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Looking to buy an MGF

Discussion in 'Motors' started by NightShadow, 5 May 2006.

  1. NightShadow

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 19 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,925

    Location: Welling/London

    As in the title im looking at buying a little MGF which ive been offered at a good price, now what should i be looking out for on these? I took it for a very sedate test drive and it seemed to drive loverly (its the 1.8 non VVC). Its go the hard top fitted tho I didn't ask if she could remove it to see the soft top in action but it all seemed to be in good nick.

    Has anybody had an experience with servicing these? it looks like it would be a nightmare just to change the oil filter what with it being mid engined. Also its had a new engine about 3000 miles ago after it split a radiator hose on the motorway but she just kept driving because she didnt want to stop so should i be wary of that or is tha a good thing? Any other info and tips would be appreciated :)

    TIA

    NightShadow
     
  2. Sone

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 7,663

    don't do it, they are terriable cars. MX5's are far far better
     
  3. BIGWEB

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 7 Oct 2003

    Posts: 2,408

    Location: LIVERPOOL

    They arent terrible cars. the mx-5 is just an excellent car
     
  4. NightShadow

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 19 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,925

    Location: Welling/London

    Your probably right about 5's being better (my mate has a Mk1 1.6 :D) but ive been offered this at a very good price and could probably sell it on for a profit in a months time just by giving it a good polish up.

    NS
     
  5. Rotty

    Don

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 40,821

    Location: Notts

    it would need to be an incredible price to persuade me to buy one of those
     
  6. agw_01

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Apr 2004

    Posts: 19,681

    Oops... can open, worms everywhere.

    The K series is a doddle to service. Never seen an MGF engine bay, but the oil filter is just beneath the alternator on the front left hand side of the block. After looking at a few pictures, it does look a bit tight, but no doubt the filer is accessible from underneath the car.

    People like that shouldn't be allowed to own cars though. Radiator hoses don't just split, so my guess is the owner didn't check under the bonnet on a regular basis. Weekly checks are a good idea on any car, even more so on a K engined car.
     
  7. tom_nieto

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 11,148

    Location: Birmingham

    There are lots of MX-5 owners and MGR disapprovers on here so you'll get a lot of negative views. The fact is that they're extremely good value, pretty good fun sports cars. The MX-5 is probably better, but I think both have their pros and cons. You'll get a lot more MG-F for your budget and it sounds like you're on to a bargain.

    If it's got a full service history from MGR it should be ok. The new engine probably means the radiator hose caused head gasket failure. Basically once they go and are repaired you shouldn't have any trouble. Check oil and coolamt levels and don't rag it from cold, but that's nothing special for the MG-F. The mid engine layout might be slightly more of a challenge to work with, but once you've taken the hood and the access panel off it's pretty much like being inside any other car bonnet.
     
  8. happytechie

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 5,601

    Location: Surrey

    don't even hope for decent advice on here, the general accepted opinion of the 'experts' on this forum is that they are terrible.

    I've had one fo 6 years now and I love it.

    Servicing them is a nightmare the engine is buerried in the middle of the car so you need to take the roof + the parcelshelf + frewall out to see the thing and even then you can't get to the front and back of the engine very well.

    The suspension is 4 indepentant hydragas units ratehr than the more ususal springs and shocks method. To set these up properly is difficult and usually they left rover dealers in 4*4 mode. Get the car to an independant specialist and get the ride height sorted properly.

    It's K series engine so obviously trhe Hg will fail within 2 hours of driving it :rolleyes: make sure that you check the oil and coolant weekly and if it's low TOP IT UP

    the 1.8VVC (145 BHp) is the one to get (unless you can get a steptronic one with the 160BHP version). It is very sensitive to tyres I use F1s which are fine if a little pricey lot's of peeps use Toyos with no problems.

    remember that this is a sports car and not a real racer, as such it's not the fastest in the world but it is an absolute joy to drive. like any moderatly powerful RWD car it can get a bit twitchy in the wet both under braking and acceleration in corners. If it's wet and you enter a corner too fast you WILL understeer, if you lift off mid corner it will oversteer, if you plant the loud pedal at > 5K rpm it will oversteer.

    Faults: well it's a rover so the build quality isn't the best expect a few rattles. it suffers for a bit of scuttle shake and crashy handling on badly poyholed roads imo

    Plus points: it's a cheep way into the soft top market, they look gorgrous, a few mods make it into a more then moderatly fast car (throttle bodies, cold air induction + exaust gives 160+) and there are loads of spares and complete cars around.

    edit: re reading your post, the oil filter is OK to get to from underneath but you'll need skinny arms, check the soft top for wear at the points where is rubs against the frame. I change my oil and filters avery 6 months / 6K miles and have done the whole time I've had it. full service + cam belts is a £600 job and is due at 60K intervals
     
    Last edited: 5 May 2006
  9. Capt Doufos

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,609

    Location: Nr Colchester, Essex

    How much are you paying if you don't mind me asking. I know you can get early MGF's for silly money... like around £3000 when I first looked.

    The build quality really is bad on them :( I did have a look at one, but the MX5 is Soooo much nicer and really is easy to service. £5k would buy you an early Mk2.
     
  10. Rotty

    Don

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 40,821

    Location: Notts

    I would imagine early ones go for less tha that , one og my neighbours has just bought a 51 car , high spec ( some "limited" job with a union jack on the wing ) for well under £5k
     
  11. mattpc

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,731

    Location: Manchester

    buy an MX5 instead- sorry ;)
     
  12. Demon

    Soldato

    Joined: 22 Oct 2002

    Posts: 7,060

    Location: Near Cheltenham

    I also have been surprised by the MGF, my mum bought a 1.8VVC, and a mate in work bought the Trophy version, I expected them to be crap, but I was pleasantly surprised.. in some respects I prefer them over the MX-5.. The Trophy especially, it felt quite raw, and entertaining..

    Problems I've heard of are the Calipers siezing, rear-subframe mount bolts loosening, obvious HGF (maybe only on the VVC)..

    If it where my money, I'd be looking at the MX-5 as well, although from my experiences with MGF's, I'd possibly look at a Trophy or TF, but I wouldn't discount the MGF as sub standard, just not quite as good as an MX5. The MGF has some british heritage to it, and looks a bit more 'british' which also appeals to me...
     
  13. NightShadow

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 19 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,925

    Location: Welling/London

    Been offered one for £2000 but may be able to knock it down a little more due to a few bits needing sorting (heater fan only works on speed 3, tiny bit of rust on door shut at the bottom corner and along the bottom of the sill on the thin bit.). I think ill just have it a second car for a couple weeks and see how i get on before i decide to sell the Leon, I may end up just selling it on if its too impractical for me...tho im not sure yet.

    NS
     
  14. ajgoodfellow

    Capodecina

    Joined: 24 Dec 2004

    Posts: 11,340

    Location: Shirley, Solihull, UK

    They aren't bad cars at all

    They were great sellers and got 4 out of 5 from What Car

    The MGF is quite soft in comparison to most mid engined roadsters.

    The MGTF is far more focussed and has standard springs instead of the HydraGas system

    Don't rev it above 3,000 rpm when cold and don't thrash it when cold. If you do you'll have premature HGF. If you let it warm up fully (not long as the K-Series warms up quickly) then you'll be fine

    Check the coolant every week though - this is particuarly important. I'd also flush the coolant every 6 months or so too

    They are very, very sensitive to tyres. You should always replace all four tyres together and, under no circumstances, mix GoodYear F1 GSD2s and GSD3s - this is a death sentence and originally unknown so check this.

    The tyres need to have very stiff sidewalls. The Toyo Proxies T1-Rs are highly recommended - these are said to be as good as the GSD2s. The GSD3s aren't nearly as good as the previous tyre. There is also a model of Bridgestone tyres which I can't remember off the top of my head which is said to be better than both

    My Dad bought an MGTF recently, hence all this knowledge!

    The rear window is plastic, but it has a zip. If you unzip the rear window first before lowering the hood (and don't do it when it's cold) then it will remain crease free. It scratches fairly easily too

    Having been out in Dad's MGTF a few times it really is great fun
     
  15. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 156,862

    This is completely and utterly false. The GS-D3 is a noticeably better tyre than the older GS-D2 it replaced.
     
  16. ajgoodfellow

    Capodecina

    Joined: 24 Dec 2004

    Posts: 11,340

    Location: Shirley, Solihull, UK

    Not according to the MGF/MGTF user groups and our local garages

    This might be specific to the MGF/MGTF though
     
  17. tom_nieto

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 11,148

    Location: Birmingham

    MGF/TF users swear by the D2s, I'm not sure of the reasons, but apparently the D3s really aren't as good for the car.
     
  18. Pigeon

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 3,564

    Well you've seen and driven and got your own opinions which is what needs to happen with a ten year old car. A lot of things can fall off, wear out, rust and break over ten years in any car so each car has to be looked at individually rather than as a model!

    The 1.8 K series is the one to worry about for HGF so if you do buy the car keep an eye on the water/oil levels very carefully. If it does drop a lot, or mayo appears etc, don't drive it any further and the repair bill could be cut down a lot.

    The gas suspension is the other worry, it's easy though when theres a dealer/specialist nearby to take care of it but again it just needs an eye kept on it.

    Fox the Goodyear GS-D3 is simply not recommended by the manufacturer for the F's and TF's, not doubting they are better for most car but these are very sensitive to tyres.
     
  19. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 156,862

    I had heard that MG recommend you only fit F1 GS-D2's to the rear of the MGF due to handling charecteristics but had no idea the D3's, which superseded the D2 did not also apply.

    You learn something new every day :)
     
  20. NickXX

    Soldato

    Joined: 19 May 2005

    Posts: 7,032

    Test drive an MGF/TF. Test drive an MX5. You will buy the MX5.

    The MGTF is a terrible car, I can't imagine how bad the MGF is. The only reason to buy an MGF over an MX5 is if you don't have the cash to buy the MX5.