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Good morning everyone,

I am new here, but I just bought a 2002 MG TF 120, with 130,000km on the clock. I am currently having a Roadworthy done on it, but our mechanic has picked up on some other concerning and disappointing issues. He thinks he can hear a 'slight' knocking sound in the engine (only when the car is hoisted) and a rattle 'in the gearbox'. I'm just wondering what these things could be, and if anyone has some advice. Could the rattle possibly be the external drive plate?
Hoping the knock is not big end bearings!

Thanks in advance.

Cheerio,
Caleb
 

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These cars aren't expensive enough to go listening too hard to paid mechanics. They will always find things that Need Doing Now! I had a mechanic tell me the little ends where gone on my 160. The next one said it's not the little ends, it's the vvc mechs, 'but you radiator is shot and the HGF has gone'. 7 years and 40'000 miles later, along with several other mechanics telling my this and that needs doing......, it's still running fine. Drive it and enjoy it.
 

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They are not the quietest of engines- youre lucky you dont have the 160vv.
You are at the mercy of a mechanic if you cant tell a knocking noise on one of these. And you are not in UK, so Its difficult for us to recomend our favourite mechanic. You can try filiming it and uploading it. I agree withe the comments val.h makes- run it and see how it behaves. The water pump can make a noise if its not been replaced with the cambelt, but they usually leak first! Golden rules- Oil should be clean and its should not burn any. Water should be OAT colour. Water level should be at the seam and no lower.
 
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Good morning everyone,

I am new here, but I just bought a 2002 MG TF 120, with 130,000km on the clock. I am currently having a Roadworthy done on it, but our mechanic has picked up on some other concerning and disappointing issues. He thinks he can hear a 'slight' knocking sound in the engine (only when the car is hoisted) and a rattle 'in the gearbox'. I'm just wondering what these things could be, and if anyone has some advice. Could the rattle possibly be the external drive plate?
Hoping the knock is not big end bearings!

Thanks in advance.

Cheerio,
Caleb
I had a knocking noise come from my 2003 TF. I could only hear it at idle really, from the outside, engine noise drowned it out at higher rpm. It sounded bottom end knocking to me so I was convinced it was not going to end well. It sort of got quieter then louder over periods of ten seconds or so.

Anyway, after a year of worrying I did some things to try and diagnose it. I drained the oil and changed the oil filter. The old filter had no visible metal bits in the filter and there was no swirly sheen of metallic dust visible in the oil. Knocking means a worn big end/little end bearing, so where was all the worn bearing metal if that was the case?

I refilled it with oil. The knocking was still there. I poured STP oil treatment into the oil filler whilst it was running - I couldn't detect any difference in the knocking. STP is very gloopy stuff indeed, I was expecting it to quiet a big end knock.

The knocking seemed slightly louder on the driver's side. I bought a mechanic's stethoscope and started prodding the probe onto likely looking places whilst the engine was running - the block, manifolds, the sump etc. Guess where the noise got really loud - the plastic timing belt cover. When the head gasket went years ago it ended up in a dodgy garage and the car had a slight wiff of hot rubber about if for sometime after. I think they refitted the cover improperly but it's hard to see.

I can't tell you the best way to diagnose knocking but those are the things I did. I believe worn big ends will make noise that doesn't disappear at high rpm and there may be a change in volume with with loading, but you'll have to read up on diagnosing worn big ends to get a better idea if there's a killer test you can use. The stethoscope really works, you might give that a try.
 

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Good morning everyone,

I am new here, but I just bought a 2002 MG TF 120, with 130,000km on the clock. I am currently having a Roadworthy done on it, but our mechanic has picked up on some other concerning and disappointing issues. He thinks he can hear a 'slight' knocking sound in the engine (only when the car is hoisted) and a rattle 'in the gearbox'. I'm just wondering what these things could be, and if anyone has some advice. Could the rattle possibly be the external drive plate?
Hoping the knock is not big end bearings!

Thanks in advance.

Cheerio,
Caleb
Good Morning caleb,
If you need a second opinion try Plus Four Automotive Services in South Dandenong they are only small concern but most experienced and honest to deal with anything MG
Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Gents,

Thank you all for your helpful replies.
I shall begin driving and enjoying my TF as soon as our dawdling mechanics get the roadworthy finished. It has taken them far too long.
I had a knocking noise come from my 2003 TF
Yes, I read your thread on the knocking sound. There were a great many answers to read, but I thought I would still describe my own noises.
The rattle in the gearbox, which is most likely the drive plate (keeping in mind that it's an auto), is supposed to be quite a difficult job. Is this true?
Good Morning caleb,
If you need a second opinion try Plus Four Automotive Services in South Dandenong they are only small concern but most experienced and honest to deal with anything MG
Paul
Thanks for that Paul, but I am in Brisbane, so won't be an option :) I will probably take it the MG specialist in Brendale, just to get their opinion. They are supposed to be the best in Brisbane, especially with classic MG's and modern F's and TF's.
Thanks again everyone.

Caleb
 

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Good evening all,

Just an update: I have taken my TF to the specialist I mentioned, and was told that the rattle was most likely the drive plate springs. Nothing to be done, just have to put up with the noise while idling.
Another small issue I should mention is that the car does not like to start when it's cold. The electric fuel pump comes on and the engine will tick over, but not completely start. It usually takes a few goes before it actually comes to life. It has been suggested to me that this could be the fuel line/pump, or perhaps the fuel injectors are dirty? Anyone here who could enlighten me?
I also have no dashboard lights 😒

Cheerio and Happy New Year,
Caleb
 

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On the dashboard lights, there is a connector behind the binnacle that may have come loose (I am assuming all the bulbs are out).

On the starting, I find the cold start is fine (I live in Switzerland so not exactly warm at this time of year). It could be a weak spark - the ignition coil(s) / plugs need replacing? Could even be that the fuel filter needs replacing.

As I say on a number of postings now, a Pscan is worth its weight in gold. Before I purchased it, I spent wasted money diagnosing a problem by replacing sensors et al and it was something totally different.
 

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Hello Julian,
My apologies for taking so long to respond.
It is not all the dash bulbs, only the instrument panel down lights. I would like to do a DIY job, as I have enough other things to get fixed on it. Are there any good step by step tutorials for that? I have to fix the fan speeds 1 and 2 also 😊
The starting problem is my biggest concern, as it can sometimes take up to five attempts. It only occurs when the engine is cold (nothing to do with air temperature, it’s hot in Australia!). If it has only just been run, then it will start first try as it should. It is booked in for the timing belt in February, so I will get them to do a scan and find the issue.
Every time I drive the car, I know I love it, but then I remember all the niggling problems 🤔 Ahh, what fun!
I appreciate your reply.
Cheers,
Caleb
 

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The starting issue could be a faulty coolant temperature sensor tricking the ECU into thinking the engine is hotter or cooler (I suspect hotter) than it is.

Before taking the dashboard apart check that you are getting voltage out of the instrument light level rheostat.

To fix the fan speed you will need a new resistor pack, the fitment isn’t too difficult unless you have air con.
 

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Thanks Chris.
That sounds interesting, I have never heard of such an issue. The temp gauge always rests on cold when I start it. It usually takes a few minutes to warm up to the normal temperature (I don't know if that's got anything to do with what you're talking about, though!).
With regards to the lights; what on earth is the instrument light level rheostat? How do I check the voltage?
Yes, I realize I'll need new resistors (I know that much at least), but my TF does have air con. Any good youtube tutorials to watch on that repair?
 

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On the last point, I have aircon on my MGF. I have done the resister repair once which meant taking out the whole dash to get to the unit. If you have a snorkel type air vent (I suspect you have with the TF), you may be able to get to the resisters once the snorkel is taken off (I replaced the airbox with a snorkel a few years ago and I got the sense this repair may be possible this way).

I suggest buying a workshop manual which will give you an idea about what various repairs involve (but no mention of the resister repair when you have aircon fitted).
 

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I did the fan resistor repair some years ago but I'm pretty sure I didn't remove the whole dash. I've had other cars whilst owning the TF so may be getting confused but my recollection was either access was available from the passenger footwell, or the glovebox needed to be removed to gain access - something like that. It wasn't a difficult job as such, I bought an F/TF resistance wire repair pack off eBay but it's possible to use appropriate ceramic resistors.

As for the cold start characteristics, I think it's worth mentioning the ignition triangle - air, fuel, spark. You need all three to be right. Chris T's idea about a faulty temp sensor sounds plausible. Now i don't know if I dreamt this but would I be right in saying there are two temperature sensors and the one the ECU uses is not the one the temperature gauge on the binnacle uses?
 

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Here's a link to a thread where CJJ posted showed the sensor positions on the engine:


Tee-f, remember you can search this forum on topics via the menu you get when you select the three white dots at top right of the page in the forum header bar. Select your search words and select the F/TF sub-forum and you'll usually get lots of results. It does appear the ECU has its own temperature sensor so what your temperature gauge sensor is saying is not relevant to how the ECU perceives things.

This new(ish) forum style tends to hide the search function away, with the old forum design there was a clearly visisble 'technical search' menu button in plain sight on the entry page if I recall right.
 

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To the point that to save having to replace the resistor pack ever again, I never use any setting other than '4' for the fan. Put that way, it does not matter whether 1, 2, and 3 work or not! LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for all your contributions.
So, I just had a friend scan my TF. It came up with two fault codes: P0340 - Camshaft position sensor and P0170 - Fuel trim bank 1. Both could contribute to the starting issues, I imagine. I shall try running a fuel cleaner through the tank, and see if that clears the fuel line fault.
Happy New Year to you :)

Caleb
 

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With regards to the fan speeds, perhaps I shall leave that for now. It tends to be hot here, so I'll probably only three and four anyway! :D
 

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The camshaft position sensor fault is a common issue on non-VVC engines and in my experience doesn’t stop the car from starting, however a new sensor will make the engine run smoother.

If your friends OBD reader has live data on it you should be able to read the ECU coolant temperature when the engine is cold.
 
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