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MG MGF Technical - MGTF 135 driven. Pictures and thoughts for the *dark side*... again ;)

Hi all,

I had the chance today to try a standard COB coloured mgtf 135 for a hot ride on a non limited motorway and a short on 'standard' german country roads.

Hmmmmm, I do not write this to the general subject, cause I'm not pleased with this cars suspension. My opinion is only technical related and should be no comment for somebody who is 'just interested'.
I'm no experianced test driver and for sure not the best driver here ;) ... *who rolled an MGF already ?*

So what.
This car drives IMO like any standard rear driven fun car with short distance between front and rear axle. Good and tough. To tough for my taste.
I felt each little uneven part of the road. My own old head wiggled like driving in an old Mini with standard suspension. Good for fun and the Nordschleife, but for long distance trips ????
Lotus Elise enthuasiasts, if you like to get more boot space, then get an MGTF 160.

Old guys like Ted, Patrick, Bruce, Kes, and some more. Please try yourself !
Carl, I know you seperated the interconnection between the units already, so you may like the new. :)

If I had the decision between the old fashioned hydragas and new suspension, please don't scalp me... I'd get the old one.
Ride comfort is much better. I was happy getting back in my old MGF.

Beat me, but thats my humble opinion. This doesn't mean a recoomendation like, *no, keep your hands off*, but I would think about comparing the TF with other nice convertibles before I would buy one today.

The engine..... Hmm, I can't get why the 135 has so less torque in lower revs. Pushed the accelerator at 2500 revs and nothing happened. Difficult to get the car up to 210 km/h. Good throttle respond above 4000 revs, though.

Anyway, pictures of the day at

Below on that site some of an MGF accident repair, converted to TF design bumpers and headlights.

As well pictures of the rear strut bar mounts and 3D drawings of the new suspension.

Nice thoughts on modifications and dark side stuff, but not this suspension 4me.

Dieter Koennecke

Well someone had to do the MGF to TF conversion didn't they! LOL

Looks like a very nicely performed job. Do you have a picture of the whole side of the car? I wonder whether the new bumpers clash with the more curvy MGF styling?

Sorry to hear about your experience with the suspension Dieter. I haven't tried the car on the motorway, but had a ball of a time driving the car around North London. Loved it - didn't find it bouncy at all. But hydragas is almost certainly a superior springing medium for a short wheel base car, at least in terms of ride refinement. Perhaps I should contact Alex Moulton and ask his opinion on advancing MGF suspension?

BTW that strange valve on the exhause system with linkage - the loudness valve to get it past EU drive-by noise regs?

Great pix as usual Dieter! :o)
Rob Bell

>Do you have a picture of the whole side of the car?

Errr !! I missed to take one. Lack of space between the carsto teke a good pcture. Though, the mate who was with me there recalled that the sides lower part under the doors was converted as well, but not the inlet grills.
BTW, conversion was done by Jorg Kirch (former Jansen in Monchen Gladbach) you know the name from 1999 ?( lowering knuckles and Jansen exhaust. The intial bomb for the first Treffen ride. ;)

Again, please see the above comment not as 'bad experiance'. It's not a bad car, but nothing which would pull me old guy immidiate out of the arm chair.

>BTW that strange valve on the exhause system with linkage - the loudness valve to get it past EU drive-by noise regs?

Hahhh !!
!! I wondered already why never mentioned here !!
What in heaven is that thingy ???

Indeed any vakuum contolled valve !! Installed already at earlier MGF. I think as well since MY 2001 (New ECU)

Roooogerrrr !!! Please, what is that thing good (bad) for !!

Dieter Koennecke

Hi all,
as usual a nice set of pictures Dieter ! For the vacuum regulator / flap see the other thread...
When it comes to Dieters judgement of the TF135 (I have so far no chance to drive any TF myself yet ) I think it very much depends in what state Your own "old" F is in when the verdict is done... Going from an fully sorted (I don´t list all the items - You know all too well ) almost re-designed "F" to a "straight out of the box TF" might not impress that much :) Trading in an average -95/-96 "F" that has been on the road all year round with almost no alterations done to the car is quite another thing...
So clearly it depends very much on what grade the current "F" has when making the swap. All in all I am sure the TF has a lot to offer, hopefully most of the irritating niggles will be sorted out - if not we will surely be aware on this forum :)

Regards , Carl.

Interesting pictures Dieter.

It looks like the whole of the replacement TF bumpers have been painted. Was this a improvement over the standard cheap looking (IMO) black middle sections on the standard TF?

Neil Stothert

That TF conversion interests me too!

Will be just a simple attachments of new lights / bumpers / and a side skirts.

I am not interested in the side intakes. Like the shape of F's.

Wonder how much for those parts....:)
Hanah Kim

They need to do the boot-lid too, though: with the spoiler it looks confused compared with the straighter lines of the new rear bumper. Sounds like it's as easy as we suspected though.

Great drawings of the suspension too.

Ed Clarke

Not sure, I think the front of that car was crunshed only. (evidence is the red painted sbframe only at the front.
The costing as difference between old bumper and headlights and new design seams a reasonable advantage to swap in an accident case if somebody likes something special.
I didn't talk to Mr Kirch but I know he's almost economic thinking guy. He will drive the car some month himself and sell it off then. The rear spoiler was for sure a written off stocked part from that dealer. The conversion shows 'MGR dealer employee advantages'.

With you on the boot look. May be the boot lid was to expensive to buy. It's as well a lot of works to swap the harness etc.

Hanah, I've no idea about required additional hidden parts from behind the bumpers and headlights.

PS. myself interested at any time in converting the headlights only to a standard MGF bumper. Should be possible with some works to the standard bumper (IMO)
Dieter Koennecke

>>myself interested at any time in converting the headlights only to a standard MGF bumper. Should be possible with some works to the standard bumper (IMO) <<

Or perhaps it would be possible to incorporate the projector beam units into the MGF headlamp unit? :o)
Rob Bell

Mate, check the pictures *top view*
Special taken for such ideas ...

IMO to short distances / to less space, but who knows.

Unfortunately it was already nearly impossible to getting second hand headlights from scrap yards, cause all the unlucky guys and gals have had front impacts.
I don't believe this will get much 'better' with the MGTF and improve second hand front parts availiabiliy.

Though the MGTF brakes seam to work better. An option to find more rear impact cars on crap yards in the future ?
Mad idea ?? ROFL !

PS. MoD = Master of Desaster <-- was called so by the MGR sales when he spotted me in their show room.
Dieter Koennecke


Nice pictures Dieter.... enjoyed reading your experiences with the TF to... you're getting old, my man! But it is a good reason not to get tempted to buy a TF ;-)

Changing the front bumper for a TF item... hmmm... don't think I could get this arranged with Fran (after the Trophy replica and KH-splitter story, ...)


>experiences with the TF to... you're getting old, my man! But it is a good reason not to get tempted to buy a TF ;-)

Cheers ! I see you understood what I meaned ? .... LOL ...

Back to the data, together with Robs hint on the homologation things and a quest to Roger in February due to the VIN figures.

Thread: *MGTF VIN what stands the K for ?*
---- snip from the archive- February 2002 --- Roger Parker....

K = the engine type which on the basis of E = 1600 4 valve, G = 1800 4 valve, P = 1800 4 valve VVC 160PS and T = 1800 4 valve 143PS, (Yes their designation of 143PS) On the basis of this and the next letter it is reasonable to expect that K = 2002 ECD3 compliant 1800 4 valve 160PS.
----- snip ends----

One of the MGTF I saw has this VIN
SARRDWBKN2D601264 <--- 77.663th MGF/TF so far

On position 8, the K
May be I'm wrong, Roger, please correct me.
The K seams to be the sign for 2002 ECD3 compliant 1800 4 valve 136PS (100kW)

Though, I wonder that obviously NONE of the german dealers has a VVC 160 PS currently for sale.

Please any of the TF160 UK owners :)))
Gentlemen, your VIN please and your hint on the mad valve if applicable to

- MoD -
Dieter Koennecke

Mate, check the pictures *top view*
Special taken for such ideas ...
IMO to short distances / to less space, but who knows.

I *think* that there should be space, so long as you don't include the indicator lens. One thing for sure though, a properly engineered conversion will require a remounded lamp holder. Glass fibre? Mike??? ;o)
Rob Bell

TF 160 VIN SARRDLBPC2D then the actual number. The other interesting fact is that the first few TFs followed on with MGF VIN sequences before the first new sequence started at 600101.

It also appears that the TF 160 spec engine is identified with 18K4 KN27

Roger Parker

Blimey, they've been busy at Longbridge then, my Vin number being/ending 603582, making mine number 3,481 off the line. I'm surprised they have made so many already! FYI, it was registered on the 29th March.
Paul Lathwell

Thank you Paul !
I see currently only MGTF below 602000 in D.
They seam to have quick exported the sequence from 601001 upwards.
For those who like to send their VIN non public to my confident database, please feel free to enter at:
A funny weblink replied by Email will be the award for your works :)
If an old or a very young is anyway.

I wonder when the first of Rog mentioned *early* 535577++ MGTF VINs get known.
Err, a source at the data source required ... LOL


Dieter Koennecke

Hi Dieter, nice pictures, i'm also interested in the MGTF headlights for my MGF VVC, I asked the dealer for the lamps but he told me the are verry expensive about 1100 euro's. I've you know anything about lamps like the TF please mail me. I'm also looking for nice side skirts can someone help me...?

Greetings Maurice, Rotterdam
MP Maurice

Paul, Mine is very close at 603593 (Platinum/blue hood)
and ist reg 28/3.

Alan (P2AGD)
Alan Dunlop


Got it in this afternoon from someone in the UK.
Data get together :))

Many thanks to the sender. Email answer to follow asap.


Dieter Koennecke

I'm sorry, just read,

>platinum/blue hood

Whow, I think I know now a candidate for winner of the Berlin Meeting Concours dé Elegance in the class for MGF/TF in September.
Keep it shining, please !!
One vote for yours already.
(Got the prize two years ago with my old BRG.)

Dieter Koennecke

Back to Dieter's original observation about the suspension - I actually agree.

I felt that my F on new tyres had a smoother ride than the TF I tried briefly.

Sadly it doesn't look as though my F will be riding anywhere apart from a scrap yard after a heavy recent rear end bump.

I am being offered a new TF135 at such a silly price I may just have to get use to the ride :-)

John Thomas

Hi John,

sorry to hearing about the damage :(
One of the oldest, though. How much have you done with it in the last 6 years ?

I think you will miss the hydragas at first, but will not wing about it after the same amount of ownership years ;)

Dieter Koennecke

Thanks dieter we will miss it - only lightly sprinted, 49k miles

Sorry no thumbprints, but some pics at

Not our fault I can assure you

jt - with stiff neck
John Thomas

Really sad to hear of the premature demise of your F john :o(

I wish you both a speedy recovery.

Given the circumstances of the accident, this is yet another strong piece of evidence showing how safe a place to be the MGF is if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident.

As a cheeky aside: MGF with no boot = MR2? ;o)
Rob Bell

Dieter, TF160 Trophy Blue / black hood
vin 603220 registered 22/3/02


>As a cheeky aside: MGF with no boot = MR2? ;o)

I was thinking more along the lines of a MGF compact! Not good to see a MGF in that state though. :(
Paul Lathwell

Hi John, I echo the others in their comments on the accident. Be very alert on the neck as wiplash accidents are tough ones that may pop up again after several months / years.
What are the chances in U.K that this well keept car will be mated with the donor rear of a front damaged one ?? Very common in a few other countries ( won´t mention wich ones Dieter !) So not uncommon to one day meet Your total write-off again on the roads.....
All the best with the new one ,

Regards , Carl.

Thanks for the kind thoughts guys, yes I am suffering delayed reaction to the bump - had to pull out of a hill climb today.

However my reasoning is not impaired, I'm planning that the compensation will help fund a replacement car and we've just ordered a new TF on the MGCC/Employee/Privileged Customer 'april special' deal.
It was an offer we just couldn't refuse - about the same price we paid for a10jst in 1996 :-) So if the TF is a little harder than the F - I'll get used to it at that price!

The problem now arises as we'll have two TF's and will have to remember to call them the 'old' and the 'new'.
Somebody pointed out that iIf we'd had that accident in the old TFa minimum of two broken necks would have resulted :-(

As regard 'joining' two cars Carl - strangely enough right next to my rear-ended F in the bodyshop is a frontended one - I wondered if someone would join the best of each and make a whole.
It's called 'cut and shut' - not to be recomended, highly dangerous in an accident and probably illegal.

Cheers, jt
John Thomas


>iIf we'd had that accident in the old TFa minimum of two broken necks would have resulted :-(<

John can you please explain?


Michael Williams

Hi Mike - 'fraid I've hijacked this thread somewhat :-(

Our accident in the F involved a medium sized transporter type vehicle hitting our rear at speed (with no apparent attempt to brake) as we were waiting to turn right.
The F was spun round and ended up a little way along the open dry road with its rear in a hedge on RHS.
Although both of us were hospitalised the modern design of crumple zone and head restraints did their job admirably and no bones were broken or fuel spilt.

The old TF I referred to is our 1953 TF with solid chassis and no head restraints, see pic at (at prescott)

First off there are no head restraints, so depending on the force of the impact from behind there's a strong probability of breaking your neck as your head snaps backwards.
Secondly there's precious little rear protection behind driver/passenger compartment apart from a piece of wooden body tub and the vertical petrol tank - so something else is pretty likely to break if your head stays on.
I must be mad to compete in the TF eh :-)

Happy MotorinG jt

ps Another major factor that substantially reduced our anquish after the accident was the presence of several friends from the SW Centre of MGCC who were able call emergency services and gather important necessary details for insurance etc. - the Marque of Friendship in action again.
John Thomas


Sorry, should have spotted the word "old" TF. I guess there will be many confusions between the old and the new.

Glad that you are both OK.

Actually looking at your excellent pics I am very impressed that the 'F' stood up to the impact as she did.

If you do decide on the 135 TF I don't think you will regret it. I've had my 160 since 2 o'clock yesterday and I can't stay out of it. OK, the ride is different but IMO not unpleasantly different. Also I think the suspension is likely to soften up a tad after a few thousand. And it has so much else going for it.....


Michael Williams

>call emergency services and gather important necessary details for insurance >etc.

I could have done the same when a complete loser shot out in front of my TF160 today - I hit him damaging the front passenger side wing and bumper. Initially he did not stop until I caught up flashing my head lights from behind at which point I pulled diagonally in front of him trying to block his path.

We both got out our cars him saying he was sorry and it was his fault, me giving him plenty of verbal abuse - I'd only picked the car up again today after it had been at the dealers to have problems sorted out - for two weeks! After my previous hit and run experience in the past I was on my mobile right away calling the Police - not happy with the way he'd not stopped initally. As I done so he was saying he'd get his details, at which point he decided to do a runner while I was being distracted by the operator! Being in a complete tiz at the time I was too busy blurting the reg number to the operator to think of giving chase! :(((

Anyway... done the Police station bit - waste of time just like before as it seems the car with the reg number I gave does not seem to match the records! Oh goody I'm back there again with I guess another non registered heap of sh*te that has damaged my car with the driver getting away with it - you could not make it up could you.

Moral of the story...

1. Don't buy a nice car, do what this guy does and sod the consequences. ie. buy some sh*tty old heap, don't register it, dont' insure it and don't TAX it - not a whole lot of chance it getting caught unless you are speeding it would seem. Partly my fault I guess for not getting all the details!

2. If you are the victim of and accident where some sh*tty old heap is concerned and the other person is at fault - hit the f*cker. Hit the f*cker hard and repeatedly - some immediate satisfaction at least.

Sorry for the Police officers reading - not really at fault here if I'm total honest, but we all know it's treated with the attitude of "We don't have the man power time or money to be dealing with something to trival to us - your insurance company will pay."
Paul Lathwell

I don't think I could recommend the physical violence bit Paul, no matter how that might make you feel, because knowing your luck, the guy will press charges against you and you'll end up in court :o(

Sorry to hear that your precious new motor is damaged - I know how I'd feel if I were you - even if that car were my 6 year old F! >:o(
Rob Bell


Yeah I know about the violence bit, but just now and then you can't help but feel sod just deal with it in a very direct manner. TBH, I really do hope I never see him again, unless he's been injured in a crash so I can go over and have a good laugh at him.
Paul Lathwell

This thread was discussed between 13/04/2002 and 22/04/2002

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