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MG MGF Technical - Need help. VVC engine falling apart. Dieter? Rob? Roger? Mike?

Hi guys..

MY VVC started making this quite clutter diesel like noise 3 days ago, I topped it up with more oil as it was just a little below the minimum, thinking that it would solve the problem, and now the noise is bigger.

Don't know what the problem is, but I took it to Rover, and they go 'oh sh*t.. that's not right, turn it off!' which I did straight away.

He reckoned VVC head is gone, or maybe cambelt falling off I don't know what. What could be the sources? the clatter changes as RPM changes. When running hard to realise, but when idling, it's definately there loudly.

I am really worried about this. Can you give me some ideas what I should expect from this. Maybe it's time to move on from MG??

I am really disappointed, as my MGF i thought was mechanically sound even if i had to fix 'window stops / creaking cross member / cam shaft oil leak / rattling windows / etc. etc' is going to end like this.

I don't want to spend more than 1000 pounds on this. If so, this car is gonna go.

and what sort of options do I have? of selling a MGF with this sort of condition? do i have to fix it up first and trade it in?

It's my holiday at the moment, and very very disappointed indeed...

Hanah Kim

Oh yes, i asked my dealer to check the cambolts in May. So if they did that properly it would be something else...

My car still goes, does that mean engine is not fully stuffed up? it still pulls like it usually does..

i just checked on the archive. so many threads with vvc blowing up.

Hanah Kim

Hanah, I'd be surprised if it cost more than 1000pounds to fix anything on an F- thats more than 3000 dollars! You can probably buy a new engine for that much.


Growler, you from NZ? ;)

The engine I heard costs about 3400 pounds to get & fitted. If this is the case, I am looking at new cars.

So new engine would cost around 10000 dollars.

Maybe get 200sx / MR2 / new Intergra Type R....
something reliable...
Hanah Kim

Eek! I still cant imagine it will require a whole new engine. Only one part will be broken/worn out, and since you've caught it before it blew up, there should be a minimum of damage done.

On the other hand, if you get really sick of it, I'll look after it for you...



sounds great!


as the noise is kinda getting bigger, i think something is 'about' to fall off....

just about. the engine won't be turned on till it goes to the dealers on 10th of Jan. even then it will be towed to the workshop.

I liked my car.. *sob* *sob*

they actually suggested leaving the car there, as the noise was not that attractive. my car was noisieer than the diesel van next to my F on the lights.

but don't feel safe leaving my F there with 3500 dollars worth of audio gear in it...

it's only 5min drive anyway...

arrrg arrrg...

it's such a wonderful Christmas gift isn't it...

Hanah Kim

I had a similar problem with my VVC last year. It was a broken valve which led to the engine running only on three cylinders. Sounded like a diesel tractor. Can´t remember what the cost was ´cause 50% was paid under warranty from MGR and 50% from my additional car warranty insurance.


Oliver Groeteke

Yes, it's just like a diesel.. isn't it. Just plan loud. Any indication of price? at all?? like.. 300 pounds 400 pounds, etc....

ohhhhhhhh sh*t..
Hanah Kim

I am not 100% sure but I believe it was around 1000-1200 DM which is roughly between 300-400 GBP.
I will check tonight when I´m home.
Oliver Groeteke

Hannah- really sorry to hear about this engine problem :o((

Likely candidates for trouble are:

1. cam bolt failure; complete failure is catastrophic resulting in an undriveable car.

2. Dropped valve. I' ve had this problem on a 30 year old Triumph before- usually means new head, valves and often cylinder. Immediately resulted in a dead engine on that car. I am surprised a little from my experience to hear that Oliver could still drive the car- but I suppose it depends on the nature of the valve drop (do hydraulic followers simply fail?)

3. A blown head gasket between cylinders. I had this on a Nissan once- definitely sounded like a desiel! Never heard of this kind of gasket failure on an MGF before though :o(

Unfortunately, all these problems need the attention of a specialist. There must be qualified engine builders around Hannah (Growler, do you know of any recommended ones?)- these guys should perform a very professional rebuild (maybe some gas flowing eh? ;o) for considerably less than Rover. Moreover, there advice could be useful if the problem does turn out to be a sheared cam-bolt.

Keep us posted
Rob Bell

Rob, thanks for your reply.

If any of options you have mentioned is the case, looks like a new car for me. I probably won't trust my car again after fixing it.

My car still runs..

what does it mean?

and I lost a lot of oil recently I think. (not too sure)

I haven't checked oil for last 5 months actually after the service.

Did 5000km.

Hanah Kim

Surprising that the car still runs, Hannah- and that in someway is good news. Is the car also down on power, or does this appear normal for the time being?

I reckon attention ought to be sought immediately before anything breaks with expensive consequences... and I hope that this isn't anything serious.
Rob Bell

If you want to take a look here is a picture of the defect I had. I was still driving a distance of approx 100 - 120 km until the car went to the garage. I was told that it looked like a material defect of the valve.

Oliver Groeteke

Hi Hannah,

Sorry to hear about your troubles. I've got exactly the same noise coming from my 1999 (march) vvc.
It started quietly when I was leaving work last friday - drove home and too concerned to move it at the moment. I topped it up with oil but the knocking sound is quite prominent. I'm just trying to find a specialist at the moment because of the prices at MG-R.

Hope it isnt too serious for you.
I'll let you know if I find out about mine



If you have been using oil but performance seems the same it could well be a head gasket failure between oil gallery and cylinder - try taking the oil cap off and smelling for a strong smell of petrol! - This would mean a low cost repair (meaning £300 - £400 or so)
also check exhaust for signs of black oily substance

If it dropped a valve you would notice a drop off in power and cost will be much higher

Very sorry you have had this happen - typicle for xmas isnt it!

Whatever you do dont drive it or start it - running it on tickover could destroy the whole engine!

It sounds like you may get away with the cheaper repairs ! - Hope your lucky!

Mine goes on Monday - will be sad to see it go - but relieved not to need a huge repair fund sitting in the bank or worry every time my wife goes for a blast !


I'm so glad I got an MPi......
Tony Smith

I wonder if you could have one of the following:
1. Slipped cam belt - either the main one or the one at the back of the engine (ie left side)
2. Not working VVC control mechanism
3. Faulty igintion module leading to incorrect iginition timing.
If the engine is running, go for the easy options first! Good Luck - remember its only a car!

Hey Hanah,

Where do you stand with your cracking cross member?
Is the U-clamps fixing still working? (don't know about mine as I sold the car with the attached U-clamps)



Have you seen the symptoms you've described above very often (ie on more than one vehicle) and do you know what caused the head gasket to go near to the gallery and cylinder number 1 (I assume it was this cylinder)? Was it a problem with the head, block, gasket, dowel or something similar?

Your description sounds very similar to an engine I know.



Okay, NZ time is opposite to UK. so Here I start..

but first of all. Thanks so much for the interest guys. I also got a reply from Mike Satur. He is great.

I doubt I will get anything out of a dealer. Depends on what is actually going on.

-> Oliver - Thanks for the price indication. That sounds ok to me... the price. And also thanks for the photo.

-> Rob - I guess headgasket is less serious than valves... The Car still runs OK. I didn't go past 4000rpm, as I was kinda worried. It still pulled as it
usually does.

-> Alex -> Thanks for the sympathy. Hope both of us get a cheap fix for it! And hopefully not serious for you as well!! I will keep posted with photos tonight

-> Tony -> Yes my F never needed a drop of oil before that's why I didn't check the oil level often. It could be the head gasket failure. I will try smelling my car today. And Will let you know. And for the exhaust how do I check the black oily substance? My exhaust inside is black... Hope your car gets a good service too!

-> Tony S - but VVC sounds so coool..... WC.. hehe

-> T Green - Slipped cambelt sounds good. That should be easy to fix. VVC mechanism is I think still working. But who knows I never reved past 4000rpm.

-> Jerome - Thanks! U Clamps work perfectly. Still intact. No more knocking. That's why I went back loving my car last week, waxing it and cleaning it for 4 hours! and this happened...

I am getting a new digital camera today, I will send you the photos of the car today or tomorrow whenever possible. Including opened engine bay.

My car was making sssssss (like turbo noise) for last 3 months, I am not sure if that does anything. Maybe that was K&N.... or just paranoiya

If Valve was damaged, I was planning on getting Mike Satur's Stage 1 + compeition head gasket + new inlet manifold + Trophy throttle..... + VVC engine saver kit.

If Valves are not damaged, and don't have to open the engine, just new manfold / throttle / and VVc engine saver.

Has anyone experienced VVC Stage 1 or 2.

If I tune it up, I might as well keep my MG running. Let's see how this turns out. But I will have to wait till 10th of January. Unless you guys can figure out what is wrong with the car. Or Mike Satur.

Thanks all


Hanah Kim


Whatever else you decide to do, get at least TWO more INDEPENDENT opinions about the problems with your car. Check with any MG enthusiasts who may live in your area too. They may be able to come up with trustworthy contacts who know their stuff. From what you describe so far, this problem with your car could be minor. Lets hope so. Remember, even the most experienced Dealerships DO NOT always have the right answers. But then you knew that .... good luck .... :-)

John McFeely

Hello Hannah,

sorry about the new trouble.
I see the community works well. No idea of VVC as well from my side. Oliver mentioned about the burned valve, ... which is known as well from official side. If it's the trouble then it would be interesting to know .. why ? Fuel quality ? Oil quality ?

The VVC mechanic is another case.
If you need a new one, then see for Elise tuner companies. A mate here in D got a complete VVC mechanic for cheap money from such a Elise tuning company. (I would ned to look up the files, if applicable)

Cam bolt, or cam belt was mentioned already.

Hope you get it fixed soon.
Be lucky, this failure will not come up soon again if it's repaired.

PS. online with only the Laptop currently, cause the Workstation has gone... Errr !!
Dieter Koennecke

Dieter, so when you find the bbs for Elise or the address for Elise tuning company please let me know!


yeah, I really like my MG... I will fix it and try to keep it. ;)

Fuel was 96 octane. sometimes 98.

Oil was Castrol Full synthetic from 12000km.

Coolant was never a problem.

Should I be glad that this happened during my holiday not during my exam time..

Hanah Kim


at first investigation, see what John wrote.
If the heads comes off, and I guess it must get off if not only the cam belt is the trouble then as well to go for a new gasket with the steel dowels.

Wonder whether Roger can give some useful hints on how to go on.
- required parts (from oversea ?)

PS. as mentioned only sometimes online cause of PC troubles !! I'll drop you an email if I find the VVC tuner link from DE.

Dieter Koennecke

Yes, Dieter.

What should I order from Mike Satur.

Is there a better head gasket (compared to Mike's one) out there?

I will get a strengthened cambelt from Mike. as well as other sorts.

The problem is that I will be in Korea from 10th of Jan till 17th of Jan.

I will have to ring the dealer everyday and order stuff from Mike Satur online addressed to Rover dealer in Glenfield.

John, very good idea. I have sent some emails around locally to locate a good independent garage. At the moment I know none for MGs. That is the biggest problem with New Zealand. It's too small....
Hanah Kim


Welcome to the money pit. Lots of sympathy and I hope you get it sorted quickly and painlessly (relatively - after all it is a mg...).


I'm sure that Mike has already given you plenty of advice already Hannah- but to my knowledge, there is no better gasket than Mike Satur's.

The other bit that will be invaluable- and that I notice that Mike has had made up as well- are steel location dowels. These are a very very good idea- and are also made by Rover, so it is clearly seen as part of the 'official' solution.

But a question- what exactly is a VVC saver kit?
Rob Bell

Those are the new cambolt nuts that Satur made. Try his site with 'lateset items'.

Elisabeth - thanks for the sympathy... sob.

Mike's VVC stage 1 was an exchange item. Without exchange it is 1200 pounds. Anyone can sell me an exchange part for a cheap price??? Anyone???? or I don't think Mike wants mine... (if it is broken)

How do you open the cam cover?? That's what Mike told me to do and take photos.

Anything that I should look out for?


Hanah Kim

When my VVC went it sounded in idle mode like a Cobra AC ;-)
It was really smooth until a day I accelerated and all of sudden the whole car 'stuttered', a very perceptible drop in torque and an ear-pearcing rattling from the engine bay. It was a part of the piston torn off & getting thrown around in the engine itself! About 3s later it disappeared and the car ran normal again, although the sound was rougher and the power was decreasing increasingly.
Soon the drive itself became rough (sputtering torque) and it stalled afterwards (MEMS cut it out due to oil overheating, of course nothing of the indicators showed anomalities)

Oh well, £3,500 later it worked again.

Sell it Hanah, it won't stop breaking down.
Get an S2000, cool cars for an affordable price.
EXTREMELY proud M3 owner ;)

>>the power was decreasing increasingly

Dirk -> to sell the car, I gotta fix it first... right? ARRRRG..... I didn't find any loss in torque etc. Just bad idling noise that the frequency increases with REV.

S2000 I like, but I can't afford... maybe Nissan 200SX?
but I will try to keep my car, if it doesn't cost much to repair.

What sort of options do I have to get rid of this car? fix it sell it / or just sell it as it is to the dealer?

Question again, how do I open the cam cover? and / or the engine cover?

Thanks all.

Ok. I got some photos of engine bay.

And also stitched photos of the whole engine bay! ;)
I like my new digital camera! It's really cool.

Who can have a look at my photos?

One thing worrying on the top of the engine, there are oil patches. I didn't see that when I was taking the photo.

Anyway, can Dieter host my photos? Or someone else want to have a look at them? It's all ready to go. They are in 1600 x 1200. If you want me to make them smaller. I can do.

Mike mentioned:

((Hanah, first establish exactly where the noise is coming from, it could be a loose cam bolt and you have caught it in time, check all 4 on the VVC engine. We can send you uprated bolts for this if you need them. At any rate it sounds as though the valve timing is out which can happen with a loose cam bolt. Do NOT run the engine at all until you find the cause, send me photos for analysis, cheers Mike.))

= where are these cambolts?
so I can take photos of them

also Mike's second email:

((Hanah, try taking the cam belt cover off and photos of this area ,check the cam wheel is not loose, check the rear cam wheels as well. , cheers Mike))

= Where is the cambelt cover? and is it easy to get them off. Please help me!


Thanks all.

Merry Christmas

Hanah Kim


looking forward the pictures. Please send to in portions of 2 megs.
1024 width is enough and compression to 30 percent, if you can do this with any grafics software. If not then it's anyway, just send them.

Cam belt cover is on the left side, but why don't you look up the manual ?

Cambolts hold the both upper gear wheels in place.
Be patient, it's Xmas and all the guys do something different currently.
I'll collect some stuff if you can't find the workshop manual.

Dieter Koennecke


remove the 5 8mm headed bolts that secure the top cam cover, then only loosen the remaining lower left 10mm headed bolt. Lift off the front cover. You now see the two cam wheels which are secured to the camshafts by way of centre bolts. These are the two bolts for the front of the engine. At the rear of the engine is anopther simpler plastic cover that when removed reveals the two rear cam wheels and the same bolt fixtures are used. It is the tightening torques of these that have caused the big issues.

Moving back to the front of the engine there are two small 8mm headed bolts that are located below the cam centre lines under each cam. These are the anchor bolts that secure the back of the belt cover to the head and I have seen occasions when one of these comes loose it causes a regular and loud tick. I do not think that this will be your problem though.

I think the crux of this problem is whether the engine is running on 4 cylinders or not, and I do not suggest that you run it just to find out now. If it was down on a cylinder then the common factor would be a burnt valve, which creates a really rough engine in running and sound. Causes of this can be varied, but poor valve to seat contact not allowing good heat transfer between valve head and seat is a common cause of overheating valves that then break a piece which goes straight down the exhaust. If you find broken valves do remove the cat and see it if is lodged in the front section. Burnt valves are just that burnt over a period of time. However this is not condusive with a sudden change of engine character.

Running cleanly on all cylinders, yet making the noises points to an external (i.e. outside the combustion chamber) mechanical fault.

The base line is that with the engine still running after the audible onset of the problem, there is a good chance that damage inside, wherever it is, is limited.

If you want to send the phots to me to have a look at feel free. Keep them individual so as not to upset the mail server, which sometimes complains over about 1.8mb per message.

Roger Parker

included Rogers instruction and some pics to:

Awaiting any more pictures.



YOU mentioned a wooshing noise - that will 90% sure be the Head gasket failure -It sounds like its failed on the cylinder to oil gallery as mentioned earlier - which is MUCH less damaging than anything else mentioned earlier - The oil over the engine may well be a failure from the oil gallery to the outside - which gives the wooshing noise (compression in the cylinder being squeezed to outside)

So a few things to point out here - check the tailpipes - it will be black on them - but should be DRY -not GREASY - If its thick greasy oily then 100% HGF when added with all the other symptoms

Also - if as I suspect the HG has failed on the oil/cylinder side you will have petrol in your oil and vice versa - do not run/drive/start the car !!!!

It really sounds like you have been VERY fortunate and that your Head Gasket has been failing for quite a few months = It should/could have failed totally and destroyed the whole engine - but I think you may get away with new Head Gasket / Oil / Coolant change

X fingers for you

Wow, a lot of help last night private emails from Mike Satur / Roger Parker!!

First of all.

Dieter -> Thanks for the offer and the webpage you have uploaded with photos. Photos explain thousand words. :) I was getting disorientated with 'left' and 'right' and all those front and rear. I think it's clearer now.

Roger -> Thanks so MUCH for the explaination, and the private email you have sent me. I have replied.

Tony -> I would be as happy if it's just a head gasket failure. The noise it was making was like 'ssssssssssssssssssss' not loud but, like a turbo charging noise. I thought it was K&N, but that ssss changed a lot on REVs. K&N only sssss's on the low rev with little throttle. I was wondering why my tail pipe gets kinda blacky once in a while (the outside tip, so I cleaned it often..) The photos have been sent to Dieter, so maybe you can see the engine bay photo of mine.
One thing I am not sure is that I bought this car second hand at 9700kms. First it smelt a lot of burning. I thought I was riding the clutch, but maybe the car had HGF before hand and it was burning off the coolant or something. The smell kinda disappeared, but my car has always has been smellier than two of other cars we had. Sweet smelling I should say. I had the car for 22 months now. Anyway I haven't started my car since, and I ripped to the engine bay now. (Just to take some photos and find out) also I can get rid of some labour hours. And thanks for the help..

Thanks all for interest and help.
Place like New Zealand where there are not many Fs... I can only rely on you guys, not the dealers!!

It's Christmas Eve afternoon here already...

Hanah Kim

Hi Hanah -

I had a very similar problem in my elise about a year ago (std engine, not vvc). I did a track day, and after doing a morning session and letting the car cool down over lunch, when I started the car for the afternoon session it made a clattering noise just like you described. It was prominent at idle and increased with revs. However, it drove just like normal - absolutely no loss of power at all. And although the clattering was very loud inside the cabin, from outside the car it wasn't nearly so bad.

I thought I might have knocked a hole or two in the exhaust manifold, but I took it to my mechanic who took the head off and found the problem - the valve seats were coming loose. I'm not technical at all, but apparently each valve is held in place by a valve seat, and mine had started to give, which meant the valves were drooping into the cylinder and the pistons were knocking against them, causing the noise.

Solution is to replace the valve seats. Not a huge job, but it took a couple of weeks all up to get the parts and get it all done. Total cost was about $1500 AUS.

Also, I would echo the comments earlier about not trusting an authorised dealer - I used the 'official' lotus dealer for the first year I had the elise, and in that time every piece of work they did was shoddy at best. Then I found a bloke who has a company that specialises in the elise and MGF - and who does top quality work. And the bonus is he charges close to half what the dealer was asking for.


Just a thought, could this sound be a leak in the inlet seal which has been suspected of causing HGF. Over to you Dieter?
Tony Smith

Hi guys, just an update.

I had an independent mechanic who has been a head of Rover services for last god knows how long, came to my house check the car.

He says the noise (which was noisier than ever before) maybe due to hydraulic tappets or valves stuffed. He doesn't know what exactly. He says he can't do normal procedure to find out the cause, because the engine sounds like it's about to 'go'.

So he will try to look through from the top of the engine. He seems very genuine and very well informed. He knew a lot of about cross members as well as window alignments. I was confident with him, and he said he will work over the new years as well.

He will tow my car tomorrow morning. And hopefully things work out well. But he kinda warned me that it won't be 'that' cheap to fix it.

(but fixable at a cost)

Fingers crossed. Might start ordering new stuff like Mike Satur's head gasket. etc.

Hopefully don't need to fix the head or anything other than valves.... ARRRRRRRRRRG.


x fingers for me please...


thanks all will keep u guys posted.
Hanah Kim

So you found someone :)

Good luck, mate !
Happy new year and a happy VVC ;)

VVC was seldom involved with the inlet manifold trouble. Only the very early where, cause of 'unequal' manifold' flange surface (heard of)

Dieter Koennecke

HGFs, now wait a second guys, i have a idea why they do it. Please hear me out, water pump not up to the job and the rad is too small. If ever thing is spot on than the "F" is ok however if there is even a little air in the system than the problems start.
what do you think?

Agreed that if there is any air in the system then problems start.

Not as sure about your comment about size of pump/radiator.
There is some interesting stuff in the archive about a heat cycle that can be set up possibly causing localised overheating (roughly: long hoses to front cause cold slug of water to close the thermostat even though most of the water in the engine is too hot already. This causes localised hotspots and potential damage to known weak points of the HG. Holes drilled in thermostat *may* help. Keeping the heater on full from startup *may* help also. See archives for details)
So, I think that the radiator is the right size but there is a fundemental difficulty having a long hose run from front to back.

I believe that it's a combination of flawed design stressing a poor design of gasket and crappy dealers not knowing how to fill the system withour getting air trapped.
The gaskets have been updated over the years and there is far less early HGF on newer cars.

Just my tuppence worth.

Paul Nothard

Thanks Paul.
That sound right to me, mod the thermos ok

I too concur with Paul's thesis, the introduction of holes in the thermostat and using the heater. The heater return appears to bypass the thermostat so holes and using the heater may have much the same effect.

In the manual MGR say "the cooling system employed is the by-pass type, allowing coolant to circulate around the engine while the thermostat is closed. This prevents temperature build up in the cylinder head prior to the thermostat opening." I wonder if the block heating up fist and then letting the head heat up later might be causal rather than letting both expand together?

Also the Thermostat in the MGF is on the inlet side of the engine; MGR claim this provides a more stable coolant temp in the engine. But does it?
Ian Walker

The point i would like to make here Ian is that the Lotus Elise does not seem to have this problem. I know that its cooling system is rated for up to 200BHP.

I wonder if there too much of a "Fine line" on the standard cooling system. I also wonder if the mark 3 out soon has a bigger RAD of up rated waterpump?
We will see.
Cheers Mega


Ian, coolant flows from the cylinder head outlet point through the bypass hose back to the engine side of the thermostat, so there is always coolant circulation through the engine when the thermostat is closed. The phrase 'This prevents temperature build up in the cylinder head' means that excessive heat will not build up in the cylinder head, not that the block heats up first. The engine and block will expand together, but as there is such a wide range of temperatures across the cylinder head, let alone the entire engine, there is bound to be unequal expansion in any engine (oil in sump at 90 deg C, cylinder head combustion 450+ deg C?).

As for keeping the heater valve open, I do this myself, but more of an auto-da-fe than any sound science. I think that the bypass hose will circulate enough coolant to keep the engine happy. It's not the same as drilling the thermostat as that will allow a cold coolant creep back in to the engine, the heater/bypass hose circulates hot coolant.

Mega, Elises have the same cooling system as the F in principle (except that the heater circuit is on all the time), and also suffer from HGFs as do front-engined K-series cars, but not to the same extent. I think that the F's pump and radiator are more than adequate for the job under normal conditions, but the fine line is a combination of factors elsewhere peculiar to the F. So far it's proving prety elusive.

Regards, Kes.

Thanks Kes
I think it may well be a number of things, i wish we could pin it down. MGR will soon start trying to push BIG HP out of the "K" and i wonder if its up to it?

I mate in Ireland tells me that the head bolts run all the way though the engine and they found that the head could move a wee bit. Tony tells me that MGR now fit some sort of steel bush/dowel to hold the head in place.

Ihope MGR don't "Blow it"!

The new steel dowels replace the existing plastic ones.
Tony Smith

if borderline cooling is the cause, is there a difference in failure rate between 1.8, vvc and trophy (Dirk you know?)

No reasonable comparison due any rate is possible,

- Amount of built VVC versus 1.8i is unknown
- Trophy is already with improved gasket, hollow steel dowels... well most of them, cause the steel dowels got introduced app in March 2001

Dieter Koennecke


My mechanic has looked into the problem over the new years, and found that actually the cam bolts were loose, and was just about to go. The cam gear has been fully damaged, and there has been a minimal damage on the cam shaft.
(hopefully the damage is only up to this extent)

He will get a new cam gear / and cam bolts (with lock tight) and fix these bits. For camshaft, he reckons that it is a minimal damage that he can fix it up without replacing it as it will cost too much.

He won't do the compression tests until these are done.

Is it a good idea to touch up the camshaft and just drive it around?

and do you guys know how much these camgear costs?

Should I be thankful if the damage is only this far...



Hanah Kim


As long as the "hardened" bearing surfaces are still intact you will be ok !!

There may be slight scoring which is the "minimal" damage he is talking about - which will not affect the car in any way and is acceptabe!

So looks like you had a close escape !!

Glad to hear it!!!!

Of course as said before - DONT start/ drive it until it is fixed - sounds like you came very close to a £3500 repair and a bodge now could result in the same bill !!!!

Dear Tony,

thanks for the info.

As long as the car can be brought back into the original condition....

I would be happy!

Then series of mods... like Trophy throttle / cat bypass will come through!!

Hanah Kim

Hi Hanna,

I haven't looked at the BBS since before Christmas,
I can't believe what I just read,
we seem to have suffered exactly the same problem,
I had with a P reg (96) VVC,
then all the noises - all the horror,
the only difference being I found out that my (MGR) dealer forgot to put the oil back in the engine after a full service,
BANG ! - no more MGF
a happy ending though, they ''bought'' the car off me for what I paid for it,
now I'm in a '98 Brooklands Green Abingdon VVC,
and its brilliant,
hope you get your problems sorted out,
and for goodness sake listen to Tony,
don't drive it - get it transported to the garage,
driving it only makes it worse (trust me, it does!)
chin up luv !
keep us posted

Joel, my car is already in the garage since 29th of Dec LAST YEAR!

Oh yeah, by the way I am a male.. :))

It was towed there.

I kinda regret, that I still drove my car around for 50km, after the noise started. Stupid me.

Thanks Joel.

Hanah Kim

There and all this time I thought you were a girlie :) lol - Us Brits always assuming!!

Not to worry about driving around - sounds like the damage had already been done anyway!

Back to the repairs -

The chances are as said before that all parts being re used are perfectly good - Again as said before you may have some scoring on the camshaft but the mechanic will know if this is acceptable or not!
As long as its minimal it will not require repair - honest - so dont worry !

The mechanic wont put in faulty parts - its not worth the effort!

I would talk to him however and ask if anything is "borderline" - he may suggest some new parts although I would expect a good mechanic to replace anything looking past its best anyway = but always best to ask!

Just to put your mind at rest - a 170mph superbike I had did 50,000 miles on defective/pitted/scored cam shafts (engine revs to 12,000 rpm) and i thrashed it everywhere!
As long as the Camshafts "case hardening" is still intact you will never know any difference!!!

BTW - Its still running fine with the new owner!

Some good news so far then Hanah- what a relief! :o)

Loose cam bolts? sounds as though you should contact Mike for a set of his replacement cam bolts after that recent discussion on the subject.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that this is the extent of the problem- if it is you've caught it just in time!
Rob Bell

Glad you caught it in time Hanah (50km!!), the 'engine life saver kit ' as I call it does just that;-)You lucky man.

Thanks guys. I will let you guys know again when I get my car back. (after 18th of Jan as I am going overseas this Sunday)

Thanks everyone.
Hanah Kim

This thread was discussed between 20/12/2001 and 04/01/2002

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