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Steve's '98 'F', Update 04/11/13 8 years 4 months ago #80379

Hi, my name is Steve, I'm from the east midlands and this is my MGF project.



That’s it as it stands today after a couple of months work here and there, whenever I get a few spare hours. It’s a reasonable condition 1.8 non VVC model, with electric windows, metallic paint and well, that’s it. When the original owner speced it I like to imagine that he/she was going with a lightweight ethos but in reality they were probably just tight. They did manage to choose the best colour though...

Anyway, let’s go back to the beginning. I cycle to work and have a modern 3 series touring which I don’t mess about with, so wanted a cheap bit of weekend fun to tinker with and thrash round country lanes/the track every so often.
On the short list was an MX5, a Golf GTi, or another 80’s BMW. I had just been outbid on an E30 320i touring which I’d been to see and really liked so was a bit gutted about that. MX5’s seemed like a good bet but all in my budget (£700 max) appeared to have rear arches and sills like a tea bag (brown and full of holes) and every auction I watched for a GTi seemed to creep over budget for anything decent.

I was perusing the Retro rides classifieds which is when I noticed the MG. I’d not considered one before but it was the right price (eg. cheap) and local to me so having nothing to lose I went and had a look. I’d read all the scare stories on the net so was pensive, but, although it had no MOT or Tax it looked tidy enough, had no head gasket issues and went well so I parted with a few hundred quid and collected it the following weekend.

Here are a couple of shots from the Sellers advert:-






Getting it home, the first thing I needed to do was to put it in for an MOT, so I could evaluate what needed doing. It wasn’t great news but I wasn’t weeping into my cornflakes either.

It failed on:-
Headlight alignment – easy fix.
Emissions – not so easy but common according to various forums.
Brakes; Corroded lines and in-effective handbrake – no problem...

So it was time to crack on and bring this fairly unloved 'F' back to something approaching its former glory.

Firstly, the emissions. Reading up on the interweb, common issues contributing to this are Rotor arm and dizzy cap, temp sensor, lambda sensor, plugs, and catalytic converter.

One thing that may also have been contributing was the cheepy induction kit so I traced a standard airbox to swap in.




I also knew the cat was knackered as it was giving off a right old rattle (the previous owner had said the exhaust baffles were noisy), so I ordered one of those, brand new at a bargain £40 from the bay. I also purchased an arm and cap and a lambda sensor which wasn’t totally straightforward, but more on that later.

I jacked it up and cracked open the engine cover to find a pleasing amound of working space (for a mid engined car!)





I replaced the rotor arm and cap and started on the air filter box. Looking at it, the standard airbox is tiny, and connected to a secondary box inside the chassis leg, which in turn sucks in cold air from behind the engine. Not ideal. So, I decided to remove the secondary box and plumb a feed from the air scoop in the side of the car which currently does nothing, straight into the airbox.

This is the secondary airbox pictured mid-choppage:-



Hacking it to pieces was the only way to get it out without removing the gearbox. After an hour with a grinder, a drill and various hacksaw blades I was left with this:-



On a lighter note, the secondary box was fitted with a flexy pipe which I could join straight to the normal airbox in a cold feed sort of way:





It wouldn’t quite bend into the air scoop so it now sucks from low down, away from engine heat.
I plan on building a stainless airbox for it but this will do for now.


Onto the cat...

There was nothing taxing about removing this other than a couple of rusty bolts. Out with the grinder and off! The back box had to come off and I also removed the heat shield at the same time as it’s a big ugly heavy thing which I will replace with a thin sheet of stainless (I work for a stainless fabricators).

I decided that since most of the exhaust was off, I should just take it all off to do the Lambda sensor.
In the end I ended up removing the manifold as the sensor is tucked between the manifold and the engine. Thankfully this was really easy – no seized studs and only three of the four bolts tightened on the manifold to downpipe flange – good old Longbridge workmanship!

So, manifold out and Lambda investigated:-





I think it looks like quite a nice, free flowing tubular design, certainly better than a lot of the rough cast stuff out there.

The lambda was the early type fitted to the ‘F’. There are two types – the later one is plentiful and cheap, the early one not so (although they work to the same parameters). If you want a genuine Bosch one (recommended) they are a minimum of £60. So, I bought the later one and made it fit. This was fairly simple and involved me drilling out the lambda aperture in the manifold to 16mm, then changing the plug to the early type. The thread is the same so it was just a case of screwing the new one in and plugging it in. At £22, a nice £38 saving over the original one which is what I wanted this car to be about, to see how cheap I can effectivly build it for!

Whilst the manifold was out I took the opportunity to heat wrap the manifold. Obviously this prevents heat build up, but also looks cool and meant that I could get rid of the grim heat guards Here’s the finished item:-





I would love a stainless manifold and down pipe but the budget doesn’t cover that at the moment so that’ll have to wait.

More to follow...
stevecrx
'98 'F, BRG Poverty Spec Edition
Build Thread
The following user(s) said Thank You: mogatrons, bryan young, Leigh Ping, KentJohn

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Last edit: Post by stevecrx.

Re: Newbie; '98 'F' 8 years 4 months ago #80381

hello and :welcome:

looks like you know what you're doing, unlike me :-?

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Re: Newbie; '98 'F' 8 years 4 months ago #80382

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:welcome2:

Great to see you posting, and what a fabulous introduction thread thread :broon:

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Re: Newbie; '98 'F' 8 years 4 months ago #80383

cruisingkerry wrote: hello and :welcome:

looks like you know what you're doing, unlike me :-?


Hello!

I think anyone can work on these cars - they're quite simple and I've found mine really easy to work on. Theres plenty of info on the net too.


Softly~Softly wrote: :welcome2:

Great to see you posting, and what a fabulous introduction thread thread :broon:


Thankyou! ;)
stevecrx
'98 'F, BRG Poverty Spec Edition
Build Thread

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Last edit: Post by stevecrx.

Re: Newbie; '98 'F' 8 years 4 months ago #80385

hello and welcome to the best forum :welcome: good looking BRG . where are you in the east midlands ?

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Re: Newbie; '98 'F' 8 years 4 months ago #80387

Great welcome write up there Steve. :broon: :welcome:


You did well on that budget. Nice looking little toy you have there. :yesnod:

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Re: Newbie; '98 'F' 8 years 4 months ago #80388

:welcome2:
David
:shrug:

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Re: Newbie; '98 'F' 8 years 4 months ago #80389

stevecrx wrote: I think anyone can work on these cars - they're quite simple and I've found mine really easy to work on. Theres plenty of info on the net too.



I am sooo not mechanically minded neither is hubby, i tried to adjust the windows for leaks and couldn't get them back up so had to get a friend to come and fix my mess, best I leave things alone.....

but I love seeing what everyone else can do, maybe one day......

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Last edit: Post by David Aiketgate.

Re: Newbie; '98 'F' 8 years 4 months ago #80392

Hi welcome I've also found there easy to work on,and nice intro

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Re: Newbie; '98 'F' 8 years 4 months ago #80393

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The wrapping of the manifold is a first time see for me :yesnod:

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Re: Newbie; '98 'F' 8 years 4 months ago #80415

Welcome stevecrx, :welcome:

looks like you know what you are doing, and anything you dont know there are plenty of experts on here to help you ....me not being one of them I am afraid....

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Re: Newbie; '98 'F' 8 years 4 months ago #80421

Hi and :welcome:

Be good when its all sorted, have to join up for a few runs next year.

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