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MG MGF Technical - Don't fix what ain't broken....

Story :
Decided to have the QED remote thermostat fitted to my vehicle, along with the oil cooler it should help eliminate (reduce) the "Thermal shock".

- Had my system checked for a leak as there was a bit 300ml of coolant away, along with this check I wanted to have the QED remote thermostat fitted.

- Went back to the workshop to get my car back.
Apparently two hose clamps where loose hence the coolant loss. The QED remote thermostat was fitted.

- Drove home, check coolant level, waaaayy to high : (a bit of coolant spread over the place)

- Removed the excess coolant, inspected the cap : (??????)

- Drove back to the dealer, had the cap replaced.

- Now when going 130-140 (Trophy, 5th gear), coolant moves rapidely towards red line, whenever I enable the
heater (FULL blow, full heat)
it immediately (10-15 seconds) goes back to normal temp !

- Car slurps around 200ml on 100km, stinks like burned coolant.

The only way I can think of is that they INVERTED the thermostat housing.

-->>Flow of coolant ---> Thermostat ENDING -->>

Instead of

--->>> FLow of coolant ->>> Thermostat opening/start -->>


>coolant moves rapidely towards red line
Meant to say : Coolant temp moves rapdily towards the redline and stays there (on the red line)

Take it back

it's very wrong!!


Has it been bled correctly?

Bruce Caldwell

Yes, they used the Rover utility to blled it (per vaccum).

Take it back!!!!!!
you should have zero fluid loss
it's going to go horribly wrong and very soon!


Inspection cover removed.

QED is of no help, nobody answers the phone nobody replies to my fax nor my email. Only their K6 in mind apparently ;

It looks horribly wrong, the whole setup seems wrong to me.

Guys I need your help, even Rover mechanics don't get this right so please help an amateur.

Here is the manual for the "Remote Thermostat installation" :

Here are pictures of the actual installation :

Quote from the manual : >>The thermostat is installed such that it interrupts the main (large pipe) from the top of the cylinder head.<<

Isn't this the actual "Big pipe from the Head" as the manual suggest ? : (the one with the orange mark) Shouldn't the thermostat be there ?

This is where they have installed the thermostat : (black sprayed item in the middle)

Thermostat to the left, pipe to which the thermostat is install has the bleednig valve :

This is where the bypass is mounted :

Am I getting this right ? They implented the thermostat on the wrong pipe COMING BACK from the Radiator ? It will never open like this ? Am I correct ?

What should the real setup look like, the manual is a bit cirbbled and not very clear (at least to me).


Is this the way it should be really setup ?

The big one is the termometer, the bypass is orange/gold, the tee piece goes back to the header tank.

This would make sense. Anybody has any ideas ?

thermometer = Thermostat.

If my theorie above is correct, the mecanics have plunged the thermostat into the cold line (even the wrong way).

The Coolant comes to a still (as the thermostat will NEVER open, it's mounted the wrong way), the collant gets wamer and warmer and starts to boil, there is bascialy zero coolant flow. Whenever I start the heater, the valve besides the heater matrix opens, a second circuit opens, the coolant starts to flow and even SUCKS cold coolant with it (from the bypass mounted on the cool pipes), that's why I get near normal temperature when I enable the Heater.

That's my theorie.

To sum it up :

- Should the remote thermostat be located on the pipes coming from the radiator (cool) or should it be installed on the Hot pipe coming from the engine (like on

- Should the T-part be located like on the picture above or should it be moved a bit to the right (after the crossover section).


What I can make of it.......

Yes, the thermostat should be fitted in the 'large pipe from the head', the pipe with the orange mark as shown in picture 120.

The remote thermostat has been fitted, as far as I can tell, in the main radiator return pipe (picture 119 and 122). This is incorrect!

The by-pass pipe has been fitted into the heater return pipe (picture 122 again). This is correct. There are now two by-pass pipes, but you need the new pipe to give hot flow over the new thermostat.

The old thermostat should have been removed - can this be confirmed?

What is happening with your set-up? I think that..

There will be no hot flow over the new thermostat, as all the hot water will be trying to flow down the other pipe, as it should.

As the new thermostat will remain closed there will be no flow along the main radiator circuit.

With the thermostat closed the only flow will be along the original by-pass pipe. This will not be enough to cool the engine - especially at 130 kph! I'm not surprised the gauge goes into the red.

When the heater circuit is opened there is more cooling available, it is after all a small heat exchanger. This is apparently enough to bring the gauge (and temperature) down.

What to do? Drive gently to your mechanic. Get the car reverted to original or the new thermostat fitted into the correct pipe immediately. Make sure the original thermostat has been removed if you are keeping the new setup. Bleed, drive and check. Let us know what the results are.

Good luck, regards, Kes.

PS Have just seen your 'Is this the way it should be really setup?' Yes.

Thanks Kes! This confirms my suspicions, yes the old thermostat was removed and sealed.

I think we have this sorted out then, will drive to the workshop very carefully hopefully nothing will be damaged!

Well wait ...while thinking over it again, take a look at the picture again. Why would we need the bypass there ? There is already one ? If the thermostat closes <85C coolant would take the normal bypass wouldn't it ? So why add another one there ? It would make more sense to seal the old bypass ?

To answer my own question :
If there wouldn't be a bypass on the thermostat, warm water would be trapped in there opening the thermostat when in fact the coolant is much colder coming from the engine.


I think the opposite is the case, the new bypass is needed otherwise no water would circulate to the new thermostat and it would never open - that's exactly what the original bypass does, or did, to the original thermostat.

I don't know whether it's necessary to close the old bypass. In normal running possibly not, as there will be enough flow from the pump to satisfy both bypasses. At tickover though I don't know whether there will be enough flow to ensure that the new thermostat opens early enough, especially when the engine is cold. Really need a competent opinion. Dave Andrews, maybe?

Have you searched for any other users' experience with this device? Maybe on the Elise BBS? Might be worth a try.

By the way, I forgot to add that when you drive to the workshop have the heater on full, and the fan on max too!

Regards, Kes.

Follow up :
Went there this morning. Mechanic insisted the thermostat is fitted the correct way. I didn't care so I told him to fit it like I say.

Lots of pipe cutting and clamhose work. Then the bypass of the thermostat showed leaks, Teflon strips around it, fixed.

He filled up the rear coolant using a canister. GO test drive and watch the temperature I was told.

No inspection cover so very loud, and very steamy. Yep, temperature gauge rised, steam came out of the back. I suspect spoiled coolant due to leaking etc on exhaust.

Back to the wrokshop, I told the mechanic that there must be problem as the temperature went up. He then replied
"Oh that's normal, we didn't bleed the system yet"... (??!!).

Feeling the pipe coming from the radiator with the hand showed there was a whol lot of air in it (in fact there was no coolant there at all).

So we added coolant, bleed the system using the jiggle valve on the pipe returning from the radiator. Then I insisted on having it bleed front too. Which he did, well he didn't know there were two bleed screws in the front at all...

So then he went testdrive.. steam everywhere, comes back aed the inspection cover, 2 minutes then comes back.


Of course I was told that the thermostat must be at fault, well it worked flawlessy, at low temperature it cycles through the bypass, at high temperature it openen and flowed through the rad.

Now hopeing dave can supply me with a rebreathed VVC head...

Well I think I choose the topic wisely, don't fix what ain't broken, at least with incapable workshops like that...


T - are you in Luxembourg? I wonder if you use the same garage as our former Dirk of Luxembourg? If so then you have got away very lightly.

Ted Newman

Yes, but I don't know what garage Dirk tend to visit.
(There are 3 in luxembourg)

I am at my third garage.
Luxembourg, Germany (Trier) and now Belgium, all have caused me more headaches than it's worth it.

In order to be complete I would like to add that at first they used the rover Vacuum toy to fill it up and bleed it, but then then later on as we unplugged the termostat (lots of coolant loss there), they filled it up using a canister forgetting to bleed it.


what upgrade are you getting from DAve andrews?

David Peters

Thierry, is this the same garage that fitted your shocks the wrong way round????

Put a post on the Lotus board. Simon Scutham knows a lot about this remote thermostat kit, and I think was instrumental in getting QED to develop it. He's a regular on both Lotus Technical and the SELOC sites.
Rob Bell

I was just about to say I would be amazed if you didn't have a HFG on the way. Bad luck, been there and it ain't nice.
S Laithwaite

@S Laithwaite.
Actually I didn't on the way there (don't forget I have an air/oil cooler mounted front). It happened on the first test drive (after correct fitment of the thermostat) because there was literaly 1m3 of air trapped in the pipes.

@Rob Bell
I specificaly choose another dealer, as I was to disappointed with the old one. Frankly I don't know where to go anymore. I am thinking about not havin an MG as my next car only becuase there are no competent garages around here. They don't fix things, they brake them.

@David Peter :
As I want to keep the VVC mechanism
- VVC exhaust cam
- Quick and dirty head port (with all valves etc fitted)
- Gasket

Dave says that should give around 15bhp if the exhaust cam is correctly timed. Now DO WE sincerely believe a garage fitting a thermostat the wrong way around is able to correctly time the VVC exhaust cam ? I don't. But currently have no other option as the car is there.

Thierry, I think a timely journey abroad in on the horizon. Milton Keynes may not be everyones idea of a perfect winter holiday but to others it sounds just perfect.

tim woolcott

Well as the engine will be stripped down anyway, can anybody give me some hints on modifications which could (or even should) be done at this point.

P.S: I would like to keep the VVC mechanism.


@Tim: What's so special about Milton keynes ?
Does anybody have any ideas on how I can have the car transported to england (without driving it) have the required work done accordingly and have it brought back ?

Of course I want to have the work done by poeple used to do this, any recommendations ?

Another thing is that the current garage/workshop offers to have the work done under guarantee (although THEY clearly messed up and should have to pay it). So I have kind of mixed feelings.

Another question is whether I should leave the (now correct) thermostat installation or swap back to the original one.



Milton Keynes is the ntural habitat of Dave Andrews :o)

Mmmm shipping the head to the UK. Probably UPS or a local courier company, unless you know anyone coming over to the UK in the next few days....! Dave regularly ships heads world wide so getting it back would be pretty straight forward.....

tim woolcott

I was speaking about the whole car to be "moved", that way I can be sure nothing is messed up. Kind of paranoid though, but you'll certainly undersand my concerns, new head, new cams, mounted by an workshop like that means that I can return in 3-4month with another hgf because of poor work.. I better pay some money for transportation and have it done by somebody who knows what he speaks of..

You think Dave would do that, strip the head off, check the engine, mount the new gasket/head/match manifold&plenum to the head ?


Ah..., I see. I don't think that UPS are able to ship whole cars.....:o( the only option would be to rent a trailer and borrow a vehicle with a tow bar. You may find that a track day enthusiast might be willing to loan you a trailer.... just a thought.

I'm sure that Dave would be willing to work on the whole car. From what I understand he has done that for Kingsley and a whole host of Elise owners. It will be worth contacting Dave to discuss your requirements, but I understand your reticence with regard to your local garages.

tim woolcott


Guess you know what your next holliday destination will be.

any nice sight seeing in Milton Keynes?

good luck,
David Peters

... and Silverstone nearby !!

btw, checked the archives for Dirkies last good dealer but didn't find hints. May be it's useful asking his brother Luc. Search the archives for *Vael*.
Dieter K.

any nice sight seeing in Milton Keynes?

Architectual nightmare apart from the legendary concrete cows!

I think I've to come out of the shadow.
To be honest, the dealer where T's bad adventure happened, is the dealer from whom I'm a customer since nearly 10 years now. During this time I had all my five cars serviced at this place and one of them wasn't even a MG-R car.I have also bought 3 new cars from them which were a Rover and 2 MGs. I'm more than happy with their service and until today I had no bad adventure. I even had a complete engine strip down and rebuild of my 1994 Rover Coupe done by them. Thierry has been with me to the rollers with this car and I think he was well impressed by the breath of this old lady.
This should be no excuse to what happened to T, and I feel more than guilty because I told him only the best about this dealer.
What happenend here, was that the Qued part was build in by a mechanic who had no experience with the F. OK it's a K-series VVC engine, that you can also find on the Rover 200, 25 or the MG ZR; but the concept of the F or TF makes all the pipework and secondary engine parts be different. Combine this with an language problem (intallation notice was in english), and an non MG-R standart part, and you already have 3 potential problem sources before you start. Fact is that they (this special mechanic) all messed up.
When they are now talking to get it all fixed under guarantee, so this won't be the MG-R guarantee that they will solicitate. On the work they carry out on the customers cars, they give a guarantee that everything is fine. In your case they will pay for the additional work and parts themselfs. Which is more than normal.

Nevertheless, I will have a small talk with the dealer on Wednesday, when I get the Coupe in. BTW, I won't be amused.

PPO Pascal

Thanks Pascal, your points are valid, however please note that :

- I translated some phrases into french from the manual. I also translated the most important sentence that says (out of memory) : The thermostat needs to be plunged into the PIPE COMING from the cylinder head.

Which they didn't, if they would have followed that sentence, I wouldn't have to post this today.

- (AFAIK) The guarantee they refer to is the Rover guarantee not theirs. I think I can tell because the mechanic told me "We won't tell Rover about the thermostat..." like it would be the fault of the thermostat anyways..

I am posting these details, because I won't post the identity of the dealer in question. No harm intented.

T I didn't know that you translatet the installation notice for them. So no excuse for the mechanic.

Initially you went there to get a small leak in the cooling system fixed. This was done by them under MG-R warranty. In the same time you asked them to fit the QUED thermostat, which they messed up completely.
If now they tell MG-Rover about an non MG-Rover part fitted to your car, you will loose every guarantee and you would have to pay for the initial leak too.
Concerning the HGF, I think they will getting everything fixed under the dealer's insurance and not under the MG-R warranty/guarantee.

Nevertheless, I will talk to them, because I'm more than upset by the mess they did to your car.


Loosing warranty ain't retroactive. The leak appeared prior to the fitting of the thermostat, I don't see any corrolation.

"Hey you changed to non OEM parts now, we are going to bill you what has been done on guarantee to your car prior." I don't hink so.

Anyways I will take this to email now, I'll only update the post if there have been any major shakings/ramblings.


This sounds really like co-relation to Dirkies speach
It was 99 with Dirk's second HGF, wasn't it ?
Dieter K.

Pascal, I agree with your assessment: the remote thermostat is a specialist part that is being inserted into a specialised cooling system. Frankly, it is very easy to get confused over it.

IMO it is worth consulting Motorsport engineers for things like this: this is very much more in their line of work than it is for a 'humble' MGR mechanic (and no disrespect intended!)
Rob Bell

Hi all,
have been reading thru all the threads and my question is : Why fit the remote thermostat in an allready overcrowded engine department at all ? The place for such a device is just ahead of the inlet to the front radiator! There it(depending upon actual coolant temp and load) either by-pass the radiator entirely,do blend to a variying degree or let the coolant fully pass thru the radiator. In such a way the total temp fluctations at the inlet of the engine will be less than +/- 3 deg.C at all loads ! When doing this some year ago I decided to keep the original thermostat in place but use 82 deg. opening temp and also a 4 mm by-pass hole in that thermostat.
Works like a dream at both club-racing and sight-seeing with the co-driver determining the speed ;o)
See Simonīs site for more info as well as Dieterīs excellent site for pictures of the installation.
PS. There are still a few good remote thermostate housings around. Rover SID as well as the Russian Lada had them . Donīt laugh - take a look on the in price cheap but very well engineered and built Lada thermostat and housing !!
Hope everything turns up OK finally for T, positivley this could be a good time to get some work done on the head !
BR, Carl.
Carl Blom

This thread was discussed between 07/11/2003 and 17/11/2003

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