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.
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.