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MG MGF Technical - Remember this...'Camber'

Some of you may remember a thread entitled 'Camber' back in May this year. This was my original post:

I've recently had my F's tracking checked by my dealer. I'd noticed that the steering wheel was slightly off-centre to the right, and this was exaggerated during hard acceleration when I had to turn the wheel more to the right to maintain a straight line. The car's come back with no change to these characteristics. I have the before & after tracking settings which are all within limits, including thrust angle (0 deg, 0 min), except right rear camber which is just under minus 2 degrees (same before and after) when range is -1deg30 to -0deg30. I realise camber is affected by ride height and I've noticed that when parked there is sometimes a discrepancy between front and rear height on the right (front higher by up to 20mm) whereas on the left the front usually equals rear. I wonder if there is a fault with the rear right hydragas unit which is both causing the incorrect camber and the above handling characteristics. Or is the handling trait I describe normal when driving on the left on roads which generally slope down slightly to the gutter? Any thoughts welcome.

Quite a few of you posted some helpful comments - bottom line was it needed to go back to the dealer to sort the problem out under warranty (car new in May 2000). The dealer (which shall remain nameless, as they've been apologetic & courteous throughout, just not very good at sorting the problem) didn't feel anything was wrong with the handling, but in view of the out-of-spec camber reading & suspension heights agreed to take the car in. They kept the car for seven weeks (with a break for two days after five weeks when I wanted the car back as so little was happening to it) trying to solve the problem in conjuction with MG technical at Longbridge. The technical department work at an unbelievably slow pace, and apparently can only communicate with the dealer by fax - they haven't yet discovered the telephone. After 2-3 weeks of v. little happening, I contacted customer services - once I got through to an area manager there (took a few days) things started to move a bit. The rear subframe and right rear displacer unit were replaced, but the height discrepancy and out-of spec camber remained. At this point I had the car back but wasn't really able to assess the handling as when I got it home I found the coolant header tank empty. Having had a HGF in my previous F, I was somewhat concerned, and it went straight back to the dealer to be re-filled and bled. They then kept it as some more info came from MG tech. They put some spacers in the right rear displacer and did something to part of the front suspension - can't remeber what now. Anyway, I picked the car up after 7 weeks. Susp. heights now almost in spec (i.e. a smaller discrepancy front to rear on the right) but camber reading still out. And did the car now handle fine? No - it was awful. The veering to the left on acceleration and to the right on deceleration was now severe, such that the rear twitched even on changing gear (power on, power off) and on heavy braking I had to turn the steering wheel 30-40 degrees to the left.

MG customer services then suggested the car went to another dealership to have work done under direct supervision by a factory engineer. It did - they had the car for another 2-3 weeks, replaced rear subframe again (they said alignment was way out), both rear displacer units (and did not put in any spacers) and changed something else on the front suspension.

I had the car back last week. It's in freelander mode and the right-sided height differential is still there, although not so bad as originally (current heights R front 387, R rear 372, L front 386, L rear 376). It handles better than it has ever done before, but the tendency to wander to the left on acceleration is still present, but much less noticeable. It now brakes in a straight line. I am now tempted to quit while I'm ahead. I've missed half the summer with my F and I have no confidence that any dealer, with or without factoy help, could fully rectify the suspension issue. I wonder if in fact the body is slightly out of true (though never been in an accident) and no amount of adjustments can solve the problem. My only other idea is fitting compliance washers or bushes to the rear suspension. I don't know much about this - any thoughts/comments about this would be appreciate.

Oliver posted a similar problem recently, called Torque Pull, I think. I would be interested to know if you got it sorted, Oliver.

Sorry for the v. long post, but some of you who replied to my original post wanted to know the outcome.



Personally - if the car still isnt handling properly - amd as you bought it new - I would take it back to the origional dealer and demand a new car! - The car they sold you is not "fit for purpose" and you have given them plenty of time to sort it !

I would also recommend that you claim compensation for your loss of use from rover - regardless of them being courteous - u didnt lay out your hard earned money for mg mechanics to learn there trade on did you ?? !

This happens alot in the car world - and people get new cars - dont be taken for a mug - Its your consumer right to have a car that operates correctly - if they cant get it right - by the figures then there is something wrong!

Think about when you want to sell it and people test drive it - if they notice its pulling to one side - they wont buy it!!

If your hard nosed enough you may even get offered a new - better model - you never know!!!

Whatever you do - at least get some advice - ie citizens advice bereau !

My VVC has had a similar discrepancy in a rear wheel camber angle all its life (about 4 years). In my case though, it is the left rear, and there is no handling problem.
Your dealer has apparently used all its facilities to fix this - and failed. I agree with Tony, the car should be replaced.


Sorry about the not ending tracking problems.
The rear axle and any weakness there or a bent subframe is for sure responsible for this ride behavior.

My dealer here in D had obiously the same with an MY2000 of an unpleased customer. At last he installed a kind of compliance washers to the rear tie bar (not in specs of MGF so against the specification !!) and made the front control arms stiffer by adding thin washers to the inner rubber bearings. Set the play of the lower control arm (wishbone to zero).
This all without permission of MGR. But the car runs straight now.


This thread was discussed between 26/09/2001 and 27/09/2001

MG MGF Technical index

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