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Talk To Me About - MGF's


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#1 OFFLINE   BorniteIdentity

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 12:40 PM

Hey

 

Despite having 27 children by 28 different women, most of the time I'm in the car on my own.  With various saloons and MPVs littered about the place for every possible eventuality, a 2 seater would be fine for Monday - Friday.

 

Initial thoughts were buy something like an W30 Toyota MR2.  I've always had Jap, and am on very good terms with a fantastic Japanese specialist.

 

However, the MGFs do appeal.  Mainly because there's just a bit more variety about them.  They're also, undeniably, more shite.

 

What should I be looking for?  Monogram cars are probably going to be out of price range (say under £1250) so what should I be looking for over the next couple of months?


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#2 OFFLINE   AngusToledo

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 01:34 PM

I've always liked the look of the TFs. We ended up buying an MR2 in celebration* of my 40th 18 months ago though - it was a case of right car, right time, right place. If you do look at one, look the owner in the eye and ask if it burns oil. The 2003 facelift onwards is a stronger engine, but they're still a bit wobbly. The best bit about them is that everything unbolts. Here's ours after I mashed the rear quarter last summer. Not an issue, unbolt the ruined one and bolt a replacement on. Bub was courier for the part, in fact.
Sorry, this doesn't help with MGFs though :/

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#3 OFFLINE   BorniteIdentity

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 01:48 PM

Aye, I had the 1.8VVTi in an Avensis.  We got about as low as 1 litre of oil to 600 miles before I jacked it in.  It's not the oil consumption that particularly bothers me, it's what comes with it (my cat got properly blocked in the end).  

 

Everything's pointing me towards an MX5 really.  Apart from the rot.


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#4 ONLINE   scaryoldcortina

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 02:01 PM

Everyone should have a F/TF at some point. It's the last proper MG.

 

By that I mean it has two seats, a folding roof, is hard to get out of and was cobbled together from bits of leftover austin.

 

Oh, and rust.


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#5 OFFLINE   JohnK

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 02:12 PM

I know of a tidy and fairly cheap TF for sale at the moment if you're open to them as well as the F.
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#6 OFFLINE   BorniteIdentity

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 02:24 PM

I know of a tidy and fairly cheap TF for sale at the moment if you're open to them as well as the F.

 

Everything's an option really.  Usually I go out looking for something, and come back with a widescreen TV and a bag of chips.


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#7 OFFLINE   Craig the Princess

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 02:45 PM

I really enjoy driving the ex-Wuvvum F. Not that fast but you can carry speed through the corners well. To be honest I think I preferred artist formerly known as Dugong's VVC to drive but my one has a really nice caramel leather interior.

I didn't think they had a reputation for serious rust, my one has the odd bit where it has had a ding but underneath was solid when I saw it at the MoT.

Watch out for head gaskets obvs, the balljoints are a pain in the arse to change as the arm has to come off because they are rivited on unless a previous owner has replaced them with (good, old, why didn't they use them in the first place) bolts.
Check the coolent hoses through the engine panel behind the rear seats if you can (10/12 small bolts) as mine have rotted around the clips.
It has the good but fragile Rover key fobs so check they work.

Best of luck with one, you'll have a tweed jacket with leather patches in no time 😁
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#8 OFFLINE   dave21478

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 02:51 PM

rust, kettling, rotted front to rear coolant pipes, rotted front wishbones, nobody ever greases the suspension arms.


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#9 OFFLINE   DVee8

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 03:30 PM

I know of a tidy and fairly cheap TF for sale at the moment if you're open to them as well as the F.

Tell me more.


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#10 OFFLINE   Station

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 11:57 PM

I've always liked the look of the TFs. We ended up buying an MR2 in celebration* of my 40th 18 months ago though - it was a case of right car, right time, right place. If you do look at one, look the owner in the eye and ask if it burns oil. The 2003 facelift onwards is a stronger engine, but they're still a bit wobbly. The best bit about them is that everything unbolts. Here's ours after I mashed the rear quarter last summer. Not an issue, unbolt the ruined one and bolt a replacement on. Bub was courier for the part, in fact.
Sorry, this doesn't help with MGFs though :/


They should do that with every car. You can buy a bolt in RS200 kit for these as well.

Had a bit of trouble with my missus' MGF but about two years and over two grand sorted it.

#11 OFFLINE   tommotech

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 12:12 AM

These are a scratch I need to itch, whilst they are firmly in shite territory.
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#12 OFFLINE   Andy the tyre man

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 12:29 AM

Ive had four 'Fs.

Try a TF and an 'F as their very different cars to drive.

I don't like the harsher clattery ride of the tf.

Check subframe mounts as they can rot leading to strange wandering handling.

Also, tfs were subject to project drive so they tend to rust a bit quicker than mk1 'Fs, mk2 ones were subjected to PD too but seem better than the tf for it.

Avoid the steptronic too.
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#13 OFFLINE   hpi_matrix

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 09:51 AM

Go for it, I pussied out and got an MX5 (but only because it was dirt cheap).

 

I know of a nice MK1 in purple with low miles in Essex if you're interested.



#14 OFFLINE   forddeliveryboy

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 10:45 AM

The engineers specified the steel suspension for the TF, then someone saw the price of the dampers and insisted on cheapies which weren't matched to the springs, which remained. I think only the very last cars received decent damping.

MG people say to add the subframe X-braces from a TF to an F.

I too prefer the Moulton spheres, away from the track they allow more speed for more of the time, and turn the cars into superb massive miles munchers.
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#15 OFFLINE   alcyonecorporation

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 11:40 AM

If you go into a bend at 75 you get yards of howling understeer and then lift off oversteer.

Don't do that in an MGF. It did that flobbery wibbling thing at the front they do as well to warn you how close you're getting to the limit.
GR9* for chasing Radicals down the A50.
 

I too prefer the Moulton spheres, away from the track they allow more speed for more of the time, and turn the cars into superb massive miles munchers.


'Fs are incredibly tyre sensitive as well. Not the sort of car you want a mixture of crap Nexens and Nankangs on - especially if they differ in profile on the rear where the drive comes from. I mean, really?

Alloys usually go porous because of Longbridge's cute insistence on using a high plasticine content in their construction.

'F headlights are dreadful; the substrate inside goes off and Cibie no longer make them.
Make sure the hood's in good nick; when folded down the window should have been zipped out to stop stress tears. Lots of people don't do this.

Sometimes HGF* can be the temperature sensor giving duff information. Or the heater return pipe having a poo. Or the inlet manifold gasket.

Don't be swayed by brake upgrades. The last thing an F/TF needs is uprated brakes and /or altered brake balance. There was never anything wrong with the Metro derived four pot caliper stoppers unless you're doing a lot of track work - and 'Fs are crap on a track anyway because they're set up to understeer.

Spheres can be pumped up again but Dunlop aren't making any more or repairing the tooling. That's why lots of people are converting to TF subframes.

Driving position is weird but there are lowering kits. Immobilisers are utterly terrible but EKA (emergency key access) procedures normally get round this.

If you want a drive and go road toy, an 'F's what you want. If you want to do a mixture of road and track work, a TF might be better because the suspension is more easily tuned and adjusted.
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What we need is more poo brown cars.


Top tip, stop buying shit old cars. Works for me.


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#16 OFFLINE   Nibblet

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 12:58 PM

Just my opinion but....I can't see any reason to want one, most of them are underpowered, prone to rust, awkward to work on and a bit anodyne to look at. Plenty of sports cars to choose from that are far better albeit a bit pricier.
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#17 OFFLINE   alcyonecorporation

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 01:03 PM

Just my opinion but....I can't see any reason to want one, most of them are underpowered, prone to rust, awkward to work on and a bit anodyne to look at. Plenty of sports cars to choose from that are far better albeit a bit pricier.


So, apart from the awkward work angle, just like an MX-5? I was incredibly disappointed the first time I took an NA 1.6 out.

The 1.6 and 1.8 MPI MGFs never did it for me - but the VVC and Trophy models were genuinely quick little cars.

What do you class as 'slow'? Everyone's different.
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What we need is more poo brown cars.


Top tip, stop buying shit old cars. Works for me.


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#18 OFFLINE   Partridge

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 01:09 PM

I find MX-5s a bit flat. Maybe I wasn't driving it hard enough?

 

And if you thought your MGF was bad on Nexens, wait until you try a Rover 800 on Nexens.


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#19 OFFLINE   Nibblet

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 02:23 PM

So, apart from the awkward work angle, just like an MX-5? I was incredibly disappointed the first time I took an NA 1.6 out.The 1.6 and 1.8 MPI MGFs never did it for me - but the VVC and Trophy models were genuinely quick little cars.What do you class as 'slow'? Everyone's different.

Nowt wrong with slow, in fact slow, driven on the edge is a good way of having fun.
More that if you're going to have the pitfalls of owning a modern sports car you ought to gain the pleasures of having one which is capable of putting a grin on your face and I can't see an MGF providing a good ratio of grin to groan.
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#20 OFFLINE   Craig the Princess

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 02:25 PM


I can't see an MGF providing a good ratio of grin to groan.


I couldn't disagree with that more
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#21 OFFLINE   alcyonecorporation

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 02:34 PM

I couldn't disagree with that more


MGFs are a colossal pain in the arse to keep around, though.

Nowt wrong with slow, in fact slow, driven on the edge is a good way of having fun.
More that if you're going to have the pitfalls of owning a modern sports car you ought to gain the pleasures of having one which is capable of putting a grin on your face and I can't see an MGF providing a good ratio of grin to groan.


So go on, what do you class as 'slow'?

What we need is more poo brown cars.


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#22 OFFLINE   PiperCub

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 02:47 PM

Firstly as a serial MX5 owner, I appreciate it's a case of 'He would say that' but I would genuinely recommend one over an MGF any day. Nothing massively against F's as such it's just I can't really think of anything it does any better than a Mk1 or 2 MX5 other than generally being cheaper to buy.

 

From a personal POV, I get the mid-mounted engine physics, I understand that but can't see it's relevance in a road car (track/race car - yes totally, road, no) and hate working on them and the F is no exception esp with the potential of a possibly uncared-for K-series motor. The '5 in contrast, is great to work on bar one or two jobs (refiling the g/box for one until you know the trick) This clearly isn't an issue if you don't do your own work. 

I'm not a fan of Hyrolastic suspension although agree F's ride much nicer than TF's (fluid vs steel) and wouldn't want the potential hassle as age encroaches on it. 

 

I suspect running costs would be about the same, insurance, parts etc. as a Mk1/2 MX5 both of which are well catered for by the aftermarket. Both can rust if allowed to and both can have problems due to bellend owners, I think it comes down to what you like, try to sample a few examples of each and choose what you like best. My choice is the Mazda, yours may not be. 

 

Maybe I should buy an MGF just to check my theories!



#23 OFFLINE   Barry Cade.

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 06:55 PM

I've had a few, ranging from really quite nice to my current daily shonker. I drive my current ratty VVC like I stole it..everywhere. It's got ditchfinders on it too, on purpose, I'm used to mid engined handling and keeps me on my toes. You guys who go on about tyres must be much better drivers than me as I don't notice much difference TBH.. I corner till it slides, then play around with it...instead of grip grip grip Shhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii............

 

Engines are hardy if understood, thrash 'em..they like it. I like the driving position too- don't get all the "sitting on it" stuff, and I'm 6ft4. Great on fuel when right, cheap insurance, parts and breakers everywhere, brilliant heaters too if right- run with top down in minus temps if you wear a hat. I don't like the EPC- take the fuse out. ABS is good otherwise they can lock up at the front early like any other mid engined car. Good long distance and quite refined if you spend a bit of time getting the hood/windows to seal nicely, and car wash proof.

 

I like 'em. A lot.


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#24 OFFLINE   overrun

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 07:11 PM

That driving position, though. Urgh.

Safe now. Everything's lead lined.

 

 


#25 OFFLINE   forddeliveryboy

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 07:12 PM

Injection is just as easy once you get your head around it. It's doing the same job after all, just in a different way.



My only beef with the MG is that perhaps they're two sacks of spuds heavier than you may wish. The blue ex-Pillock, ex-Bobthebeard, ex-BarryCade one has a particularly good engine and even without VVC the 1.8 is more than fast enough if you want to cover the ground faster than most this side of an M3 rather than have cheap thrills. If you travel at the speed limits, it returns 45mpg. It's as sweet or sweeter than any Japanese engine I've driven, too - and with a torque curve to match British roads.

Interconnected compressed gas suspension with a shortish wheelbase and mid-engine is as much for stability as high levels of grip on imperfect roads. It lends the car a special feel with the special low-friction spheres - and when you really start throwing it about there isn't the inertia of four heavy steel springs loading and unloading for every change of lock. Things which don't add value in a showroom have been the last to trickle down to the average car, fine suspension is still the preserve of cars sold for six figures.

I've clambered into Fs and driven 450 miles in an afternoon without thinking twice, the only other small cars I've ever chosen to do the same in have been the SudSprint 1300 and Citroën GS.

They were designed by people who grew up in this country before globalisation, who took in the landscape, weather, customs, who drove on British roads. The shape and form, the sound, the feeling, the character and demeanour of the car is a part of this part of the world. They look good in our landscape and are tuned for our roads. When good British cars work well, they're ace and all the better for living on home turf.
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#26 OFFLINE   Craig the Princess

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 07:23 PM

MGFs are a colossal pain in the arse to keep around, though.


True, access to the engine is ridiculously fiddley but I find the grin of driving it massively outweigh the hassle.

That said I haven't tried to fit the new coolent hoses and then bleed the cooling system yet.

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#27 ONLINE   scaryoldcortina

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 07:45 PM

I've been disappointed by every MX-5 I've driven. Slow, gutless rusty things that handle like a 70's datsun. THERE I SAID IT>


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#28 OFFLINE   Bobthebeard

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 07:47 PM

My only beef with the MG is that perhaps they're two sacks of spuds heavier than you may wish. The blue ex-Pillock, ex-Bobthebeard, ex-BarryCade one has a particularly good engine and even without VVC the 1.8 is more than fast enough if you want to cover the ground faster than most this side of an M3 rather than have cheap thrills. If you travel at the speed limits, it returns 45mpg. It's as sweet or sweeter than any Japanese engine I've driven, too - and with a torque curve to match British roads.
 
Interconnected compressed gas suspension with a shortish wheelbase and mid-engine is as much for stability as high levels of grip on imperfect roads. It lends the car a special feel with the special low-friction spheres - and when you really start throwing it about there isn't the inertia of four heavy steel springs loading and unloading for every change of lock. Things which don't add value in a showroom have been the last to trickle down to the average car, fine suspension is still the preserve of cars sold for six figures.
 
I've clambered into Fs and driven 450 miles in an afternoon without thinking twice, the only other small cars I've ever chosen to do the same in have been the SudSprint 1300 and Citroën GS. 
 
They were designed by people who grew up in this country before globalisation, who took in the landscape, weather, customs, who drove on British roads. The shape and form, the sound, the feeling, the character and demeanour of the car is a part of this part of the world. They look good in our landscape and are tuned for our roads. When good British cars work well, they're ace and all the better for living on home turf.
 
The shape and form, the sound, the feeling, the character and demeanour of the car is a part of these islands. They look good in the British landscape, fit a British driver well and are tuned for British roads.


Verdict?
Go for it. Great cars if looked after.
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#29 OFFLINE   overrun

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 07:48 PM

All MR cars are harder to work on than FWD equivalents. Some are worth the hassle.

Safe now. Everything's lead lined.

 

 


#30 OFFLINE   AnthonyG

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 11:07 PM

handle like a 70's datsun.


You make that sound like a bad thing!
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