knew that this is a major problem for Rovers. I suppose i foolishly believed it wouldn\'t happen to me.

The symptoms....coolent tank needs topping up EVER DAY!!!! There are no leaks from the hose pipes or cracks in the coolent tank. The temperature goes ballistic after a couple of minutes (when low on water) and SHOCK SHOCK HORROR HORROR, there is \"mayo\" around the cap of the engine oil and the dipstick is showing a white/cream colour.

Aint been down a garage yet but just wanted confirmation from you that it\'s likely/defenitaley the head gasket has blown. If so, what are the costs involved (God help me!) so i don\'t get robbed by the mechanics....

Thankyou in advance.
Rover head gasket syndrome? - kennybase
Mate had one done on this model last year - cost him about £750.

I had one down on my old Clio by an independant bloke - took him just over 2 weeks, but it only cost £200, so I wasn\'t complaining too much!

(P.S - this topic should be in Tech but I\'m sure I\'ll get moved over in a bit. [Yep. DD]. Welcome to the Back Room!)
Rover head gasket syndrome? - Civic8
I would try and get it done at an independant.main dealer wanted £1250+ to do mine
Rover head gasket syndrome? - hm

A VERY, VERY, VERY common problem on the 'K' series rover engine.
I know people have had quotes ranging from £700 to 1500 pounds.
As with most things, it is a common problem and a lot of garges will not gaurentee it.

I did one earlier this year for my wifes friend (cash job), he was well pleased.

I would serious suggest doing it yourself and getting shot of it.
It is not difficult on that car. Should take a couple of hours to get the head off, got get it skimmed, slam her back on.

Skim - £20 to £50 ring a round.
Head gasket set inc stretch bolts £80 - 120, again ring around.
There is avery good chance the shop how will skim it will have a gasket set etc.....

If you chose to do it I can give some good pointers (the haynes is good), if you chose to get a garage to do it, find about £1000.



Rover head gasket syndrome? - Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up)
It is not difficult on that car. Should take a
couple of hours to get the head off, got get it
skimmed, slam her back on.

Yeah right!!!
Sod of a job, hell of a lot of dismantling. If you have never attempted one before allow a good weekend assuming you can find someone to skim the head on a Saturday afternoon. Only buy the Rover head set (from experience!) Replace the timing belt and tensioner as a matter of course. Flush out the cooling system thoroughly and change the oil before firing it up then again about 500 miles on to get rid of the emulsion in the engine and cooling system.
Other things to watch for is the length of the Head bolts, if they have been used before they may need replacing (about £50) and if this has happened before and the head has been skimmed then you may need to have a block shim fitted to compensate for the amount of material removed.
May be better to find a reputable independent but look at around £700-800

Simplicate and add lightness!!
Rover head gasket syndrome? - Geffus
I have just replaced my head gasket, the head had been skimmed before and someone had fitted a Head Saver as it was below tolerance. This meant the head could not be repaired, so I managed to get a head from a breakers(£100), stripped it down and had it skimmed(£32),lapped all the valves and rebuilt it using new valve seals, gaskets etc from a head kit (£80). Cleaned everything spotless and assembled it back on the block using new stretch bolts from the kit and bought a new cam belt(£10).
It started first time and after rattling for a few minutes as the tappets built up oil pressure, now runs as sweet as a nut. Does not smoke and does not use water, I am very pleased and would recommend anyone with a basic knowledge to do it themselves. I actally think the previous repairer had put the cam timing out by one tooth, noted when I began to strip it down and align the crank.
Rover head gasket syndrome? - Civic8
I agree with Andrew.unless you feel very confident in doing the job yourself.I would take it to an independant to sort out.
if it isnt done properly you will be in the same boat again sooner rather than later.if the job is done properly and regular oil/filter/changes coolant as well no reason why it wont last for years.biggest mistake that is made is non regular changes.anti freeze being the most neglected
Rover head gasket syndrome? - Naj
I've just been round to the garage, a first time for me. I got my neighbour to recommend me a garage and he even drove me there.

The problem with the car was the head gasket as i suspected! The mechanic said he would skim the head, either fix the head gasket or buy a reconditioned one, change the oil and give it a general service like flushing out the cooling system etc etc. All this for £300 pounds! I was assured by the mechanic that that was cheap as it would normally cost in the region of £600. However, as i went with my neighbour, who is a long and loyal customer, he offered me a reduced price and i assured him that if he got the job right i was happy to offer my custom to him for many years to come.

Everybody's happy, lets just hope the car runs better after the work is carried out!
Rover head gasket syndrome? - A Dent{P}
>either fix the head gasket or buy a reconditioned one

Sorry, but IMHO he is taking the mickey out of you, and for that money a bodge will all you will get.
Rover head gasket syndrome? - Civic8
I was going to say the same thing but refrained from doing so.£300 from a garage is too cheap...whether they know the bloke next door or not.Still thats his choice he has been warned
Rover head gasket syndrome? - tartanraider
Fix the head gasket or fit a recon one ? Sorry,you've been had.
Rover head gasket syndrome? - mattyw.
Head gasket went on my 820; got it fixed but soon started weeping. My advice- part-ex it at franchised dealer at the best price you can for something with a bullet-proof and long warranty e.g. something Korean. They won't know your swapper needs a new head, or care- it just goes out to auction for some other mug to waste money on.
Rover head gasket syndrome? - Geffus
Which ever way you look at it will cost you, its not a difficult job to do for a good mechanic, just make sure the head is skimmed before it is put back together.
If you trade it you won't get much for it, so I would go ahead with the repair for £300 then sell it private if you have lost faith with it.
Rover head gasket syndrome? - hm
As I said, I replaced the head gasket for one of my wifes friends,

I did not find it a 'sod to do'. Even on my drive at home.
Doing one on a 306DT if far worse.

The head was skimmed, new gasket, bolts etc.....

I charged the guy £300 inculding parts, I removed the head one friday evening, dropped it off at the engineers sat morning, picked it up sat evening, went out on the beer, replaced her Sunday.

Must admit, I was not too happy with the condition of the block, it had 'pitted' in placed with head and stuck to the old gasket. I filled these gaps with a head gasket compound we use at work for 'repairing' engines on large mining trucks.

The car has now done over 6000miles with no issues, however, I did advise him to get rid while the goings good.

I would do a Geffus say's, get it done, you have nothing to lose, then part chop her.
Rover head gasket syndrome? - Aprilia
Well worth having these Rover heads pressure tested before replacing.
Rover head gasket syndrome? - Naj
Thankyou everyone for your replies, i've learnt alot.

Like i say it's my first trip to the garage. I had the car delivered to me yesterday and boy has the job worked (for now!). I now know what people mean when the say that their car actually feels better after repair, i don't know why but i couldn't believe how a 10 year old car "feels like new" after someones repaired it. But know i've experianced it. My Rover really does feel new! Honest. The whole ride feels stiifer, in a good way whilst maintining its smooth ride. The gears feel more sharp and drop into gear with greater ease. The biggest change is on the acceleration, before i had to press the pedal some fair way to get any real movement, but now just tap it and off i go! I've not experianced any overheating problems yet.

I origanally bought it for £1450, thats a P reg 214 Si 16V twin cam and had done 74,500 miles. The exterior and interior is SPOTLESS. I had considered on selling it during when i had the problem but knew i would be lucky to recieve £900-1000, so took my chance, only one, to repair it and save some value for future resale. I feel confident i've made the right choice. I'll certainly be posting more here regarding any other problems.

Thanks again!
Rover head gasket syndrome? - Geffus
Hope everthing goes O.K. I bought mine for £1070 and had excatly the same problem, I did heads gasket and it has been fine now for over 400 miles. Goes so well now that I plan to keep it, as the body and interior are great and it even has Aircon.
Just keep an eye on your water level at least once a week, probably the biggest problem is owners who never lift the bonnets up the and realise there is a something wrong when its too late.
Rover head gasket syndrome? - DL
I'd rather do three K Series head gaskets than one 306 DT head gasket.....
-- - Pictures say a thousand words.....
Rover head gasket syndrome? - Keith Duffy
Hi to you all with the same probs with Rover head gaskets.
I am in the prosses of removing the head on my 214i due to the over heating and loss of compression (water on the plugs) I have never done an OHCam before any advice would be helpfull, timming etc and what I can leav on and take off??


Rover head gasket syndrome? - Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up)
Firstly and MOST important before you do ANYTHING set the pistons to mid stroke (all the pistons halfway up/down in the cylinders). i.e. get the engine to TDC and then turn BACK 90 degrees. From then on do NOT rotate the engine until the head is back on to avoid shifting the cylinder liners and to allow the cams to be set up without fear of damaging the valves/pistons. From then on it is just a case of following the instructions in that nice Mr Haynes book. Dont rush it and dont try and cut any corners with these engines, they will always bite you back. Label all wires as you take them off. If you dont know what it is connected to then make up a little aide memoir on the label like 'two pin blue plug on water elbow' to identify it. Most connectors will only fit their designated receptacle but better to be safe. Use only genuine parts, especially the gasket set.
Good luck

Simplicate and add lightness!!
Rover head gasket syndrome? - Keith Duffy
Thanks Andrew for your prompt and helpfull advice, I was trying to do the job without the help of Mr Haynes and his book, but looks like I will have to put my hand in my pocket, I will need to buy a special socket anyway for the head bolts unless you know different?
I intend to get the head pressure tested and skimmed if poss, can I leave the inlet manifold on?

PS I have a Haynes book for a VW Polo will that do.


Rover head gasket syndrome? - Civic8
VW polo is different car.rover engine is one you need to be carefull you cannot leave the manifold in place in fact one of the probs they suffer is inlet manifold gasket/ the job properly and you will be ok.Do not scrimp on the job fraid there arent any shortcuts with either do it properly or dont do it at all.
Was mech1
Rover head gasket syndrome? - Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up)
No, you will have to remove the inlet manifold, the camshafts and followers (lifters) for the skimming and pressure testing. Having said that, you can leave the manifold on until the heads off but remember to remove the inlet manifold support brackets between the manifold and the bottom of the engine. Polo is a completely different animal. You will need a specific socket for the head bolts plus a torque wrench and an angular torque gauge for the head bolts.

Simplicate and add lightness!!
Rover head gasket syndrome? - Aprilia
PS I have a Haynes book for a VW Polo will
that do.

Blimey, that's a strange question!

Ask Honest John Right column

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