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MG MGF Technical - Cracking Cross member bar problem solved

Hello all,

After my Brittany Tour (many many many bumpy roads out there), I found time to try the cure proposed on this BBS a while ago, and it works (I'm touching wood)

As recommended, I bought a pair of U-clamps, originaly used for exhaust pipe (58mm diameter) and attached them as hard as I could around the tube behind the dashoard: one behind the glove box (very easy job) and the other one behind the fuse box (a real pain in the ar*e)
The crack sound has now disappeared.

Definately worth the fiew hours work (and still better than having the dashboard removed by Rover in order to complete the welding job).

What a relief! This noise really started to get on my nerves!


Well done :) My congrats !!!
Your's was a made in late 1996, from my memory. I wonder whether the cross member sh*t happened still in the beginning of 1999.
Any suffering/cured out there from 1999 ?

I ask cause I still didn't find the knock noise maker in my 1999 car.
Stripped already the glove box and screen frame cover, nothing. Looked for loose cables, nothing. Lifted the car and shaked the wheels, nothing. Looked and rattled at the bonnet hinges, nothing. Rattled at the open door, nothing. Bashed with the hands on the screen frame, nothing.
The only trouble is a broken mirror cheeter, but the knock noise can't be reproduced at this location and it seams to appear someway left of the mirror.

Took this picture yesterday to identify any probs.
There is a strange looking 'corona' on top left of the bar lead (rust?) ??

Anyway, site updated.

Wonder what my dealer can find soon... before it runs out of warranty ;)

Dieter Koennecke

can you confirm please about the exhaust clamp look ? Just found one on the net and added to the site far below.

Dieter Koennecke

Dieter - Is this a problem I should listen for in the new MGF I have on order or have Rover made a modification to cure the problem
Art Jacks

No of course not current applicable.
We refer to early cars. Mine from 1999 would be another case of coincidence. ... If applicable.
If you compare the pictures from the BRG cross member bar with the other PTS (link onla on the webside), than you can see already the improvement the did some years ago... they obviouse make 'longer weld lines'.
Dieter Koennecke

Hi Jerome,

Pleased to see that the cross bar modifications have solved that unbelievably annoying creaking sound!

Did the trick on my 96 VVC.



FYI, my mpi was made in nov 1997 (almost 4 year old)
The U-clamp you show on the website is exactly what must be used (58 or 60mm)
I will scan the pictures of the completed job and send it to you if you want.

Thanks for the tip, it works a thrill indeed.

Can I do this at home? because I am in a fight with my Rover dealer at the moment regarding the money for fixing the cross member beam.

I have the workshop manual. :)

Please post us the detailed instructions, I am so willing to go for it!!
Hanah Kim


You can do the job at home of course.
First you need to buy the U-clamps (less or equal to 60mm diameter and less than £4 for the pair)
Then, remove the glove box (undo the 4 screws and remove the wires for the lamp)
Wrap the U part around the extremity of the tube (just before the weld) and secure it with the screws (as hard as you can, don't be shy in tigthening with the spanner)

This is for the easiest part of the job as the access is very easy

For the other side, that's a different kettle of fish.
The access to the tube is very difficult due to the fuse box and associated wiring.
You can remove 2 of the screws securing the fuse box to have more room (without removing the wiring)
But that's still a difficult job, especially for tightening

I still don't know why it works but it works !

Good luck

Just the way as done by Jerome, I suppose Neil can confirm.
On that webside are drawn both sides of LHD cars.
The last picture from the PTS is the glovebox side (right in this case). The picture was taken from below-rear with the camera on the floor and removed glovebox. Some cables to be placed in another direction, thats all, I think.

..'before the weldline' means on the outer pipe, so not to the small gap of the inner pipe.

looks like repairing a damaged bone ;)
So nothing difficult for medical students. The 'object' needs no anaesthesia, but will stop crying, though ;) *ggg*

Jerome or/and Neil, pictures appreciated :)

Dieter Koennecke

Thanks guys!

I am gonna try this... as soon as possible. Where do I get these U clamps from? Any ideas??? Local hardware shop? Rover dealer??

Hehe, I might as well be an orthopedic after this operation on my MGF! (Dieter)

My dashboard makes creaks on cold weather as well, any ideas solving this??

Man, I have been so waiting for this, I will DO iT!!!
Hanah Kim

see the other knock thread. Errr !!
Dieter Koennecke

Errr, yep.

Any car spares/accessories place should do them, or if not one local to you, ask at any tyres/exhaust centre if they'll sell you a couple.
Paul Lane

Okay. I will print out the photo from Jerome, and
show them to the exhaust shop
Hanah Kim

Er, well, I collected the snapshot and unfortunately, the one I took of the bar with the U-clamp fitted is out of focus :-( I presume I was too close from the subject (or the camera was too close)
Not an easy part to photograph in fact.

Sorry for those who eventually expected the picture :-(

should I still wait for it...?
the photo..?
or you gave up Jerome??
Hanah Kim


I got two of 60mm exhaust clamps this morning from a local car DIY shop.

Was 1.15 quid for each :)
Asked Jerome also by email, cause I think he's not online at the BBs all the time.

Question is for the glove box side of the cross member:
In which direction did Jerome or Neil direct the thread bolts/nuts ?
To the front ? to the rear ? or downwards ?

Due pictures... Unfortunately my Kodak digi cam died at last weekend after 8500 made pictures :((( Most were done from MGF things. Will get another expensive MGF related repair, though. :(
No camera, no pictures.

Dieter Koennecke

me again...
lent a camera from my neighbour :)

Talked with my MGR workshop guy also. I wonder but he was strange friendly this afternoon. I told him about the clamp and whether he would bother this DIY work to my 'still under warranty' car.
No problem, try it, was his answer. (hope he remembers if it fails)

So the clamp is pre-installed and only needs tightening after confirmation by Jerome or Neil.
Here the current pictures.... and if someone looks than please click the sponsor-link on top of the page. Dieter needs to earn some $$$ for a new camera :(

Now come on mates, any additional hints ??

Dieter Koennecke

If you havent bought the clamps yet any Repco store will have them as well - so the closest - your muffler dealer of Repco.

Good Luck


Oh thanks Dieter, and David

Time to visit Repco this afternoon or tomorrow!


Hanah Kim

Yeeeepyyyyhhhhh !!!
ho-la-di-je-i-ja ho-la-di-re-i-ja ho-la-di-re-i-ja ho-la-di-re-i-ja ho-la-di-je-i-ja
di-ri-di-ri-di-ja ho-la-di ri-di-ja ho-la-di-di-ja ham-di a ri-a ho-i ria
ham-di a ri-a ho-i ria
hu-li o du-i o-i ri-di ri-di ri-di o-i it-ti rit-ti jo it-ti rit-ti jo it-ti rit-ti jo it-ti rit-ti jo hu-li o du-i o-i
ri-di ri-di ri-di o-i hul-di-ri-dul-je
hul-di-ra-la-la-la-la Ho-la re-dl-di
e-dl di-re-dl di-e!
Ho-la re-dl-di e-dl di-re-dl di-e!
Ho-la re-dl-di e-dl di-re-dl di-e!
Ho-la re-dl-di e-dl di-re-dl di-a!
--------------Alpen Yodler ;) -------------------------

GOT IT !!!!
The knocking has gone :)))))))))))))
Attached one muffler clamp as mentioned above to the bad side. Tightened both nuts up to 80Nm with a 40cm long 1/2' ratchet and a 17mm socket.

Did a test drive, dooo'h still knocking but less frequent.
Back to the garage. Took the ratchet again and increased torque to 100Nm. Godness is that strong man works. Jerome was right, you need to bend the body like a cat to get full force to the tool. Step by step I got it tighter until the ratchet got the 100Nm.

Another test drive *g*g*g*.
It's gone.

Hanah, spend some money to buy good tools. A good 17mm socket is required. No multi-tooth socket, or you kill the nuts edges. Use workers gloves to prevent your hand if it slips off. There are sharp metal leads which can hurt. I.e. my left hand looks poor now ;)

Hanah, go for it. Wish you all the best and many thanks again to Neil and Jerome.
The webside is up to date. So to all suffering. Forget the MGR Bulletin with the useless welding recommendation.

Happy Dieter
Dieter :)

Congratulations Dieter!! Whooorray

I am so glad to hear that.

Me off to buy those clamps tomorrow morning then.

Luckily you didn't get that on ur driver's side eh?

Mine is worse on the driver's side..


17mm socket.

I will just tighten it as hard as I can!

Also.. Dieter, do you know anything about clunking windows. It rattles a lot when little down, and also clucks when it's fully up.

Any help?
Hanah Kim

Hi Dieter,

I'll glad it worked for you too !!! What a nice feeling, isn't it?
Sorry I didn't catch your email as I was not at home this weekend, but apparently you managed to fit the clamp without those indications.
Did you manage to fix it on the driver's side too?
FYI, it's better to send me your e-mails to, hotmail is full of junk mails.

It's up to you now. Good luck !

Time to think about selling the F now ;-(


>I will just tighten it as hard as I can!

Hanah, see for a strong chap or neighbour ;)
Before you buy a 17mm socket, look for what nut is on the clamp. The drivers side (LHD) will be more difficult to reach (loosen fusepanel at first), but I guess the torque is easier to be done to the nuts cause you can press the wrench instead of pulling it like at the Co-drivers side.

Unfortunately no good news after my 300km ride of this morning.
When the car got warm all around after 50km ... Errr, the knocking came back. Less than else, but it knocks if the car gets over uneven roads and in RH curves.

Suppose I lieve out the nice torque wrench and push a long pipe on the wrech to tighten the clamp nuts with long lever.

So next weekend another try.

Dieter Koennecke

Thanks to all the people for this fix.

Well, it WORKED for me! After bloody 2 un-successful welding on the cross member beam. [this should go on the FAQ]

I didn't take the fuse box out, and it took me awhile to lock the nuts, but it still worked!

I just hope they don't get loose easily, it's not a difficult job, just matter of hurting your wrist doing all sorts of funny angle jobs...

Dieter, so it got loose after 300km? I will have to see how mine lasts, as New Zealand is full of up and down hills, crap road, huge drains, etc.. ^-^

Dieter, I get a dash squeak at night though. I think it's due to the contraction of the plastics... it makes noisy creaking noise (plasticky), I want to get rid of it... any thoughts on that? WD40??

Hanah Kim

Hanah, please check your inbox re badges

Sorry to hear the noise came back.
I think Joao experienced the same after he fixed the problem.
I'm personnaly touching wood !

I'm glad it worked for you too


HAnah, so you got it, GREAT !!

I'll turn the clamp to a different angle next weekend. May be the pipe gets deformed than in the right manner.

Watch this space
Dieter Koennecke

Hope you will sort it, Dieter, and that you'll find an engineer's explanation about how the clamp physically cures the noise ;)))

>engineer's explanation about how the clamp physically cures the noise ;)))

LOL !! No hacksaw works possible .... currently. Unfortunately I missed this point at the wreck the other year.
Errr, and it had been possible to do a nice cut there before the wreck went it's way.

So some therories please ;) mad or not doesn't matter ;)
We know from the files that the inner small pipe sticks about only 25mm in the outer. Weld lines are done at the end only....So what makes noises if the weld lines look still OK ?

I think it could be rust inside between the pipes. Rust (Fe2O3) is bigger volume than steel and this may fill the small gap. So may be this noise relates to a kind of 'stick/slip' like at a tiny earthquake.

Dieter Koennecke

So, your theory is that the inner tube has some small movement inside the outer tube even if the weldings are OK, but that the movement doesn't make noise, except if there's rust between ?
So, it could be possible to spray some oil or liquid grease, or WD 40 in order to make this movement silent ?
It's difficult to tell without having heard the noise ...
Well, I don't know if I have it in my car... indeed I hear some squeaks, but I don't bother too much (I'm not used to German build quality) and the radio is on nearly all the time.


When I was putting mine on, I had to put them on slightly diagonally (or not straight in another words), because the weld spots prevented me from doing so.

Well, as long as it stays this way, it will be fine.

Oh also I found the cure for the dash creak! It was on the board, (really hard to find), about Tim Randel I think who designed the K&N cold air bracket, he suggested sticking some pads between the cross member and the air vent, and yes, I think this will cure it!

So my MGF is back to being quite... now I just gotta figure out how to fix that clunking windows (which doesn't bother me too much)..

Good luck Dieter! I am so happy this $12NZ clamps fixed the noise, after forking out $1200nz twice for the welding!

David: I will write to you soon. At the moment I can't afford anything, because I am paying off a mobile phone bill (which was 300 pounds last months..). More story will be on ur email. Thanks!


(Man gotta love this BBS)
Hanah Kim

the knock is the same I experianced the other year with a worn lower ball joint. I go straight and all is calm. Left curve, no problem. Right curve..sometimes.. one knock. Slalom, no knock. Or sometimes on a motorway and slight uneven sections... it makes one knock.

At first I thought on a clear evidence for steering joint or ball joint troubles, but they are tight on the RH side as well as the wheel hub bearing.
WD40 is an option for a try, of course, but I got no sense for tries currently. To cold for DIY games in a dark garage. On Saturday I'll be back at Dormagen. Let' see how it goes on.

Dieter Koennecke

Hi all,

I gave the clame some more torque this morning.
No result. It still knocks.
So I give in and give the car to the workshop on monday.

May be I attached the clamp to far away from the body. I did it flush with the bracket for the fuse panel. The member bar pipe got shrinked from the clamp for about 5mm in diameter, but beside the location of the inner pipe.


May be the above ASCII drawing explains what I talk about.
Should be a cut through the RH side of the cross member. Remove the dots in your mind. The lines with the (--I) show the inner pipe. The (I) is the right hand body.

So the --_-- (underline) is the shrink from one side of the clamp, LH from the inner pipe.

May be you others just got the bend circumference on the inner pipe ?


x = fusepanel bracket
C = clamp lower part

This would mean that the clamp is app 5 or 10mm apart from the fusepanel bracket. (gap between bracket and clamp)
Is it ?

Anyway, got the digi-cam back from the repair (100 quid) :(
But it's impossible to make a picture from what I talk about.

Dieter Koennecke

Nice drawings Dieter :-)

Dieter, mine was done like the bottom diagram except it was put on little bit diagonally. Not on purpose, but had to, due to the protruding weld spots.

Maybe try to relocate and do it..? Have u put u clamps on both ends?


Hanah Kim

>Maybe try to relocate and do it..? Have u put u clamps on both ends?

Nope, brought that knocking whole F-thing to the dealers on Sunday evening.
No longer my case .... I like warranty :)

I wonder what they will decide now or find else.
On the ride to the workshop the wife was with me and she realised the knocks for the first time than. She means it's more from direction above the Cross Member Bar. It's really confusing, cause there is nothing and the RH air outlet was also removed.

Had a look as well to the workshop manual due the probabbly broken mirror cheeter. Now not sure about it, but may be the broken lower aluminum mold part is the knocker reason ?

I'll see, hope they get it fixed until next spring ;) Have got another complain running related to missing colour at the A-frame where the upper frame meets the right and left A-frame post. So they will need some days works.

Dieter Koennecke

Hope everything works out for you!

Maybe it's not a crossmember after all?

Fingers crossed! ;)

[If they want to re-weld the cross member, don't do it]
Hanah Kim

>Maybe it's not a crossmember after all?

Just and update from the workshop. HAd a call this afternoon.
They hopefully found it. It should be the broken mirror cheater. Knock doesn't appear without the cheeter.
The car is 'inside in bits and pieces' ... :(
Unfortunately no stocks of a new cheeter, so I need to wait another week until I get the MGF back.

Have got my christmas present 'in advance'. Nice ICE Becker Navi system with CD-Changer, but no car to install ;)

PS. on the road with the s*it Diesel Fiesta
Dieter Koennecke

Ohh sounds interesting!

But Dieter, if they haven't pulled the dash apart, as soon as the car comes back, make sure you tighten the exhaust clamps you have put on, and just leave them there. I don't think they will hurt... :) [you already put a dent on it by doing it anyway]

Broken cheeter sounds better than the cross member! Good luck!

Today I am going to pull my door apart. :)
Yay... I will get it sorted.

No GPS navigation in New Zealand yet.. Pretty slow here really.

My car audio system is satisfactory at the moment except for the sub. I heard that you were using tiny sub behind the seats.. but then the bass from my Infinity components are pretty good...

Oh guess what! I left the wax can on dad's car (top of his wagon), and I forgot about it. He just left with it... and I lost my 100% caubana wax.. *sob*.. it was 40 dollars!!

My fault.


Anyway, I hope u get ur car back ASAP and let us know how it is like!

Hanah Kim

Dieter Koennecke

This thread was discussed between 04/11/2001 and 23/11/2001

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