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MG MGF Technical - Jap MGF

I have recently purchased a R reg 1999 MGF VVC which is ex Jap. I wonder if anyone can answer the following:
1. Are the seats the same - I seem to sit quite high but this may be normal
2. Is the ride height the same - what should it be? Again the ride height seems high, about 5-6 inches between the front wheel and the wheel arch.
3. Anything I can do to avoid HGF? I have just been down to the south of France with no problems at all.
4. The steering wheel seems low and I gather new models have an adjuster. Can this be retrofitted?
any tips would be much appreciated.
T Green

Firstly, welcome to the MGF club.

1 - I believe so - you can get a lowering kit from I believe. Lowers seat by 10-12mm.

2 - Should be 368mm from edge of wheel arch to the middle of the MG wheel cap.

3 - Not really, you just need to keep an eye on any oil consumption and coolant loss. Unfortuneatly there aren't really any warnings before it goes. Watch the oil & water temp gauges as well.

4 - I doubt it, you would probably need a new steering column = Expensive


Steve Childs

T G,
I have a Jap re import VVC 96. Only difference as far as I can tell is:-
Warning light for catalyst overheat
No interior volumetric alarm
Funny writing on back of sun visors
Fuel filler is large size like old cars
Original registration document signed by Mayor of Tokyo
Rover UK won't like you!
Apart from that they are the same and suffer from all the ailments, mine has including HGF. Good luck!
Bruce Caldwell

I have a 1996 1.8 Japanese Import

Ride height - The japanese have been known to let gas out. Mine was real low on the front - looked like a tom cat.

on top of what you have been told:

Seats are normal

Aircon should be standard

passenger air bag standard

rear fog lights - standard

Mine ran badly - had done only 12k geniune and had never been on a long run. After a 200k blat runs like a dream

Have a great life


Ps mine also came with some geniune smarties and a letter from the owner.

>>>After a 200k blat runs like a dream

Jeez, it must do to do 200k in a sigle run. :)
David Bainbridge

And fingers x'ed it wasn't one of the stolen ones, seems there is a big market in stealing cars in Japan and exporting them to UK.
Happy motoring
Mike :-)

See my other posting - Grey Imports!

Ted Newman


I also have a 1.8 96 import and the ride height is very low. Was wondering if at one point some gas has been let out, as the owner before me had made no modifications.
Does anyone know if it will cause any problems being so low? So far I've just had to go really slow over road humps!


Check for tyre wear with unusually low ride heights. Low riding F's eat rubber, especially on the front inner edges.

Most of us prefer the car to be low - sits and rides better that way - but keep an eye on your front tyres especially the inside edges!

Ted Newman

Is there an echo in here?

You shouldn't have any real problems with a low-ish ride height, and so long as the tracking is okay, there shouldn't be any problems with tyre wear. As both Dot and Ted wisely say- keep an eye on it!

Most likely that the car has been lowered on the 'gas. Other options are available that provide a better long term solution- including lowering knuckles. I've just gone this way myself with my '96 F- fitted the full Tech-speed monty (lowering/ dampers- 600 quid plus vat fitted- bargain!)- absolutely fantastic!!! But that is going off the subject slightly... ;o)
Rob Bell

My wife's ex-Jap F (also ex-Russ) sits at 335 mm, but has been done properly with lowering knuckles. However it's almost too low for our rather bumpy unmade-up drive and is going to have to go up a bit !

This thread was discussed between 23/07/2001 and 01/08/2001

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