18 months sat still - Tomorrow is D day. - MG-Rover.org Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 20:11 Thread Starter
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Car: '04 115 XPower Grey
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18 months sat still - Tomorrow is D day.

Evening Chaps & Ladies,

So its been a long time since I've been on this forum, after what has been a hectic 18 months with a lot of challenges (with work and family). For the past 18 months my 04' TF has been sat on my drive way, unused, other than to go for its MOT last April (which it flew through)

Tomorrow, Im finally going to set about getting the old girl fired up and hopefully back to its glory (a long time coming).

I just wondered what I should maybe looking out for after a car has been sat for this long? I've never owned a car that hasn't been used 7 days a week.

I really want to get back into things with this forum and this great community.

Hope you have all been well!

All the best
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 20:41
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Flat battery?

Oil level

Coolant level

Tyre pressures

Stuck brakes?

Good luck!


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 21:50
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I wouldn't be very confident with plastics, tyres and cambelt come to mind. The pressure points might have weakened the material. Worth a look if you plant to resurrect the car for good.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 06:30 Thread Starter
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Well, just had a quick little look at the car to try and prepare me for the day ahead. Feel so embarrassed that I've let her get to this state, however during the past 18 months my priorities where forced to change. Got plenty of cleaning (the easy bit) to do...I will update with pics as the problem spotting takes place.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 17:41 Thread Starter
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So after getting outside and starting on the car at 7:30, I finally came back in at 4. Was a bit of a shock when I first opened the door to see that my car had been engulfed in mould. I had noticed a few weeks ago, so I was prepared, but not prepared for how bad it was. Plenty of anti-bacterial cleaner & other deep cleaning products later, the interior is now probably cleaner than it ever was when I used the car 7 days a week lol. Whilst scrubbing the interior through it seemed that the passenger carpet (under the carpet) was drenched, unsure where this water has come from, is this a common fault? has anyone else experienced a leak in this area?

Mechanically, there was a slight hitch. When connecting the new battery, the alarm kept going off and my key fob would not turn it off. I had the input of a neighbour during the mid morning, who's advice was to "take it to the local garage". I wasn't happy with that as I knew my key fob had always worked with disarming the alarm in the past. I thought id give replacing the battery in the fob a go and to my shock (Im not very good at being hands on) it worked! I went about checking everything that had been suggested above, baring the cam belt and everything seems fine.

The engine started up & has run fine all day long, with a few trips around the local area then a longer trip (about 5 miles) - just to give the car a chance to warm up. No issues at all. Its as if it had never sat at all. I took it to the local jet wash and went at it as best as I could, put the top down and drove home - with a massive smile on my face. I forgotten how happy this car makes me, however i know there is still a lot for me to do. Anyway, for the people interested - here are some pictures!

The roof isn't looking in the best state. Is there a quick and painless way of dealing with this or should it be left to the professionals?

The TF has taken on a more green approach to life.

The mould that awaited me on the steering wheel

....and the dash board

Time to get to work...

A freshly de-grimmed interior

Back to its shinning best up outside

bb code
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 18:08
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Originally Posted by TF_Tom View Post
Whilst scrubbing the interior through it seemed that the passenger carpet (under the carpet) was drenched, unsure where this water has come from, is this a common fault?
MGF / TF's are notorious for leaks. If it doesn't leak then something is wrong.

Great job on the restoration though.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-03-2017, 16:20
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Good day's work - enjoy driving

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-03-2017, 19:21
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window and hood seals are notorious for letting driving rain leak by them.. the leaks find the lowest point and collect there.. so the drivers and passenger footwells are common for breeding damp... if the car isn't used, since the heater blower, is always enough to dry a damp floor, if the car is used regularly.. unless of course its a cloudburst that fills up the doors so fast the water cant drain away through the doors drains, fills up the doors and comes out through the loudspeaker... ice too can form inside the car, on cold glass, freezing weather breeds condensation in all places... and so mould will grow.. its no big deal. every time you get in and out of the car.. your feet bring in whatever you have walked on... and mould is always in that.. microscopic organisms...

a scrubbing brush, and detergent will remove most of the hood debris... but even so sometimes no matter how hard one scrubs or for how long.., the pigments stick... i use satin black spray paint as a " fog" cover... it also makes black carpets black again.

That said, i dont think you have any particular need of advice.. your own solutions have fixed it..

personally.. since the car had sat for that time... before even trying to start the car.. i would have taken the opportunity to change the oil.. since its had that time to settle in the sump.. and all the possible stuff that could move from the top of the engine to the bottom.. would have done... and you could have started with much cleaner oil by not turning the engine over .

i would have checked the condition of the air filter too... sat for that time.. it probably would have been of benefit to start with a new one... air currents still flow through the filter even though the engine isnt used.. due to the natural heat expansion currents in sunshine... and the cold contraction currents in cold weather... the car breathes on the cycle of night and day, and you have had 18 months of the car breathing in and out dependent on the weather..

Again, that said.. you havent experienced a problem the ecu has not resolved.. you got no engine light obd warnings..

Rusty brake disks take time to clear.. and the rubbed off rust goes somewhere... some of it will collect around the brake pad seals.. and though the brakes haven't complained right now...i would want to check the condition of the handbrake linkages, and the brake piston seals, and at the very least make sure that everything is clean and lubricated properly..

i would have checked, before the first journey.. that i could undo a retighten the wheel nuts, and that the shaped washer that is designed to stop the nuts being turned by any possible cyclic vibration were free and not stuck the nuts... thats just because one does not know what has taken place inside the tyres in eighteen months.. one cant see in there... and a deflated tyre for whatever reason, might mean one has to put on the spare.. regardless of where one is or the time of day or the weather- etc.. and knowing one can do that.. because the wheel nut will come off.. the jack works.. etc... might be very important..

But.. you have crossed those bridges so far without problem... all well and good..

i would say, i can drive a car with a dirty roof... and dirty bodywork and interior...but not one one with a flat tyre, or a blocked air filter, or gummed up sump.. or oil filter... or coolant problems.. or alternator problems...

its the electro mechanical things i would have made sure of first... before i spent time and effort cleaning the shiny bits. -

i wish you great spring driving times, its good...
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-03-2017, 20:19
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They way to not have a car filled with mushrooms is to wipe it down before storing with an anti bacterial cleaner.
I used the one the wife using in the bathroom. This year she looks like the day I parked it up.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 19-04-2017, 18:47 Thread Starter
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Car: '04 115 XPower Grey
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A day in the sun

So today I set about trying to work on a few bits of the MG. Nothing substantial, but just going back to that idea of getting it back "to its best". The plan for today was to:

  1. Have a look at how easy it is going to be to install some rear speakers. I've wanted to do this since getting the car and (as mentioned) Im now actually able to dedicate some time to this car.
  2. Diagnose why my car seems to have such a small verity of heater settings. Its either Hot, Hot...or EXTRA hot. Ive checked the forums and it seems that this could be related to the heater knob not working
  3. Try and work out the curious case of the vanishing Coolant. Have a look around the internals of the car (as best as I can) to check for obvious signs of coolant leak.

So I started by getting her opened up and ready for the day (in major need of a clean!)

I then set about looking to take the rear speaker covers (or TBar cover) off. It was a LOT more straight forward than I thought. Simply three phillip hear screws at the top at then a little tug (lol) and it came off!

It uncovered what I hoped would be there - what I believe to be the connector for the rear speakers. I have ordered a set off Ebay (including t-bar) due to arrive next week - I know there are already plenty of guides on this fantastic website, which I did use to actually get to this point, but I may do another little how to when they get here.

So it seems its going to (hopefully) be a straight forward task, fitting the new rear speakers which will hopefully improve sound quality when out and about and topless.

Next on the agenda was taking off the side panel in the drivers footwell to check if the heater knob was connected to the cable. I picked this up from another great little how to/diagnosis on this forum. Sadly (I suppose) to my disappointment the cable was very much connected. Which means there has to be another issue with my heaters only having a "HOT" setting - Which in summer, isn't too comfortable! Im not expecting my heaters to blow ice cold air con, as they are only fans, but at least a cool bit of air would be great! - Any ideas anyone?

So the search begins to try and work out what is wrong with my blowers.

The last part of the agenda was checking to see where my coolant could be escaping to. So as expected, the first thing to cross my head was "Head Gasket Failure" - as we all know this could be the only reason (at least this is what seems to be everyones initial knee jerk reaction). After taking off the inspection covers and having a look from the tank all the way along the piping (as best as I can - Im sadly not a mechanic but I am enthusiastic) I couldn't find anything - which was both great but also unnerving. There seems to be no obvious signs of coolant loose. The engine (and oil/dipstick) are all nice and oily and not mayo in any way. I looked up a popular thread on this website about how to spot HGF, and not a single one of the common issues has occurred on my car. Which is a relief. However it still begs the question as to where the coolant is going - any ideas or suggestions would be great. Whilst looking I came across a little ...oily... patch under the engine. I couldn't work out where its coming from but I thought I would pass it out there for the brilliant minds of .org to see if you guys can spot anything/know any common reasons for this kind of...dare I say it...Leak?

I may pop this last part of the update as an individual post, because as you can imagine Im quiet keen to get to the bottom of as to why there is some coolant loss/ plus the unexpected oil patch.

Any comments, suggestions or chat welcomed!
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 20-04-2017, 19:49
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Originally Posted by Incony View Post
.. personally.. since the car had sat for that time... before even trying to start the car.. i would have taken the opportunity to change the oil.. since its had that time to settle in the sump.. and all the possible stuff that could move from the top of the engine to the bottom.. would have done... and you could have started with much cleaner oil by not turning the engine over ...
I am afraid it doesn't actually work quite like that - you are correct that all the oil and contaminants will indeed settle into the sump, but the solid contaminants will have settled to the point of forming a thick sludge in the bottom of the sump, and draining the oil out cold would leave this layer of sludge exactly where it is (and in all probability, the cold and viscous oil won't drain from the sump fully either).

You then fill with clean oil and run the car, and the settled sludge starts to loosen and mix with the new oil, rapidly degrading its quality.

I would always advise draining oil when it is hot, preferably after taking the car for a good long run, mainly at highish engine revs if possible. This will get the sludge stirred up and mixed with the old oil, and it will then drain out when you remove the sump plug. If drained hot, there will be an insignificant amount oil left after draining for five minutes. Even so, it is likely that some sludge will remain undisturbed in the sump unless you refill with a sacrificial oil as a flush - specific diesel engine only grade which has a high level of detergents in it and run for a few hundred miles in a petrol engine will stir up and flush out most if not all of the solid deposits in an older engine. Some people have even run diesel fuel in the engine sump for a short run of a few miles with very good results, although I have never been brave enough to try it!
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 23-04-2017, 14:22 Thread Starter
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Location: East London/ Essex
Car: '04 115 XPower Grey
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Yeah, a service is more than overdue. The last one I had was back in January 2015 (although, it has been sat for the past 18 months) - I have sent an email to Russell over at Mg Rover Solutions and Im hoping to book in a service along with having the stainless steel underfloor coolant pipes fitted (something that I have, again, always wanted to do) - As soon as I hear back from him, I hope to have it all booked in!

So what are the updates with this car? Not much really, gave it another deep clean on Friday (just because I had some spare time). Ive had a few lovely comments on the car. Gave my Dad a lift to the local Working Mans Club today and the Gents there were very impressed and full of compliments. More important than that however is that it has been an absolute joy to drive. Managed to get the roof down yesterday when myself and my partner went to run some errands...I had forgotten quite how much this car forces a smile across my face and Im looking for any excuse to get it out on the road.

I done a small project this morning (with pictures of course)

The key fob to my car was in a really bad state. I ordered a new one off Amazon on Wednesday and it arrived yesterday. Looks so much better than the original (even if it sadly isn't a OEM piece) - Really straight forward task.

1. Before (what a state! - disgusting right?)
2. Place a small flat head screw driver and gently encourage the lower casing away from the fob
3. Find the central seam and gently force the two apart
4. Take the contents of the internals from one fob to the other. You also have to take the small silver metal part below the battery - this can be removed by very gently prising it with the screwdriver
5. Refit is reverse of removal. All shiny and new. Much less embarrassing when I hand my keys to anyone/ If I put my keys on a table with friends.

Whats next? Well:
1. Over the next day or so my rear speaker bar will arrive
2. Tuesday Im going to see a team in Guildford, Surrey to have my roof brought back to new (hopefully) - fully update with pics then of course
3. Hopefully I will hear back from Mg Rover Solutions and I'll be able to get a reliable specialists eyes on the car to improve things mechanically.

As always, comments/discussion/chat welcome!
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