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replacing the starter motor 6 months 2 weeks ago #204334

Thanks for the interest and the questions. My attempts to answer them are set out below:

1. When you attempt to start the engine, exactly what happens? Does s the starter attempt to crank over the engine or is it showing absolutely no signs of enthusiasm?

The starter certainly attempts to start the engine, but I do not hear any signs of the engine actually trying to turn.

2. What is the stage of the battery ( load test) are the connections clean and tight, this includes the connection to the starter and ground connections.

The battery was installed new in May 2023, just before the car was shipped to the USA. It has been put on a battery charger since the problem occurred, but to no effect, We also tried to jump start the car from one of our other cars, again to no effect. Connections to the starter were checked by a car-savvy neighbour and said to be fine.

3. Will the engine wind over by hand with the spark plugs removed? Whilst the plugs are out, take some good close up pix of them and post the pix on here so we can read them. ( we need individual pix of the electrodes…. The business end.

No idea. I have never been that close to the business end - and the local garage called it a day when they hit the 0 compression in cylinder 1.

4. You say that you’ve owned the car for 25 years, when did it last run? And when was it last serviced?

We last used it in anger in 2017, SInce then it has sat in our garage in the UK until May this year when it was serviced by our local garage in the UK, to ensure that it was safe and would pass the UK MoT test (but which it didn't need to have as it was towed to the harbour and put on the ship for Texas.)

5. Remove the timing belt cover and inspect the timing belt (Thame pix and post them here)

Not been done.

Also:

I have a PDF copy of the MGF Workshop manual, as well as PDF copies of the Restoration manual and the Engine Overhaul manual - all acquired in case the local garage staff need to refer to them; they leave me totally cold. I may need to have a copy printed out; currently I am printing out just the bits that seem relevant to the current problems...

Pscan OBD diagnostic unit: I will investigate, but I do not expect ever to be able to perform this type of work myself.

Regards,

Phil

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replacing the starter motor 6 months 2 weeks ago #204335

Electronic versions of manuals are next to useless when working on cars, much better to have a proper paper manual, so much less buggering about!
The cost, effort and buggerising about printing one out is also more trouble than it is worth, what with loose pages getting lost or out of collated order, you’ll end up in more shit than a Werribee duck ( Werribee is the location of a large sewerage treatment plant here in Melbourne with many large settling ponds.) just buy a proper book online and be done with it.

The PScan is very easy to use, understanding the results, will depend on you, but an even halfway competent mechanic will have no trouble.
Once set up on your laptop the PScan plugs in to the OBD port of you car ( easily found under the dashboard near the steering column )
Following the instructions. Once opened up the Pscan will do a diagnostic analysis of various systems of your car, it can’t diagnose everything as there are some limitations, as the designers of the car at MG, didn’t cover all possible eventualities when they designed the cars OBD system, but it gives you a good head start when eliminating various problems.
Thus saving time and money on chasing dead ends.

Pscan provides excellent support via this forum, and will help guide you through its use.

I have no involvement with Pscan other than to use and recommend its product, also I was one of the original crowd funding supporters of the project in the beginning as I saw it’s potential.

Whilst you may not be all that au fait with the goings on in the engine bay, you can look at this as an opportunity to learn, knowledge is no burden to carry, indeed it can lighten the load.

I do seriously recommend that you get someone to remove the timing cover to look at the belt, a failure here can be very costly!
Also get them to remove the spark plugs and try to turn the engine over by hand.
Do you have an MG car club in your region?
I ask because you might be able to get someone with some mechanical aptitude to help from there…..your car being such a rarity in your location, there will probably be members falling all over each other to help, so they can learn a bit about a car they’ve never seen and only ever heard about before.

Another problem you’ll likely encounter is terminology our American friends use vastly different terminology than the rest of us when it comes to cars. We are divided by both a common language and distance.
So when we refer to the hood we’re talking about the soft top whereas what they might think we are referring to the bonnet and so on….. a timing belt may also be a cam belt for instance.
By reading the factory manual they should quickly understand what we and MG are referring to.
"Keep calm, relax, focus on the problem & PULL THE BLOODY TRIGGER"

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Last edit: Post by Cobber.

replacing the starter motor 6 months 2 weeks ago #204338

If the engine cannot be turned over, it sounds to me that the HG failed and coolant leaked into a cylinder and hydrolocked the cylinder/engine.
Mark
95 MGF

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replacing the starter motor 6 months 2 weeks ago #204339

If the engine cannot be turned over, it sounds to me that the HG failed and coolant leaked into a cylinder and hydrolocked the cylinder/engine.


No, he has said the starter will rotate the engine. It just wont start and there is no compression. As Cobber has said he should now remove the plastic cambelt cover to see if the cams are rotating when the starter is operated or if they are stationary e.g a broken cam belt
2003 TF 135 sunstorm

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Last edit: Post by Notanumber.

replacing the starter motor 6 months 2 weeks ago #204340

What Phil said was:

"The starter certainly attempts to start the engine, but I do not hear any signs of the engine actually trying to turn."
Mark
95 MGF

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replacing the starter motor 6 months 2 weeks ago #204342

Again the removal of the spark plugs, inspecting them and turning the engine by hand will probably reveal signs of head gasket failure, especially to the level of hydraulic lock
"Keep calm, relax, focus on the problem & PULL THE BLOODY TRIGGER"

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replacing the starter motor 6 months 1 week ago #204361

What Phil said was:

"The starter certainly attempts to start the engine, but I do not hear any signs of the engine actually trying to turn."


I agree it is ambiguous. I had read this to mean he could hear the starter motor turning the engine but just that there was no sign of it starting/ firing up.

Turning but no sign of a combustion process.
2003 TF 135 sunstorm

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replacing the starter motor 6 months 1 week ago #204373

Guys, thanks for the on-going interest. Re: the previous correspondence, I heard no sounds that the engine was turning, just that teh starter motor was trying to do its job.

I have had a very distressing few days trying to find someone (anyone) who is willing to carry out the work to replace the head gasket and have exhausted all the initial suggested repair shops. The number one choice still does the work but its one 75 year old specialist is so backed up that it would be "sometime next year" before he could get to the work.

I have found another shop that will do the head gasket work, but has no track record with MGs. This shop needs me to provide "all the parts that will be necessary" and the man rattled off a list that I did not have time to write down. So, my questions are:

Is there a recognised set of parts that should be bought before attempting a head gasket renewal?
Also, given the suggestions re: broken cam/timing belt, leaking coolant system are there some parts that I should get to cover these eventualities?

Your help will be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Phil

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replacing the starter motor 6 months 1 week ago #204374

You should replace the cam belt, belt tensioner and the water pump as a matter of course if the head gasket is being changed.

The most important thing to establish now is whether the cam belt has actually snapped as this would require additional parts & work to the head as the valves will have been hit by the pistons.

The vertical plastic cambelt cover needs to be unscrewed, or at least the front cover of the top part so you can see the cam pulleys, it is only a few bolts. Get someone to operate the starter to check the two camshaft pulleys are being rotated by the belt. If the belt is snapped this should normally be visible once the cover is off, except if it has snapped at the bottom but the rotation of the cam pulleys will tell for certain. If the belt has snapped my recommendation would be to get a good 2nd hand cylinder head shipped over together with the gaskets , belt etc. There are some very good suppliers many of us here use who know these cars inside out and can reliably supply good 2nd hand parts as well as new consumables. Even if the worst has happened this does not need to be expensive.
2003 TF 135 sunstorm
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replacing the starter motor 6 months 1 week ago #204376

Wow, that was quick!! Thank you.
That covers a great deal around the head gasket itself. Is there a recognised set of parts (bolts etc) that one usually replaces when replacing the gasket?

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replacing the starter motor 6 months 1 week ago #204379

The one company that I know of that produces a complete head gasket 'kit' is DMGRS.
https://www.dmgrs.co.uk/collections/head-gasket-kits/products/ultimate-k-series-head-gasket-fix-n-series-gasket-high-tension-head-bolts-and-revised-oil-rail-equiv-to-zua000530

But prior to purchasing a kit, you need to remove the head to ascertain the height of the cylinder liners.
https://www.dmgrs.co.uk/pages/how-2-guides-for-working-on-your-mg-rover
Mark
95 MGF
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Hello and Brake Servo change 6 months 1 week ago #204383

+1 for checking the height of the liners. Read this very good article on the forum https://www.the-t-bar.com/forum/9-mgf-tf-pitstop/97766-head-gasket-but-which-one

This will show what your belt driven cambelt pulleys will look like under the cover https://www.the-t-bar.com/forum/54-how-tos/22634-k-series-cam-belt-change-how-tovideo

As you have said your car is a VVC it will have a second set of pulleys at the rear of the engine which are unique to the VVC version of the engine. Im afraid I dont myself have any experience of the VVC mechanism but there are several on the forum who do and who would be able to guide whether this will need checking/ any special treatment.

If you do need to buy a 2nd hand cyclinder head I would suggest Darren at Mgfntfbitz in first instance, he can also make up a kit or all the new parts and consumables you would need for these jobs.
[Other equally good suppliers are available; no vested interest other than being highly impressed by Darren's knowledge, prices and customer approach]
2003 TF 135 sunstorm
The following user(s) said Thank You: mowog73, phil14140

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