MG-Cars.net

Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.

Recommendations

Parts

MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG MGF Technical - Upgrading the brakes

Having toyed with the idea of a new TF, nice but just a bit too much (it would have to be a TF160 :-) ), I have now deceided to keep my current F and do a few more mods (the dark side is calling).

So I am looking to upgrade the current braking system and would like some thoughts.

Okay so I know there are various threads on back to back tests, but I am after some thoughts as they stand.

My current plans are:

1) MS or B&G big brake kit
2) Improved rear discs (MS?)
3) Full set of EBC greens
4) SS flexipipes (MS)
5) B&G Servo bracket


So far just normal fast road driving, but with far too many people "not looking" at roundabouts.

For info my car currently has,

K&N
Trophy TB
KH Splitter
EBC Green front pads
SO2 PP's
+ cosmetics

Paul
Paul

How much do you want to spend?

The only comment I'd make about big brakes with the standard calipers is that the standard calipers - for very obvious reasons! - are made to match the standard disc diameter.

When you increase the size of the brake disc, it means that less of the brake pad actually comes into contact with the disc. This is because the caliper doesn't fit properly over the disc (the disc's radius means that it can't go fully into the space between the two halves of the caliper) and therefore the edges of the pads overhang the circumference of the disc. So you then have a compromise situation: greater leverage as a result of the larger disc, but a markedly reduced contact area.

TBQH a far more efficient braking system can be achieved using standard sized discs (grooved if you like to aid pad dust clearence) matched to better specification pads. EBC are a reasonable choice for road cars- but for track use you could use Mintex pads. The Elise chaps rave about Pagid pads- but I do not know how good these would be on an MGF.

If big brakes are your hearts desire then chat with Mike to see whether his big brake kit is now available and matched with suitable calipers. An alternative is to contact Brown and Gammons as they sell the same brake kits as fitted to the Trophy 160.

A another word of warning- this time about brake balance. It is a common mistake to think that you can just fit bigger brakes to the front and everything will be just dandy. This is certainly true on FWD cars, as the rear brakes really are just along for the ride. But on the MGF, 55% of the car's weight is over the rear wheels, as compared with a FWD car where the distribution is reversed (over 60% over the front wheels is not uncommon). Therefore, the MGF is working the rear brakes much harder than most road cars, and it also means that it is easy to 'over-brake' the front and lead to either premature activation of the ABS (if fitted) or locking. In either case, the braking efficiency (as measured by braking distance) is going to be adversely effected. Therefore I'd suggest a balanced approach to brake upgrades. Mike's four-wheel big brake conversion sounds just the ticket- but I haven't tried a car so fitted, so cannot comment further.

Otherwise, I reckon your brake upgrade plans sound spot on. For the record, my brake mods include:
1. Roversport standard size grooved discs all round
2. Mintex 1177 pads
3. s/s braided brake hoses
4. B&G brake servo bracket kit
5. Mike Satur brake pedal adjustment kit.

Good luck!
Rob Bell

Rob,

Any comments on the value of the brake pedal adjustment kit?

Dave
Dave

The MS brake pedal adjustment kit is probably the best 25 you can spend to alter the position of the brake pedal. It works by shortening the rod between pedal and bar by about 3mm but this lowers the pedal by about 20mm. The result is that you can move your foot between throttle pedal and brake more easily and your can even left foot brake (very useful on autotests and 'sleeping policemen'). Highly recommended although not a new idea as this type of device used to be fitted to T and Y types many years ago.
david stonehouse

Okay Think I better add the pedal adjuter as well then. :-)

Thanks for the detail so far. To be honest I was looking for a bit more feel as I find the standard set up a bit soft feeling and sometimes makes me wonder if I am going to stop in time. As a comparisum I also have a 216GTi and the brakes on that put the F to shame in terms of feel and responsivness. Perhaps that is the Front to Back bias of FWD cars and my first change should be to upgrade the rear Pads.

Rob, In terms of cost I was looking to spend 500-1000 so I think the Trophy parts are a bit out and I would like to keep the ABS, although the GTi doesn't have it and I managed with that for 7 Years (touch wood).

Paul
Paul

Dave, David beat me to it- and says exactly what I was going to!

Paul, are you describing a 'spongy' feel to the brakes? If so, I think you'll get alot of benefit from the brake servo support bracket.

A few other things will help that pedal feel- and you've got most of them on your list:
1. s/s hoses
2. bleed the braking system and completely replace the brake fluid. As you probably know, brake fluid is hydroscopic- and so absorbs atmospheric water. So over time, the fluid looses its properties and actually reduces the boiling point.

Short of fitting big brakes, and knowing how well Dave's set up works, then I'd go for the following (which should be well within budget- which has to be good news!):
1. Roversport grooved discs (or EBC turbo groove dics- they are pratically the same to look at)
2. Mintex 1144 pads
3. s/s braided hoses
4. Bleed brake system
5. Servo support bracket
6. Pedal lowering kit.

That lot should result in a nice, firm pedal. Better still, the pads have excellent performance, and should stop the car more effectively than with the standard pads. The grooved discs will help, in that they will actually help prevent the pads glazing over (a perpetual problem I found on my car with standard pads and discs, as it spends alot of its time crawling around the congested city).
Rob Bell

Thanks David & Rob,

Always good to have recommendations. How about fitting the brake pdeal adjustment kit - any instructions anywhere?

Dave
Dave

Thanks Guys,

Okay looks like a good start, so think I better put a few orders in :-)

As for the feel of the pedal, it's not particularly spongy just seems to have an odd characteristic. With gentle pressure start to brake well, further pressure doesn't increase the brakeing, until a lot more pressure then it begins to increase again.

I sure that didn't explain too well, but I do have suspicions of the servo bracket as the car is now 3 1/2 years old and up to 35K Miles.

Paul

P.S. watch this space if all goes well (or rather stops well) I will ensure I take a few pictures.
Paul

Dave

The brake pedal adjustment kit is supplied with instructions that were easy to follow, as long as you don't mind standing on your head under the steering wheel for a few minutes. I consider this device to be an essential safety item and it's worth noting that the pedal in the new TF is also much lower than in the standard F. Good news for TF drivers but not for MS.

Neil
Neil Stothert

Thanks Neil, looks like I'll have to give it a try.

Dave
Dave

Paul,

I believe B&G sell trophy brakes for about 500 it is in there latest MGF catalogue, the one problem with these brakes are you need new wheels as they don't fit behind the wheels unless you have trophy wheels fitted.

Tom
Tom Randell

Tom,

Now that's done it, I thought I had it all planned.. But the trophy brakes, and some nice new alloys :-)

Perhaps I need to re-think my budget.

Paul
Paul

This thread was discussed between 01/03/2002 and 04/03/2002

MG MGF Technical index

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