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When the head gasket fails there is normally not internal damage to the block itself unless the engine was ran in a overheated state for a long while.
The recommended repair is to replace the head gasket,have the head machined or at least checked by a machine shop and to replace the thermostat and coolant.Of the engine will need to be flushed in the event of any intermix with the oil and coolant.
Thanks for this, though it does not look to me that you have specialist knowledge of the nature of the K engine. I would as you suggest normally have the head skimmed to avoid a repeat experience, however because of the type of casting alloy used I am lead to believe that there is a rather thin skin of 'hard' material at the joint face, below which the material is especially susceptible to corrosion/pitting. The 'stat is good, though there are debates as to the wisdom of its siting on this engine. Whilst I can go to Rover? I wouldn't trust them to 'level' with me (I'm sure you will have come across such difficulties), and would rather have the opinion of an expert on these engines or rally enthusiast. Thanks again