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MG MGF Technical - Urgent help for a newbie!!


I bought my MGF about two weeks ago....lovin' it.

Until tonight. Left work, gave it a bit of stick but not too much, as it was still cold..probs about 4k rpm, suddenly loads of steam out of the back.

Stopped looked underneath and all the coolant has run out.

First thing I suspected was the HGF. However there was no mayo on the dipstick or inside of the oil filler cap. Got put on a tow-truck and while on there we filled it back up with water which the car retained.

However on starting the engine you could see the water coming straight out (although not sure where from). However the water is oil which I though would happen with HGF.

Any ideas on what it could is usual for the head gasket to let go in such a big way so suddenly?

Also any advice on where to take the car (it is currently back on my drive) around the Bath area would be greatly appreciated as the RAC will come back tomorrow to pick it up again.



P.S. If anyone regularly meets up around the area I would be interested in joining in.
My MGF is a N-reg MPI with full black leather, lowered and I just did my first mod.....clear indicators.

Thanks again
Chris Uren

May be just a blown coolant hose or slipped off hose from connection. Take off the engine cover below the rear section of the hood and have a look while pouring water in.

But DON'T start the engine again !!

Dieter K.


Good advise from Dieter. If you haven't been under the engine access panel in your first 2 weeks this may help - Undo clips holding rear of hood to car. Tip the hood forwards. The rear shelf trim is a lift out carpet. Under that is the engine access panel held by 10 (or 11) small bolts. Undo, lift out, find engine. Only takes a few minutes to get into the engine bay.


There are lots of possible reasons for overheating and coolant loss, for example, a heavy split in a hose can spray all over a hot engine and produce steam out of the back. However, it is also possible that the rubber strip on the head gasket has let go, but just to the outside of the engine. This is quite common and is an HGF that does not result in a mix oil and water.

As the others have said, take the engine cover off and see if you can see where the cooolant has come from - check all the hoses and look around the hot (exhaust) side of the head, especially on the right side (looking from the rear).

Good luck,


btw the coolant distributor hose assy on the left rear is prone to split.
Just my few pence (EURO cent)
Dieter K.


Thanks for all your replies.

I took the engine cover off as suggested and believe, with limited lighting, that the water is coming from somewhere just below the exhaust manifold/down pipe thingy (thing with the four pipes coming out of hte main block ).

There is lots of water below this point and very little above.

I don't think I have any choice but to book it into some place in Bath and see what they can do.

Thanks again for your help.

I will just look forward to chopping up my T-bar at the weekend for some extra speakers. I like the look of that 10" sub in the centre console.

Thanks once again

Chris Uren

sounds hopefully like corroded interconnection pieces between the lower and upper bend of the rear two main coolant hoses to the front radiator. Coolant pipes under the car corroded could be as well possible.

May be it's worth to inquire at Mike's for Aluminum replacement parts before you advise the repair. Cheaper and better then the original. (IMO)
Dieter K.

>>>>P.S. If anyone regularly meets up around the area I would be interested in joining in.
====Chris, the southwest centre of the MG car club is possibly the most active and friendly bunch in the whole country. Details of what's on are in the monthly club magazine...

Hi Chris,

>>that the water is coming from somewhere just below the exhaust manifold<<

Hmm, I hope I am wrong, but it sounds as though this could be a HGF unfortunately. You didn't say which side of the engine the water was spurting from - the right side?

Does it look anything like (D) in the picture linked below?

Close up:

Unfortunately, I think you can presume a HGF :o((

I haven't used the MGR service centre in Bath, but a cheaper option would be to use Techspeed, a 'few' miles up the Fosse Way from you. Their charge is 370 quid versus over 500 from a main dealer, and they can arrange collection :o) Tel: 01926 632066 - chat to Roy or Marvin.
Rob Bell

Looks exactly like my MGF 2 weeks ago...

Only water, no mayonaise, but it was HGF....

sorry for you :(


Would you believe that my 1.8 Mpi did the exact same thing on Monday evening... its a 1999 75th LE with only 15K on the clock .....go figure!

Havn't had it apart yet but at the moment it looks exactly as you have described i.e. a water only HGF. Im going to have a bash at replacing the gasket my self ...Gulp, I havnt had an engine apart in 10 years but with a bit of luck its like riding a bike.


fell off a bike last week ...

Stubbed my toe this morning...



Thanks for all your responses.

After having a Rover dealership inspect it (70 quid would you believe) I have decided to have the car taken to Techspeed.

The failure was caused by the pressure cap which would only retain about 1 psi hence allowing the cooling system to run hot (although there was no difference on the temp guage).

Hopefully come Monday/Tuesday I will be tearing back down the Fosse Way having new head gasket and cam belt.

By the way I was going to have a K&N Induction kit fitted but my insurance qwould have put my excess up to 350 and charged and extra 90 quid a year....all for 7-8 bhp ( I only wanted it for the noise)

Thanks once again


Chris Uren

This thread was discussed between 10/03/2003 and 12/03/2003

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