Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.



MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG ZR ZS ZT Technical - MGZR160 - any comments

just took delivery of mine yesterday and wondered what everyone else thought of them

There is a favourable Road Test in Yahoo Cars which you may not have seen Rob-then tell us what are YOUR

Yes COME on Rob, lets know what you think so far

well, i've done 130miles this weekend throwing it down twisty a + b roads and can honestly say the handlings almost spot on - not too hard but not soft enough to wallow on the bends.the steering is a bit heavier than on my previous 25 but this helps give a bit of feedback.
with so few miles on the clock it hasn't loosened up properly yet but the response is instant when the revs are higher although it does pull from low down.
the brakes probably need bedding in a bit more as they dont bite until the pedal is pushed down just that bit further, and then they do work as i found out doing 50+ in the fog when suddenly a police car appeared in front of me (all lights flashing) and the abs came into play to stop me in time.
the appearence, well it does get a lot of looks from young and old, whether that is the georgeous colour (trophy blue) or the subtle body kit and 17" alloys i dont know.
the clutch is slightly heavy and the close ratio gearbox is getting smoother all the time.
i have found a few rattles and creaks here and there which i didnt have on my old 25 but these hopefully can be sorted.
i've fitted an alpine stereo because the standard kenwood is hard to see when on the move and this gives good reception compared to what others think about the kenwood.
if anyone else is getting a zr or a 25 then rover do a cd changer mounting bracket which sits just under the n/s speaker in the boot so keeping the changer out of the way, and also saves drilling the boot floor.
well i'll let you know how things progress as the car loosens up

Thanks Rob
I am thinking about a ZR 160 myself. The only thing i dont like is the high driving polistion. I use to own a Ford Fiesta Rs 1800.

Great car, lovely Recaro seats, spot on driving polistion, loads of grip with very little body roll. Very hard ride and it tram lined a bit, but i could take it by the sruff of the neck in the safe knowage that if i had to lift off nothing would happen.

It had come to the end of its life and 18 months ago i HAD to replace it. I tryed the Proton GTI, great handling but it could not pull the skin off a rice pudding!

I the end i got a 306-GTI-6. Do not and i mean do not belive the motoring magazine hype.Its CRAP, it has a crap driving polistion. The steering wheel is too big and there are too many turns lock to lock. headlamps don't put out any useful light.

I could go on and on but its the handing that the killer. If you should try to match the pace of the RS it rolls far more and should you lift off or even think about lifing off it will oversteer big time.

Its the only car i have had to left foot brake on a pubic road......All of this at a speed the RS would not of noiced.

As you can guess i want out, and as soon as MGR do as they promised and suply the ZR with some low slung recaro type seats......i am there.

Please keep us informed on how thing go Rob.
And enjoy your self!

well at first i hated the driving position when i tried it but to be honest you kinda get used to it and adapt yourself (hope you understand)

"Its the only car i have had to left foot brake on a pubic road......" A pubic road?????
John G Hackett

rattles and more rattles, thats what sums up my zr160, they can be heard from the rear seat area, n/s/r in boot area and n/s door area.
started to play with the car a bit now as its getting run in and what a disapointment power wise, had a 7 year old prelude up on my rear bumper and could not shake him off on the straights (redlined in first 3 gears upto rev limiter), managed to beat him on bends though - good handling, so just need more power
drivers seat base side looks old now as the leather is creased - only lhs one so hasn't been done getting in and out of car, wonder what it'll look like in 1 year never mind 1 week?
well thats 260miles done so far, will things get better?

Hi Rob
Nice to hear from you, i wonder how you where going. I know its hard not to but try to give the ZR time to run in. I remember a friend who was dissaponited with Willams Renault.

It was beaten by a XR2! 3-4000 miles in the car suddenly seem to "remapp" its self. And there was much that could stay with him!

If you want more power, run the car in and than have a word with Rog

Hi Rob
Nice to hear from you, i wonder how you where going. I know its hard not to but try to give the ZR time to run in. I remember a friend who was dissaponited with Willams Renault.

It was beaten by a XR2! 3-4000 miles in the car suddenly seem to "remapp" its self. And there wasNOT much that could stay with him!

If you want more power, run the car in and than have a word with Rog

rob, yorkshire WROTE:

<< (redlined in first 3 gears upto rev limiter), > AND

<< well thats 260miles done so far, will things get better? >>

Are you serious - you're pulling our wossnames surely?

If you are, then a word of advice in your shell like:

BE PATIENT and run it in properly!!!!!! If you want diagrams come back..... :0))

John McFeely

<< (redlined in first 3 gears up to rev limiter), >>
<< well thats 260miles done so far, will things get better? >>

The bedding in process will not be assisted by such loads so early in the engine life. It is also a clear characteristic of the K series that about 12 k miles is needed before the real peak of engine efficiency is achieved. It also has to be said that all the running gear has to bed in also before it operates without absorbing too much power. At this stage there will be far more power absorbed.

Comparing perfromance to another car is fraught with confusing issues. Was the car standard, was it a 2.2 VTEC?

Roger Parker

Rob, I test drove two ZR160s, one done 150 miles the other 700+ miles. Same model, completely different cars. Just be patient and *wait* for the car to bed in before you go thrashing it around the place.

Remember, not over 3,000 rpm in any maintained stretch, the odd peak over 3,000 shouldn't hurt too much though. And you shouldn't use more than 50% throttle until its run in..

Steve Childs

I thought modern cars did not need so much running- in any more.Otherwise(a) its not much use going to
try one at a dealers showroom and( b) it would be false economy buying at a discount such a "demonstrator" which had been pushed over the 3000 RPM by prospective buyers seeking to appreciate the cars potential.

>>Otherwise(a) its not much use going to
try one at a dealers showroom and( b) it would be false economy buying at a discount such a "demonstrator" which had been pushed over the 3000 RPM by prospective buyers seeking to appreciate the cars potential. <<

Both are completely accurate and appropriate conclusions. Always test drive a well run-in example, and avoid buying ex-demo performance cars that'll been flogged to within an rpm of their lives from delivery mileage onwards...
Rob Bell

Hi Rob
They speak the truth, i remember a Top Gear programme of a couple of years ago. Jc raced a Golf GTI 16v with 3000 on the clock aganist his mates with 60,000 on the clock. The 60,000 er pissed all over the 3000 er!

12ooo miles to bed in?????????????????
i only do 6-7000 miles a year - so i have to wait 2 years? i never keep a car for more than 6months to 1 year as i get bored easily.
i remember an article in a magazine that compared 2 cars (forgot what sort) - 1 was run in properly and the other was run in for a hundred miles or so then thrashed - er driven as you would drive a car, yep thats thrashed isn't it?
the second car was way up on power over the first and more responsive and a lot quicker.

a couple of years ago i bought a new saxo vtr, the first weekend i had it i drove to scotland and around the lakes to run it in, i kept the revs at around 3000 with the odd 4-4500rpm for 700miles, i bedded the brakes in properly etc and i had nothing but trouble with that car, cutting out, poor mpg (20's), gear probs,etc

when i bought a new punto sporting last year i ran it in for 200miles then opened it up and by 750miles it was a different car - responsive and a lot quicker than any other i ever drove - i drove 3 others

so i hope this zr opens up soon as i am regretting buying it now as it is dissapointing power wise, saying that the handlings spot on, better than the impreza i had before.

so if a car has to be run in for a few thousand miles why do we buy new hot hatches/ sport cars and not used? surely if you buy something sporty, pay a fortune for insurance you will then want to play with it not potter about?

well lets see how it goes.

a mate has a new zs180 and after 3000 miles the tyres are scrubbed, is this the price we pay for the good handling - 180 a pair every few months....

Rob, Yorkshire ASKS

any comments? Yes, the mind boggles.... :-)

John McFeely

The problem with high performance cars is that people have much higher expectations of them. As a result, they get thrashed, abused and thrown around in such a way that they deteriorate rapidly. Then people complain that they are badly built!

As a comparison with some of the comments made about squeeks and rattles in the ZR, my driving instructor has a brand new Toyota Yaris with 3000 miles on the clock. The interior rattles in every convievable place, you can actually promote noise by tapping the trim panels! The gearbox is occasionally stiff and the throttle sticks. So much for Toyota build quality!
John G Hackett

A bit embarrassed to say I hadn't heard of these new Zed Saloons. They started with the ZA in '54...

I just saw a picture of one of the new models. It reminds me a bit of the Pina Farina Magnette. I guess they didn't have the nerve to call that MKIII a ZC! The back end of the new model is...well, butt-ugly square. What is the spoiler for? Does it really keep the back end down? I'm sorry to knock them, as I know some folks love theirs. I'm sure they are nice drivers too, but having owned a '58/9 Z-Varitone Magnette with an 1800 5-main...MG will never be able to reproduce that again...

Sorry I don't have his name handy, but a famous Brit-Racer said it best:
If you want a car that handles like a low-calorie Fararri with the quality of a Tiffany diamond, you can't do better than the Zed Magnette...(circa 1956). BOY, was that a long time ago or what?
Jon Bachelor

John, have you seen the MG ZT? Has alot of the ZA/ ZB about them... and if you wanted a varitone then I am sure you could find a paint shop who would oblige...
Rob Bell

Judging by the ABQ NM in his message header I believe that Jon, the ZA/ZB enthusiast, is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is one of the few stateside people to visit this subject area. He probably should have checked the 'Magnette' area, but ZA/ZBs are Z saloons afterall. I have been following some of the threads here to learn a little about the new models hoping that someday some of these cars may eventually be sold here in the US.

Frank Graham


If you like me are an enthusiast for the ZA and ZB Magnettes, the cars which first attracted me to MGs as a schoolboy back in the 50s, you will like the latest Z-cars. In common with the Z-Magnettes, these latest Z-MGs look good, drive and perform reasonably well and above all, are affordable. They are the equivalent of those fine old MG saloons 50 years on .... If they do get stateside, I think you'll like them too.
John McFeely

Going back to the subject of the thread, Rob, we're not saying that it takes 12,000 miles to bed in, to bed in will take about 600, what we are saying is that the engine progressively loosens up over the 12,000 miles, getting better the more you drive it.

The one I drove at 700miles was pretty nippy anyway.

Steve Childs

well i'll see how it goes, i've slowed down this week - keeping the revs 3-4000.
i drove a demonstrator today with 3000 miles on it and as you say it feels more responsive, smoother but the gearbox whines when off throttle?

got mine booked in for the rattles sorting on monday - both doors and rear seat base/ boot area
see what happens

Hi Rob
I hope it works out ok, please keep us informed on your progress.If its of any use loads of Mini/Mini-coopers are in trouble. For some reson they are pulling to the left. BMW DONT know why its happening! (they say)

Reasonably rapid loosening occurs at a decreasing rate from new, so that by 2000 miles there is a very marked difference. This process continues from there to reach a peak at around 12k. The main issue that most K series owners have to address is the self control NOT to use any form of synthetic lubricants in this period as they bugger up any prospect of bedding in. 12K is the usual service point for the change of oil that can then see synthetic for best effect. Of course this was applicable for cars that had a 12moth/12k miles service, which of course now is 12 months/15k miles for high milers.

Roger Parker

1000 miles in mine and it runs great, no rattles, squeeks etc. If anything, I would say it goes better than my Trophy 160! It certainly turns as many heads!

Running in was a pain though this is my sixth VVC K series so am used to it! The worst part is drivers of other manufacturers cars saying they don't have a running in period, is this true does anyone know?

However I always stick to running in period, as the only car I was a bit slack on (VVC coupe) had a HGF at 14,000 miles, be warned!

Can't wait for the performance pack or whatever its 'gonna be called.

Want a decent ICE install, (and I like Kenwood kit) no complaints there. The flat cap brigade can keep their Rover branded unit thanks very much! I mean decent amp, speakers, sound deadening etc. Probably with KRC-979r head unit.

There'll be some Mike Satur mods too. Also probably put MG branded AP Racing brakes on it like Trophy. Don't know why MGR didn't do that anyway. The standard ones are a bit spongy. I drive on the M1 everyday, fast one minute, stop the next second and its scary with the current brakes to be blunt. Come on MGR stop penny pinching.

Wish I could have taken delivery of car like this, PLEASE NOTE THIS MGR.

I think rob could be another Dirk in the making.

who's dirk?

dirk wears white socks :o)

This thread was discussed between 13/10/2001 and 27/10/2001

MG ZR ZS ZT Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG ZR ZS ZT Technical BBS is active now.