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post #2 of (permalink) Old 11-12-2003, 10:51
Scarlet Fever
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Near Stansted Airport
Car: MGF
Posts: 5,476
Blog Entries: 9
Yep, it's in the Project Phoenix book

Some more stuff...

Express Plastics used to make the MGF hardtop, the Heritage tops were made by Krafthaus (who became KH, who went bust, ironically Heritage bought the moulds and now make them in-house!)

Krafthaus also made the SP Cheetah bodykit (now sold as the Cobra kit by B+G) and the original MGF splitter (also now sold by B+G - i believe B+G bought the moulds).

Pininfarina were approached by the then Rover Group to design the hood, they were given an almost impossible task though, they had to make the frame collapse into a 4" deep recess and they struggled with it. They did ultimately do a fantastic job though - the MGF/TF hood is unique in this regard it folds flatter than any other hood on the market - just look at the recesses required for the Alfa Spider/Z3/MX5 etc. There have been numerous versions of the hood, most people know about the Mk1 and Mk2 (3 seams and 1 seam respectively), but there were a whole host of other changes made, including reversing one fo the hood bolts in the frame (it was at temple level and it was altered for health and safety reasons), revisions to the rear zip and thickness of the plastic in the rear screen, an overlap int he corner where the hood meets the windscreen frame and side windows, additional pins in the header seals and an upgrading of the elastic behind the 'seatbelts' that span between the frames.

Other hood stuff...

The press studs at the top of the rear screen are to secure the screen to the T-Bar when it is zipped out. The 'female' stud ataches to the top of the 'male' press stud/post on the T-Bar, the 'male' stud on the rear screen is supposed to fasten to the hood cover (but the cover isn't secured very well like this and can flap about). When the rear screen is zippied in place, these studs can rattle, clipping them together neatens them up and stops this.

The tail of the zip has some velcro on it, this is to 'stick' it to the side of the rear screen to stop it hanging loose making a 'ting' type noise on the frame.

The central part of the zip also has some velcro on it - this is there to make it easier to zip the rear screen in, sticking the two velcro parts together will hold the rear scren in place temporarily whilst the zipper is done up.

The main hood clamps on the front of the hood were inspired by the MX5 ones which are almost identical - so identical in fact at one point Mazda were planning on sueing the Rover group over breech of copyright - they came to a deal on this matter.

The hood cover is listed as an essential safety item in the MGF manual, the reason given is that it prevents to hood flying up in the case of sudden deceleration - it should therefore be fitted at all times. All hood covers have loops underneath them that strap around the folded hood frame for this reason (although they are rarely used). The TF hood cover is an optional extra, MGR have yet to justify this, bearing in mind it is an essential safety item.

The MGF manual states that care should be taken when folding the rear screen - the TF one states that the rear screen should be zipped out each time the hood is lowered - this is a get out clause to prevent MGR being responsible for split rear screens. It wasn't successful hence the development of the glass rear screen.

The Mk1 hood cover does not have a flap that tucks under the boot lid, rather it has a wire bead sewn into a seam around the back of the cover - this bead needs to be inserted into the slot at the base of the hood where it meets the bodywork. The ends of the bead have elasticated tabs on them with press studs - these fasten to the press studs in the tops of the door jamb. This is a tricky process and the skill takes some time to master - most people used this as an excuse to not bother with the hood cover and this caused the Rover group legal problems as it is listed as a safety item. Rover redesigned the cover (the Mk2) with the boot tongue and dispensed with the wire bead - though the press studs in the door jambs remained until the introduction of the TF.

The MG official windstop was orignally sourced via BMW following thier take over. Originally it was higher and fouled the rear screen if it was folded rearwards with the hood raised and caused scratches. They redesigned it so that it was slightly lower to prevent this. This is why the OE windstop requires the T-Bar to be drilled, it wasn't designed for the car.

The chrome bootrack, like the windstop, is another BMW sourced item - infact it was specifically designed for the Z3. This is why it sits too high on the boot lid of an F/TF.

When the cars are delivered to the dealerships, the hoods have a protective nylon cover. This is supposed to be thrown away by the dealership as part of the PDI, but there was some confusion over it's use within the dealership network and it has been passed onto loads of customers as a get you home cover in case of a slashed roof. I actually have two of these things!

The sun visors were a last minute design - this is why they are so rubbish. Pre-launch photographs of the prototype models show full width sun visors (which interfere with the hood clamps!) Some of thes pictures made it into the original brochures.

The F was orignally launched with 2 interoir trim colours and 6 exterior paint colours - the interior trim colours clashed (to some degree or other) with the two most expensive paint colours - this is why they are very rare. The problem was resolved when the Heritage leather interior trom option was introduced mid 1996.

The Hydragas units were made by Dunlop - they are the sole manufacturers and the F was the last car to use them. Rover had a contract with Dunlop to manufacture them that was thrashed out when the Metro was designed, Dunlop had been making a loss on them since around 1996. Dunlop's contract was due to expire with MGR and they wanted to renegotiate the price of the Hydragas units upwards by quite a margin - this is the original genesis of the TF suspension. Basically, over the long term it was cheaper to redesign the suspension and fit coil overs than to pay Dunlop a substantially higher unit rate for the Hydragas units. This is where the majority of the TF funding went. The funding for this work was split between Mayflower and MGR, they actually ended up going quite a way over budget with this work but the results speak for themselves - the TF is a fantastic handling car and in all areas other than ride comfort, is superior to the F suspension wise - but MGR have yet to reach the break even point with the TF work due to the over budget spend - they need to sell more TFs. To date, it would have been cheeper to retain and tweek the Hydragas system - but would the car have been as well received?
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