MG Sports Car

Littlened's MG TF 135


The warmer whether is coming

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It’s been a while since I provided an update…

Firstly, the MG ZS 180 got finished and sold on for £500, the money went towards buying an MG ZT 1.8t which I’m using when the weather isn’t nice enough for the MG TF.

Secondly, the MG TF is painted and the finish is lovely, I’ll post pictures sometime, I did post them ages ago but we had a server issue and lost loads of data, hence the lack of updates.

Here’s a picture of the ZT…


When I got the car it has a boost problem, but the turbo was new so I knew that wasn’t the issue. In the end it turned out to need a new boost solenoid, only £40 and a 5 minute fix.

Then I had a problem with misfiring, after replacing the spark plugs, leads and coil packs it was still there. Found there to be a problem with one of the plugs that connect the ECU to the coil pack, it’s not completely fixed yet but I’ve managed to release some tension on the cable so it doesn’t misfire anymore. Basically, the car was running on two cylinders at times.

I had to MOT the car in february, £390 it cost. Needed a new number plate, suspension arm, spring, and a couple of bulbs.

Other than that, it’s been a great car.

Options for increased performance are limited given that it has the K series 1.8 engine, what I mean by that is options are limited if you don’t want to spend a fortune. The most obvious upgrade is to have the ECU remapped by Z&F, I think it costs about £230 and raised power output from 160bhp to just between 190-200bhp, which isn’t a bad increase for the money if I’m honest.

I don’t really have any plans for this car, there’s a couple of issues to fix, like the drivers side central locking motors which needs replacing and a new drivers seat cover if I can find one.

Now, onto the MG TF. It’s been in the garage for the winter with no tax or MOT. I’m about the sort out the insurance in the next week or so, and then put it in for an MOT and get some tax, hopefully just in time for the warmer weather, although if the weather is anything like last year, it’ll spend more time in the garage than it will out of it.

Fingers crossed the MOT goes ok, I’ll keep you updated.

A major update I almost forgot about, my wife gave birth to a lovely baby boy back in February, 3 weeks earlier than expected, but all was well. Hence the lack of updates on here as I’ve been took busy changing nappies etc etc



Respray progress update

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A small update on the MG TF respray.

I popped into the body shop over the weekend to drop off the new badges and took a few pictures.

Only a couple of days left until it’s complete.


Respray update

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A quick update on the respray.

I popped into the bodyshop yesterday, and here’s a few pictures…

All of the areas of rush have been sorted out, which is good.

As all the badges were removed from the car, I’ve bought a new set, all nice and shiney.

Hopefully there’ll be another update tomorrow as I need to drop the badges off so they can be re-fitted when complete.


The TF is in for a full respray

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It was a toss-up between just getting the rust sorted out, or a full respray, so I opted for the later.

There’s a few areas of rust that need attending to, but mainly…

  • Wheel arches
  • Front wings
  • Around the vents in the rear quarter
  • and finally near the front of the doors where water collects

All of the above are pretty common on the MG F/TF, and many people just get the rust repaired. Apparently the colour of my TF can be difficult to match, and seeing as the rear quarter panel had been repaired in the past and looked dull, and the bonnet was full of stone chips, it made sense to get the car painted.

Here’s a few pictures of the TF before it went to the body shop.

In some of the photos the bodywork looks fine, but in person, it’s not so good.


The new engine is buggered

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This is probably a late update, but, when I finished installing the new engine I noticed it had an oil leak. I tracked it down to a crankshaft oil seal, and after about half a day I managed to fix it. The seal itself cost < £10, but the time it took to get the engine mounting off, timing belt off and then all put back on was a right pain, but I did it, and it stopped the leak.

The oil didn’t look so great though, it was creamy and while the engine was running on the drive it was losing coolant. So, after all of that I decided I’d request a replacement engine from the person that supplied it.

After 6 weeks of waiting I’ve still not received a replacement engine, so the ZS project is on hold as I can’t do anything without it.

I’m pretty annoyed. I could try and diagnose the problem myself and fix it, but I’m concerned that there’s more to this engine that meets the eye, especially since I noticed that the crankcrank oil seal has already been replaced in the past.

Hopefully the new engine should get here next week… fingers crossed.


Insurance quotes on an MG ZS 2.5 V6

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Ok, so it was time to starting investigation whether or not I’m going to be able to afford to keep and run the ZS.

We’re already got two cars.

  1. A 2011 Vauxhall Astra 2.0 CDTi, insurance on this is £450 a year for my wife and myself.
  2. A 2002 MG TF, insurance on a classic car type policy with Peter Best, limited to 5000 mile a year, that’s £250 a year.

I did a couple of searches on, and was amazed to find that the cheapest quote was £1000!! I’m 32 and my wife is 29, so it’s not like we’re young. The problem seems to be that we can’t apply our no claims bonus to a second policy, so we’re essentially starting from scratch. With 9 years no-claims applied quotes were around £500, which isn’t too bad.

Someone on recommended I try Adrian Flux, they wanted £1781 a year, and that was with me saying we’d be doing 3000 mile a year in the ZS.

Finally, I decided to try Peter Best who currently provide insurance for the TF, and insurance on the ZS, for my wife and myself, 3000 mile a year and the car being garaged…. £166.73 a year! I had to ask the lady for it again as I thought she might of meant per month! But nope, it’s definitely per year.

To say I was really pleased with that quote would be an understatement. It’s as if Peter Best understand that people like me want to look after their car and treat them as special. Unlike your average insurance company who think you’re just going to rag the car everywhere.

So, if you’ve got an MG, and are over 25 year old, I would highly recommend giving Peter Best a ring when you’re insurance is due for renewal.


The engine is back in

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During the course of the last week I spent time transferring everything from the old engine to the new one. Everything went ok, and I labelled as much as I could to make it easier to put everything back together.

I’ve never done work on a clutch before, so it was nice to learn how it all works. The clutch went together pretty easily, although being only one person it wasn’t easy getting the gearbox back on the engine.

We got the engine back in the car on Saturday and piped everything back up. At first when we turned the ignition there was just a click from the starter motor. I had no idea what it was, but I took the connections of the starter motor, applied some WD40, put them back on and the car started at the next turn of the key. It sounds lovely.

Now, that’s a massive hurdle overcome, the engine is in and it’s running like a dream… well… almost…

There’s a fairly bad oil leak from the drivers side, from it’s location I’m guessing that the seals on the oil pump have failed. It’s dripping oil anywhere from once a second to once every three seconds, so it’s a fairly big issue. The downside to this now means that I’m going to be forced to replace the timing belt and the oil pump, and while I’m there I might as well change the water pump too. These parts don’t come cheap, about £100 for the timing belts, £85 for an oil pump and about £50 for a water pump. The good news is that once done, the engine shouldn’t need any attention for some time.

Once the oil leak has been fixed the engine will of had a new clutch, oil pump, water pump, timing belts, oil filter, air filter, spark plugs, and fuel filter.

Sadly there wasn’t much in the way of pictures taken as the engine looks pretty much the same as it did before I took it out, except it’s a different engine.


Yes! The engine is out.

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Ok, so a mate came along this morning to help get the engine out. Neither of us have ever done this before but it was good to have another pair of hands, especially since the engine hoist took some moving with the engine attached to it.

Everything went to plan and it took around and hour and a half to get the engine out and into the garage.

Here’s a few pictures…

My next just is to swap everything over to the new engine ready for next weekend when the new engine goes in.


A quick test of the engine hoist

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I’ve never had or used an engine hoist before, so I decided to test it out on the new engine.

The one this that concerns me is that the engine hoist is difficult to move with an engine attached, and that’s on a pretty flat surface. Our drive is full of loose stones, so I’m not sure how we’ll get around that problem. Might have to put some wood down under the wheels.

I had a look on Google to see if I could find out the weight of the engine and gearbox, just to make sure I could use all the holes on the engine hoist (250kg, 500kg, 1000kb).

The KV6 engine weighs 154kg.
The PG1 gearbox weights 36kg (with no oil)
TOTAL: 190kg

That’s good news, it means if I need to I can use the furthest away setting on the hoist (250kg).

Anyway, that’s it for today. Tomorrow I’ve got a pin to knock out of the gearstick shaft, attach the hoist to the engine and that start unbolting the engine mounts. I’m hoping it’ll only take a couple of hours to get the engine out and into the garage where I can start transferring things over to the new engine.


Engine hoist has arrived

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Yep, ordered yesterday and it’s arrived today.