MGF rear screen upgrade
Upgrade your faded and cracked plastic screen to heated glass.
When MG Rover facelifted the MGF into the steel-sprung TF, they did a fine job of updating what was by then really a noticeably ageing design but one thing contemporary road testers noticed was the lack of a heated rear window with good visibility – something which by then many competitors could offer complete with a glass window.
It doesn’t have to be that way though, because companies such as MGF Mania have come up with affordable conversions for the many thousands of rear-view challenged MGFs and TFs out there.
The cost of a rear panel complete with heated rear screen is just £185 from MGF Mania, and the company’s Peter Jones has always told me how simple they are to fit. He has even posted a video on his website at www.mgfmania.co.uk that shows him fitting one from start to finish in just 15 minutes. But not everyone will be as quick as that of course, and I was also keen to see what it was really like as a DIY operation. And so I got a kit from Peter for a TF and decided to give it a go.
Not that I was expecting any major problems, of course. The kit came with a glass screen set in the correct green fabric panel to match the TF’s hood, plus all the rivets I needed and a CD reminding me of how Peter goes about the task. The picture sequence shows how I got on, and while I didn’t come close to matching Peter’s 15 minutes, it was still an easy job to manage within a couple of hours, even taking time out for the pictures.
I should mention a couple of points here, though. One is that the green of the new panel showed up how old and tired the rest of the hood on this TF was starting to look. Peter had warned me about this, and recommended that a good cleaning with a nail brush and a vacuum cleaner will make a huge difference, as it is amazing how much dust gathers in the fabric over the years.
Another thing I should note is that the plastic rear screen which I took out of the car was clearly not the original, and this kind of thing should alert you to the fact that you may have to deal with previous bodges and breakages along the way. I would certainly not advise starting the job if you absolutely positively have to have it finished the same day. There was nothing disastrous on this occasion, though one or two little glitches along the way as detailed overleaf.
With the glass window in place, the improvement in rearward vision was immediate and marked, with no more visual distortion or murkiness in the rear view mirror. But one thing I hadn’t appreciated beforehand was that the glass screen is some two inches shallower than the plastic one it replaced, and this narrower field will not be to all tastes.
However, I reckon a narrower field of clear vision is far better than acres of murkiness, and its compact size does mean that you can fold the hood down without having to unzip the rear screen.
As you’ll see, that was a real bonus for me given what happened to the old zip, but it is in any case a real boon in our changeable weather.
1 This is what you get for your £185: a glass screen complete with heating elements, all set in the right fabric to match your hood, an instructional CD and a bag of black rivets. You just supply the tools and a little time.