LoLarm II – MG F – The Dilemma

15 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on LoLarm II – MG F – The Dilemma

– The Dilemma

In the May edition of EM I an article extolling the virtues of the How come then that I now own an MGF? Like many MG I have had a ‘remote’ interest in the ‘F’ its introduction in late 1995. I have never had the intention of buying one.

I drove a VVC in it was a hot day and with the top down I remember the experience. Getting back my MGC Roadster I knew I owned the enjoyable car, but was I just thinking that? That was my ‘flirtation’ with an ‘F’ until this year when I became an ‘F’ owner.

The ‘F’ has now been for 11 years, much has been about the car and opinions have formed based on its reputation; of the well-known problems many owners are wary. Also, I say ‘F’ Owners are considered to be on the fringe of the MG This reputation, amongst things, has led me not to seriously consider an ‘F’ owner. The car’s problems are documented.

Number one on the list is, of the ‘K’ series engine fitted to the There are not many ‘Fs’ have clocked 40,000 with the original head The Rover Centre in St Albans me that they change at three ‘K’ series head per week! In contrast a Mazda would probably change a gasket every five The head gasket is clearly a and a cause for anxiety for the ‘F’ owner.

The problem has been tackled the years and the current up-rated gasket and steel dowels go way to solving the problem, but even so this modification the ‘K’ series can, and do, still fail. problem with which ‘Fs’ suffer is an intermittent smell. This is borne out by the references and solutions offered on

Type in ‘MGF Petrol and you will be amazed at the response!

I have written so far is based on and not personal experience – well not February this year I became the owner of an MGF.

Why did I succumb and buy an MGF? Certain are implicit and compared to a ‘B’ or ‘C’ it has to be accepted the ‘F’, having benefited 40 years development, is the superior car in a of ways. For example, most power steering, ABS brakes, air electric windows and of, course, the can be erected in seconds.

You may argue ‘if what you want why not buy an Astra and also have reliability’? But you have an MG and in my view the ‘F’ is the prettiest sports car ever made and at the silly prices is an absolute

I am an opportunist, never able to down a bargain and when the to buy an ‘F’ for silly money was presented to me in this year I could not My nephew had purchased the ‘F’ new for his wife in 1996. I had seen the car at family but had never actually looked at it On a visit to my house earlier year my nephew mentioned he had bought his wife a BMW X5 and that her ‘F’ was in his garage in a sorry state.

He wanted it out of the way. “How I asked? Last year he had a 3-month break and back-packed the world and on his return in August had been asked by his wife

to the ‘F’. This he did, and started the engine he forgetfully it running for several hours. The was predictable and inevitable!

The engine and dropped a valve, the rocker box and inlet manifold melted and the sump full of emulsified the engine was clearly beyond repair. We negotiated a price and on £1000. At this price I was I could not go wrong.

Was this a and foolhardy decision as I had not at this closely inspected the car? sleeping on the deal I had reservations. Did I want it? Had I acted too hastily? would I actually do with the

The car was duly transported from to my house in Wheathampstead (Herts) I anxiously made my first inspection. Firstly, I noted it sported a factory hardtop value £500) had four new unmarked grey leather and had every conceivable extra, twin air bags, power and ABS and with only 34,000 free miles on the clock. The was not to my liking (Amaranth) but my wife it!

The paintwork was unmarked and the wheels had not scuffed or kerbed. Even the and rear window were ‘as My concern turned to elation as I in effect, bought a top-of-the-range MGF for albeit with a blown-up

That had to be a bargain!

I intended to a reconditioned or second-hand engine and do the myself but my wife was not too happy me crawling under the car at my advanced I arranged for the Rover Centre in St to do the work for me. A 30,000 mile was located and fitted.

Prior to the head gasket was replaced with the cam belt, tensioner and pump. The water pipes and all pipes were also Thanks go to Andrew at the Rover St Albans, for courteous expert and service.

I can confidently recommend company to all MGF Owners.

The car had now cost me £3000 and on collection (after the work) I was anxious to test my new acquisition. Would I like it? I was taken by surprise at how well the car – it felt tight, no rattles and was a to drive.

Do I like it? I absolutely love it! At prices a good and well MGF is the best pound/smile on the market If you decide to take the plunge and buy an ‘F’ be ensure that the engine has been recently done and is documented. Have the cooling components checked and replaced if necessary.

If there is no evidence of essential work having undertaken on any prospective MGF purchase, £1500 for this work to be Incidentally, Andrew at the Rover told me that the ‘K’ series will do high mileage and he regularly changes head on engines that have in excess of 100,000 miles no sign of wear. Buy a ‘sorted F’ and you love it.

Is it better than a ‘Better’ is possibly the wrong as opinion is subjective. The ‘F’ has benefited 40 years development and this is apparent when driving the The ‘C’, on the other hand, is to drive with remarkable and high speed cruising

For example, for any given speed, is a feeling that I am travelling far when driving the ’F’. I both cars


and will say no more except I initially insured my ‘F’ for 1500 per year, have now increased it to

I will possibly have to this even more!!

Is a petrol smell? Answer – Strangely this is not consistent and the of the problem is very hard to but can be significantly reduced by

dropping a of Magic Tree air fresheners in the tank compartment. I did this on the of my mate Steve and it works. winter I will probably fit a new tank as porous petrol on early MGFs are a known For peace of mind I will design and fit an alarm system to if the coolant level drops if undetected leading to engine

This ‘early warning in conjunction with AA recovery, well save major damage.

I have now joined the MGF and yes I do acknowledge all MG owners when the ‘F’ even though I invariably get looks in return from ‘bemused ‘F’ drivers. I’m confident if I frequently check the water and regularly have the car serviced I enjoy many miles of motoring. I have not forsaken the ‘C’ for I think it is the best MG ever and if I had to one of the cars it would be the ’F’.

Did I do the right thing? How and when I drive the ‘F’? I do in excess of MG miles per year and enjoy one of them. Every year I go to the Le 24 hr race and for this event I clearly take the ‘C’. But a family ‘do’ in the winter the ‘F’, complete with would be the choice.

So both will be used extensively. cars have their and downsides, for example I can maintain the ‘C’ no more than a few spanners, a gun and possibly a strobe light. The ‘F’ is a thing altogether and the major and repairs are best left to an with relevant expertise and equipment.

This of course incur additional expense.

In (I can now speak from experience) it is to own a ‘sorted’ ‘F’ for well under Add one to your ‘stable’, maintain it and add a new to your MG experience. Just also that the price you have paid is possibly than you would lose in the few months on a new Hatchback!!

ANDY (Telephone No 01582 832305)

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