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MG MGF Technical - Some Technical help please - failed MOT!

Can any of you kind knowledgeable people on here help with some advise please? My 97 VVC has just failed it's MOT and I was wondering if anyone could advise on how easy it would be to fix these items myself (or really stand and watch while my knowledgeable brother does the work!!) and what parts I'd need, rather than pay the large prices the garage is quoting.

Failing Items:

Needs 2 new front suspension mountings.
Leak from the master break cylinder, so probably needs replacing.


Replace hub bearing.
Replace both rear shock absorbers.

Many thanks,

J Connell-Smith

Hi John,

I think that everything that you've listed is in the realms of a capable DIY-er. I can't help you with everything - but others here will be able to help and there is a wealth of info in the archives (well worth spending some time reading through)

>> Needs 2 new front suspension mountings.<<

Do we know exactly what is meant here? Subframe or wishbone?

>> Leak from the master break cylinder, so probably needs replacing. <<

Replacement is certainly an options - B&G will sell you new, or you can get secondhand from MGF Centre/ Midland MGF. Another alternative would be a service kit, and rebuild. Branko's just done something very similar with his clutch slave cylinder. A good autofactor should be able to help out here.

>> Replace hub bearing. <<

Not done this on an MGF, so am not 100% sure about what is involved - but it does include comprehensive disassembly of the suspension and removal of the brake discs to gain access to the hub carrier, and then the bearing needs to be pressed out. Not a task that I'd particularly relish - so might be a case of asking a competent mechanic to help out with this one.

>> Replace both rear shock absorbers. <<

Happily, this is pretty straightforward. Tim covers damper removal with his guide to replace the damper bushes with Mike Satur PU items -

Rob Bell

Thanks Rob for the advise.

It turns out that after closer inspection the car doesn't need a new brake cylinder, it just needs a new pipe.

I was told that it was teh top suspension mountings if this means anything. However, after I told the garage that I'd get the suspension sorted elsewhere. They later called me back and said after closer inspection it was just the bolts needed tightening. So they've passed my car after all!!

Is it me or does this sound a bit dodgy?

With regard to the rear shocks, B&G tell me that the best option is to replace with Trophy shocks, as they're actually cheaper. Is it worth replacing the bushes with PU ones while I'm at it, as I keep reading how good these are? Do I need to replace all the bushes in one go?

Thanks again for any help and apologies for my lack of knowledge!
John Connell-Smith

>>Is it me or does that sound a bit dodgy?<<

Hmmm ... my money would not be on you.

Now, the main reason for my response.

Get yourself a Workshop CD off ebay ... less than a tenner including P/P and will pay for itself many times over if, like many MG enthusiasts, you're not afraid to pick up a spanner occasionally.

Polyurethane replacement bushes are a useful upgrade although standard OE items are perfectly adequate. PUs can transmit more noise but, on the whole are a good upgrade. Any car, once it's got a few miles and years on its clock will always benefit from suspension bush renewals.... often recommended by the manufacturer, few cars routinely have this done but, it can restore or even transform the steering and handling of a car.

Good luck.

If you go for Trophy shacks you probably need to replace front and rear, they are substantially firmer.
Ken Waring

Yes, definitely, you'd need to replace all 4 shockers - but that's probably true anyway irrespective of whether you upgrade to Trophy units or not.

Trophy dampers are probably a good upgrade route to go, although B&G et al all sell adjustable dampers that are superior to either of the standard damper options. Which route you decide to take really boils down to whether you want to keep things pretty much standard or not.

Regarding PU damper bush replacement - to be honest there isn't much point: if you are going for new dampers, the rubber bushes will also be new; you'll not notice much improvement of PU over new rubber IMO.
Rob Bell

Hi John,

Since you have time on your side with the wheel bearing, there's a strong argument for swapping the whole hub carrier instead of trying to press the old bearings out - not an easy process. Secondhand units are quite cheap, possibly even cheaper than a new bearing, and if you follow Rob & MGJohn's advice and invest in a workshop manual, you'll see that it's actually quite straightforward to swap them over yourself.
Mike Hankin

>> Is it worth replacing the bushes with PU ones while I'm at it, as I keep reading how good these are? Do I need to replace all the bushes in one go? <<

Sorry John, I think I mis-understood you before - you mean replacing all the suspension rubber for PU? You probably don't have to replace all of them at the same time, you can get away with a piecemeal approach if you have a logical plan of action. I suspect that the bushes that you'll appreciate most of the gain from are the rear tie-bar bush and the subframe bushes (although the latter are better replaced with alloy TF items). Then the inner wishbone bushes will improve steering control still further.

I presume that you are going to take your car to B&G for this work? In which case have a chat to the chaps there and see what they recommend. :o)
Rob Bell

Rob, please refer people to your chamber of horrors if they fit harder shocks, if only to show of my car!.
Andrew Regens

You're wish is my command Andrew:

Makes me shiver every time I see those pix... Gulp!
Rob Bell

Yep, my bank manager shivers every time as well!.
Andrew Regens

This thread was discussed between 13/06/2005 and 14/06/2005

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