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Image courtesy of Gary Tonge

Version 4 .6 - 18th February 2000

This site is entirely independent of the Rover Car Company and MG Cars. It is compiled by enthusiastic owners and represents additional advice for owners. It is not a substitute for the official MGF handbook and no responsibility is accepted for any loss or damage.

Click the relevant topic to quickly jump to that area.

Why are people flashing and waving at me?

Something that you might not have known about when you bought your MGF was that all MG drivers acknowledge each other. It's taken a while, but many drivers of older MG's are quite willing to wave at the new kid! It doesn't matter who waves first but if you see another MG, F's and old MG's included, waving at you, it is polite to wave back. You might have to work a bit to be able to tell apart some of the earlier MG's but with a bit of practice you should become quite adept at spotting them! The flashing of headlights is also used to acknowledge other MG's. You have to be a little careful that a friendly flash at another MG isn't misinterpreted as an invitation for a Volvo to pull out in front of you!

Fitting the Tonneau Cover

A recommended 5 minute procedure is:

Another way recommended is to attach the loops and all press-studs first. Then pull the wire around one side of the car, working towards the centre. Then go to the other side of the car, and pull the wire from the centre and the door towards the other corner, KEEPING THE WIRE CLOSE TO THE BODY of the car, or it will jump out ! Finally an extra tug on the elasticized end will secure the last few inches; you will need to practise this once or twice, the technique is in the wrist action !

Authors Note: I use the second way detailed above, and can get the cover on in a couple of minutes.

As of August 1998, there is a new style cover, which can be fitted this way:

  1. Fix loops at each end over hood.
  2. Fix central stud.
  3. Fix the other two "top" studs.
  4. Fix the door studs.
  5. Open the boot, pull the cover through, give it a good yank to pull it all in place.
  6. Shut the boot.

Hood Closing

People have found that it helps to centralise the hood before closing the clips, do this by holding the center of the hood front rail and give it a good pull down for the last few inches, making sure that the fastening clips are fully open first. Then, keeping hold of the rail with one hand fasten the clips. On uneven ground where there is likely to be a slight degree of body twist it helps to locate and half fasten each clip before finally closing the clips into their locking position.

What is the best way to clean the back window ?

Carefully J. A clean sponge with clean dilute car shampoo. Wet the outside of the window first - use either a very light hose spray or a sprinkler on a watering can. People have cleaned the inside with Mr Muscle window cleaner and paper towels. The best cleaner seems to be Greygate's plastic polish, available here. It also appears that some MG garages are stocking the BMW rear screen cleaner as a suitable product for cleaning the MG's rear screen. One report states that it's a superb cleaner that brings up a good shine on the rear screen.

Damaged rear window?

If you have windscreen insurance, check wether you are covered for damage to the rear plastic screen, you probably are.

Creases in the rear window

If you have creases in the window, then leave the car with the window zipped in and the roof up in direct sun. The heat *usually* gets rids of any creases.

Preventing damage to the rear window

Go to a local DIY store and get a piece of pipe insulation, the thickest you can find for 15mm copper pipe, I got 15mm x 25mm.

Cover it with some soft material that won't scratch the plastic screen.

When you fold down the hood insert the tube and you have a perfect bend in the screen, without any creases.

Alternatively get a big bath-sheet sized bath towel, roll it up and sew it.

Replacing the rear window

The replacement comes as the plastic screen, sewn into its full fabric surround, with velcro up both sides, a plastic stiffening bar along the bottom edge of the fabric, and both parts of the zip at the top. ABove the zip there's around three inches of fabric, with holes punched to fit over the bolts on the clamping bar above the rear window. (If you peel off the velvet material stuck over the rear most bar of the roof you will see that it is in two parts, with the rear of the roof fabric, and the top of the window fabric clamped between..)

Fixing of the bottom of the screen is a little more complicated - it is pop-riveted in around 12 places to the frame around the bottom of the hood (the bit that folds up to let you at the engine access panel). The only bit of the replacement process that requires alot of care is drilling out the old pop-rivets, and if I accept that I will take me more time to do it than a "professional", I don't thing the replacement is going to be that hard (ie, no sewing involved...!)

The soft top

As of July 1997, there is a new soft top, an evolution of the current roof, but with no seams along the top, and it reaches further over the sides .

Be sure it is dry before leaving it down for extended periods, and if the car is new, take care to be sure the fabric folds correctly. Some people use Convertible top treatments, and some swear by Armor All. Any mild cleaner or protectorate should be safe to use. Test an inconspicuous spot to be sure!

The BMW owners manual says that you shouldn't wash the soft top every time you wash the car, I assume similar advice holds good for MGF owners.

Rattles in the hood

by Nigel Cliffe

I've had a small rattle in my hood frame for a while. I decided that I might be better able to fix it than the dealer who has failed twice.

Its most noticeable at 30-40mph on unclassified rural roads, where the road surface (many small dips and bumps, embryonic pot holes, etc) causes quite a bit of vibration.

The rattle is where the central hood loop (just above and in front of your head with the hood up) joins the side components. Half opening the hood gives the best view of the components in question, and the best access for the fix.

The hoop ends in a flat bar with a hole through it. There is a cross-headed screw with a big washer holding the hoop to the side frame. By moving the hoop gently, the source of the rattle is found to be where rests on the boss on the side frame.

The fix:

The instructions for rattles apply to the original top, with seams running front-to-back above the occupants heads. The new type, seamless, was introduced in summer of 1997. Most, but not all, R plate cars have the new type. The main differences are the position of the side beams above the windows and the screws are now hexagon socket rather than cross-head. I think some of the screw heads are now hidden (facing outside the car rather than facing inwards). They should be accessible with the top 'half down'. I've not had need to make any adjustments to my new top, but a quick inspection suggests a basically similar construction, and if rattles develop, a similar approach to fixing the problem.

Removing the whole soft top

It is possible to remove your hood for the duration of the winter whilst the hardtop is insitu but you will need to have some tubular metal spacers made up to do it. Unfortunately, the bolts that secure the hood >frame also carry the rear mounting brackets for the hardtop.Once the hood is removed & the bolts re-inserted, the brackets rattle around due to the bolts not being threaded for their entire length. Four short lengths of metal tubing to sheath the bolts should do the trick.

Removal of the hood is accomplished by first unclipping the 5 retaining over centre catches around the underside of the rear screen then stowing the hood in the parcel shelf as normal. To gain access to the 4 hood retaining bolts

you need to remove the rear bulkhead (T bar). Remove the 3 screws from the pop studs (they are quite long), then gently pull the plastic moulding towards the front of the vehicle. It is secured with 6 plastic clips (like a door panel), 2 at each end & a pair in the middle. This should expose the hood bolts (& incidentally, the volumetric alarm sensor). Look for the hardtop brackets to see which bolts to remove, these are the ones that will need the spacers.

WARNING!, the hood & frame is a lot heavier than you might think, lifting it off of the car is best accomplished by two people as it's around TWICE the weight of the hardtop!, also, it is likely to move as you pick it up so be prepared to alter your grip.

Wing Mirrors

F heated wing mirrors are 'on whenever the engine is running

For those who have older F's, and who would like the nice rubbers just behind the rear mirror handles,like all the newer F's have, then the Rover part number is No. CSE100050 (for a single rubber)

Rear View Mirror

If the central rear view mirror is trembling a lot (fuzzy sight) try removing the mirror (it's on sort of plastic runners) by pulling it towards you & then sliding it back on.

If this doesn't work then try fitting a clamp screw by drilling and tapping the plastic base. You need to insert a couple of strips of hard plastic, making a sandwich of the power cable. This prevents the screw from cutting through the insulation and shorting the cables. It only needs to be finger tight and it stabilises the mirror well.

Misting and the Rear Windscreen

It mists a bit, particularly on cold damp days with two damp occupants. However, point the centre vents at it, turn on the fan and it will clear. Its not as good as a glass screen with a heating element, but its acceptable. Concentrate on getting clear front and side screens (using side ventilators), before turning to the rear. On a long run, its not a problem, once clear it will stay clear with minimal air flow. On a longish high speed trip when you want the roof up, try lowering the rear screen for some ventilation without wind buffeting.

Running In

See page 49 of the manual. The engine, gearbox, brakes and tires need time to `bed-in' and adjust to the demands of everyday motoring. During the first 600 miles (1,000 km) it is essential that you drive with consideration for the running-in process and heed the following advice:

After the running-in distance has been completed, engine speeds may be gradually increased.

Contributed by Graeme Bishko

The manual also states that you should allow the brakes time to bed in before any heavy braking.

Heated Washer Jets

If the temperature drops *well below* freezing and you drive, the nozzles will freeze. If you have enough alcohol in your screen wash (you need >50% in some cases) the pipes and bottle shouldn't freeze up but the pump is not strong enough to remove the plug of ice from the jets. The jets will not defrost on their own because there is no hot engine part within 1 meter of them.

The problem is that the action of the air flow over the jets evaporates the antifreeze from the screen wash in the jets themselves. This happens in other cars, but the heat from the engine quickly thaws the plug of ice. With the engine in the back obviously this will not happen in the F. The solution is heated wash jets. These are available and you should consider them far ahead of cosmetic (if rather nice) accessories such as high level stop lights or leather trim. It helps that they are around £ 80.00 including fitting.

If your dealer denies knowledge tell him to look on the MGF or Rover 200 accessory list under

H for Heated Washer Jets
part number VUB100220.

Contributed by Graeme Bishko.


There are a number of things to check if your F leaks

  1. The rubber seals on the sides of the hood, at the front, are made such as to fit into a similar seal on the windscreen pillars and this must be done when the hood is raised to make it water-tight.
  2. There are two tiny rubber triangles on the corner of the roof. Both of these must lie inside the rubber on the windscreen/door when fitting the roof.
  3. If you have water running down the inside of the glass, it may find it's way to the inside of the door trim and discharge into the car between the trim and the inside face of the door. This is a known problem, going back to last winter. The leak is at the front of the window rubbing felt, via the door mirror retaining components.Capillary action takes the water through, and from there it runs down the inside of the door between metal and plastic trim. This can be fixed
  4. The latest F's from the factory have two one cm squares cut into the door seals (above the kicking plate), these are to allow water to drain out of the car. Many dealers seem to be 'retro-fitting' this change to all cars.

If you get wetness in the passenger footwell area, then chances are that water is entering the car via the passenger window frame- and most likely past the door mirror. You may be able to see tell-tale water marks on the door casing, or if it has rained a little while ago, you may find some water on the door sealing rubber itself.

There is a recognised problem of leaks from the heater box seal problem, Rover have designed a different seal - sorry don't know when this occurred though.

You can test your's if you open the bonnet and pour loads of cold water onto the bit of exposed metal bulkhead on the right hand side behind the brake master cylinder and the small fuse box. Place a newspaper in the passenger foot well before you do the test.

(Not sure if the air box is in same place on LHD cars)

If you want to see where the seal is you need to remove the big plastic bulkhead covers, the seal is quite difficult to get at since it goes around where the big plastic air intake box passes from the bonnet into the car.

Improve the In Car Entertainment/CD Player

Replace the original speakers

 The original speakers are 166mm/6 ½ “ Two way Co-Axial units.  This means that there are two bits, a Bass/Midrange unit and a Tweeter, on a common axis.

The original speakers can be replaced by a variety of either, Two or Three way Co-Axial speakers, or by Two-way component speakers (with a separate Bass/midrange unit and Tweeter).  The replacement speakers may have a Crossover supplied, which will separate the higher frequencies, to the Tweeter and the lower frequencies to the Bass/midrange unit.

The original speaker is fitted onto a plastic mount, metal tabs on the speaker are bent back into the mount to secure it.  It is possible to mount 166mm replacement speakers onto this mount, by self-tapping screws, nuts & bolt or bonding with something like a ‘Hot Glue gun’.  It is preferred however to mount the new speakers on a more secure and solid mount.  A new mount can be made from Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF), which not only allows a more secure fixing but also can compensate for different sizes of speaker that you may wish to install.  I constructed the MDF adapter ring, for Infinity 60.1i’s, with the dimensions of 131mm ID x 202mm OD x 18mm thick.  The Internal Diameter (ID) will need to be varied according to the speakers that you have chosen.  The plastic mount not only spaces the speaker up to the door trim panel but protects the speaker from water drops inside the door.  To retain the drip protection it is worthwhile utilising the rear section of the plastic mount (cut off level with the three mounting lugs) together with the MDF adapter ring.  They can be bonded together, the mounting holes in the adapter ring lining up with the ones in the plastic mount.

Replacement Two-way Component Speakers (Infinity 60.1i) in MFD adapters

The standard speaker leads are a little on the thin side and should be replaced with good quality Oxygen Free Copper (OFC) cables.  These are available from most Car or Domestic Hi-Fi shops

 Sound deadening material, such as Dynamat, can be affixed to the inner door skin and the outer part of the doorframe.  This will aid in reducing vibration in the door itself.

Dynamat applied to the inside door skin and the door frame

Add additional speakers

 Additional speakers can be fitted behind the rear seats or in the T-Bar.  The speakers can be driven off the rear output from the radio, or an external amplifier if required.

Speakers which are fitted into the T-Bar are generally 6” x 4” units.  The T-Bar has to be removed and the lateral position determined quite carefully, as the amount of space is limited.

Fitting the speakers behind the rear seat(s) is easy, but the seat position will determine the depth of speaker that can be used.

3.   Change the Head Unit

A replacement Head Unit can give you a Compact Disk (CD) or Mini Disk (MD) capability.  These different media types can be played directly in the Head Unit or from a remote Multi-player.

The Head Unit (Radio Cassette) can be removed quite easily.  Two U-shaped wire tools (for the standard radio) are required, obtainable from most car shops.  These are inserted into the two holes on the left and right hand sides of the Head Unit Fascia.  A slight lateral force is used to retain the wire tools and the unit will slide out.  The ISO connectors are then disconnected, along with the aerial lead, and the unit removed.  The mounting frame is then extracted by easing the bent metal tabs, back into their original position, and pulling out.

 The frame for the new Head Unit is inserted into the slot and the appropriate metal tabs are bent back to retain the frame.  The aerial lead and ISO connectors are mated and the Head Unit pushed into position until it clicks home.

 The ISO connector is a standard connector that is used on the majority of new Head Units nowadays. 

4.   Add a Multi CD (or MD) Player

 A Multi CD, or MD, Player can be added to the original Head Unit, but is a very costly way of added a CD capability.  A better solution is to buy a another Head Unit and CD player, not only is this cheaper but you can also sell the original Head Unit as well (try the MGB owners!).  This upgrade can cost at little as £250, £350+ for the replacement Head Unit & CD player with £100 gained from selling the original Head Unit.

A relatively new format is the Mini Disk, this is similar to a very small CD in an enclosed case.  Recordable MD’s start from £1.19 each, are extremely hard to damage (compared to a CD) and can be overwritten with different music many times.  A Multi MD player is very small and the Sony one can be bought from about £200.  Sony also produces MD Head Units, these are priced from £179.00.

The Multi CD player can be fitted in a number of locations, these include in the boot, in the glove box and behind a seat.

Behind the seat is an easy place to fit the Multi-player, the big disadvantage is the lack of security.  As well as the value of the unit itself, there is the value of up to twelve CD’s as well.  If you ever leave your car with the Soft Top down this position is not secure.  The CD player may remain, but your CD’s could be easily removed.

The glovebox is another location for the CD player.  It is more secure than behind the seat, but does take most of the glovebox up.  This location is only really suited to thin CD, or MD, players.

My preferred location is in the boot as it is the most secure location.  The actual positioning in the boot is up to the individual.  I have seen them located on the boot floor or affixed to the passenger side of the engine bulkhead.  These positions are easy to install the Multi-player, but do impinge on the boot space a little too much.  The multi-player can be located against the passenger side of the boot, the only slight problem is the inability to get the CD magazine in and out!.  This however can be overcome by mounting the multi-player on a hinged bracket.  The muti-player can then swing to allow access to the CD magazine.  A false plywood bulkhead can be constructed to fit behind the carpet and the hinged bracket is fitted to this.

The cable for the multi-player can be routed, under the carpet, around the front of the passenger footwell, along the side of the car and up the side of the engine bulkhead.  Then the Soft Top needs to be unclipped at the rear, five clips to undo, and the sound insulating material pulled back.  There you should see a cable passing through a large grommet, the cable for the multi-player needs to pass through this into the engine compartment.  From there the cable can pass through into the boot and connect to the multi-player itself.

Tried and Tested - Replacement speakers (Front)

The examples below are replacement speakers that have been fitted to MGF’s, if anyone has any more please let me know. 

 Bass/Sub-Bass & Rear fitting speakers

 The power figures (i.e. 50W/150W) are the nominal and maximum power (RMS) values.

A Phillips "082" model CD changer has been fitted by an Phillips dealer with no problems. The 082 model is now in very short supply through the Phillips dealer network, and it now seems the only option is to get the official Rover part.

The CD player is mounted on the back wall of the boot on the left hand side. It hasn't caused any great problems being there. Plenty of room for one largish set of golf clubs and trolley and a weeks holiday in France for 2, although not at the same time.

One place to fit the CD as recommended by Rover is the left hand side of engine bulkhead in boot. The only pain of it being in the boot is the need to open the boot then put the keys in the ignition to eject the cartridge.

Another place to fit the CD-Unit is in the glove compartment. It can be easily removed to drill and screw the Unit, and it is near the Radio so that it is easy to connect the cable. The only downside is that there is less space left for other things. Olaf Columbus, Germany

Andreas Holzhammer has installed a Kenwood 601 in his MGF under the passenger seat. Just slide the seat to the front, lay the CD-Changer onto the floor and slide the seat back until it squeezes the changer slightly to the floor. With the 601, the seat looses about 4cm of sliding range to the back, but you have no drilling, and you can easily put the cables to the left of the seat. It was a five minute procedure.

Door Windows

They are adjustable. There are adjusting devices in the door to move the glass in just about any direction. Gaps and water leaks around the glass to hood seal are not uncommon on cars which are incorrectly adjusted.

Drainage Channels

It appears that occasionally the drainage channels get blocked, resulting in leaks. These are situated in the rubber seal at the very top of the A post just before it turns horizontal. Poke around and you will find them.

Hard Top

There are two hard tops, the standard and Heritage.
The Heritage top has two lines running down the roof which may deflect some of the rain water from landing on your knee when you open the door.

The Heritage also has the following features:

  1. They have small smart "MG" octogan badges to the rear of the door windows, in the black area of the top. Makes quite a difference to the appearance.
  2. The headlining is different, leather I think on most (all?) and dark rather than light in colour.

There are some new hard top seal kits coming out so that the dealer only adjusts the windows for the soft top. The kit then adjusts the hard top seals to fit against the window glass.If the window glass is adjusted properly the hard or soft top shouldn't leak.

The hardtop does make the cockpit a lot quieter.

If you do not order your MGF with a hard top but decide to add one later, there are two critical items you will need (in addition to the hard top), assuming the deal you strike with Rover does not include these items.......

  1. The HRW dash switch, Rover p/n YUG 101480 cost approx £5.50
  2. the RELAY, Rover p/n YWB 10012 cost approx £10.50 !!, it's Yellow and sits in the lower vacant (yellow) relay position under the dash.

The wiring is already in-place behind the switch block (including window controls etc), simply pull fascia forward and it will reveal the wiring behind. The spare connector is for the HRW, it plugs into the back of the HRW switch listed above.


Guy Pigounakis (General Manager - MG) said at the Gaydon birthday do, that it would actually damage the car's sub frame to tow anything at all (certainly anything as heavy as a trailer, even an empty one)

There are two towing lashes at the front of the car, because the car is low to the ground :-> you can hit these on a kerb and not notice.

If these become slighty bent then full lock they could come close to the tyre.You could then have split the tyre and taken it to a tyre fitter who would have not noticed (due to the way the mot test full lock on grease plates) and wonder why tryes could be getting split.

The F in America

This is a paraphrasing of comments made by Stephen Cox at an MG Car Club F register meeting in October 1996. Stephen Cox is an employee of MG Car Company which is a subsidiary of Rover.

The MGF will not be sold in the USA within 6 years. 6 years is the expected life of the model so the MGF will never be sold in its present configuration in the USA. There are two main reasons for this.

It was known from the start of the project that the car would not be sold in the US. The market is very tough and MG did not want to do what they did with the MGB and lose money on every car sold. Production was set at 16,000 units per year and it was recognised that it would take twice that number to satisfy the US in addition to the rest of the world. At this stage (1 year into sales) it would cost a huge amount to double production and doubling production would be the minimum step up in production. MG will not even consider this.

The second reason (which is a supporting reason for the original decision not to go into the US) is one of legal problems with a dealer network left over from the Rover Sterling sales attempt in the 80's. This problem is not insurmountable but contributed to making the US market even less attractive.

BMW's Z3 had absolutely nothing to do with the original decision. BMW had no connection with Rover back when the production levels were set and any information that MG might have had on the Z3 back then would have been very sketchy. In fact, in the UK, MG feels that they are picking up sales from the Z3 waiting list. There were a number of serious enquiries at the motor show from both prospective Z3 and Merk SLK customers. They even consider it likely that after driving the superior J

Currently the only MGF's in the US belong to Ford and are kept in Detroit. MGF's were climate tested in the US but those ones are no longer there. The car is pretty much US spec already but there would need to be some reworking of bumpers and re-testing of materials. MG don't consider that it would cost very much to make the necessary changes.

The long term plans are for MG to return to the US. This would be on the back of a concerted movement of a number of Rover models and will not be within the lifetime of the F.

Obviously Stephen wouldn't say any more about future plans for MG but it was satisfying to hear that there are some!

Disclaimer: The above constitutes the gist of what was said to me (and others). I was given permission to repeat all of this and to attach Stephen Cox's name to it. If any of this is untrue (or I misunderstood Stephen) I will withdraw it as soon as I am made aware of this.

Contributed by Graeme Bishko.

Real life MPG data.

I have so far completed roughly 12,000 miles in a 1.8i, and also in a VVC. I can say fairly easily that the sort of driving I performed in both cars has been roughly similar. In order to put the figures in to context I'll describe the types of driving I usually do.

During weeks I drive daily to and from work. It is only 3 miles across Leeds so the car barely heats up. If I've done nothing else but this journey on a tank then my fuel figures are very poor.

Another common journey is a 60 mile round trip to York. This is usually a B road blast and this seems to give better figures than the town driving but is highly dependent on the "right foot factor" :-). The VVC especially encourages one to stray into the 5500+ RPM zone which does have a noticeable effect on fuel consumption.

The figures also include a few motorway runs and here the car gives its best figures. About 30% of the miles in both samples are motorway miles with the rest being split between daily commutes and fun runs.

The best figures obviously come from motorway trips. The figures suggest that the VVC achieves a slightly better figure on the motorway than the 1.8i and I feel this is the case. The VVC, however, definitely uses more fuel when burbling around town before it warms up. I feel that if I were to restrict myself to around 6000 RPM then the VVC would deliver almost identical figures as the 1.8i on the back roads. Excursions up to the rev limiter are much more common in the VVC and I think this explains the slightly lower average figure.

MGF Fuel Consumption



Miles completed












Contributed by Graeme Bishko.

Filling with Petrol.

The petrol pump will quickly switch off if you just shove the nozzle fully in and squeeze. There are a number of solutions:

  1. Insert the nozzle so that the only 1st lumpy bit (technical here) is over the lip of the petrol filler lip, squeeze gently and off you go, a medium filling rate means that you do not fill too quickly!
  2. Turn the nozzle 90 degrees either clockwise or anti clockwise


There are (at least) two ways to fit the mudflaps:

  1. go to dealer, ask for MGF mudflaps to be fitted to the car. They might charge you around £80 for this.
  2. go to dealer's parts department. Buy the flaps at parts prices, not accessory prices. Then you need a small sharp knife and a spanner. The knife is to remove some of the plastic wheel arch edging trim on the front wheels. The spanner to tighten the fixing bolts for the flaps. This will only be about £40 for front and rear mudflaps.

Ride Height.

Also see the section on Suspension

The correct height is 36.3cm from the center of the wheel hub to the wheel arch.

The workshop manual states:-

  1. Allow vehicle to stand in an unladen condition on a level surface.
  2. Place steering in a straight ahead position. ** CAUTION** Do not check or adjust suspension trim height immediately after a road test. Allow vehicle to stand for at least two hours to allow vehicle temperature to equalise with air temperature.
  3. Bounce the vehicle at both ends a number of times and allow to settle.
  4. Roll vehicle forward 1 metre to relieve suspension stresses.
  5. Push down on front of vehicle and release, allow suspension to return unassisted. Do not apply handbrake.
  6. Measure both front trim heights, hub centre to top centre of the front wheel arch. Trim height should be 368mm +/- 10mm.

Gerry McGoven (MGF Designer) was quoted as saying at a recent MGF advent (the Bronte Run, Yorkshire) that the ride height on the MGF is increased to get the cars onto the transporter. The dealer should then lower them to the height they are supposed to be.

Further information on ride height from a MGF driver:

The sophisticated handling characteristics of the MGF rely on rigid application of the recommended front suspension height settings for optimum handling performance.

Excessively low suspension can, in particular, cause rapid tyre wear and inferior handling. In view of this and because suspension settlement can occur in the early life of the car, please remember that the suspension height is deliberately set at the top limit on production and that the following important actions currently apply in service.


Check front trim height. If below 368mm adjust to 378mm. If above 368mm DO NOT ADJUST.


Check the front trim height and if necessary, adjust to comply with the normal Repair Manual figures of 368mm plus or minus 10mm

Under no circumstances should the suspension be set below the recommended figures.

I am also told that:

You can see from this that once the first service is out of the way, the optimum setting is 358mm for good looks and best handling but that any where in the range is acceptable.

The height is measured from the centre of the front wheel to the top centre of the wheel arch lower lip.

You also need to let the car settle before measuring, let the car sit on a level surface ( in a garage would be good) and rock and bounce the suspension to further settle it, roll the car forward one metre then push down firmly at the centre front and allow the car to rise naturally. DO NOT APPLY THE HANDBRAKE.

Allow the car to stand for at least 2 hours to allow suspension and ambient temperatures to equalise. Measure both front trim heights only after this.

Ambient temp will affect the height reading. All trim height specs. are correct at 17 degrees C. Above or below this temp should be compensated by a factor of 0.6mm per degree centigrade when temps are above or below this figure.

With incorrect camber your inner front wheels could well wear excessively.

I suspect that the ride height is set so that the camber is correct on the MGF. This may explain why some cars have dramatically different ride height set ups- to help compensate for minor production variability's.

Changing the Ride Height yourself

The minimum height is 358mm. Park the car on LEVEL ground. Let the suspension equalise for an hour (ish probably longer). Then open the front bonnet. On the front bulkhead is a black plastic shroud fixed in place by four nuts on captive bolts, and one screw in an expanding raw plug. Undo all these and you will see two hydraulic pipes with what looks like a large bicycle tyre valve on top of each. To lower car, press the centre needle, and watch with amazement as one side of your car drops slowly. Let small amounts out at a time, bouncing the suspension regularly to equalise pressures. Exercise caution to avoid excessive lowering or imbalance between the two sides.

Once you let some pressure out of the hydragas, it can take up to 24 hours before the system re-equilibrates.

Therefore my advice would be to drop the car by 5mm at a time, leaving a day or so between each drop to assess how much the car has dropped, and to repeat the operation as necessary. That way you should avoid large variations and the necessity of needing to pump the suspension back up when things go wrong!

If you over do it, then you'll need to pop into any back street garage to use their hydragas compressor.

Get the tracking checked ASAP to avoid excessive tyre wear. If the camber is excessively out, then you will be forced to raise the car again, at least until the adjustable A-frames are available.

The Manual says:-


The Hydrogas suspension system consists of a Hydrogas unit at each wheel, mounted vertically between the vehicle's body and top suspension arm. The units are connected front to rear each side of the vehicle via pipes, and pressurised with fluid. This method of linking the units improves the vehicle's resistance to pitch. The pitching motion occurs when the front suspension is compressed and the rear suspension is extended simultaneously.

Controlled distribution of the fluid between the two connected units combats the pitching motion. A sudden upward movement of the front wheel displaces fluid from the front Hydrogas unit, forcing it through the connecting pipe into the rear unit This action raises the rear of the vehicle to the same level as the front, keeping the vehicle's body horizontal. When the front wheel descends the fluid is returned and the suspension settles to its normal position.

The Hydrogas system also restricts vehicle roll when cornering, this is achieved by the two outside units stiffening under load.

Each Hydrogas unit comprises two chambers separated by a rubber membrane. The upper chamber which is sealed contains NITROGEN GAS, the lower chamber is filled with a WATER BASE FLUID containing approximately 50% alcohol to prevent it freezing, and a corrosion inhibitor.

Damping is achieved by fluid passing through a two-way valve arrangement restricting the flow of the fluid in the unit. One valve provides bump control and the other restricts rebound.

The manual also says:


Do not check or adjust suspension trim height after a road test. Allow vehicle to stand for AT LEAST TWO HOURS to allow suspension fluid temperature to equalise with air temperature.

Allow vehicle to stand in unladen condition on a level surface.

Place steering in a straight ahead position.

Bounce vehicle at both ends a number of times and allow to settle.

Roll vehicle forward 1 metre to relieve suspension stresses.

Push down on front of vehicle and release, allow suspension to return unassisted. Do NOT apply handbrake.

Measure both front trim heights, hub centre to top centre of the front wheel arch should equal 368mm plus or minus 10mm.

CAUTION: Fluid in suspension is under very high pressure. Any repair or adjustment can only be carried out using specialist equipment.

The manual then has several pages of types of adjustments and how to evacuate and pressurise the system.

The special tool used for the hydrogas suspension is a pre-charged pump system that is filled with the Hydrogas fluid and the pressure in the tools chamber is 100psi (900kN/m2) for making adjustments but it is the ride height that determines the correct pressure in the system..

The effects of temperature on ride height are very important and the quoted figures are based on 17 degrees C. And any variation in the ambient temperature should be allowed for by a factor 0.6mm per 1 degree C. When temperatures are above or below the 17 degrees level.

Another point that is mentioned in the manual is the effect of a defective upper chamber that contains the nitrogen gas, and the manual states that deviations of levels without any signs of leakage are probably due to a defective nitrogen gas chamber and they give ways of checking this, which again use the special pump, but this time at a pressure of 240psi (2172/kN2). BUT there is no way of repairing this area and it requires the replacement of the defective unit.

Camber Alignment

Front wheel alignment: Toe-out 0 deg. 10min plus or minus 6mins - each wheel

Front wheel camber: Negative 0deg. 30mins plus or minus 30 mins

Front wheel castor: Positive 5deg. 0 mins plus or minus 55mins

King pin inclination: 11 deg. 40mins

Steering angle of inner wheel to outer wheel:

Outer wheel 29deg. 12 mins - Inner wheel 34deg. 42mins

Rear wheel alignment: Toe-in 0deg. 10mins plus or minus 6 mins

Rear wheel camber: Negative 1deg.0min plus or minus 30mins.


Front wheel alignment in Toe OUT

Rear wheel alignment is Toe IN

Suspension settings are for a vehicle at Kerbside weight with the steering wheel straight ahead

The Heater.

When you adjust the heater it only controls the water flow to the matrix and does not divert the air flow so you have to wait for the matrix to cool or heat, rather basic but it gives out enough heat to keep you warm even with the hood down in winter.

The VIN Number.

The VIN number will tell you the following - according to the workshop manual.


But the MGF parts microfiche reads differently to the workshop manual!!!!

Air Conditioning.

An optional extra, which sits above the passenger's legs and is about 10x10x8cm. If your Air Con does not chill the air check that the rubber tube running from the bottom of the box to the outside is still  atttached.

If there is a gas leakage then the ECM will sense that and cause the system to shutdown completely as it will if the there is an excessive build of pressure.

When you get up to 5000 rpm the compressor switches off - to avoid excessive pressure build up and cuts in again when you drop to 4950 rpm.

Also when you hit full throttle, more than 80% of its turning circle, the compressor again switches off to allow full power to go to the wheels and when you ease back to less than 80% the compressor switches on again.

Potential problems

Sometimes when idling (at a red light or something) there is a terrible rattle somewhere behind the pedal box, which disappears when revving the engine a bit. This sound has also been described as sounding like an ox dying!
The key is the pressure of refrigerant is set too high. It will make the compressor works too hard to compress the refrigerant, and then it will CRY. The compressor will shake terribly and make the loud noise. You can't adjust the refrigerant setting by yourself, it can only be done by a garage.

How to remove the front bumper

1. Raise front of vehicle

2. Remove both direction indicators

3. Remove 2 screws securing each end of bumper valence to wheel arch liner.

4. Remove screw securing each end of bumper valence to wings

5. Remove 5 screws securing bumper balance to bonnet lock panel.

6. Working through direction indicator housing, remove 2 bolts securing bumper valence to bumper armature.

7. Remove front bumper valence.

MGF Heritage

The MG lineage is as follows:

  1. Old No 1
  2. Bullnose
  3. PA
  4. N typ
  5. J type
  6. K type
  7. TC Midget
  8. TD Midget mk's 1 & 2
  9. TF Midget (1250 i believe)
  10. TF Midget 1500
  11. YA Saloon
  12. YB Saloon
  13. YT Tourer?
  14. ZA Magnette
  15. ZB Magnette (two tone)
  16. 1500 Magnette Mk 3
  17. Farina Magnette
  18. MGA 1500
  19. MGA 1600
  20. MGA twin cam
  21. MG Midget mk 2 (Frogeye sprite was mk 1)
  22. MG Midget Mk 3
  23. MG Midget 1500
  24. MG 1100 (Mk 1)
  25. MG 1300 (Mk 2)
  26. MGB Roadster Mk 1
  27. MGB Roadster Mk 2
  28. MGB Roadster Mk 3
  29. MGB Roadster Mk 4 (rubber bumper)
  30. MGB Roadster Limited edition (bronze)
  31. MGB GT
  32. MGB GT Anniversary
  33. MGB GT Mk 4
  34. MGB GT Limited edition (pewter)
  35. MGB GT V8
  36. MGC Roadster
  37. MGC GT
  38. MGD *design only*
  39. MG Metro 1300
  40. MG Metro Turbo
  41. MG Metro 6R4 clubman spec
  42. MG Metro 6R4 international spec
  43. MG Maestro 1600
  44. MG Maestro EFi (mk 1)
  45. MG Maestro 2.0i (mk 2)
  46. MG Maestro Turbo
  47. MG EXE
  48. MG Montego EFi (mk 1)
  49. MG Montego 2.0i (mk 2)
  50. MG Montego Turbo
  51. MG RV8
  52. MGF 1.8i
  53. MGF VVC
  54. MG EXF (MG 253)
  55. MGF Super Sports
  56. MG 255
  57. MGF 75th Annivesary SE
  58. MGF Mark 2

This of course is an official product list, there were specials like the Jaques Counes MGB GT & of course, all of those EX models,

Race your MGF

This was created from an article written by Graeme Bishko, click here for a local copy, or check Graeme's original out.

MGF bike rack

Price £235 inc. VAT.

To order or for demonstration contact:-

B & J Munton
55 Main Street
DE72 3ES

Telephone/Fax: 01332 792757
Mobile: 0795 7242093