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mg_tf
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Discussion Starter #1
I went to into town the other day to buy the cat's dinner, and accidentally bought a ZT 120.
The car was parked up on the grass outside a local car dealer's place, so of course I stopped for a look. I've long fancied one of these.
Short version- he's had it for years and was about to bin it as he's closing down. Now it's mine.
Body-work looks very good now I've power-washed off the green slime. Seats were mouldy but the leather is mostly intact, and is drying just now. Plenum chamber dry. She starts and runs well. Oil and coolant both clean, no mayo.

As the car has been laid up since 2013 (yes, 7 years) it needs belts, tyres, oil, filters, discs and pads etc. Rear lights have been leaking, and the boot is empty, As in, no carpeted floor, no nothing. Proper empty.
Before I jump in though what should I check for? What are the weak points, what kills these cars?
The gear shift was horribly stiff ,and has already freed up slightly, but what's the worst possibility on that?
Any tips welcome ladies and gents.
 

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Sounds a bargain, although replacing all the rubber will cost. I’d check the brakes, new fluid, new coolant, oil, lube the gear linkage, general service and put in for a mot that would find anything you missed. Oh sorry, no mot atm. Don’t know where you stand there! Any pics?
 

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mg_tf
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Discussion Starter #3
Morning Gnu.
Since the car has no history at all, and laid up 7 years I assumed I'd be doing everything you mention (belts, tyres, fluids, filters, brakes). I figured the best part of a Grand to put her back on the road, so wondered if there was anything these cars suffered that was a common serious failure before I threw any money at her.
She's booked for an MOT on Tuesday morning,unless the MOT centre changes it's mind and closes. Drop car in morning, fetch end of day. No hanging about.
So far I've been tinkering- sealed the leaky rear light which had stuff growing inside them, cleaned filthy engine bay. I've had a couple of wheels off to check the brakes: front discs and pads perfect. They must have been done right before she was laid up. Might get lucky and only have to service the calipers. Wheel nuts felt welded on, and there's one on the rear I haven't been able to shift.
Compared to the TF the engine access is great, although I imagine things are very different with the KV6 in place.
Lubricate the gear linkage- where?
Also signed up for the 75 ZT owners forum to pick their brains.
Cheers!

Oops- Pictures! I've never added any, will have a go,
 

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mg_tf
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Superb, Gnu.
Thanks.
I've been working round the car stripping the brakes, and making sure the caliper pistons move. Tomorrow will flush through the brake fluid. Actuall prety clean underneath- all will be revealed on Tuesday.
Also, took some pictures but not quite worked out how to get them posted.
Haven't given up yet though.
 

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mg_tf
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Discussion Starter #6
Here she is.
Interior has cleaned up quite well. Drivers seat has a small spit in the bolster, and on the rear doors the damp has rusted out the clips which hols the rear corner of each door card in place. Body is not perfect but tidy. Once power-washed to get rid of the green slime it was clear the paint has been marked in a few places by bird ****. No idea if that will polish out or not. I've been fettling the brakes, but found one caliper where the bleed nipple is solid. I chickened out before breaking it off. If she turns out she'll pass an MOT without huge amounts of work I'll swap it for a new/reconditioned one.
Boot is inspired by the Lotus philosophy of "adding lightness"- no carpeted floor, no spare.
MOT scheduled for Tuesday, if garage stays open, and since Rimmers and others are still trading online I can get busy next week if she' savable.
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mg_tf
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Discussion Starter #8
Mileage just over 83000. She was laid up 2013, so had been averaging just over 9,000 a year.
I know there's something a bit perverse about buying a car for £100, knowing I might spend 10 times as putting her right. Why not buy a better car? I've always liked the 75/ZT but never had one, and it didn't feel right letting a car this good go to scrap. I had a couple of 800s and a couple of 600s a few years back- now they're (almost) all gone. Haven't seen an 800 on the road for years. I like the idea of keeping a ZT on the road. If I put her right she will take turns with my TF, so shouldn't build up huge miles.
People are surprised when I tell them my TF was a 500 quid car. i just never tell them what she's cost since!
In fact, here she is after a fast night-time drive from Glasgow to Ullapool a couple of weeks ago, Had to catch the early ferry, gorgeous drive up on empty roads.
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Discussion Starter #10
Hi Gnu:
The Verdict is in. Took her to the strictest MOT station in town, because I like how thorough they are.

Near 16 year old 83000 mile car, laid up outdoors for 7 years.

MOT FAIL.

She needs,
.
.
.
.
.
(wait for it)

.
.
.
.
4 tyres
2 brake pipes
Rear nearside lamp cluster not working.

Very, very pleased.
In reality of course she needs belts done, fully serviced, a new boot floor made, source a spare wheel, and a load of tinkering. Door mirrors don't work, but that apparently is an easy fix. A lot of surface rust underneath needs wired off and treated. However, seems she's basically really sound. Why was she laid up? Who knows. Our youngest boy is currently working at the local scrappy- they have cars turned in just because the MOT is due. They had a nice (but elderly) little Clio come in because it hadn't been used for a while and wouldn't start.
Off to Rimmers now to get some bits.
Cheers!
 

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Great. I guess you could have spotted most of that before you put it in for the MOT! Many MG-Rs going through your sons scrappy? Could be a good source of parts/ upgrades... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
They were having plenty of cars going through, but all stopped for now.
Very little MGR stuff. They did get in a TF recently, with perfect hood and leather interior. The boss at the scrappy is hanging onto it just now because he thinks he'll make a track car out of it. Apparently he's full of good ideas that don't happen, so being patient and might yet get it. Full of good bits I could use.
Locally there are hardly any MGR cars still running- a few 75s, a couple of TFs, and one 45 I know of.
There are also a couple of SD1s and maybe 3 P6s that come out in the summer.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Spent this morning removing the corroded front-to-rear brake pipes.
The black gunk on the underside of the car had protected the unions which all came undone without fuss. The nearside pipe runs up around the tank. Opinion on the 75/ZT owner's forum is divided about replacing the nearside line without dropping the tank. I'm going to have a go at that first, as I've been blessed with hands smaller than those of teenage girl. Not so good for cracking off a hub nut, ideal for this.
I also need to do the front offside, and the union on that one is a different story. Covered in crud, and once cleaned up it turned out to be rusted solid. Stopped before I ripped the bracket right off the bulkhead. Soaking in PlusGas, but it isn't going to undo. Next step I think is to cut the pipe and knock a socket over the union.
Had this once on the TF. Ended up heating it, which melted the end of the flexi.
New pipes will be CuNiFer with stainless unions.

Oops- and, bleed nipple on the rear offside caliper might be muntered.
PlusGas, tried tightening it first, but just NOT wanting to come undone. All good fun!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
As of today she's MOT'd again.
One caliper, some brake pipes, new rear lamp cluster, tyres, plus a proper service.
She nees a good selection of other things to get her back up to decent spec- loose door trim, a sticky power window, boot lining plus other odds.
Only driven her about 40 miles in total, but these are great cars. Quiet, comfortable, and I like the quality of the interior finish.
 
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