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MG ZR ZS ZT Technical - ZR posts not covered elsewhere

rob, over the past few years my cars have been a Renault Clio 1.2RN, a VW Golf 1.4S, a Peugeot 306 1.8 and now my MG ZR+ 120.

I've only had my Zed for coming on two weeks so far but I fell in love with the exterior styling immediately it was launched. I actually ordered the brochures at that time but felt the cost was a little prohibitive for me and so reluctantly had to bin the literature or else it got me down too much to keep looking!

But it's EASILY the best car I've had though that's not saying much. The engine pulls well, the handling is far superior to anything I've ever experienced and I can now be seen cornering at high speeds throughout Preston!

If anything I am prone to buttons and electronic gadgetry so the complete lack of electronic climate control and auto rain sensing wipers (as on my 306) was a bit of a loss but I guess the 'back to basics' feel is what MGR were after. So in a sense, I'm happy with the interior.

I do however plan on further looking into the gear leaver gaiter surround which I think is what you suggested to match up with the door levers. But as someone who has never so much as used a screwdriver near a car and someone for whom budget now does play a part, I'm looking to low cost items to add appeal. I'm hoping to find a retailer nearer me in Preston mind you. Any idea what search engine keywords to use?

The side skirts, by the way, are being fitted by my dealer but at a reduced rate. Thanks for advice though.

On the 'Police Mode' front I am of the opinion that the car has begun to take off faster now...not by Concorde proportions which are apparently evident on the VVC engine but by a little at least.

Any other suggestions as to styling add-ons?
Findlay

Findlay, the gear surround is easy to fit (i did mine :-) )it comes with a leather gaitor wich you wont use because the car already has one, put the surround over the gear knob onto the console and drill through the holes in the surround (6mm drill bit) then screw in the supplied screws - easy as that.
With your car being a non VVC 1.8 the exhaust from a 200vi should fit - choises from Janspeed,Peco,Supersprint,etc - the ZR160 has a valve in the tailpipe so i dont know if this can be changed, K+N also do an induction kit for
rob

Cheers rob, much appreciated. Sounds like even I could master the gaiter surround! Now where's my CDT books to remember how to drill!

As far as ICE goes, I already had a Sony head unit and 10 disc autochanger from a couple of cars ago which I got as compensation for crap service from Renault. Anyway, I asked SGL Preston not to install the standard Kenwood radio/cassette and to give it to me boxed. I'm giving that to my bro for his Mini classic. I got a local auto installer to put the autochanger in but because I occasionally carry large items and don't want to be messing around with wires and things, I've had it mounted on the boot floor, parallel with the sides, at the RHS. Anywhere else wouldn't be stable or would interfere with the spare wheel. It's not attached through the boot floor rather around it so the flooring can still come out easily.

Now looking for a Preston-based supplier of gear gaiter surrounds and other performance car-related merchandise. Anyone reading this any suggestions feel free to post them.

As for exhausts, will probably consider a performance one when this one needs replacing. Don't fancy the large costs of having someone to remove the 'new' one and then replace it with another new one. Otherwise would consider it. Also, presumably I'd have to have one similar to the existing design or else the bumper would interfere.

Speaking of the bumper, I rather like the heatshield that comes with your ZR160 though SGL have a couple of lower range Zeds with the heatshield installed with a single tailpipe. Don't suppose it's easy to obtain and fit just the heatshield?

Cheers for your advice rob...keep it comin'.

Findlay
Findlay

Findlay

'Preston-based supplier of gear gaiter surrounds and other performance car-related merchandise'

AFL Auto factors, Leyland Lane, Leyland tel 01772 431141



Paul

Aftermarket exhausts are made for specific cars so would be tailored for each model so wouldn't need any modifications to the bumper.
I had a R25 1.6il a year ago and fitted a supersprint back box (4"x2" oval) and it looked the bizz, but sadly sounded too quiet, then i fitted a K+N induction kit as i thought the induction roar would sound a bit better but this just gave a lot of vibration felt through the floor.

rob
rob

Cheers Paul. I'll take a drive to Leyland one lunchtime and see what they have.

Cheers rob. Interesting to learn these new things. I've never been bothered with car mods before so this is a whole new ball game for me.

Anyone know a ball park figure for the fitting of an exhaust back box only (assuming I buy it from elsewhere)?

Also, does anyone know anything about the heatshield around the exhaust on the ZR160? I kind of think it's rather cool and want one on my ZR120. Is this an easy task or something a whole load more complicated and therefore expensive?

Excuse my ignorance. I'm learning slowly!
Findlay

Findlay, the last 1 i had fitted cost 10 at a quick-fit type place, seems to be the norm for a back box.
If you do have 1 fitted be careful insurance wise as some class this as a modification and increase your premiun, if you don't declare it then they could void your insurance if they find out (after an accident,etc)

rob
rob

My local MGR dealer has quoted me a price of around 3-4 for the exhaust heatshield and a labour charge of around 40+VAT to fit.

Does this seem resonable?

Apparently it's not just a matter of drilling holes as the 'sunken' nature of the heatshield adds additional complications.

Anyone comment on that? Seems a lot to me. I have a non-heatshield ZR model at present, by the way.
Findlay

3-4 seems very cheap for the heatshield if its the same as the 160, 40 is about an hours labour but i wouldn't have thought it'd take that long. Why not buy the heatshield and look at how it fits on, you could probably fit it yourself (no-cost)

rob
rob

rob, full spec from SGL when I pop in tomorrow. Apparently the MGR electronic catalogue has been offline for a while being revamped. Goes live tomorrow. And the whole world grinds to a halt without computers!

Today, the true genius that is my DIY was revealed. I popped into AFL (cheers Paul) having had some time to kill this morning. I came out with a rather cool Richbrook tax disc holder (16) and the blue is a read ringer for the Trophy Blue of my Zed. Got a Max Power clear mobile phone holder complete with flashing LEDs to forewarn of calls/texts (10) plus if I get a black neon/UV light it will glow! Also ordered the Simioni Racing chrome gaiter surround (on rob's advice!) (30) and, the DIY disaster, 4 blue halogen bulbs to replace the front fogs and dipped beam headlights.

Now, having nearly wrecked the fog light bumper surrounds trying to get them off at lunch time, I managed to remove the 3 screws and get the lamp holder unit out. But could I get the existing halogen bulb out? Could I f*ck! "Just pull" the MG manual was telling me. Pull...I nearly had the car rolling over me I was pulling so bloody hard! In the end I said to hell with it and the existing perfectly good halogen bulb was destroyed in my pursuit to get it out!

You'd have thought that was the hard part over with now. Wrong! No way can I get this H1 bulb into anything like where it should AND get the lens back in position...not a chance. After 25 mins I gave up. I've called SGL and, for someone with an engineering background, I embarassingly pleaded ignorance and am taking the car back to dealers to be shown how to change fog and headlights!

How bad is that!

At moment no front nearside fog light and electrical connections hanging around loose!

Bloody hell! What a mess.

rob - I'll order the heatshield thing and take a look. Just that my Zed was in for side skirts not too far away and thought they could put shield on at same time. But not overly keen on 50 as a labour charge. Then again, if I tried myself would be back in garage anyway!!!
Findlay

fog lampatshield confirmed at
Findlay

sorry to hear about the probs, dont touch the glass when replacing a halogen bulb or it will damage it, if yo do accidently touch it use white spirits to clean BEFORE you switch the lights on.
hope the retainer is available seperatley as the fog light kit costs around 100.
all those flashing leds, well we'll see you coming in the dark, dont bother with the led washer jets though as after a week or 2 they seem to pack up, and if you have them switched with thw headlights you get a fixed penalty if plod pulls you ....

rob
rob

(blue tint halogen fogs - replacing OEM)

I believe I may have stumbled into the problem and that perhaps I'm not so stupid after all.

I took the black ABS plastic unit which holds the bulb in place and offers an electrical connection to the car completely out and it is stamped OSRAM (rather well known lighting manufacturer) as well as various other info including 'H11'.

As my dealer has so far been unable to even establish whether I can buy this part separately, as opposed to ordering a whole new fog light kit, I decided to take matters into my own hands and I called OSRAM UK. After some searching, they got back to me. Apparently the H11 is an all-in-one holder and bulb piece of kit and therefore does not offer the facility to replace the bulb with one of a different spec. This is a relatively new release to the market...she only knew of one manufacturer using it and it wasn't MGR!...and as such was difficult to find and was most likely imported.

Anyhow, I ended up with the number of Auto Lamps and Components and, having explained my dilemma, have managed to secure a new unit for 17.51 delivered.

Providing this is what's needed, I'll be back to square one again for a lot less than I thought but may have 4 blue halogens now of no use!

The technician at SGL was convinced he could change them over so I'll still take him up on this!

By the way, MGR have now switched to using Caterpillar having ended their association with Unipart. Thus parts ordered are taking a long while. I've ordered the exhaust heatshield but have been told 3 others are on order from same dealer and those over a month!
Findlay

This may explain why I am still waiting for my CD brackets !!
nigel

so to replace the bulbs a new holder is also needed?

rob
rob

For odds and sods that have connection to Rover 200 series you may find www.roverbrm.co.uk useful for information where things may have already been done on these older cars, and ifo readily available.

Rog
Roger Parker

Got replacement bulb for front fog light. Cost me just under 20 incl P&P. According to OSRAM UK (who I rang when my dealer didn't get back to me within 3 days and who I subsequently learn are still trying to establish whether they can get the bulb separately or whether they want me to order a whole new fog light kit!) the H11 bulb and holder is a very new release. They only knew of one car manufacturer using it and it wasn't MGR.

The H11 is a combined holder and bulb unit - IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO REMOVE THE BULB SEPARETELY to replace with, for example, blue halogens.

The ZR manual incorrectly states the front fogs and main beam headlights are H1. I've not checked headlights but fogs are H11.

On the info contained within the ZR manual I purchased 2 blue tint halogen H1 and H7 bulbs to replace fogs and dipped beam. Bearing in mind I had to destroy the originally supplied H11 to get it out (as I foolishly believed the manual) plus I now have possibly 4 useless bulbs, I intend to complain to MGR.

OSRAM UK also advise that they do not currently manufacture a blue tint H11 and that these bulbs are imported from Germany. They gave me the number of the sole importer in the UK.
Findlay

Front driver's side wiper - ZR

Can anyone tell me why, at it's closest point of its sweep to the top of the windscreen, there remains about a one inch gap?

I'm not overly tall at plump on 6 foot but with the driver's seat at lowest position, I find myself annoyed by the (seemingly) unnecessary area not touched by the wiper.

As far as I can see there's nothing stopping a slightly longer wiper being used.
Findlay

rob...got my Simoni gear surround today (29.99) and just installed it now. Holes not perfect but hidden beneath! Drilling skills but bit rusty too! But in place, looks cool, top mod. Cheers. Just gotta wait for the exhaust heatshield now plus skirts going on week on Monday. Maybe all finished for the April meet-up.
Findlay

Extension of the blade by 2 inches, remembering that blades have their mounting in the middle and so you get an extra inch the other end, may provide relief for the low speed wipe at the top of the screen. However this longer blade would create a much larger 'wing' to airflow and it is more likley to lift at lower speeds as the arms spring will be overcome easier.

On the other hand finding an arm with an extra inch may be the better route, but again moving the wiper further out will increase the leverage effect and once again the wind will lift the blade easier. As I recall on our old 218iS wiper lift was an issue at speed. Doesn't stop you looking into it though.

Rog
Roger Parker

looks good doesn't it findlay, wondering whether to paint the air vents silver (alloy look), what do you think?
i had my wiper (driver side) adjusted because it sweeped onto the plastic windscreen surround and now it leaves a 4" gap...:-(

rob
rob

Thanks Rog. Some useful advice there. I must admit although airflow had crossed my mind, I hadn't really thought an extra inch (and I'd forgotten that this would actually mean two inches - size matters after all!) would cause much trouble but having studied this a bit at uni, I fully appreciate your comments now.

rob...yeah it does look good. Not so sure about the air vents though. Need to consider this more fully. Now gear surround in place the electric window switch surrounds are shouting out for something similar! I had rather liked the idea of painting the brake calipers blue (to match the Trophy Blue of the car) though the idea of having to remove the wheels, prepare, paint and then add a protector reduces the appeal somewhat. You coming along to this meet-up in April? Don't remember seeing your name come through on that on-line form yet? As for wiper, I couldn't put up with 4". I find it annoying as it is with just 1".

Also got another comment about the ZR. Mine's got a sunroof fitted which I assume lowers the 'ceiling' height in the interior to accommodate the sunroof runnings. Although only 6 foot, my hair (if waxed up) has on occasions rubbed the lining with the driver's seat at its lowest setting. Anyone else had problems with this?
Findlay

just started a new job which includes weekends over 5 days and dont know which days ill be working till the friday before, dont know if ill be sticking with this job so might be there, ill let you know.

i had a new punto sporting last year and the centre dash was painted silver, that looked quite good, thought about going that route but dont know how far down to paint as there isnt a lip at the bottom of the console to key the paint to. Might try to get a centre console from a breakers to try it out

rob
rob

Dare i open my mouth on this subject?
Mega

For those of you still rolling around on the floor at my expense in being unable to change the front fogs on my ZR I can now advise that having bought H1 and H7 blue tint halogens initially for the front fogs and dipped beam only, my conclusions revealed that the front fogs are wrongly labelled in the official ZR handbook as H1 when in fact they are H11. H11, unlike H1, are an all in one connector and bulb unit whereas other halogen bulbs can be easily removed and replaced without affecting the connector unit itself.

Having managed to break and then obtain a new H11 bulb (rare German import, according to Osram UK, the manufacturer) I plucked up the courage to change other bulbs. And like it should, it was dead easy. So H1 now in main beam headlight, H7 in dipped beam plus I bought 4 pure blue bulbs to replace the side indicator repeaters and also for the front sidelights...and if I do say so myself, it looks wicked. Got lots of double takes tonight. Just a shame no H11 blue-tint exists or I'd have a complete set.

Oh by the way children, whilst blue tint halogens legal, pure blue sidelights (and probably in indicator repeaters also) might cause Plod to have a word with you.
Findlay

>>>Dare i open my mouth on this subject?<<<

Only If I can get good odds before you say it:)

The sunroof does lower the overall height of the roof lining and reduce headroom. This was a much bigger problem on the older R 200 series where the seats were awful, high, narrow and unsupportive. Go round a mild bend with no speed and feel yourself rolling off the seat. Now the ZR seat treatment by comparison is a huge step forward and provides an answer to many of the original problems, but headroom is one area that is dictated primarily by the body dimensions, but the seat still leaves you sitting a touch high.

Rog
Roger Parker

Would have to agree with you about seat position, Rog. Perhaps the cure in my case is to stop waxing my hair up!
Findlay

This thread was discussed between 03/03/2002 and 24/03/2002

MG ZR ZS ZT Technical index

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