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water rail removal for k-series

Richard J Darnell

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I am in the process of fitting my powerspeed exhaust (at last) and need to remove the water rail in order to get the old manifold off.


Do I need to drain the whole system or can I undo the water rail, soak up what comes out (how much?) and then top it back up when i refit it?


Also, will i need a new gasket for the exhaust or will the old one be ok (as Powerspeed suggest) - if a new one is required is this a standard Rover part?


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Just remove the water rail with the hose going to the radiator. At the other end, if the hose if hard to get off you could remove it from the radiator housing if that's easier. Providing you don't have a heater of course.


I would jack the front of the car high up and bleed the coolant system after the job is done.


The exhaust gasket is reusable.



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Mark - I understand (from searching this forum) that you don't need to remove the water rail if you have the later type.

My car was built in 1998 and I have undone all the manifold nuts but cannot remove the manifold - so conclude i must have the earlier type.


The problem seems to be the length of the studs.


It occurs to me that if I removed the studs (not sure how yet) then the manifold would drop down. Is this possible?

Can you replace the studs with bolts? This would make it much easier if i need to change the exhaust again in the future.

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Richard, my car is also a '98. I believe Dave Andrews cut the studs down for me many years ago. An angle grinder should probably do the job, but if you feel comfortable doing this with the engine in situ is another matter..


Edited by - toratle on 18 Apr 2003 19:20:04

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Mine is also a 98 car but the rearmost stud has been replaced with a bolt so no problem, are you or can you separate the primaries from the collector first? then you can remove one at a time.


To remove the studs you could try putting two nots on one stud, tighten them together then try turning the one nearest the head and see if it will draw the stud out.



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Mark - my rearmost stud is also a bolt. I have managed to undo the 4 studs and one bolt, but I can't drop the manifold down becase all 4 primaries are joined together on a single back plate.


If i can remove the studs using the 2 nut system I am thinking I can replace them with bolts - this will avoid the need to remove the water rail.

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Using bolts is bad news on two counts..


The first count is that its easy to bottom the bolt in the hole and damage the thread, or to cross it when starting.


The second is that threads in alloy heads are vulnerable and will take a hammerring / heavy wear every time you undo the bolts.


Better to remove the studs this time and shorten them to 1mm longer than the outside of the nut when it is fastened. This should allow you to remove the manifold easily without risking the threads. Its then a lot easier to fit the manifold because it can be 'hung' on the studs.



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i assume a hacksaw will do the job
Don't forget to leave a nut on the thread before hacksawing the end of the stud off - then you 'll be able to recut the thread (at the end where you damage it with the hacksaw) by winding the nut off. I'm sure there's more sophisitcated techniques, but it works for me *smile*


Honda Passion Orange, 640kg *eek*, and proud of it *smile*

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thanks for the tips

after a lot of fiddling i have now managed to remove 2 studs (using the 2 nut method) and remove the manifold - oh the joy of success !! *biggrin*

seems i won't need to remove the water rail after all

i did have to buy a number of new tools (some angled spanners and a long socket) to complete the job but i'm sure they'll come in handy again one day


next up is cutting the hole for the new exhaust......... 😳

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Yawn, yes we heard your views last time *thumbdown*


As it happens I fitted my (extremely well finished) Powerspeed in March and had problems removing the standard manifold. The problem was that it was fouling the diagonal side chassis rail (remember this for point below). The solution was to undo the two engine mountings and jack the engine up slightly.


One 'mod' which will make life much easier is to use a hack saw to separate the primaries into four (instead of the standard 2 pairs). This makes it much easier to feed them through the new hole in the side skin AND to connect them to the collector.


Now as mentioned above it looks like my side chassis rail is in a slightly different position relative to the head, than some others (whether this is the position of tha chassis rail or the alignment of the engine, or both I don't know). So I had the problem that the number 3 primary was fouling this chassis rail.


As I say this was back in March, well two weekends ago I decided to sort this by removing the offending primary and 'easing' it with a blow torch and hammer 😳. The result was that it fitted better but now the number 2 primary was fouling the chassis rail *confused*.


So 3 months after recieving my exhaust I call Dave at Powerspeed and explain and he very generously agreed that he would sort it for me OVER THE EASTER WEEKEND (therefore meaning I didn't need to take time off work to trailer the car to Ashford and back). So I dropped it off on Good Friday morning and picked it up yesterday morning. Dave had corrected the alignment problem, remade number 3 primary and noise tested it for me (I'm a off to Bedford Autodrome GT circuit on 5th May and Folembrey on the 10th May *smile*) - TOP BLOKE Dave thanks!


So my experiences are somewhat different to the rather jaded views of one or two individuals. I would recommend Powerspeed for the quality of workmanship and customer service unreservedly. However my one bit of advice is, because of the variability in the geometry between the head and the chassis I'd recommend you to get Powerspeed to fit the system for you (which was within the original price anyway). Alternatively if you fit the system and there are alignment problems then give Dave a call and he'll sort it for you asap.


In future they are planning to make up a number of systems and then tweak these to fit individual cars which seems a sensible approach.





Edited by - MikeE on 22 Apr 2003 10:48:20

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