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MG MGF Technical - MGF Help

I have just become an MGF owner (1996 VVC). The car has 27,000 miles on the clock, excellent condition purchased from a friend. However, I have a couple of issues that I would like some advice on.

1) Petrol Smells - I have read many of the comments in other threads and there seems to be a number of solutions tried. Is there a definative solution and if a new tank is required was it subject to a Rover recall?

2) Cabin vibration - I have put two new Goodyear NCT's on the front but before I really drove the car in earnest, so not sure if the vibration of already there. I am getting vibration at aroung 65-70 MPH that does not seem to come through the steering. A local tyre/service dealer has suggested that the rear shock asorber on the left rear is worn causing wheel slap?

The rear tyre are Goodyear but the right rear was replaced and hence less worn than the left and previously the car was more of an occasional use vehicle. I do not want to start fiddling with fundamentals before looking at the basics (tyres), incidentally all the balancing is fine and been checked.

I would appreciate any clues/suggestions.

Neil Marshment


Welcome to the club!

Sorry don't have any answers to your questions but I'm sure someone on here will soon pop up to help. What you have described are some of the few things that I haven't yet had problems with yet!

Where abouts are you in Bucks?

Cheers & enjoy!

Russ Fitz

Indeed, welcome to the club!

Petrol smells: Sometimes caused by mis-routed or insecure pipes, but more often in older cars (my '97 had it!) its a slight "permiability" in the tank itself. The only cure in that case is to replace the tank (there was a "mk2" tank, I think). Wasn't subject to a recall, though the work was accepted and done under warranty in most cases - though I don't know how they'd take it now the cars are older.

Vibration: Wheel balance/flat spots? There may well be wear in the rear shock absorber bushes (possibly quite severe!). Its JUST the bushes! Dealers replace the whole shockers, whereas the smart money just replaces the bushes with polybushes from the likes of Mike Satur at a fraction of the cost.

PS R U in north or south bucks?

Ditto the welcome comments!

Regarding the petrol smell- I think that Neil has pretty much covered it. Some tanks were indeed porous. Never a subject for a recall. The Mk2 MGF (also known as the Model Year (MY) 2000) has a double skinned tank that is a very effective cure to this problem. Dieter has done substantial research on this- so he's your man for further questions.

As for the vibrations, then assuming that wheel balance is okay, the alloys haven't been curbed and warped and that the tyres haven't been 'flat-spotted' consider that there maybe a problem with tracking. Get a full 4- wheel alignment. Shouldn't cost you more than 40 quid + VAT.

Other suspension parts can wear- including the bushes Neil mentions, and also include worn ball joints. Seems slightly unlikely given the mileage of the car- but if the problem persists after checking out the above list, is the next point of investigation.

Hope that's of some help

Rob Bell

Fuel smell thread is in the archive
'got rid of the fuelsmell without fueltank change :))'

Anyway, got the web document updated just now at

Tells the whole story.
No need to change the tank if the passenger compartment is good sealed from the tank and all related hoses are right sealed as designed.
Each plastic tank lets fuel damp off. The question is how much and how to seal the passengers room from that smell.

Often only the cover screws behind the seats came loose or/and the white coloured silicon shredder under the sheet metal cover is poor sealed at the lower lead !! Found this myself at the wreck I disassembled the other year.

The cabin vibration is another case covered above already. Worn ball joints or wheel bearings can also be a reason.

Dieter Koennecke

Thanks to you all for your welcome.

I have downloaded and printed the link with regard to the fuel smell.

I have also visited my local tyre dealer and have found that both nearside alloy wheels are indeed buckled. Could this be the entire answer to the problem? If so, how much are alloy wheels and where is the best source?

Location - South Bucks.


Depending on what wheels you are looking for M8
i would try Steve Childs.

If you need 2 may be worth changing all 4 to some nice new ones :0)
Nick Walters

Yes - 16" new alloys has crossed my mind!

Two problems

1) Wife not keen
2) Just invested in two new front tyres

Would new tyres on the front with old at the back add to cabin shake?

Therefore standard 1996 VVC alloys it is - how much and how do I contact Steve Childs. (Sorry new owner and hence new to the club)


Heres his mail


dont know if these are still for sale

Steve M, Luton,

I have a set of 15" MGF VVC Wheels for sales. These will fit you car and will make it look great!..

VGC wheels all with good rubber too....

Offers arounds 170.
Nick Walters

Thanks for the contact information - I will give this a go tomorrow.

Thanks for the offer of the wheels - I will probably find out how much the replacements are first. I may have to live with the cabin shake for a while anyway - too many other expenditures - worst luck!



Another possible cause of cabin vibration is a slight misfire. It's worth replacing the HT leads if they have not already been replaced.

I also have a set of 15" mpi wheels for sale very cheap. They will need new tyres, though. Steve Childs is going to be responsible for a flood of second hand 15" wheels!


>> Steve Childs is going to be responsible for a flood of second hand 15" wheels! <<

hehe :D

Just for your info, I can get a new set of VVC or Trophy alloys (both 16") for 400. These come with new Goodyear F1 rubber.

Welcome to the club Neil, btw :)


Steve Childs

Steve - thanks for the email response to today. The 16" wheels sound great - would the MG require any mechanical alterations to the suspension due to the increased wheel size.

The spanner in the works is that I have just put new tyres on the front (130!). The shame is that other than the buckle the wheels are in excellent condition.

Other than that - no misfire - the engine is extremely responsive. Last service by previous owner included new leads and cam belt change.

Seriously tempted by the 16" wheels!



Steve, can you get any multi-spokes? (For 400 that is!!)
Finn Steele


I may be interested in the Trophy alloys - How soon can you get them and please confirm what tyres come with them.

Cheers Richard
Richard Russell

Richard, they come with 195x45 front and 215x40 rear, Goodyear F1s. I'm currently flogging my current set that are the on the car (2 weeks old), see the "Nearly new Trophy Alloys" thread.

Steve Childs

So, Steve, you are preventing you from buying Trophy brakes, as these only fit the Trophy alloys ??

Fabrice, I'm looking into this right now.

Well, not *now*, but later tonight ;)

Steve Childs


The VVC 16" - are they the new square spoke style and does the price include the tyres+VAT?

More interested - another day of cabin shake!



Neil Marshment

This thread was discussed between 05/10/2001 and 09/10/2001

MG MGF Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGF Technical BBS is active now.