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MG MGF Technical - Car still creaking. Help required.

Hi Folks, yes it's that same old thing again (still)..

Ok, I need some diagnosis help here as I can't afford to give the car to my dealer for a couple of days detailed scrutiny.

My car is still making a horrible creaking sound when I go over small sharp dips in the road and when turning onto speed humps. The noise is like a sort of rusty spring combined with a sort of metal on metal straining sound. It normally seems to be coming from the right front wheel but sometimes the sound appears to come from the rear on that side. It seems to diminish after the car has been driven for a while.

The problem was first noticed after leaving the car in the long stay car park over Christmas for three weeks. It was through investigating this noise that I discovered the broken shock absorber which has since been replaced.

My suspension has been modified with polly bushes, compliance washers and the new AVO shocks so it is all quite stiff. The ride height is at 355 still but this is just on the Hydragas. The handling does not seem to be effected at all by this, just the noise.

I suspected the broken shock, but it has been replaced and I still have the noise. It was worse with the broken shock, but that is only because this allowed more travel of the suspension on every bump.

So now, what am I looking at here..

1. Is this the famous broken crossmember weld behind the dash? Having never actually heard this personally, I'm not sure if it is the same symptom as my noises. Could this be a possible cause?

2. Is it possible that something in my suspension is stiff after being left in the car park. Is this what happens in winter with polly bushes? Could they just be making my suspension creaky? If this is a problem, could the bushes / joints require some sort of lubrication?

3. Another possibility is something broken in the front suspension. Could one of my mk1 front subframe mounts have failed? I suspect that I would have noticed it with the cars handling if this was the case though. My car recently passed an APK (Dutch MOT) and had a service and no one said anything about a problem. The Rover mechanic did say that the suspension creaked when he raised the car, but he put that down to the polly bushes.

4. Lastly is it something serious like something structural broken, could this cause the noise. I have not tended to worry too much as I know the worst kind of sounds can be accounted for by some very simple things in the F. It is also very hard to locate the source or even direction of a sound sometimes in the F.

Any suggestions from anyone? I am really not sure what I'm dealing with here, it could be nothing, it could be as simple as a damaged wheel arch lining, it could be a disaster, I don't know. I am a little stumped here.
Tony Smith

Just sent Hanah's stuff related to No 1

Dieter Koennecke

Hi Tony,

Sounds like cross-member but I could be wrong.

I got mine fixed 2 months ago, and my creaking is gone, but another sound is there now.

It's not as annoying as creaking / squeaking, but now it sounds like little 'tick' 'tick' noises on poor road, and pot holes. As it doesn't tick on tight bends, and slopes I think this is nothing to do with the cross member, but rather with trims.

One way to find out is try to force (not hard, otherwise you break the rivets on the steering wheel) your steering wheel up and down and left and right.

If you can generate the same creaking noise, then there is a problem with the cross member. Mine was like that, but now it feels solid, with no movement what so ever.

My plasticky creaking noise i am getting at the moment is from plastic trims. I don't know what to do about it, as I have tried 'WD40' and opened all little panels that I could and used plastic clips to hold everything that could move around.

But since it is nothing major and I can stand it. (I would be happy if I can get it fixed) And if I have my cd player on (as i always do), I can't hear them.


OOh yeah, my new radar detector is helping me out as well... less attention to that stupid tick noise.

Good luck, Tony. And keep us posted.


Hanah Kim


There was a problem on some of the early cars where Mayflower had not properly welded some parts and one of those areas was the sill beneath the doors, the noise it generated was a dry rasping of metal against metal type noise and was most noticeable when going over uneven surfaces, changing direction and not going very quickly.

The cure was a 'back to Longbridge' job but I do understand that this was a problem only with just a few very early cars upto (approximately) mid 1996.

Ted Newman

Ted, it is that sort of noise, but if this is the problem, I may as well set fire to my car now as I could never afford to get that fixed.

Whatever it is it looks like I'm stuck with it until I have some money. I could try sending an Email to Rover but they always ignore emails in my experience. This annoys me more than anything with regard to the car.

Not only do they ignore emails but they try to tell you they never received them in the first place.
Tony Smith

Hannah, I had a couple of squeaks in my F over the years, one was the back of the seat rubbing against the Tbar and the other was very loud and sounded like a serious suspension problem, it turned out to be the water/oil filler cover in the boot. The dealer just stuck some foam rubber on the bootlid to hold the plastic lid in place and no more squeak.

Dieter, I will have a look some time, cheers for the email, but hotmail is a pain to get attachmants out of, explorer keeps trying to download the web page, so you have to tell it to run the web page, then the same for the download process. Finaly you can save to disk. I think this is just my setup, but it's the way I want it so I think I can live with it if it only effects hotmail.
Tony Smith

try tightening the front bonnet catch and lubing the rubber stops. On mine it sounded just like a budgie tweeting.

Tony, have a look at the welds at the top of the rear shocker mounts, there are two 10-15mm long welds at the top of the triangular panel where it meets the inner panel, these transfer the load of the shocker into the body, these can hairline fracture around the welds and cause a clicking noise. I have a car in for welding and strengthening at the moment that is suffering from this problem, he has Avo shocks and poly tie bar bushes and is lowered. From discussions with the owner his problems started after he decided to tweak his shocks to the max settings to see what would happen, he is now more informed! As a result of this I am making a stiffening kit this has to be welded in so not a easy DIY job especially because of the restricted access. On another note our '95 car has been running on Koni's and poly bushes for some two years without any problems in this area,maybe the earlier cars were welded better;)


rubber stops? What is that??

Hanah Kim

Gareth - this is the tiny plastic noises from around the dash we're talking about here? Mine has developed this since being fixed (well, entirely re-built at the front TBH).
Ed Clarke

I take it the T160 has reinforced shock mounts ...


Out of interest what settings do you have your AVOs set at. I originally had them set 5 at the front and 7 at the rear. Eventually I set them to 3 at the front and 5 at the rear ... ride was just a little too harsh. Maybe I'm too used to supple ride of the *F* on the OE shocks.

Well, the AVOs are at 4-5 at the front and 6-7 on the back depending if you count the first position or not. The ride is firm but has more control, I'm happy with the ride.

The problem existed before I changed the shocks. I will look for obvious weld problems and have a look at the crossmember welds. But at the moment full diagnosis is impossible.

The thing I find strange is that it almost completely dissapears after around 20-30 km of driving, I would expect the crossmember or shock mounts to continue making a loud creaking noise however much you drive the car. On the other hand, maybe when the car warms up from use the joints expand and the problem goes away, who knows.

The F can tend to amplify even the smallest sound if it occurs in the wrong place so it is a little hard to judge exactly what the sound actually is.

I get no sound at full lock unless I'm going over a speed bump at the time and I only get it really on the brick roads all over Holland. I sometimes get the noise when I go over badly aligned bridge sections, so it looks like any sharp shock tends to generate the noise.

I will change the antiroll bar bushes when I get a chance and see if this helps. Maybe this is just a bad reaction to leaving my F in a long stay car park for three weeks in the rain and snow over Christmas.

One stupid thing I have not tried yet is to take the jack and various other rubbish out of the front and see if it helps. That would be interesting if it turned out to be the contents of my car and not the car it's self. Unlikely, but you never know :-)

One solution is to put in ear plugs or turn up my sterio, not exactly getting at the cause though.
Tony Smith


I had what sounds like the exact problem with my car a couple of years ago. What I ended up doing was, with a friend, going to a somewhat unmade road and letting him drive very slowly.

I walked along side the car and placed both hands on the rear drivers side panel and was able to 'feel' the 'cracking'/'creaking' through my hands. Also on the same sort of road if you are on your own, just open your drivers door, again going very slow, and drop your hand down to the seam, situated below the drivers door on the sill, and see if you can feel the same creaking.....if you can, it could be the same problem.

With mine it was diagnosed as the 'rear roof mountings' that needed adjusting, the mechanic informed me this was a 'known problem'.
The repair was carried out and has been fine ever since.

Hope this helps you.



Well the creaking has stopped now so I assume it was just stiff after it's time in the airport using airport transfers sevenoaks car park, maybe the broken front shock did not help. But for three days now, no more noises apart from the normal road noise.

Still handles great even with my rear Pirellis down to almost 3mm. I think performance tyres may be better for the handling, but I'm not sure that the Metro derived components can handle the extra stress without some help.
Tony Smith

By chance does (did)weather change influence the condition. For example cold frosty weather increase the noise and as the temp rises so the noise faces away.

If so then I would be looking at the suspension pivot bushes as this is a very common issue with any car when alternative materials have been used.

Roger Parker

This might be worth checking ..

Pipe come away from fixing above top of right rear shock mounting ? Shocker moves loose pipe causing squeek / creaking. I had this last year. Very irritating noise.

A long shot, maybe ?


>>I take it the T160 has reinforced shock mounts ... <<

No it doesn't Gaz. It appears that the MG-R chassis engineers are paranoid about placing any loadings on the damper mounts. The new T160 dampers are really no better than the ones on our cars: practically no resistance on 'bump'. The increased damper/spring rates have been achieved with mods to the Hydragas spheres themselves- and is the reason why all the suspension compliance has been erradicated- to the detriment of the car IMO.

Rob Bell

The weather has changed but the temperature was around the same before it stopped creaking as after, it is possible though.

The only thing I can relate to it is the amount of driving I have been doing. The noise is totaly gone but I will get the above suggestions checked out sometime just in case.

The car was not being used too much but now I try and take it for a run each day and since I have been driving it more the creaking has gone. I have polly bushes front and rear (except antiroll bar bushes) so I would expect them all to be OK.

It still handles like a dream, I have not had any drifting or floating or feelings of no control since I fitted the Bushes and changed my tracking (18 months ago). If the dealers had people use my car for a test drive they would sell more MGFs.

One silly point, stated earlier, I have just realised, the time that the noise went away also was around the time I removed the hard top. If this was the problem, I think with the F it's the quiet noises you have to watch out as the loud ones normally turn out to be something silly :-)

Anyway, my hard top is up for sale as I have decided it is more bother than it is worth. Gareth, The price is as I stated in the first place, ignore my temporary greed, if you are interested, I have brackets too ????...:-)
Tony Smith

if Gareth doesn't want the HT, than we could also try the German second hand market.
Gimme a hint then.
Dieter Koennecke

This thread was discussed between 23/03/2001 and 03/04/2001

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