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MG MGF Technical - Handling Problems???

Hi all. I posted here a few weeks ago about my new MGF that had the windows stuck down. Thats all fixed now but ive now become really dis-illusioned with the car because of its handling. As the MGF is known as one of the best handling roadsters around it must only be a problem with mine and not F's in general.
The whole car itself does not really inspire me with confidence generally but the major thing is when you hit a bump or pothole the car seems to be all over the road and seems difficult to control. There also seems to be a feeling of not quite on the road to it too. I have checked all underneath it today as i was concerned it something was " Bent" Everything seems to be straight and fine. Tyre pressures are good too.
I used to have a 205 1.9 GTI before the F so i am used to cars with cars strange handling charechteristics..........therefore im sure it cant just be me!!!
Emma Nicholson

Tracking problems? Once again, over the mechanically minded!

Hood down weather will soon be here.. That'll more than make up for the concerns you're currently having.

Emma, If badly set up the F can appear to handle badly. If this is the case for you then I would suggest a trip to Mike Satur or Techspeed. They are both experts and you will end up with a car that handles _much_ better than if you take it to a dealer.

The F uses a diffrent type of suspension (actually from the metro) which is quite good, but also quite diffrent to 'normal' springs.
Will Munns

You've checked tyre pressures - what makes of tyres do you have? There's always discussion about some makes having terrible handling.

What about your hydragas/ride height? Mine had gone down recently over the course of a year - I had it pumped up and it felt like a different car! Before i'd be on the motorway and sometimes it would feel like it had a mind of its own - almost like there was a strong crosswind.

Other people will be sure to have more mechanically-minded suggestions :-)

OK, other suggestions: failed wheel bearing, mine wasn't giving any noise or movement enough to fail an MOT, but the car felt quite unstable, the car was transformed.

Also worn trackrod ends, but these were picked up before I noticed them
Will Munns

What is the ride height how many fingers will fit between the tyre and wheel arch.if less than 2 fingers it could be a bit low and needs hydrogas pumping up unless it has had some lowering knuckles fitted at some stage.

It sounds like it is a bit low and suspensions is not soacking the bumps up.
There are various other things to check:-

Ride height
Tyre pressures and conditions (tyre wear on inside edge)
Condition of shocks and rubber bushes as these deteriate with age.

Best palces for getting the car checked are Techspeed, B&G, Mike Satur, MGF center. These are the better known ones but there are others.

Tom Randell

I have a handle problem - under breaking the steering seems to waver from left to right.

I put it down to the speed sensitive steering but is it something i should be concerned about? It doesnt do it all the time, which again concerns me, but maybe its because i have got used to it now.

I dont know.

> I have a handle problem - under breaking the steering seems to waver from left to right.

I get that as well. Nothing major but a feeling of the front going slightly light. Not understeering though as it happens when breaking in a straight line.

I've got greenstuff pads, no ABS. Standard suspension apart from Poly damper bushes.
Bob Millar

I have green stuff as well as the different discs (ones with grooves in), but i have got the ABS on the car.

>>under breaking the steering seems to waver from left to right.<<
My seven year old VVC used to do this.
4(!) Upper ball joints and one track rod end fixed it. I wished I'd had it done before I'd gone to Brands Hatch!

Is this something that i should be concerned about? How much did it cost to fix?????

>>How much did it cost to fix????? <<
Upper Ball joints - 43.52 each +VAT
Track Rod end - 24.42 + VAT

Two ball joints (+ TRE) were definitely out - the other two ball joints were probably 'OK' but I thought I'd get the set.

The MoT tester should be concerned about these items - but an MoT pass doesn't indicate that all is well.

Any handling problems are very likely down to the tracking being wrong.Even with a new car - it only takes a relatively minor nudge against a kerb to put it out - and you don't know what happened to it before it was delivered to you.
Get it checked by a garage with the proper computerised equipment and adjusted - approx 30.
If tracking is wrong and handling is poor you will very quickly get uneven tyre wear and that costs even more. Don't go fast until you get the tracking done as it can creep up and bite you in the wet!
Take care.
Mike Armstrong

HI my mgf used to understeer really bad so I changed the front tyres from 185/55/15 to 195/50/15 this makes the car stick alot better but makes the car oversteer in the rain quite easy. (Oversteers fun anyway). Otherwise you could put a couple of more psi in the front tyres than recomended as this tends to stop understeer.
hope it helps

k s ling

Emma, I had a 205 1.6GTI before getting the F - so welcome to the club! ;o)

Handling on the F really should be secure, so yes, you've got a problem with yours.

The cause of this can be manyfold - the only approach to sorting the problem out is to be systematic and check everything. As a guide:
1. Check the tyres: what brand are they (many tyres - especially if mixed - will cause handling problems - keep with the BBS recommended tyres if at all possible); what is the condition of the tread - particularly, is it even across the tyre; what is the tyre pressures?
2. What is the ride height of the car? Because the MGF uses hydragas, this is easy to alter, and many owners lower their cars by letting out fluid - not always a good idea in terms of handling. MG recommended figures are 368 10mm measured on the front wheels, between the wheel centre to the wheel arch vertically above. Are both sides of the car the same height?
3. Check the condition of the dampers: if any are weeping oil, or have severely deteriorated bushes, then consider replacement.
4. Check the general condition of the suspension - and particularly the bushes and ensure that there is no damage to suspension components.
5. Get the tracking checked (especially if the tyres are displaying uneven patterns of tyre wear).

As I say, the above is a rough guide - but it should see you on your way to sorting your MG's handling out. :o)
Rob Bell

This thread was discussed between 31/03/2004 and 05/04/2004

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