F or TF?

F or TF?

Author
Discussion

300bhp/ton

Original Poster:

39,671 posts

157 months

Tuesday 16th February
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I keep thinking now might be the time to buy one of these. Prices aren’t going to get any lower. And they are on the cusp of the ‘modern’ classic bracket. And surely will be the the next ‘B’.

I’m not a novice to F’s. I had a 1.8i back in 1998. My Dad also had from new in 1997 a VVC one. Which I also had for a while after selling my 1.8i. Then a number of years later my brother had another VVC one.

However I freely concede this was all a good number of years ago now.

But I’ve never even sat in TF. Visually I think I prefer the original F. The hydragas suspension also has an appeal. But I don’t know how easy it is to maintain these days.

Anyone owned/driven both?

The K-Series doesn’t phase me. We’ve had loads of them over the years (brother still has a 200BRM). Anything else to watch for on these that might not have been an issue 20 years ago?

300bhp/ton

Original Poster:

39,671 posts

157 months

Wednesday 17th February
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bump

The Rotrex Kid

24,612 posts

127 months

Wednesday 17th February
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Had 3 in total, one F and 2 TF.

The first F we had was lovely, Gold with tan interior. Nice to drive. not particularly fast but good enough to hustle on.

Replaced that with a 1.6 TF, didn't like it at all, then upgraded to a 135 TF in (I think) Dragon green/Tan and that was ace.

A Trophy is smart money IMO. I'd personally think a F Trophy would be a fun car to have. Or a 160 TF (Trophy) but these all carry a premium over a 'normal' car.

They're pretty simple, the interior is a bit low rent but overall they're quite good fun IMO.

If I could get my hands on another gold F for the right money I'd love to buy one for my wife to stick in the garage!

niva441

1,827 posts

198 months

Wednesday 17th February
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One advantage of the TF is that not only did it move away from hydragas (its fans had retired), but moving to coil springs also came with a much improved rear suspension design.

warch

2,941 posts

121 months

Wednesday 17th February
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My brother had a VVC, very fun car to drive. I did the head gasket on it, no real issue with that, easy repair.

I imagine you might want to check who has a Hydragas set near where you live though, when my brother had his, they still had one at a local fast fit centre, no one will still have one nowadays. Nothing inherently wrong with gas suspension though.

MGFs TFs are a better car than the contemporary Mx5 imo.

Haddock82

434 posts

105 months

Thursday 18th February
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MGF - Nice if the Hydragas is working, comfortable ride with decent handling
MG TF - Also good handling but bumpier ride, ways around this with "Soft ride" kits etc.

Both good though and good fun if well sorted.

They are getting on now so check for rust, sills rot at the rear arch end and the subframes get pretty rusty too

Had a few of them now and as mentioned interior is a bit creaky/bad fitting etc. but good fun little cars. Nice to have the roof down and the K-Series is a good nippy engine. Obvioulsy it has it's flaws, just keep on top the of cooling system though and it's OK.

Oh and check the coolant pipes that run the length of the car underneath, these were mild steel and rot out, causing sudden coolant loss and subsequent overheating and headgasket failure. Many suppliers out there selling a replacement Stainless Steel version for about £70 and easy enough to fit yourself at home (Even easier if you can get the car on a lift or elevated first)

donkmeister

3,793 posts

67 months

Friday 5th March
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Haddock82 said:
Oh and check the coolant pipes that run the length of the car underneath, these were mild steel and rot out, causing sudden coolant loss and subsequent overheating and headgasket failure. Many suppliers out there selling a replacement Stainless Steel version for about £70 and easy enough to fit yourself at home (Even easier if you can get the car on a lift or elevated first)
I'm a bit late but... If you're lucky, you'll buy one that already has the stainless pipes (I recall Brown and Gammon were recommending them to customers back around 2008, and most of the originals have probably rotted by now).

I echo the comments about a pretty firm ride - I seem to recall mine was ordered with optional lower & stiffer suspension (on top of the TF160-standard Sports Pack) and is stiff to the point of becoming a bit skittish on poor roads, especially undulating ones. I've not had an F but all the anecdotes when the TF was current were that the F was a lot more compliant on bumpy roads, and the TF was a lot sharper for cornering and twisties.

Flanners

141 posts

97 months

Wednesday 28th April
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I have a BRG MKII F and a Trophy Blue TF 135.

The F is a quintessential example of a British B road top down roadster. The hydragas suspension beautifully soaks up the bumps yet allows for great cornering and stability. I much prefer the MKII over the MK1 F both in looks, QC, paint colours and interior. The K series in my F feels 'better' than the more 'cammy' TF.

I echo the above about suspension, my TF 135 has the AP4's, 16" wheels and the lowered suspension from factory and it can be a bit skittish on fast tight badly maintained bends when pushed. It feels 'tighter' more rigid than the F and can be driven 'harder'; it is as 'well built' as the Fbiggrin as it was on the road before Project Drive.

Neither are fast cars, both are better on a full set of Toyo's, the F is my choice both for it's more classic MG aesthetics and for the spirited Summer evening meander through the British countryside.

944 Man

529 posts

99 months

Wednesday 28th April
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TF 160.

Flanners

141 posts

97 months

Wednesday 28th April
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Not worth the huge premium (for minor real world performance gain) if you can get a 135 on AP's etc and then a remap. The mapping on the 135 was restricted by MGR and their Marketing Department to be well below the '160'.

Edited by Flanners on Wednesday 28th April 09:16


Edited by Flanners on Wednesday 28th April 10:02

944 Man

529 posts

99 months

Wednesday 28th April
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They probably wont get any cheaper.

donkmeister

3,793 posts

67 months

Thursday 13th May
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Flanners said:
Not worth the huge premium (for minor real world performance gain) if you can get a 135 on AP's etc and then a remap. The mapping on the 135 was restricted by MGR and their Marketing Department to be well below the '160'.

Edited by Flanners on Wednesday 28th April 09:16


Edited by Flanners on Wednesday 28th April 10:02
I don't think that's the case... the 135 head cannot flow anywhere near the rate that the 160 head can, and without being able to flow more fuel, air and exhaust then a remap will yield no benefit. I recall that those tuning the 135 for power would resort to converting a VVC head to solid cams and fitting that rather than saving a lot of money by just swapping cams on the 135 or trying to have a 135 head gas flowed.

160 vs 135 bhp doesn't sound like a huge difference, but the power delivery is very different - the 160 pulls all the way up to the red-line (IIRC 7.2k) but the 135 tails off around 5.5k. The result is that the 160 is nearly 1.5 seconds quicker to 60mph, and about 0.5s quicker in all the metrics relating to overtaking.

I'd also say the AP brakes are pretty amazing on a car that size. Back in the day I took my 160 on some very spirited drives with a lot of twisties and never experienced any sort of fade.

I say all of this without knowing what the price difference is between a 135 and 160 these days, of course! biggrin But, servicing isn't much more cost for the 160, you just have the additional cambelt on the other end of the engine, everything else is the same. Brakes and tyres will cost a little more, but you also have to balance it with the 160 being more fuel efficient on a run.