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MG MGF Technical - Waltzing MGF

I have noticed that my 96 F has developed rear wheel steering.
Basically, when I drive on a straight road and turn the steering wheel slightly I can feel the rear of the car move around.
It feels like the back of the car is on castors.

Any ideas?
New bushes maybe or worn knuckles?

If it is new bushes or knuckles could I fit these myself?


Could be a number of things, start with the easiest...

Tyre pressures.
Tracking settings.
Ride Height (camber).

Could also be worn shocks or cracked shock mounting (only if you have had uprated shocks fitted).

Bushes are fairly straightforward to change, if a time consuming and dirty job. Knuckles require the Hydragas system to be depressurised and the car raised off the ground and wheels so it is more of a specialist job.


Had new rear tyres put on yesterday so had pressures done then.
I noticed a small gap in the bushes on the rear wheels when the load was taken off the wheels.
So thatís why I'm thinking bushes but I thought that would have been a gradual difference over a period where as this seems to have happened overnight.

Shane, check the pressures again - it is not unheard of to get a problem with tyres sitting properly on the rims, and letting air out over a period of time!

Another possibility is tracking - you may have dropped a rear wheel into a rut harder that you may think...
Rob Bell

What you describe is the exact feeling I got a while ago when I changed the tyres on my F. I diagnosed the cause as:
(a) for some reason owing to the having been on a lift, the ride height was too high
(2) the new tyres were not fit for the MGF (Avon).

If you've had new tyres, and only at the rear, that most probably is the problem. What make are they? Also if the pressures are too high (as they otfen are when they get fitted by a garage) the handling will be affected.

I had a similar problem when I had 2 new rear tyres (Eagles). The car seemed to wander considerably on the motorway, although it has settled down over the recent months.

I did take it back to the tyre fitter to be checked and they could see no reason why there should be a problem. I have since covered about 4000 miles and the car is again more stable. Who knows!?

Thanks all,

But I started to experiance this before I got the new tyres, thats what brought the two rather bald looking tyres to my attention in the first place.
The car is no way as bad with the to new tyres but it's still not right.

I don't have to be in work until late tomorrow so I'll get the tracking done in the morning.

Rear: 205/50 R15 Petonza RE720
Front: 185/50 R15 Petonza RE720 ..I think

Does anyone have the recommended tracking settings?



If you car's never had the damper bushes (and others) changed, then they're probably the cause.
When mine was five years old the rear damper bushes were almost completely perished. I think Rover will want to change the entire damper but you can replace just the bushes (I upgraded to Bilstein).


Tyre pressure can have a massive effect on the handling, I had Avon ZR1's fitted to the rear a while back and the car felt like the back was on ice, went down the road to the nearest Shell garage and checked the pressuse. The fitter had put 34psi in both tyres, let them both down to 28, and the problem was solved instantly!
James King

Well my 96F passed the NCT(Irish MOT) test this morning but with advisory work to be carried out.

They confirmed my suspicions about the bushes and tracking.

The rear wheels are out -19m/km, what ever that means and the bushes need replacing.
They said the bushes were not at fail level but probably only had 2000+ miles left.

So new bushes and tracking for Christmas and that will probably sort my handling problems.


This thread was discussed between 12/12/2002 and 20/12/2002

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