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MG MGF Technical - A lot of help for a n ew owner please
I read your site and found it extremely useful and would lke to congratulate you on your work.
I am a new MGF owner. I have just bought a MGF 1.8i Red softop. I bought it from paramount in Swansea an authorised Rover Dealer.
I know I am probably being cheeky but I am going to hope you can answer some questions before I go back to the dealer on Wednesday.
1. There is a Petrol smell in the car - why is this? It isnt strong but definately there. Is there anything that can be done?
2. On the hood there are a couple of "gaps" on the side behind the seats where I can see daylight - is this right? Is this a common fault - can it be remedied?
3. In the winter I have heard a lot about hard tops - is it worth getting? Also how difficult are they to fit.
4. Rear window - There are a lot of scratches and when the sun is on it - it is very difficult to see. Should I buy a new one or how can I improve the quality of the existing one. Also I have a button for a rear screen heater and it goes on when I push it but it doesnt seem to work.
If you have the time to read this then great if not - no probs. I should possibel read your site more carefully.
p.s. Should the dealer sort these problems out before sellin g- or should I have looked at these more closely.
Thanks in anticipation
|Welcome to the BBS Simon!|
To answer your questions (or at least attempt to):
1. The petrol smell is a common fault on older cars. Some people have had the breather pipe replaced and that cured the problem. Some people had the tank replaced (some seem to be rather "porous") and that cured it. Others were not so fortunate. Maybe there is a permanant fix now (I sold my car some time ago). Its worth getting back to the dealer about this problem - maybe he can do a fix as part of your warranty.
2. I think you mean a slight "arching" where the hood comes down to meet the bodywork just behing the seats? If I recall correctly, I could see daylight through the hood at that point in my car too - but it never leaked there (maybe if you used a high powered car wash it would get in, but rain was never a problem).
3. The hardtop makes the car more comfy in winter. The lining is nice and bright, so cheers up dreary winter day driving. Whether its worth it or not is debateable.
4. The rear screen heater button is for when you have the hardtop fitted. Scratches to the plastic can be polished out using Greygate Plastic Polish (do a search of the archives & you should find a supplier).
Enjoy driving it :o)
|Hi, welcome to the club.|
I'll try to add somethind here.
1. Common fault. No problems when you get used to it.
2. If the gaps are what I'm thinking, then they should be there. No worries in the rain, but be careful when washing your car.
3. The hard top isn't a cheap part but it's worth the money if you drive your car daily during the winter. It's very easy to fit, but requires 2 persons for the job. It's a completely different ride during rainy days, but you need obviously a space to keep it.
4. The following product from BMW is very good. At least it worked for me. You can get it in any BMW dealer: Cabrio Heckscheiben-Reiniger
If you your car has a push-button for the rear screen heater it's because probably that car was selled with a hardtop. When fitting the hardtop you should connect the wire for the heater. It doesn't work on plastic..
|Simon, yep all norm stuff and nothing to to get to worried with and just a welcome from me a fellow taff from Abergavenny not to far from Port T,and now a question to you my 24k service is due soon and i was thinking of taking my red f to Paramount as not to sure of my local garages i would prefer a garage that deals with f's so i wouldn't worry about the 45 mile trip to Swansea ,are they good garage ect, cheers Dave T6 DCM.|
|Congrats on buying an F Simon. You may also like to search back through the archives on this site regarding your queries, or the MGF FAQ as linked to on the Technical BBS or even the new MGF/TF FAQ on my website (hardtops covered here quite well)....|
Also home of....
The MG Dealer Guide - exactly what it says, a guide for MG dealerships dotted around the UK.
The F'ers Gallery - a rogues gallery of MGF/TF owners, mostly those of us whom frequent this BBS. More than welcome to take part yourself of course. ;-)
all has nearly been mentioned already, though you may find a load of pictures and instructions regarding the fuel smell problem @ http://www.mgfcar.de/fueltank/index.htm
|Hi Simon, welcome to the club! :o)|
Dot has answered all your questions in exactly the same way as I would have done. I'd certainly recommend reading though Dieter's web page on info on the Petrol smell. The MGF Petrol smell is not endemic, and can be cured.
Thoses gaps between hood and body work are nothing to worry about.
The hard top, in my opinion, is well worth buying for the winter. Completely changes the character of the car - and really does turn it into a coupe! :o) The heated rear glass screen is a real boon too :o)
|Pah, the MGF is a soft top, drive it with the roof down at any possibility - the heaters great!|
Get a windstop (mike satur is doing a great deal at the moment- but he's on holiday) and it will be even warmer...
|I think your attitude to the petrol smell should be dictated by whether it worries you. I believe that those who have tried to fix it have sometimes found it frustrating and expensive to do - so get the seller to do it rather than you if you're worried. If you don't care then that's fine...|
As far as the gaps in the hood go, then they're meant to be there. There are also two tiny triangular gaps at the top front corner of the side windows and for the life of me I cannot work out why they don't let water in!
Unhook the two clips above the windscreen and pull it back. I think that you will find the car much better to drive if you extend the gaps into one big one!
|>>Pah, the MGF is a soft top, drive it with the roof down at any possibility <<|
I've been advised by two completely separate - and very reputable - sources to drive the MGF with hard top on at all times.
Why? - To stop the bodyshell flexing so much !
The hardtop certainly makes a difference to the rigidity, but I don't believe it's built to handle this stress.
The other suggestion (and the correct solution, IMO) is to fit a full roll-cage.
At the end of the day though, I agree with Will, just drive it top-down.
(ps this only applies to the MGF, not the TF)
|The steel hood frame (with the hool up) probably lets the body flex less than the plastic hardtop! A roll cage will definately make a big difference.|
Anyway, I don't think body flex is a problem with the F.
|Like to agree with Spyros, also in an accident roll over case, I think the softtop frame is much stronger then the easy fitted HT.|
Not worth to try. Some of us did already both cases ;) ... and went away without beeing hurt. :)
I think one thing is letting the body flex less and another issue is the protection on a roll over case. The last I honestly don't know what is best.
I've got to desagree with Spyros and Dieter, but I think the HT improves the body resistance to torsion relatively to the softtop. I notice that on ondulated and rough roads, when the steering vibrations are much worse when cruising with the softtop on. Real figures of torsion would be welcome. We are talking about 8500 N.m/º with the softtop, right?
|This body flexing thing. Am I just really unobservant or what? I can't say that I have ever really noticed it as a problem in the F, and cannot discern any real improvement in the TF! Perhaps I'm just thick...|
|>>Real figures of torsion would be welcome. We are talking about 8500 N.m/º with the softtop, right?<<|
That's what is was supposed to be - I would guess it's less, and it reduces with age. In any case, it's not the torsional rigidity that concerns me, rather it is the longitudinal(?) rigidity.
A folding softtop provides rigidity ? please tell me you're joking ! I'm not talking roll-over protection here. Just why did MGR spend all the money re-tooling for the mono-side MG TF - with all its attendent repair problems ?
I was hoping it was just my car that was affected, but I'm told it's a very common problem.
I am definetely not joking. All I am saying is that I believe that its frame provides more rigidity to the body when unfolded than the flexible plastic hardop which is designed to "float" on its rear mountings. In fact in my opinion the hardtop does not provide any extra rigidity at all (over the open top car).
|Hood frame is VERY substantial bit of kit (try removing it, you will be amazed at just how heavy it is, i would hazard a guess at 4 times the weight of the hardtop. A fibreglass hardtop has very little rigity. The most rigid part is the glass rear screen and the top tends to flex around the edges - this explains the leaks and crazy paving in this area that is fairly common.|
MS aluminium hardtop is a lot more substantial and is probably a more rigid structure than the soft top frame. Fibreglass ones are no where near it.
Body flex in a fairly new standard F should be next to non-existant, the excellent Hydragas doing it's job properly. Older Fs, stiffer suspension Fs and those with the cracked A frame brace (dashboard rattle) will experience a modicum of 'scuttle shake'. The best way to guage the body flex is to reach accross the cabin and place a finger on the joint where the door card meets the T bar, any body flexing will be felt here. Vibrating mirrors/steering wheel etc are symptoms rather than accurate indicators of torsional rigity.
|Torsion = a twisting force.|
Vibrations and skuttle shake are torsional rigidity problems, caused by one wheel of the car appliying force to the bodywork via the suspension and subframe, out of proportion to the other three wheels.
Basically the car twists along it's axis. This is FAR more noticable than logitudinal flexing, ie the entire front of the car moving independantly of the rear, due to the relitively short span between wheels, the extensive box sections in the cills and the double skin floor pan (why else did you think the seats were so high?)
>> I've been advised by two completely separate - and very reputable - sources to drive the MGF with hard top on at all times.
Why? - To stop the bodyshell flexing so much ! <<
If i were you I would re-think the reliability of your sources. Honestly, its like saying 'here you can buy this car, but you can't drive it cos you might break it'. Surely one of the primary functions of an open top car is to open the top? Furthermore, if this was a problem on the MGF, god help all those MGB drivers, by this rationale they should have all folded up by now... QED?
>> Just why did MGR spend all the money re-tooling for the mono-side MG TF - with all its attendent repair problems ? <<
To save money (one pressing instead of 2), to make the TF look different, to harmonise with the new anglular styling, to provide a modicum of aerodynamic benefit... Who knows why they did it, the external bodywork in this region is only one of a number of structural elements which all contribute to the overall rigidity of the car, changing to a single panel will help with this issue, but no where near as much as the addition of the TF cross bracing fore and aft.
|Sorry for butting in boys, I have found some of the information/B.S. on this thread “interesting”. I don’t think the F has ever been noted for suffering from scuttle shake. The body is quite stiff, even stiffer with the TF, but those changes may have had something to do with the suspension re-jig. Anyway, if you want to know what scuttle shake is you should drive an Alfa Syder.. I have heard they are bloody awful. Either that go out in a B. they have fair bit of scuttle shake, but then the design is some 40 years old!|
Don’t worry about it, just get out and enjoy the drive, preferably with the hood down
My question is: You can't get a fair judgement of the issue without some proper figures. I don't think the F has a very good body rigidity, if you do try a S2000. Just get one front wheel on an upper pavement and the other three down the road, open 1 door and let it rest for an hour, now try to close the door and feel the difference on how it closes. :)
>>"Hood frame is VERY substantial bit of kit (try removing it, you will be amazed at just how heavy it is, i would hazard a guess at 4 times the weight of the hardtop. A fibreglass hardtop has very little rigity."<<
We are talking about steel and fiberglass. Weight is different then tension resistance. Scarlet, how would you explain Kevlar an carbon fiber? A Lotus Elite had a complete fiberglass body and was very rigid for the era. I guess if we don't have any real figures, the best way is to design and calculate the both structures in a 3-D finit element analisys (ANSYS, Solid Works, etc...). Shouldn't be hard all it takes is some measurements, material data (Tension Limits, Young's number, etc...) and of course some time... :)
Sounds like an interesting project... But with this sunny days... I guess it will have to wait for the winter! :o)
|Not aiming to add any scientifically evaluated evidence, but just my 2p worth from driving a Mk1 vvc with and without hard top over 6 years, and comparing to TF over the past month, with and without.|
First I always thought the F had very little scuttle shake for this type of car. But, I have always thought that the F was a more solid car with the HT on. Same roads, same speeds, same driver and style, the HT seems to really help solidity in the F.
Same thing in a TF, and zero difference between HT on and HT off.
Suggests to me that with the F the HT increases the rigidity, where as the TF has already been stiffened and the HT changes nothing. And just for information, it is the same HT on both cars.
|I don't think the F has a serious problem here - except maybe with regard to longevity. I don't think it's scuttle shake either - I think the back flexes with respect to the front, that's why the hardtop helps up to a point. It would be interesting to take a cut 'n shut MGF bodyshell - joined about 2/3 way along the cills - and see how it compares to the standard bodyshell :->|
I think David's comparison between the TF and MGF is significant. It would be much more interesting to compare a 6 year old TF and MGF both with at least 50,000 miles on. (perhaps we should compare a cut 'n shut TF !)
>>It would be much more interesting to compare a 6 year old TF and MGF both with at least 50,000 miles on.
I follow your point, but even when new I thought the F was more solid with the HT on. However, even without the HT it felt better than similar cars at that time.
|>> We are talking about steel and fiberglass. Weight is different then tension resistance. Scarlet, how would you explain Kevlar an carbon fiber? A Lotus Elite had a complete fiberglass body and was very rigid for the era. <<|
Hmmm, well, kevlar and carbon fibre are different materials and do not relate in any way to the GRP hardtops. Not knowing a great deal about Kevlar, but i understood its' strength was related to impacts perpendicular to its' surface and was due to multiple layers absorbing forces. Carbon fibre gets its strength from the carbon mesh and not from the resin it is bonded together with. GRP, is a flexible material, you can flex your hardtop just by picking it up, it flexes under its' own weight.
A lotus Elite is a car i have no experience of, i bow to your knowledge in this area. The Elise and S2000 gain thier rigidity from thier seperate chassis, the fibreglass panels have nothing to do with it. I suspect the Elite also had a seperate chassis (don't know much about Loti, but believe they all are constructed in this manner, Elan may be a monocoque though, not too sure on this one).
>> My question is: You can't get a fair judgement of the issue without some proper figures. I don't think the F has a very good body rigidity, if you do try a S2000. Just get one front wheel on an upper pavement and the other three down the road, open 1 door and let it rest for an hour, now try to close the door and feel the difference on how it closes. :) <<
Hmmm, we are getting to the crux here, you are comparing the F with the S2000 - an open monocoque with a custom chassis. Try comparing the F with an Alfa Spyder, or an early MX5. You will find the results interesting. The F had class leading body rigidity when it was released, only the Merc CLK had a stiffer open shell. The game has moved on since then and the newer crop of sportscars had the F's rigidity figures as a target to beat. Most have succeded.
>>Hmmm, we are getting to the crux here, you are comparing the F with the S2000 - an open monocoque with a custom chassis. Try comparing the F with an Alfa Spyder, or an early MX5. You will find the results interesting. The F had class leading body rigidity when it was released, only the Merc CLK had a stiffer open shell. The game has moved on since then and the newer crop of sportscars had the F's rigidity figures as a target to beat. Most have succeded.<<
Scarlet, you are right. I´m comparing different types of cars and different eras. But we all try to compare the F to the best in each own class. We want the F to be best, as simple as that! ):
But you are wrong about the Lotus Elite. This car had a complete fiber glass monocoque and weighted only 590kg.
>>well, kevlar and carbon fibre are different materials and do not relate in any way to the GRP hardtops.<<
They are not, really. Both kevlar and carbon fiber are displaced in layers and they seem like a piece of cloth. Fiber glass can be purchased like a "cloth" and will be fabricated exactly like kevlar or can be purchased in small "chips". Don't know how the HT is made, though.
>>Not knowing a great deal about Kevlar, but i understood its' strength was related to impacts perpendicular to its' surface and was due to multiple layers absorbing forces. Carbon fibre gets its strength from the carbon mesh and not from the resin it is bonded together with. GRP, is a flexible material, you can flex your hardtop just by picking it up, it flexes under its' own weight.<<
When using the different layers in kevlar you must know exactly the directions of the principal stresses, that way you can arrange the direction of the marked fiber layer. Kevlar is very strong when made properly and very weak when wrong. Glass, kevlar or carbon fiber all use a resin to put it together. In all of them the resin and the fiber must be equal in weight, or near it. There are lots of kevlar bits on the aircrafts wings and tails that flex a lot when you press it with just a finger! Nevertheless, they are meant to work submited to different directions of stresses.
|Hmmm, the Elite was a fibreglass monocoque? As i said previously...|
>> A lotus Elite is a car i have no experience of, i bow to your knowledge in this area. <<
Certianly Lotus have extensive experience with GRP and if anyone could design and build a GRP monocoque it would be them. Lotus do not however make the hardtops for the MGF. Express Plastics make the MG-Rover one and KH Fabrications make the Heritage top. Neither are designed as structural elements, rather they are designed as accessories.
You are wrong about the construction of the Elise. The chassis frame is made of aluminium alloy extrusions and formed alloy sheet bonded together. The rear crossmember is made of sheet steel and the tubular roll bar is also made of steel. The external body panels which are not required to contribute to chassis rigidity are manufactured of composite materials (I don't know if it is actually plain fibre glass). Also the front energy absorbing crash structure is made of glass fibre due to its energy absorbing properties.
you read me wrong, I wrote Elite and not Elise... The Elite is a Lotus from the sixties. It had Coventry-Climax engine with only 1300cm3. The chassis was designed by the master Colin Chapman!
|Valter - you are quite right about the Elite. In the 60's I worked with a guy who ran an Elite with Coventry-Climax and, I believe, a ZX gear box. In it's time it was a great car and everybody moved out of the way for it.|
You are right, I must learn to read more carefully - I apologise. I have no idea how the Elite was made!
P.S.: Sunny days now, too hot for convertibles during the day, but in the morning and evening... What a feeling!
|Hello my name is Ken,|
I have just baught an 7,99 MGF 18i
I am a bit concernd about all the faults I am reading.
About the overheating is it worth it to invest in an oil cooler!
I would also like to know what els should look out for.
|i have just sold my MGF(poor me) due to finances.|
Best car ever in my opinion. If your looking for a hardtop for the winter months then im selling mine.
Its a worth while investment
This thread was discussed between 04/06/2002 and 22/06/2002
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