The Rebuild (in words and pictures)


"Phoenix" is a word that has been associated on more than one occasion with significant milestones in MGs recent history. "Project Phoenix" was the title of the MGF project, and marked the return of MG as a producer of modern, two-seater sports cars. The "Phoenix Consortium" were the folks who saved MG from oblivion when BMW decided to dump Rover. So it seemed appropriate to us that the SF rebuild should go under the "Scarlet Phoenix" banner. It is a project that quite literally countless people have contributed to already, contributing time, effort, even parts and money too. This section is dedicated to all those people, and is a diary and permanent record of the Scarlet Phoenix rebuild project

Let us hope that like that mythical bird of lore, that SF will rise from the ashes of that unpleasant February evening, and return to her former glory

Read about the rebuild by using the links on the right to view the progress as it is being made

Rob Bell


11th May - Windscreen Trim

Not a very big gallery today, basically I spent all day yesterday messing around with other people's MGFs for the King Cone 2 rolling road air filter tests. These should appear in MG World shortly - when you read the article remember who did most of the work in the background! ;-) Anyway, on with the gallery...

Final picture of the day

...The Hydragas valves - each side of the windscreen washer bottle. These valves are used to adjust the ride height of the car using a Hydragas pump. Right, that's enough from me for now - i'm sick of working on MG's for this weekend! :-)

Rear View Mirror - Removal

To remove the rear view mirror completely you need to firstly remove the windscreen trim, this is because the wiring to the courtesy lights in the underside of the mirror run behind the trim and you need to disconnect the multiplug in order to remove it from the car. The mirror fits onto a spline attached to the windscreen, you can detach it by pushing it up the glass towards the header rail. Then just disconnect the multiplug and it is free of the car.

Shroud Panel - Removal

Before you start, yes it WAS difficult taking this picture! :-) At the bottom of the shroud panel is a pair of studs, I needed to pull the panel off of them (one each side of the spare tyre well). You may find this easier with the tyre removed.

Shroud Panel - Removal

Using a Philips head screwdriver the next task is to undo the plastic retaining screw above the brake master cylinder. Be careful, if you drop it it's a right pain to find again! :-)

Shroud Panel - Removal

All the bolts/screws have now been removed, I was able to work the panel out of the underbonnet area to reveal...

Shroud Panel - Removal

All the trim has now been removed from the cabin, there are a few items left like the pedal box, heater unit, loom, fusebox and the gear selector, but in general it is now empty. So I decided to make a start under the front bonnet, beginning with the shroud panel. I have removed Scarlet's shroud panel a number of times because it conceals the valves for the Hydragas suspension. I began by using a 10mm socket on a ratchet to remove the pair of plastic nuts to the left, near the horns.

Windscreen Trim - Removal

I began today by using a T30 Torx bit and removed the pair of bolts that secure the hood clamps to the windscreen. Oh, by the way, my Brother took some of the pictures today, which is a bit of a double edged sword. I have both hands free to work on Scarlet, but the downside is that you will see more of me than just my hands in the pictures! :-)

Windscreen Trim - Removal

Once the pair of bolts were unscrewed I was able to remove the hood clamps as shown in the picture...

Windscreen Trim - Removal

Once the hood clamps are removed, the side trim just clips into place. Careful pulling at it will release the clips and it can be removed thus.

Windscreen Trim - Removal

The windscreen trim is in three sections, with the side trims removed, the central section is held in place with some more trim clips and the retaining screws for the sun visors. I used a Philips head screw driver and removed these screws next.

Windscreen Trim - Removal

Using gentle pressure, unclip the top trim from the windcreen thus.

Windscreen Trim - Removal

A picture of the back of the top trim, showing the trim clips that secure it in place.


12/06/03 - Bonus Gallery!

Due to the CoLPUC weekend meeting last week I didn't get any work done on Scarlet (that and the fact that I had family turn up on Sunday). Anyway, i've been feeling guilty all week so, fanfare please! I have put together a little 'bonus' gallery using pictures i have knocking about on my hard drive :-) There is no structure to the following, although there are a couple of handy jobs you can do on your F/TFs like extending the range on the blipper. Mainly it is stuff that I feel is interesting or useful to MGF/TF owners. With a bit of luck all should be back on-track for this weekend coming (the weather report is very favourable) and a 'proper' gallery will be posted. :-)

Bonus Gallery! - Fitting one of Tom Randell's K & N brackets.

Using another large zip tie, strap the two pipes together and then insert them into the bracket. The instructions now say to zip tie the pipes to the bracket by strapping the large zip tie to it. I have found this to be a little insecure and prefer to do it as shown in the picture. I make a small hole in the foil of the pipes, one each side, and insert a tie through this hole, it can then be fastened around the bracket securely. This was done for a chap named Raj who turned up at one of the Essex Roadsters meetings a couple of years back. In the background you can see 2 Elises and an Elan. This picture was taken at the Dick Turpin on the A127 near Wickford on a night with a particularly good turnout. As I recall we had a large number of Fs (no TFs back then), an RV8, Elises and Elan and a Lotus 340R. Everyone was looking at the motors, I was getting filthy under someone else's car! :-)

Bonus Gallery! - Fitting one of Tom Randell's K & N brackets.

Attach the K & N hoses at the top of the engine bay and drop them down, past the subframe to the underside of the car. Then, using a large zip tie (or two zipped together), hook the bracket over the subframe, loop the zip tie over the subframe, then through the hole in the bracket, zip the tie together and tighten firmly to secure the bracket to the subframe.

Bonus Gallery! - Fitting one of Tom Randell's K & N brackets.

If you fit a K & N 57i air filter to an MGF you are supplied with a pair of cold air induction hoses. These hoses are supposed to be directed forwards under the car to scoop up cold (ambient) air from outside the engine bay and direct it towards the filter. Cold air is denser, therefore it contains more oxygen - this gives a more powerful burn in the combustion chamber. Anyway, K & N's instructions say to zip tie these pipes to the hydragas pipework. This is not a very good idea for a number of reasons, the first is that the pipes when secured in this manner do not necessarily point forwards, the second is that if you catch the pipes on, for instance a speed ramp, you run the risk of damaging the hydragas pipework and the third is that if you have a TF, then you don't have any hydragas pipes at all! Tom Randell, one of the original MGF BBS users, developed a simple bracket to suspend these pipes from the subframe - here is how to fit one.

Bonus Gallery! - How to extend the range on your central locking blipper

Sorry the picture is a little blurry, unravel the arial wire and stretch it out, then...

Bonus Gallery! - How to extend the range on your central locking blipper

Now find the coiled up yellow wire in the top right of the opening. All yellow wires with one exception on the car are for the SRS system and shouldn't be tampered with unduely, this one is the exception however. It is the receiving arial for the remote blipper and like all arials, works better if extended...

Bonus Gallery! - How to extend the range on your central locking blipper

I took these ages ago, indeed the car isn't even Scarlet, with the intention of posting them on 'Scarlet's Web', but due to the fact that a couple of them aren't quite in focus, they never made it. So, here they are. This is a very well known trick to help with the range on the alarm blipper. You will need a Philips head screwdriver and some electrical tape. Begin by removing the triangular footwell illumination panel on the passenger side by undoing the two retaining screws withthe Philips head screwdriver.

Bonus Gallery! - How to extend the range on your central locking blipper

...using the electrical tape, tape it stretched out inside the recess. Re-fit the triangular footwell illumination panel - job done. This *should* give you around double the range on the blipper, although it does depend on where you are in relation to the car.

Bonus Gallery! - Positioning Axle Stands

This picture shows the rear of the car, specifically the location of the axle stands.They are on the corners of the subframe, with the heads angled through 45 degrees. I took this picture for my article on fitting acat-bypass tube for MG World magazine, it also shows Mike Satur's cat-saver nuts on theend of the catalyst - i would highly recommend these cheap and effective nuts to anyone (if your reading this Mike, you can pay my commission next time i see you!!!) ;-)

Bonus Gallery! - Positioning Axle Stands

This first picture shows where to position axle stands at the front of the car. Basically, on the subframe, behind the anti-roll bar. There are addititional pictures showing this in the 'Hub assy' gallery.

Bonus Gallery! - Rob and Yimmy Bell. :-)

This picture was taken on Le Long Weekend Tour, Jubellee Weekend last year to Brittany. Why is it here? Well, study Rob's headlamps and you'll see. Rob has the patterns for theMGF headlamp conveters on his website and using a bit of electrical tape, he was able to fashion his own converters. To go to his headlamp converter page {link:http://www.mgf.ultimatemg.com/converte.htm:CLICK HERE}.Nice one Rob.


12th April - Transmission Tunnel

Firstly an appology! To those people who, following my piece on the BBS surfed here yesterday expecting to see this report, time basically ran away with me and although I managed to finish re-sizing all the images, a surprise invitation to dinner with my Brother and his wife meant I had to postpone the upload until today. OK, duty done, here's a brief description of what you will find here. Yesterday I spent some more time in the interior and the following gallery follows on from 'Dash (Part 1)'. I removed the transmission tunnel (which entails releasing the T-Bar) and finished off on the dash by removing the glovebox and triangular footwell panels. This was done because the transmission tunnel is secured in part to the dash, which is the ultimate goal of this interior stripout and also because it is a job I have done before and to the best of my knowledge there aren't any step-by-step instructions on how to do this on the web. Why would anyone want to do this job? Well, if you want to fit a Mike Satur SSK this is part of the process. Anyway, that's enough drivel from me here, time to get on with the gallery! As ever, click the thumbnails and a larger image will appear along with explanitory text.

Glovebox - Removal

With the last pair of screws loosened you should be able to slide the entire box forwards out of the dash. On top of the glovebox is the wiring to the light. Disconnect both sets of wires from the bulb and switch on the door catch. The glovebox is now free and can be removed from the car.

Glovebox - Removal

The other job I carried out was to remove the glovebox. This is a very simple job involving the removal of 4 screws. Begin by opening the glovebox door and locating the screw each side as shown in the picture. Remove with the Philips head screwdriver, then I have found it easire to close the door ready for the next step.

Glovebox - Removal

Underneath the glovebox are a further pair of screws. Note these are in a 'C' shaped bracket so it is not necessary to remove them, only loosen.

Last image

I thought it would be a good idea to invest in a full car cover (April showers and all). This is a temporary measure as once I repair the front ball joints I will be able to get Scarlet in the garage.

Transmission Tunnel - Drop Down Bin Carpet Surprise!

As hinted at earler, behind the drop down bin is a surprise in the carpet. There is an 'F' cut out of the fabric. I assume that this is part of the marking scheme in the factory to differentiate between different carpet sets and to this end wonder if the TF has had this ID altered accordingly - if anyone knows, send me an Email via the 'Contact Scarlet Fever' link on this site and i'll update this gallery accordingly.------------------------------------------This just in from Mike Miller (14/04/03): "Andy, just read your latest report on the rebuild. The F you found in the carpet behind the drop down bin was a feature I found on my old F, I now have a new TF, I looked to see if it had this on my TF when fitting a car phone and was disapointed to find nothing!" Shame :-(

Transmission Tunnel - Removal (Part 1 - Windstop)

This picture shows the mounting bar and also the fixing bolts. Again, only of interest if you have a Mike Satur FX billet aluminium windstop or are intrigued by the design. Basically there is a mounting bar that attaches to the aluminium angle below the T-Bar. This then has a pair of threaded holes to take the thumbscrews. In my opinion, this is a superb bit of design making initial fitting extremely easy (no need to remove the T-Bar) and subsequent temporary removal even easier still (just undo the thumbscrews). Nice one Mike. :-)

Transmission Tunnel - Removal (Part 1 - Windstop)

Removal of the transmission tunnel is a 4 or 5 part process depending on whether you have a windstop or not. The 5 parts are: 1.Windstop 2.T-Bar 3.Drop down bin 4.Footwell illumination panels 5.Transmission tunnel. Begin by removing your windstop (if you have one). There are quite a number of windstops available for the F/TF and the one Scarlet is fitted with is one of only 7 made in this finish, so your removal instructions are likely to be different to mine. Scarlet has a Mike Satur FX windstop in polished billet aluminium, but by far the most common windstop is the standard MG mesh one and this is attached with a pair of square mounting blocks on the top of the T-Bar. In my case it was just a matter of undoing the pair of thumbscrews and then unscrewing the concealed mounting bar fixings.

Transmission Tunnel - Removal (Part 2 - T-Bar)

OK, windstop removed, it's time to move on to the T-Bar. Begin by removing the three tonneau cover fixings accross the top with a Philips head screwdriver. Now, if you have a Mk1 F then you will have three press studs (as shown in the picture), if you have a later model MGF or a TF then you are likely to have a single press stud in the middle and a larger mushroom shaped stud each end. These are removed in the same way as the press studs. Lastly, if you have a Mike Satur half tonneau cover then there is a possibility you will have something a little different...

Transmission Tunnel - Removal (Part 2 - T-Bar)

Scarlet has a Mike Satur tonneau cover which is secured with Tannex clips. These are a secure method of attaching the cover and have only one drawback - they are fiddly to remove! To undo the ones on Scarlet I needed an 8mm spanner, an 8mm socket on a short extension piece and a lot of patience! ;-)

Transmission Tunnel - Removal (Part 2 - T-Bar)

Apart from the top fixings, the T-Bar is clipped into place with 3 pairs of trim clips, a pair at each end and a pair in the middle. These are released with a short, sharp tug of the T-Bar towards the dash (you will need to pull both seats forwards to give you room). It is likely that the male part of the trim clip will stay in the female part making later re-fitting of the T-Bar impossable, use a pair of pliers and carefully separate the two, you can now slide the male part back onto it's button fixing on the T-Bar. The picture shows a pair at the end and the next picture...

Transmission Tunnel - Removal (Part 2 - T-Bar)

...shows the pair of trim clips in the middle. It also shows the volumetric alarm sensor attached to the top of the drop down bin - we shall come to this in a moment. In the meantime, to get the T-Bar out of the way, extend the seatbelts and hook the T-Bar over the seats.

Transmission Tunnel - Removal (Part 3 - drop down bin)

The next step is to remove the drop down bin. I removed the lid in the 'Dash (part 1)' gallery and now I am going to remove the main bin itself. With the T-Bar removed you have access to the pair of fixing screws and the volumetric alarm sensor. Note there are 4 screws here, to remove the drop down bin you only need to undo the lower two with a Philips head screwdriver as shown in the picture.

Transmission Tunnel - Removal (Part 3 - drop down bin)

Next you need to unclip the multiplug from the sensor. I have seen 2 designs for this plug and Scarlet has the earlier blue one. There is a white plug too (I have seen one on a Japanese import - the owner was upgrading the alarm system to include the volumetric sensor). The white plug is a different shape to the blue one so (obviously) it is important, if you are adding this item to an imported car that the plug and sensor are the same shape.

Transmission Tunnel - Removal (Part 3 - drop down bin)

OK, easy part last. With the top screws removed and the volumetric sensor unplugged, you can just lift the drop down bin free of the car. There is also a surprise waiting for you in the rear carpet behind this item, more on this later... ;-)

Transmission Tunnel - Removal (Part 4 - Footwell Illumination Panels)

This picture shows the back of the footwell illumination panel, disconnect the wiring to remove the panel completely. It is worth noting the yellow wire in the top of the picture. The image shows the passenger footwell panel and the yellow wire is the receiving aerial for the alarm blipper. In a normal F this is coiled up, but a better reception (and therefore an increased range) can be had by unwinding this wire and taping it as high as possible in a straight line. I have plans for this wire in the rebuild...

Transmission Tunnel - Removal (Part 4 - Footwell Illumination Panels)

Again using the Philips head screwdriver, remove the other screw by the light. The panel is now loose and can be worked free (it has tabs that slide behind the other panels).

Transmission Tunnel - Removal (Part 4 - Footwell Illumination Panels)

OK, now we can go to part 4 ;-) Move both the seats back and find the triangular panels in the footwell with the lights in them. To get access to the remaining transmission tunnel screws you need to remove these panels which is an easy job comprising a pair of screws per panel and some wiring to unclip. Begin by removing the lower screw as shown in the picture.

Transmission Tunnel - Removal (Part 5 - Transmission Tunnel)

Nearly there now, reach into the cubbybox opening and thread the volumetric alarm sensor cable back through the small opening in the back of the transmission tunnel thus.

Transmission Tunnel - Removal (Part 5 - Transmission Tunnel)

There was a recent thread on the BBS about the ashtray getting warm. This is caused by the flow and return heater pipes which run under the transmission tunnel. The picture shows the pair of black metal pipes (to the right hand side) next to the pair of black foam covered gear selector cables (the ones with the silver metal ends).

Transmission Tunnel - Removal (Part 5 - Transmission Tunnel)

OK, to recap, you should have removed the handbrake gaiter and handle, cubby box and drop down bin lids and the instument fascia in addition to the the previous instructions (these other items are covered in the 'Dash (part 1)' gallery). You are now in a position to remove the tunnel. Staying at the rear of the tunnel, pull it rearwards and upwards until it 'jambs' on the handbrake handle (now you know why it is so high when engaged!) You should now be able to work the front of the tunnel past the dash and then lift the entire tunnel out of the car. :-)

Transmission Tunnel - Removal (Part 5 - Transmission Tunnel)

This picture shows the bottom screw for the transmission tunnel, remove and then repeat the previous steps for the driver's side footwell. The transmission tunnel is now free from the car and can be removed.

Transmission Tunnel - Removal (Part 5 - Transmission Tunnel)

The transmission tunnel itself is only secured with 6 screws, 2 of which have already been removed behind the seats. The remaining 4 screws are behind the footwell illumination panels and the top one is shown in the picture. Remove with the Philips head screwdriver.

Transmission Tunnel - Removal (Part 5 - Transmission Tunnel)

This picture shows the car with the tunnel removed. Note the brass-like gear lever selector mechanism, this is one of Mike Satur's SSK (Slick Shift Kits) and is something I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to anyone. Also, note the yellow wiring next to it, with the exception of the blipper aerial wire all the yellow wiring I have found in the F is related to the Supplementary Restraint System (SRS - air bags and seatbelt pre-tensioners). It is vitally important that before disconnecting ANY of this wiring the battery is disconnected and then left for a good 10 minutes as any residual current in the system can cause the SRS components to fire when tampered with. Bearing in mind that these items use explosives it is not a good idea to meddle with them unduly! :-o

Transmission Tunnel - Removal (Part 5 - Transmission Tunnel)

Hey what happened to 'part 4' ? Well, we'll come to that in a minute. :-) Part 4 is at the other end of the transmission tunnel and as we are working at the T-Bar end it makes sense to do this first. With both seats pulled forwards, undo the screw each side of the transmission tunnel shown in the picture.


12th August 2003 - MGF Centre, Day 1

This is the first of several galleries detailing the last few days of the rebuild up to and including the 'big reveal' on Sunday 17th at the MGF Centre's open day. I took the week off prior to the event and spent it working alongside the team at the MGF Centre putting her back together. So, before I begin a BIG thankyou to them all, Victoria, Bill, Carl, Thomas and not forgetting my mate Andy Bates who not only gave up his own time to help with the rebuild, he also put me up for a week at his house in Dudley. Thanx to all of you. OK, on with the gallery...

Bonus Picture! One shot module insitu on a MY2K car.

I spotted this at the MGF Centre, it is the front end of a MY2K car and shows the one shot window module insitu. This is a modification I intend to carry out, although it never happened as part of the rebuild due to time constraints. Following my visit to the paint shop, I returned to the MGF Centre and started making preparations for the kick-off tomorrow, so this is the last image of the day.

F into Z :-)

...this is the back seat area. Not a lot of space here either! I packed the front seat to door window height as well, anymore than this I felt was dangerous as it may have collapsed on the driver (me) during the trip. I arrived at the MGF Centre at around mid day and after saying my hellos (and noshing some excellent fish and chips from the chippy right next door!) we proceeded to unload.

F into Z! :-)

As you can see, getting all of Scarlet's interior inside the ZS was a bit of a problem! ;-) In fact I had to leave a couple of items at home including the spare wheel as there just wasn't any more space inside the ZS. This is a shot of the boot, jam-packed full and...

F out of Z

This is a picture of some of the interior laid out in the MGF Centre's workshop. Note the small 'chest of drawers' on the far left, this contained all my screws and fixings from the strip down, labled and identified. Although the MGF Centre have all the necessary bits and bobs, this came in handy as time became short as I knew where everything was and could lay my hands on items easily. Where is Scarlet?

Paintshop

This is a shot of Scarlet waiting for her panels to go back on. Note the stripe continues onto the windscreen surround too.

Paintshop

This is a shot of the front nosecone, are you begining to see a pattern emerging? ;-) OK, enough teasing. Here are the details of the paintwork. The basic idea was an X-Power inspired stripe, but in cream rather than the rather lurid luminous green MGR use. Red and cream hark back to the Abingdon Works cars of the 1950's and 60's, some of which I believe saw action at LeMans and were done out in Tartan Red with cream hardtops. The base colours are straight from the MGR palette being Flame Red and Sandalwood Beige, but they both have a gold fleck in the laquer giving a gold sheen in direct sunlight. They are both then unique colours and the gold shift is quite subtle (to the extent that it is tricky to photograph). Because the stripe is part of the paintwork as opposed to an applied vinyl all the details are dealt with properly, there are no 'cut outs' for the badging or creases around some of the trickier openings giving a much more 'clean' look and lastly, yes that is a Trophy Splitter on the bottom of the bumper :-) I contributed to the rebuild and there are quite a number of items out of the norm - I may pull these together in a 'TOP SECRET' gallery at some point so you can see what has been done and maybe become inspired with your own F/TFs.

Paintshop

This is a picture of some of the smaller items that also needed doing. Note the inner reflectors for the headlamps, these were flame red previously, they now match the new paint scheme. Also on the table are the MS F-ONE rear light clusters and the side vent surrounds as well as door handles.

Paintshop

Last shot from the paintshop, this is a close up of the new side cill, freshly painted awaiting mopping. This is a new panel as the original was severly dented in the accident.

The paintshop...

Scarlet was in the paintshop when I arrived. Basically the paint scheme was a bit special and it took a lot longer to do than anticipated. This caused a few problems later on in the week as time became a real issue but I feel it was worth it because they really did manage to pull something special out of the hat for me. Top job guys. :-)


13th August 2003 - MGF Centre, Day 2

OK, this is where the work starts (well from my point of view anyway). Bill and Carl were round the paintshop refitting and lining up the panels, so they didn't need me and Andy Bates hanging around taking photos! We therefore spent the day at the MGF Centre cleaning the trim panels and polishing the sparkly bits as well as arranging for any missing items to be delivered. Basically tying up some loose ends. Victoria was on hand and she was a 'willing recruit' inbetween telephone calls, honestly the phone never stops ringing at this place! :-)

G3 and Brasso...

In this shot, Victoria and I are hard at work cleaning up the sparkly bits in the cabin. We used G3 which is a cutting compound, to get rid of any tarnishing and then Brasso to bring the shine back. Scarlet has quite a number of shiney 'accents' so this took a surprisingly long time to do properly.

MY2K Fascia

A picture of the front of the fascia with the dials installed - hold on a moment, something's not quite right here... The eagle eyed among you will have spotted that my dials are swapped over. Basically I use the oil temperature dial all the time (and it makes sense to have it next to the coolant temperature guage in the instrument pack as well). Whereas I look at the clock rarely, preferring to use my watch. So, three modifications so far, swapping to a MY2K fascia, fitting the original cream dials and now swapping them over right to left. :-)

MY2K Fascia

The next step was to glue the bottom of the gaiter to the gaiter clip. This is a plastic clip that fits into the underside of the gear lever ring on the MY2K fascia, the picture shows the fully assembled item, modelled by Andy Bates ;-) If you intend to do this modification yourself, you need to be aware that the gaiter clip only fits into the gear lever ring one way, so you need to be careful as to where the stitching on the gaiter is when you are glueing it together.

MY2K Fascia

And here is the fascia, sans gaiter and ring. Hold on a mo, that's not the same fascia! Correct, time for modification numbers five and six... Victoria suggested a silver finished fascia (which she carries in stock in addition to the standard ones), so we tried the veneer kit on it and were very pleased with the results. As far as I am aware this modification is unique at this time, certainly the next modification, having the air vents in silver and timber to match is. We used the original Mk1 electric window switches as they match the multiplugs in the cars' loom, but used MY2K heated rear screen and rear fog lamp switches as these just plug into the existing multiplugs. I trimmed the locating groove off of the heated rear screen switch so that i could place it on the far right, this was an easy job achieved with a craft knife.

MY2K Fascia

OK, time for modification number four, Scarlet has copious amounts of timber on her dash (hey, I like it!) so the MY2K fascia needed to match. We sourced a timber veneer kit from Mike Satur and glued it to the fascia thus.

MY2K Fascia

This fist part of the gallery deals with the Model Year 2000 (MY2K) fascia we fitted to Scarlet as part of the rebuild. This is a modification I had always intended to do and now seemed like an opportune moment to do so, with the trim in pieces, stripped out of the car. I began by swapping the dials over from my Mk1 fascia. I have retained the original cream instrument pack and therefore wanted the dial to match (they fit in with the colour scheme). The dials just fit into the backing panel as shown in the picture and this is screwed to the back of the new fascia. The reason for this picture is to show the rubber sealing ring, fitted to the backing panel prior to inserting the dials. It is a tight fit and if you try to insert the dial and ring together there is a good chance the dial won't sit properly.

MY2K Fascia

This is just a picture showing the screw fittings that hold the rear panel to the back of the MY2K fascia. They are Philips head and there are 4 of them. Note the hazard warning light button is also fitted in this picture (it is just push fit).

MY2K Fascia - Helpers! :-)

Hmmm, one of them is concentrating on the job... ;-) On the left is Victoria and on the right is Andy Bates. Despite the cheesy grin, they are actually working, namely inserting the gear lever gripper in the top of the new gaiter. Because the MY2K fascia has a circular opening at the bottom for the gear lever gaiter and the Mk1 fascia has a rectangular one, the components are not transferrable so a new one was needed. Mike Satur supplied the new leather gaiter (and one to match for the handbrake), but they needed a little assembly before they were usable, probably because we needed them in a hurry.

Shell arrival

And this is the last picture of the day. While the shell was being unloaded a customer arrived needing an urgent rear screen replacement (that's him in the background). This took a little longer than anticipated as he had a couple of other issues too and sought Bill's opinions on them. It being after 5pm Andy and I decided to call it a day and headed off. Interior refit tomorrow (Thursday).

Shell arrival

And then there's the hardtop... In my case a Heritage top, originally sourced via Mike Satur. Again, this has been done to match the rest of the bodywork with the cream stripe extending right the way over fro the colour keyed windscreen surround to the rear scuttle panel and bootlid.

Shell arrival

A picture of Scarlet's rear. Things to note here are the F-ONE spoiler, done to match the rest of the car, the change of colour on the high level brake light surround (this was cream originally), the F-ONE rear light clusters also painted to match and the paintwork detailing of the stripe around the rear bumper apperture.

Shell arrival

A detail picture of the door handles. This is a variation on a theme, chromed handles are widely available for the F/TF and as one of my long-term goals with Scarlet is to de-chrome the exterior it made sense to pick these out in the cream colour. Also in this picture is a reflection of Andy Bates' Trophy Yellow ZR and you can also get some idea of the gold pearl in the paintwork here, although in the next gallery there are some better shots of this.

Shell arrival

A close up of the spoiler, note the stripe is on the underside as well. The stickers on the lights were to ensure they went back in the same holes they came out of. :-)

The shell arrives...

Mid afternoon saw the painted and assembled shell arrive from the paintshop where Bill and Carl had been putting her panels on. Note the lack of grilles, headlamps, indicators, side air intakes and interior - there is still a lot of work to be done. Also, note the fact that the old wheels are still on her - these are in need attention.


13th July - Scarlet arrives at the MGF Centre :-)

You see, I have a network of spies... ;-) This gallery is the first of (hopefully) many from other contributors - in this case a good friend of mine, Andy Bates (cheers mate) :-) Andy has a house within a couple of miles of the MGF Centre and unbeknownst to me, was there to capture Scarlet's arrival. So this is a follow up gallery to the 'departure' one and is just to let me (and you, dear reader) know that she arrived safely last Sunday (I am writing this on Tuesday). Again, quite a small gallery, but Andy has managed to get some rather good pictures of the car (and Victoria in the van!) :-)

Last image

Last picture in this gallery. Thanks to Andy for being there to 'record the moment for posterity'. :-)

Scarlet arrives

A good shot of Scarlet on the trailer (nice one Andy).

The arrival

They all arrive safe and sound. I was very surprised to find these images in my inbox today, and am glad they all made it in one piece (or in Scarlet's case, several pieces!) ;-) I wonder how long the journey took...

Victoria

Funny, i was sure Bill was driving when they set off from my place. :-) The BRG F on the left of the picture is Andy's. He's been busy clocking up the miles recently and the last I heard he was catching Scarlet up rapidly. Andy's F is also affectionately known as 'the Tardis', mainly because somehow or other he manages to pack the most incredible amount of kit whenever there is an event (collapsible chairs, gazebo, BBQ, tent - I don't know where he puts it all!) :-)


14th August 2003 - MGF Centre, Day 3

Thursday. The shell is back from the paintshop and the next few days shot by in a flurry of activity. Bearing in mind that not only did the car have to be done for Sunday's open day and the big reveal, but Victoria, Bill and co had to get the place spruced up ready for all the visitors. This is how the days panned out. Andy and I would arrive around 9:30ish and work on the car with Victoria whilst Bill, Thomas and Carl would be busy painting, tidying, moving subframes, arranging cladding (inside and out) and fixing signage with some specialist contractors. At around 5:00pm we would stop for a bite (Andy Bates providing a BBQ on occasions!) and then we would all work into the evening on Scarlet. I am amazed at the amount of work these guys got through in such a short space of time - top job. :-) Lastly, as I was pressed for time a great deal was done quicly, so there isn't full step-by-step images of the rebuild. What there is though are stage photos showing the order of construction and associated text. Images showing exact screw locations etc can be found in the relevant strip down galleries above.

Airbag in

Following an accident, seatbelts, pretensioners and airbags should be replaced. So we sourced a later model airbag with the enamel MG badge on it. :-)

Cabin carpets in.

I then placed the 4 sections of underlay into the recesses in the floor pan and installed the two moulded carpet sections into the cabin. There are some carpet clips around the perimeter which need screwing in as well, you also need to thread the yellow seatbelt pretensioner wires through the slits in the carpet. Lastly you need to partially remove the threshold rubbers and push them back on top of the carpet edge.

Cubby box, drop down bin and T-Bar speakers

The MY2K T-Bar speaker boxes can be seen in this picture, they sit under the T-Bar angle and the cabling is concealed behind the drop down bin unit and inside the transmission tunnel. The drop down bin unit (also known as the rear console) just slots over the top of the transmission tunnel and is then fastened at the top with a pair of Philips head screws, one each side of the volumetric sensor (not shown in the picture). Lastly, the cubby box and drop down bin lids share a common hinge, this is screwed over the join between the transmission tunel and drop down bin unit with a further 4 screws, fastening the two together at the base. She's looking more like an F now isn't she? Oh, one more thing, check out the gold flake in the paintwork on the door opening... :-)

Dash bolts

The next step was to tighten all the bolts. Since I stripped the dash out of the car I have invested in a set of ratchet spanners for awkward jobs like this and although they were a benefit, this is still a poxy job due to lack of access! :-) Of all the jobs done today, this one and connecting the under dash vent hoses to the heater unit were the most time consuming and fiddly.

Dash in

In this picture the dash has just been offered up into place. We needed to hook the pair of dash vent hoses over the cross beam and then were able to line the screw and bolt holes up.

Headlamp in

This is the first lamp installed complete with painted inner reflector. Once the reflector is assembled and the three ball and socket joints clipped together, the lens is secured to the housing with a set of metal spring clips. All that then remains are the multiplugs on the rear and the twist on cover caps. The headlamp is then seated on the rubber bush on the shelf and then bolted into position, two on the top and one under the wing.

Headlamp inner reflectors, assembly.

This picture shows the back of the headlamp reflector assembly. It just screws to the reflector, sandwiching the glass lens to the dip beam. You can see the three socket connectors in this shot too as well as both the new inner reflector for the other lamp on the floor on the left and the surviving old reflector on the right. The reflector assembly just clips into the headlamp housing using three ball and socket type joints. The middle two (top and bottom of the assembly in the picture) take the headlamp adjusters and the third one (on the far right of the picture) connects to a metal ball and in use acts like a pivot.

Headlamps in

We then proceeded to install the second lamp. Note that this is a new unit as the original one was damaged beyond repair in the accident. More details on the painted headlamp modification can be found on {link:http://www.hometown.aol.com/ap1000000/howtohea.htm:Scarlet's Web}.

Heater box

I next turned my attention to the heater box, as it turned out I didn't do a first rate job here. The method I feel was sound, but somewhere along the line I feel one of the control cables got a twist in it and now I am having trouble getting a full rotation out of the vent selector dial. Looks like i'm going to have to get my tools out again fairly soon. Anyway, this picture shows the MY2K dial fascia on the Mk1 heater box, with the first of the two control cables connected (this is the one that is twisted).

Heater box in.

This one shows the heater box back in position. Note the yellow wire trailing on the carpet. This is the alarm blipper receiver and I was going to extend it to make it a tuned length - this is after a lenthy discussion on the MGF BBS. Time unfortunately didn't allow so I ended up taping it vertically, extending it up inside the dash, behind the stereo head unit.

Inner headlamp reflectors

This is a modification I helped pioneer way back in 1998 if I recall correctly. You will note that this is before the introduction of the Trophy 160 which has a similar headlamp modification. To date there are very few sets of painted inner reflectors out there, around a dozen or so and prior to the accident Scarlet was one of only 2 red sets (the other set belongs to Erik Baekelant in Belgium, but his are Nightfire Red). Now she not only is the only Flame Red set, her reflectors have the gold pearl laquer too. :-)

Instrument Cowl

Next up was the instrument cowl, this was just a matter of connecting the multiplug for the instrument dimmer switch and then refitting 4 Philips head screws.

Instrument pack in

Connecting the multiplugs and the speedo cable by feel are the only tricky things about this job, once done the entire instrument pack just screws into the binnacle with 4 Philips head screws.

MY2K fascia in.

Time for the fascia. This was a surprisingly easy job to do, requiring only the removal of some of the foam above the lower mounting clips with a craft knife. I used the opening for the top vent to connect the clock, hazard warning light and the oil temperature guages and the triangular footwell panels to connect the multiplugs to the switch gear. Things to note are that access to the lower switch panel is a *lot* tighter with the MY2K fascia and in my case the heater panel still needs to come forward a little. The alloy ring with the gear lever gaiter attached just clips into position (it's a little fiddly to do, there is a technique to it which involves slight rotational movements) and lastly my wood gear knob just screwed into place.

Old vents and passenger air bag blankir

These items are just push fit, the old vents were re-used at this stage because although we had done the MY2K fascia yesterday, the idea to do the vents in a similar manner to match hadn't occurred to us yet. This happened later on today.

Rear carpet in.

The rear carpet is installed in much the same way as the sound deadening material. It hooks into ponsition on the pair of studs and then the carpet clips can be screwed into place. There are also an additional 4 push studs in the door reveals. Sorry the carpet is a bit messy, the picture was taken before it was hoovered! :-)

Rear sound deadening material

My attention then turned to the carpets and I began with the rear sound deadening material. I hooked it in place over the pair of welded on studs and then used the 'witches hat' part of the carpet clips to secure it in position.

Shell under wraps

After Andy and I left last night they moved Scarlet into the workshop, then removed her wheels (for refurbishing / replacement and painting), bumpers (for the trim to be added, grilles, badging, numberplates etc.) and placed her on axle stands.

Steering column collar

With the vents and air bag blank in place I returned to the drivers' side and refitted the steering column collar. The top half needs to be installed first as the bottom section has to slot over the ignition. The two haves then clip together and three bolts need to be inserted into the underside. Although I didn't know it at this stage, the yellow air bag rotary coupler was damaged in the accident and it wasn't until after the rebuild was complete and the power was on that we realised it would need replacing. The MGF Centre supplied me with a replacement rotary coupler and I fitted this at home on the following Monday evening.

Steering wheel in

Hold on a mo, didn't you have a red and black leather steering wheel? The answer to this is yes, I also have a wood rim one! Basically I swapped the wood rim one for the old leather one right at the beginning of the rebuild to prevent it getting damaged. Now was the time to put it back again.

Transmission tunel in.

The next step was the transmission tunnel. I slotted it over the handbrake and positioned the end under the dash. Next I proceeded to replace the 4 Philips head screws that hold it in position (4 at the dash end and a further 2 at the rear). You may also notice some additional speaker wires, these come from the MY2K speaker box, installed as part of the rebuild on the rear bulkhead. The cables are threaded through the transmission tunnel to the dash and ultimately to the head unit.

Vents in - Job done for today :-)

Last picture from the day, in this one the top and side vents are now in (they just push fit into place) and the rubber non-slip mat has been added to the lower cubby in the fascia. It was the end of a long day for Andy and I. Also, not recorded in this gallery, Bill, Carl and Thomas were working on the front subframe whilst I was in the cabin, rebuilding the brakes and replacing the front steering rack (which was shot). I opted for a TF steering rack which has a quicker ratio lock to lock, as far as I am aware Scarlet is the only non-EPAS car to have one as the TF comes with either EPAS as standard or the old F rack on the lower spec models. Driving the car since the rebuild was complete has shown the steering to be heavier, but not overly so (in my opinion), but then I am pretty huge so I can get plenty of leverage on the steering wheel! :-)


13th July - Scarlet departs for the MGF Centre

Hot on the heels of the last gallery, this is just to record the day Scarlet left me to be rebuilt by the MGF Centre. But don't worry, this is not the end of this site! :-) I have asked for stage photos to be taken in thier workshop and these will appear here. Obviously they won't be able to go into as much detail as I have been, but there will be a record of the works as they are done. Only 4 pictures in this gallery, they record the prep work before hand and the moment she was taken away.

Good bye and safe journey.

And here she is leaving the house. Not only will she look substantially different the next time I see her, but this is also the last picture of her at home in these galleries. I am now sans-Scarlet :-( but I have my weekends free! :-)

Prep work

The MGF Centre are dong the work and they will need to test all the equipment to make sure it is working order. To this end they asked me to re-fit all the switches, instrument pack etc and I did this during the week. I also loaded the car up with anything that needs painting as they will be doing the respray.

Prep work

A side view of Scarlet, note the hardtop has been refitted (it will need painting with the rest of the car). As I mentioned in the last gallery, I didn't get a chance to sort out the tracking on the front wheel, you can see in this picture that it isn't straight. What you can't see is that the other front wheel IS straight, so this one is quite a way out.

Trailer

The MGF Centre collected Scarlet today, indeed they left me under an hour ago so if you are on the M11, M25 or heading from there to the Midlands today then there is a chance you may see her! In fact, these pictures will be online before they get back (it has just gone mid day here). :-)


15th June - Mike Satur Brake Pedal Adjuster, Inspection and Rear Panel

Managed to do some more work on Scarlet this weekend. Not sure how relevant it will be to you guys reading this, but the site is here primarily to record the progress and so the following gallery has been put together. Below you will find how I fitted one of Mike Satur's brake pedal adjusters and see some of the work I put into restoring the two rusted panels I removed a while ago. Oh, one more thing - I reached a milestone today, I started putting things back on Scarlet!

Back Panel - Rust Treatment and Painting

After wire brushing it down and abraiding the surface, I applied a couple of coats of some Hammerite spray on rust repair stuff. Oh, this is my Dad's garden by the way, he put up a gazebo a few years back - little did he know i'd be using it as a paint shop! :-)

Back Panel - Rust Treatment and Painting

This is the worst part of the panel, as you can see it had rusted through on the edge and calls into doubt the validity of the panel. Not having a replacement to hand I decided to carry on by treating the rust.

Back Panel - Rust Treatment and Painting

Out came the wire brush and I set to work scrubbing the surface rust off and away. I also roughened up the rest of the panel ready to accept a coat of primer.

Back Panel - Rust Treatment and Painting

With the brake pedal done, I decided to havea look at the rusty back panel and see if itcould be salvaged. As you can see it ispretty rusty, but I thought i'd have a go atwire brushing it down to see just how bad it is.

Engine Bay Inspection Panel - Rust Treatment and Painting

And here she is, not the best paint job in the world, but it'll do the job. :-)

Engine Bay Inspection Panel - Rust Treatment and Painting

Whilst the back panel undercoat was drying I decided to do the same for the engine bay inspection panel. I started by removing the rubber seal around the edge (it just pulls off) and then set to work with the wire brush again.

Engine Bay Inspection Panel - Rust Treatment and Painting

To be honest, the rust on this panel was fairly minimal, certainly no where near as bad as the back panel. Also, I have been thinking about this panel for a while now, i'm getting very bored with undoing all 11 bolts every time I want to get into the engine compartment and have had some ideas regarding it. But for now, as I had the paint and some time I thought i'd clean the old one up a bit and give it a lick of paint too. The rear panel behind the engine bay panel was completely sprayed with the rust treatment, this is why it is brown. I used a can of Flame Red top coat to finish it off and to be honest it doesn't look too bad, but I still might replace it with a new one. The inspection panel has a partial coat of rust treatment and then a total cover of red undercoat (not the under side). This was then blown over with a further two coats of Flame Red paint, and a little artistic flourish with some Sandalwood Beige paint I had lying about...

Mike Satur Brake Pedal Adjuster - Fitment

OK, now you need to 'take up the position!' :-) For the next part of this job you need to have your head in the footwell looking up - this means lying on your back on the driver's seat with your legs up in the air and I can personally testify that it is extremely uncomfortable. This is the reason I put this job off for so long. Scarlet, as you know is currently stripped out in the cabin - this afforded me quite a bit more room, but even sans-seats access was tricky. To give you some idea all the footwell pictures were taken upside-down and then rotated afterwards for the website! Anyway, this picture shows you what I tried to describe at picture 1. You can see the top pivot and the brake pedal (which is cranked behind the steering column). The black and grey cylindrical item in the middle of the picture with the wires coming out of the bottom is the brake light switch and the vertical metal bar to the left of the switch is attached to the other end of the push rod that I am going to be swapping for the adjustable one.

Mike Satur Brake Pedal Adjuster - Fitment

The first thing to do in here is reset the brake light switch. This is a very handy thing to be able to do as the F can suffer from flickering brake lights and doing this will cure it. Begin by removing it from it's bracket by rotating it 90 degrees, it should then drop out.

Mike Satur Brake Pedal Adjuster - Fitment

Why have I fitted this? Well, I bought it ages ago and never got round to installing it because getting sufficient access to the pedal box is a job for a contortionist! Anyway, given that I am unlikely to ever have this kind of access again, I decided that it was now or never and so in it went. :-) So what is it then? Well, the MGF has a very strange pedal box in so far as the brake pedal is considerably higher than the clutch and accelerator. This makes heel and toe braking difficult and also restricts the amount of usable space for your feet. Plus it looks untidy! ;-) The way the brake pedal works is this, all the pedals are top hinged and the brake pedal has two functions. The pedal is like an inverted 'L' with the pivot at the corner and the foot pad at the end of the long leg. When you depress the brake pedal, it rotates around the pivot lifting the horizontal short leg, this releases the plunger on the brake pedal switch and turns on the brake lights. Also, to the left of the brake pedal, attached to the same pivot, is a bar that is attached to a push rod which goes through the bulkhead and pushes a cam on a shaft on the other side. The rotation of the shaft activates the brake master cylinder which in turn operates the brakes themselves. The length of the push rod dictates the height of the pedal, acting like a strut and is the reason the pedal sits too high - it is simply too long, probably a parts bin item, designed for another car. Mike's pedal adjuster is a replacement push rod with a threaded section to allow you to adjust the length. Confused? Not to worry, the following method will make things clearer. Anyway, on with the show - begin by removing the shroud panel under the bonnet (this is described in the Windscreen Trim gallery) and then, using some needle nosed pliers remove the 'R' clip from the cotter pin as shown in the picture.

Mike Satur Brake Pedal Adjuster - Fitment

OK, this picture is for illustrative purposes only, mainly because it is very difficult to get a shot of what needs to be done. As part of the kit there is a white plastic extension cap for the brake light switch. If you recall my description of the switches' operation, pushing the pedal lifts the short leg of the 'L' which releases the plunger on the switch. Because we are resetting the position of the pedal, the short leg is that much higher at rest, this means that the brake plunger could be released when your foot is off of the brake pedal, meaning the lights would be on constantly. The white cap extends the length of the plunger, thus preventing this, but it doesn't fit through the switch bracket. What you need to do is insert the switch loosely into the bracket and then pop the cap onto the switch. Leave the switch hanging loose in the bracket for now.

Mike Satur Brake Pedal Adjuster - Fitment

OK, nearly there now. With the crooklock still in place (depressing the pedal), insert the brake light switch fully into the bracket and rotate through 90 degrees to secure. You can now release the crooklock, the pedal will spring back into the (new) position and you should hear the brake light switch adjusting itself to suit the now lower pedal position. Finally, using a 10mm spanner, tighten the lock nut on the pedal adjuster. There, three little pedals, all in a row. :-)

Mike Satur Brake Pedal Adjuster - Fitment

As the pedal is depressed, you can now push the channel in the grommet into place ensuring that any water does not get into the footwell through here.

Mike Satur Brake Pedal Adjuster - Fitment

With the 'R' clip removed, slide out the nylon cotter pin thus.

Mike Satur Brake Pedal Adjuster - Fitment

Locate the bar in the end of the new push rod and see how the pedal sits in relation to the others. Lift the pedal and wind the end of the push rod in or out, trying the pedal intermittantly until you are happy with the pedal height. Insert the nylon cotter pin and 'R' clip when you are happy.

Mike Satur Brake Pedal Adjuster - Fitment

Next you need to extend the actuating pin - the black plunger in the top of the switch. The switch has an internal ratchet-type mechanism which self adjusts to the brake pedal, if the pedal is lifted by accident it resets the plunger a bit further down, making it hyper sensitive and thus causing flickering brake lights. With the switch out you can pull the plunger out of the switch, you need to tug quite firmly and it will make a loud crack as the plunger extends a good 5mm ish.

Mike Satur Brake Pedal Adjuster - Fitment

Take up 'the position' again :-) It should now look like this.

Mike Satur Brake Pedal Adjuster - Fitment

Now replace the 'R' clip.

Mike Satur Brake Pedal Adjuster - Fitment

Insert the non-adjustable end through the hole in the bulkhead and replace the nylon cotter pin.

Mike Satur Brake Pedal Adjuster - Fitment

Transfer the grommet from the old push rod to the new one. This is quite a job as the grommet only just slips over the ends of the old push rod. The good news is though that you can take the end off of the adjustable one to make it a lot easier putting it back. :-) Note the arrangement, wide end facing away from the screw thread on the new push rod.

Mike Satur Brake Pedal Adjuster - Fitment

Now push out the nylon cotter pin, you can now remove the push rod and the grommet.

Mike Satur Brake Pedal Adjuster - Fitment

The next step is to refit the grommet. This as it turned out was the trickiest part of the job because the grommet is nipped by the end of the push rod in the bulkhead when the pedal is at rest. I found the best way to do this was to depress the pedal and push the grommet through the hole, then use a crooklock to hold the pedal depressed whilst you go around the front of the car...

Mike Satur Brake Pedal Adjuster - Fitment

Leave the switch out of the bracket for the time being and go back to the push rod. Using the needle nosed pliers again, as we did behind the shroud panel, remove the 'R' clip.


15th August 2003 - MGF Centre, Day 4

This was one of the longest days at the MGF Centre, we started at the usual 9:30ish am and worked through to 2:30ish the following morning! Loads happened today, and the gallery reflects the amount of work done. You need to bear in mind that I was only recording the jobs I was directly involved in and Bill, Carl, Thomas, Andy and Victoria were all busy with other projects at the same time - she really was a team effort. Again, the pictures show stages only, full step-by-step details can be found in the stripdown galleries above.

Drivers' seat

Now for the driver's seat. I bolted the end of the seatbelt to the seat, then connected the seatbelt pretensioner wiring underneath. Using a cordless drill (much easier), I then put in three of the four retaining bolts before resorting to a ratchet to install the last one (due to space restrictions). Lastly I nipped all four up by hand - job done.

Exhaust

A shot of the new exhaust, before the bumper and tailpipe finishers were installed.

Exhaust shield.

I wasn't the only one working on the car, this is a picture of Carl fitting the new exhaust shield under the car.

Exhaust...

A picture of me. :-) And there you were thinking that all I did was take photographs for this website! With the rear bumper off it became apparent that my Mike Satur Daytona system had suffered more than a little damage in the accident. This is a real shame as to the best of my knowledge, Scarlet's was the first one sold, it was fitted 'on display' in the paddock at Brooklands museum whilst being watched by a small crowd of other MGF owners and it is a system that I have been extremely pleased with over the years - I was very sorry to see it go. The good news is that in it's place I have a 2003 model year Phoenix system, which has a lovely purr to it and looks superb. Once the exhaust was removed, I had a good look at the heat shield, this had had it as well and needed replacing, the picture shows me working on one of the rubber exhaust mounts, whilst I was under there it was decided to replace these 7½ year old bushes with new ones as they were getting a little tired.

Finished (for the day) :-)

Rear bumper in place, exhaust finishers fitted - looking good :-) 2:30am by the time we'd got this far - time for bed, more work to be done tomorrow! :-)

Inner front bumper

This is a picture of the inside of the front bumper (in it's protective 'sock'). Things to note here are the grilles and the first of four red neon tubes installed under the car.

Mechanic's hands...

Why is it that all pictures of me turn out a bit goofy? I must just have 'one of those faces' I guess! :-) The grin is genuine though, I must be pretty sad to spend my holidays working in a garage (for free) and enjoying it! Seriously, I had a great time up there in Wolverhampton, where's my analysts number... ;-)

Rear Bumper Grille - TOP SECRET! :-)

OK, this is how you fit a grille to the rear bumper. It really is very straigtforward but there are a couple of things you need to be aware of. Firstly, you need an MGF lower front grille and then you need to cut off a narrow strip from one end, this is to provide a slot in the grille for the rear towing eye. You also need a number of small grille screws and washers and a drill with a small bit. Unlike the front bumper, the rear one does not have the thickening in the walls to take the screws, this makes things tricky, but not insurmountable. Use the drill to drill small pilot holes for the screws, drill at a slight angle away from the opening so that the screw doesn't bulge the visable external surface. Lastly, once the grille is in place, trim off the excess off the bottom of the grille so that it doesn't foul the end of the exhaust heat shield. Job done. :-)

Rear neon tube.

Not content with one mod for the rear bumper, I decided to fit a neon tube here as well :-) The tube is bolted through the bumper, the eagle eyed among you may have spotted that one of the bolts is longer than the other - I used what I had to hand on the day. :-)

Side Vents in...

How to fit grilles to the side vents. The side grilles are just sillicone sealed into the surround and the surround is fixed tot he car with a pair of Philips head screws (which can go rusty). Also in this picture you can see the fleck in the paintwork on the door - nice :-)

Signatures!

It's kinda traditional on Scarlet. :-) I asked all the contributors to sign the inside of the front bumper to mark the occasion.

T-Bar in.

I have to say that this was an absolute pig to fit. The tonneau cover bolts are fiddly in the extreme and after roughly half an hour trying to get the second one in I eventually gave up and press ganged Bill to do the job! :-)

Wheels

Here are the wheels, back from the paintshop. 2 new and 2 reconditioned (I couldn't tell them apart!) All four were repainted in the original flame red and sandalwood beige colour scheme, however they now have the sparkly laquer as well. Those guys in the paintshop are geniuses. :-) In the background is the rear bumper, note the protective cover - they are known as 'bumper socks' in the MGF Centre and are very useful indeed, I might have to try to get hold of one...

Windstop in.

Scarlet's windstop is number 1 of only 7 made in this finish. It is a Mike Satur FX polished billet aluminium windstop, and it came off of Mike's car :-) Having a polished flat screen on the back of the car is probably not a good idea (despite the fact that it is intentionally tilted 10 degrees forwards) as under certain conditions it can act like a mirror and dazzle other drivers. This is the reason only 7 were made like this, the others are mainly satin anodised in black and there are some in brushed aluminium too. Mike now makes roll over bars with integral windstops (Boxer bars) and therefore has stopped making the FX windstops, collectors item? ;-)


15th March 2003 – And so it begins…

Saturday morning was nice and bright so I started on the strip down today. Still no word from the insurers (which is REALLY annoying), and I can’t really delay the rebuild any longer so out came the tools today and I began taking things apart. Parts stripped so far are the front bumper, damaged headlamp, the remaining front indicator and the front grilles, the first two items are beyond repair, the indicator is fine, but is missing it’s ‘partner’ and the grilles, although a little bent will straighten up and will be re-used. I also made a start on the rear bumper and have removed all the fixings with the exception of the wheel arch screws (due to the need to jack the car up to get access). Took loads of pictures and now have a better idea of the extent of the front end damage.

Armature #1

The front bumper is fixed to an armature that is designed to deform in a progressive manner in an impact. The picture shows that it has been 'crumpled' on the right hand side and in doing so has protected the radiator.

Armature #2

This photograph shows the armature from a different angle, it also shows the lower rad panel which has also been deformed in the impact. The armature is fixed with 4 bolts each end and only the top two are accessable (under the headlamp) at this end. The bottom two have been covered by the bent armature and I suspect this will cause me some grief later on in the rebuild. We shall see...

Armature #3

A front view of Scarlet with the bumper removed.

Front Bumper Bolt

The front bumper is secured with 5 screws accross the top, a pair of screws to each wheelarch lining, a pair of screws to the underside of the front wings and behind each indicator a 17mm bolt. More details on how to remove the front bumper can be found on {link:http://www.hometown.aol.com/ap1000000/howtofbu.htm:Scarlet's Web}

Front Grilles

With the bumper removed it is easy to strip out the grilles by undoing the philips head retaining screws. Scarlet has laser cut stainless steel grilles which were salvageable and will be re-used. I am also thinking of having them powder coated.

Headlight Panel

With the damaged headlamp unit removed it is possible to see the panel distortions in this area, especially around the armature and the lower rad panel.

Indicator

Begin by undoing the 5 screws across the top of the bumper on the slam panel and then remove the indicator using a flat bladed screwdriver (gently, the plastic retaining clip is very easy to break!) to gain access to the main retaining bolts. More details on how to remove the indicators can be found on {link:http://www.hometown.aol.com/ap1000000/howtoind.htm:Scarlet's Web}

Job Done

This is the final picture, taken after the work was completed.

Numberplate wiring

The rear bumper houses a pair of lamps to illuminate the rear numberplate - these need disconnecting before the bumper can be removed. It is as simple as unclipping the two multiplugs in the boot and feeding the gromet and wiring through the hole in the rear panel.

Rear Bumper fixings...

In the boot there are three bolts that retain the rear bumper. To remove the retaining nuts you will need a 13mm spanner and a lot of patience! As you can see from the picture the central one is a pain to get to, furthermore, the length of the bolt precludes the use of a socket.

Signature!

Had a nice surprise today when i removed the front bumper. The last time I had the front bumper off it was to fit the stainless steel laser cut grilles and at the time I signed the inside of the bumper, fortunately on the driver's side. I then forgot all about the signature until I removed the bumper again today. :-)


16th August 2003 - MGF Centre, Day 5

Saturday, and I wasn't supposed to be here! The plan was that i'd head home in the ZS on Friday night, but given the time we finished I ended up staying for an extra day. Just as well too, as it was down to the wire! This is quite a small gallery and it deals with the work done up to around 4:00pm, this is the time I left for home in the ZS, Scarlet wasn't quite there yet (little did I know that it was going to be another 2:00am stint for the MGF Centre guys), but I had to get the ZS home or i'd be stuck with 2 cars in Wolverhampton... :-)

Dash in. :-)

OK, this is the finished dash, fascia etc. Complete with stereo head unit, MY2K fascia and matching vents. This is pretty much how she looked on the handover on Sunday the 17th dash wise, the only things different are the fuse box cover was closed (if you look carefully you can see that it is open under the steering wheel) and a liberal coating of 'cockpit shine' (i'm still trying to get rid of it - it went everywhere and is now collecting dust, bleedin' stuff!) ;-)

Door Cards in.

Rebuilding the door and fitting (new) door cards was fairly straightforward. Scarlet is supposed to have some new Mike Satur FX speaker covers for the door cards but Mike was out fo stock at the time so I opted for the MY2K covers with the intention of replacing them in the future. Scarlet's door cards were unfortunately damaged in transit in the ZS (they are very easy to mark), so new Mk1 cards were sourced and the leather door pods swapped over. What else is there, oh yes, the new numberplates are now fitted and there is a small 'Scarlet Fever' graphic on the cream stripe in red. The other thing that is noticable here is the little red light in the door...

Door lights

Inspired by my mate Ian (who pioneered this and has a similar, more extensive, set up), the lights were sourced from a Rover 800. The cabling runs from the lights through the rubber grommet int he door jamb to the footwell lamps so they come on witht he courtesy circuit. They are to warn other vehicles that the door is open, given the F's wide doors this is something I feel is a VERY good idea.

Graphics...

Time for the graphics. Not much of a change from the previous set, mainly a change in font (from Brushwood to Artbrush) and they are slightly smaller on the cills. There is also a pair of smaller complementary graphics on the nose and tail in red, situated in the stripe zone. The graphics are applied vinyl, they come sandwiched between two greaseproof paper layers and you simply peel off the backing, position the graphics and then peel off the face paper.

Neons.

...and this is the front one. I am not 100% happy with the side ones (and only have myself to blame as I fitted them) as the tubes themselves are visible. The front and rear ones are much more discreet being tucked away within the bumpers.

Neons...

The car was raised to install the wiring for the neons, this is a shot of one of the side ones...

Seats in. :-)

Saturday morning... Both seats in. I fitted the passenger seat in exactly the same way as the driver's one. Bolt the seatbelt to the seat, connect the pretensioner wiring, zip the front two and the transmission tunnel bolts in with a cordless drill and then do up the last bolt by hand with a ratchet. Torque them up - job done. :-)

Wheels on. :-)

Wheels, with tyres now on the car. She's finally looking complete (although there were still some items to be done). It was at this point (4:00 ish) that I decided to head back home and therefore this is the last picture in this gallery, and the last one in the rebuild. I said my goodbyes and drove the ZS home whilst the MGF Centre people tidied up some loose ends (like starting her up for the first time in 6 months!) I am sorry I missed this, but I had to depart, the logistics of getting two cars home being the way they are. So, you see, when the 'big reveal' happened on Sunday there were some surprises even for me :-) A HUGE thankyou to Victoria, Bill, Carl, Thomas and espescially Andy Bates for working miracles and putting up with me, I think you'll agree this was no ordinary rebuild and the list of ideas I gave them presented some rather unique problems. Thanx guys. :-)


17th August 2003 - MGF Centre, Day 6

The big day! :-) The 17th August was the MGF Centre's open day and over 40 MGF/TFs turned up from all over the country. They put on a good show for us too, the yard was clear and the buildings were spick and span, decked out in thier new cladding, signage and bunting. There was a surf machine, a free BBQ (well done Andy!) a DJ, off road parking for 3/4 of the guests and under a black cover a certain well known MGF... ;-) The pictures in this gallery are from Steve Foster and myself (I was a little busy on the day!) :-)

Cowabunga!

He did however get some time off to lark about on the surf machine! :-) Fantastic timing by my mate Kieron in the bottom left corner of the shot - some people will do anything to get on this site! :-D

Donations

The pledges for Scarlet's rebuild ultimately were not needed as the Insurance company decided to fund the repair (after a lot of the work had been done already...) ;-) The pledges were put to good use however, Bob Caddick (a.k.a. Blue Max) was undergoing treatment for a form of cancer called Lymphoma (a.k.a. Hodgkins' Disease). This apparently is widespread, being the third most common form of Cancer in the UK. The donations were made to the Lymphoma Society via Justgiving.com in the name of Scarlet Fever and over £500.00 was raised for this worthy cause (ironic that the donation to help fight a disease was made in the name of a disease!) It's nice to feel that some real good has come out of this. :-) The even better news is that Bob has finished his treatment and has been given the all clear. :-)

Head Chef - Andy B! :-)

Andy Bates did stirling work on the day keeping the 'hungry hordes' fed - top man, it's not easy cooking for 60 odd people. :-)

More Fs...

This is just inside the compound, and happens to be Rob Bell's F in the foreground, speaking of Rob...

Oi! No peeking!

Under wraps, Scarlet awaits...

Rob and I

Yet another cheesy picture of me - incedentally the grin on my face was a permanent fixture all day! :-) Rob is (obvioulsy) on the right and is one of the people who had a hands on involvement with the rebirth of Scarlet, indeed his contribution can be seen in the Hub Assembly Part 1 gallery above. Thanx mate.

Ribbon

"Help! where's the scissors!" says I as the bow becomes a double knot! :-)

Scarlet Fever

Last shot of the rebuild - this is how she looked when I finally got home around midnight the same day. :-) Oscar speech coming up! - It's been a long few months, but it has all been worth it. Huge thanks to: The MGF Centre crew, Victoria, Bill, Carl and Thomas (who apart from being professionals, I also now consider good friends), The many talented Andy Bates (a very welcome friend in need, helper, chef, hotelier and taxi driver), Rob Bell (for helping out and being instrumental in building this website), Stefan Gibney and Jenny (without whom this site wouldn't exist), Tim Woolcott (who helped out with the stripdown), Mike Satur (for providing advice and parts), Roche Bentley and Ted Newman (who got the ball rolling insurance wise). And also to everyone on the MGF BBS who pledged support and helped raise over £500.00 for the Lymphoma Society in the name of Scarlet Fever. I hope you'll find the rebuild pages helpful (if this site had been around in February I would have felt a lot more confident about attempting the rebuild), plans for the future include further TOP SECRET galleries on the modifications done as part of the rebuild - watch this space... :-)

Scarlet Fever

Following the big reveal, this is how she looked. Red and cream are 1950's/60's Abingdon Works race colours (although back then I understand it was Tartan Red and Old English White). I have used Flame Red and Sandalwood Beige from the recent MGR palette to update the idea a little. And this car is the inspiration for the stripe...

Stripes...

Scarlet wasn't the only stripey F there... :-)

Ta Daa!

Carl and I remove the cover - Scarlet Fever lives again! :-)

The big day is here...

The plan for today was to drive the ZS to the usual (westbound) Essex Roadsters meeting point, The Marriot Hotel, just off junction 26 of the M25, park the ZS up and hitch a lift with one of the ER guys. My driver for the day turned out to be 'Daz' from the BBS and i hitched a lift with him in the infamous 'J11CY F' listening to the burble of his Janspeed exhaust and the ringing of Jaime on the mobile telling him to slow down!! :-)

The crowd gathers...

Time for the big reveal... :-)

The MGF Centre

We all arrived at around mid day to find the open day was in full swing and all the off road parking was already taken. Daz's F is the Platinum Silver one on the far left, the Tahiti Blue F belongs to Ian, behind him is the very distinctive Lotus Norfolk Mustard Yellow F of Mark Lucas, next is Jaime's Platinum F and behind this is the Trophy Blue TF of Steve Shorey.

Tim, looking lost! ;-)

"I can't find my F!" ;-) Another of my 'press ganged' helpers - Tim Woolcott admiring some of the other MGFs/TFs. (Psst Tim, your one is inside the compound!) LOL :-)

XP 500 - Inspiration...

This picture was taken at Silverstone in 2001, this was the first time I saw an 'X-Power stripe' in the flesh and I have been thinking about one ever since. The car in question is the MGF XP 500 (this is before the TF was launched and therefore the name hadn't been changed to TF yet). It had (has?) a 500bhp engine from the MG Lola LeMans cars and is a one-off prototype (shame!)


17th May - Wiper Assembly, Bonnet, Scuttle Finisher, Upper Radiator Panel

Firstly a big thankyou to Tim Woolcott, he popped over yesterday and helped out with the stripdown - cheers mate. :-) In this gallery you will see how we removed the scuttle finisher, the windscreen wiper assembly, the bonnet and the upper radiator panel (bonnet slam panel). But before all this though, I have some news. As you know the insurance company has been taking it's time with the claim, off the record I know through telephone conversations with them that this is because the independant assessor had said that Scarlet was a very well looked after F and that the modifications and general higher specification of the car should be taken into account with regard to any settlement figure. All of my modifications have been declared on my insurance policy, but they wanted some evidence that what I had declared had actually been done - basically justify the £10,000 she is insured for. Fortunately I have 90% of all of the invoices and was able to more than substantiate the value - these were copied and sent to them a fortnight ago. Last week's letter says that "in light of the modifications the car may now be a repairable proposition, please can I arrange for a repair estimate" :-) At first I wasn't sure how to take this, afterall I have done a lot of work already and was quite looking forward to the rebuild, but now I feel that it is good news. From here there are basically two outcomes, 1) They agree to repair Scarlet, I get her back in all her former glory ;-) and 2) They still write her off, but now the figure is likely to be significantly higher than I expected. I buy her back, rebuild her and end up with "Scarlet 2" - the new and improved sequel! Due to the extra finances I can attribute to her. :-) More on this as it happens, in the meantime on with the gallery...

Bonnet - Removal

Using a 10mm socket undo the two pairs of bolts that secure the bonnet to the hinges. I used a ratchet spanner (as Tim was using the socket on the other hinge). This job is best done by two people in order to avoid the bonnet dropping and potentially damaging the car.

Bonnet - Removal

The bonnet is free of the car and can be lifted clear - thus.

Bonnet - Removal

We began by removing the underbonnet light, it should just prise out, but is fairly brittle so if you are following this, you need to be carefull as it is easy to break. If you have a TF, this is an unnecessary step as the underbonnet light is one of a few deleted items in the specification of the two cars.

Bonnet - Removal

This picture shows the washer jet removed from the car, you can see the flat grommet around the jet and hopefully get a better idea of how it is fixed. The grommet also acts as a gasket, sealing the jet to the bonnet and (hopefully) preventing trapped water against the bodywork. We also unclipped the hose from the underside of the bonnet - all the clips just pull out.

Bonnet - Removal

The next stage is to detatch the washer jets. These are a two piece item that work like a rawl plug, in so far as the inner piece squeezes the outer 'grommet' into the hole, thus keeping it in place. We used a pair of pliers to remove them both.

Bonnet - Removal

Thread the underbonnet light wiring out of the bonnet and unclip the retaining stud. This is quite tricky to remove, we had to use a small flat bladed screwdriver in order to avoid damaging it.

Final Shot...

The last picture of the day's work. She's looking a bit sorry for herself now isn't she? This may be the last picture of the day, but it isn't the last one in this gallery, click the next button...

One Shot Driver's Window :-)

Tim also delivered an item from Victoria at the {link:http://www.mgfcentre.com/:MGF Centre}. If you have been following this rebuild you may remember me saying when I dismantled the dash that I thought the black 'box of tricks' on the underside of the heater control module was responsible for the one shot window operation in the Model Year 2000 (MY2K) MGF and TF. I have subsequently found out that this isn't the case, they are controlled by a remote box that is mounted in the driver's footwell and the picture shows the item in question. It is part number YWC-106170 and I intend to try to install it in Scarlet - i'll let you know how i get on. :-) ------------------ UPDATE 19/05/03. Rob Bell also had a one-shot driver's window module delivered on Saturday, he has successfully wired his in and the method can be found here {link:http://www.mgf.ultimatemg.com/DIY/one_shot_window/index.htm:Rob Bell's Website}.

Scuttle Finisher - Removal

Open the bonnet again, and remove the press studs under the rubber seal, they should just push out from below (or prise out from above in a couple of locations) - nearly there now.

Scuttle Finisher - Removal

It makes a change to see someone else's hands in the photos. :-) As you can see Tim is removing the screw covers with a (very) small flat bladed screwdriver. He has also removed the plastic cover to the retaining nut on the wiper spindle.

Scuttle Finisher - Removal

Using a Philips head screw driver remove all the retaining screws. Also, using a ratchet and a 10mm socket, undo and remove the retaining nut on each wiper spindle as shown in the picture.

Scuttle Finisher - Removal

We then closed the bonnet and removed the wiper blades. Hmmm, that's not one of Tim's hands - it must be one of mine! ;-)

Scuttle Finisher - Removal

The finisher is now free of the car, there is a rubber 'hook' on each end (shown on the far left of the picture) that needs to be negotiated around the bonnet hinge, but other than this it can just be lifted off the car. Hey, we're both in this shot. :-)

Upper Radiator Panel (Bonnet Slam Panel) - Removal

The panel is now unbolted, but is still connected to the car by the bonnet release cable. Turn the panel over and unclip it from it's mounting, you can now hook it over the release pull. The upper radiator panel is now free of the car and can be removed.

Upper Radiator Panel (Bonnet Slam Panel) - Removal

Using the ratchet, undo the 10mm bolts that secure the upper radiator panel as shown.

Upper Radiator Panel (Bonnet Slam Panel) - Removal

We then used a 10mm ratchet spanner and a pair of pliers to remove the pair of nuts and bolts that secure the panel stay. As an aside, in the background of this picture you can see Tim's rather nice F and also the back of my ZS. Tim's F is also a 1996 model and is around 200 cars older than Scarlet. :-)

Wheel / Suspension damage

We also removed Scarlet's damaged front wheel today - I am not going to tell you how to do this! ;-) In Scarlet's case however it did take two of us because the wheel wasn't retained by the ball joints and therefore needed to be held in order to crack the wheel nuts. The picture shows the inner wheel arch, you can see the Spax shock that is damaged and in need of replacement, the upper ball joint which has been parted by the impact and also, the new 280mm Black Diamond brake discs which have now gone rusty and will need replacing as well.

Windscreen Wiper Motor and Assembly - Removal

The next step is to undo the large retaining nut on the spindles, we didn't have a large enough spanner for this job, but they weren't very tight so we were able to use a set of offset pliers.

Windscreen Wiper Motor and Assembly - Removal

Slide off the spacer on the wiper spindles.

Windscreen Wiper Motor and Assembly - Removal

With the motor wound on and the bar's position adjusted, all that remains now is to disconnect the multiplug as shown and...

Windscreen Wiper Motor and Assembly - Removal

This is a tip from Tim, the next step was to remove the cover to the wiper motor by undoing the two T20 Torx screws - the reason for this will become clear shortly...

Windscreen Wiper Motor and Assembly - Removal

...The cover contains a pair of large magnets, with it in place you cannot move the wiper bar as you are working against the motor. With the cover removed you can then spin the motor and wind the bar accross so that becomes possible to lift the assembly out of it's mounting - nice one Tim. :-)

Windscreen Wiper Motor and Assembly - Removal

...lift the entire assembly out of the car.

Windscreen Wiper Motor and Assembly - Removal

With a ratchet and a 13mm socket, undo the lower retaining nut as shown.


1st March 2003 - Visit to the MGF Centre

Visited the MGF Centre in Wolverhampton today with Rob Bell and Tim Woolcott. I was really just 'scoping the place out' as this is a very good source of second hand parts. They break accident damaged F/TFs and have an extensive stock of just about everything at excellent prices. Picked up an upper ball joint, this actually originated with Mike Satur and he sent it to Victoria at the MGF Centre with a batch of other stuff ready for me to collect. I also have a lens for the smashed headlamp cluster and an iron in the fire for the rest of this item. I must appologise for the lack of photos, Victoria wasn't very keen on us taking them as they are half way through a re-vamp of the premises. When it is all done there is talk of a BBS 'Day Out' to pay them a visit, sounds like a good idea to me. Thanks to Mike for the ball joint and Victoria for the lens and her hospitality. Andrew

SF BBQ

I host a BBQ for the Essex Roadsters (and invited guests) each year and as my house is in the 'middle of nowhere' to augment the directions for finding the house I park Scarlet on the front verge as a landmark! Anyway, this photo was taken last year (2002) at this event and I felt it was appropriate to include it here as it shows how the front corner is supposed to look.


20th March 2003 - Insurance letter...

"Hooray", thinks I as I open the letter from my insurers this evening. "At last some progress". Imagine my dissapointment to find it was just confirming that they had received my faxes and would let me know in due course. :-( Annoyed doesn't begin to describe how i'm feeling at the moment. To remind you, Saturday will be 8 weeks since the accident and this coming Monday (24th March) will be 6 weeks since Scarlet was assessed. Surely it doesn't take 6 weeks to come to a decision on what is essentially an open and shut case? If there is a valid reason, it would be nice to know what it is at the very least. Am I being too demanding? Are my expectations set too high?


22 April 2003 - Dash (Part 2)

I had a day off today, so I set about removing the dash. This piece follows on from both the 'Dash Part 1' and 'Transmission Tunnel' galleries. Before I begin, a big thankyou to Mike Satur for providing much of the method for the following - cheers Mike. In this gallery you will find details on how i removed the instrument pack, the heater control panel, steering column cowl and the main dash. OK, now lets get on with the photos.

Dashboard - Removal

After slackening off the four side nuts (no need to remove them), I then performed the same operation on the four 8mm nuts inside the centre console (a pair each side).

Dashboard - Removal

In addition to the central nuts there are also a pair of spring clips, both needed releasing and I used a small flat bladed screwdriver for this job.

Dashboard - Removal

The main event! :-) Begin by using a coin (I used a 20 pence piece) and turning the cover caps on the windscreen demister vents through approximately 30 degrees. The image has arrows on it to show the direction to turn them.

Dashboard - Removal

Using an 8mm socket and a very small ratchet (I used a 1/4 drive on Mike Satur's recommendation), slacken off the 4 concealed bolts. This is a bit of a tricky job as access is very limited, my advice here is use the ratchet for as long as possible, then detach it from the socket and, with the socket still located on the bolt, work it undone with your fingers.

Dashboard - Removal

Whilst we are on the subject of the windscreen demister vents, the next step is to disconnect the hoses that feed them from the main heater box below the dash. There is one for each side and the image shows me disconnecting the passenger side one.

Dashboard - Removal

OK, with the four 8mm bolts in the air vents and the hoses under the dash removed, I next slackened off the pair of 8mm retaining nuts on the passenger side of the car. The picture sort of shows you what I did, but I took it through the space where the passenger air bag blank was and it hasn't come out entirely satisfactorily. :-( The next image shows the same nuts but on the drivers' side, this one is clearer.

Dashboard - Removal

This picture shows the drivers' side dash retaining nuts. Taken through the opening for the drivers' side air vent, this photo came out a lot better and you can see the nuts quite clearly. I needed a short extension in addition to the 8mm socket to slacken these off.

Dashboard - Removal

All four bolts undone, the next step is to lift them out of the vents and place them aside with the cover caps.

Dashboard - Removal

IMPORTANT! Everything is now released, but you still can't get the dash out of the car because the steering wheel is in the way. Under normal circumstances I would now tell you how to remove the wheel, but before I started this re-build I wrote an article on this subject for MG World magazine, I understand that this is due to be published in the next issue and I doubt Phil Raby would be very pleased if I put this information here! :-) What I will say is that Mike Satur recommended releasing the steering column so that it drops, wheel and all, out of the way. I didn't do this so I haven't any instructions for you, but it may be easier for anyone following this to go down this route. If you decide to remove the steering wheel it is VITAL that you disconnect the battery and leave the car for a FULL 10 minutes before attempting the removal, this will allow the airbag module to power down and will prevent it going off in your face! Also, once removed never put it pad side down (if it goes off it will fly accross the room), never place anything on top of it (for the same reason) and once the wheel is off, don't mess around with the rotary coupler, try to keep it in the same place. Other than this, I would suggest you buy a copy of the next issue of MG World when it comes out. In time instructions will appear here, but I have to give MG World first crack at it, if you know what I mean. --------------------------------------------------------------------- With the wheel out of the way, you can pull the dash out of the side bolts...

Dashboard - Removal

Work the side bolts and the central bolts out and then rotate the dash forwards so that the air vent hoses thread thier way up and out, you can now remove the dash from the car. :-)

Dashboard - Removal

With the dash out the car will look like this - Ahhh poor Scarlet ;-)

Dashboard - Removal

With the central nuts slackened and the bottom clips removed it is possible to work the heater control panel module out of the dash.

Heater Control Panel - Removal

The next job I did today was the removal of the switch panel for the heater. The first step was to release the panel from the dash module by undoing all four screws...

Heater Control Panel - Removal

The temperature control wire is a little more tricky, not only do you have to release the clamp, but you also need to take off the metal plate on the underside, and to do this you need to remove the black box. Tools for this job are the 8mm socket and ratchet and both a Philips head and a flat headed screwdriver. The wire can now be worked out of it's hole and the panel is now free of the car.

Heater Control Panel - Removal

Now that the dash is removed, this is much easier as you can manouvre the entire module to get good access to the fixtures. The picture shows the second screw, there are another pair on the other side.

Heater Control Panel - Removal

The next step is to unclip all the multiplugs to this module, there are two to the heater control panel and a further two to the black box underneath. I am not sure what his box is at the moment, but suspect it is the controller for amongst other things the electric windows - if this proves to be the case then I have plans for this little box of tricks... The temperature control and distribution knobs on the heater panel are attached to a pair of wires that opperate the heater gubbins. The wires are attached to the heater panel by being bent into a Z shape, to release the vent distribution wire you first need to release the retaining clamp by undoing the screw shown in the picture with a Philips head screwdriver, you can them work the wire out of it's hole. ---------UPDATE (30/05/03) --------- Been studying the workshop manual this evening and have found out that the mystery black box is actually the anti-theft alarm ECU. One shot electric windows are controlled by a seperate module, details of which can be found under 17th May - Wipers, Bonnet, Scuttle.

Instrument Pack - Removal

This picture shows the back of the instrument pack, the red circles have been added by me and show the locations of the three multiplugs and the speedo cable attachment.

Instrument Pack - Removal

The next job I completed was the removal of the instrument pack. To do this job I needed a Philips head screwdriver to undo the 4 retaining screws, I also had to remove the steering column cowl so that I had enough space to slide the pack out of its' mounting. This picture shows one of the top retaining screws, there is another like it on the other side of the binnacle, both needed removing.

Instrument Pack - Removal

Now for the tricky part! There are three multiplugs and the speedo cable to disconnect before you can remove the instrument pack, this is a fiddly job and I found it impossable to take photos of it because you are working behind the pack by feel. The next photograph shows the back of the instrument pack and I have ringed in red the locations of the multiplugs, hopefully if you need to follow these instructions the photo will help.

Instrument Pack - Removal

This last image shows the inside of the binnacle. I took it in response to a recent thread on the MGF BBS Technical forum which concerned the mounting of the instrument binnacle. It looks to me like it is retained from below and behind, making removal extremeley difficult insitu.

Last picture

Lastly, the usual 'final' picture of the day. I am quite pleased with my progress so far, future jobs include stripping out the heater componentry and carpets, this latter job will entail seat removal.

Steering Column Cowl - Removal

With the the fuse panel beneath the steering wheel open, using a Philips head screwdriver, undo and remove the first of the three retaining screws.

Steering Column Cowl - Removal

This picture shows the second of the three screws I needed to undo in order to remove the steering column cowl. The third one is adjacent to it.

Steering Column Cowl - Removal

The cowl clips together and the three screws meerly attach it to the steering column. Prise apart the two halves and remove the top part first.

Steering Column Cowl - Removal

The reason for removing the top part first is because the bottom part slots over the ignition and needs a little more manouvering to remove.

Steering Column Cowl - Removal

Begin by opening the fuse panel which is located under the steering wheel. I always use a coin for this, in this case a 20 pence piece.

Instrument Pack - Removal

This picture shows one of the two lower retaining screws. I had to remove both of the lower screws (one each side of the steering column).


22nd February 2003 - In the beginning...

OK, this is the first piece from me in this section. Current status is that Scarlet has been assessed and I presume the report has been submitted to my insurance company. I am just waiting for a decision, this may take a while though as Roche Bentley has put some wheels in motion regarding the review and more particularly the category rating. For those not in the know, when a car is written off it is rated, Category A means the wreck is totally unsalvageable and needs to be crushed. Category B is parts of the car can be re-used, it is then cannibalised and sold off in pieces and Category C is that the car is repairable and the wreck can be sold as is to anyone who wants to repair it (including me!) Scarlet is still on my drive, up on axle stands awaiting the verdict, Roche has said that although there are limits to what he can do legally, if the car is borderline B/C he will put in a good word or two. More news as and when, Andrew.

Battery Tray

In this photo, the creased battery tray can be clearly seen. The battery itself was loose but intact following the accident. I disconnected it from the car the following day to prevent it being discharged.

Damage

This is one of the original three pictures I took to send to Mike Satur, it also appeared on the X-Power forum. It shows the damaged front quarter, particularly the way the wheel is loose from the car in so far as the bodywork is sitting on the ground.


22nd March 2003 - Rear bumper

Another nice day, out came the tools and I finished the work I started last weekend namely the removal of the headlamps and bumpers. Last weekend I stripped off the front bumper and the damaged headlamp, I also made a start on the rear bumper. Today I have completed the removal of the rear bumper and I have also removed the undamaged headlamp.

Headlamp removal - Locating pin

The headlamp is now only attached to the car by the locating pin on the underside of the unit. Carefully rotate the headlamp unit forwards, out of it's mounting to detach it completely from the car. Job Done. I need to replace one of my headlamps and will need to strip the new one down and paint the inner reflector to match the old one. This is a job that I will cover in more detail later on in the rebuild, but in the meantime, if you are interested, here is a {link:http://www.hometown.aol.com/ap1000000/howtohea.htm:link} to the web page I set up following the original spray job.

Headlamp removal - Multiplug

To remove the headlamps you first need to remove the front bumper, this was covered in the previous piece dated 15th March. Once the bumper is removed you have access to the three fixings and can begin. The first step is to disconnect the headlamp from the wiring loom, do this by unclipping the multiplug from the back of the unit.

Headlamp removal - side screw

Once the top bolts are undone, go around to the side of the car and find the side screw that attaches the headlamp unit to the side wing. Use a Philips head screwdriver to undo and place with the top bolts somewhere safe. The headlamp is now free of the car and is sitting on a shelf.

Headlamp removal - Top bolts

Using a 10mm socket / spanner undo the pair of top bolts that secure the headlamp unit to the headlamp panel.

Rear Bumper Removal - Job Done

The final picture of the day, a shot of the back of Scarlet sans bumper and both box sections. Need to add them to the 'Parts required' section of this site now as they are both beyond repair.

Rear Bumper Removal - Numberplate wiring

Although disconnected last week, the wiring was still through to the boot compartment. I pushed the rubber grommets through the hole in the bodywork (shown in the picture) and then fed the wiring out so that it wouldn't become damaged when the bumper was removed.

Rear Bumper Removal - Off

Following on from last weekend's work I completed the removal of the rear bumper today. To recap, last week I disconnected the rear number plate wiring and removed the three retaining bolts in the boot. Last week I also had a go at the pair of 17mm bolts that fix the bumper up to the underside of the rear box sections. What I didn't mention was that I had trouble undoing these bolts and suspected that I had sheared the mounting plates! This was confirmed today when I completed the removal. I was stopped last week by the fact that I couldn't get to the retaining screws in the rear wheelarch without jacking the car up. This week I came to the conclusion that as the rear bumper was damaged beyond repair anyway it didn't matter if I damaged it further undoing these screws. :-) In addition to the three 'boot bolts' and the pair of 17mm main bolts, the bumper is retained with a further three screws in each wheel arch, 2 that join the wheelarch liner to the bumper (these were the tricky ones) and a further screw that fixes upwards into the underside of the rear wing. All are Philips head and I was able to undo Scarlet's with a 'dumpy' screwdriver and a bit of brute force! More details on removing the rear bumper can be found on {link:http://www.hometown.aol.com/ap1000000/howtorbu.htm:Scarlet's Web}

Rear Bumper Removal - Rear box sections

One of these box sections was damaged in the accident and I damaged them both trying to undo the main bolts, so they both need replacing with new items, fortunately they are bolt on items, so out came the trusty socket set again... :-)

Rear Bumper Removal - Rear box sections

This photo shows one of the rear box sections and the 4 retaining bolts after it had been removed from the car. Once I had taken it off I found some surface rust on the bodywork where the box section was mounted, this is a little worrying as it was completely hidden until I removed it.

Rear Bumper Removal - Removing the box sections

This is the companion photo to the last one and shows the 10mm spanner being used to hold the bolt steady whilst I undo the 13mm nut inside the boot with the ratchet.

Rear Bumper Removal - Removing the box sections.

Each of the 2 box sections is fixed through the rear boot wall with 4 bolts. The bolts have a 10mm head but the nuts inside the boot compartment are 13mm. I used a 10mm spanner on the outside to hold the bolt steady and a 13mm socket inside the boot to undo the nuts. The picture shows the nuts inside the boot - personally I am amazed this photo came out as I took it 'blind' :-)

Rear Bumper Removal - Sheared mounting plate

The main bolts that secure the bumper to the car fix to a pair of box sections that perform the same job as the front armature in an impact, i.e. progressive collapse. They have captive nuts in the underside to take the 17mm bolts fixed to a small metal plate that I managed to completely shear off of both box setions. Actually this made the job of removing the bumper easier as I didn't need to undo the bolts! The picture shows one of the bolts and the sheared plate still attached to the bumper. It also shows the rear grille I fitted to the bumper a few years back, this has survived and will be re-used.


24th May - Horns, Heater Box, Steering Wheel, Engine Bay Access Panel, Side Vents, Cill Threshold Plates, Washer Bottle, Inner Wheel Arch Liner, Wing

Firstly, sorry if the thumbnails take a while to load, I managed to do quite a lot yesterday and there are over 40 pictures. :-) Next, a Hello to anyone who's surfed here via the link published in MG World. Nice of them to put a piece in the news section, thanx guys. OK, on with the gallery. As I mentioned I managed to get through a fair bit yesterday and below you will find out how I removed the horns, heater box, engine bay access panel, side vents, cill threshold plates, washer bottle, inner wheel arch liner and the damaged front wing. Also, as promised in the 'Dash (part 1)' gallery, now that my article on the same subject has been published in MG World, below is a re-cap on removing the steering wheel.

Bonus picture! - Holes for Engine Bay Brace

Noticed something interesting when I removed the engine bay cover, it appears that the TF engine bay braces make use of existing holes in the bodywork as Scarlet has them. This could mean that they were always meant to be included and were deleted from the F or it could be that these holes were for something else and the TF just makes use of them. Either way it is an interesting discovery as it means that fitting the braces to an MGF is a reasonable proposition.

Bonus Picture! - Stepper Motor and Throttle Position Sensor (Potentiometer)

Another 'bonus' picture, this one shows the stepper motor and the potentiometer. The reason I took this is because with the T-Bar removed it was possible to get quite a good shot of these items as they come up on the MGF BBS quite a lot. The stepper motor is on the left, it is the black plastic item behind the oil filler cap with the wires coming in from the left. The potentiometer detects the throttle position and is on the right of the picture and can be identified by the white circle on it. It is attached to the back of the throttle body and fits on the butterfly spindle.

Bonus Picture! - The Dirt Trap

You should now be able to remove the liner from the wheel arch. With it removed, check out the cill, this is a known dirt trap and it is incredible the amount of muck that can get trapped behind here. I suspect that the F, like the Midget and B before it, may ultimately suffer from rust in this area because of this. Fortnately, no signs of it yet on Scarlet.

Cill Treadplates - Removal

Removal of the treadplates is as simple as it looks, undo and remove all three Philips head screws and lift the plate and rubber backing free.

Engine Bay Inspection Panel - Removal

The next job I did was to remove the engine bay inspection panel, this is an easy job consisting of undoing 11 bolts. Given that i have already stripped the parcel shelf, I could have done this job from indside the car, but access is easier through the back of the hood and if you are going to follow these instructions then this is the way you will need to do it. Unclip the back of the hood by undoing the 5 overcentre catches and secure the rear screen in the upright position as shown in the picture.

Engine Bay Inspection Panel - Removal

Next, using a 10mm socket, undo and remove the 11 retaining bolts around the perimeter of the inspection panel. If you have a MY2K MGF then to get access to the front three bolts under the speaker box, you will need a 10mm ratchet spanner as well. If you have a TF, you will also need the ratchet spanner and due to the engine bay braces, there are an additional two 10mm bolts to remove (making 13 in total on a TF).

Engine Bay Inspection Panel - Removal

The engine cover is now free and can be lifted out. I was able to do this from the front, but you will need to take it out the back due to the T-Bar being in the way. This is a tight fit on an F, but is extremely tight on a MY2K F / TF due to the speaker box.

Engine Bay Inspection Panel - Removal

Good picture this, short of taking the hood off, this is probably the best shot of the engine bay from above you're likley to get. You will note that Scarlet is fitted with an ITG Maxogen airfilter (visable on the far right) and aftermarket HT (blue) leads, other than this it looks fairly normal from here. What is important though is that the ITG box is too high for the TF engine bay braces - this means that it is highly unlikely to fit in a TF.

Final picture

Last picture of the day, she's looking more like the picture Mike Satur sent through now isn't she? Also in the picture is the ZS I bought to do the work run and stuff while the rebuild continues. Plans for the future are to put Scarlet on a limited mileage policy and keep her pristine for shows and tours etc. The Zed will remain in daily use and will be traded in for something else as and when

Front Wing - Removal

Next, using a 10mm socket on an extension piece, undo and remove both bolts into the cill, thus. Access is a bit limited, but boy is that a good photo! ;-)

Front Wing - Removal

The wing is now free of the car and can be lifted clear. If you study the picture you will see that I have also removed the wing brace by undoing the other 10mm nut. This picture shows the damage to the suspension a bit clearer, if you look at the brake disc you will see that it is off centre and rotated through 45 degrees, this is because with both the upper and lower ball joints parted, all that is holding it here is the track rod end on the steering rack and the (braided) brake hose. I have the ball joints on order, but MGR's parts supplies being what they are, 4 weeks after they were ordered they still haven't arrived. I have a second hand one from Mike Satur (via Victoria at the MGF Centre), but there is no point in fitting it until I have the lower one as well. I was kinda hoping I would have these parts by now, as I wanted to get Scarlet mobile again so that I could get her into the garage - no such luck. As a consequence of this, I had to buy a car cover, which is now shredded after being over the sharp, bent metal on the front and rear nearside corners for all this time.

Front Wing - Removal

OK, all that is holding the wing to the car now is the wing brace, there is a 10mm bolt each end and to remove the wing, one of them needs to be undone.

Front Wing - Removal

The door end of the wing is now free, time to undo the top bolts. Using the 10mm socket again, undo and remove the three bolts on the top of the wing.

Front Wing - Removal

Using an 8mm socket remove the bolt as shown in the picture. Access is a bit tight, bit a small ratchet or a ratchet spanner will do the job.

Front Wing - Removal

Easy one first, open the door and prise out the plastic retaining stud. This photo was taken after the wing was removed (obviously) as I found it tricky to get a good picture of the stud from above with the door open.

Front Wing - Removal

Reach inside the wing and rotate the bulb carrier to release it from the lens of the side repeater. You can now remove the outer lens too if you want to, Scarlet's one is smashed so I left it in the damaged wing.

Front Wing - Removal

To remove the front wing you need to remove the following items first, the front bumper, the headlamp and the inner wheel arch liner - all of these items have been covered in these galleries, once these are removed you have access to all the wing fixings.

Front Wing - Removal

There is another bolt in the front of the wing, using the 8mm socket, undo this bolt too.

Horns - Removal

OK, on with the gallery, beginning with the horns. I began by disconnecting the pair of multiplugs as shown. If you have a TF, there is a good chance that you only have one horn - this is a cost cutting casualty i'm afraid - the TF is priced at a similar level to the F in the 1990's and as a result of this highly competitive pricing some models have lost a couple of 'standard' F items like the extra horn, the underbonnet light, the map pockets in the back of the seats and the ignition illumination. The good news is that these parts are available as spares for the F, so if you feel like a bit of DIY work... ;-)

Horns - Removal

I then used an 8mm socket on an extension connected to a ratchet to remove the retaining bolt that secures the horn bracket.

Horns - Removal

I was then able to just lift each horn free of the wing. Note that I have put the retaining bolts back, although I have been seperating and catalogueing the various screws / nuts / bolts etc as I have removed them, the easiest way to know where each one comes from is to put them back.

Inner Wheel Arch Liner (Front) - Removal

... a plastic screw at the back of the liner, underneath...

Inner Wheel Arch Liner (Front) - Removal

The next step is to remove the inner wheel arch liner. To do this you need to remove three screws, a large one by the cill...

Inner Wheel Arch Liner (Front) - Removal

The first job I did was to remove the weather strip from around the wheel arch - this is not strictly necessary, but I might want to re-use it on the new wing.

Inner Wheel Arch Liner (Front) - Removal

... and another plastic one at the top of the wheel arch, to the left of the shock absorber.

Internal Heater Duct - Removal

Then just drop the duct away, it is just 'push-fit'. OK, OK, so i'm not THAT good to you... ;-)

Internal Heater Duct - Removal

Tim actually did this last week, but I didn't take any photographs, so I put it back again, just so that I could remove it for the gallery! Ain't I good to you? ;-) Using a 10mm socket on a ratchet, remove the retaining nut as shown.

Side Vents - Removal

I next removed the side vents and inner ductwork. I began with a Philips head screwdriver and removed the pair of retaining screws (one at the top and one at the bottom of each vent). These tend to go rusty, so may need a bit of force to 'break' them. I've been saying this for ages, but I may finally get round to powder coating these grilles... :-)

Side Vents - Removal

This is what the vent looks like without the grille and ducts. I managed to completely fill my cameras memory card during shooting for this gallery and had to download the images and come back later to finish off. In the meantime we had a light rain shower and if you look at this picture you can the droplets on the bodywork.

Side Vents - Removal

The inner duct is a push fit part, it just lifts out of the opening.

Side Vents - Removal

With the first two screws undone, you can now pull the grille and surround out of the recess to reveal the outer part of the air duct. This is retained with a further three screws, again, using the Philips head screwdriver, remove these, thus.

Steering Wheel - Removal

This next piece covers the removal of the steering wheel, if you recall from the 'Dash (Part 1)' gallery, I had to do this in order to remove the dash, but I couldn't put the instructions on here as I had an article on the same subject pending publication in MG World. Well, the article has now been published, so here are the instructions as promised. IMPORTANT, if you are going to follow these instructions, you must disconnect the battery (both terminals) and leave the car for a good 20 minutes before beginning. As part of this proceedure you will need to remove the airbag module and this contains explosives, any residual current in the SRS wiring may trigger the airbag if disturbed. OK, warning over, Scarlet's battery has been disconnected since February so I don't think I need to worry too much about this! ;-) Begin by finding the two screws that retain the airbag, there is one each side of the steering wheel, in the slots in the back and they require a T30 Torx bit to remove.

Steering Wheel - Removal

Gently withdraw the airbag module from the centre of the wheel and unplug the yellow wire. IMPORTANT, the airbag is now free of the car, there is however a small risk that it can go off. Treat it gently and follow the following safety steps. Never place it pad side down - if it goes off it will fly across the room. Never put anything on top of the pad - for the same reason. Store away from flammable items, preferably on it's own and protect from frost / heat - Scarlet's one is on a top shelf, away from everything else.

Steering Wheel - Removal

With the airbag stored safely, the next step is to disconnect the horn multiplug (and the gear change ones if you have a Steptronic / Stepspeed).

Steering Wheel - Removal

Using a 19mm socket on an extension, undo the central retaining nut (you will need to grip the steering wheel too).

Steering Wheel - Removal

Gently withdraw the steering wheel from the spline. Do not turn the spline as you will end up with a wonky wheel when you re-fit it and also, do not play around with the rotary coupler as it is easy to break.

Steering Wheel - Removal

Undo and remove the two bolts using a T30 Torx bit, thus. Having done this a few times now, you wouldn't believe how much easier it is with the dashboard removed! :-)

Target

Hold on a mo', this isn't Scarlet! This is a picture from Mike Satur, I emailed him while ago to ask him what sort of condition Scarlet would need to be in to go on a jig and this was his response. Frightened the cr*p out of me when I saw it I can tell you! :-) So, how achievable is this? Well, although I consider myself a bit handy with a tool kit, this is a bit beyond me, mainly due to the necessities of transportation and the fact that I have a normal garage (i.e. one that stores a car and not one that has hydraulic ramps / inspection pits, compressors etc!) :-) Scarlet needs to be mobile in order for me to get her on a trailer and take her to the jig - this means that at least the wheels, suspension and steering will have to remain. Also, I really do not want to have to start messing around in the engine bay, hey, if it aint broke... ;-) Anyway, depending on the insurance company, I may be able to pay someone else to do the trickier jobs.

Windscreen Washer Bottle - Removal

The next step is to disconnect the multiplug as shown in the picture.

Windscreen Washer Bottle - Removal

The washer bottle sits in a V shaped fitting on the back of the spare wheel recess, it literally just pulls out (upwards). I tried to get a picture of the fitting as well, but it is lost amongst the gravel in the background - oh well, I suppose I can scratch 'professional photographer' off my list of potential jobs! ;-)

Windscreen Washer Bottle - Removal

The next step is to disconnect the hose from the bottle, I did this by removing the pump from the back of the bottle (it just slides upwards out of the bottle), but then found that I had to disconnect the pump from the hose anyway in order to thread the hose assembly out of the car.


26th April - Seats & Carpets

Before I begin, I had to make a SORN declaration this morning on Scarlet. For those not in the UK, we buy car tax in the form of a disc that has to be displayed in the windscreen of a car. If the car is to be kept off of the public roads, then you can avoid paying this tax by making a 'Statutory Off Road Notice' or SORN declaration. This consists of filling in a couple of boxes on the tax renewal reminder notice and taking it to the local post office. Feels odd not having any tax on Scarlet, but she ain't going anywhere just at the moment so why should I pay for road tax! Anyway, on with the gallery, I carried on with the interior strip out today, in this gallery you will find how I removed both the seats and the carpets, also how I completed the removal of the T Bar started in the 'Transmission Tunnel' gallery. I also had a nasty surprise today...

Carpet - Removal

...a third 8mm behind the foot rest. To be honest I am amazed this picture came out, it was another 'point, click and hope' shot ;-)

Carpet - Removal

There are a pair of (the smaller type) trim clips to be released along the transmission tunnel (prise out with a flat bladed screwdriver) and a pair of the larger type trim clips behind the pedals (unscrew with a flat bladed screwdriver). I then needed to undo the three 8mm bolts that secure the driver's foot rest. There are two obvious ones in the front and...

Carpet - Removal

You can now remove the carpet, it just lifts out and the drivers' side is a seperate piece to the passenger side. Underneath the carpet is a pair of sound deadening quilts / underlay, these also just lift out.

Carpet - Removal

My attention then turned to the carpet in the floorpan, I began by partially removing the door rubbers to release the edge of the carpet. It is supposed to be secured with Velcro, but after 7 years the glue on the back of Scarlet's had given up the ghost.

Carpet - Removal

I then removed the passenger side carpet in exactly the same way (minus the foot rest - obviously!) On the passenger side the underlay was saturated. Fs tend to leak around the heater box seal where it passes through the front bulkhead, this is obviously what has been happening in Scarlet and I therefore need to sort this out during the rebuild

Last picture

Last image, the interior strip out is nearly done now, there are still a couple of items on the front bulkhead to remove, but in general it is pretty much there now. I may put the driver's seat back when the front wheel goes on, when this is done i should be able to move the car under it's own steam and I intend to put her away in the garage.

Rear Carpet - Removal

With the rear sound deadening material fully out the extent of the rust can clearly be seen. I am going to have to replace this panel as part of the rebuild (it'll appear in the parts required section shortly after I finish uploading this gallery) and i am going to paint the new one before it goes in.

Rear Carpet - Removal

...and 2 pairs of smaller ones near the door jambs. Use the screwdriver again to prise these ones out.

Rear Carpet - Removal

Usng a flat headed screwdriver, unscrew the plastic retaining clips. There are 9 large ones...

Rear Carpet - Removal

With the retaining clips removed, I could now take out the rear carpet and reveal the sound deadening material behind. This is retained with conical trim clips that use the same mounting points as the carpet ones I have just removed.

Rear Carpet - Removal (Eeeek! RUST!!) :-O

A while ago on the BBS Tom Randell reported rust on his rear panel and I have been meaning to check Scarlet's one ever since. One of those jobs you know, the kind that never seems to get done! Anyway, this is the reason I stripped out the rear carpet today and although I alluded to the fact that this was a nasty surprise in the introduction to this gallery I had half expected to find this, although I wasn't expecting it to be quite so bad. :-(

Seatbelt Pre-tensioner - Removal

The seatbelt clip (including the pre-tensioner) in the F has been known to break, preventing the seatbelt from clipping home. I have replaced the driver's side one twice in the 100,000 miles or so since I bought the car and this is an additional step to the seat removal instructions showing how this part is replaced. Note the route of the wiring around the edge of the seat and underneath. To remove the pre-tensioner, simply undo the T50 Torx bolt as shown in the picture, unclip the wiring, position the new one and replace the bolt. This picture was taken specifically for this note, I have no need to replace Scarlet's pre-tensioner (at the moment), but I thought that whilst i had the seats out it would be opportune to take this picture for the web. Ain't I good to you? ;-)

Seats - Removal

This is what the carpet under the seats looks like, please accept my appologies for the mess it's difficult to hoover under the seat in an F! ;-)

Seats - Removal

...Unclipped the red multiplug under the seat to the seat belt pre-tensioner. Note the route of the wiring, it goes over the silver bar, this prevents is becoming caught when the seat is re-fitted.

Seats - Removal

There are 4 bolts securing each seat to the floor pan. I also had to unclip the multiplug to the seat belt pre-tensioner and undo a 5th bolt, securing the seatbelt to the seat before I could remove it from the car. IMPORTANT! If you are going to follow these instructions, before you begin you need to disconnect the battery (both terminals) and leave the car for a FULL ten minutes. Because you need to disconnect the seatbelt pre-tensioner wiring there is the possibility of firing them by accident if there is any residual current in the wiring. Not a good idea as they contain explosives... :-) Anyway, warning out of the way, you will need a T50 Torx bit and a ratchet with at least one extension to do this job. I began with the front bolt as shown in the picture.

Seats - Removal

OK, with the four floor pan bolts undone, the seat is movable in the car. Be careful though as it is still attached to the SRS wiring loom underneath. You should now be able to move the seat enough to get access to the 5th Torx bolt that secures the end of the seatbelt to the seat itself. Handy tip! When moving the seat DO NOT lift the seat slider handle, the two seat runners are independant of each other and if they go out of line, re-fitting the seat later is more tricky. :-) I undid the 5th bolt and then...

Seats - Removal

Another horizontal Torx bolt with limited access, only this one is at arms length too! I really must get hold of a cordless screwdriver... ;-)

Seats - Removal

Now for the tricky ones, the third Torx bolt is horizontally fixed and access is a bit limited. It is usually at this stage that i start wondering to myself, "why are these bolts so long!" :-) If you think this one is bad, wait 'til you have a go at the next one!!...

Seats - Removal

Handy tip! :-) I find it easiest to undo the second Torx bolt by using 2 extension pieces to raise the ratchet above the seat.

Seats out!

Once I had done the driver's seat, I repeated the proceedure for the passenger one.

T-Bar - Removal

With the escutcheons removed, you can now thread the end of the belts through the T-Bar, it is now free of the car and can be removed.

T-Bar - Removal

As mentioned, this picture shows the metal plate behind the seatbelt escutcheons. I popped the escutcheon out of the T-Bar and the next step is to thread the belt out of the it.

T-Bar - Removal (follows on from 'Transmission Tunnel' gallery)

Now that the ends of the seatbelts are free of the seats, it is possible to completely remove the T-Bar. If you recall from the 'Transmission Tunnel' gallery I had already released the T-Bar from the car (3 screws and 6 trim clips), but had loosly placed it back in position as the seat belts thread through it. Note the design of the seatbelt escutcheon, the F was only officially recalled once and it was to replace the old style. 'clip-in' escutcheons with this new design. If your escutcheons do not have a pair of screws in them then your F hasn't been recalled and you should take it to a dealership, especially if it is a VVC as in addition to the escutcheon a cam bolt was also tightened. Anyway, to remove the escutcheons it really is as simple as it looks, unscrew the screws with a Philips head screwdriver. On early Fs these screws locate into a metal plate behind the T-Bar, as you undo the screws it may drop out, be ready to catch it. :-)


26th February 2003 - Bank Account

Been to see Abbey National today to set up the stand-alone account for the repair fund with the intention of resurrecting my old account, which I haven't looked at for over 10 years. The account, although still active was out of date so I have had to set up a new one. To do this I needed a minimum £100.00 deposit so I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had £95.62 left in the old one. I added a tenner and have transferred the balance to the new account and this is now ready for use.Andrew

Boot Welding

This photo shows where the side and rear panels have seperated from the boot floor. These joints will need welding and this is a job that I cannot do personally so i will need to take Scarlet to a bodyshop to get this done.


28th March 2003 - Payments

Received my Abbeylink card the other day and also I have had a refund from my insurers (they took the first renewal payment for Scarlet in error) and another one from my opticians (i have cancelled my contact lens Direct Debit), so I made a couple of payments into the SOS account this afternoon to the tune of £114.61. This means that there is around £220.00 in the account so far, or a bumper or two... ;-) No 'donations' in there yet, although I have received 3 of them. They won't be paid in until I get the go-ahead from the insurance company.


29th June - Subframe, Upper ball joint, Petrol tank inspection plate, Rack panel, Door mirrors and Door furniture

Sorry for no update last week, I spent three days at Silverstone (sleeping in a tent, surrounded by Dolby DTS quadraphonic snoring!) for the MGCC annual do. A first rate weekend as ever, it is billed as the 'worlds largest gathering of MGs' and there were literally thousands of them there - great stuff. :-) It was my first one without Scarlet though - she was missed, and the ZS decided to dump loads of condensate onto the passenger carpet from the AC (a hose had come loose) - but that, as they say, is another story... ;-) Bit of a mixed bag this gallery as you can tell from the title. Also, it was bleedin' hot today which made the following tasks a right pain - still, they're done now. :-) It's another big gallery though, 34 images, so the thumbnails may take a while to come up (patience is a virtue!) ;-) OK, on with the gallery,

Back Panel - Fitment

As part of this rebuild, where possible, I have been putting the screws / nuts / bolts back where I got them from (so that I know where they all came from!) This is fine until you have to do something like the back panel as there are loads of them! You will note that I have cheated though, I invested in a set of Power Nut Driver adapters from Screwfix.com recently and can now use a cordless drill / screwdriver to drive nuts and bolts with the relevant socket on the end. :-) Anyway, all the nuts and bolts had to be removed from the car before I could re-fit the newly painted back panel and this was a job for the power drill. :-)

Back Panel - Fitment

With the bolts removed (you can see them alllined up ready to go back in), the next step was to re-fit the membrane. This has a load of black mastic on one side and after leaving it in the sun for a few minutes it was tacky enough to go back into the car. There are two threaded studs on the car in the top left and right hand corners, these have nuts on them eventually, but they were used to line up the membrane as it has a pair of corresponding holes in it. After ensuring themastic went all the way round and would provide an adequate seal, I hooked the membrane over the studs and loosely draped it down the bodywork. I was then able to smoth the membrane out ensuring all the holes in it lined up with the bolt holes in the bodywork.Lastly, I ran my hand around the perimeter of the membrane to ensure the mastic was sealed.

Back Panel - Fitment

With the membrane in place, I used the two threaded studs again to line the back panel up, thus. Looks good in red doesn't it? Shame no one will ever see it once the carpet goes back in - still it's probably just as well -the paint work looks OK in these pictures, but doesn't bear close inspection! :-) Oh, by the way, the white label in the passenger door is a sticker obtained from Mike Satur giving tyre pressures and other information.

Door Membrane - Removal

OK, nearly there now, unclip the wiring loom from the door panel by the speaker recess (it helps to reach inside the door skin and pinch the clip together), then thread the loom through the slot in the membrane. As an aside, I have been labelling all the wiring in Scarlet as I have disconnected it, on the right of the picture is one such label (for the speaker wires). It's just a quick note, scribbled onto a bit of masking tape and then wrapped around the relevant wire. This should make life a lot easier when I start putting her back together. :-)

Door Membrane - Removal

OK, all that is now holding the membrane to the panel is a few clips and the sticky reverse side of the membrane. Carefully remove the clips (one is shown in the picture) and then carefully peel the membrane off of the door.

Door Mirror - Removal

OK, feed the multiplug into the door, then withdraw the mirror from it's mount. You should now be able to thread the wires out of the door and completely remove the mirror. Job done.

Door Mirror - Removal

With the multiplug separated it is now possible to unclip the mirror part of the plug from its' mount.

Door Mirror - Removal

The next step is to unclip the wiring to the heater element (what do you mean, you didn't realise they were heated?) ;-) To do this you need to remove the door card (fortunately I had already done this - see previous gallery for details). Then carefully peel back the door membrane and disconnect the multiplug as shown.

Door Mirror - Removal

Scarlet is a Mk1 MGF and so has manual door mirrors, one of them was smashed in the accident so I removed it and this is how it was done. I began by removing the mirror adjuster, in Scarlet's case they are Mike Satur items that needed an alan key, but the majority of MGFs have clip on plastic items.

Door Mirror - Removal

The next step was to remove the pair of rubber cover caps to the retaining screws and then undo and remove said screws with a Philips head screwdriver (careful, the mirror is now loose!)

Door Speaker - Removal

The next job I did was to remove the door membrane. This entailed the removal of the remaining door furniture, beginning with the speaker housing. This is retained with 3 Philips head screws, two at the top and one, centrally positioned underneath. (I cheated again and used the power driver) ;-)

Door Speaker - Removal

Disconnect the wiring and the speaker box is now free.

Front Subframe - Removal

The front of the subframe is secured with a 10mm bolt in a captive nut (this was easy to remove), and a 10mm bolt with a 13mm nut (this was an absolute pig!) After a good 15 minutes I had successfully managed to round off the nut completely - time for some drastic measures!

Front Subframe - Removal

Once one side was done, I repeated the exercise on the other side. This picture shows all 6 rear bolts, loose but still in thier holes a couple of turns. And this is as far as I got, all being well I should complete the job this weekend coming. Note that the car is supported on axle stands and these are under the subframe. The Workshop manual states that the body should be raised and the subframe lowered using a trolley jack. Because I do not have access to ramps, I will be doing this the other way round (jacking the body off of the subframe) - we shall see how this pans out...

Front Subframe - Removal

After a good dowsing in WD40, I undid the three retaining bolts on the rear of the front subframe. Note, this picture shows the problem with the wishbone pivot bolt rather well.

Front Subframe - Removal

This is a picture of my Dad. Access to the bolt was good, so out came the angle grinder! :-)

Front Subframe - Removal

Ahhh, the mechanics' friend... ;-) I used liberal amounts of penetrating oil on all the nuts and bolts, corrosion meant however that it wasn't entirely successful in all cases - we shall come to this in a moment!

Front Subframe - Removal

I began by undoing the pair of wishbone pivot bolts. These have 19mm heads and the front one is accessed though an opening in the subframe. I needed THREE extension pieces and my largest ratchet to get to it, but once loosened it was relatvely easy. I left both pivot bolts in place ready to be removed later.

Front Subframe - Removal

I was expecting a similar battle with the corresponding bolt on the other side, but it realised it was onto a looser and decided to commit suicide rather than face the grinder! ;-) One sheared bolt.

Front Subframe - Removal

OK, I need to replace the lower ball joint to get the wheel back on Scarlet, to do this, the 3 rivets securing the old one to the lower wishbone need to be drilled out and to do this I need to remove the lower wishbone. The lower wishbone is secured to the front subframe by the anti-roll bar drop link (undone previously, see Hub Assy (Part 1) gallery for details). And two 19mm main bolts which act as pivots. One is easy to get to, the other cannot be removed because it fouls the bodywork (shown undone and extended as far as possible in the picture). So, what should be an easy job now requires me to, at least partially, drop the front subframe! :-(

Inner Door Pull - Removal

The door pull locates into the inner door pull through the door card, the inner door pull is secured with a pair of Philips head screws, undo to remove it.

Petrol Tank Inspection Panel - Fitment

And here it is, nicely painted in Rover Sandalwood Beige to match the red and cream colour scheme of the car. I might put a red SF on it and over paint the less successful one on the inspection panel - just an idea... ;-)

Petrol Tank Inspection Panel - Removal

Ensuring that the engraved word 'FRONT' and the associated arrow was pointing towards the front of the car, as with the back panel, I positioned the bolts by hand and gave them a couple of turns, before spinning them up with the power drill. Lastly I used a ratchet to nip them up, again finger tight plus half a turn.

Petrol Tank Inspection Panel - Removal

Why have I done this? Well, there are a couple of reasons, the first and most obvious one is the fact that all the other panels in this area now look nice and are protected from rust with a coat of paint - the tank inspection panel however was still a galvanised finish and looked odd (especially with the minor corrosion evident it). The other reason is curiosity - I had never seen underneath it. :-) Removal was as simple as it looked, undo and remove the four retaining bolts using a 10mm socket.

Petrol Tank Inspection Panel - Removal

With the panel removed, this is what was revealed. I believe this to be the petrol tank sender unit. Meanwhile, I took the panel away and wire brushed it down, primed and painted the top surface (it has a foam rubber seal bonded to the underside).

Rear Panel - Fitment

OK, now to put all the bolts back! I positioned them all in thier holes and put a couple of turns on each to make sure they weren't cross threaded, then using the drill and socket I started in the top, middle and then worked my way evenly outwards and then downwards, spinning them all into place. Lastly I used a ratchet to nip them up (finger tight then half a turn). Finally I replaced the two nuts on the threaded studs. Job done. Or rather job done for now. You see I am still not 100% happy with the condition of this panel and will probably replace it with a new (rust free) one in the near future. The new one will be painted too, just to make sure the rust doesn't re-occur.

Rear Panel - Fitment

This is a picture of one of the threaded studs I was talking about earlier (the nut for it is at the top left of the picture, ready to go on).

Remote Door Handle - Removal

Begin by removing the pair of Philips head screws. Now, the workshop manual says that the next steps need to be done 'by feel' with the remote door handle still 'slotted' into the inner door skin. This, as far as I am concerned is a pain in the bum, and impossible to convey without photos. So, I removed the door pull, then re-connected it off of the car in order to take these images for you. This is how it is done...

Remote Door Handle - Removal

With the clip released, the cable just slides out.

Remote Door Handle - Removal

The first step is to release the cable from the backing plate - it just pops out thus.

Remote Door Handle - Removal

Then, and this is the hard bit, you need to separate the end of the cable from the white plastic retaining clip. This is tricky because it is a tight fit, it moves with the cable and you are working by feel.

Upper Ball Joint - Fitment

After the hassle Rob Bell and I had trying to remove the upper ball joint the other week, I gave up and passed the hub assembly to a friend, Martin, to see if he would have any better luck. Martin turned up the following morning saying that it just popped out first time using the ball joint socket I'd purchased! I was not impressed, but still - job done I suppose. Because of Silverstone last weekend, I actually sorted the ball joint out during week commencing 16th June, but was unable to upload these pictures until today. The ball joint was loose so I didn't need the socket, but it is in the picture anyway, just to show you the tools that were used by Martin.

Upper Ball Joint - Fitment

This is a picture of the hub with the upper ball joint removed, the old one is at the bottom right of the picture and the new one is to the bottom left.

Upper Ball Joint - Fitment

OK, this picture shows the new ball joint insitu, note the large washer sandwiched between the ball joint and the hub, this is a retaining washer and will be bent up and down on opposite sides to secure the ball joint in position.


29th July - Measuring Jig

Another gallery from Andy Bates (thanx mate). He was at the MGF Centre today and was able to take pictures of Scarlet on the measuring jig. Now, as I have not been directly involved in these stages my descriptions will be a bit sketchy, but I will do my best! :-)

SPY SHOT! - Front 3/4 shot, undamaged side

Final shot from Andy, this is the driver's front wing on the undamaged side of the car and it shows the jig quite well.

SPY SHOT! - Front 3/4 view, damaged corner

This shot shows the wheel arch and also some more removals from the car. The front subframe has been removed, complete with wheel, brakes, hub, steering rack and wishbones. Also if you look in the middle of the wheel arch you will see the connection pipe to the Hydragas Spheres - they have removed the suspension too

SPY SHOT! - Front, damaged corner

A close up of the damaged front corner. I am not quite sure how they managed to unbolt the bumper armature here as it had collapsed over the retaining bolts. If the insurance hadn't decided to repair the car, removing the front armature was the next job on the list. I had intended to use a crow bar on it and try to pull it out enough so that I could get a ratchet spanner in there. This job had to wait until the wheel was back on, crow baring out the front of the car whilst it was on axle stands didn't strike me as being a particularly good idea!

SPY SHOT! - Full Frontal

It looks like the MGF Centre have been busy, the front armature is missing, the radiator and one of the radiator hoses.

SPY SHOT! - Side view

This shot shows the (undamaged) driver's side and in particular the jig. That's odd, I thought I had removed all of the mudflaps - I must have missed one! :-)


31st July - Front end

Some more 'spy shots' from Andy Bates, Scarlet is now off the measuring jig and has had the damaged panels replaced. Note that all the panels are already red, this will be overpainted with the finished colour resulting in less noticable stone chips (as it is red underneath). :-)

SPY SHOT! - New Front Corner

Last one of the car, but not the last one in this gallery.

SPY SHOT! - New Front Corner

A nice shot of the front corner showing the new panels and the supporting axle stands.

SPY SHOT! - New Front Corner

If you look through the headlamp panel you can see some of the spot welds that locate then new inner wing. They have re-used the existing weld points so that when the car is painted the repair work will be very difficult to spot.

SPY SHOT! - New Front Corner

The first in this gallery, this shot shows the new upper and lower rad panels, headlamp panel, battery tray and wing.

SPY SHOT! - New Front Corner

This one shows the new bonnet as well, the black foam around the rear of the wing is apparently a protective covering. It's great to see her looking more like her old self. :-)

SPY SHOT! - Subframe

A shot of the subframe, note the Hydragas Spheres and shocks, still attached, as are the wishbones, hubs and wheels. This shot also shows the steering rack quite well. Thanks to Andy Bates for providing these images.

SPY SHOT! - Subframe

A shot of the old wheel, in this one you can really see the damage to the rim. Note that it is still attached to the subframe...


31st May - Brake Calipers, Pads, Disc, Track Rod End, and Hub Assy (Part 1)

Did you ever have 'one of those days?' :-) The aim of the work today was to get the wheel back on Scarlet, but, given the fact that this gallery is titled 'part 1', I think you can safely say that all did not go as planned! Still, managed to get quite a lot done anyway and Rob Bell turned up to give me a hand, so despite the frustrations it was still an enjoyable day. Not sure how useful this gallery will turn out to be to you guys reading it - it should have some entertainment value though and at the very least gives some insight in how NOT to do it! :-)

Anti-Roll Bar Drop Link - Removal

In order to replace the lower ball joint, I need to remove the lower wishbone and drill out the three rivets that secure the old one. The wishbone has two pivots on the subframe and is also attached to the front anti-roll bar via a drop link. The picture shows Rob Bell undoing the top bolt of the drop link using the breaker bar. This bolt has a 13mm head and is secured with a 15mm nut through a rubber bush. Mike Satur does some rather nice aluminium ones with poly bushes - I hear the Dark Side calling... ;-)

Anti-Roll Bar Drop Link - Removal

This shot shows the bolt being withdrawn from the drop link. It was now free of the lower wishbone and the next step was to undo the pivot bolts in the sub-frame, but this was as far as we got with the car. Following a bit of research, it transpires that in order to remove one of the pivot bolts you need to drop the front subframe, so before we started this job, we decided to complete the hub stripdown, reasoning that it would be easier and we should get it out of the way before starting the major work on the subframe. How wrong can you be... :-o

Brake Disc - Removal

Ohhh, a new toy! :-) The retaining screws on the brake discs are notoriously difficult to remove, so I invested in an impact driver specifically for the job. As it turned out, this was probably the easiest job of the day! That's the good news, the bad news is that in addition tot he surface corrosion, the disc appears to be a little warped, so it looks like I need a new one (pair).

Lower Ball Joint - Removal From Hub

A picture of the hub.

Lower Ball Joint - Removal From Hub

!!!!!! Yes, we really did use all these tools! At one point we even used a brick bolster on it! All to remove one bolt (on the bottom left hand side of the work bench, i'm pointing it out with the pointer). So how did we do it and why was it so difficult? Well, it transpires that the bolt was bent, this made it impossable to drift out, especially when you cannot adequately secure the hub to a work surface. Ultimately we used the hacksaw to cut the bolt in two and we were then able to knock each end out and the top of the lower ball joint pin with it. All in all, it took nearly 2 hours to get this bolt out (good job we aren't on MGR labour rates!), we must have tried just about everything, remember, this was 'the easy job', having been chosen in preference to dropping the subframe to get the lower wishbone out! At one point we tried to get hold of Mike Satur (who is closed now until the 9th June) and Victoria at the MGF Centre for advice (they are closed until after Silverstone). Did I mention that I hate working on cars? ;-)

Lower Ball Joint - Removal From Hub

...then we tried undoing it another way, this was marginally more successful, we at least managed to get the 15mm nut off the end, but the bolt was stuck fast. Half of the problem was the fact that the hub is such an odd shape that we had difficulty securing it to a work surface, ultimately these are the tools we needed in order to get the pin out...

Lower Ball Joint - Removal From Hub

The top of the lower ball joint has a pin on it, this pin fits into the underside of the hub and is retained with a 13mm bolt. This bolt proved to be an absolute pig to remove, first we tried undoing it...

MS 4 Pot Brake Caliper - Brake Pad Removal

As I didn't want to bleed the brakes, and as I needed to strip down the hub anyway, I decided to remove the caliper from the hub assembly and to do this the first job was to release the brake pads from the disc. Scarlet has Mike Satur aluminium and titanium 4 pot calipers, so it is doubtful that the following instructions will be completely relevant to anyone reading this, but there is I suppose a curiosity value and also, as the primary purpose of these rebuild galleries is to chart the progress of the rebuild, this is how I completed this task. The pads are secured with a pair of pins, and the pins are secured with two pairs of small cotter pins. I used a small flat bladed screwdriver to remove the cotter pins thus.

MS 4 Pot Brake Caliper - Brake Pad Removal

The next step was to drift the pins out, again I used the small flat bladed screwdriver as well as a small panel pin hammer. With the pins removed the metal plate that secures the pads can be lifted out. This plate, despite being less than a year old, was very rusty - this is something I need to take up with Mike Satur.

MS 4 Pot Brake Caliper - Brake Pad Removal

I was then able to tap the pads to break the bond with the rusty disc and use a pair of pliers to withdraw them out the back of the caliper as shown in the picture.

MS 4 Pot Brake Caliper - Brake Pad Removal

With the track rod end removed I was able to manouvre the hub assembly to get this picture. It shows the two 15mm bolts that secure the caliper to the hub and I needed to undo and remove both of them to release the hub from the car. These bolts are on the back of the hub, making them difficult to get at with the hub insitu, but at least you can get some leverage on them, in the loose state the hub on Scarlet was in, undoing these (very tight) bolts was a bit tricky, more on this in the next picture. Whilst we are here, this shot shows the upper and lower ball joints quite well, replacing these is the goal of this gallery. It also betrays the MGF Hub's Metro origins, in so far as the back of the front hub has the spline fitment to take a driveshaft! :-)

MS 4 Pot Brake Caliper - Caliper Removal

With the caliper off, the hub was now free of the car.

MS 4 Pot Brake Caliper - Caliper Removal

It took two of us to undo these two bolts! One pulling on the track rod end bar and the other using a tyre bar to 'crack' the loctite on the nuts.

Track Rod End - Removal

The front hub on an MGF is secured at four points, an upper ball joint (connects hub to upper wishbone), a lower ball joint (connects hub to lower wishbone), the track rod end (a third ball joint connecting the hub to the steering rack) and the brake hose (takes brake fluid to the brake caliper). Following the accident, only the track rod end and brake hose remained intact, the upper ball joint had seperated and the lower one had sheared. So, I need to replace the damaged components in order to be able to reassemble the hub and get the wheel back on Scarlet. As you can imagine, with two of the three ball joints apart, the hub and caliper was loose in the wheel arch making work on it very difficult, so I removed the entire assembly from the car to make working on it easier, beginning with the track rod end. This was a simple case of undoing the 13mm securing nut and tapping the pin of the track rod end out of the hole in the end of the arm on the hub.

Upper Ball Joint - Final Picture

However, even the huge socket it still didn't do the job (although it should've done). After what seemed like ages, the ball joint was still stuck fast in the hub and we decided to call it a day. This is how the hub looks currently and we are mystified as to why it won't come out. This and the trouble we had removing the lower ball joint pin calls into question the viability of the hub, maybe it sustained more damage in the accident that was first thought? So this is the situation, I either manage to remove the upper ball joint, or I get a new hub, personally, i'm leaning towards the latter given the question mark over the hub, if it is damaged then it may be unsafe. By now it was nearing 6pm, we had been working on the car since 10am that morning and enough was enough for one day. Thanks to Rob for his help.

Upper Ball Joint - Removal From Hub

After bending back the locking washer, we set to work on unscrewing the ball joint. Hmmm, this was never going to work, what we needed was an enourmous socket...

Upper Ball Joint - Removal From Hub

... How about this one then? :-) After an emergency trip to Halfords, Rob and I both purchased a special 'ball joint socket' (one each). It is 1 13/16" in size and is massive! It was also in a clearance sale, so we snapped up the last two. :-)

Upper Ball Joint - Removal from wishbone

The upper ball joint had been seperated from the socket during the accident, to remove the top part from the upper wishbone, we used a 15mm socket on a ratchet thus.


3rd March 2003 - Revisiting the scene of the accident...

Re-visited the accident scene yesterday to get some pictures for this website. Mixed emotions as I pulled onto the hard shoulder and sorted out my camera. I also had a quick walk along the roadside looking for any recognisable bits of debris and found the missing tailpipe finisher. It is pretty squashed and looks like it has been run over a few times - denfinitely not salvageable.I will be ringing the insurers this lunchtime as it is now 2 weeks to the day since the assessor viewed Scarlet. More news as and when.Andrew

Collected Debris

A Flame Red painted inner reflector, something that very much says 'Scarlet Fever', smashed. And a rather squashed Mike Satur Daytona rear tailpipe finisher.

The accident scene

This picture is taken from the end of the entrance slip road, adjacent to the point of impact on the Armco. Scarlet ended up about a third of the way into the picture after I had moved her from the centre of the dual carriageway to the hard shoulder. The sign by the bridge says something along the lines of 'Maintained for Essex County Council by County Route (A130) Plc." I collected the tailpipe finisher from the gravel trap on the left. Incedentally, this road is brand new and in the time between the accident and the taking of this photo they had made some changes to the layout. The entrance slip road was further back along the carriageway and if you look at the middle of the painted chevrons you can see a scuffed area where the old markings have been removed. All the bridges over this stretch of the A130 are named and the one in the distance is called, wait for it... "Curry Hill Footbridge!" Only in Essex... ;-)


3rd May - Rear Panel, Seatbelts, Door Cards

Yesterday I stripped some more trim out of Scarlet, in this gallery you will see how I removed the (rusty) rear panel and membrane and got my first look at an MGF petrol tank, the parcel shelf lining, seatbelts and T-Bar angle and finally the door cards.

Door Cards - Removal

Again using the Philips head screwdriver, I undid both of the screws in the bottom of the door pull, then carefully lifted the entire plastic moulding out of the door card. Incedentally, I have not parked Scarlet inside the house, the carpet in the bottom of the picture is a small offcut I have aquired for use when working outside on the car - it just saves me getting covered in muck! :-)

Door Cards - Removal

There is a further pair of Philips head screws in the door card, they are located in the door jamb as shown in the picture. I tried to get a picture of both screws, with the screwdriver located in the lower one and the upper one at the top of the photo - if you look carefully you can just make it out (black screw on a black background, I should've known better really eh?) ;-)

Door Cards - Removal

With very little trim now left in Scarlet, I next turned my attention to the door cards. I began using a Philips head screwdriver and removed the obvious retaining screw in the door shut.

Door Cards - Removal

The next screw is a little tricky to remove, basically it is behind the (spring loaded) door handle. I use the index finger of my left hand to hold the handle out of the way and then work the Philips head screwdriver with my right hand. Fortunately this is a very short screw. :-) Once the screw is removed from the door handle, I pulled open the handle and then worked the backing out, turning it through 90 degrees and over the end of the door handle, next I moved onto the door pulls.

Door Cards - Removal

OK, the next step was to release the trim clips along the bottom edge of the door card, I ran my hand along the bottom edge and pulled the card off of the door. The picture shows the trim clips undone.

Door Cards - Removal

Nearly there now, I unclipped the rubber piece at the top of the door card and then lifted the card up, over the door lock pin (as shown in the picture). The card can then be drawn along the top edge of the door until the top part is free from the rubber wing mirror mounts (known as cheeters). It was then a case of lifting it off of the door panel.

Hood Bolts - A bonus picture! :-)

I took this as a bonus picture really, I have no plans to remove the hood just yet, but as I have everything stripped out in this area and also, as there are pictures later on in this gallery that show you how to unclip the back of the hood I thought I would take the opportunity to get a photo of the main hood mounting bolts. The hood is secured to the car in three areas, the first area is (obviously) the hood clamps on the windscreen surround. The second area is 5 overcentre catches around the rear of the hood (these are dealt with later in this gallery). And finally there are 2 pairs of main bolts that fix the hood frame to the car under the T-Bar - these are shown in the photo. I will be removing the hood eventually and will be covering these bolts there, until then, here is a picture of them.

Hood Overcentre Catches

Once I had removed all the parcel shelf gubbins, I then re-fastened the rear of the hood. This shot shows 4 of the 5 overcentre catches, I took it because there are no clear shots of them on the web as they are usually photographed as part of the undoing process and this means the parcel shelf lining is in the way. Scarlet's shelf is stripped out completely now so getting a good photo was easy and it shows exactly how they fasten the rear of the hood.

Last one of the day :-)

The last picture of the day, to missquote a nursery rhyme, "and when I got there, the cabin was bare..." :-)

Parcel Shelf Lining - Removal

Once the rear of the hood is folded up, I secured it in this position to keep it out of the way. There are instructions on the web that suggest a piece of string around the window rubber for this job, but I always use a length of bungee cord. I find this easier to use and therefore I always carry it around with me in the boot. I secure it across the corners of the hood as shown in the picture.

Parcel Shelf Lining - Removal

With the hood clips undone, you can now pull the rear screen upwards as shown in the picture.

Parcel Shelf Lining - Removal

With the rear of the hood secured out of the way, grasp the parcel shelf lining and sound deadening material and withdraw rearwards to reveal the engine bay inspection cover.

Parcel Shelf Lining - Removal

Eeeek, more rust!! :-O I have known about this surface rust on the inspection panel for a while now, it isn't a problem and is a consequence of a leaky hard top (around the rear screen). Doing the rebuild has given me time and access to think about repairs, maintenance and modifications and I was just going to paint this panel in a similar manner to the rear panel in the cabin, but if I can get hold of a suitable piece of toughened glass (for a reasonable amount of money), I might replace the inspection panel so that Scarlet's engine is on view. What do you think is this a good idea?

Parcel Shelf Lining - Removal

Well, to all you budding MGF DIY'ers out there this next little piece will be 'old hat'. The next job I completed was the removal of the parcel shelf lining, to do this you need to unclip the back of the hood, peel back the lining to reveal the 5 over centre catches and undo them, one-by-one.

Rear Panel - Removal

The membrane just peels off and once it had been removed i got my first view of an MGF petrol tank. You can see from the picture that is is made of plastic and is a very odd shape, it is also larger than i had anticipated, especially when you consider that the opposite face is vertical, meaning that it is triangular in section. It is also IMMEDIATELY behind the membrane, which is itself immediately behind the rear panel. So, all you budding I.C.E. installers, it is NOT a good idea to drill the panel in order to mount your amps, autochangers etc. ;-)

Rear Panel - Removal

Once over the studs, the panel just lifts out to reveal the membrane behind it. I am thinking of buying a new membrane and using the old one on the face of the rear panel to seperate it from the sound deadening material and hopefully help prevent the rust re-occurring.

Rear Panel - Removal

This is a close up shot of the worst of the rust on the rear panel. Incedentally, this part is officially known as "Bulkhead and Weld Stud Assembly - Front Passenger" - Whilst being very descriptive, I am NOT writing this everytime (it'll take ages!), hence the 'rear panel' name in the description! :-)

Rear Panel - Removal

With all the bolts and the two nuts removed, you next need to manouvre the panel off of the pair of threaded studs the nuts were fixed to (top left of the picture). The panel has studs welded to it (to take the carpet clips) and a pair of holes that locate onto a pair of studs welded to the car. I was able to grasp one of the panel studs and use it to pull the panel over the studs welded to the car as shown in the picture.

Rear Panel - Removal

I wasn't going to remove this panel just yet, but after descovering the rust on it last week I became curious as to what was behind it. So, out came the trusty socket set and I went to work on it yesterday. It is secured with 22 No 10mm bolts and an additional pair of 10mm nuts onto threaded studs, these are a pain to get out, more on this in a minute...

Rear Panel - Removal

Apart from the shear amount of bolts that secure this panel, some of them are more tricky to remove than others. This was a bit of a surprise to me, you see I was expecting to have trouble with the rusty bolts at the bottom, but these were fortunately not too far gone. Behind this panel is a membrane which is stuck the the car with some horrible black mastic type stuff. This is liberally applied and some of it was over the bolt holes. This meant that as the bolts were withdrawn, they collected some of this mastic on the threads which, due to the spiral motion of undoing the bolts, became wrapped in this horrible black sticky stuff - yuk! :-(

Seatbelts - Removal

This is just a shot of the seatbelt mechanism.

Seatbelts - Removal

With the parcel shelf lining removed, it is now possible to remove the seatbelts. I used a T50 Torx bit on a couple of extension pieces to undo the retaining bolt. As I had already undone the other end from the seat, with this bolt removed they just lifted out.

T-Bar Angle - Removal

Nice easy one this, 4 No 8mm bolts, a pair each end - undo and remove.


5th April 2003 - Dash (Part 1)

Spent some time on the interior today, I removed most of the dash accessories and you will find details on how I striped out the following parts below: Passenger Air Bag Blank, Top Air Vent, Side Air Vents, Instrument Fascia, Instrument Cowl, Ashtray, Cigarette Lighter, Handbrake handle and Gaiter and the lids to the cubby box and drop down bin. Given the number of parts there are a lot of photos, so the thumbnails below may take some time to appear.

Ashtray - Removal

This picture shows the ashtray parts - it is an 'exploded' view showing all the parts and the removal process consists of two stages. To remove, take out the internal part (stage 1) and then use a flat bladed screwdriver to release the pair of plastic retaining lugs (just visable in the cigarette lighter end of the ashtray - stage 2). Be careful, these are easy to break. With these lugs released you should be able to pull the ashtray surround out of the dash. If you have the chromed ashtray, this is retained in a different manner. To remove the chromed ashtray, take out the inner part, then using a Philips head screwdriver undo the pair of retaining screws in the base of the ashtray surround. This releases a metal bracket and allows the surround to be lifted free (carefully, this will be complete with screws and you don't want to drop them into the transmission tunnel). Reach into the transmission tunnel and retrieve the bracket.

Cigarette Lighter - Removal

This picture shows the components of the cigarette lighter. To remove it, just push it upwards from below and disconnect the wiring. Note the additional wire to the bulb in the orange plastic ring, this is a very simple modification to get power to the (installed as standard) illumination ring, just run short length of wire to the fascia and connect to the lighting circuit.

Drop Down Bin and Cubby Box Lid - Removal

Lift the pair of lids together away from the transmission tunnel - Job Done.

Drop Down Bin and Cubby Box Lids - Removal

Pull the front of the storage bin upwards and forwards to release the rear clips, then withdraw the entire unit. This has revealed the first pair of retaining crews that secure the two bin lids.

Drop Down Bin and Cubby Box Lids - Removal

Using a Philips head screwdriver, remove the pair of newly revealed screws as shown in the picture.

Drop Down Bin and Cubby Box Lids - Removal

Now open the drop down bin to reveal the remaining pair of screws. Again using the Philips head screwdriver, undo and remove them. The pair of lids are now free of the transmission tunnel.

Drop Down Bin and Cubby Box Lids - Removal

The hinge that both lids are fastened to is held in place with four screws. Begin by opening the cubby box lid and unclipping the front of the storage bin as shown in the picture.

Fascia - Removal

I had previously removed my head unit, so the apperture was open giving easy access to the next set of trim clips.

Fascia - Removal

Similar to the last picture, this one shows me releasing the other side. If you think I look a bit awkward, you'd be right! It's not easy posing for a picture and operating the camera with your left hand :-) For those eagle-eyed people reading this, yes my clock and oil temperature guages ARE the wrong way round. This is a modification I carried out a while ago, it is very easy to do (in fact I have a picture later on in this gallery showing the guage retaining screws in the back of the fascia) and for me improved the functionality of the dash. That's a fancy way of saying that I use the oil temperature guage all the time and never look at the clock (I am in the habbit of looking at my watch). Also, on a right hand drive vehicle, swapping the guages means that both the temperature ones are next to each other - this for me is more logical.

Fascia - Removal

Begin by removing the gear knob. In my case it just unscrewed, but if for example you have the MG MOMO gear knob, then you will need to release the grub screw to remove it.

Fascia - Removal

The fascia is retained with 5 trim clips, a pair at the bottom, either side of the switch panel, a pair further up, either side of the head unit aperture and a single one right at the top above the hazard warning light switch. Begin by lifting the bottom of the fascia upwards and then carefully pull the fascia forwards, out of the dash at the bottom to release the two lower trim clips either side of the switch panel. Be careful though as the fascia is made of plastic and although it will flex quite a lot, don't pull too hard as there is a point after which it will break.

Fascia - Removal

Reach in through the top vent apperture and press out the fascia from the last trim clip. You then need to release all the multiplugs from the backs of the various switches. Once this is done you should be able to slide the gear lever gaiter over the gear lever and the fascia is now free of the dash. The picture shows what remains, I took some time now with a roll of masking tape and a biro to label the wiring in the opening. Whilst I have a pretty good idea which wire goes where, I am unlikely to be re-fitting the fascia for a while so I thought it better to be safe than sorry. ;-)

Final Picture

The final picture of the day. :-)

Guage Swap

As promised earlier, here is the picture showing the retaining screws for the clock and oil temperature guages in the fascia. Each one is secured with a plastic ring, fastened with a pair of Philips head screws. Simply undo the screws, swap the clock and oil temperature guages over and re-fasten. I like jobs that are this easy :-)

Handbrake Handle and Gaiter - Removal

Removing the handbrake handle and gaiter is a really easy job. Begin by unclipping the front of the gaiter as shown in the picture. Then slide the bottom of the gaiter forwards to release the rear clip.

Handbrake Handle and Gaiter - Removal

Next, simply slide the handle and gaiter as one item off of the handbrake, upwards. Easy eh? :-)

Handbrake switch

This picture is just here really out of curiosity. One of the most annoying things about Scarlet is the handbrake light keeps coming on. This is caused by the handle working it's way upwards whilst the vehicle is in motion, just enough to trip the switch (shown in the picture). I haven't found a long-term cure yet, but I intend to sort this out during the rebuild.

Illuminated Cigarette Lighter

On a previous Treffen (a European tour/rally), Dieter wired in the illuminated ring around the cigarette lighter for me (thanks mate) :-) For those who don't know, the cigarette lighter in the F/TF comes complete with an illuminated ring and bulb, but it is not wired in! The picture shows the wire that Dieter installed, it is a very simple job consisting of a spade connector, short length of wire and a scotch-lock connector. I removed the cigarette lighter today and the following picture shows the components in more detail.

Instrument Cowl - Dimmer Switch

As with all the switchgear, they can be removed from thier mountings by pushing them out from behind. This picture shows the instrument illumination dimmer switch, but the technique applies to the switches in the fascia as well.

Instrument Cowl - Dimmer Switch Multiplug

This picture shows the multiplug to the instrument illumination dimmer switch. For some reason I always find this one the most difficult to undo, so I thought a picture of the plug would help.

Instrument Cowl - Removal

The instrument cowl is secured with 4 screws, a pair of short ones in the underside of the binnacle and...

Instrument Cowl - Removal

...a pair of longer ones under the dash. Remove all four using a Philips head screwdriver. The cowl should be loose now enabling you to reach behind it and release the multiplugs to the dash illumination dimmer switch (and also the electric mirror adjuster on later models).

Instrument Cowl - Removal

The cowl is now free and can be removed by pulling it towards you. It is a little tight in there, but will come free. If you have an adjustable steering column then it may help to adjust it to the lowered position. As with the passenger air bag blank, Scarlet's instrument cowl was sourced from Mike Satur and is veneered in burr walnut. In all other respect however it is standard so the aforementioned instructions for removal should apply to all F/TFs.

Passenger Air Bag Blank - Removal

This picture shows the back of the blank and one of the trim clips (top left of the picture). It also shows the structural cross member behind the blank in the dash. As you can see it is pretty much directly behind the blank and this is the reason the space isn't used for additional cabin storage.

Passenger Air Bag Blank - Removal

I began today by removing the passenger air bag blank. The one in Scarlet was sourced from Mike Satur and is walnut veneered, however it just clips in in exactly the same manner as a normal one. To remove, use a flat bladed screwdriver and carefully prise the top of the blank out of the dash. It is secured with a pair of moulded 'legs' on the bottom and a pair of trim clips at the top. Or the other way round depending on which way up your blank is ;-)

Side Air Vent - Removal

The side air vents have a pair of spring loaded clips on each side. The first one I removed was on the passenger side, this was very easy as, with the passenger air bag blank removed, I was able to push it out from behind.

Side Air Vents - Removal

The driver's side vent was a little bit trickier as there wasn't any access to the back (I suppose you could open the fuse box panel, but I didn't think of it at the time!) As you can see from the photo, I used a flat bladed screwdriver to prise out the side of the vent and was then able to pull it from the front.

Top Air Vent - Removal

I next removed the central, top air vent. You may want to remove this item in the future as it gives excellent access to the space behind the fascia which is handy if you are exchanging the head unit, it also makes it easier to remove the instrument fascia, a job which I will come to in a moment. To remove the top vent, adjust the vanes so that they are out of the way and grip the vent as shown, then pull (quite firmly) up and out to release the retaining clips.

Top Air Vent - Removal

This picture shows the shape of the vent and the opening left in the dash. As you can see access to the top half of the fascia through here is excellent.


5th March 2003 - PayPal

Ok, set up a PayPal account recently and I have confirmation Emails etc to show that it is ready. I have also emailed Stefan the code so it should just be a case of clicking the button for anyone wanting to contribute. So from a financial point of view I think I am now ready, I have sorted out a postal address for people who want to send cheques, there is now a stand alone bank account dedicated to the rebuild and this last PayPal account now allows overseas people to contribute without being stung too heavily in transfer fees. Just waiting on the insurance company now so that this site can go fully 'live'.


7th April 2003 - Insurance news...

Just got off the phone with my insurers and they have confirmed that Scarlet is a total loss (I assume economically). The delay has been caused by the specification of Scarlet making a valuation difficult, which when you think about it is fairly logical I suppose. I have been told that correspondance on the matter will be going out early this week and I hopefully will know more by the weekend.


7th July 2003 - Insurance news

...STOP PRESS... Just had a telephone conversation with Victoria at the MGF Centre, she says that she is in receipt of a letter from my insurers authorising the repair works to Scarlet :-) This week I have also made some big progress regarding refitting the hub, so by the end of the week she should be mobile again. :-)


8th July - Subframe and Hub Assy (Parts 2), Caliper, Disc and Wheel

Following the superb news from the insurers, I now needed to get a move on. The car is due to be collected this weekend and delivered to the MGF Centre and in order to be able to get her on a trailer, I needed to re-fit the wheel. So, in this gallery you will find how I accomplished this task, and a number of others along the way :-) However, and this is important for anyone who wishes to follow these instructions, I made a 'schoolboy error' (because I was rushing the job) along the way. In my case it isn't that important, mainly because the car is only being put on a trailer, but when I was finished, the car was not drivable because I missed an essential item. This will become clear as the gallery progresses, so, 'on with the show' as they say! :-)

Anti-roll Bar Bolt - Fitment (or not!)

I then came to fit the anti-roll bar bolt and discovered that I couldn't! This picture shows the problem I described earlier, note the clearance between the bottom of the hub and the anti-roll bar mount, the hub pivots around the lower ball joint further reducing this clearance gap. The anti-roll bar bolt needs to be installed BEFORE the hub goes on (there isn't enough clearance to insert it the right way round with the hub in place), and the bolt needs to be inserted the opposite way round to how it is shown in the picture (so that the nut is pointing away from the hub), this will give the maximum clearance here. As Scarlet only needs to go on a trailer and this area will need stripping down again anyway (to replace the shock and possibly the subframe too), I felt that it wasn't necessary to connect this bolt at the moment. The car won't be driven like this so it is 'fit for purpose' in this state.

Brake Caliper - Fitment

With the 4 pots pushed back, the pads just slot into place. I then tapped the top retaining pin into place.

Brake Caliper - Fitment

With the disc back in place, I then proceeded to refit the brake caliper. As I mentioned during the stripdown, Scarlet has Mike Satur aluminium and titanium 4 pot calipers so it is unlikely that all of the following pictures will be relevant to anyone using these galleries as instructions, but this first one is, as Mike's calipers attach to the hub in the same way as the normal calipers. They are attached with a pair of 17mm bolts on the back of the hub as shown in the (rather good, even if I do say so myself!) picture. :-)

Brake Caliper - Fitment

The next step was to refit the brake pads, this is where this gallery will diverge from the normal brakes. This picture shows the 4 titanium pistons (or pots) in the caliper, I used the wooden handle of a small hammer to gently lever these back into the caliper so that I could slot the brake pads back in.

Brake Caliper - Fitment

The retaining pins are secured with tiny 'R' clips, with these in place I clipped the retaining plate into position and inserted the second retaining pin.

Brake Caliper - Fitment

With the second pair of 'R' clips installed fitting the caliper is done, time to re-pressurise the Hydragas system.

Brake Disc - Fitment

Right, onto the brakes. I began by coating the hub with a liberal layer of copperslip.

Brake Disc - Fitment

Then I slotted the disc over the wheel studs and replaced the retaining screws using a Philips head screwdriver.

Hydragas Pump - Depressurising the Hydragas system

The MGF suspension uses a system known as Hydragas. This consists of two spheres, one on top of the other with an internal rubber membrane separating the two. The top sphere is filled with Nitrogen and the bottom sphere is filled with an alcahol based fluid (similar to anti-freeze). The bottom spheres are also interlinked front to rear. Adjustments to this system (which affects ride height) by your MGR dealership cost around the £45.00 mark. Last year, 5 of us in the Essex Roadsters group clubbed together and put £50.00 each into a kitty. We then purchased a Hydragas pump from Brown and Gammons. The first time we used it on our cars we made out money back and it was invaluable to me for this job. I connected the pump to the car and set it to depressurise, then...

Hydragas Pump - Depressurising the Hydragas system

...closed the bleed screw. The picture shows a close up of the Hydragas pump connection, note the two thumbscrews. The bottom one is the bleed screw, this is used to ensure there is no air in the system. The top one is connected to a small push rod that depresses the pin in the Hydragas valve (it is exactly like a tyre valve). By winding in this top screw I was able to open the Hydragas valve and allow the Hydragas fluid to evacuate into the storage bottle of the pump. This removed the pressure on the upper wishbones of the two wheels on the nearside of the car (front and rear). :-)

Jacking point

Time to get rid ofthe axle stands, I positioned the jack on the central jacking point of the front subframe thus, and raised the car off the stands.

Job Done :-)

I removed the axle stands and lowered the car to the ground. This is the first time she has been on all four wheel since February. :-) She is now ready to be transported to the MGF Centre.

Lower Ball Joint - Removal

With the three rivets out, the next job was to slide the old lower ball joint out of the slot in the wishbone. Out came the can of PlusGas and an 'action shot' ensued! :-)

Lower Ball Joint - Removal

The old lower ball joint then just slid out thus. One more item for the scrap heap! :-)

Lower Ball Joint - Removal

With the subframe bolts removed and the steering column disconnected, I tried to jack the car up off of the subframe. This was an 'experiment', the manual says 'support the body on stands and lower the frame away from the body using a jack'. Because my stands are under the frame I tried to do this the other way around, but failed. So I had to get a bit creative! :-) The ultimate goal of dropping the subframe is to remove the lower wishbone and drill out the three rivets that secure the lower ball joint. Access was excellent and I thought, "Why am I going to all this trouble? Surely I can drill them out insitu?" So I did. I replaced all the subframe bolts and the steering rack one, then set to work with a 12mm drill bit and a hammer and cold chisel! The rivets are 8mm diameter, but the shaft is extremely tough (tougher than the three 8mm drill bits I bought specially for this job anyway!) But the heads are quite soft, so I over drilled the head, separating it from the shaft and then chiselled the head off. I was then able to use a centre punch to pop the rivets out the bottom - Job done (I wish I had thought of this a fortnight ago!) :-)

New Lower Ball Joint - Fitment

The next step is to insert the retaining bolt through the bottom of the hub. If I was going to do this again, knowing now what I know about the anti-roll bar bolt, I would insert this bolt the other way round, this will give a few more mm clearance on the other side of the hub.

New Lower Ball Joint - Fitment

...then tighten the nuts underneath to 40 Nm / 29.52 Lbf.ft. / 4.08 Kgf.m using an 8mm and 10mm socket.

New Lower Ball Joint - Fitment

This is a picture of the new lower ball joint (Ball joint part numbers = RBG 000020 and RBK 100410 for both the upper and lower ones).

New Lower Ball Joint - Fitment

IMPORTANT! This is where I made my error. Before installing the hub, you must FIRST attach the anti-roll bar. This is because clearance between the anti-roll bar bolt and the bottom of the hub is very tight, this means that in order to avoid the hub fouling the anti-roll bar bolt on full lock the bolt needs to be inserted with the shank pointing outwards. Once the hub is on the lower ball joint there isn't enough clearance to do this (I only found this out later, and didn't have the time or the inclination to strip it all down again!) ------------------------------------------------------- OK, assuming that you have installed the anti-roll bar bolt, you can now slot the hub onto the pin in the lower ball joint. It is a tight fit and I had to use a rubber mallet to coax the hub fully onto the pin.

New Lower Ball Joint - Fitment

Slide the new lower ball joint into place, insert the three bolts (heads upwards)...

Repressurising the Hydragas system

I switched the pump over to 'pressurise', opened the valve screw and then slowly operated the handle and pumped the fluid back into the lower spheres. Normally, the way to determine ride height is through measuring the distance between the centre of the (front) wheel to the underside of the wheel arch (368mm give or take 10mm), because Scarlet has no wheel and no wheel arch at the moment I used the pressure guage and put in 400 psi of fluid (the dial on the top left of the picture).

Repressurising the Hydragas system

Another 'action shot'! :-) Because the Hydragas pump only contains the fluid from the car, I decided to add to it, just to make sure I didn't run out. Nice colour fluid isn't it? ;-)

Steering Column Bolt - Removal

This follows on from the 'Subframe (Part 1)' gallery and is the next step in lowering the subframe. Using a 10mm socket on a couple of extensions I removed the bolt that secures the steering column to the rack as shown in the picture.

Track Rod End - Re-attachment

Not sure if I need a new track rod end here, but I had a tricky time tightening up the nut. Basically the track rod end is another ball joint and the pin kept spinning as I was trying to tighten the nut. I managed in the end to get some offset pliers on the shaft and this was enough to allow the nut to be tightened.

Upper Ball Joint - Fitment

I was then able to lower the upper wishbone onto the upper ball joint pin. The upper ball joint comes with three different tab washers and only one of them is suitable for the MGF. Note the brass plate between the nut and the upper wishbone, this is the one to use.

Upper Ball Joint - Tab Washers

With both the upper and lower ball joints in place and the track rod end secured, I then took a small hammer to the tab washers and bent them over to prevent the upper ball joint working loose. Note the top tab washer needs to bent up and the bottom (circular) tab washer needs to be bent both up (far side of the picture) and down (in the foreground of the picture).

Upper Wishbone

This picture shows the both the upper and lower ball joints installed, wih the hub fitted to the lower ball joint and the upper ball joint (still with its' protective cap on) adjacent to the upper wishbone. The problem here is that the upper wishbone is connected to the suspension and therefore is being pushed downwards by the shock absorber and the Hydragas spheres. This makes inserting the upper ball joint tricky. The workshop manual says that the upper wishbone needs to be jacked up and a timber wedge inserted to hold it in the upper position. This, as you can imagine, is not an easy thing to do with the lower wishbone in the way. Also, the brake hose will need moving as it is vulnerable to crushing by a jack on the underside of the upper wishbone. Fortunately, in my garage is a tool that the vast majority of you MGF owners out there won't have and it made this job significantly easier...

Upper Wishbone

With the Hydragas system drained on this side of the car I was able to lift the upper wishbone (the shock absorber was damaged in the accident) and position the upper ball joint below it.

Wheel

I then positioned the cover plate and tightened the large retaining nut. Scarlet now has all four wheels! :-)

Wheel

I then put the wheel back on the hub and tightened the 4 bolts.


8th March 2003 – 3rd party?

Received a letter this morning from Ringway Highway Services Limited, apparently the A130 bypass where the accident took place was a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) project and therefore there are private companies involved in the construction and maintenance of this road. For those not in the know, this is how a PFI project works in the UK: A PFI project is basically a hire purchase agreement between the Government and a private Company where by the Company constructs a project (for instance a school, a bridge or in this case a road) and bears all the costs. The Company then sells the project to the Government over a fixed term for a substantial annual sum, during this time the Company acts as a ‘landlord’ and maintains the project. At the end of the term (normally 25 years), ownership of the project is transferred to the Government. The letter advises me that they are the PFI contractor responsible for the maintenance of the A130 and that they have incurred costs (presumably the replacement of the Armco I collided with) and are seeking to recover them from myself. They have asked for my insurance details which I have provided and I have written to my insurers with the intention of them being regarded as a ‘third party’ under the terms of my fully comprehensive policy. Fingers crossed all will be well. I have also requested an ‘update’ from my insurers on the claim (it is 3 weeks today since the assessor viewed Scarlet).


Bonus Gallery - MGF Supersport Concept Car

I was at the MGOC head quarters the other day and managed to get these pictures of the MGF Supersports concept car. Sorry if they are a bit off topic, but you may find them interesting.

MGF Supersports - Picture 1

This is the third incarnation of this car, the previous generation being black with a red hood and prior to this, flame red with no winsdcreeen and a hard tonneau cover. If i recall correctly it was intended to be a weekend racer and by the time it was painted in this irridescent green it had a supercharged version of the 1.8 K-series engine.

MGF Supersports - Picture 2

Differences from standard are many, not only are the wheels one offs, being split rims, but also the wings were flared, there were unique side cills, front and rear nosecones, revised air intakes and interior modifications. Less obvious is the fact that the side cills are one piece items and in this regard you can see some of the ideas that made to the current TF, al be it in a slightly different form.

MGF Supersports - Picture 3

This shot was taken mainly to show the extent to which the wings were flared. It also gives some idea of the revised air intakes and side cill extensions, more on the cill extensions later...

MGF Supersports - Picture 4

This is a shot of the dash, note the MY2K centre console in silver and green leather trimmed steering wheel. The wheel matches the seats...

MGF Supersports - Picture 5

...The seats are unlike any that have been fitted to the F or TF. The closest comparison is the bucket seats used in the MGF Cup racing series, but they are a lot more spartan. Whilst these seats look great and would certainly do the job of locating the driver an passenger securely, there appears to be an issue with access to the drop down bin.

MGF Supersports - Picture 6

The rear bumper. Note the centre mounted exhaust finishers (and in this shot you can see the silencer box as well). Also note the venturi tubes - I am not sure if these are for show or actually produced a ground effect, but they look great in my opinion. The central 'tail' I feel is a little impractical and would not survive reverse parking on a day-to-day basis.

MGF Supersports - Picture 7

The side cill extensions. Of all the bodykit side cills I have seen, these I feel are the most successful on an F. They are simple tapered 'wings' and thier simplicity is why they work so well stylistically. If they were availabe as an aftermarket item I would have some on Scarlet. Note also the additional badging on the front wing, hmmm I wonder if i can get some 'Scarlet Fever' badges made up... ;-)

MGF Supersports - Picture 8

A shot of the rear wheel. The split rims on this and the 2nd generation Supersports differ from the originals and in my opinion are less successful - not that they are unattractive, far from it - it's just that the original wheels were far less angular and therefore more in keeping with the curvacious bodywork. I am not sure if the picture will show this up, but when I took these pictures I was a little dissapointed in thier appearance, looking a little worse for wear.

MGF Supersports - Picture 9

Last picture in this gallery, I found this on my hard drive and it's a picture of the 2nd generation of this car. Basically it is the same vehicle as the one in the previous pictures in all ways except for the colour and the engine. This generation of the car as I understand it had the prototype supercharged engine installed. According to the blurb on the windscreen of the car in it's current form, this was replaced at some time in it's past with a stock VVC lump - I assume for further development works.


Press...

This is a gallery to record the press coverage of Scarlet post rebuild, here you will find details of magazines and articles on the car. At the moment I am not sure how big this gallery will get, certainly there is a full article on Scarlet planned for MG World in the near future and there has already been a couple of pieces to kick the gallery off with.

Lymphoma fundraising news - Issue 55, Autumn 2003 - 'Saving Scarlet'

Bob Caddick (aka Blue Max) emailed this over to me. The article is on the front cover and is quite a detailed account of how the pledges for financial help with the rebuild were ultimately not needed by me and the good will behind them was diverted to the Lymphoma Association in the form of a charitable donation of £480.00 + £112.82 tax relief (as the moneies were donated via JustGiving.com). Feels really good to have been a part of this. :-)

MG World - Issue 40, November 2003, P52 - 'Curing the fever'

Just a splash panel this, as part of an article on the MGF Centre's open day on August 17th (which is worth reading in it's own right). The splash panel details the 'reveal' on the day and has a picture of Scarlet and I with a very strange expression on my face! In the background is Carl and in the picture below the splash panel is a nice shot of Victoria and Bill. As an aside, later on in the magazine is one of my DIY articles (i write them for MG World). This one details a DIY hardtop storage rack and the pictures were taken in early 2003 before the accident. In this one issue there is a before and after shot of Scarlet and gives a fair idea of just how much work was done during the rebuild. :-)


TOP SECRET - T Bar Speaker Modification (Part 1)

Scarlet, as you are probably aware, is currently at the MGF Centre being repaired. I am hoping that i'll get a set of photographs early this week via email for another gallery, but in the meantime, there are a number of modifications I want to carry out with the trim in my garage. This is the first one, fitting rear speakers a la MY2K MGF - something which on a normal F would be quite straightforward, but on Scarlet was a little complicated...

Bonus Picture! - My 'junk' pile :-)

Just took this one on a whim really, I thought you might like to see what an MGF interior looks like out of the car! :-) The body panels to the far right are scrap, but everything else in the heap will be re-fitted by me at the MGF Centre. Details of this work will appear in these galleries in the near future.

TOP SECRET MOD #1 - Channel and speaker cut outs

This is what the T-Bar looked like when i'd finished cutting it about. I used a Stanley knife and a craft knife to do this work, it is a bit of a pain to do due to the thickness of the T-Bar, but it doesn't have to be 100% perfect as the leather and speaker cover will hide any errors.

TOP SECRET MOD #1 - Drilling the bolt holes

OK, with the speaker apperture marked out the next stage was to drill the bolt holes thus.

TOP SECRET MOD #1 - Job Done

This is how the finished T-Bar looks, note that because of the way it is positioned you can see daylight through the speaker appertures. All I need now are some speakers, some cable and a MY2K speaker box, more on this as and when...

TOP SECRET MOD #1 - Marking the channels

This is where it gets tricky (and sticky!) The speaker covers, as I mentioned earlier, are not designed for this application, this means that they are flat and the T-Bar is curved. To some extent having the T-Bar leather covered is a benefit as it will hide the prep work, but to begin with it was a pain as it needed to be peeled back from the face of the T-Bar. I carefully removed the staples securing the leather around the edges and then gently separated the covering from the T-Bar. Once done I was able to offer up the speaker cover and use it as a guide to cut out a pair of semi-circular channels in the face of the T-Bar, these should partially recess the speaker covers helping to hide the fact that the T-Bar and speaker faces are different profiles.

TOP SECRET MOD #1 - Marking the holes

This picture shows the marking out for the circular speaker cut out. I am not sure if you will be able to see them, but there are also three dots marking the locations of the bolt holes too.

TOP SECRET MOD #1 - Marking the holes

The next step was to mark out the speaker cover locations (I used a felt tip pen to mark the bolt positions) and then mark out the speaker hole. They were then transferred to the T-Bar underneath the leather with a braddle. Oh, and a big thanks to my Dad for helping out, (these are his hands you can see in the picture). :-)

TOP SECRET MOD #1 - Mounting the speaker cover

I was then able to re-stick the leather and put some new staples in around the edges. With this done I could mount the speaker cover. I had to partially recess the other side of the T-Bar around the bolt locations in order to get a socket on them, more of this in the next pictures. You will note that I didn't cut the leather above the channels, I am relying on the leather to stretch into them through the action of bolting the cover in place. Also note the seatbelt escutcheon, nice isn't it? Mike Satur comes up trumps again! :-)

TOP SECRET MOD #1 - Offering up the speaker cover

This picture shows what I was trying to achieve. Can you see the way the speaker cover is now partially recessed and therefore sitting a lot flatter on the T-Bar? In retrospect I probably should have cut these channels a bit deeper, the finished cover isn't quite 100% spot on (but it's close enough).

TOP SECRET MOD #1 - Speaker Bolts

Hmmm, shiney! This picture shows the first step which was to source some longer bolts for the speaker covers. The covers are designed for the door cards and as such only have short bolts. Given that the T-Bar is close to 1 inch thick in places the bolts needed replacing. The speaker cover on the left has the longer bolts fitted, they were 40mm long and this was just about right for the job. Note the bolt holes in the speaker covers are threaded, not sure why but it made this job a little easier.

TOP SECRET MOD #1 - T-Bars

This is what I have planned. Mike Satur does some polished aluminium FX speaker covers and also some matching seat belt escutcheons. The speaker covers are larger than necessary for the passage of sound, this means that they will hide some of the 'bodging' I am going to need to do around the speaker holes! ;-)

TOP SECRET MOD #1 - T-Bars

This first picture shows the problem. The easiest way to fit T-Bar speakers to a Mk1 MGF (or a TF 115) is to buy a MY2K MGF T-Bar with the speaker grilles already fitted. As you can see from the picture, Scarlet's T-Bar is leather covered and this complicates matters. Basically, I cannot use a MY2K T-Bar as it won't match the leather work in the car, furthermore, because leather is made in batches, it is not possible for me to buy a MY2K T-Bar and have it covered, again it won't match. So I am left with 2 choices - do without the speakers or get creative (and hope I don't mess it up!) ;-)

TOP SECRET MOD #1 - Trimming the leather

This is what the finished job looks like from behind. Note the recesses for the bolts, these are to enable the use of a socket, the curvature of the back of the T-Bar makes this difficult otherwise. Also note the white diagonal line to the bottom right of the picture. My T-Bar had cracked along here and it looks like it was caused during the recall when the seat belt escutcheons were replaced - they obviously didn't take much care when they did it! The white line is the glue I used to repair this damage.

TOP SECRET MOD #1 - Trimming the leather

OK, nearly there now, turning the T-Bar over, I then used a craft knife to cut the leather, these pieces could then be wrapped around the edge of the speaker cut out and stapled into position.


TOP SECRET! - T-Bar Speaker Modification (part 2)

Following hot on the heels of the previous modifications gallery, here is the next step in giving Scarlet additional rear speakers. Before I begin, a big thankyou to Mike and Vyv Nunn for donating a Model Year 2000 (MY2K) speaker box, it was much appreciated. As with everything on Scarlet, this job was more complicated than it first appears...

TOP SECRET! - 4

This is the assembly work done, however I felt it was wise to install the speakers temporarily and put it all together to ensure it all fits. Once it is all together I will need to dissasemble it again to this stage so that I can wire the speakers in. The speakers are secured with 4 short bolts that come with the speaker box, I used a Philips head screwdriver to screw them in.

TOP SECRET! - Access for Tannex clips

This is the second of the two compatibility issues. Scarlet has a leather half tonneau cover and this is secured to the T-Bar with Tannex clips - these can be seen in the previous 'Transmission Tunnel' gallery. The problem with the Tannex clips is access. They bolt through the T-Bar and T-Bar angle and have a small retaining nut on the underside. The speaker boxes completely prevent access for this nut and therefore the T-Bar becomes impossible to fit. The solution is a bit drastic, but it does the job, I hack sawed the corners off both boxes! :-O There is a picture later on in this gallery which shows why this was necessary.

TOP SECRET! - Bolts

This picture shows me installing the middle bolt. As you can see access is tricky, but possible with a little patience. It also shows the four windstop mounting bolts, these are located only at the moment, the mounting bar has yet to be attached.

TOP SECRET! - Bolts

Now that the speaker boxes have been modified, the next stage was to refit them to the T-Bar angle. The ideal tool for this job is a pop rivet gun, I have access to one of these but, wouldn't you just believe it, I was out of rivets so I resorted to re-using the short bolts I removed from the speaker covers. Two of them are reachable, but the third one is too far down the speaker box. In this case I drilled a small hole in the angle and used a self tapping screw. The picture shows one of the bolts, if you look through the speaker apperture you will see it.

TOP SECRET! - Cut outs

OK, this is the shot I alluded to earlier, note that the only way to fasten the nut to the underside of the Tannex clips is to create access for a small ratchet.

TOP SECRET! - Cutouts

This picture shows the modded speaker box.

TOP SECRET! - Finished T-Bar

This final picture shows the finished T-Bar, fastened to the speaker box, with the windstop secured to it. I'm pleased with the result (although it looks a little odd off of the car) - lets hope the improvement in sound quality is worth the hassle! :-)

TOP SECRET! - Mike Satur FX Windstop Mounting Bar

Time to attach the windstop mounting bar, this is secured to the T-Bar angle with 4 Allen key bolts, these screw into 4 corresponding metal clips that slot onto the T-Bar angle.

TOP SECRET! - Model Year 2000 (MY2K) Speaker Box

This item was donated by Mike and Vyv Nunn, some good friends who own a very nice example of an MGF Trophy 160 and a ZT. They have Mike Satur's roll bars fitted to the Trophy and as these have a speaker carrier built into the mounting bar, thier MY2K speaker box was redundant. As you can see it consists of the T-Bar angle, with a pair of speaker boxes attached (rivetted) to the underside. The speaker box is designed to take a pair of 4" x 6" speakers and I purchased some JBL two way units (model gto6426e) which are a nice fit.

TOP SECRET! - Offering up the MY2K speaker box

I began by offering up the speaker box to the underside of the T-Bar. I did this for two reasons, the first was to make sure that the speaker covers were in the right places (which they were) and the second was to check clearances, in particular the bolts to the speaker covers. In this case they are tight, but OK.

TOP SECRET! - T-Bar

I next secured the T-Bar to the speaker box using a Philips head screwdriver for the middle stud and then a socket and spanner to install the pair of Tannex clips (one each end), making use of the access holes in the speaker boxes.

TOP SECRET! - Windstop

With the T-Bar in place I then installed the windstop. This picture shows one of the pair of thumbscrews that secure the windstop to the mounting bar, it's a very neat solution to the mounting problem of a windstop and works very well indeed.

TOP SECRET! - Windstop Clips

OK, this is where the fun begins. :-) As you know, Scarlet is ever so slightly modified - this can cause compatibility problems and there were two issues with the MY2K speaker box to be overcome. The first was the mounting bolts for the windstop. I have a Mike Satur FX Aluminium windstop and this is bolted to a mounting bar, which in turn is bolted to the T-Bar angle. The 4 no. mounting bar bolts screw into 4 corresponding clips and these make use of the square cutouts in the back of the T-Bar angle. With me so far? Probably not - it's a tricky thing to describe, but suffice it to say that the back of the speaker boxes block up the mounting points and this is demonstrated in the picture - I am holding a windstop mounting bolt and clip in the position it needs to be. I drilled out the 6 retaining rivets (2 sets of three) that secure the speaker boxes to the T-Bar angle in order to be able to remove the boxes from the T-Bar angle and provide access to modifiy the boxes to take the windstop bolts. This consisted of cutting two square holes in the speaker boxes using a craft knife.