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MG MGF Technical - Steering Problems... Again!

Hi all,

Thanks for all your help last time with my steering problems.. I took it back to MG and insisted it wasnt the camber arm (aka suspension arm).. they checked it again, and sure enough they had forgotten to tighten something in the steering box..

It's a lot better now, BUT (yes, there's a but..) it still feels very insecure.. When I drive over 40-50mph, it feels "loose".. It's difficult to describe, but I know there is a problem..

As you've probably guessed, I'm a bit reluctant to take it back to Park Lane Rover/MG, so do any of you know of any steering specialists (not a dealer!) that are good with MGF's that can take a look at her..?

Any help would be appreciated!

Shashi Dookhee

I remember Shashi, this was the steering wheel problem that would not return to centre after turning.

Loose you say? Did they do a geometry check after sorting out the steering rack? If the toe-angles are wrong (quite possible) this could certainly lead to the car feeling 'not quite right'- steering feeling a bit light, no feel, slow reaction to turning the wheel, that sort of thing. Even if they have, get it checked again ASAP.

Sounds as though you are getting there!

Rob Bell

Hi Shashi,
Do you have a splitter installed on your MGF ? A splitter can reduce a 'loose' steering feeling at higher speeds. It is a functional add-on tool.

-- Luc --

Hi Rob,

Actually, I forgot to mention (but remembered when you talked about the toe-angles).. When I last checked the ride height (something they adjusted the first time it went in), it looks like they did not set it right.. Each wheel had a slightly different height - as I recall sometimes a >20mm difference! Is there any way I can check toe-angles/ride height and adjust myself, or does it require special tools and laser alignment? After they adjusted the steering box, I dont think they re-aligned anything! Is there anywhere else I can take it to do this who have MGF experience, and dont charge 155+VAT a time!?

As for your comment Luc, I am considering purchasing such a device.. However, in this case, the car used to feel a LOT more solid, and has only felt like this *after* it left Rover..

Thanks again!

Shashi Dookhee

It is possible for you to set ride height yourself- but with the current temperatures, I'd be tempted to leave it unless the trim heights were really dramatically different (and yes, 20 mm is quite dramatic!).

The tracking requires some skill. A professional tyre centre (I personally wouldn't use the Kwick Fit style outfits, rather pick out a smaller specialist) should do the job for you for a third of the price you've been charged for previously. Check out your local Yellow pages. Where abouts are you based?

I have great faith in the abilities of Techspeed from the over whelming positive comments from satisfied customers- so they may be worth contacting to make your car 'batter than new'.

Let me know what your ride heights are, and whether you want directions as to how to lower the car yourself.

Rob Bell

Hiya Rob,

I am currently based in North London... I have read your article on your website on how to lower the ride height, however I'm a bit weary of doing it myself as I know if I accidently go too far, I'll need a Hydragas pump. If Techspeed are as good as you say they are (and I dont doubt you are correct!), I'll go there.. Do you have their contact details/website? I just went outside (yes, I know its 11:35pm!! ;)) and measured the ride height.. Here's the very approximate figures..

Front left: 365mm
Front right: 355mm
Rear left: 350mm
Rear right: 345mm

As you can see, between the Rear Right and Front Left, it's about 20mm different... Ideally, I'd like the car to be as low as possible, say about 330mm all around (I know this is about 20mm below manufacturers specifications..). If I replace the shocks, and use the lowering knuckles (as supplied by Moto-build), do you think it'll be okay?

One last question.. The MG dealership kept telling me (before they realised that it was their mistake!) I needed a "Modified suspension arm" (they called it a "Modified camber arm"), and apparently it's made by MG.. What I want to know is, why on earth was a modified suspension arm ever made?! Was there a recall of some sort? My camber angle is off by about a degree... Is this a manufacturers defect? It makes it difficult to align the car accurately!

Thanks again for your help!

Shashi Dookhee

No recall was issued for this 'arm' but I do seem to remember that there was a 'bad' batch about 4 years ago and that they had to be checked by the dealer during normal service.

I run without a 'splitter' and find that if the tracking is set correctly the car is perfectly stable up to about 120 mph, it gets a bit skittish if you have to brake hard or change direction suddenly at high speed and I am sure that a splitter would help in this situation.

Ted Newman

For the steering problem, maybe removing the EPAS fuse could show if the problem is or isn't related to the EPAS ...

There does seem to be a pressure difference between the two sides that explains the trim height differental. Not too worrying.

The modified wishbone was introduced to correct for a camber error found on some cars. If the camber error just on one wheel? I wonder whether this is a waranty issue that needs to be discussed with Rover directly?

For the kind of suspension mods you are seaking then yes, I would certainly look Techspeed up. That I haven't has more to do with the fact that racing reg preclude hydragas and damp mods, but given a free hand, I'd do what Tom has recently had done- the full 'nipple job' and uprated dampers.

Contact details:

Techspeed Racing Tel: 01926 632066, Fax: 01926 632572

Rob Bell

>> One last question.. The MG dealership kept telling me (before they realised that it was their mistake!) I needed a "Modified suspension arm" (they called it a "Modified camber arm"), and apparently it's made by MG.

What are the symptoms of having one of the 'bad' arms, assuming all else is fine ?


Thanks Rob.. I was thinking today that maybe I am noticing the problem more is due to the fact that MG say they had to raise the car.. So that means that I must of had a much lower car, equating to a more stable ride? Maybe? ;)

Gaz, One of the symptoms is apparently a pull to one side when you centralise..

Rob, Yes, the camber error is only on one side..


Shashi Dookhee

This thread was discussed between 04/01/2001 and 05/01/2001

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