Engines : K-Series

In taking over from the venerable A-series, Rover’s hi-tech new engine had a hard act to follow. However, it went on to earn itself an enviable reputation for fragility in both four- and six-cylinder forms.

KEITH ADAMS discusses this controversial engine…


The light fantastic

HOW to replace the irreplaceable A-series engine? Build a light, powerful and technically advanced power unit, spend years developing it to perfection; then introduce it in a highly impressive new medium sized car, quickly follow this up with a new small car which is a quantum leap ahead of the existing one. Rover employed this tactic to perfection during 1989 and 1990 – first with the Honda collaborative effort, the 200/400, then the revitalised Metro.

Austin Rover demonstrated that they were able to build a competitive and advanced engine, when they created the M16 out of the rather average O-series back in 1986. That development programme, headed by Roland Bertodo had been hamstrung by the fact that it used an existing engine as its base: with the K-series unit, the engine men started from scratch and used the opportunity to really stretch their creative impulses. Development had been started in 1984, had been placed under jeopardy by the Government of the day, who in an effort to reduce BL’s capital burden on the country’s finances.

As explained in The Whole Story, the 1983/84 BL corporate plan had required the additional borrowing of £1.5 billion in order to see through the development of the next generation of cars and their engines. £250 million of this would be swallowed up by the K-series engine development programme – and it made an appealing economy for the government to suggest that BL could in fact use a Honda engine, thereby reducing the proposed investment.

Maintaining independence from Honda

IT may have seemed like a good idea to the Government, but Ray Horrocks and Harold Musgrove certainly did not agree – both fearing that Austin Rover would have lost a great deal of their independence if they no longer produced their own mid-market engine. Musgrove was especially passionate bout this – and barracked the then trade and industry Norman Tebbitt into seeing the BL point of view: it worked – Tebbitt was persuaded and the government capitulated, allowing the continued funding of the K-series.

The company knew that in order to replace the A-Series engine, the engine would need to be both powerful and compact – and in order to achieve these goals, it would need to be highly advanced. Another consideration was that the changing tide within European legislation meant that emissions were being pushed further up the agenda and because of this, the design would need to be such that it would meet and succeed any potential new regulations. Needless to say, the company were right in this assertion and before long, lean burn engines would be all the rage – because of Austin Rover’s foresight, they were most definitely ahead of the game when the new engine appeared in 1989.

To meet these goals, the engine was constructed of alloy, and ingeniously, to ensure that the pressures within the engine were evenly distributed, a long bolt configuration was adopted. In other words, the engine was basically of a sandwich design and holding it all together were 16-inch long bolts that plunged from the cylinder head to the sump, top to bottom. Other advances were that the K-Series unit was designed from the outset to be used with a twin cam, 16-valve cylinder head; a quite exotic configuration back in 1983, but necessary in order to gain enough specific output in order to meet upcoming emissions regulations.

Advanced specification

INTIALLY launched in 1.4-litre 16v form, the engine range was soon extended to encompass 1.1 and 1.4-litre 8v versions, which were then followed by 1.6 and 1.8-litre 16v units. This ensured that Rover would not be dependent on Honda for their mid-sized engine range and paved the way for the hot versions of the Rover 200 and MGF. With Honda power, these cars would in most likelihood been just as impressive, but less British. This power unit also formed the basis of the company’s KV6 engine (of which over 100,000 had been built by 2001) – which was used to great effect initially in the Rover 800, then the Rover 75 and MG ZT.

Like the A-series before it and also the group’s V8 engine, the K-series engine soon became the darling of the British specialist manufacturers, becoming the motive force for Caterham and Lotus.

The KV6 version of this engine was first used in the Rover 825, but it should be noted that this was a very different beast to the similarly-named power unit that would find its way into the Rover 75 and MG ZT. An insider described the earlier engine as very much a practice run, produced in an almost hand-built way – unfortunately, that led to fragility in the 825, and many power units expired before they hit the 60,000 mile mark.

When discussing the KV6 with a Longbridge engineer, Julian Donald was told of the changes: “I asked him if the cylinder head design of the KV6 was basically just ¾ of a four-cylinder engine. He said that it was on the early ones used in the 800 but that the whole engine had been redesigned for the 75 to make it narrower to fit under the shorter bonnet.”

According to Brian Gunn, other differences between the early and late K-Series engines were put in place to improve reliability: “The differences between the early and late KV6 are that the block/liners are dimensionally more accurate, with more tolerance bands. The heads are the same, although Rover changed the top covers. The inlet manifold is totally different – it does not have the dual butterfly-type throttle body like the early one. The engine management has also been changed in favour of the Siemens 2000 system over the earlier MEMS 2J system. Things like the acoustic cover have been changed in appearance, as well as detail plumbing – and other things that go with an “improvement”.

Reliability issues

IN the 75 and MG ZT, the KV6 has proved to be a strong and sporting power unit – only over-average fuel consumption denyng it genuine greatness, but the earlier, almost handbuilt versions that found themselves under the bonnet of the 800 suffered from nightmare reliability issues – mainly with their head gaskets.

Many of the early ones were replaced under warranty at around 50,000 miles – with reliability only improving during the later years.

The K4 engine, on the other hand, seems to have become worse later in life. Early 1.1- and 1.4-litre cars seem strong and dependable, but the 1.6- and 1.8-litre cars, have developed a reputation for eating head gaskets, sometimes as early as 18,000 miles. Although the company claimed to have fixed the problem at several times during the production run – some blame the plastic dowels used in its construction, others flaws in the design of the cooling system – owners of 2000-2005 cars were still regularly suffering regular head gasket failure.

Such was the extent of the problem, it was highlighted on BBC TV’s Watchdog programme – and an MG Rover representative’s dismissive stance on the show shocked many existing customers, and scared off future ones.

Today, the K-Series engine has been heavily tarnished by its reputation for fragility, and although there are many more satisfied than dissatisfied customers out there, once an image is established, it’s fate is sealed.

The real shame of it is, the K-Series engine remains an impressive design to this day. And with it, Rover proved it could maintained the ability to produce its own power unit, and with that, maintain their independence and identity. It’s just a pity that this light and efficient engine wasn’t allowed to escape from the shadow of unreliability, because if it had, we’d still be marvelling its huge armoury of positive points to this day…


Specifications & applications

Capacity Bore Stroke Type Max. Power Max. Torque Applications
1120cc 8v 60Ps @ 5700rpm 90Nm @ 3900rpm 1995-1998: Rover 100
16v 75Ps @ 6000rpm 95Nm @ 5000rpm 1999-date: Rover 25
1396cc 75mm 79mm 8v SPi 75Ps @ 5500rpm 117Nm @ 4000rpm 1990-95: Rover Metro GTa
1995-98: Rover 100
1990-96: Rover 214i
16v 84Ps @ 6000rpm 110Nm @ 4500rpm 1999-date: Rover 25
16v MPi 95Ps @ 6000rpm 1989-95: Rover 214 / Rover 414
1990-95: Rover Metro GTi
16v MPi 103Ps @ 6000rpm 123Nm @ 4500rpm 1995-99: Rover 214 / Rover 414
1999-date: Rover 25 / Rover 45
2001-date: MG ZR 105
1589cc 16v MPi 109Ps @ 6000rpm 138Nm @ 4500rpm 1995-99: Rover 216 / Rover 416
1999-date: Rover 25 / Rover 45
16v 116Ps @ 6250rpm 145Nm @ 4700rpm 2002-date: MG TF 115
2003-date: MG ZS 115
1796cc 80.0mm 89.3mm 16v 117Ps @ 5500rpm 160Nm @ 2750rpm 1999-date: Rover 45
2001-date: MG ZR 120 / ZS 120
16v 120Ps @ 5500rpm 160Nm @ 4000rpm 1999-date: Rover 75
2003-date: MG ZT 120
16v 120Ps @ 5500rpm 165Nm @ 3000rpm 1995-2002: MG F 1.8i/1.8i Stepspeed
2002-date: MG TF 120 Stepspeed
16v 136Ps @ 6750rpm 165Nm @ 5000rpm 2002-date: MG TF 135
16v VVC 145Ps @ 6900rpm 173Nm @ 4500rpm 1995-99: Rover 200 Vi
16v VVC 145Ps @ 7000rpm 174Nm @ 4500rpm 1995-1999: Rover 200 Coupe
16v VVC 145Ps @ 6750rpm 174Nm @ 4000rpm 1998: Rover 200 BRM
16v VVC 145Ps @ 7000rpm 174Nm @ 4500rpm 1995-2002: MG F 1.8i VVC
16v Turbo 150Ps @ xx00rpm 215Nm @ 2100rpm 2002-date: Rover 75 1.8T
16v VVC 160Ps @ 6900rpm 174Nm @ 4700rpm 2001-2002: MG F Trophy 160 SE
2002-date: MG TF 160
16v VVC 160Ps @ 7000rpm 174Nm @ 4500rpm 2001-date: MG ZR 160
16v Turbo 160Ps @ 5500rpm 215Nm @ 2100rpm 2002-date: MG ZT/ZT-T 160 1.8T
1997cc 24v KV6 150Ps @ 6500rpm 185Nm @ 4000rpm 1999-date: Rover 45
1999-date: Rover 75
2497cc 24v KV6 160Ps @ 6250rpm 230Nm @ 4000rpm 2001-date: MG ZT/ZT-T 160
24v KV6 177Ps @ 6500rpm 240Nm @ 4000rpm 1996-1999: Rover 825
1999-date: Rover 75
2001-date: MG ZS 180
24v KV6 190Ps @ 6500rpm 245Nm @ 4000rpm 2001-date: MG ZT/ZT-T 190

Gallery

The bread-and-butter, single-cam K-series which served the Metro in 1.1 and 1.4-litre capacities.

The bread-and-butter, single-cam K-series which served the Metro in 1.1 and 1.4-litre capacities.

The 16-valve 1.4-litre K-series engine, in situ in the engine bay of a Rover Metro GTi.

The 16-valve 1.4-litre K-series engine, in situ in the engine bay of a Rover Metro GTi.

The quad-cam, 24-valve KV6 engine, as seen in a 1996 Rover press photo.

The quad-cam, 24-valve KV6 engine, as seen in a 1996 Rover press photo.

Keith Adams

About the Author:

Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007. Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Clsssics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent... Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasable adventures all across Europe.

28 Comments on "Engines : K-Series"

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  1. Ken Martin says:

    September 5th 2011. Having bought new MGZT in Nov 2003 (53 plate), head gasket lasted to Oct 2009. However, engine seriously overheated 2 months ago, and new complete cylinder hear assembly has been fitted. Car runs great, but am getting a lot of smoke from cold start, which lasts for about 3-4 miles. Can’t trace problem…..any ideas? Regards.

  2. David Dawson says:

    Not exactly. However, my head gasket tale may be helpful.
    My 75 is a 1.8K, not the turbo. It is 53 plate and I bought the car almost 13 months ago. Although in good condition and sound in all other respects, the car has actually blown its head gasket twice since I bought it –
    My 75 came with a 3 month/3000 mile warranty. I became suspicious after about 2000 miles that the gasket was on its way out. I took the car back to the dealer who kept it a couple of days for testing, saying he would change the gasket if necessary. He telephoned, assuring me all was well. About a 1000 miles later the head gasket blew. The car
    broke down in a ‘cut out’ fashion there being no excessive steam or smoke. The head gasket was replaced (along with the cam belt). A short while later, I noticed coolant ‘escaping’ from the expansion tank cap. Back to the people who had changed the head gasket. They said the gasket was ok, but the cooling fan was not operating fully. After 3 weeks off the road, the garage took the car to their other branch. Immediately, Im was told the fan is working, you can collect the car. I did but wasn’t happy with how the car was running. In Christmas week, the gasket blew again

  3. David Dawson says:

    Not exactly. However, my head gasket tale may be helpful.
    My 75 is a 1.8K, not the turbo. It is a 53 plate and I bought the car almost 13 months ago with a shade under 50K on the clock. Although in good condition and sound in all other respects, the car has actually blown its head gasket twice since I bought it –
    My 75 came with a 3 month/3000 mile warranty. I became suspicious after about 2000 miles that the gasket was on its way out. I took the car back to the dealer who kept it a couple of days for testing, saying he would change the gasket if necessary. He telephoned, assuring me all was well, no new gasket required. About a 1000 miles later the head gasket blew. The car broke down in a ‘cut out’ fashion there being no excessive steam or smoke. The head gasket was replaced (along with the cam belt). A short while later, I noticed coolant ‘escaping’ from the expansion tank cap. Back to the people who had changed the head gasket. They said the gasket was ok, but the cooling fan was not operating fully. After 3 weeks off the road, the garage took the car to their other branch. Immediately, Im was told the fan is working, you can collect the car. I did but wasn’t happy with how the car was running. In Christmas week, the gasket blew again in dramatic fashion – Parked at some lights I suddenly noticed the temperature guage reading max. As I pulled away the gasket blew in a big way as did the radiator. It was a chilly night and the plumb of steam behind me was immense!!
    A certain Peter Jones of Birkenhead performed a heroic collection & repair. He steamed cleaned the cooling pipes (not done at the first gasket change) and revealed that the problems had been due to Radweld or similar causing blockages in the cooling system. I can only assume the previous owner or dealer I bought the car from had added the Radweld.
    I have now done 10,000 miles on the second new gasket. No loss of oil or water!!!! A fraction of oil did release itself after the first motorway blast and sat on top of the coolant in the expansion tank. Peter Jones reassured me – ‘ just dab the oil off – it’s impossible to clean away every last bit after the gasket has blown’. I’m going to change the coolant AGAIN anyway, before winter sets in.
    My story is obviously different to yours but I thought some element of it may cast some light for you….
    PS I still love my 75!!!

  4. Stefan Veld says:

    The thing is, If you repair a K-series engine you either do it the right way or not at all:

    If the gasket failed and your head has been seriously warped, replace the head! The head surface is hardened, if you skim it to far you’re left with a soft surface, prone to pitting( and leaking of the gasket)
    Completely flush the engine( oil AND water systems) and flush your radiator( probably cheaper to replace it, especially for the R25 series). Fit the complete MLS gasket including new bolts. IF you do this properly it should last a longer time. I’ve been told about engins running flawlessly for over 200.000 miles.. even one on LPG! Just take your time warming her up in the winter, that also helpes to relieve strain on the gasket.
    To this day I’m impressed with the engine, extremely light-weight and lot of power!

  5. Clint Mcgregor says:

    Dear Sir

    Am having problems with getting specs for liner heights on a rover 75 k series engine 1800 am in Zimbabwe an do not have access to the relevent information

    I would greatly appreciate your help in this matter kind regards

    Clint

  6. vijen says:

    Dear Sir
    I am having problems with my rover 75 1.8t.
    I reconditioned the motor and now cant seem to get the car started. The crankshaft sensor was replaced, timing checked. The car seems to loose spark just as its going to take start.
    It took start, idled for about 15mins and switched off by itself. Now it just swings

  7. Maria Soledad Alvarez says:

    Hi, how are you?, I’m from Argentina, I am using the google translator, so if you do not understand very well, apologies. Could tell me what temperature the engine must work model rover 416si 96? Thank you very much.

  8. Joe Hoy says:

    There’s a great article on this site :
    http://www.sandsmuseum.com/cars/elise/thecar/engine/kingk.html
    Explaining why the K was maligned – unfairly in a lot of ways, because the later modifications to the original design (specifically increasing displacement and replacing the original crank in motorsport Ks) weren’t poperly thought through.  If i recall correctly, the infamous “Watchdog” appearance was primarily because of problems with the Freelander, which is explained brilliantly – to summarise, the original purpose of the engine was for lightweight hatchbacks with lots of torque across the revs and very quick warm-up.  This was achieved by placing the thermostat after the radiator, so that the thermostat was reading cooled water.  When bored out and placed in a 4×4 however…
    “Apparently, the typical owner for this vehicle is the middle class housewife and mother who use it for large numbers of short shopping trips to the supermarket!  Being heavy and 4×4, the 1.8 litre Ks tend to be pushed very hard from cold. This results in the engine getting very hot before the water can circulate and open the thermostat. Result – blown gasket.”
    Ford had Rover develop a more advanced thermostat switch, but the simplest solution would have been to move the original thermostat switch to a position *before* the radiator, thus opening much sooner.
     
    For the record, I’ve had 3 K-engined cars (my dad’s got another three), and the only one to blow a gasket was one of mine – entirely my fault though, because I got lazy about checking the coolant and electric fan connector.  I’ve never got that lazy since!

  9. John McGill says:

    Does anybody know what the factory setting is for the fuel pressure on a Rover25 1400. I want to check the fuel pressure but need to know what to base it on.

  10. John McGill says:

    Hmmmmm…not very many readers on this sight,I guess.
    If anybody is interested,the standard fuel pressure on a Rover25 is 3.0 bar,or about 43psi.If anybody is interested,I bought my 25 for £350 from a lady who had the head gasket blow on her.I have modified the car completely,with the two-part gasket,Piper cams,Jenvey throttle bodies and s/s exhaust manifold and system plus an Emerald ECU,and it is now producing about 160bhp.

  11. peter mildenhall says:

    Hi i recently bought a k series engine with gearbox on e bay
    and fitted it into a rover 200 1.4, it had a 8 valve head on it so i replaced it with a 16 valve head new mls gasket and bolts. It started up staight away with no problems,i took it for m.o.t and the emisions were wildly wrong,when i explained i had put a different engine in they entered the engine no into the test computor. To my suprise it came back as a 1.1 engine,is there anyway to adjust the system to get the emisions right.

  12. peter mildenhall says:

    I bought a engine and gearbox from e bay, and fitted it in a 200 rover 1.4, it had a 8 valve head on it, so i replaced it with a 16 valve head.It started sraight away with no problems,so i took it for m.o.t, it failed on emisions,i told them it had a different engine in it, so they put the details on the computor,it came back as a 1.1.Is there anyway that it could be readjusted

  13. Dr Patrick Hook says:

    I did a lot of development testing work on the K Series engines at The British Internal Combustion Engine Research Institute (BICERI) in Slough. The original design and construction was absolutely top-notch – the engines were well-made, ran beautifully, gave great performance, and were totally reliable.

    Then the cost accountants got involved and we gradually saw the once-lovely engine being slowly destroyed by people who couldn’t see past the ends of their noses.

    At one stage, they even produced a whole generation of a dreadful thing called the ‘DL2’ – on this, the engine had no threads in any of the holes. Instead, the bolts were all tri-sided self-tappers. These were then fired in with a gun. It was no surprise to anyone with half a brain cell, however, that when they were unscrewed, they took most of the surrounding metal with them. A total disaster.

    As it was politically unacceptable to have to create a new generation of engines, they then produced the ‘DL2-B’. What a farce, and symptomatic of what happens when you let non-engineers run such projects.

    The K-Series could have made the company a lot of money and ended up with a superb reputation. Instead, the penny-pinchers destroyed it. All hail the wonders of British management…

  14. Alec D Will says:

    Dr Hook, no jokes about the 70’s I promise, a sad tale and typical of this country. Who in their right mind would use self tappers to nail an engine together? Surely the chief engineer should have laughed and put a stop to such a ridiculous waste of money.
    Once again it shows a lack of understanding between engineering and finance with engineers not being tough enough to say ‘no’ to management.
    I’m no rocket scientist, ok perhaps a little bit, but anyone with an ounce of sense knows you can’t achieve a the impossible.
    **shakes head in shear frustration**

  15. Dan says:

    It was designed as a small, lightweight 1.1 and 1.4 litre engine for small, light cars used primarily about town. If it had stayed as such, I strongly suspect it would be an engine lauded today for its lightness, efficiency and fitness for purpose. Fundamentally, Rover were using it in applications, and stretching it to capacities for which it was neither designed, or properly optimised.

    I can’t imagine the design engineers with Metros and R8s in mind could have envisaged its stretching and installation into a Freelander or an Elise.

  16. Roy Albillot says:

    Hi there, K series well this is what I KNOW ! The engine designer reckons it was easier to monitor water temp on the cold side?

    Nobody else does? and is that why the ecu measures it on the hot side?

    Nobody else puts a thermostat where it is on a K series!? Seems everyone else knew!? and it fully opens at 103 Degrees C its allready boiling WHY!!!!???

    The compression rings on the gasket are too hard and indent both liners and head!

    So you need a major engine rebuild if your head gasket fail’s!

    No mention of 178bhp vvc in tomcats!? THE BEST K series!?

    KV6 first 2 years was an experiment? Block surface Crap! apparently they flexed too much!? and it was up to the unfortunate buyers to pay to find out!

    Cheers ROVER even the Indians who bought Rover got rid! Need anybody say anymore!

    MG well same old! same old!
    Guess your still paying to find out!

  17. Nate says:

    In spite of the 2.0/2.5 KV6’s problems, did Rover ever fit the engine in the Rover 200 Coupe?

  18. Roy Albillot says:

    No V6’s in 200 coupes- what for with vvc’s and 200bhp plus turbo’s

    Tomcats the last of a decent rover?

  19. Nate says:

    @ 18 Roy Albillot

    Asking since I seem to recall a relatively decent Rover “225” (R8) Coupe conversion or two a while back and the fact that the KV6 can be fitted to the related Rover 200(R3) / 25 and MG ZR.

    While it can be understood that there would likely be little demand for a KV6 R8, what with the VVC K-Series and T-Series Turbo, its interesting to contemplate whether Rover ever looked into a KV6 R8 as a sort of pre-MG ZS 180 (or stillborn Rover 425KV6).

  20. “The K-Series could have made the company a lot of money and ended up with a superb reputation. Instead, the penny-pinchers destroyed it.”

    Well, this happens across the board – cars are mass produced, consumable devices – otherwise we’d reach saturation point and the firms would go bust, not selling new cars.

    Mercedes did the cost-reducing thing on their V8s; I’m a huge fan of the M119 32-valve V8, an engine which in 5 litre form (most often found in the R129 SL and W140/C140 S-class) is refined yet exhilarating at higher RPM and engineered beautifully; it was replaced with the 3-valve per cylinder M113 which if I recall right (I’ve not taken one apart myself) uses self-tapping bits.

    But reputation-wise the M113 is not a bad engine. Personally, I don’t like the sound of it, over the past year I tried both a W211 2003 E500 and a 2000 CLK 430, and they just didn’t sound… ‘meaty’ enough.

  21. Phil Simpson says:

    On paper, the 2.0 KV6 looks a little pointless with versions of the 1.8vvc covering its power & torque.

    Presumably refinement was a different matter though.

  22. francis brett francis brett says:

    @16, I dont know about the engine designers reckoning monitoring coolant on the cold side of the engine given that the two sensors are actually in the thermostat elbow.
    The coolant boiling point rises under pressure anyway.

    The gasket “digging” into the head/liner surface is symptomatic of the head “rocking” on its dowels-either early plastic ones or steel one that havnt had a fewthou ground off.

    The very early KV’s snapped cranks and the odd porous head was a problem-mainly in the inlet ports.

  23. Bill White says:

    Hi, I need to get oxygen sensor bank 1 [before cat.] for my Rover 45 16v K series engine. The mechanic tells me the one that is fitted is no a proper one [that Rover use] and told me to get the official one. Anyone know what type that is. Thanks.

  24. rover75 says:

    My rover 75 1.8 non turbo has 92000 miles on it, i have had the car 5 month but haven’t got any bills for any work been done i take it the HG will almost have certainly been done at this mileage

    • Keith WIllshaw says:

      Actually the assumption that a K series 1.8 would have had new HG after 92,000 miles is unfounded in my experience my normally aspirated 1.8 Rover 75 had 102,000 miles on it when I finally replaced it and all I ever did was routine maintenance. As long as the engine had been fitted with steel dowels and you let it warm up before thrashing it there were few problems. The issue occurred when the engine was given heavy loads from start because of the strange thermostat design which suddenly started injecting lots of cold water into a hot engine.

  25. Ronnie says:

    I had a Montego, which I filled all body cavities with grease, got the paint thickness doubled and put an additional layer of under seal on it, and it did not dissolved in the rain, and was a great car, only failure being that really weird carburettor it had. Then a Rover 600, another great car, apart from the bicycle breadth wheels and poor brakes, assumed to be from the Honda influence. Then a Rover 75, such a fantastic car. All the time everyone complained about Rovers. Why, well I found out. My next car another Rover 75, with that K Series, it,s going to overheat and cost a thousand quid engines. For years Rover put it into brand new model cars, knowing that it had a major design flaw. What was totally and utterly unforgiveable was that the rover 75 had a brand new engine design for it, but Rover continued to also produce them with this cursed mistake!!! The entire board of a Rover should have been taken out and severely horsewhipped for this!

  26. Ronnie says:

    I have for years bought British cars, but why does the industry ignore and deny design faults when they become blatantly obvious to all, rather than fixing the problem with a modified design for successive cars. The Montego for example, over years the specification gets successively improved. A dog could have told you what was needed was wax injection into panels and thicker paint spec to stop them from dissolving. The Maxi, oil being thrown onto the clutch plate and obliging an entire new assembly being regularly required. Fix the problem? Oh no, don,t be rediculous! The K series engine, oh well, as we have a design that is almost guaranteed to overheat and break down, let’s use it for ever in every model of car we could possibly develop. Eh? What!? This comment is not directed solely at the old British car manufacturers, almost all are guilty. Is it arrogant indifference to reality? Is it insufficient budgets set aside for manufacturing to changes subsequently discovered to be needed? Whatever the reason, it seems to have taken decades for the penny to drop.

  27. Gary D. says:

    K- Series 1.8t.great engine as long as you…fit the strengthened oil rail,machine 4xsteel rings into the head and have it skimmed,then enlarge the cooling capacity oh and relocate the thermostat.Remember to clean out the plenum drains before the ecu gets drowned.Fit a MLS head gasket,metal inlet manifold and improved, complete gasket set for the head.phew!or do what I did and just buy a Volkswagen Passat 1.9tdi.

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