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MG MGF Technical - ARB drop links

Yep, BOTH drop links on my daughter's car. Friday Night : "I hit a bit of a bump dad and now it's making a funny noise". Some bump. I read a couple of articles about ARB poly bushes etc.

"Again this is an easy DIY job, as long as you know how to remove a wheel ;o)"

Oh yea.

Bolts at the end of ARB rusted solid, so remove ARB, aha now the soft gooey mess called rubber can changed for poly bushes. Three of the four mounting bolts for the inner bushes sheared. Drill 'em out.
ARB off the car, easy 'cos both drop links are in two convenient parts. Just cut the bolts off the ARB. Remove remainder of drop link connected to hub. Those rusty mangled bolts don't look too good, better replace them.
Errr you can't remove them without separating the lower arm from the hub.
Why isn't that bracket rotated thru' 60 degs then the bolts would come straight out. Big rusty bits on the inside of the disks, so new disks as well.
I'm waiting for the bits to arrive this morning.
Rant over. I feel much better now.

Why are the brakes so good on this 96 car? It doesn't have a servo bracket yet the servo movement is just a couple of millimeters and the feel is fantastic compared to my 99 car.
Any ideas.
Ken Waring

>>Why are the brakes so good on this 96 car? It doesn't have a servo bracket yet the servo movement is just a couple of millimeters and the feel is fantastic compared to my 99 car.

99 has ABS and 96 doesn't? I ask because I've found this on several occasions. Does ABS make the pedal less firm and the brake bite less obvious?
Dave Livingstone

I don't have ABS on my car it's a vanilla 1.8i. I just wonder why the bulkhead(I assume that's where the servo movement originates) should be so solid on this 96 car. I know it's not the case for other cars of this vintage.
Ken Waring

Oh well that's that theory blown then :-)

Build seems to vary - if you'd ever taken a tour of Mayflower's (as it was then) factory, then you'd not be surprised at some variances! Perhaps yours just got stronger welds/an extra weld/didn't miss out on a weld - delete as applicable! But, I don't know - the bulkhead flex may just be down to the quality of the material used - perhaps it changed between early and later models? Although, Rob's car is a 96 and his pictures of bulkhead flex show that his car is definitely prone - see
Dave Livingstone

I've always assumed that the bulkhead flex was something that was inevitable on MGF based cars - it is a question of mileage/usuage as to the rate that the flex worsens.

What's the relative mileage of the two cars Ken?

Regarding the ARBs, I am not entirely surprised that you had so much fun - see Colin's adventures!
Rob Bell

I'll stop griping after reading that. My problems are just irritations.
The 96 car has completed over 116K and the 99 car 37K. The difference is really huge.
Is it possible to see the mounting points of the original servo bracket if you take the glove box out? I just wonder if some strengthening has taken place in that area.

The low cost brake discs and pads have arrived. After a first look I am impressed. They seem better quality than the EBC disks I put on my car, at half the price including pads. Quality of the EBC casting finish on the vents was appalling, not to put too fine a point on it some of the vents were blocked, I cleared them. No more EBC kit for me. I am just as unimpressed with green stuff pads. All sales hype, no substance.

Judgement reserved let's see how the low cost kit performs.
Ken Waring

On the subject of the brake servo - you'll get a lot of info on how the servo moves if you look at the animated images on the link that Dave provided. It appears to pivot about the existing mounting point. I am not sure that supporting the existing mounting plate is enough. To get the probably more or less 'fixed' I had to fit two brackets- the B&G servo bracket, and another from the subframe to the servo support... Much better now, but the feel of the brakes suggests that some of the rubber seals may have passed their best.

Interesting that the 96F has so many miles under its wheels, yet the servo is so solid. Really seems to support Dave's observation regarding variable build quality.

BTW I also agree with you regarding EBC brakes. Not a fan of Green stuff. Not tried their rotors though - but anything drilled I would rather avoid.
Rob Bell

Rob, was the second bracing that Techspeed fitted a made-to-measure one or a modification of a stock item? Intrigued as to why it wasn't feasible to bracket it to the battery tray, that would be the ideal anchorage.
Mike Hankin

"but anything drilled I would rather avoid." Interesting comment Rob, considering this technique is used by a Porsche, Ferrari most superbikes etc. Do you think they are getting it wrong or have you had a bad personal experience with drilled rotors??

I don't believe it.
One disk came off easy peasy. The second one busted my hydraulic ram, I guess I must have got too enthusiastic.
New ram hasn't touched it even with a half hour of big hammer and a lot of heat. It hasn't moved at all.
I think I may have to remove the hub and the upright.
Any ideas?
Ken Waring

Mike, I thought taking a triangulation to the battery tray would have made sense too - and suggested that. But Mick clearly felt that the subframe was a more solid base to work from?

Tim - I'll have to challenge you to provide the photographic evidence of original fit drilled discs to a Porsche or Ferrari ;o) Superbikes do use cross drilling, but then they tend not to be vented discs, so cross drilling probably becomes necessary for cooling.

My problem with the idea of cross drilling - which only comes from and what I've read and heard, is that cross drilling weakens the discs. There have been reports of cracking between the drill holes - which can render the rotor susceptible to failure (in spectacular fashion - a bit like a stamp perforation). If Porsche and Ferrari do use them as OEM fit, then they'll have specified them suitably, i.e. not using a back street engineering shop to drill 'em! ;o)

Ken - bigger hammer, some ear deafenders, some choice language, and rotate the disc 90-180 degrees between strikes... and then some beers! ;o)
Rob Bell

Sorry Rob I didn't hear that, what did you say. Oh right. My arm aches, a 4lb club hammer is a bit heavy for boy like me. I started on the beers some time ago. I like the easy route. I know a man who has a 100 ton plus press, well it's a Centurion tank jack if IIRC. That should terminate the problem one way or the other.
Ken Waring

Ken, I've seem a two-man approach work, synchronised battering of both sides with a quarter turn every few strikes. Some synchronised cursing seemed to play a role too ;o)

Good luck!
Mike Hankin

Ken, I found that tapping the studs out helped greatly.
I managed to snap a section of the disc with the puller what I did it last!
Will Munns

The 4lb hammer weighed almost nothing this morning. Must be the Weetabix.... or maybe it's only 2lbs.

Those who know me won't venture into my garage even when I don't have a hammer in my hand. Fingers and toes, whimps.

I can quite believe it, yesterday the disk was actually flexing with the puller. Something very similar to your approach finally solved it. A mighty whacking around the side of the bell next to the studs then applied the puller and two almighty whacks on the back and off she came.(She?)

Received the new drop links and poly bushes from MS this morning. According to Mike you smother the bushes in CG and press in the bushes using just a vice and socket. Didn't work for me. First I got a doughnut shape which then became a pancake.
So I make a compression funnel. Take one short piece of two inch diameter plastic waste pipe. Slit it, remove about 6/8 mm along the slit. Apply jubilee clip around the outside, insert bush, tighten jubilee clip till the correct diameter obtained, press thru with a socket using the vice, job done.

Does anyone know an easier way without the right tools?
Ken Waring

Ken, I think you just made the right tools! :o) Well done - must be a relief to finally get that disc off!
Rob Bell

This thread was discussed between 09/08/2005 and 12/08/2005

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