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Freelander Head Gasket


gary1968
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Well I started work on my Freebie HG today...... :D Got it all stripped down ready for the head to go and get skimmed.....

A couple of points I noticed, the head gasket had already been changed to a MLS type with head saver shim, quite disappointed to see that as I thought the MLS gasket was supposed to be reliable..... the head has been changed at some point in its life as it has a typical Scrappy pen mark and description on it, I suppose it could have been fitted without being skimmed hence the HG failure.

I will be making arrangements to have the head skimmed this week and rebuild as soon as possible, new belts, new water pump, plugs, filter and oil...

Is there any way for me to tell if the head has been skimmed before, and more importantly if it can be done again?

Gary

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All I've heard is that if they are allowed to overheat (for example, when the HG fails) it anneals the alloy and makes the head soft so it will never be right again. Chances are most of the ones in the scrapyard are there for this reason.

Try DVAPower for an actual new head / known good used one.

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Did my Freebie 2001 last May - 68581 on mileometer . Mine also had been done before with the MLS gasket and the head had been skimmed, could see the circular "skim" marks!!! Took to Jse Services, Blackwood, Gwent Tel 01443 835898 for advice, recommended PRESSURE TEST (most important as it turned out), reskim, valve seats recut and new vavlves & springs etc. Approx cost just over £200 not bad. After pressure test "Failed" head cracked between exhaust 2 & 3 only possibility to get engine going was to purchase new / reconditioned head. OH Bother I thought!! until after a phone call to his suppliers he got me a fully reconditioned head for £270 inc VAT. He even let me off the £35 for pressure test!. New head arrived NEXT DAY went to collect and picked up new gasket set, water pump, head bolts, timing belts, "gasket cement" for shim layer of gaket etc came to £398 inc vat. Did not replace oil rail on rebuild as deemed not necessary by JSE but did fit the modified cooling kit part no PCH001190 approx £60 from Land Rover Swansea. Rebuilt engine with son making sure of correct torque settings and timing etc. Changed plugs and did oil / filter change from "clotted cream" to recommended genuine oil. Engine fired up first time after rebuild. Bled the cooling system approx 3 or 4 times after running for approx 50 miles and checked daily for first month thereafter "to be Sure no coolant loss" Since then and 7500 miles later NO problems, getting 29.8 mpg (checked every time I fill since rebuild) which includes approx 500 miles towing my boat around to various places to fish and general town / motorway driving. I would add that I do not have any affiliation to JSE SERVICES except that I am now a loyal customer and respect his opinions and views. I hope all goes well with your rebuild LOL.

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Thanks for the input guys......

A couple of questions for Donald, if I may..............

1) Did you check the liner heights, and if so what were they like? I only ask as I have been trawling round the net looking for info on this job I have found that the most critical part of this engine is the liner heights.

2) What is this Gasket Cement you mention? I always thought the a head gasket should be put on dry, and besides, does the MLS gasket and head saver shim not have some sort of bonding agent on it that is activated by heat?

I never thought of having the head pressure tested, I have made arrangments for it to gointo Andersons Engineering in Kirckcaldy this week to be skimmed, I will ask if they can do this as well.

Gaz

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When doing a headgasket....

Make sure you get the head pressure tested and level checked. Also skimmed if necessary.

When the head is off the cylinder liner height should be checked using a straight edge if the heights are within in specifications for the Landrover multilayer (MLR) gasket it can be used.

According to Landrover when fitting the MLR gasket a reinforced block ladder should be fitted but in truth it isn't required.

If the liners are outside the range for the MLR gasket then they may still be in the range where the original MG-Rover Paynes gasket can be successfully fitted. If they are worse than that it might be that a special gasket set made by Paynes. could be used BUT it is usually better to find a new short engine.

Make sure you DO NOT turn engine when head is off because it will dislodge the liners.

p.s i`ve been a mechanic for 26yrs.

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Cheers for that Faseman7.....

I think the liners on my engine are a bit on the low side, the smallest feeler guage I have is 0.05mm, this goes under the edge of a steel rule in most places I have checked, except one which is No4 cyl. at the inlet side.

Would you think that the Paynes Gasket would be better for my engine? And if so where do I get one from, they dont seem to sell em online now.

Gaz

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Well, got the head back today, all pressure tested and skimmed, they took 8thou off it.

I bought the full head gasket set and stretch bolts from the same place that skimmed the head, it is a BGA gasket set, as were the bolts.

I have been busy yesterday and today, it now has the head back on, cam carrier back on, a new water pump, modified thermostat position, new oil, new spark plugs and new filters.

All thats left to is to fit the timing belt and tensioner, they tried to deliver that today when I was away picking the head up so will get to the posty tomorow for that.

I dont think I will get time tomorow to work on it, but Sunday, fingers crossed she will fire up and all will be well with the world........

Gaz

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Had the gasket changed on my Rover 75 few years ago, head skimmed and modified gasket fitted, lasted about 10,000 miles before it blew again. In the old days when changing gaskets on Bedford TK's we used a sealant called Hylomar (not sure if still available) this always did the trick and cured repeated gasket changes.

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Its alive, its ALIVE........ :D

Thats the HG project finished. When I 1st tried to start it, nothing happened, didn't even turn over. A bit of routing about revealed that I had knocked a small spade connector of the starter motor. I refitted that and tried again, it started with no problem at all, as though the head had never boeen off.

I let it heat up till it reached normal operating temp and switched it off, I have read that the MLS gasket has a heat activated bonding agent which needs to be heated up then allowed to cool completely.

I'll be taking it for a wee drive tomorow up the hills so fingers crossed it uses no water and water / oil stays where its meant to be...... thanks to all who offered advice in this project.

It was the 1st time I have had the head off a car although I have been a diy car mech. for years...... I have found it a very interesting job and have a greater understanding of why the K series gives as much trouble, although they do have their fans on the net, Elise owners see the HG problem as an 'inconvinience' as the K series is such a light, powerful engine. (Apparently you can tune the 1.8 up to 220bhp, imagine a freelander pulling that.... mmmmwhahahahahah!)

Cheers,

Gaz

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In the old days when changing gaskets on Bedford TK's we used a sealant called Hylomar

Quite a bodge TBH, doubt it would help with most HG's these days, probably cause more problem than it cures. Handy for sticking less critical things down although it can get sucked/blown out of joints which is less good.

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Quite a bodge TBH, doubt it would help with most HG's these days, probably cause more problem than it cures. Handy for sticking less critical things down although it can get sucked/blown out of joints which is less good.

Talking about the early sixties when I worked for a Bedford dealer, no fancy gaskets in those days only steel shim type or composition. Can't see why it would be considered a bodge as it was used following advice from Vauxhall/Bedford and it worked.

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