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MG MGF Technical - Engine not running smoothly

Just returned from a short trip in my girlfriends 97R VVC (48k miles), and noticed very poor power delivery under acceleration. The engine is very jerky when you put your foot down, it seems to stutter for a half a second or so and then pick up and go. I'm thinking it may be the leads as my girlfriend has complained that the car wouldn't start after a lot of rain although it has been ok recently. Very noticeable difference in power delivery when compared to my VVC! Anybody got any ideas?


Could be a weak spark due to leads breaking down or poor connections - but could also be a fuel problem - although this time of year leads is the obvious one - and the distributer - worth checking the leads including the connectors - clean and remove any deposits - dont buy anything if your unsure - can be a money pit - and dont touch the leads with the ignition on - if there breaking down its a hell of an electric shock they give you!!!
aLSO SPARK PLUG/S breaking down!

Other symptoms for stuttering and poor acceleration would create a long list

One other area to check is air filter BLOCKAGE- this would give poor starting - poor MPG and awful acceleration - get someone to blip the throttle and check the exhaust - if black smoke appears its running too rich and odds are the air filter is blocked!

Any other symptoms ?? noises ??


At this mileage the plugs will, if the car has followed the Rover service schedule, be original. In addition cold and damp starting should also be a little more difficult with perhaps a degree of additional lumpuiness to the engines operation.

This hiccup is a classic sign of a problem within the HT side of the ignition and plugs and leads are more than favorite for the cause. As the car is a VVC you do not have a dizzy cap and rotor arm, just very long HT leads that start at two double output coils under the inlet manifold and which feed direct to the plugs.

Roger Parker

Hi Tony & Rog

Thanks very much for your comments, sorry its taken a while to come back with a reply, PC been offline for a while.

I think I will have a good look at the general state of the HT side of things when my girlfriend next brings her car down. I remember my 97R VVC wouldn't start one day and I ended up with new HT leads that did the trick.

Does anyone have a recommendation over HT leads? I was stunned that my Halfords in Watford (superstore one) said it could do F VVC HT leads for much less than the "going rate" from B&G or Mike Satur. I can't remember the exact figures but it was something ludicrous like 5 a lead or something! I will check this out over the weekend.

Thanks again for the advice

cheers Neil

You can get "single leads" much cheaper - basically match them to the length of the origionals - however i believe the MGF has deep plug holes so ensure the lead has the correct fitting on it!

My bikes have deep sockets and I am pondering on using these as there much cheaper and built to withstand damp regularly!

This thread was discussed between 14/10/2001 and 18/10/2001

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