Suggest you do a Google search of MGF forums etc you will soon discover that
pre-'99 MGFs both standard and VVC have a habit of overheating ( 2x6'lengths
of pipe to the radiator at the front and cheap hose clips, out of sight)
the Alloy BLMC K engine will then warp and you may need a head skim to
correct the problems.
On a VVC engine assuming no more serious engine damage this can cost as
much as £750 to repair.
A well known achilles heel.
Later models dont have this reputation.
Suggest you save a little more cash and save a lot of heartache.
Actually while you do need to keep an eye on the pipe work that's not the
main reason for HGF.
There are a number of dowels that locate the cylinder head onto the block,
on pre 2000 models these dowels were made from plastic and allowed the head
to move which caused HGF. On the 1.8 K series engine the walls between the
cylinders are very thin therefore the gasket is very narrow at these points
and any small movement caused the gasket to fail
Replacement head gasket kits included new dowels made from steel so once a
car has suffered a HGF provided it was repaired properly and the dowels
replaced it should be fine. Any future problems will usually be down to
damaged or corroded pipework from the rad to the engine.
On post 2000 cars steel dowels were factory fitted.
It should be changed at 5years or 60,000 miles.
My first MGF did 83,000 before HGF and I never bothered to change the
cambelt until the head gasket failed. It would have been silly to have the
old one put back on!
My local garage checked the cambelt every time it was serviced and they kept
telling me it was in good shape. After the head gasket repair they showed me
the old cambelt and it still looked like new, all the teeth were intact and
there were no rounded edges. It was even clean and the printing on the
outside surface looked like new!
The choice is yours, you take a chance or you follow the book.
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