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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does any one know much about these or has maybe driven or owned one?

I was considering maybe getting one for a short while after I sell my Bora...

I thought about the ZR 1.8 160 BHP or a ZS 2.5 180 BHP

Neither of these seem to have 'amazing' performance but I think the cars look quite cool personally and for 3-4k dont seem too bad

I saw some videos on youtube of people with them, even with their exhausts and induction kits they dont sound all that good or seem to perform all that well?

May go and look at one, only way to find out I guess!

Any info appreciated

Cheers

Dave
 

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Hello mate,

I've driven my mates ZR 1.8 and it is suprisingly nippy and all it has mod wish is a an air filter cone! makes a Subaru impreza noise just with a cone! its light so it is nippy!

Only downside is that its very plasticy inside and really in all honesty ud be driving a quick rover!
 

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I'll give you my honest opinion.

Don't.

ZR - Its a Rover 25 with a bodykit, nice alloys and flash paint. It based on an ancient design. The interiors are cheap like the budgie, and the build quality is cheap generally. Yes, they are quick, even a 1.4 moves for a 1.4 and the 1.8VVC (160) is quick, and yes, they are now quite cheap, but I would never buy one. Parts ARE going to become hard to get hold of soon (I have done Rover parts for years...) and they are also relatively expensive. They have a host of common and usually expensive faults too. I just wouldnt.

ZS - Same again, but in Rover 45 guise. Still ancient, still cheap, still with loads of common faults, and same problems with parts. Yes, they can look good with the spoiler and bits to some, including me, and look lovely in the monogram individual paints, but that doesnt disguise all the reasons not to buy one. The KV6 is thristy and notoriously unrelaible, and offers luke warm performance.

Honestly, there is much better cars out there, faster, more reliable, better built, more modern, with manufacturer support.

I have driven virtually every MG there is, none of them are corkers (expect maybe a TF160 trophy, but I still would never buy one...). They all do a job well enough, but you really can get so much more similar car for not alot more money...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah I totally agree with all that really, we have a 420 SLDi which is suprisingly nippy and actually very easy and relaxing to drive so I know about Rovers, lol

It was just an idea, ideally I want something 4WD and quick and cheap just for some fun for a while, and these Z's are none of these!
 

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My Mrs has Rover BRm, the 25 with the orange nose cone and red leather interior. She got it new, ?12k, 7 years ago.

It has everything, all extras available, incl ac and sunroof.

I've done three track days in it, its really good on track, although its better still since going to 17 inch wheels. 150hp+ \vvc engine, a total gem (there is a reason that lotus and caterhams used these K series motors, v light and strong).

Dash and quality of interior is pretty good for its day, yes its no MK4 golf, but its a 1995 design of interior and to be fair the mk5 is not mk4 either!!

She has done 80k miles, NOTHING has failed, not one thing. we had a preventative recal for a coolant sensor at 6 months old and a recall for some new ignition leads, which when fitted at the dealer turned out to be MAgnecor race leads!!

I can honestly say it is a tight and squeak free as a new golf, my mk4 rattles more (at 130k miles though) the car really ahs stood the test of time well. And its a hoot to drive, will do nearly 80mph in second gear, with no VTEC style lag, its just a great engine. She gets 35 MPG out of it no problem even sitting in traffic as she does each day on the way into town!

OK it may be only worth 2k now, but its utterly reliable, there is not rust on it, (infact its pretty mcuh like new underneath) and its depreciated 10k in 7 years! Still does 0-60 in the low 7's, still does 135mph, and is jsut a darned good fun car all round.

Perhaps we have been lucky, but I'm not sure. I know of many other certainly BRM drivers who have had jsut NO problems at all. Perhaps older ones that are not serviced suffer, but I jsut do routine oil changes now each 10k and that's it! It si without doubt the best car we have ever owned forma point of view of pence per mile and performance, I have spent more in the last 3 weeks on my mk4 than I have in 7 years + on the BRM! But maybe we have been lucky...?

So if you can find a good one, I am sure for the money you will have a riot in a MG ZR or sporty25!.

I know if I was looking to spend 4k on a runabout and it was toss up between an MGZR and a 1.4 mk4 golf, It would be 7500 revs of insanity over asthmatic weezing 65 hp everytime! (no offence to 1.4 owners, but we all know you are waiting till you can insure a 18T really!)
 

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I've worked closely with the MG Rover franchise for years and can say, hand on heart, one gem doesnt make up for the hundreds of dogs... 
 

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My sister owns one of the ZR`s....a yellow one to make things worse.

I would rather rub a cheese grator across my forehead than drive it.

First of all....engine, eat head gaskets before major service. MG were surprised that my sisters has got to 30k without replacement.

The build quality on it is appaling. The way the panels join and how they are curved, like in the rear quarters where it meets the tailgate....the curves inside are full of folds and are still visable with boot shut.

The drive is [+o(] everything is set up wrong. Very little gadgets. Common for alarm problems which my sister has suffered too.

To get any parts for it is impossible, someone stole one of her sideskirts, now she cant get an OEM one.

I think it cost near enough ?16k on a 53 reg, now be lucky to get 5k.

Not sure what the ZS is...but i cant imagine what the S stands for.

Oh did i mention her cars up for sale....any offers?
 

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I have to admit I have owned both! I had an MG ZR 120+ with kent cams, 52mm throttle body, exhaust, k+n the lot. It flew and I thought it was amazing. It handled like nothing else I had driven. All good until one day I decided to slam my door. On trying to get out the door card had popped off over the seal and I couldn't get out without smashing the door card off. The interior handle fell off everyday and the car creaked the a rusty old ship. Don't get me wrong, fun for money ratio is in your favour, but don't even compare the quality to a VW. Although saying that if you look under the bonnet see how many BMW emblems you can count, you'll be surprised.

I didn't learn my lesson there. I then went and got a ZS 180! It was quick and had loads of grunt. It loved the red line and made a great noise. Go to google video and type in MG ZS 180. You'll see the old girl being revved up with a twin Janspeed exhaust. Handled well for a big car and is a better quality than the ZR. Also shocked a few people how quick it was and it loves tyres! If you go for a ZS get the saloon!

However, I am here now with a blend of all. I had to have a v6 and wanted build quality to go with it! But then again you have to pay for it!
 

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I would not have a ROVER if you gave mw a 1000,000 quid

and defo not with a Kseries engine

THE K series has a big problem with the heads going and once it has been done once then it is all over and you will never stop fixing heads on the dam things

same with the freelander and just about ever car the dam thing was fitted to me friend had one and the head was done 3 times in 4 months

BAG OF SCRAP for want of a better word

Andy
 

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[N]

Same as all the above posts slating them, I wouldn't have one given. Only nice thing i've seen about any of them is they do a nice deep blue colour! As for making a noise like a Subaru Impreza, once fitted with an induction kit - they may make a racket, which is going to attract peoples attention, but you're never going to get that flat four sound, which IMO must be one of the nicest engine sounds [:D]
 

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I used to work at Longbridge and saw the 'care' and 'enthusiasm' that the cars were put together with! It wasn't a good product when I was there in 1997, so to be looking at one now would be a mistake.
 

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I would not have a ROVER if you gave mw a 1000,000 quid

and defo not with a Kseries engine

THE K series has a big problem with the heads going and once it has been done once then it is all over and you will never stop fixing heads on the dam things

same with the freelander and just about ever car the dam thing was fitted to me friend had one and the head was done 3 times in 4 months

BAG OF SCRAP for want of a better word

Andy
No real "BIG PROBLEM" on the heads at all. There is an uprated head gasket and more importantly the plastic dowels that locate it are uprated to metal, this will cure the wearing of the dowels as the head expeands and contracts that can cause some initial weepeing of oil to water and viceversa. Msot recurring failures are due to bothced repairs or a massive meltdown as the owner never checks his coolant, runs round with no or low collant then balmes it for blowing up. Far more A series head gaskets went than K series, ford crossflows, pintos, CVH motors and even the more modern zetecs all have problematic HGs. INterestingly proabbaly the best motor for low HG failure is the 1.8T! Steel gaskets, generally leave the alone.

As for if they go, they are never the same, well, NO, not if its done by a numpty! The block is a stressed member with a ladder design to hold the crank in. Anyone knowing anythign about these motors can do the head gasket without any issues whatsoever, but if you have it doen at some spaz garage where they take off the head then start turning the crank over wiht a spanner, the ladder that hold the crank in drops off! So it all needs clamping together and the car not moved when being done ideally.

Head shop close to me has done proabbly 30-40 and never had one fail again. Regular servicing and inspection of suspect HGs, (check your coolant tank) is important as if you can catch a problem before it goes, its better all round. Oil residue in the header tank is an early sign on K series.

K series is still a cracking motor, ask any of the sports car makers and tuners out there. But as with anything, if you dont look after them it can hurt. To put it in perspective though, local head and machining place does head gasket, and rebuilds the VVC on the VVC heads, and cam belt + new water pump for ?700, including all machining drive in drive out! Now 700 quid is not pocket change, but i have the bill for 665 for the cambelt and water pump on my mk4 3k miles before I bought i, and 13 months later and only 11k miles, the rollers collapsed and it was all done again, (2 inches of slack in the belt!)

So 700 quid including belts and tensioners + all the other stuff is not too bad.

Think of all the VW problems we all chose to put up with, MAFs window regs, coil packs, dual mass flywheels for over a 1000 pounds.......! Plastic water pumps..............yup see VW can cock up a design of a little bit too! And everyone harps on about k series HG failures! The K series was designed in early 1990's and its still an inovative motor today! The HG failure thing is just not as much of an issue as so called "experts" make out. Our BRM at 80k and 7 years old is still perfect on the original HG. I check the header tank each month, all is fine, if it needs doing I will have it done.

Now in three years of golf ownership, I have done rear beam bushes, (twice) ARB bushers, infact all the suspension bushes, new shocks, new maf, new turbo, two exhausts, new cat, cambelt/water pump/rollers.........! Spent at least 10 times more on the golf in 3 years than the rover in 7. And the Rover will urinate all over a stock 1.8T, with the same power.......just not even in the same game.

Infact, pretty sure it would dust up a 4 mo!! IIRC Zugan on here had both a 4 mo and a BRM and reckoned BRM was a fair bit more sprightly!

So yes, beware the depreciation, beware the HG failure, (most unlikely before 50k though id serviced ok, also all the MGs have the uprated gaskets and dowels anyway) but get a decent one and your grin per pound will be far higher than any mk4 golf you'll find!!

Your friend should have taken his K series to a proper specialist place to be done, not local garage or even the dealer. Just like VW techs, Rover techs were not working there cos NASA was full up! When you consider how many cars the K series was put into, the failure rate is still very very low.

Hey but what do Lotus and caterham know about engines, eh......?

BTW guys with 18Ts its worth keeping an eye on the coolant tank too. If you see little black flect of what look like paint chips in there, floating on top, get that placcy water pump replaced!!!
 

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I would not have a ROVER if you gave mw a 1000,000 quid

and defo not with a Kseries engine

THE K series has a big problem with the heads going and once it has been done once then it is all over and you will never stop fixing heads on the dam things

same with the freelander and just about ever car the dam thing was fitted to me friend had one and the head was done 3 times in 4 months

BAG OF SCRAP for want of a better word

Andy
No real "BIG PROBLEM" on the heads at all. There is an uprated head gasket and more importantly the plastic dowels that locate it are uprated to metal, this will cure the wearing of the dowels as the head expeands and contracts that can cause some initial weepeing of oil to water and viceversa. Msot recurring failures are due to bothced repairs or a massive meltdown as the owner never checks his coolant, runs round with no or low collant then balmes it for blowing up. Far more A series head gaskets went than K series, ford crossflows, pintos, CVH motors and even the more modern zetecs all have problematic HGs. INterestingly proabbaly the best motor for low HG failure is the 1.8T! Steel gaskets, generally leave the alone.

As for if they go, they are never the same, well, NO, not if its done by a numpty! The block is a stressed member with a ladder design to hold the crank in. Anyone knowing anythign about these motors can do the head gasket without any issues whatsoever, but if you have it doen at some spaz garage where they take off the head then start turning the crank over wiht a spanner, the ladder that hold the crank in drops off! So it all needs clamping together and the car not moved when being done ideally.

Head shop close to me has done proabbly 30-40 and never had one fail again. Regular servicing and inspection of suspect HGs, (check your coolant tank) is important as if you can catch a problem before it goes, its better all round. Oil residue in the header tank is an early sign on K series.

K series is still a cracking motor, ask any of the sports car makers and tuners out there. But as with anything, if you dont look after them it can hurt. To put it in perspective though, local head and machining place does head gasket, and rebuilds the VVC on the VVC heads, and cam belt + new water pump for ?700, including all machining drive in drive out! Now 700 quid is not pocket change, but i have the bill for 665 for the cambelt and water pump on my mk4 3k miles before I bought i, and 13 months later and only 11k miles, the rollers collapsed and it was all done again, (2 inches of slack in the belt!)

So 700 quid including belts and tensioners + all the other stuff is not too bad.

Think of all the VW problems we all chose to put up with, MAFs window regs, coil packs, dual mass flywheels for over a 1000 pounds.......! Plastic water pumps..............yup see VW can cock up a design of a little bit too! And everyone harps on about k series HG failures! The K series was designed in early 1990's and its still an inovative motor today! The HG failure thing is just not as much of an issue as so called "experts" make out. Our BRM at 80k and 7 years old is still perfect on the original HG. I check the header tank each month, all is fine, if it needs doing I will have it done.

Now in three years of golf ownership, I have done rear beam bushes, (twice) ARB bushers, infact all the suspension bushes, new shocks, new maf, new turbo, two exhausts, new cat, cambelt/water pump/rollers.........! Spent at least 10 times more on the golf in 3 years than the rover in 7. And the Rover will urinate all over a stock 1.8T, with the same power.......just not even in the same game.

Infact, pretty sure it would dust up a 4 mo!! IIRC Zugan on here had both a 4 mo and a BRM and reckoned BRM was a fair bit more sprightly!

So yes, beware the depreciation, beware the HG failure, (most unlikely before 50k though id serviced ok, also all the MGs have the uprated gaskets and dowels anyway) but get a decent one and your grin per pound will be far higher than any mk4 golf you'll find!!

Your friend should have taken his K series to a proper specialist place to be done, not local garage or even the dealer. Just like VW techs, Rover techs were not working there cos NASA was full up! When you consider how many cars the K series was put into, the failure rate is still very very low.

Hey but what do Lotus and caterham know about engines, eh......?

BTW guys with 18Ts its worth keeping an eye on the coolant tank too. If you see little black flect of what look like paint chips in there, floating on top, get that placcy water pump replaced!!!
Being fair, I have not heard of many heads or gaskets giving on 1.8T's or too many internal failures, and I look at the Skoda, Seat, Audi and VW forums where this engine is used quite widely. Other things like pumps, MAF's and parts around the the engine may not be as robust as you have pointed out however.

Having said that, there are quite a few running for than double their original power on standard internals, with no problems whatsoever. Look at myk3 on this forum. 320bhp on a stock AUM 150 engine.

Using information obtained mostly from forums, 1.8T engine failures tend to be on high mile and/or high power cars, and rods seem to be the weakest point overall. After that, pistons and valves are the let down.

Also, if you recall, Honda and Rover worked together in the late 80's and early 90's, and the GTi 216 Rover used the Honda variant 1.6 engine in its 216GTi (the one with the gearbox on the drivers side). This was the same engine as was used in the EG Civic ESi as I recall (130bhp), which was the base for the 158bhp VTi 1.6 engine which with VTEC technology revved past 8,000rpm and was absolutely bullet proof. I had two of these in EG and EK guise and loved them. Honda are not renowned for engine problems, but even they had issues with distributors and other external engine parts too.

Going back to Rover, aside from the engine issues with the Rover, gearboxes were not renowned for their durability or rubustness either and neither were the electrics or bodywork.
 

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My Mrs had an '02 1.8 ZR. It was ok. Nippy enough, but boot space was a major issue with our son's pram.

It did have a few problems & the build quality reminded me of a '91 Orion I once owned, but it did the job while we had it.

Can't really comment on it's long term reliability as she traded it in within 6 months, but I wish she'd stuck with the Puma she had before!
 

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Its up to people how they spend their money, but mine wouldnt be on a Rover, not these days with good all round cars...

I had a couple of 220 Coupes a few years ago. Cheap motoring. Went OK. Reliable enough. Looked good. But with so many flaws...

No one is doubting that a BRM or a VVC isnt quick. But speed isnt everything, not when the rest of the package is aged and frankly disappointing in comparison to virtually every other manufacturer...

Each to their own.
 
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