MGF/TFs - practical long term - zarqon
I normally only contribute to this forum to sing the praises of Mondeos for value for money motoring. But the truth is that schlepping up and down the country in a Mondeo can be pretty boring so I’m thinking of buying something just for fun.

20 years ago it would have been an MGB, so now I’m looking at MGF/TFs. I like the look, the Britishness and second hand prices – does the team think they will go onto be popular classics like the MGB, or is there some element of their design and construction that will make them expensive or impractical to keep going in years to come?
MGF/TFs - practical long term - BazzaBear {P}
is there
some element of their design and construction that will make them
expensive or impractical to keep going in years to come?

Sorry? Wouldn't that make them even more similar to MGB's ;)
If I remember rightly, the element of design on the old MG's which made them impractical was a little badge with 'British Leyland' written on it, and all that went along with that ;)
MGF/TFs - practical long term - Dave E
Buy an MX5, loads available and they come with bullet proof reliability.
MGF/TFs - practical long term - blank
No.
NO.
NO!!!

Buy an MX5. Do a web search for MGF and headgasket failure. Or more generally for K-series HGF
Andy
MGF/TFs - practical long term - GrumpyOldGit
Here we go again - K series HGF.

They used to have a few until MGR changed the dowels that locate the head from plastiv to metal - can't remember the year now. 1999 perhaps?

The failures there have been are virtually all attributable to poor servicing. The K has a relatively small capacity cooling system so even a slight reduction in coolant can be serious if the driver doesn't notice over an extended period.

I've had HGF on 2 different Rovers but spotted both very quickly when they were at the 'just weeping' stage and got them sorted. Rover paid for the labour, I paid for the new gasket. Had I not noticed, the failure could have been catastrophic, but that would be my fault not Rover's.

Great car. Go for the newest model you can and have fun.
MGF/TFs - practical long term - blank
All cars have specific problems, even the lovely reliable Totyota (MR2) I own (just look at www.mr2roc.org), but there are loads of 1999, 2000, 2001 MGF/TF's with HGF listed on here, though I don't know when the TF was launched.
www.shame.4mg.com/setup.html

As far as I can determine, the 1.8 K is still prone to HGF, this is probably related to why even Lotus, with their reputation for reliability, are getting out of using it ASAP.

Andy
MGF/TFs - practical long term - GrumpyOldGit
As far as I can determine, the 1.8 K is still
prone to HGF, this is probably related to why even Lotus,
with their reputation for reliability, are getting out of using it ASAP.
Andy


Actually not true. They are using a Toyota engine for the US market. The K series was carefully chosen by Lotus in the first place, and will continue to be used. I don't imagine that they would have used it all this time if there was a serious issue, do you? They could use just about any engine they liked after all.
MGF/TFs - practical long term - blank
>> As far as I can determine, the 1.8 K is
still
>> prone to HGF, this is probably related to why even
Lotus,
>> with their reputation for reliability, are getting out of using
it ASAP.
>>
>> Andy
>>
>>
Actually not true. They are using a Toyota engine for the
US market. The K series was carefully chosen by Lotus in
the first place, and will continue to be used. I don't
imagine that they would have used it all this time if
there was a serious issue, do you? They could use just
about any engine they liked after all.


Actually not true(!) Lotus are selling the Toyota 2ZZ engine into all markets now ( www.lotuscars.co.uk/template.cfm?name=Lotus_Elise_...R) though you are correct that it went into the US car first. They have also replaced the K series with the reliable Toyota unit in the new Exige.

They are still (for the moment) selling the lower powered base model Elise into Europe with the K series.
Andy
MGF/TFs - practical long term - Big Cat
K series (particulalrly the 1.8) did suffer from HGF. However amendments to the design have been made, for example using metal instead of plastic for the cylinder head alignment dowels.
A lot of problems caused by incompetent servicing as well, the engine is particularly difficult to bleed after a coolant change.
Would be quite happy to have a TF, far better than the MGF.
The same engine is fitted to the Rover 75, a big heavy car, and the 1.8 seems fine in those.
MGF/TFs - practical long term - daveyjp
Must have been a one off then in the 75 my colleague owned. New head gasket after 23,000 miles. Took ages to get it sorted too.
MGF/TFs - practical long term - Mad Maxy
The jury seems to think that, on balance, a well looked after TF should do the distance.

But I can't seeing it becoming a classic, though. Then again, I can't see why the MGB has become a classic. CAR mag etc thought it was rubbish in the early 70s/80s, but now everyone's misty-eyed - even the journos who said it was rubbish. I jess donunerstand...
MGF/TFs - practical long term - Older_not_wiser
The MG TF would appear to have inherited the build quality of the MGF

Source:- J D Power 2004.
Quote "The MGF and newer TF sit uncomfortably close to the bottom of this year's survey, with a below-average score in all categories.
Reliability is a concern with too many complaints about the suspension, brakes or transmission.
Niggling interior faults also get on owner's nerves, with nearly twice as many complaints as the survey average.
This might be forgiven if owners felt the MG did what a roadster should do best, but marks for styling, performance and handling aren't what they should be.
Dealer service standards are called into question, while running costs - especially for service and repairs - are disappointing." Position in survey - 117 out of 120.

May I suggest a Mazda Mx-5?
MGF/TFs - practical long term - blank
May I suggest a Mazda Mx-5?


Or MR2?!
MGF/TFs - practical long term - Dereksn51
Not if you want to carry luggage.The car is just too impractical which is a pity.
Mx 5's are pretty well bullet proof from an engine point of view but if you go that way get the 1800 engine not the 1600.I bought the 1600 and was disappointed with the performance.And don't forget that clutches are a problem on the 2001 and newer cars-have a look at the mx5's owners club site to see the problems
MGF/TFs - practical long term - budu
"Not if you want to carry luggage". The MGF is the only car of its type (relatively cheap roadster) which has a reasonable boot. Judging from my own experiences, this is quite big enough for 6 weeks of Continental touring for one or 3 weeks for two, without recourse to launderettes.
MGF/TFs - practical long term - Older_not_wiser
"The MGF is the only car of its type"

- so the MX-5 is an altogether different "type"?
MGF/TFs - practical long term - budu
Reads "...the only car if its type...which has a reasonable boot."
MGF/TFs - practical long term - Older_not_wiser
"...the only car if its type...which has a reasonable boot."

OK then - the MX-5 (which is very similar to the MGF, except for being front-engined/RWD, and having a much better reputation for reliabilty) has a similar size boot.
That better?
MGF/TFs - practical long term - Ivor E Tower
Would you really want to buy a sportscar that has a marginal cooling system capacity? Sports cars tend to be driven hard, from time to time(?) leading to extra heat from the engine which requires a decent cooling system - and don't forget that with a mid-mounted engine there is little natural cooling of the engine and its ancillaries compared to a front-mounted engine arrangement. No wonder the MGF has suffered from a spate of HG failures realting to the cooling system. The MX-5 makes a much safer bet.
MGF/TFs - practical long term - budu
Not unless the car has had a massive increase in boot size since I nearly bought one, when there was only room for a slim briefcase. This is why I plumped for the MGf, although the bigger boot is achieved at the expense of that rather ugly bustle on the back.

Re engine problems, I had none, but someone involved in the design told me the company grossly under-estimated demand. Quality control suffered as production was stepped up fast.
MGF/TFs - practical long term - Jonathan, Dublin
Just found this Forum and thought I had to add my twopence worth... I bought one of the last MGFs in 2001 from an MG dealer in Ireland, an ex-demo model in fact with just 3,000 on the clock. Yes, the car is great fun and, yes, it's probably the most affordable mid-engine roadster on the road in Europe and, yes, MGs still retain an air of romance and cool nostalgia about them, BUT... I have had a litany of peoblems.

First, notwithstanding the fact that my K-series had the revised steel-dowel head gasket fitted from new, my head gasket failed at 22,000 miles last year. I spotted an empty expansion tank when I arrived home from a roadtrip to Italy and acted quickly, but it was still too late and the head and gasket had to be replaced (thankfully under warranty). Second, my car started to look decidedly lop-sided after the first year, as the hydrogas units were found to be faulty; both were replaced (thank God for warranties!). Third, a small patch of rust began to form just between the the boot lip and rear bumper; this occurred after just 18 months! The panel had to be stripped and re-sprayed. Fourth, I have had miscellaneous quality quibbles. My passenger door central locking packed up after just 6 months and needed attention. The passenger electric window started to sound like a sowing machine recently and had to be repaired. My driver's window has been reset as it wasn't closing flush. The gear linkage cables had to be adjusted recently as they were over-taught and began to creak loudly when driving so that the car sounded like a 1955 Morris Minor to the passer-by! The handbrake light still comes on sometimes as the handbrake self-tightens over time! Oh, and the boot also leaks in wet weather. Need I go on?

And yet, despite all these quality quibbles, I still have a deep fondness for the car! I will probably never buy another MG or Rover, as they are simply too 'high-maintenance' and the phrase 'build quality' does not seem to be in the MG-Rover lexicon, but the car is huge fun when it is running well, it is as practical as 2-seaters go, and there are few rivals (other than the Elise) which appeal to me. And sometimes - OK, quite occassionally! - when I am driving the F with the roof down on a nice summer's evening, I think to myself, "What a great little roadster"...
MGF/TFs - practical long term - TrevorH
>The handbrake light still comes on sometimes as the handbrake
>self-tightens over time!

Check the rear calipers. They have a habit of seizing.

I've run my MGF up to 90K miles with this and a loose starter motor connection as the only faults. Cheap to run (fuel, tyres & insurance) but not the cheapest servicing. I'd only trust my main dealer to bleed the cooling system correctly. Having done 90K miles over two MGF's with no head gasket issues (touch wood), I can recommend them.
MGF/TFs - practical long term - Turbodog
And sometimes - OK, quite occassionally! - when I am driving the F with the roof down on a nice summer's evening, I think to myself, "What a great little roadster"...



That's what I'm always thinking in my MX-5, but I don't have to worry about anything going wrong....
MGF/TFs - practical long term - T Lucas
Owning an MGF is like putting ferrets down your trousers,it might be fun for a while,but you just know you will get bitten.Mazda every time.
MGF/TF - rivals - Jonathan, Dublin
Hehe. Well, thast\'s one way of putting it! I\'ll admit I tried the MX-5 but I\'m personally not keen on the shape (especially the boot), the engine has little in the way of character and the interior is a bit bland. The MR-2 is ludicrously impractical, has a vile interior and sounds too much like a vacuum cleaner. The Z3/Z4 are both too pricey; the former is also pink fluffy dice and the latter is just play ugly inside and out. There\'s not much else really... except the Elise, and I\'d probably only consider the Toyota powerplant as I believe the K-series overheats in the Lotus just like in the MG. Has anyone driven the Opel Speedster/Vauxhall VX-220?
MGF/TF - rivals - Alfafan {P}
Has anyone driven the Opel Speedster/Vauxhall VX-220?


Yes, my son had one for about a year and I would occasionally have to look after it for him while he was abroad. Absolutely tremendous little car, totally reliable, huge fun. He only sold it because not practical for a new baby!

His mate had an Elise with the K series and had 3 HGFs in 8 months.
MGF/TF - rivals - A Dent{P}
His mate had an Elise with the K series and had
3 HGFs in 8 months.

Alfafan,
Could you ask his mate if he had any tuning mods done, cams, porting and so on.

There's a good theory that these things happen to modded motors rather than the standard item.
Cheers
MGF/TF - rivals - Alfafan {P}
Don't know the answer to that. He bought it s/h and had only had it 3 months when the first HGF occurred
MGF/TF - rivals - MGF_Dave
I drive an MGF Abingdon, it's the 1.8VVC. I have had it for about 8 months and had a list of faults, one of them a HGF. Having said that, it's all sorted out now and ALL the faults can be attributed to dealer incompetence (deleted) or previous owner neglect. Essentially this is a good roadster and you will enjoy driving it for many years. I also do a lot of travelling and have to carry enough luggage for weeks at a time....admitted the boot is a bit small but I always been able to transport my gear.....cases, generators, welders, you get the idea? I drive 30K a year and am considering a gas conversion, boot space will be a problem then though!

{Incompetent dealers name removed. DD}
MGF/TF - rivals - Aprilia
The K-series is a dog and always has been - Rover never got it sorted. The MGF looks OK, but its a rubbery little car to drive - the MX5 knocks it into a cocked hat.
MGF/TFs - practical long term - SteVee
I had an MGF VVC for eight years. It is a brilliant package - but badly executed. Bad servicing will certainly cause problems. but even the most fastidious servicing (and mine went to one of the most respected MGF specialists in the country) wont resolve all problems. I look at what I spent on my MGF and what two friends have spent on Porsche 911s (one old, one recent) and know that I made the wrong choice.
Don't buy one - if you really do want one, then buy the latest model you can ( a TF certainly ), and try and get one that's had some track use, so the previous owner may have tried to sort out some of the car's problems. drive as many examples as possible before deciding.
You'll probably find that it won't handle as well as your mondeo though.

Take a look at the many MGF forums
 

Value my car