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MG MGF Technical - Improving steering accuracy and feel

Is there a way to improve the steering feel and accuracy of a Mk1 F?

Mine has forever had instability at higher speeds, whatever the ride height is set at ...worse when lower!

Are there rubber bushes that give up?

I've never sussed this problem, but a short drive in a chum's Elise just my f feel loose and old


I think the options depend on what your problem is and whether or not you have EPAS.
Firstly check the tyre pressures and the tracking (all 4 wheels), there are some alternative tracking settings which may help, and better/bigger tyres help.
If you are after quicker and sharper steering then the TF rack is apparently interchangeable with some noticeable improvements or so other members on this BBS have said.
The problem may be the front of the car becoming light at speed, a front splitter will help to cure this and provide more prositive steering at higher speeds.
The other issue may be EPAS, if you have it fitted. Many owners do not like the EPAS effect at speed and there are many threads on a bypass circuit. If you have EPAS fitted then try removing the fuse under the bonnet and see if that solves your problem.
I am sure others will have even more opionions on this subject!
Cheers, Jason H
Jason H

Splitters seem pretty popular, I just dont like the look of them.
I know that the development boys spent a lot of time getting the front right, in fact i have seen pictures of a 1" lower front bumper which has a dramatic effect on the amount of air going undeneath the car
So it could be this, but i am not so sure.
It feels a bit loose like all the rubbers need throwing away and tougher ones fitted, but its always been like this.

I avoided EPAS when I bought the car It's not exactly the heaviest of car to warrant PAS even when parking.

It just doesnt inspire confidence at the front does the TF have a non EPAS variant?



Neil,my 1997 VVC with EPAS started to go light and wander about at speed (not excessive I hasten to add).
I popped the car down to Mike Satur and asked him to test drive it and give me a few options. I ended up with 4 AVO shockers, 30mm lowering knuckles and some polybushes to the rear shocks and tie bars plus the geometery set up to his "secret formula".
All I can say is I wish the car had always handled like this and that the ride is not compromised to any great you, I originally thought about the ugly splitter, but having this work done IMO I dont need one.
Do check your tyre type, condition and pressures as others have reported in the past the car reacts really badly to incorrect settings.
Just thought about your address! Gammons or TechSpeed (who also do good suspension mods) I think will be closer to you than MS.I think it will be worth your while to give mike or one of the others a call as they have lots of experience upgrading and tuining the handling of the F.


1) A couple of things you can do ... check your tracking as this can greatly affect handling.

2) A splitter seems to help, but lots of the faster cars (ie SF) don't have them and it doesn't seem to affect the handling.

3) Rob had a TF steering rack fitted and says that it has made one hell of a difference to the hadling.

Stefan Gibney

< Rob had a TF steering rack fitted and says that it has made one hell of a difference to the hadling.>
Well it would he was 300 pounds lighter after ;-) Sorry couldn't resist.

A lot of people here (me included) have:

a) fitted "compliance washers" (or polybushing) to the rear end so as to keep the rear wheels pointing roughly in the right direction (yes, they could be "steered" too, and have tracking adjustment!)

b) get the the tracking set to 5 minutes toe IN both front and rear. The "factory" setting of toe OUT at the front tends to make the handling a little "strange"

c) there have also been some cases of the track rod ends (front) wearing and causing "vague" handling (you can get just the ends from the Rover 200 parts list!)

d) Choice of tyre can also have a marked effect: wide tyres on the front can lead to tramlining...


Tad cynical there Mike? ;o)

The TF steering rack doesn't make that much difference to handling, per se. What it does do is make a terrific difference to how the steering FEELS.

I didn't buy it for this reason - I bought it for the faster rack ratio, and as an experiment, because it simply had not been attempted before (at least not by anyone outside MGR).

The fact that it made such a difference to steering feel was a genuine surprise - I really had not anticipated the extent of the change. On the motorway especially, the change is very noticible compared to my old MGF rack. Better steering weight (expected), but also much greater lane stability - the wander that occurs with the standard F had gone. Instead was a feeling of much greater security at speed. I think that you had similar first impressions when you tried it didn't you Stefan? You'll have to try it over some more familiar roads some time :o)

On the twisty stuff, the steering does communicate more - Andy has driven my car over some of the demanding roads near his home, and was surprised at the difference it had made - much more akin to his car's unassisted steering in feel and weight (but obviously that much faster).

As for my initial reason for fitting it - the increased rack speed? Hmm - not as fast as I'd have hoped. But am delighted with the unexpected benefits of the change. So Mike, if you decide to ever make an even faster ratio rack, I'd be interested (2.5 lock to lock please ;o) In the mean time, I am very happy with my choice.

Neil, there are a variety of splitters available - but as you say, they do alter the 'face' of the car - and may not be what you are wanting.

I think that the comments regarding the tracking, and especially the state of suspension bushes are very well made. Get these checked out, and take the car out onto the track and have some fun! ;o)
Rob Bell

If the car is, like mine was, untouched from new, tracking would be my first check. I had mine done earlier this year when I noticed front tyre wear and 20 mins toe out was reset to 5 mins toe in.

Now it goes round corners


Neil, as a yardstick - on a '96 1.8i with lowering knuckles, poly bushes, tracking done and SO2s all round (195 front and 205 rear) - just Treffened to Berlin and back, absolutely no problem with instability below 100 mph, including 2 hard laps of the 'Ring. Just a hint of wallow or wander above that speed, a splitter might help but in my case I suspect the shocks are not in the first flush of youth.

What's all this rubish about lack of feedback from the epas steering?
I've found it to be fine, both at northwealds and at kemble over the past few weeks, you certainly know where the car is pointing and making fine ajustments are easy and predictable.
A splitter is a great option to solve the lightness at high speed, but a lowered car generaly should not need this, so if yours is lowered and still suffers, i'd imagine it would be a tracking related issue.

>>What's all this rubish about lack of feedback from the epas steering?<<
Well said Kingsley !
But your car's been to Techspeed hasn't it ?

Rob mentioned motorway lane stability and this is possibly the real problem i.e. when the steering is around the straight-ahead position, the car likes to wander a little.

In corners there is enough feel, IMO.


Yes my car has been to techspeed :D

>>>What's all this rubish about lack of feedback from the epas steering?

When I pulled the fuse it seemed to make a BIG difference.
David Bainbridge

I agree with David - pulling the fuse makes a huge difference - the wife kills me!

Seriously I find the EPAS steering tells me all I need to know, on the road or on the track, and I have tried it 'unfused' - see Robs cartoons from a while back when Serkan suggested I remove the fuse whilst on the move!

Ted Newman

LOL - I love that cartoon ;oD

Which reminds me, must get that EPAS bypass switch of Will's wired up! It'll be interesting to feel how the TF 'rack works without EPAS... :o)
Rob Bell

This thread was discussed between 18/09/2002 and 19/09/2002

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