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MG MGF Technical - Improving the F

OK, the handling of the F.

Not that I'm complaining about the car as it is. It's very grippy.

But I've been thinking of

a) either selling it and getting summat else (on the other hand nothing else really appeals); or

b) personalising my F.

I don't give diddly-squat for cosmetic improvement. What I'd like is to crispen the F a bit without losing much in the way of comfort.

The Trophy I'm told has a bit of a buckboard ride, and that's not what I'm after.

What I've been thinking of is:

a) lowering knuckles
b) TF steering rack
c) solid subframe mounts.

I don't want to fit aftermarket shocks to the car because I believe that the Hydragas system has built-in damping qualities, that's the reason why the OE spec shocks aren't more hardcore.

Are there any other mods which you good folk can suggest. What about polybushes?

Just an off the cuff question now. Has anyone considered installing a Honda 2.3 litre engine into an F? Someone mentioned the T16 turbo, but that's quite a heavy engine, and would surely upset the car's balance.

A KV6 is too damn big. The advantage of the Honda unit is that it's a torquey big four, it's light, and compact. And it would be better used in a proper sportscar like the F than in a horrible old Prelude or Accord. The PG1 gearbox in the F is Honda in origin, isn't it? And didn't Rover themseleves use the non VTEC 2.3 in the 600?



Kevin Lambert

Hi Kevin.

Try stick to changing the components on the F, rather than going to the whole engine swap etc. Being a mid-engine etc, it's a pain in the butt doing that.

I don't know what sort of mods you have gone through:
but...

lowering knuckles / poly bushes / poly absorbers
good start... if you have more power without control... it's nothing.

Then add Trophy throttle body / K&N with heatshield / exhaust....

if you want more power, supercharge it.
:-)
Hanah Kim

Cant help you with the engine or the poly bushes.

But if you want the ultimate in handling then contact Techspeed on 01926 632066. You will need to change the dampers - but it will be for specials, manufactured by Bilstein to Techspeed specifcations to suit the F.

There are loads of people on here who have been 'Techspeeded' and I don't think any of them have been anything but astonished by the transformation.

Paul
P9 VLS
Paul

>>
What I've been thinking of is:
a) lowering knuckles
b) TF steering rack
c) solid subframe mounts.
I don't want to fit aftermarket shocks to the car because I believe that the Hydragas system has built-in damping qualities, that's the reason why the OE spec shocks aren't more hardcore.
<<

I'd certainly go along with everything you've said Kevin. Lowering knuckles are a good idea, as are those solid subframe mounts (use the alloy items specified for the Trophy). The TF rack brings some more welcome weight and feel to the steering, and is also that welcome bit faster too.

I'd try and pursuade you to go for Bilstein shocks, as specified by Techspeed. You are absolutely right about the hydragas spheres and their inherent damping qualities - but in fairness it is very difficult to get the damping absolutely right for a sports car without auxillary dampers. Another reason to be wary of aftermarket shock absorbers is that the body mounting points aren't strengthened to take the increased loads a set of decent shocks will transmit to them...

HOWEVER without doubt, the Bilstein shocks are truely superb. Frankly it transforms the car, and is the single best modification you can make: it is well worth the investment. :o)

>> Are there any other mods which you good folk can suggest. What about polybushes?<<

Polybushes are certainly a good idea. I haven't got them but the theorectical advantages in respect to better suspension control means that they must be a 'good idea'.
Another area you could look at are the antiroll bars. This is an area that I intend to start looking at next year with a set of TF ARBs (they're 1mm thicker in diameter, front and rear) Will probably necessitate some development, but should be fun. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, there are no 'off the shelf' aftermarket alternatives. :o(

>> Just an off the cuff question now. Has anyone considered installing a Honda 2.3 litre engine into an F? Someone mentioned the T16 turbo, but that's quite a heavy engine, and would surely upset the car's balance. <<

The Honda VTEC would indeed be an option: the Civic lump has been shoe-horned into an Elise, so the jump to an MGF is not that extreme. It is also within 50kg of the K-series weight too, and the centre of gravity is advantageous too. Another alternative (again from the Elise world - so watch the Lotus forums) is the Ford Duratec - again within 50kg of the K-series weight and bolts onto the PG1.

A word of warning though: engine transplants envariably get very very expensive. Especially if it hasn't been done before in a particular car. I'd wait to see how these kits mature in the Lotus before committing (unless ofcourse, your K has had some form of terminal event). Otherwise, for more power in a value for money package, you'd be better off talking to David Andrews and Dave Walker - http://members.aol.com/DVApower/ - 2300 for 175+ bhp is a bargain in comparison to almost anything else you could compare it to :o)
Rob Bell

Hi Kevin,

I have just had some mods done this weekend. Had fitted at the MGF Centre :

Rear Poly Bushes and Lowering Knuckles. Also had the four wheel alignment done.

Although the weather this weekend was not that good, the car did feel a lot better. Felt like I could put it into the corners quicker, and stuck to the road a lot better.

Total price was around the 270 mark, might be worth a visit to MGF Centre.
Steve Green - KX51 NUH

What do you think is the maximum power you can put in the MGF ? Personally, I think it's on the limit in standard form - ie if you want more power, then you need to consider strengthening the body shell first, perhaps with a full roll cage. The TF shell is stronger and IMO is a better starting point for more power.
Steve

>> Personally, I think it's on the limit in standard form <<

Hmm - this makes for a good discussion topic Steve. The answer to this is how you define 'standard'. Coming around to your point regarding structural rigidity - there is no doubt that a full roll cage would help stiffen the car. In turn you can stiffen the suspension and improve geometry control. But frankly, I don't think this is entirely necessary until you are over the 190 bhp benchmark. But fair point: the TF would make a more solid platform for serious power increases...

However, whether it is advisable to put 190bhp and 140lb.ft torque down on the road through standard suspension is a moot point. I wouldn't. Nothing too much wrong with the basic suspension design, it is just too soft for dealing with the kind of power/ performance that we're talking about. I'd personally be looking to solid mount the subframes, polybush the remaining rubber components, lower and fit better shocks (I think that the Techspeed suspension kit would readily handle this kind of power). I might also be looking for better ARBs too - although MGF Cup bars would be too extreme for road use.
Standard MGF brakes would also be well beyond their capabilities in standard form. MG's AP racing front brakes would be a good starting point. I'd also want larger rotors at the rear (that's my personal hobby horse in case no one has noticed ;o) LOL)

If you are going for this sort of power, I'd persume you'd be heading for the track. In this case both F and TF seats are pretty poor in terms of lateral location... but full bucket seats are a pain in daily use. Now if the sparco recliners fitted to the SV fitted in an F, you might be on a winner...
Rob Bell

This thread was discussed on 24/11/2003

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