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MG MGF Technical - Dead VVC ?

Hi All,

First post on this board, I was wondering if anyone has any ideas. I was driving my R reg VVC (20K miles)2 mins after a cold start and the engine stopped with a loss of compression on two cils (according to the AA). It went back to the dealer (an AUDI one) where I bought it 6 days before who said it was a head gasket blown.

They sent it to a Rover dealer who after ignoring it for a week told me that it had 'Thrown some cams?' he would give me no extra info apart from quting 2 grand + vat for a complete new head to fix it.

A MG F specialist then told me that he could fit a recon engine (1 year warranty) for much less money but that he doubted the rover dealers analysis and he recond he could fix it for much less. He picked it up this afternoon.

The question is has anyone had sim problems or got any great ideas for questions I should ask the mg specialist.

Thanks in advance


Hi Paul
I guess you're not a 'happytechie' now (sorry :-( )
If you could still turn the engine over after this failure (how else could the AA say that 2 cils had low compression?), then I don't see how the engine had 'thrown some cams'.
If we start with the AA diagnosis then some water could have entered one cylinder and caused hydraulic lock - just removing the plugs will then allow the engine to turn over, then it's just a normal head gasket swap.

Hope you get it fixed soon.


Yikes, sorry to hear the bad news Paul.

Unfortunately difficult to provide any advice without actually knowing what the problem is. By the sounds of it, the only way to get to the bottom of this is to remove the cylinder head... which means new gaskets anyway.

What happened when the car stopped? Any steam? Loss of water coolant? Overheating? Did you see the condition of the oil/ coolant after the car broke down?

Not sure, but one problem that does befall VVC engines are failed cam bolts. There was a recall a few years back for dealers to check the torque settings. Your service book should have mention in it as to whether it was done in accordance to the manufacturers instruction.

If the recall work wasn't done, I am not sure what the situation would be...

I hope that the damage is not too expensive to repair.

Rob Bell

Hi Paul, sorry to hear about your problem.

As Rob says above there have been a number of cambolt failures on VVC engines built in 1997/8 reported in this board. Have a quick check through the archives searching for "cambolt failure" and you will find plenty of information. If that actually proves to be the problem you should talk to someone like Mike Satur who has dealt with this problem before. I believe that some people have managed to get some compensation from Rover.

Spyros Papageorghiou

Hi All,

Thanks for the input. I believe the recall on the bolts was done (it has a full MG service hisstory with all reciepts). As i said I should know later on what the issue was (and might get a new exaust / air filter while it's there).


If I had brought a car from an Audi garage and the engine blew after 6 days, I would expect the Audi garage to get it fixed. Unless I had negotiated a special deal with no warrantry, I would of at least expected 3 months - but 6 days...?


I agree with Steve. Surely it came with some kind of warranty. If not it still has to be "fit for purpose" or "of merchentable quality" or whatever.

The Audi dealer would appear to be looking at a sizable repair bill.

Hey all,

You are quite right about the car, I bought it trade for cash with no warrenty. I am arguing with them (wee my solicitor is now) that it was not fit for purpose which is the key point.



There are two camshaft problems with the VVC.

The front cambelt wheel which was the subject of a recall to be tightened acouple of years ago.

The second involves the actual VVC mechanism which is at the rear (ie the left hand side). In this case there is a peg which shears off and causes the symptons that you describe.

Try to ascertain from the dealer the exact failure. If it is the first type there should be a record that the bolts were tightened. If it is the second type then this is something which MG Rover are currently investigating following an approach from 'Honest John' in the Saturday Telegraph. There have been a number of these failures which you can read about in the archive. Some customers have been approached regarding this failure, I am awaiting a phone call tomorrow from them to hear what they have discovered. No doubt there will be more to report in due course.

Good luck with sorting out your problem.

Pete Fincher

This thread was discussed between 02/10/2001 and 03/10/2001

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This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGF Technical BBS is active now.