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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I used to hang around here a few years ago when I had an 02 plate ZS 120+.

Now, the wife is thinking about getting an MGF on an X plate. I really want some thoughts from owners, especially regarding parts supply etc.

I know the history of the car in question right from the original supplying dealer (its family owned from new). Its a 1.8 (non VVC) and its had the head gasket failure, repaired under warrenty by MG Rover before their recent troubles.

Car has been serviced by the dealer until 3 years old, now done by a local garage with a good reputation. As far as I can see, its in very good condition as its not done a massive mileage. Car has always been garaged and will carry on being if my wife buys it.

Here's the thing though. My wife currently runs a very reliable 2 year old Toyota Yaris. Obviously the prospect of the convertable over the summer months is pulling on the heart strings, but I'm trying to keep the level head. Not trying to persaude her not to, but this is not our main car and we don't want to take on something that might be problematic and cost large amounts of cash.

So your thoughts on the MGF. Assume that the car is available at a good price.

Anything worth looking at in particular?

What is the current parts supply like?

As I say, I've been away from MG Rovers for nearly 2 years, so I'm out of the loop a bit. Any advice gratefully recieved.

Thanks all

Jon
 

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There is no problems with supply of parts although the body panels could take some time if needed but this would seem to depend on the garage. Xpart are part of CAT (the digger maker) and hold £40 Million worth of parts for MGR cars.

Has the cam belt been changed as it is due and is relatively expensive job?
 

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If it is as good as you say it is then you should be looking at a very nice car.

Main thing that will need doing is the cambelt.

The big thing with the F is that it is not a car that you can get away without checking things between services. Oil and coolant levels must be checked weekly and any leaks or mayonaise must be investigated quickly.

Check the suspension ride height.

Apart from that serviceing and stuff like that is fairly straightforward. Parts are generally available either new from xpart or second hand.

Dealers are still available if required. check out www.xpartautoservicecentre.co.uk

And make sure you drive the car from time to time. The grin makes owning an F worthwhile!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for those points, don't worry, if the wife gets it I will be stealing the keys from time to time. I enjoyed my ZS whilst I had it.

I'd not thought about the cam belt. Something to check out.

Any idea what this costs to get changed? Does this involve engine out etc? What is the recommendation for changing this...age/mileage???????

The car really is in good condition, so we are very tempted. Will hopefully be taking a proper look at the weekend.

Again, thanks and any other comments are welcome.

Cheers

Jon
 

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The cambelt change alone is quoted at £250 (my local Xpart dealer will do it for £170) and the full service including the cambelt is quoted at £500. Depends on the age of the F but the cambelt is 5 years or 60K and the latter F’s and TF’s 4 years or 60K.
 

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cjmillsnun said:
Power Train Projects in Hinckley charge £358.86 for a 60k service on an F. (that includes the cambelt).
That’s worth knowing, that’s a good price.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks again, and thanks for the heads up on the Hinkley garage. I'm actually in Nottinghamshire, so Hinkley isn't too far away.

Anyway, should be taking a good look at the car soon, the info provided will be very useful.

One quick question though, and excuse my lack of technical knowledge, is it likely that the cam belt was changed when MG Rover did the head gasket repair? I think that this was done just out of warrenty, so roughly 2 years ago.

Just a thought.........

Cheers all

Jon
 

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I would say on experience that the cambelt would not be changed under warranty when the HG was done unless it was seen to be defective.
 

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TBO I would be surprised if an MGR dealer re-used the original cambelt following the HGF repair as this is not good practise. I would expect them to fit a new one, but who knows.
What age/milage was the car when the HGF happened?
 

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I recently had my cam belt changed at my MGF's 5 year service. When I picked the car up I was told that the cambelt had already been changed, which must have been when the HG went at two years old and was done under warranty. So, I would agree that it seems to be good practice to change the belt during a HGF and if a reputable dealer did the work then it's probably been changed. If you know the car's history can you not ask the garage?

Also have a look at Rob Bell's Buying Guide - http://www.mgf.ultimatemg.com/group1/info/MGF_buying.htm
 

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It's pretty poor practice to re-use and old cambelt, for the £15 they normally costs only a mug risks using the old one.

Appreciate I'm probably dropping myself in it, but have you thought of an MX-5? If we're all honest, the MG is a fabulous car but doesn't come without it's share of problems. My Mum's had an X plate 5 from new and it has never missed a beat, servicing is the same price as a normal 1.8 car and (much as I want to) I can't argue that it's the more solid car for build quality (just check the gearshift and you'll feel the difference). That said, they are noticeably more money than an MG, so you'll be bumping round on an older plate, but thats personal choice. I have an MG because for £2900 I'd only have gotten a H/J MX-5, and instead i have an R plate VVC, and mazda or not, an H plate car will bring a load of problems.

Pains me to say it but I think an MX would be the cheaper (well, less hassle)of the two to run and maintain in your price bracket, the MG needs constant checking over for fluids (if you don't it'll cost you dear), and the 5 really is a fill it and forget it car.
 

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STEVEN_NORFIELD said:
It's pretty poor practice to re-use and old cambelt, for the £15 they normally costs only a mug risks using the old one.

Appreciate I'm probably dropping myself in it, but have you thought of an MX-5? If we're all honest, the MG is a fabulous car but doesn't come without it's share of problems. My Mum's had an X plate 5 from new and it has never missed a beat, servicing is the same price as a normal 1.8 car and (much as I want to) I can't argue that it's the more solid car for build quality (just check the gearshift and you'll feel the difference). That said, they are noticeably more money than an MG, so you'll be bumping round on an older plate, but thats personal choice. I have an MG because for £2900 I'd only have gotten a H/J MX-5, and instead i have an R plate VVC, and mazda or not, an H plate car will bring a load of problems.

Pains me to say it but I think an MX would be the cheaper (well, less hassle)of the two to run and maintain in your price bracket, the MG needs constant checking over for fluids (if you don't it'll cost you dear), and the 5 really is a fill it and forget it car.
But where's the fun in having a car that needs no looking after? If he wanted that he'd buy something like a 206 or a Golf. ;)
 

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To a point, I agree. But I struggle to find time now to look after my F, heaven forbid what it'd be like if I had kids!
You have to bear in mind there's more people out there who aren't mechanically minded than those who are. I'd rather be driving my car than fixing it ;)
 

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SHARKYMGF said:
TBO I would be surprised if an MGR dealer re-used the original cambelt following the HGF repair as this is not good practise. I would expect them to fit a new one, but who knows.
What age/milage was the car when the HGF happened?
I wouldn’t bet my engine on it! MGR would only payout on the minimum required to do the job and it would seem that a new cam belt wasn’t on the list.:eyes:
 

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One of the problems with small two seater open top sports cars is that they tend to be neglected by their owners (this is nothing new). You often find that they have only been used in the summer on high day and holidays with some owners not servicing their cars until it reaches 15K miles in spite of the car only doing 4K miles a year. This is why regardless MGF, MX5 or what ever be careful of ultra low mileage and a shaky of non-existent service history, pay now not latter.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Interesting.

Well, the car is an X plate from 2001 I believe. The head gasket went just as it came out of its 3 year warrenty and was repaired by the supplying dealer (Wrights of Lincoln). So, yes I will be checking the paper work and picking the phone up to ask the question about if the belt has been changed.

I think Wrights as an MG dealer no longer exist, but they sold other marks as well so should have kept records if the paper work with car dosen't show this.

So, why not an MX-5? Simply, the car belongs to my step mother who has run it since new. I know its been serviced to the required schedule, it has all the correct dealer stamps for the first three years and then serviced regularly by a local independant garage which has a good reputaion.

The choice we are presented with boils down to keeping my wifes 04 plate Toyota Yaris, or practically doing a swap (or thereabouts) for the MG. The MG is up for being traded in soonish, so we thought it a too good chance to miss although we'd intended keeping tha Yaris for a couple more years at least. So its this particular F or not at all.

James C's comment on running something interesting instead of a car that needs no looking after like a Golf......I totally agree. The MG would be a second car for the wife to run around in, me to take to work a couple of times a month on sunny days and weekend blasts. Our main car is the one that needs no looking after, its a Golf.......:) Although show me a car that takes no looking after......HA HA HA AHA ...:)

So, assuming that the belt was done with the HGF in 2004, and that the car is well off 60K, it should be OK for 2 more years as its a later F??????

Obviously don't assume, I will find out.

Thanks again for your input all, its very much appreciated. I always found these forums to be a nice friendly place and a wealth of information when I had my ZS.

Cheers

Jon
 

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Remember when you buy a MG your also buying into the marquee. The friends, and meetups you can enjoy simply of the fact its an MG is worth it alone, im sure you and your wife will take full advantage of this.
 

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Sounds like a no brainer then! I can guess that as a family member you'll be getting a fairly good price (trade in prices are pretty horrific) so you'll both be quids in. As an X, it's hardly old, so you've got no real worries about corrosion, brakes, clutches etc etc and as its your step mothers you'll know if it has had the nuts wrung out of it! With the gasket being done, you'd be real unlucky to have it go again (ever, if it's got the metal dowels which it should have).

As for the yaris, hmmm, super cars, super reliable, super boring!!!!!!!!

Into the bargain, you'll also get lots of other MG drivers waving and flashing frantically at you everytime you drive past!
 
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