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MG MGF Technical - MGf to be reborn

OK... took the plunge and my 1996 MGf VVC is in the workshop for a re-build after 6 years sat on flats in the garage.

Seem to have got away with a lot, but a question over one thing.

The mechanic doing the work has asked me to source he two cooling pipes that run underneath the car from from to back.

Cold anybody suggest where I might get these from and are they generally prone to rotting ?


Not just prone to rotting, it's a given - they will rot, without exception... Best to replace with the stainless steel version available from Rimmer Bros, MGOC, Brown & Gammons, or eBay usually has some available. Replacing the original mild steel radiator with an aluminium version as fitted to the TF is well worth doing too.

Best of luck for the rebirth ;-)

Many thanks for that.

Roughly it seems to be 25 for steel and 75 for stainless steel.

I'll get the guy to double check the condition of the radiator. Is it a straight swap for TF ?

I wouldn't even bother checking the condition of the radiator. I have two 1996 Fs with 100000 miles difference on their clocks, both needed their OEM radiators replacing (with ali TF ones) last year. It is very easy to do and very worth doing at the same time as the underfloor pipes. Even if you do the job yourself the 'saving' by using mild steel instead of SS replacements is minimal over time, and even less of a 'saving' if you are paying somebody's time to do it.

OK... It's up, running, MOT'd and officially re-born.

Took it for a mini memory jogging quick rip round South Manchester this afternoon, with the roof down obviously. Loved it !

Three little problems...

1/ The engine is a little "knocky" (as oppose to "rattly". Any thoughts ?... Might this get better with a few miles, or do I have a problem ?

2/ Driver's seat belt catch wont lock. I've tried it with the buckle on the car dog lead and it works fine. Just not with the buckle on the belt. Current compromise is to clip into the passengers seat catch. No use with two in the car though obviously.

3/ Car aerial appears not to work with the stereo re-installed. I've found the connection next to the aerial base and that seems fine. Does the cable run centrally to the rear or along one of the sills ? Is there another connector anywhere along it's length ?

Cheers again for any advise in advance.

1. Will probably improve as the new oil gets to not recently visited spots.
2. Might be worth poking something like a crochet hook or knitting needle around the inside of the socket and then using a vacuum cleaner to try and lift any dust/debris/bits out. It must be only marginally blocked if the doggie buckle is ok.
3. The aerial cable has no other connections between the back of the unit and the aerial, it runs down the sill side of the passenger footwell but is most likely 'not happy' near the ICE unit. It is a busy space round the back of it - Good Luck and welcome back!

ooohhhh f#k monkeys ..!!!!!

Think the head gasket has just blown.

G/f out in it and it overheated. Recovered by the AA, bloke reports water in the oil and oil in the water.

This is a bad, bad time for me. 3.OL Avantime threw its timing belt last week.

Pulling my hair out here.

Ouch!! Well, on the upside, the K series engine has just the one head to unbolt. If it's just the seal between oil & coolant that has let go then it may not require a skim, so it'll be the least expensive gasket repair process. Not a particularly shiny silver lining though :-/

The mobile MGF specialists who do almost nothing but gasket replacements have gained a good reputation, try

Sorry to hear of the HGF, from memory a lot tend to go when there's been a coolant change. Originally it was thought bleeding etc was the problem however there's some evidence the "fresh" coolant can lead to problems.
Leigh Reid

Well, checked on my old girl today, she's been laid up for the last 3 months and I added new anti-freeze last month. Thought I'd move her to stop the wheels seizing. Moved her fine, and did the usual spot check on the oil. Mayo on the dipstick, and oil in the water.

That'll be her for the scrap heap then.

Just wish I'd checked first before putting more petrol in!

Leigh Reid

The detection of a failed gasket following a coolant change shouldn't necessarily be put down to the fact that fresh coolant has chemically attacked the gasket seal, whereas the previous coolant didn't. The elastomeric seals between the oil & coolant passages take a long time to finally let go, so the chances of the fresh coolant having singlehandedly eaten through the sealant layer to the degree that enough fluid passes between them to reveal deposits in the other, in a month of no activity, seem rather slim... In a vast majority of cases, an engine that has been fitted with a new head gasket will be filled with fresh coolant & oil. We do hear the occasional tale of woe from a few who find their gasket fails again soon after, but if those are attributed to the fresh coolant attacking the gasket seal then an explanation needs to be found for why in a vast majority of cases the repair is good for many years, and perhaps several coolant changes.

Fuel can be extracted fairly easily, remove the pump cover plate from the rear shelf, unclip the fuel hose from the fuel filter and point it into a container, switch on the ignition and the fuel pump will 'prime', sending a stream of fuel into the container. Repeat until it's sucking air, put a pint or so back in, then go around a roundabout 'briskly' to send the fuel that sits in the recess on the driver side of the tank into the pump area, and you'll have approx a gallon left

thanks bandit!

I recall reading a post recently on these forums covering the effects of fresh coolant on old gaskets. Mine is original (lasted 12 years), and I am suspect. It may have been the final straw after me losing water at the end of the summer last year (search for Jon Bon Jovi killed my car!).

Mind you, I now no longer "need" to sell her in the summer, so maybe it's a blessing in disguise. she can sit in the driveway until funds are sufficent to repair her (though sitting around's not going to do her much good I suspect).
Leigh Reid

Factoring in an overheat due to coolant loss & failed rad fan fuse in the recent past, which is very likely to see the elastomeric seals letting go having got much hotter than they're designed for, the case against the fresh coolant is, ahem, Living on a Prayer. In 12 years the current original gasket will have faced the onslaught of fresh coolant a number of times, it wasn't scared of it then...

When I've repaired an oil/coolant mix gasket failure the spanner work is only half the time consumed, the other half is spent cleaning out the respective systems of foreign fluids. So draining out the coolant now would be a good plan before any more of it goes visting the oil.

Leigh, if the original HG after that long and possibly the plastic dowels era too; then I am sure a gentle blow like that will have left the engine very worth repairing. Maybe worth enquiring about one of the travelling mechanics? If not, then I guess it really was all JBJ's fault.

> So draining out the coolant now would be a good plan before any more of it goes visting the oil.


It may be the Bon Jovi toast didn't help, I'm surprised she was fine for a couple of hundred miles after, and fine laid up for a couple of months, but 1st crack of the engine a couple of weeks after topping up the coolant it goes.

These things seem to go after coolant changes, in the old days we'd blame it on incorrect bleeding but maybe there's something else at play.

Charless - Have considered mobile mechanic, need to call one and get a price.
Leigh Reid

This thread was discussed between 25/01/2012 and 16/02/2012

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