Welcome to our Site for MG, Triumph and Austin-Healey Car Information.


MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG MGF Technical - HGF (another one) engine replacement

I have contacted my local dealer (Switzerland) as I have a suspected HGF (80 000kms MGF VVC 1997). He said that it might be worse than just the HG, possible engine change. My question is, are there engine alternatives i.e. something more realiable, more recent TF engine???

Any comments would be appreciated.

Ian Sexton

I cant see a ready supply of N series engines from the current TF being available in time to save your car. Plenty of K series at breakers here in the UK, one of whom is kind enough to support this site. Would you stick with a VVC?
Stan Best

"Suspect" and "Might" are big words which may sound frigtening however it could be a relative cheap problem.
What are the symptoms and why suspect an HGF which rarely results in an engine change ??
You may get help or pointed in the right direction by Andi Gloor who is the MGCC CH F Register Rep
Geoff F.
Geoff Farthing

Has the dealer who I assume has experience of MG cars actually examined the car ? on a recent trip a friend had a problem and the garage did not know where the engine was !
It is a popular fable in the UK that whenever one of the recovery services are called to a MGF the initial diagnosis is HGF !
Art Jacks

I agree with suspect and might, it was only a conversation with the garage over the phone that he mentioned previous problems they have had with the K series engine, i.e. engine change.

I am pretty sure that the HG has failed, the water expansion tank if full of mayo, and water traces on the dipstick.

Plus of course the over-heating issue, I shall be taking the car to a garage soon to check it out, it isn't a car I use that often so no real rush. I will however fit the coolant level detection system after the HG change.

I also saw this link
anyone heard of this cooling issue work around?

Ian Sexton

Yes; sadly Dave Monks' car was written off (unlit crash wreckage in fast lane of a motorway at night)not long after he wrote that fantasticly researched article. He had also done quite a crafty workaround on the headlights 'borrowing' from an Italian, possibly a punto IIRC.
I hope you haven't had overheating severe enough to register on an F temperature gauge, even so the engine should still be salvable. Good luck.

The MGF gauge is designed to not move while the engine is in spec (60 to 100 deg C) and then shoot up as soon as temp passes this range, I wouldn't worry too much.

As for the research, the assumption is that temp differential, or temp swing are to blame for the causes of HGF, this particular mod doesn't actually fix those, what it does is regulate the output temp of the water rather than the input temp of the water.

In order to "fix" the temp differential or temp swing problems what you actually need to do is dramatically increase the volume of water going through the head. MG themselves came up with a thermostat to do this, it is fitted to later MGTFs and can be retrofited to the F. This is called the PRT thermostat.

HGF very rarely requires a new engine, to be honest, if a garage told me this I would go somewhere else.
Either they don't know what they are doing, or they are about to charge you way over the odds for a repair, or they are pessimists.
Will Munns

If there was significant overheating the head may be warped. I was quoted 1200 for new head from a dealer five years ago and that was just the blank head. When you factor in the labour to rebuild the blank head then it may be more economical to just replace the engine.
However a second hand build head from a breakers or ebay, which can just be bolted on is the most economical solution.
Jon Baker

I have due to fair ware and tare had my VVC engine rebuilt using a seconhand set of liners which were honed, original pistons fitted with new rings, Std set of new B/End bearings. My head which is flowed and ported had a bent valve replaced along with new stem seals,collets and caps, tested S/H springs all valves reground, plus new headgasket kit, total cost AUD$3700. My engine had done 171000km and the last 100000 in eight years including over a 100 speed events. This last expence means my F has cost 10C per KM in my ownership exluding fuel, depreciation and insurance. The fun factor has been worth double that!

Andrew Regens

An update: Haven't had much time to do anything about my problem, but I have just contacted another garage in Switzerland (coppet, they are actually a certified Rover garage). They seemed to know what they were talking about, they will check it first, then change the seal if required with a "triple seal", a new water pump, thermostat, oil change etc...They have quoted a price of 3000-3500CHF (2000-2250), sounds alright in Swiss francs.

I am taking the car in today, keep you posted.

Ian Sexton

Good luck Ian, I was unlucky enough to experience HGF about 3 months into my F ownership. I took to an ex dealer and while they replaced the gasket, the engine was never right and was replaced with an virtually new 2001 unit I got from Brown and Gammons for about 1000GBP. Since then, 2003, it's been great, and in my opinion the K series is an awesome engine if looked after. Spares are plentiful in the UK and the unit only weighs 100kg so shipping should be possible if necessary ;)

If you do decide on a replacement engine there are some very tempting possibilities here in the UK
My engine is running fine and insurance is reasonable but its still hard work not opening the cheque book.
Stan Best

This thread was discussed between 22/09/2010 and 08/11/2010

MG MGF Technical index

This thread is from the archives. Join the live MG MGF Technical BBS now