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MG MGF Technical - Snapped Gear Cable

Morning all,

Just heard back from Douglas Grahams who have been investigating the trouble on the F. Seems (as several of you predicted - see the Thunk Help! thread) that my gear cable has snapped.

Cost of replacement is 360 quid. Ouch!
I know some of you ahve had this problem too - how much did you pay?

Still at least I should get the F back today, and I can dump the infernal Corsa that I've had for the last week...


yep, had this twice (...) Some others on this BBS aswell. I won't call it a common fault, more a suspiciously recurrent issue!

I had even pics on my website of the failure:
Cables are very long (over 7 ft), impossible to take a decent picture of them!
Full view of the shortest (still ok) cable (there are 2 of them, diff length)
That's how it looks without the rubber cover around it
The other side of the cables, these are attached to the gearstick
on the *inside* of this tiny cylinder there used to be an iron bar, which simply broke off...
Detail of rubber inside of cable attachment point (close to gearbox): rubber worn out due to heat. Suggested reason: SP Exhaust?

360 quid: hmm, I paid afaik +/- 150

Hmmm, Cheers Dirk appreciated.
Still I have it back now, gear change is very notchy now, guess it was on the way out for some time...

No reason given for breakage, still goes with the territory I guess............. Still mines been pretty good, only the central locking and the gear cable so far in 18 months, (and a head gasket skim - caught before it failed by my dealer!), so all in all not bad really.

Ended up paying 375 quid. Ouch. Reckon I could afford to service a Ferrari (independantly) at the prices my dealer is charging...


Rich,did you tell your dealer you were called Rich or were rich?

did it nearly myself by use f a second hand cable. So payed only 40qiud ;) *not representativ*

I guess the 375 quid for Rich includes the material for both cables and release of the complete rear subframe. Official, but not required complete. You surely know the easy way to do it faster and cheaper :)

you never published that pictures,...
I only recall your ASCII description from two years ago (---x---o)
May I use them and add to:

Same break position at yours as at mine. I cutted the crap the other year and found the reason why it must break.

Dieter Koennecke

375 quid !?
Is it possible to replace just the inner cable ?
The manual also says that you must drain the cooling system before, and refill / bleed after completing this job ...


Dieter, they were all the time on my website (when it still featured MGF pics!)
Take whatever you like! Eat them if you want!!

asked that too Steve, you are OBLIGED to buy BOTH cables at once.

I have really NO clue what the coolant system has to do with gearbox linkage?!

I guess Rover tries to replace coolant as much as possible for whatever repair, I wonder why... ;)

ahh, do I feel sooooo good I got rid of it, and since this morning I even feel better now that I saw my own new M3 beast in full glory in the showroom of my dealer, awaiting paperwork clearance for the road!
Next week I take the road!


LOL like the coolant needs replacing for changing the gear cables..... Still thats the one thing (touch wood) that the dealer has always done right - the coolant.

[watch for my post about HGF tomorrow!]

Gear change has smoothed out a bit now after a bit of serious use driving the back lanes out to Bracknell this am, roof down sunny day - guess maybe I'll keep the F for now....

I have not checked the manual but my guess is that the under body coolant pipes have to be removed to allow access to the gear change cables and that means Dirk that the coolant has to be replaced when the job is finished.

Ted Newman

wasn't done why my gear cables were replaced. But it seems to be a b**ch to do!

Time quoted in the Rover repair manual is 3.7 hours per cable, for info only.

347.41 inc vat
Bruce Caldwell

Cheers Bruce,

Still the car got a goodwash on the outside + the alloys cleaned (great I hate doing that) and it was fixed within 24 hours of me getting the car to them, so I figure I wasn't really stitched up.

Still, I reckon a good independant mg specialist might be worth looking out for in Surrey now that the car is 3 years old...


>Time quoted in the Rover repair manual is 3.7 hours per cable, for info only.

Jup, confirmed :)
This includes removal of the complete rear subframe :) and of course the coolant drain.
But intelligent craftsman find another way by only lowering the subframe at the inner side without dismanteling the coolant hoses. 5cm is enough to get hands on the cable 'wall'.
Anyway, it's not an easy job, though.

Dieter Koennecke

You think you got over charged, I had the same problem this morning on the way to work. The garage have just quoted me 500 to do the job, including buying the whole gearing assembly which includes the gear leaver and everything, what a rip off. I asked them if I could have the spare parts they didn't use, they thought that was a very strange request. I know that you can just buy the cables, I spoke to B&G and they told me they had 6 in stock. aaaah. They have also told me its a 5.5 hour job, that better include a full inside and out clean!

Any way thats my rant for the day, Rich I hope that it makes you feel better.

(Also looks like im going to Silverstone in the wifes rover, anyone want a 09:00 track slot !)
Mark Brunt

>I spoke to B&G and they told me they had 6 in stock

Mark, do they also sell them both together only ?
Dieter Koennecke

No you can by them sepratly from B&G, at about 50 each, my dealer claims you can only buy the whole kit (according to their parts guide from Rover), so that's how Rover are going to make any money by cheeting money out of it customers.

Why dose it always feel I know more about what you can an can't do with the car than my dealer ?

Mark (still ranting on)


>how Rover are going to make any money by cheeting money out of it customers.

I understand how you feel, but in case of economics and warranty on the repair job it seams also for me to be the only way for them to do the job in a 'right' way.
What would you say if the second cable snaps short after the first was repaired ?

Anyway, if the car is out of warranty and goodwill than the only way to get it cheaper done is NOT to join a registered MGR garage but see for any DIY and let change only one.

Also give them the hint on only slighty release of the subframe. It works, found by my own experiance.

Dieter Koennecke

>>including buying the whole gearing assembly which includes the gear leaver and everything

Now that really IS taking the pi$$. Still, you could take the opportunity to get one of the slick-shift kits, presuming you're out of warranty.


Good idea. If you want to DIY it, then Mike Satur's kit seems to be the one of choice!

Hopefully he'll have a few along with him at Silverstone... :o)
Rob Bell

Did look at the quick stick options, but I still need to get the cable repaired first which is where the cost and labour are.


This thread was discussed between 13/06/2001 and 22/06/2001

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