DIY Ser­vic­ing: MGF & TF

The MGF and TF were once bar­gain-base­ment sports cars, but the tide is chang­ing. Rob Hawkins ex­plains what’s in­volved in ser­vic­ing them.

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Contents -

When the MGF was launched in 1995, many spe­cial­ists and MG afi­ciona­dos de­clared it was the end of DIY ser­vic­ing. With Hydragas sus­pen­sion and a mid­mounted K-se­ries en­gine con­trolled by a MEMS ECU, it was con­sid­ered far too com­pli­cated. Nowa­days, many DIY me­chan­ics are not only ser­vic­ing these cars, but also restor­ing them.

An MGF is pretty much a mid-en­gined, two-seater sports car with a cou­ple of Metro front sub­frames bolted un­der­neath its steel bodyshell. Hydragas dis­plac­ers were used on the MGF, but when the TF was launched in 2001, coilovers were used in­stead, along with re­vised rear sus­pen­sion that uses a trail­ing arm and lower arm. Other­wise, the sus­pen­sion com­po­nents are sim­i­lar, with anti-roll bars and up­per and lower arms at the front and rear. The brakes are servo-as­sisted (ABS on most mod­els, ex­cept early MGFS) with ei­ther sin­gle-pis­ton calipers all round or AP four-pots at the front.

The Achilles heel of this ve­hi­cle and any K-se­ries en­gine model is the head gas­ket, so it’s im­por­tant to in­spect the cool­ing sys­tem care­fully dur­ing a ser­vice.

Typ­i­cal of most MGS when they were rel­a­tively new, sec­ond­hand values of the F and TF have fallen faster than a brick in wa­ter, un­til re­cently. Thanks to the boom in the clas­sic car mar­ket, their values are on the way up, so maybe now is the time to in­vest.

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