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2003 MG TF 135 for parts / repair LOTS OF GOODIES 1 year 6 months ago #199796

Hi friends,

I have decided to part with my 2003 MG TF 135 in Trophy Blue.

At the start of July 2022, I began experiencing loss of power (I live atop a hill in SE22, London). I ended up towing it to a local garage – MG specialists on a 50mi radius had 2 month waiting lists at the time! The garage have so far ruled out mechanical problems and suspect that the ECU is at fault (I understand, from my online browsing, that this is quite rare and it is more likely that the problem is with the wiring harness).

In the meantime, my circumstances have changed and I can no longer afford to continue diagnosis of electrical problems and to fix my beloved MG.

I would like it to go to an MG enthusiast who will either fix it or salvage the many goodies my car offers – see:

When I bought it, in May 2020, the car had:
  • Mike Satur windstop
  • Braided steel brake hoses
  • Stainless steel coolant pipe
  • Black anti roll hoops

Mods & replacements in September 2020:
  • New LE500 edition soft ride comfort suspension kit RND001400 / RPD000720 – £475.00
  • New Gravity Performance stainless exhaust manifold & 6 bolt downpipes (T304 Steel | 4 Branch manifold for maximum exhaust gasflow) - £246.49
  • Gravity Performance stainless exhaust system rear silencer back box (Twin 3" Tailpipes | T304 Steel) – £212.49
  • New Magnecor HT ignition set (will fit MG ZR/ZS, ZT 120, MG6, and late MGFs with coil packs) – £45
  • New MTEC drilled grooved brake discs and pads £145
  • New Pipercross performance panel air filter PP1555 - £39.52
  • Solid alloy seat belt tidies in polished finish - £26.98
  • Billet alloy handbrake handle in polished finish - £24.99
  • Blue stitch black leather gear and handbrake gaiters - £21.26
  • New water pump
  • New BGA cylinder head cover gasket
  • New OEM cat

April 2022
  • New alternator + belt

June 2022
  • 4x Hankook Ventus Prime3 tyres (£346), fitted in June, with less than 100mi on them since
  • 1 new license plate lamp
  • New number plates which say "If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you"
  • Sony MEX-N4300BT stereo (bluetooth, £100ish)

Other DIY mods
  • Covered dash cowl and dash panel in leather, with blue stitch
  • Covered central panel in leather
  • Ugraded speakers (but did not do so well on the rear speaker assembly, where the speakers fouled the bar)
  • Interior LEDs everywhere, and dash lighting in blue
  • Tailored rubber carpets
  • Customised badges
  • New silver vent and rear grilles

The car is currently at the same garage I left it with at the start of July, receiving a brand new front bumper – because one of their customers accidentally drove into the old one and cracked it :(

The MOT expired on 17 Jul...

I enclose photos of my baby at the foot of Scafell Pike, at the beach in Kent, on the street in London, and proof of my undying love (the rocker cover I hand-polished and painted silver).

Attachments:

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Last edit: Post by psymon. Reason: Remove Ebay to fix page formating, Sorry

2003 MG TF 135 for parts / repair LOTS OF GOODIES 1 year 6 months ago #199797

Have you tried any of the mobile MG specialists?

Home to black Alfa Romeo 159 3.2 V6 Q4 ,green MGF VVC and red MG Maestro T16.

MG - the friendly marque.

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2003 MG TF 135 for parts / repair LOTS OF GOODIES 1 year 6 months ago #199807

I wish I had, but our garage has already charged us £350 for diagnostics so far (where they ruled out mechanical issues) and I can no longer afford to keep diagnosing things...

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2003 MG TF 135 for parts / repair LOTS OF GOODIES 1 year 6 months ago #199813

I find this rather sad, here we have someone who obviously loves her car & after spending £350 on a diagnosis which wasn’t, has thrown in the towel. A diagnosis has an outcome where action can be taken to remedy the problem, this is a right royal ripoff (if we have the full story).
I suppose that having done an OBD analysis & found nothing you could discount anything connected to the MEMs system which is odd, to loose so much power & not throw up a fault could imply that their kit hadn’t looked in all the dusty corners of MEMs, has anyone in her area got a pscan & the will to help.
Otherwise we’ll have another one dismembered & it’s carcass littered across eBay for the scavenging vultures to pick over.
Oh that’s the door bell it’ll no doubt be some gizzards from a recently dissected car.
Yes I’m as guilty as anyone.

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2003 MG TF 135 for parts / repair LOTS OF GOODIES 1 year 6 months ago #199814

Has anyone local got a pscan or T4 who can help you out?

The diagnostic equipment in most garages isn’t specific to Mems and you may need a specialist scan to help you.

Many enthusiasts who have a pscan will help out fans like you.

It would be an awful shame for you to loose your pride an joy if it can be avoided.

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2003 MG TF 135 for parts / repair LOTS OF GOODIES 1 year 6 months ago #199815

I have a little Torque PRO and even provided the codes to the garage myself when I took in the car :( Here is what they were:
  • P0170 - Powertrain Fuel Trim (Bank 1)
  • P0304 - Powertrain Cyl 4 Misfire
  • (Pending) P0313 - Powertrain Misfire Detected with Low Fuel

The garage tested the fuel pump and found nothing wrong with it.

They've told me now it's misfiring and sparking everywhere.

Yes, I'm very sad...

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2003 MG TF 135 for parts / repair LOTS OF GOODIES 1 year 6 months ago #199816

It’s all well & good saying this when you’re 250 miles from Shepherds Bush, but surely with the community in which we all happy associate, couldn’t one or two of you around the big smoke rustle up a bit of help for our dear Dora?

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2003 MG TF 135 for parts / repair LOTS OF GOODIES 1 year 6 months ago #199817

P0170- check for vacuum leaks at the intake manifold.
Check the mass flow air sensor

P0304- check spark plugs, especially cylinder 4 for wet or black deposits. Also check coils to ensure one or more have not failed.

P0313- has the car fun low on fuel recently?

I would change the fuel filter and put some good octaine fuel in it with an injector cleaner.

You can buy second hand parts cheaply to test the MAF and the plugs / coils. Fuel filter and spark plugs are cheap.

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2003 MG TF 135 for parts / repair LOTS OF GOODIES 1 year 6 months ago #199819

I had intermittent problems, the damned thing would cut out, and quite happily restart a few minutes later, with no more problems.
Every time I’d try to find the problem the bloody thing would work perfectly, eventually I needed it to shit itself and stay broken, which it did….. the bastard fuel pump was the problem. I threw a new one at it and no more problems till now, bloody fuel pump again!
I got about 4 yrs outta it, and now waiting for one on back order.
So even though the fuel pump behaves when threatened with scanners and spanners, it doesn’t mean it’s not buggered.
Change the fuel filter and check the coils, HT leads, spark plugs etc.
I have a F not a TF, so not sure where the ECU takes it’s timing from for the ignition and fuel injection, but I assume it uses a crank angle sensor… in which case that should be checked.
I’m at work ATM ( night shift, someone’s gotta keep the wheels of industry turning) but when I get home I’ll check the TF workshop manual and get back to you.
Don’t despair, we’ll be able to sort this.

I’m more than happy to help anyone out, but as I’m in Melbourne Australia 🇦🇺 I’m probably a bit outta range… pity as I not only have a Pscan but have a full suite of diagnostic equipment everything from stuff like coolant pressure, compression test and exhaust back pressure gauges to oscilloscopes and a 4 spectrum exhaust gas analyser.
As well as a fully equipped engineering workshop. The only thing I’m missing is a car hoist/ lift / ramp (nowhere flat enough to put it.)
Any members in Melbourne take note of the above and feel free to ask.
I’ll work for whiskey! 🥃 and if needed I have an in-house auto electrician… him you’d have to pay 💰
"Keep calm, relax, focus on the problem & PULL THE BLOODY TRIGGER"

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Last edit: Post by Cobber.

2003 MG TF 135 for parts / repair LOTS OF GOODIES 1 year 6 months ago #199820

You're all warming my heart! I'll give the full back story if it helps.

The car first lost power right out of the gate of a garden centre about 2mi from home, end of June. It drove fine all the way there. I called upon AA roadside recovery, who read some codes (they didn't tell me, just said they were old codes), said it was running very rich but that the car seemed fine otherwise, and they thought it was probably the fuel (E10). They advised me to drain the tank, change the fuel filter, and fill up with E5. I then drove home in first gear, escorted by AA.

That weekend I emptied the fuel tank using the fuel intake line before the fuel filter, and the fuel pump. I put in a new fuel filter and half a tank of E5. Went out for dinner around 2mi away, car drove there fine. Power loss again after dinner, so I walked home.

I went to check on the car the next day, and drove it home fine. I called up MG specialists, who couldn't fit me in, and finally booked it in with a local garage that had good reviews (the MOT due date was approaching anyway).

Didn't try to drive anywhere until the evening before the garage appointment, and then it lost power almost immediately. Then I reset the IACV. Engine light came on after that, for the first time, and I read the 3 codes I provided. I booked AA for the morning.

AA came, car runs ok again. I asked them to follow me to the garage and good thing I had because I ended up losing power halfway there, and finally, getting towed for the last half mile.

After about 2 weeks of chasing them, the garage got back to me to say they had checked the crank sensor and "tested the fuel pump up to 60psi (? – that's like a power washer)", and tested with different spark plugs and it was sparking fine. They put in my old plugs. Then they did the plug test again – old plugs sparking haphazardly, garage plugs similar. Apparently it won't crank all of a sudden. I asked them to keep poking. I asked them to check for vacuum leaks and they sort of dismissed it, so I don't know if they did.

Another week later I asked my husband to call them because I was getting tired of being told how hard and costly it's been to take out the fuel pump ("do you know where it is?" well, actually). Anyway, husband then got the news that another customer had crashed into the front of the car, at the garage. I rather hit the roof and went there in person.

Garage called ECU repair people with me in the room, on speaker, and ECU repair asked for £125 for diagnostics and estimated a further £500 for repairs. Garage also told me it would cost for them to take the ECU out, so it was at that point I threw in the towel and asked them to just fix the damage their other customer did to my front bumper and leave me alone.

I still need to find a way to tow the car back to my hilltop home when the garage are finally done :omg: AA only covers towing in the direction of a garage.

This is why I'm tired and sad.

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Last edit: Post by doramatadora.

2003 MG TF 135 for parts / repair LOTS OF GOODIES 1 year 6 months ago #199821

You said you emptied the fuel system, did you bleed the system of air again afterwards?

Air in the fuel system would give you rough running and low power symptoms too.

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2003 MG TF 135 for parts / repair LOTS OF GOODIES 1 year 6 months ago #199822

I did, Keiran — but didn't try any of the other diagnostics you suggested in relation to codes. I will try to have a go when I get the car back.

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