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MG MGF Technical - resetting callipers and squeak

hi can someone give some clues on how to reset the callipers and handbrake. on my mgf rear.
and also when i turn the steering wheel there is a creak its annyoing
Darren Jeffery

The piston winds back in, for which there is either a special tool by Draper etc for a few pounds, or you can usually achieve the same with a couple of screwdrivers. If you have an angle grinder, the tool for changing discs ought to work too.
Correct procedure is to fit the new pads, reassemble, then pump the footbrake to get the piston fully engaged against the pad, and only then do you pull on the handbrake, at which point the self-adjusting mechanism inside the caliper *should* set itself into position. I say *should* because the self-adjusting mechanism is prone to corrosion & seizure, and you may find it beneficial to exercise the handbrake mechanism a bit, by operating the lever repeatedly until the piston is nearing its maximum extension (i.e. when the rubber shroud is nearly taut) and then winding it right back in. Repeating that a few times will help clear some of the corrosion on the unseen internals.

Creaking steering can be due to a dry UJ on the column (down near the pedals), or perhaps dirt/grit having got into it, or in some cases it can get strands of carpet or the underlay soundproofing caught up in it. Or have you had your wheel alignment set recently? Not uncommon for the rack gaiters to have been twisted in the adjustment process, and not re-positioned correctly afterwards.

if its the same noise as mine the brakes need cleaning mine makes the noise at low speed
pd dixon

I'm sure that you'll find that the creaking is from the front shock absorbers. A squirt of wd40 should stop it for a while but mine needed replacing.

help need pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeese hi guys bandit, rob bell anyone, having an ongoing problem with my silver mgf 18. it feels like the the brakes are dragging...

story of the tale is

took rear drivers wheel off.
next undone the two caliper bolts 12mm .
took pads out reset the caliper turning clockwise.
that was ok was free... pumped the footbrake came out taught right all put back together....

drove noticed the handbrake cable light was comming on i turned the cable nut clockwise under the centre stop it

drove tonight to notice a burn smell from the rear wheels....
to be honest i have had just about my fill with her dont want to say it but i am thinking of trading her in.....

do i need a new caliper if so would a rover 800 one work on me car..... or any mg scrapy

sorry for going on

darren jeffery
Darren Jeffery

The handbrake warning light coming on is usually due to the lever on the caliper not returning fully, leaving slack in the cable. Adjusting the cable isn't the solution, as it can lead to the handbrake dragging, as you've discovered...

Replacing the caliper is the quick solution, a reconditioned exchange unit is IIRC around 70, or you may be able to get the existing one working properly again by 'exercising' the lever that the cable operates - the one on the caliper body, not the one in the cabin. Unhook the return spring, clamp some mole grips onto the lever, and start working it to and fro, periodically dripping oil into the point where the shaft disappears into the caliper body. This won't get into the whole of the mechanism, but may reduce the friction just enough that the return spring can do its job properly. It may take a while, but eventually you should notice the lever getting easier to turn, and over an increased range. What you're looking to achieve is the lever making a definite 'click' when it hits its fully released position, i.e. where the return spring will push it to when you release the lever in the cabin. If you can get it loosened to that degree, then no immediate need for a new caliper.

Buying a secondhand caliper from a scrapyard wouldn't be advisable IMHO, since there's a strong chance it would have the same problem, however if you're able to check the looseness of the lever before handing over cash then it may be worth a go. Definitely not something I'd buy from eBay ;o)

just want to say thank you to bandit non memeber, for the advice on the binding brakes. i think i have cracked it did what you said. thanks darren

just one more how many clicks is normal on a f on the handbrake standard settings

Darren Jeffery

Yup, thats a good write-up.

Dieter might be interested in adding a section on fixing the brake binding thats so commonly reported as "how to I adjust the handbrake cable - light stays on"
Will Munns

thanks will, bandit is a true genuis twice he has come to my aid i shall put that in folder with other things done on the f,could you tell me how many clicks on the handbrake before it binds.
so clockwise is tighting up to bind. and vice versa wheres the level field then

darren jeffery

if you have a binding caliper do as above it worked for me fingers xx
Darren Jeffery

I think, when evrything is adjusted right, two or three clicks is all it should take
Will Munns

As bandit says, lubricating the handbrake mechanism and exercising it will free things up - for a while. I had to replace the nearside caliper last year and have just spent a few hours getting the offside one to work for this years MOT! In both cases the 'input shaft' to the caliper has seized up and the return spring (the coiled one around the nut) doesn't have enough effort to return the lever to the 'off' position. The rubber seal under the lever doesn't keep water out and the eccentric cam and pushrod rust and stick in place.

I suspect that lots of people with the handbrake light staying on actually have the same issue and mistakenly adjust the handbrake lever end of the mechanism, not knowing that the caliper end isn't working properly. After a while the self adjuster won't be able to take up the slack and the travel will be too great for the hydraulic fluid transfer so the pedal will get longer and longer. I've never had to touch the internal end of the handbrake cables, assuming the caliper mechanisms are working (yeah right!) 3 or 4 clicks are all that's needed for it all to work properly.

Given that the car is N reg and this is the only bugbear I don't think it's doing too badly...

Alan B

Glad your persistence got it sorted Darren, it's a task that has kept me warm for many an hour on several chilly days...

Deliberate use of the words 'no immediate need for a new caliper', as a mechanism that has seized up enough to need this treatment is likely to need it again. Like the clutch lever, the design rules out easy lubrication but sadly doesn't rule out ingress of dirt & moisture. Putting a collar of copper grease around the point where the lever goes into the caliper body is part of my preventative maintenance schedule, and since I've been doing that I've not had to do the loosening up routine.

Agreed on the cable adjustment, it's almost never the answer. The cables don't stretch, so if the warning light starts appearing it's almost certainly due to the return spring on the caliper not being able to do its job properly.

thanks bandit. i will get some grease around that part where it goes into the shaft.. i have my mg on 4 clicks of the handbrake is that ok did three but felt the car goingback or was it my thoughts going over active...

darren jeffery
Darren Jeffery

This thread was discussed between 29/01/2009 and 02/03/2009

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