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MG MGF Technical - You turned the tap dance into your crusade...

[Really, really obscure thread title!]


I have just forked out an inordinate amount of money to Kwik-Fit for two new rear Eagle F1s.

"Make sure you put 'em on the right way round," says I, "the last time I had them done yadda yadda. Oh, and will you do the alignment* as well?"

(* I'm still waiting on the rear compliance jobbies from B&G but go for it anyway.)

An hour later, Mr Kwik-Fit says I need two new *front* tyres because she's pulling to the left. Not this month, says I, and off I go.

On the way back to work, I pulled into a garage to check the rear pressures (I like to run 30 all round). On a whim, I also check the front... and what do you know, 20psi, front nearside.

Three Qs: (1) Wouldn't you think these tyre/exhaust/shocks outlets would check pressures? (2) Would this difference in pressure have invalidated the alignment resetting in any way? (I really don't know what they do, but it stops the steering wheel shaking after my wife drives her Scenic into kerbs.) And (3) how long have I been driving on 20psi without noticing? ;-(

Colin McIlwaine

how much did yours cost?

I bought the same on my rears for £85 each from kwik fit 3 months ago

I know all Kwikfits can't be judged on the actions of one retail out, but standards are standards.

I got charged £175 for one, yes 1. tyre.
(admitably on 17" rims, but still.)

They then ran the trolley jack, into the side of my car, before they realised it wouldn't go under.

Resolution, get three guys to try and lift my car by the front wheel arch so they could get the jack under.

By the time the came to trying to hammer on weights to the outer rims of my alloys I had had enough.

Sorry guys, but imo, you can't get shoddier that a Kwikfit fitter.

paul weatherill

£175! Holy crap! I paid 180 euro apiece for 205/50Z15 F1s, about Stg£120... had to order them in special.

Still depressed about it ;-(

Colin McIlwaine


I also have a comedy kwikfit story...

This was with my old Rover Coupe which was going over small bumps in the road feeling like I'd put wooden tyres on... now, I thought the shocks were buggered so I took it into Kwikfit and asked them to check it over. Popped back an hour later and they said shocks were fine and to take it down to the Rover dealer as it might be the rear suspension tracking arms (I think thats what he said) that need replacing...

So, off to Rover I go... and two hours later I get a very embarrasing call. "The only problem sir, is that all four tyre pressures are far too high"

Why on earth didn't Kwikfit check those? don't even want to know...

Got home, checked my footpump... even though I kept pumping, the guage kept stopping at around 28psi :-) to say the least, I bought a new one...

Ho ho

Chris Tromans


I dunno what Kwik-Fit did, but going home on Friday (and coming into work this morning), the back end is all over the place! Twitching is the best way to describe it. I don't think it's my imagination and it certainly didn't do it with my last set of new shoes.

Any advice?
Colin McIlwaine

Have you checked the wheel nuts? Seriously! SteveH once returned home unaware that one of his wheels was only held on by 3 wheel nuts! Others have found that wheel nuts have been loose... worth checking!

>> (2) Would this difference in pressure have invalidated the alignment resetting in any way? <<

No - the wheel alignment comes from the wheel rim itself rather than the tyre wall :o)

Wouldn't touch QF with a barge pole...
Rob Bell

Colin, have you checked they have put the tyres on the right way round ?
Mike (@home)


Thanks for clearing up my alignment Q. I'll check the wheel nuts this afternoon; the weather's kinda doing a 'really sunny/absolutely pouring' combo at the moment.


Oh yeah ;-) The last crowd I got tyres off (not KF) managed to get the offside right and nearside wrong. Yep, both of them. And this was a tyres-only company, no fiddly exhausts, brakes or shocks for them, they like to concentrate both their brain cells on just tyres. The mind boggles.


The rear compliance yokes (and new poly shock bushes) have arrived from B&G, so I've got a never-to-be-repeated opportunity to really feck up the handling ;-)

Colin McIlwaine


Checked the wheel nuts: took both wheels completely off and refitted by hand, so I'm sure they're on right. No discernable difference to handling.


Sometimes you can't see the wood for the trees. I took the motorway home last night (longer and less fun) rather than the B roads and noticed the steering wheel is sitting at about 5 degrees off centre clockwise when going in a straight line.

Off to Kwik-Fit now, see if they can undo this shambles.

Colin McIlwaine

>> Off to Kwik-Fit now, see if they can undo this shambles. <<

Short answer: no.

That said, one of their mechanics did take me back to the car, hunkered down by the offside front wheel, grabbed the tyre and jiggled it from side to side. Fair bit of movement to my untrained eye.

"Track rod end is shot," he says, "I laser aligned it, took it for a spin, checked the alignment and it was off again."

I'm no mechanic... I'm only learning stuff as things go wrong. Does this sound in any way plausible? Remember that the back end is doing the tango as well.

The money pit strikes again ;-(

PS My wife is gonna kill me (again) for the amount of money I'm spending #-(
Colin McIlwaine

It's possible Colin - the track rod ends do wear - as do the other suspension ball joints. My recommendation to you is to take your car to an MGF specialist and get them to go over your car's suspension carefully and replace any parts that are worn beyond tolerance. Places like Techspeed will seriously undercut main dealer prices - and will make your wife slighly less unhappy!

Failing that (given your location), then a decent mechanic in a small independent garage is perfectly capable of performing the work: the upper/lower ball joints are all Mini/Metro and the track rod ends, if memory serves, are Rover200.

Good luck
Rob Bell

Thanks, Rob.

[Uh oh, rant alert!]

You've highlighted the crux of my problem; I don't mind spending money on a car that I love, more smiles to the gallon, etc, etc. It's the hassle that's the killer... she's my daily driver and I'm doing an eighty mile round-trip a day.

Things about the Republic of Ireland... and hey, these comments might be equally applicable to other folks not in the UK:

1. MG/Rover dealers are a rapidly diminishing commodity, it seems every week another dealer switches allegiance to a (dare I say it?) mainstream manufacturer. And that may be either the cause of or as a result of MGRs having absolutely appalling residuals here. (I traded in a spotless four year old Rover 200 in 2002, may as well of given it to Renault for nothing.)

2. If you're in the MGOC, take a look at the recommended 'list' of suppliers for ROI: there's one, Johnny Flynn, the only guy I'll go to. Thing is, (a) he's a one-man show and his waiting list is loooooooong and (b) he's on the other side of the city and going requires a day off work. (Don't get me started on Dublin's public transport system.)

3. As far as I know, Ireland has either the highest or one of the highest rates of Vehicle Registration Tax in the EU, so as much as I'd love a new TF to replace my seven year old F, I cannot justify spending that much. To compare, the base price for a 115 in the UK is £16,140. The same car in Ireland is the equivilent of £20,350! To replicate the spec on my VVC F would set me back £23,500. Yikes.

So, I'll pretty much have a crack at anything that needs doing (and kudos to the folks that have their step-by-step web guides for all things MGF). Maggie (for that is she) will be on the road for the foreeable come hell or high water.

And man, am I envious of the folks who scoot up/down/across to TechSpeed/B&G/Victoria! ;-( Some day, some day...

Gentlemen, it's been a pleasure,

Colin McIlwaine

Oh my, it didn't seem that long when I was typing ;-) Back to work, young man!
Colin McIlwaine

The trackroad is the balljoint on a lever which pulls the wheel round when moving the stearing, as such put the cara on full lock and you should be able to easily make it out, then take a little lock off and try to shake the TRE, if it's solid they're BSing you, if if clicks or has any other movement then it's shot, replacement is a doddle, but tracking has to be set after.
Will Munns

<< if it's solid they're BSing you, if it clicks or has any other movement then it's shot >>

Nope, yup and yup. Replacements (x2) ordered.

(Some day, it'd be nice to do something aesthetically pleasing to her... new seats, shiny MkII console upgrade, respray... if only her mechanical innards would stop failing!)

Col (grown man weeping)
Colin McIlwaine

This thread was discussed between 02/04/2004 and 07/04/2004

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