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MGF PRE. 1/8/98 TOW BAR 2 years 4 months ago #198230

I fitted a tow bar to my 1997 VVC MGF OK
I was lucky to get hold of a “Watling Eng.) tow bar piece that fits under the MGF rear bumper just between the crash cans and drops down to meet the up angled 6” tow hitch bit and the towards front of car under support. The smaller bit to the tow hitch I made from 2 bits of angle iron 40x40x5, these fit to the angled drop down plate following the flat surface (missing the bumper lower edge by just about 5mm).
I did intend to follow the original design with a massive box section to the main under pan plate under the dead center of the car. But when I got hold of the steel it weighed a ton, massively over engineered. So I looked around under the car for a better solution? And found an obvious one? In the center of the rear cross-member of the back sub-frame is a strange dropping down bit of round metal bar almost ½” diameter rod with a metal strengthening plate welded to it. This bar is very well weld to the rear sub-frame and is ten times stronger then the 3 or 4- 8mm bolts the massive box section would have fitted to. So I made up 2 lengths of slightly smaller angle iron 30x30x5 to drop down at an angle around the whole exhaust system to my fixing place. Plenty strong enough without putting any real strain on the rear sub-frame. Plus there is more ground clearance the way I forward fixed the tow bar.
My system must be ½ the weight of the full Watling Eng. Tow bar, but it depends what you want to tow I guess, how ever I would recommend anyone to either get that key under bumper bit or ask to buy just that from Watling, I am pretty sure they would sell just that on it’s own? To someone who could give a Reg. for a pre. 1/8/98 car. These have been fitted to later cars and the TF but at ones own risk as after 1/8/98 the EU forced one of many since Type Approved laws down our throats, just like with the CATs, Head lights Etc. BTW Older cars are not affected like the MGB.
Some may say why would you want a tow bar on a sports car? I would say why not 
I will do some photos come the better weather.
I have borrowed a couple of other peoples photos for now and have adjusted some. Plus a shot of a MGF rear sub-frame to show a welcome alternate front fixing point (see red marks), a better job for lighter towing I think. ORIO
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Last edit: Post by David Aiketgate. Reason: Inserted pics.

MGF PRE. 1/8/98 TOW BAR 2 years 4 months ago #198238

I have read that it is a very bad idea to fit a towbar to an MGF of any type and that the car is completely unsuitable for towing.
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MGF PRE. 1/8/98 TOW BAR 2 years 4 months ago #198246

Not true a myth, this was due to impending EU law, car was not given type approval as it would have cost too much and already made, Law says OK for pre-1-8-98 MGF's But your car also needs to be in A1 condition of course and drive slowly within speed limits for towing ETC. Only use small trailers say 300kg no caravans due to weight restrictions. Your Insurance company need to know. I have towed down the M6 with no problems, indeed it was like having no trailer at all. Up to you, stay within the law and stay safe what ever you do in your early MGF?

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Last edit: Post by ORIO.

MGF PRE. 1/8/98 TOW BAR 2 years 4 months ago #198251

BTW Strange how you can fit a tow bar to the original mini and the metro, later MGF handbooks said do not tow but they would say that to cover themselves.
Plus If you passed your driving test after 97 and only hold a B licence the Maximum weight of the trailer has to be under the Unladen weight of any car to be legal, so I read?

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MGF PRE. 1/8/98 TOW BAR 2 years 3 months ago #198272

Minis and metros are saloons, the MGF isn't.
The point of the long bar under the car is to spread the load between the rear and front subframes.
By omitting this bar you run the risk of stretching your car.
A friend of mine at school father had a 2.8 Ford Granada. He had a tow bar fitted so he could tow my friends sisters horse, in a horse box. He was advised of the maximum weight he could tow but decided to tow more. He soon noticed the doors weren't shutting properly, he had stretched the car!

The government have just relaxed the licence requirements for towing trailers.

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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MGF PRE. 1/8/98 TOW BAR 2 years 3 months ago #198275

I would take my advice from the owner's handbook, here in the downloads section, where it states in block capitals on page 47: "DO NOT fit a tow bar."

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MGF PRE. 1/8/98 TOW BAR 5 months 2 weeks ago #205077

The stretched Granada must have been interesting. Others would have had to pay a fortune to Coleman Milne for that service but then they usually filled the gaps with a pair of extra doors.
2003 TF 135 sunstorm
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