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MG MGF Technical - Poor Handling Response


I have a 2001 MGf 1800, unmodified apart from a K & N

Recently had a low speed crunch which resulted in my front bumper and offside headlight being replaced.
Got it back from the repairers all spick and span and
was told by them that they had re-done the balancing and tracking as well (insurance company paying!!).

Drove it round town for a few days, but when out on
a dual carriageway, took her up to 70mph plus and
suddenly the car is twitching all over the place, felt
unsafe to continue at that speed. Got the impression the car was not in touch with the road or that the
sub-frame had come away from the bodywork, but looking underneath, everything appears to be in place.

I have been on Bridgestone Potenza tyres for a while as I found these were better at road holding in wet
conditions. However the rear tyres are just above the
safety limit which surprised me as I have only done 5,000 miles so far from new and I am not one for extreme sports or track days (yet!).

Any idea what my problem might be?


Bill Pearson
W.A. Pearson

Worth investigating the 're-doing' of the alignment more - 1st question would be whether it was completely set up on a 4-wheel alignment rig, or just the front alignment (2-wheel). Fast rear tyre wear could indicate a problem with the alignment at that end, and the F is particularly sensitive to anomalies - possible they have just set the front wheels, and this has compounded a maladjustment of the rears..? 5,000 miles is very low - I'd expect double that even with a few track days thrown in... Is the wear even across the width of the tyre, or greater on the inner edge?

Ride height is a critical element in the equation too - the geometry changes relative to the ride height, and dropping too far below the 365mm 'official' height will begin to affect the handling, and limits the accuracy of having the alignment set up properly. Presumably the bodyshop wouldn't have needed to touch the hydragas system, but if you can persuade them to re-check the 4-wheel alignment it'll be well worth making sure the ride height is correct first.

Long shot - The old bumper didn't have a Trophy splitter fitted did it..? I guess you'd have noticed... Briefly removing the splitter from my track car so I could assess its benefit on high-speed stability was definitely an eye-opener 8-O

Hi! Bandit,

Thanks for the information. Will investigate further.
Car goes in for its MOT next Monday, so will ask my
MG garage to check your suggestions out.


W.A. Pearson

As Bandit says allignment is very important for wear but it has a huge effect on driving experience as well!!!

As you had a cruch, your 100% positive no damage was done to the sub frame?

Well alligned: can you drive straight ahead with no hands on the wheel at 70 MPH?


Thanks for your re-assuring comments!! No I have not taken my hands off the steering wheel at 70 mph.
My mechanic has had a look and reports everything ok with the sub frame. The air dam had come loose which
could have affected the handling and he also found a worn steering joint, that he is replacing. Hopefully, the problem should be resolved. See my latest posting about "thingmejig"


W.A. Pearson

This thread was discussed between 20/03/2009 and 31/03/2009

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