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MG MGF Technical - HGF: To F or not to F

Please read this excellent input from Neil-Surrey Labs-I believe this to be the most relevant thread that has been sent to this forum in a long time:

<A lot of threads on HGF on this site and it does put you off the car in a big way. I used to have a lovely Lancia Gamma which was blighted by fragility, I loved the car but hated it's suicidal it had to go.

My F is 10 years old in 2 days, so is perfectly ripe for a nice HGF. But this long term relationship will come to a sudden end if it goes all latin on me.
I think the most important things we can do is to do our best to stop getting an HGF in the first place, however impossible this may be.
like treat the car carefully, let it cool down easily after a blast. ALWAYS watch the coolant level!! never run the car if it starts to get hot! watch for even the slightest little spots of coolant underneath.

watch the radiator and coolant pipes for holes/leaks and repair immediately if it does. always make sure that the bleeding process is 100% completed when you have been working on the cooling.

Land Rover have developed a new allegedly better multi layer head gasket which should be fitted with a special shim which is supposed to protect the head from liner movement and wear. So it would probably be best to fit this combination if and when an HGF happens. It might protect the head a bit.

There is a device called a PRT which was fitted to later F which seems to help. But as yet I havent yet found a clear way to get and fit one of these, only bits and pieces from Lotus tuners and a note saying it's costly so find a dead TF and canibalise it.

The HGF issue is just going to get worse and worse as time marches on.
Are we going to get to a situation where rather like NSU R80 drivers who used to hold up fingers to each other ( in a nice way) indicating how many engines they had been through, we'll indicate HGFs?

If your car starts getting into gthe HGF habit it might be the case that the only solution is to get a new engine or worse just scrap the car, which I can see being the killer of this car and its reputation.

I call upon the Owners Clubs and the people in the know to REALLY work on a solution OR a contingency plan.

TO prevent ( and I mean REALLY ) prevent HGF do this.

If you get an HGF, fit this and do this, and it really WILL CURE the issue.

This might mean PROPER PRT kits available en mass at low costs to encourage fitment.
It might mean opening a link to SAIC in china for new heads/engines...they'll have to sort out this problem too! 1 billion HGFs in China = no more SAIC!
It might mean fitting old tougher 1.4 engines!
It might mean fitting another type of engine altogether.

Whatever it is IT needs to be determined. AND DELIVERED by the Clubs. This is what our membership and their existence is all about!

A permanent solution is NEEDED OR the TF/F will disappear with a reputation as an unreliable last gasp/folly of a dying British Car Industry.
Collin C. London

There you go! For once somebody agrees with me!
Come on guys let's get our heads together on this one and really suss a solution.


I managed to get made 16 super leery MGF TT pipes in my lunchtimes. So if we all get collective about this issue we should be able to make a stand!
online since 1999 ;)
Made by "MoD"

Rob has a similar, but better designed :)

btw, from my current experiance in DE most MGF *disappear* cause lots of very young unexperianced guys buy it cheap for value about 4000 EURO and crash it to the kerb or otherwise. Lack of driving skills.

I will risk some comments on this subject - a lot of which have been said before.

Early engines had plastic locating dowels in the cylinder heads and these allow the heads to shift. The early manifold gaskets were also a problem allowing water leaks. Both of these design issues have now been fixed - steel locating dowels and modified gasket kit.

Also the cars, if driven hard are prone to over heating. The rear engine does not help as there is restricted air flow to remove under boot heat.

In terms of repair, the new Land Rover mods are not a magic bullet. There is a stronger bottom rail to allow higher head bolt torque (requires modified bolts), the modified MLS gasket & the modified thermostat (PRT).

The thermostat mod looks good as it is pressure as well as heat sensistive but no one really knows about the longevity of the MLS gasket and related mods versus the latest modified Rover gasket.

In terms of the additional layer on the MLS gasket, saver shims have been around for some time and can "save" the day if skimming takes the head height out of tolerance (more below).

However, the weakest link is still going to be the head. If the gasket has gone through over-heating, the head may be suspect, particuarly if the engine is high mileage. Best option may be to get a low mileage head without head gasket problems particuarly if you can get away with a small skim. Skimming the heads is really required although there is not much Rover tolerance on the head height. Land Rover tolerance is apparently zero!

My local Land Rover dealer is not yet using the MLS gasket as it is supposed to be fitted with the other mods and the complete package is not yet available nor the fitting instructions.

At the moment it may be better to stick with the basics:

- If there is any doubt about the head, e.g. the liners have dug in to the surface, get a newer or even new one.
- Go for a minimum skim and get the valves refaced at the same time
- Use latest MGF gasket
- Consider a saver shim if the head height is low or you want to try extra protection.

Last but not least, read what Dave Andrews has said about the required liner height.

You should also consider going to Dave to get a new head - at least you can take advantage of the HGF to get some more BHP. Some modest head work can produce some good gains with these engines.

Derrick Rowe

>>My local Land Rover dealer is not yet using the MLS
>>gasket as it is supposed to be fitted with the other
>>mods and the complete package is not yet available
>>nor the fitting instructions.

I heard exactly the same thing from my LR dealer here in Belgium! So it looks like we should wait and see to get the full picture of this package.

>>You should also consider going to Dave to get a new
>>head - at least you can take advantage of the HGF to
>>get some more BHP. Some modest head work can produce
>>some good gains with these engines.

This is precisely what I intend to do! Have a nice new modified head ready in my garage, together with the upgraded Land Rover Parts, in order to put a silver lining on any future HGF.


It amazes me that most of forum users have ignored this thread which I agree refers to the most relevant subject about the MGF. I am fed up of reading about beautiful interiors and many other nonsense threads.
Apparently you people all prefer to ignore that even a very nice car with no engine is nothing but an inconvenience. And that is the real thing. The F is a beautiful car with a a lousy engine. So I will join Neil and Collinīs cry for help and ask the people who have the knowledge to contribute with something with real value to the forum.
John Hunt. Cliveden.
John Hunt

How do you know that people have ignored the thread? Perhaps we have nothing to add, or perhaps we want to get on and enjoy our cars, and cope with HGF IF it happens!
Graham Martin


There are coutless threads on this and the other Forums about HGF and possible solutions if you do a search, for EG just google "The K-Series Engine" and see all the reasons/answers that come up for HGF...

BUT if there was a Definative answer dont you think someone would have posted it by now??..

If Rover/Land along with countless after-market tuners could not come up with a solution after hundreds of thousands of units produced over 10 years, what hope do a few club members have of coming up with THE answer in their garden sheds!!...

There are coutless reasons/answers for HGF however all the proposed cures are only ever "Bolt-on" after thoughts, what was realy needed was a total re-design of the engine and even Rover could not manage that when they were still solvent........ so what chance now!!!.

Drilled thermostats, re-located thermostats, PRTs, Bigger radiators, pump over-runs, steel dowels, re-designed gaskets (several), low level alarms/lights......... take your pick, they are all ideas, cures, answers to the problem/s, however fitting ALL these will NOT end the problem, AND cost more than the average HGF anyway!!..

Check your coolant, stick Ģ500 in a seperate account and get out and drive the thing!!...:o)

short question hgf does the head need to be re-torqued after a period of rebuild.

This thread was discussed between 09/03/2006 and 19/03/2006

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