ashy90 wrote:Its been a really interesting read. I must admit, although I love Citroen, I love Rover too - my two favourite brands of car.
Thanks. I'm Citroen through and through but it is nice to have a bit of a change. Like I said there are not many cars I like enough to warrant owning one but the 75 has always tempted me. I like its Britishness, the fact it was built here and all that nostalgia. Every year when i go to the NEC Classic Car Show I find myself hanging around the 75 club stand, at the show in November I was hooked on them and as the Citroen stand was just opposite where my Xantia was sat, I had 3 days to look at the 75s and talk to owners. That sealed it, I had to have one!
I then got looking at production pictures which I always find facinating, how a car is built and the history of car production in the midlands and what it brought to the area etc. I stumbled upon quite a few sites of pictures of the Longbridge factory after it was shut and then a few years after that, it was amazing to see what was left behind, what had been planned for the cars, and how the factories looked. The number of cars which were still sat around on the site in various states, most of which got crushed. I really like all that stuff!
It seems like you have got a bargain with this Rover 75. You may have got lucky regarding the head gasket. I wonder if you are right and perhaps the head gasket has been replaced, but the job was done by an idiot who couldn't time the engine up properly? Either that, or as mentioned by someone else, it could have been treated with K seal/rad-weld or something similar. That you must be careful of, I really wouldn't be too suprised if that is the case. I have seen/known of many K series engined cars that have been treated to K seal to cover up problems, and then flogged the car on.
While I am positive that the HG is fine now, I am not at the point of trusting that there is nothing wrong with it or that something won't develop. I am wary that K-seal might have been used but I can not find any evidence of its existance in the coolant, as it usually has a trace floating around. One thing is for sure, it has no HGF signs. 1000 miles covered and it has not used any coolant, the oil has not mixed with coolant, the coolant is not pressurising etc.
If the worst comes to the worst then the head gasket will be done, I bought it thinking I would be doing it so Im not too concerned about that. It's part of the reason I chose the K-series as its so easy to work on and parts are available everywhere and cheaply too. I would not and didn't consider doing the HG on our 2.1TD Xm, but I would happily take on this should I need to.
I have written the previous owner a letter but have not yet sent it ... I would like to know why the car was taken off the road for 18 months before me seeing it. It did have a private plate which was removed and put on a Skoda Fabia, which I guess is the previous owners current car. They owned the car for over 5 years during which time it was very regularily serviced and covered quite a few miles. Going by the condition of the car its been cherished and still had left over polish on the bodywork.
Regarding the K series of engines......although I agree that the post 1995 K series - after the engine was re-designed under BMW ownership, DO have their head gasket issues if the cooling system is neglected....you know what, they are not THAT bad. Having owned several, I can tell you they are no way near as bad as some(lots) of people make out. It is a mountain of hype made out of a mole-hill of truth. At the end of the day, a head gasket change on a k series is not that difficult at all. Having done several K series head gaskets myself - and all running perfectly to this day, when I went to change the head gasket last year on my 1998 Xantia 1.9 td....I nearly gave up and scrapped the thing! I would imagine other engines such as the HDI are even more difficult. The K series is a doddle in comparison! They are nearly always a straight foward HG swap as well. Generally, you only run in to more serious issues such as the 'dropped liners' that people speak of, if the engine has SERIOUSLY over heated. If they over-heat considerably, the cylinder heads do go soft and the fire rings of the head gasket make impressions in the cylinder head. If its minor then they can be skimmed, however it is preferable to replace the cylinder head. Make sure the liner heights are measured. If they are quite low, do NOT use the MLS head gasket. The original head gasket is much more forgiving when it comes to sealing around the liners. If you do use the original style HG, make sure it is the uprated/re-inforced version.
If you need any advice feel free to PM me.
By the way ~ I currently own a year 2000 Rover 45 Connoisseur 1.8 which has covered over 151,000 miles (yes original engine including cylinder head). It is a great car IMO and the engine is lovely.
I like the K-series as an engine, for its ease of working and in the 75 there is so much room around the whole engine. What has held me back from getting a 75 previously has been engine choice, the V6 is just too uneconomical for my use and it has 3 timing belts! Far too much for me to think about, considering I had not done a belt change before. The diesel is pretty decent but the clutch changes are horiffically expensive and involved. I also like a change from a diesel, the HDi PSA cars are very good but you do still know they are diesels, the 75 is so smooth and quiet inside. So I had to come around to the idea of a K series and so far I'm pleased I did.
I have done quite a bit of research into them, I find the 75&ZT club forum is very good. I actually went along to a meet in Leeds the other weekend. I have read about the different head gaskets and when to use them etc.
The more I use the 75 the more I like it, I do often think should I have got a diesel one but part of the reason I like it is its not a diesel! Its smooth to drive and while its not a ball of fire it can move if the revs are used but for cruising around at normal speeds its actually not lacking in torque too much. The 75 is an impressive car, given that it was launched in 1998 the body shell is superbly strong and it shows in the way it takes bumps and bends. It also only just missed out on a 5 star euro n cap, stating that had it of had standard window airbags it would have been a 5 star - which would have been the first 5 star awarded car, I think. Impressive! The build quality isn't bad either, they are not without their problems but most are easily sorted. I love the shape of them (saloon but Tourer is quite nice). Im quite surprised that almost all of the comments I have got from family, friends and collegues are very positive, even if they are surprised to see me in a car which isnt a Citroen
I'm not sure how long it will be staying for yet, I look forward to driving it so thats a good thing and its perfect for sharing my daily commute with my Xantia HDi. I do really fancy another XM though but not until later in the year, if at all.
Thanks for your offer of advice, I might well take you up on that should problems arise.
Your 45 is going very well never having had a HG, it just proves what a good engine it is when they are looked after. Mine has done almost 102K miles but is very smooth, quiet, consumes no oil and drives very well. I did look at a few and quite a few K series seem to have a knocking (piston slap?) when cold but this one is very smooth.
I'm sure Im getting close to having my FCF membership limited here