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MG MGF Technical - Cambelt - what else needs changing


My MGF is coming up to 10 years old and is due for its second cambelt change.

What else should I have replaced whilst I'm at it. I don't think anything else has been changed before.

It is a 1.8i (non VVC)

Where is the best place to get the parts from - are there any particular makes to stay away from. Should I only stick to genuine Rover parts, (if there are any left).


If I were you I'd have a look at (to see if they are OK)and think about changing -

Fuel filter
Spark Plugs
Plug leads
Distributor cap and rotor arm
Coolant hoses
Underfloor coolant pipes
Brake pipes
Brake rotors

I take it that the normal things like brake pads, air filter, etc. have been changed during normal servicing.

Edit:- Oh my goodness, I see that after many years we now have an editing facility on the Forum. Still the best MGF Forum even without this new fangled twist :-)
David Clelland


Should I change the water pump and alternator belt whilst I'm at it. Is the water pump a tricky job ?

I've just watched a video online, (in mute as I'm at work !!!), and I can see that there is a locking tool which locks the top camshafts together - but what locks the bottom one. Do I need a locking pin.

There is a part in the video where he removes some kind of locking plate at the end, (locking a cog) - what is this ? (is this instead of the locking pin).

Maybe it would make more sense if I could hear it. !!!

I can get the "blue" locking tool on ebay - do I need any more specialist tools.

Yes if I were you I'd change the water pump and belt tensioner as well. It's only the cost of the parts since you're in there anyway.

If it's the video I'm thinking of does the chap not lock the flywheel by using a device which he bolts to the block when the starter motor is removed. Not sure what other people use.
David Clelland

Not any specialists I know of lock the crank thru the starter motor hole. Just use the cam locking tool and make sure you keep the dots lined up on the crank. Yes to changing the water pump and belt tensioner and when you are sure you have it all done correctly, turn the engine over 1 rotaion of the crank and make sure the cam timing marks are still lined up. Also make sure you change the expansion cap.
Simon Wilkinson

"If it's the video I'm thinking of does the chap not lock the flywheel by using a device which he bolts to the block when the starter motor is removed. Not sure what other people use."

Yes - that's probably it. I'm guessing I have to remove the starter motor as well then !!!

Do I need to lock the flywheel. Does the crankshaft move that easily that it needs locking. Can it be locked by a locking pin ?

So I'm guseeing I need a camshaft locking tool and a crankshaft locking plate as well ?

No need to remove the starter motor - there is an inspection plate that can be removed on the opposite side to the 'motor, that is ideal for wedging a screw driver in (see attached photograph).

Written about it in the next instalment of Project Shed that should be appearing in the next edition of FTF, if you're a subscriber... :o)

When changing the cam belt, I would always (like everyone else has already suggested) change the water pump and the tensioner especially if you don't know the full history of the car :o)

Rob Bell

You do have to lock up the crank shaft via the ring gear .if you don't you put stress on the lock up the crankshaft and then you undo the crankshaft pulley bolt and belt will then come off.
simon connolly

Think I'll stick to the official tools - all this talk of cams and cranks is starting to confuse me !!!

Basically, I need...

1 x camshaft locking tool

1 x crankshaft locking plate which locks the gear ring

Is this correct ?

Any idea where I can get them from. I can see MS supplies the the camshaft tool but can't find the other. Should I resort to the screwdriver method !!!

Nope, just a screw driver in the flywheel starter gear, as shown ;o)

Not sure who does the official MG Rover tools - perhaps Landrover still do them? I'm after a drive shaft drifting/removal tool, but not seen one advertised...
Rob Bell

> drive shaft drifting/rwmoval tool ?

18G 1761 ??
just use a big screw driver. Take care not to hurt the drive shaft gaitor.

Anyway, the maker for the MG Rover tools was mentioned some years ago. Should be in the archives.
Landrover Tools are listed here

The Cam locking tool is a Draper item available from halfrauds, You can also find them on ebay but watch out for how much you spend, they're less than 4 quid.

I must confess that the only time I have locked the flywheel was when changing a cam belt on an engine which was not in the car (Rob's shed above) then we did to allow us to undo the big locking nut on the crank pulley.

With the engine installed in the car you can do it without the tool provided you have someone with a VERY heavy foot on the brake pedal and in a high gear. There is a lot slack in the gearbox but it will eventually undo with a long breaker bar. If the crank pulley is off use the head of a ring spanner to wedge the cam belt onto the crank sprocket, if you're just changing the timing or cams without changing the cam belt then you don't need to remove the crank pulley just be careful not to put too much strain on the drive side of the cam belt (right side) because you can move the crank a tooth. What ever you do just check the locations of the timing marks once assembled. Remember the timing mark for TDC on the crank is on the BACK flange of the crank pulley don't be confused by any marks on the front of the pulley.

I hope that is reasonably clear (ish)


Dieter, thanks :o) I used an old ball joint splitter to pop one drive shaft out - but the other seems to be more stubborn, and sadly the ball joint splitter broke ... erm... another story... It's so easy to remove them with the correct tool - if I could weld, I'd make one - it's just a wedged fork after all!

Perhaps the LR catalogue might have something suitable - I'll have a look :o)
Rob Bell

I used a short length of 40mm angle iron and reduced the length of one of the 'legs' until it engaged into one of the gear teeth and the other 'leg'braced against the casting. It worked well as the torque required to remove the pulley bolt is very high and the angle iron held its position. Hope this helps


Great - found the driveshaft splitter tool on the LR catalogue - LRT-51-014

Now need to find out how much!
Rob Bell

Dez, I would recommend using Gates belts if your not going to get them from XPart. Do not use Dunlop belts (or was it Goodyear?) as we have found that these squeal.

Rob, somewhere I have a CD with the prices for all the specialist tools, but it will be a couple of years old. There is a company called SPX that can supply all of these tools.
Ralph Gadsby

This thread was discussed between 20/07/2009 and 31/07/2009

MG MGF Technical index

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