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MG MGF Technical - Creak from dash after re-welding... I am getting SICK of it.

Hi,

Now everyone knows that my car went through the rewelding session at the start of the year... (Jan 6th), and it was fine for about 2 months, and after that the creak has come back.

Well, it was rather very annoying 'squeaks' at the start, and I could generate it by forcing (not too much) the steering wheel up and down. It would squeak squeak. [the steering wheel actually moved up and down a little] = and same on poor road surface

Got it fixed by re-welding. My dealer knew nothing about it, so I basically just printed out 20 page instruction sheet for both welder and the dealer. After the service was done (which took 7 working days), I asked the service manager for the warranty on the work. He said 'this welding thing really ain't gonna break ay. We checked it and it's solid as.' so I just left.

But then again it squeak came back after 2 months! I think it actually started after I painted the brake calipers. I left the car on jacks (one from MG and one from Mitsi) to paint the calipers. For example I used 2 jacks on left front and rear to paint the calipers for about 6 hours to let it dry etc. and same for the other side. I don't know if this has had too much twist in the body. I mean it shouldn't have. I leveled it so that it was same height with the side on wheels!

It's not a squeak anymore, but rather a tick tick noises on poor road surface. Also going up and down a steep drive way + when body twists (for eg. sometimes when cornering). It's winter here, (with about 11 Celcius) but there is no change in frequency of this noise, as this is a lot warmer than what it is in UK. [others have reported in almost disappearance during winter time] This noise is not as annoying as what I had before the repair though. [but annoying enough to look for other cars again!]

Oh also, my steering wheel is still solid as, and I cannot generate the noise by forcing the steering wheel up and down. I do not do it hard as it would damage the sheer bolts or something which will require the full replacement as I recall.

I am a bit of a perfectionist, and I want things perfect. My car is mechanically sound, everything goes well. Starting problem was rectified with a new thermostat for water cooland + performance HT leads + NGK spark plugs.


During the holiday (in 3 weeks time), I am planning to install my amp / new headunit (Sony CDX-910 a competition unit!), and might take the whole dash out if it is not too hard. I have some copies (illegal yes) of the workshop manual...

-> if anyone has done this, do I also need to take the steering bits out.. like the main mechanical parts..? then I might just leave the things as it is.... :)

-> final question, this is a cracked crossmember again right? or the trim needs tightening...?

-> Should I live with it? I mean if I can undo the dash myself.. it would not cost that much to re-weld..

Please let me know! Thanks.

Rather along post sorry

Regards,
Hanah

Hanah Kim

Hi. No one seems to reply... :(

Anyway, I talked to the Rover dealer today (where it was fixed before), and after test driving they said that 'there is obviously a problem in the dash'. He (the service manager from UK) said that if this is a crossmember problem again, he will get it fixed for free. (as this has been only done 4 months ago)If it's not cross member (after pulling it out), I would have to pay for the labour to take the dashout etc.

From my experience, I am sure this is the cross member. As it makes noises when there is a twist in body + poor road surfaces. Tick tick noises on both ends of the car. Eg) going over speed bumps and slow speed will make (creeak creeakk) / going over poor road (tick tick tick) / etc.

It's going into the dealer's next Monday (UK time for you guys!)what do you say..? Just get it fixed eh..? Because I am really getting sick of it.

You think it's cross member as well? Please let meknow!

Thanks




Hanah

Hi Hannah,

Sorry, I meant to reply yesterday, but didn't for various reasons....

The crossmember in my 97 car took 2 goes before it stopped creaking and cracking too. Since the second attempt, however, glorious silence from that part of the car :-)

And like yours, mine was fine for a while and then restarted - it seemed to start again after a change in the weather (cooler)...

Neil.
Neil

Sorry to hear that the squeak is back Hannah- one of those things that one naturally becomes hyper alert for.

I have never attempted to remove the dashboard- In fact I don't actually know of any MG enthusiast how has. For advice on this, perhaps it is worth dropping Mike Satur a line?

IIRC, as Neil has said, it may take more than one attempt to repair judging by previous reports here on the BBS. Maybe as Neil says it is an expansion issue with ambient temperatures- get it repaired when the climate is cold...?

Commisserations- I appreciate your sentiment!
Rob Bell

Hi there, Rob and Neil.

First of all thanks Neil, that encourages me to get that service done again. Because I really don't like the idea of taking the dash apart [twice now!]... Yes the first one was done in middle of summer. And it's almost winter now, so I am hoping this would solve the problem!

Neil, how long has it been since your last welding? And yours 97 car as well? Because Dot had a problem as well on her 97 VVC. Mine is late 96VVC registered first time in mid / late 1997.

Rob, wish I can take it to Mike Satur, but then again I live in NZ, and that would cost me ALOT :)

But what I am worried is, if it comes back again after this service, what am I supposed to do... sux.

Oh, good thing though, when I went to the Rover dealer today, I was talking to this service manager and he gave me a 1:18 Corgi VVC BRG green model for free! woohoo.. :)

Anyway thanks!

Hope this creak goes away.. hate noises..
Hanah Kim

Don't worry I wasn't suggesting that you ship your car to the UK! LOL Mike would, I am sure, be happy to impart his extensive experience of MGFs to you over the phone and give you useful hints and tips that perhaps are not included in the workshop manual...
Rob Bell

Hi Hannah,

Mine was welded for the second time about 2 years ago from what I remember. It was first registered in Jan '97 (VIN 184xx). It has certainly been through a couple of summer/winter cycles.

I suspect there may have been a batch of "edge of spec" bodyshells produced around then because (unless someone else chimes in to the contrary) it doesn't seem to have been much of a problem after '97 models.

Its certainly not something that's coming up on the BBS much these days...

Neil.

Neil

>I have never attempted to remove the dashboard- In fact I don't actually know of any MG enthusiast how has

*g*.. don't you forget one ? ... ;)

Disassembling is not that problem, but getting it back, oh yes. I suppose it cannot be done by only one person. Mor than two hands are required to keep an eye on the right position of the heater hoses etc.

Hanah, what about the company were the welding was done. Have you asked them what they mean to a probably broken welding ?

Dieter
PS. so sorry about it. 'We' had done our very best three month ago :(

Dieter Koennecke

Hi Dieter! Long time no see!!

Thanks for your sympathy (or maybe empathy it's from Dieter!)! I know we tried 'our best!' and I think my dealer tried his best as well trying to minimise the damages on the dash. (even though he damaged my Momo gear knob + rotary coupler.)

I even visited the panel beaters (welding) and they assured me for sure! But then again it cracked.

The service manager told me that if the crossmember is not making the noise, i will have to pay for the labour. What do you think Dieter? My symptoms like cracked welding? [I do think so]. They were also wondering why it cracked, and was going to go the panel beaters to find out the cause. Hopefully it was the tempature thing. [during summer time]

I am just worried, if this re-re-welding doesn't fix the problem.. I will get upset.. :(

(Neil, what a conincidence.. my car has vin around 1700x)

(Rob, hehe I know what you mean.. but I don't think Mike will help me a lot.. :( even though I am his customer..)

Hanah Kim

coincedence...
I'm not sure, but happened already also to earlier cars.
17000... 18000 was in winter 1996 to early spring. Anyway, it doesn't help the suffering.
:(

Hanah, I suggest do take the same plan as three month ago. At first the dealers check, than if required the panel beater.

BTW.. did you get information the other month on WHICH side the bar welding was broken ?

Dieter
Dieter Koennecke

Dieter, no I didn't.

They didn't even show me the 'disaster'. But after the repair, they told me 'we couldn't see the crack'.

But obviously after the repair, there was no more squeak noises + steering wheel felt a lot firm and rigid and I couldn't generate that squeaky noise by moving the steering up and down. [It doesn't move at all now]

But this time, there is a new service mananger, and told me that he will show me the crack when he takes the dash out.

But this time I can hear the creak (not squeak now) on both ends of the car. Mostly on driver's side though (RHD).

I think, we will just have to repeat the same procedure.

IF this doesn't fix my car, well bye bye my F
:( [I just bought whole lot of audio gears for my car, and they are just waiting to be fitted in. But I don't want to install them if there is that bloody noise keep sqeaking in the dash somewhere]
Hanah Kim

if the weld has gone again in the same place then IMO the technique used is not correct. Pre-heating etc may need to be carried out. The condition of the parent metal may also be a problem. Check with a welding specialist.
Stuart Elliot

Stuart,

I'm not sure about required pre-heating cause the welding location is quite near to othe sensible parts. The instructions he got didn't mention about pre-heating.

They were told to drill small holes all around the about 60mm pipe and close them by welding. I'm no welder but guess also that anything went wrong though.
Dieter Koennecke

Dieter, Sensible in German = sensitive in English :o)

Sorry not to comment earlier Hanah, I've been away for a few days & haven't been keeping up with the BBS.

It does sound like its the infamous cross-member problem. AFAIK it needs a particularly tricky weld & seems to take a couple of attempts to fix. I believe the noise you hear is the cross-member flexing in the brackets at the end of the bar (not the right terms - but you get the picture?).

I hope you get it fixed at the next attempt - I know just how irritating it is, even turning up the radio really loud doesn't seem to mask it.
Dot

>Dieter, Sensible in German = sensitive in English :o)

*g* thanks for the correction though. Another one to my 2000 words english dictionary :)

Pictures he got are still @
http://www.mgf-net.de/cross_member_bar/index.htm
Dieter Koennecke

Stuart:
I actually wanted to take the car to a different welder this time, but since this is getting fixed free (second time) from Rover, they want to use the panel beater they use. It's a good panel beating place, but hopefully they can do a better job.

If this doesn't fix it, they will have to re-do again and again until they can get rid of the noise. I am not going to live with it.

Dieter:

Yes, I think we did everything fine last time.. something just went wrong. Hopefully the last welder from last experience, does a better job this time. My car is at the dealer's now.

Dot:

Yeap I heard about your previous car before and it's squeak... you didn't get it fixed though right??
I get your picture PERFECTLY. :) I have seen enough photos already.

Rover was warning me today.. 'if it's not a cracked cross-member, you will have to pay for it..' but I asked them to get rid of the noise last time, and it came back. Shouldn't they be fixing it for free anyway? But then again, I am sure it's a cross member. What do you think?

I don't want to be Poorer.

P.S. Dieter I think that should be a 20000 word dic. for you. Not 2000 :) you speak well!
Hanah

>you didn't get it fixed though right??
Erm, no. It was rewelded once, but the noise came back - by which time I had decided to try & live with it. It was one of the many problems that made me decide to get rid of the car.
Dot

Hi Dot,

If I cannot get rid of the noise, I will probably have to get rid of it.

:(

(I don't have any other problems, but... I like things perfect...)
Hanah

Hannah, I had similar noises in my car but I don't think it was the crossmember, these noises have now stopped after a couple of months driving. I get a small tick noise from the dashboard every now and then while the car is warming up but I think this has nothing to do with the cross member, more down to the dash expanding and contracting.

I say this because the creaking comes back for a day or two if I have the car up on jacks for any reason.
Tony Smith

Hi,

my dealer just rang me, and told me that there is no problem with my cross-member.

But the noise is so 100% crossmember squeaking!!

branch breaking noises / and stuff.

They told me if it ain't the cross member, I will need to pay for the labour.

But -> if it wasn't the cross member, it's their workmanship fault, -> developing that squeak noises, possibly due to the loose bolt (this is highly doubt ful)


and then again -> I will ask them if they can guarantee the noise will disppear if they fit the dashback on (without welding) I will pay them.

But if the noise is still there, they will have to do the welding job again (but this will require another process of dash job)!!

What am I supposed to do, and how the hell am I going to prove that it is the cross-member. Any thoughts?

I was thinking of putting on side of the car higher by using the jack, and trying to flex the body and generate the noise, but someone has got to be in the car to hear that...

Plz help!
Hanah

Well I went to the dealer,

and looked at my cross member for the first time. Obviously they only made 3 holes to secure the beam.

Where we need 360 degree of coverage.

It was surprisingly drivable, so I could prove that it still was the cross-member that was causing the problem.

Well, it was creaking like hell especially with dash off. The young mechanic who was showing me stuff, wasn't sure if that 360 degree welding was possible or not. If not take the whole thing off, weld then put it back (including the brackets on the side). Is this a good idea?

They are going to ring me back tomorrow morning. Looks like I will be without my F for a while...

Hanah

Taking the whole thing off doesn't sound like a great idea to me, I can't see how that is gonna help them reweld it - but then I am no expert.

At least you managed to convince them of what the problem was - Good Luck in getting it fixed!

P.S. Happy Birthday :o)
Dot

Same meaning as Dot.

Hanah, did you see how the only three holes got welded ?
There is much differences in welding processes.
Standard for sheet metal weldings is electric welding with thin wire and 'gas flow' to keep oxigen off from the process.
Dunno the right english name for 'Schutzgas Scheissen' *inherent welding*??
MIG welding ?

Very simple and poor would be welding the thin sheet metal with a cheap 'electrode' and a simple transformer.

Next stage would be 'gas welding' with a flame. This would be the best IMO in this case. The pre-heating mentioned above is possible in this case.

Err, can somebody exlain this differences in english please ?
Ted ????

BTW three holes are much to less IMO.
Also a 360 degree welding line isn't a good idea !! The behavior of the material at such a small but probably hardened weld line can break easy.

Rgds
Dieter
Dieter Koennecke

Dot:

Thanks for the msg! + happy b day msg as well! :)
Good memory there... (as you are probably jumping around diff. threads)
And thanks for the idea. I personally don't think it's a good idea to remove the whole thing..


Dieter:

Different welding options ay..?
I mean it's the same welder, so I guess he will take a different approach. I want to like my car *sob*. Go away noise.

Will let you know tomorrow sir. :)
Hanah Kim

>>Standard for sheet metal weldings is electric welding with thin wire and 'gas flow' to keep
oxigen off from the process.<<

This is what is called MIG welding in the UK, Dieter.

Spencer had exactly this problem way back in '98- check the archives. A four hole was drilled, and the creaking solved. It is technically very difficult, and is the reason why it usually isn't done the first time. Some cars were returned to Rover for the correction work- unfortunately this isn't an option for you.

Good luck- I am hopeful that the problem will be solved this time.

Rob
Rob Bell

Dear Rob,

Thanks for the encouraging msg.

I really hope this fixes the problem as well! Well, the dealer hasn't rang me today, but I saw him talking ot the panel beater (welder as well) when I was driving home from work.. so I guess they were discussing what to do about it.

I've been to dealer's so often, getting it serviced / getting parts (looking after my car.. :)) they all know me. All say 'hi how are you? how is your car doing'... this is all from the parts departments.

On the other hand, people at service departments are scared of me.. ;) becuz I always bring something printed from MGF BBS. Hehehe..

I got so much things planned for my car at the moment, hopefully they can fix it well this time!! I got a new headunit / Infinity 6.5 components / amp / new wiring everywhere waiting to be installed.. They are screaming in the corner of my room ;)

Also want to paint side intake grills to silver... and WAX my car.. it's so dirty now..

and also fix my leather seats.. got some scuff on it.

And also (damn!) take middle cubby covers to local leather place, to get it leathered (if there is such word).

Then my car would be perfect!!

:)

I just cross my fingers for the crossmmeber.

I will keep you posted tomorrow.

Thanks again.
Hanah Kim

Damn it.

Not sure if this is a good deal,

but I came back with a bill :(


The dealer said that it's not his fault about the cracked welding. And he also followed the official instructions. He is a Rover dealer not an MG. [Well there is only one left, but I don't trust that garage]

He said that maybe the welding was not that good. But they also followed the instructions so should have been fine.

Dealer has talked to the welder. And they are going to talk to them again on Monday. They guaranteed that they are going to get my car fixed before my birthday which is good.

They are asking me to pay for...
Only labour charges at 2/3 of their normal rate. They also said last time it took them 14 hours to refit the dash (they said the alarm and motion sensor I have fitted separately was a pain to reinstall). And they only charged me 6.9 hours (6 hrs was official time)

This time. $50 + GST / hr at 6.9hrs. Coming to total of About $388. Which is 112 pounds (inc. VAT) for total job.

I know this sounds really cheap to you guys in UK. But this is a huge service bill for NZers.

The labour charge is only around 15 pounds / hr.

But I am glad this is not going to be a massive loss for me.
Oh yeah, and welding will be done for free. And they are going to take extra care this time. [Poo to them]

But they cannot guarantee that creak will not come back.

:(

But anyway, I will get back to you again. My car will be at welder's Monday.


Hanah Kim

Fingers crossed then Hannah!
Rob Bell

I wonder if it is this crossmember bar which comes loose, but this has no effect on the car, why not 'block' the cracked fittings with some kinda foam or what, just to avoid it making this horrible "tak tak" noise?

I had it twice but it disappeared after a few days. Same applies to my brother.

The price to fix this is just way too high, and moreover it's Rover's fault, not the drivers, so why pay even 1 to fix it?

But I agree it can make you totally nuts driving in such a squeaky car!
Dirk

Rob: Thanks..my fingers are all crossed too. I am typing with my pen in my mouth.. :0)

Dirk: Hi, long time no see!! Got your M3 yet? I think it's gonna take me long time to see the car in NZ. Wish that's like that.. I asked dealer if Rover could help me. And he said it's likely no, because we are not in Uk, and it's a japanese imported car, and I didn't buy the car from the same dealer, and Rover doesn't own MG anymore blah blah. But still Rover made the bloody car even though it's been to Japan. It's made in Britain still with its original tyres made in Britain as well!! (I did about 22000km bought it at 9400km)

I really didn't want to pay a single cent for it, but I felt quite bad for the dealer people, as they always have been helpful and didn't try to rip me off. [i knew too much to rip me off anyway :)]


As for the foam, since the crossmember beam is covering the hinge area at eachends (which are making noises) this is not possible. It's still a tight fit between the bracket and the beam. No place for foam.
I have to agree that it's Rover's fault though.. they even had the official bulletin out for it (which didn't work well for my last repair).

And lastly yes that noise drives me nuts. If it doesn't go away my $2000 Sony headunit is not gonna be worth staying in my F.
Hanah

This thread was discussed between 24/05/2001 and 01/06/2001

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