Are MGFs rubbish?

Are MGFs rubbish?

Author
Discussion

kambites

60,253 posts

180 months

Tuesday 13th September 2011
quotequote all
I don't think any part of the MGF is a "backwards Metro". The front and rear subframes on the F are both modified versions of the front subframe on the Metro (pointing in the correct direction in both cases) but I don't see anything wrong with that - they already had a double wishbone subframe with the correct engine mounts in it, it would have been madness to design a new one from the ground up.

wildcat45

7,450 posts

148 months

Tuesday 13th September 2011
quotequote all
Edit to say sorry for spelling and absurd English. iPad auto correct is st and it won't let me scroll down to make changes.

Not read the whole thread. I have had 2 MGFs and a TF. I now have a 2011 MX5.

Obviously the MX is worlds ahead of the MG one is a new design the other 15 years old.

I have no real experience of older MX5s but I can talk abou the F/TF.

Get a good one and it will be brilliant. They can be frustrating to own I'f you are not DIY capable but a nicely sorted one is a joy to drive. Mid engine eans you need to respect it especially the higher power ones in the wet.

For my money it's a damn good looking car with decent dynamics.

Decide what you want F or TF, the powe you want and take it from there.

The F in my mind is more comfortable with the Hydragas suspension. My TF 160 had quite harsh suspension but that made it more fun than the F.

Do not buy the first car you see. There are sheds and dogs a plenty. Good ones are very good and it soon becomes obvious. There is tons of info on line, buyers guides forums diplomats etc.

I never had a HG go, though I did have one or two problems with the 3 I had. Find a good Indy to look after it. Any grease monkey that curls his lip whinging about the engine being crap and really hard to work on is a lazy wker of a poor mechanic. A good Indy who understands them will be able to look after it. And he won't whinge about it.

I'd go for a late MGF. Before Rovers cost cutters took thing like under bonnet light and cargo nets out of it. Find a 1.8 MPI with leather a hood with a glass screen. An aftermarket addition which indicates it's owner liked it enough to spend money on it. If it's had a HG make sure it's been fixed with MLS Landrover one and the modified oil rail. Also lok for one that's had the belts done recently as it is a reasonably expensive job. Look for loads of history too.

After a while if the MPI is too slow, upgrade to either a 160BHP F Trophy or a TF 160.

Having said that, if I could rewind perhaps I should have paid the MX 5 more attention, but for a bag and a half of sand I'd take a punt on an MGF.


Edited by wildcat45 on Tuesday 13th September 08:56


Edited by wildcat45 on Tuesday 13th September 09:00

kambites

60,253 posts

180 months

Tuesday 13th September 2011
quotequote all
Blindly fitting the MLS gasket is, from what I read when mine went, a big cause of the gasket going again. The extra shim makes the MLS kit quite a lot thicker than the elastomer gaskets so if the liner heights are already a bit on the low side (less than about 4mm) the MLS kit is a bad idea. The later (Payen BW750) elastomer gasket is a big improvement on the original item and is a better bet if the liner heights are too low for the MLS one.

Bluebarge

4,519 posts

137 months

Tuesday 13th September 2011
quotequote all
Another vote for the MG. You can pick up a decent one for £1500, parts and servicing are cheap and there are plenty of specialist garages to help out if it goes wrong. If you get an MGF VVC you will have a mid-engined rwd sports that can do 0-60 in 7 secs - that would get some PH kudos if only some PH posters knew what they were talking about.

Any MX5 at that budget will be pretty tired and is likely to need the same, or more amounts of TLC, than a decent MG.

It is also, lest we forget, a Japanese "interpretation" of the classic English sports car, such as the MGB and TR6, whereas the MGF is an original design. That may not matter to you, but I would personally always take an original over a pastiche.

Mr2Mike

20,143 posts

214 months

Tuesday 13th September 2011
quotequote all
kambites said:
Blindly fitting the MLS gasket is, from what I read when mine went, a big cause of the gasket going again. The extra shim makes the MLS kit quite a lot thicker than the elastomer gaskets so if the liner heights are already a bit on the low side (less than about 4mm) the MLS kit is a bad idea. The later (Payen BW750) elastomer gasket is a big improvement on the original item and is a better bet if the liner heights are too low for the MLS one.
Excellent advice. The MLS gasket is a very reliable component when fitted correctly to an engine with suitable liner heights, but so many people just slap these engines together without measuring anything that it's hardly surprising that repeat failures are common. If in any doubt about liners the elastomer gasket is the way to go.

kambites

60,253 posts

180 months

Tuesday 13th September 2011
quotequote all
Once you've got the head off, it's trivial to measure the liner heights.

ETA: Obviously I mean 4 thou, not 4mm. 4mm would be rather high. hehe

bqf

1,921 posts

130 months

Tuesday 13th September 2011
quotequote all
The K Series head gasket - ah, happy days, standing by the side of the A12 in the pouring rain with a screaming baby and a totally bust-beyond-repair K series engine silently hissing next to us, having spilled it's emulsion all over the carriageway.

Then the joy of only being charged £2,700 for a reconditioned K series from your friendly neighbourhood robbing bd rover dealer.

No wonder the British car industry went pop.

Avoid these things like the plague.

300bhp/ton

39,123 posts

149 months

Tuesday 13th September 2011
quotequote all
bqf said:
The K Series head gasket - ah, happy days, standing by the side of the A12 in the pouring rain with a screaming baby and a totally bust-beyond-repair K series engine silently hissing next to us, having spilled it's emulsion all over the carriageway.

Then the joy of only being charged £2,700 for a reconditioned K series from your friendly neighbourhood robbing bd rover dealer.

No wonder the British car industry went pop.

Avoid these things like the plague.
Sorry to hear your bad time. But tbh it sounds as much more the fool you. HG failure will not write off an engine unless the driver then boils it dry and continues to run it. This is not the engines fault.

As for it going in the first place. Ok it's true the K Series is known for it. But it's hardly the only engine in the history or motoring to suffer this.

And if out if warranty, why pay top dollar at a dealership when a local or specialist mechanic could have fitted a guaranteed used engine for nearer to £400-600???

theironduke

6,995 posts

147 months

Tuesday 13th September 2011
quotequote all
300bhp/ton said:
bqf said:
The K Series head gasket - ah, happy days, standing by the side of the A12 in the pouring rain with a screaming baby and a totally bust-beyond-repair K series engine silently hissing next to us, having spilled it's emulsion all over the carriageway.

Then the joy of only being charged £2,700 for a reconditioned K series from your friendly neighbourhood robbing bd rover dealer.

No wonder the British car industry went pop.

Avoid these things like the plague.
Sorry to hear your bad time. But tbh it sounds as much more the fool you. HG failure will not write off an engine unless the driver then boils it dry and continues to run it. This is not the engines fault.

As for it going in the first place. Ok it's true the K Series is known for it. But it's hardly the only engine in the history or motoring to suffer this.

And if out if warranty, why pay top dollar at a dealership when a local or specialist mechanic could have fitted a guaranteed used engine for nearer to £400-600???
From my experience M20 and M30 BMW engines also have a tendancy to lunch head gaskets....

ewenm

28,506 posts

204 months

Tuesday 13th September 2011
quotequote all
OP - if you do go for the MG, take heed of the story above and check the coolant levels regularly and frequently. My OH had a TF160 in electric blue and it was a good little car even though I struggled to get comfortable behind the wheel. Watch out for it being a bit twitchy on standing water and if the back does let go, remember the weight is behind you!

Bluebarge

4,519 posts

137 months

Tuesday 13th September 2011
quotequote all
ewenm said:
OP - if you do go for the MG, take heed of the story above and check the coolant levels regularly and frequently.
Yup. Better still, fit a low-coolant alarm like a Lolarm or the Brown & Gammons one, then you can stop fretting. Unless, like me, you then worry whether the alarm works... smile

kambites

60,253 posts

180 months

Tuesday 13th September 2011
quotequote all
Aren't you staring at the coolant bottle every time you open the boot, anyway?

wildcat45

7,450 posts

148 months

Tuesday 13th September 2011
quotequote all
Yes, it can turn into a bit of an obsession.

The garage kept telling me to stop worrying about it, but on all 3 cars the collant would rise and fall in the tank. I am no mechanic but would occasionally top it up just to be safe.

At least its not hard to keep an eye on - no lifting the bonnet.

monthefish

19,641 posts

190 months

Tuesday 13th September 2011
quotequote all
S3_Graham said:
no, wait for all the naysayers to bang on about them being crap.
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Its currently for sale, PM me if your interested?
I like your style.

ManOpener

5,183 posts

128 months

Tuesday 13th September 2011
quotequote all
Mr2Mike said:
SlowStig said:
Those who compare a metro to a MGF are correct however,
No they aren't, it's a completely ridiculous comparison. They share some components, that is all.

Edited by Mr2Mike on Tuesday 13th September 09:54
They share a higher percentage of components than, say, the Gallardo and R8, and everyone bangs on about how they're exactly the same.

300bhp/ton

39,123 posts

149 months

Tuesday 13th September 2011
quotequote all
ManOpener said:
Mr2Mike said:
SlowStig said:
Those who compare a metro to a MGF are correct however,
No they aren't, it's a completely ridiculous comparison. They share some components, that is all.

Edited by Mr2Mike on Tuesday 13th September 09:54
They share a higher percentage of components than, say, the Gallardo and R8, and everyone bangs on about how they're exactly the same.
Still a stupid comparison though seeing as the Metro was front engine fwd and not a 2 seat open top sports car.

Mr2Mike

20,143 posts

214 months

Tuesday 13th September 2011
quotequote all
ManOpener said:
They share a higher percentage of components than, say, the Gallardo and R8, and everyone bangs on about how they're exactly the same.
In this case "Everyone" is a fool, simply by using your eyeballs you can see those particular cars are far from "exactly the same". The economics of car production means numerous different marques share a lot of components.

Would you suggest the Toyota Mk3 MR2 is just a Celica in drag? Because that's pretty much the equivalent of the Metro and the MGF/TF; numerous shared components but fundamentally different cars,

ManOpener

5,183 posts

128 months

Tuesday 13th September 2011
quotequote all
Mr2Mike said:
ManOpener said:
They share a higher percentage of components than, say, the Gallardo and R8, and everyone bangs on about how they're exactly the same.
In this case "Everyone" is a fool, simply by using your eyeballs you can see those particular cars are far from "exactly the same". The economics of car production means numerous different marques share a lot of components.

Would you suggest the Toyota Mk3 MR2 is just a Celica in drag? Because that's pretty much the equivalent of the Metro and the MGF/TF; numerous shared components but fundamentally different cars,
No, that's the exact point I'm making. Very few cars are "bespoke", almost all share components with other models or quite often even other manufacturers. My aim was to highlight exactly how stupid the "sharing-parts-equals-the-same-car" analogy is.

Mr2Mike

20,143 posts

214 months

Tuesday 13th September 2011
quotequote all
ManOpener said:
No, that's the exact point I'm making. Very few cars are "bespoke", almost all share components with other models or quite often even other manufacturers. My aim was to highlight exactly how stupid the "sharing-parts-equals-the-same-car" analogy is.
Oops, sorry about that. Seems I got the wrong end of the stick getmecoat

Wildcat45

7,450 posts

148 months

Wednesday 19th February
quotequote all
Strange what pops up in a Google search...

I thought I'd add to this ancient thread after reading my comments from 2011. Did i really write "bag of sand?". Clearly i watched a lot of Wheeler Dealers back then.

So, here in 2020...

Are MGFs rubbish? I guess like with a lot of things the answer is, it depends.

I have owned 5 and apart from a brief flirt with a new at the time MX-5 theres been an MGF around for 13 years.

Its easy to judge an old car by today's standards. If comparing an MGF to something modern then it is undeniably rubbish.

I'm not sure if my MGF history is typical but in the past 13 years i have only had one breakdown. That was when the cooling system spectacularly disintegrated in a motorway. The guy who looks after the car, said the hose that split did so because it was old. He suggested a bit of preventative maintenance so at each service any pipes looking tired are replaced. Its now had new stainless steel underfloor pipes fitted.

I had to replace a suspension sphere on a car once. A job done by the guy above. A wiper motor failed on a car in about 2009.

My present MGF which I've had for 6 or 7 years, had a rebuilt and modified head gasket fitted before i got it. Touch wood, I've never had one go in me.

Several faults on the cars i have owned have been down to incompetent mechanics working on the cars before my ownership. One car woul rev on its own at idle. It was traced to the air intake system not being correctly connected. A moderately expensive suspension issue was caused by a mechanic installing something back to front after we suspect some sort of crash with a kerb.

Build quality of the interior is to Airfix standards. Some of the cars have been better thsn others. The dash on mine isn't the quietest. I wonder how much of the squeaking is down to the body moving and flexing, the fact people have fiddled with stuff, and age. On a warm day, it squeaks less than it will do today in winter when i use it. But generally, interior build quality is rubbish.

I don't find that, even at nearly 20 years old, they need constant fettling. I suppose it gets a bit more looking after than my 2018 Discovery Sport, but it lives outside gets covered up occasionally and goes to see John or local indy for a service every year ahead of MOT time.

Having an intelligent indy look after the car is the best way. Our guy isn't an MGF expert, but he loves cars. He knows a lot, and if he doesn't know how to do it he'll find out, or he knows a bloke who will do it. Last year he was stumped by an electrical issue that stopped the horn working. Parts swapped - he gave me options from new part to finding a good used one on Ebay - but still no joy. He knew a guy, who diagnosed and fixed the issue for 50 quid. Another example of an age related fault. The replacement part had the same problem. Nothing that a dab of solder couldn't sort.

While it was in (You don't rush him, an MOT and service can take a week) he spotted the beginnings of another age related water leak. A new seal and it was sorted.

My main concerns now are rust the MOT highlighted rusty subframes but John says not to worry for a while yet. So i won't.

The MGF is a fun little car that doesn't have to be wrapped in cotton wool but does need keeping an eye on as it gets older. Its surprising how practical the boot and Frunk are. We have been away for a week in one to Scotland several times, with clothes, gear and enough space to stash bottles of single malt acquired along the way.

Its happy being chucked around country lanes, and its nice and narrow in the city. Its OK on motorways but a couple of hundred miles is enough.

I have found a company that does resto-mods. For about £12,000 they will reset the car to Zero. The shonky interior issues can be sorted with a week at the MGF Centre. Chucking lots of money at a 19 year old car that's worth about £2000 on a very good day is probably silly. But 2 seat cars with canvas roofs are silly. Clearly MGFs hit some sort of sweet spot for me.

Who knows?



Edited by Wildcat45 on Wednesday 19th February 12:12


Edited by Wildcat45 on Wednesday 19th February 12:28