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Daves roffle MGF thread. emissions pass. Finally.

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Its not exactly cabriolet weather here, but I give it a run every now and then, even get the roof down when its sunny, although not for long as the top of me head gets cold.


I refurbed the wheels and fitted 4 new Rainsports recently. Thread here with the details....


I like Rainsports for the high grip in all weathers. Im not so keen on the wear rate, but I can live with that on this car as I reckon its worth haviing decent tyres on it.


The heater blower has only been working on speeds 3 and 4...classic symptoms of a failed resistor pack.

In the left hand footwell, it should be easy to get out with the glovebox removed. However in my case some jizzmopper has fitted a steering wheel and pedals and stuff on the left, with the accelerator pedal right in the way of one of the mounting screws.



I hate that position this job always calls for....lying on your back in the footwell with the clutch pedal pressing against your forehead, the sill digging into your back and your legs out on the ground, trying to support your weight.

The first screw was no problem but after 5 minutes of fucking about with various sized drivers, bendy extensions, driver bit in a ratchet and stuff like that I thought "fuck it" and just yanked the bastard, snapping the mounting lug off the fan casing. 


Once out, it was clear that the resistor coils had seen better days.



Ebay has second hand units for 30quid or so, with a high chance of failure in the near future so I sacked that idea off and bought new resistors from Rezpax. They have an ebay shop or you can buy direct. Its only six quid or so for the set.



Some hot soldering action later....



Wanged it back in with the one remaining screw to hold it and it works fine on all speeds. Nice.




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So thats it finished.

Why did you do it Dave?

Good question, and there are a few reasons. Being RHD doesnt bother me from a driving perspective here....the Mazda is RHD and not feasible to convert....but I find its always a good idea to blend in as much as possible. Yeah a fucking blue rear-engined cabriolet isnt subtle in amongst the local Berlingos and Clios, but a RHD car sticks out here and people can be assholes sometimes increasingly often. I will get a French registration for it as soon as I reasonably can.

Secondly, even as rough as it is, its worth a fair chunk of money now. A quick scan on leboncoin shows only a hundred or so MGFs for sale thoughout the whole country and the cheapest running LHD one is still over 2k, so I think I have added to its previously very low value.

Thirdly, it was an experiment. I used to have a nice little side-line buying UK C15 vans, driving them down here, converting to LHD and reselling for profits. It was never going to make me a millionaire, but it was a nice cash boost every few months. Since supply of good ones dried up in UK and demand for them died off here as everyone moved to Partners and Berlingos, my pocket money income had stopped, and I have been looking for a replacement. Freelanders are possible, but more involved due to a non symmetrical bulkhead needing welding. C2s are possible, but need a tiny bit of welding to do too, and were never a popular seller here. I believe LDV Maxus vans are quite easy, but have never tried one....The MGF is a possible new project. Once its registered and I have got some shake-down miles on it I will put up a false for sale advert to see what demand is like. If people are in a rush to buy it, I will look into doing more in the future. If not, well, I have a nice cabrio for next summer and thats the end of it.


Anyway, thanks for reading, and thank you for the comments along the way.




What about Picassos ?  The whole dash looks symmetrical, digital too, so no Kph/Mph worries, could be an easy one to convert to LHD ?

 Worthless in the UK but still fetch good money in France.


What happens when re-registering a RHD/LHD conversion ? Does it need a DREAL (or whatever they're called this week) inspection ?

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The market is flooded with picassos, so it would need to be exceptional to sell for a decent price. No idea about converting one as I have never looked at them much.

Apparently Clios can be done so I will look into 172 and 182 models - they are in demand here.


LHD / RHD is never asked or stated anywhere in any of the registration or importing procedures. The CT man doesnt give a toss either so I never say anything about it to officials.

I have always told buyers when I sell them and nobody really cares. Some stuff stays RHD spec like the key hole on the right hand door, carpets are different with rubber pad on the right footwell, sunvisors have the vanity mirror on the left, stuff like that, but its all minor stuff that doesnt really matter at the kind of prices I deal with. If I were selling dearer, better cars these small differences wouldnt be acceptable to buyers and its all the kind of stuff that is expensive and time consuming to change over. In some cases not even possible without massive loom changes, so I keep out of the higher end of the market to avoid that sort of hassle.

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Since I am mentally still 17...Pumpin choonz are required in all my cars.


The MGF already has upgraded door speakers, but nothing more. Ideally I would like an amp and sub in it, but there is just no room for a sub box. No point putting it in the boot as with the engine between boot and passenger cabin I wouldnt hear anything. I have seen a few folk fit wee subs under the seats or in the passenger footwell but its all a bit of a faff for not ideal results.


As an compromise I decided to fit rear speakers as it had none. A set of Alpine 6x9s were bought....as seen on every sagging Nova parcelshelf about 20 years ago.


Posher models of MGF have rear speakers in the trim behind the rear seats, and since there is a reasonable bit of depth available behind it, this was the ideal location. I could probably have fitted smaller speakers straight into the plastic, but I couldnt be fucked with tinny wee speakers and hoped the 6x9s would give a reasonable amount of bass.




I glued up a couple of layers of 18mm plywood and carved it down to shape with a flapwheel in the grinder.




Not pictured, I wrapped them in acoustic cloth, and cut the mounting holes in the plastic trim.


In place....



And the other...



The top screws are about 120mm long and go into the metal reinforcing strut that runs under the top of that trim.

NOTE - dont screw into the bulkhead, the pez tank is right behind there. Dunno how high it comes up, but not worth the risk.

The lower screws on my speakers are just into the plastic trim with plywood slipped in behind for them to grip into.


There is no wiring for them but its easy to run a pair of wires tucked up under the edge of the centre console and up to the stereo. Had to cut off the standard ISO plug as it only had connections for the fronts, so wired in a new one with all four speaker connections.


Sounds decent. No substitute for a proper subwoofer, but banging enough for my Ministry Of Sound compilations.



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Out for a drive a while back and there was suddenly a rythmic clonking relative to road speed from the front. I pulled over and checked wheel nuts etc, but nothing obvious was found. I nursed it home with the clonking getting worse and the occasional squeal too.

With it on the jack the front left wheel was very rough to turn and had about 30mm free play....obviously a dead bearing, which had failed suddenly rather than giving the usual warning droning noise.


I dismantled it a few days ago and found the top ball joint was a bit loose so decided to change that too. I ordered the parts which turned up today.


I read about this online...apparently it helps with bearing installation so I thought I would give it a try.


One of these things is not like the others.....



With the drive flange chilling in the freezer to contract the metal, I put the hub in the oven on a low heat to expand it slightly, the theory being the slight size changes make pressing the bearing in easier.

Nicely done.....


And yes, I know my cooker is minging.


But it all went to fuck. I doubt it was anything to do with this method and more likely my ham-fistedness, but when I was pressing the bearing in with my big vice, there was a sudden loud crack noise as it was about three quarters of the way on. I backed it off and the bearing was cracked. No choice but to remove it, which fucked it further. 



I also managed to strip the threads on the end of this part which holds the hub together, purely through my own stupidity.



So, new parts on order, 50 euros lost, and we wait for round two.....

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Well, that fills me with an unpleasant amount of trepidation!... I have my first interference fit wheel bearing to do soon and after just binge reading this entire thread (respect x 1,000,000) I'm thinking that if this job is giving you trouble...


...I'm fucked


Good luck Mr Numbers


Sent from my BV6000 using Tapatalk

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My method for cv-joint  bearing removal is as follows: two bricks to hold the hub off of the ground, place a metal container (a tuna can or a cut-down beer can) with meths underneath the hub, light the meths, let it get mad hot then pour some cold water on the bearing to contract it, and drift it out.  I've never had a problem with them going back in.


The inner race on the hub I've usually cut a big lump out of them with an angle grinder and then split the race with a chisel and hammer.

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Aye getting them out is no problem. I run a fat bead of weld round the inside of the outer race and as it cools it contracts and knocks out easily. The inner race gets a slit with the grinder and split with a chisel.

I don't know what happened putting the new one in, perhaps it wasn't quite square causing it to crack.

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I have been thinking vaguely about a wee hydraulic press for years now and the wheel bearing debacle decided me. Until I saw the price of them. Seriously, for some bits of girder and a bottle jack, they seem mega over-priced to me?


So I made one.


I had a wee bottle jack going spare and the frame was just offcuts from the scrap pile. The bottom is a heavy bit of U-section, top is a bit of massive rectangular box section and the uprights are 50mm thick wall square tube.
Still need to finish the adjustable platform and find some return springs, but thats minor....ie will probably never get done.


Anywsay, the new bearing arrived so I christened the press with it.



Piece of piss.

Without the adjustable height platform I had to mess with spacers and stuff to get it all done, but no big deal.



J&R came through with the replacement CV joint end in record time too, so thats it all back together today.



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No, it hasn't kettled.


Pretty much since I have had this it has very occasionally had a minor wobbly where the temp gauge suddenly plummets to zero. Given how fast it dropped I assumed electrical problems rather than actual temperature changes. It would always come right again after a minute or two of driving.


This started happening more and more often until the gauge just didnt work at all.


Easy enough to check....on a car with the engine in the proper location, but a minor PITA on these.


Assume the position....



Unclip the rear of the hood and lift it up. Wrestle out the carpet and soundproofing, remove the 47 wee M6 bolts that hold the engine cover down and yank it up and out.


Brilliant* access....



The sender is the one with the blue plug hanging down in this pic....



I unplugged it and used a bit of wire to earth the pin to ground, which caused the gauge to flick up to the top, so most likely the gauge and all wiring to it is fine, the problem will be the sender itself.


I ordered a new one which came in eco-friendly packaging.



Wrong fucking part though innit? the wee locating lug on the plastic plug was in the wrong place. Eh fuck it, I will just file it flat. Gently gently with the file, and SNAP; Fucking thing just fell to bits.


Ah piss on it. I went to a scrapyard and trousered one while I was getting a new header tank for the Metro. All K-series Rovers seem to use the same part.


Its a 19mm spanner to undo it. Access isnt great but easy enough with a deep 3/8 inch socket and ratchet. Pulled the old one out and slammed the replacement in....lost barely a few spoonfulls of coolant. Topped up with OAT and its back in business.



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Is it an urban myth, or did the wiring for the fan, on early MGF's get connected back to front so that the fan sucked warm air out of the engine bay and through the radiator ? Worth checking ?

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It failed the emissions test when I put it in for CT test and its been a minor PITA to get it to pass, but I got there in the end.


I started with the simple stuff....changed the oil, oil filter, fuel filter, cleaned the air filter....No difference.


I changed the plugs, leads, cap and rotor arm. I also changed the ECU temp probe....No difference.


I changed the Lambda sensor, which was a twat.

Access isnt too rosy from underneath.




I had to take the whole manifold off, which is easy enough, and hit the old sensor with the gas axe to get it to turn.




It relieved itself of its threads on the way out anyway.



And fairly chewed up the manifold hole.



But there was enough thread for the new one to bite. The new ones nose is slightly too long though, with the tip bottoming out in the manifold before the sensor was screwed all the way in, so a big washer cured that.



Top tip to ebay sellers of universal lambda sensors.....The heatshrink you supply is supposed to be larger than the crimps you supply.



Anyway, it still failed re-test so I changed pretty much the only thing left which was a new cat converter. Apparently cheap ebay ones are not great so I coughed for a Bosal one. With fingers crossed, I took it for retest again on the last day of its grace period before needing a full new CT and it passed ok.



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My Honda really struggled with the MOT on emissions this year. Thankfully, the tester decided to warm up the cat and try again. The drive to the garage (mostly downhill to be fair) and idling through the test apparently not enough to yield a pass. A quick Italian sorted it out.

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I think the levels are fairly similar.

I tried the Italian tune-up too....in fact on its third restest fail I kicked its ass up and down the nearby dual carriageway in second and third gear so hard I am surprised it didnt explode. I went back in to try again and the heat coming off it was incredible. It made sod-all difference to the results though, so thats when I decided to change the cat, even though it was relatively new.

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Guest Asch

I just got given a '96 F and want to convert it to lhd. Are there any likely racks that would fit? ie Corsa etc?

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Guest Asch

I live in France - Bellac 87. The french want far too much for used parts. Germany seems better. 

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