MGF faults and foibles.

Discussion in 'Motoring' started by taffscrivs, Apr 26, 2016.

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  1. My oppo is restoring an MG midget and has been offered a 1996 MGF that seems to be in good condition. What are the faults to look out for on these cars? I know head gaskets are known to blow, but this is apparently curable nowadays. Are there any other major problems as this looks to be a nice little car with a good service history.
  2. You are correct Taffs .. the head gasket is at risk due to the position of the radiator and the pipes corrode out dumping the contents of the rad leading to twisted cylinder head. They fixed the head problem (on the TF's) by putting dowels in to stop the twisting but the pipes are still an issue ... problem is its difficult to see corrosion inside the pipe so probably need replacing.

    Good website for common faults
    Says it all really!
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  3. exJenny

    exJenny War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    I considered buying an F when I had my Midget, but the cheaper insurance, tax exemption and ease of maintenance convinced me other wise. That said, now I've parted with the Midget, an early VVC would tempt me... If it's got a good history, has been looked after and it's a good price, I'd probably go for it. A lot of MG fanatics went for them when they first appeared and they would have taken care of them.
  4. The K series from 1.4 to 1.8 was a mare for this, water journals were just too small for adequate cooling as designed. I know lots who had 1.4 and 1.6 head warp issues, the 214/414 and 216/416 were well known for it among weekenders of the mid 90s who bought em under the discount program offered to HM armed forces. The cure? Honda B16 or B18/D18 swap, which I know some have applied to the MGF. For example, these guys used a K20 for their project

    If its a running driving car, head to one of the many MG specific sites (Like MGM pointed you at above) for a full rundown on the pitfalls, but I would pay as little as possible (like 500 quid) and expect it to turn into a moneypit at some point.
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  5. The good news is that spares are readily available from the MG Owners club

    If you go to a "garage" they tend to go to MGOC for the spares and then put their "cut" on top! Haynes also do a manual (or two) on MGF's.
  6. Thanks for the info guys, I'm tempted to go for one myself! The car in question has had some cooling system mods, remote thermostat, stainless pipes etc, and would seem to be well looked after so it looks good for the price.
  7. Remote stat, stainless pipes, one hopes for silicone replacements on the rubber too. So its probably sorted. Worth asking if it had a head skim (flatten head and block so no leaks) to repair any damage.

    Worth remembering Lotus used the K-series in their earlier Elises before the Toyota engine. So its tuneable, and cooling can be made to work (think big fkoff megalitre MOCAL and girt big million CFM fan).
    Reminds me of an MGB I used to drive everywhere with the heater on max hot in the vain hope of not vapour locking the SU's. Hot starts not advised.
  8. My oppo didn't buy the car as he was offered another Midget as a spares donor car, so I am now the proud owner of said 1996 MGF! Don't ask why as I already have two motorbikes to play with, but it's in good nick, comes with a new hard top and a sheaf of old mot's and receipts for work done by an MG specialist and was not a lot of money for a lot of car. Another old fart's toy added to the fleet!
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  9. Enjoy! Had a lot of fun with my BGT ... almost as much fun as the motorbike except when its raining ... then its a lot more fun!

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