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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone,

I recently acquired my first MG, a 2002 TF. I know I’m going to need some help along the way so I might as well get a thread going.

The quick back story is that my mate bought this car in January with the intention to fix it and maybe do some hillclimb lessons in it. The car found it’s way to him from a deceased neighbour of his parents. The old chap traded in a classic MG (possibly a TC) for this TF when it was a relatively young car because he needed an easier to drive car. (apparently the chap used to race a TR2 back in the day!) Anyway my friends circumstances changed when he bought a 30ft boat. That meant he couldn't really spend the time needed on the TF, which is why it became available.

When my mate bought it it still had some MOT left so he got it going and drove it from Essex to Leeds. Around that time I did have a 20min drive in it to see what it was like, it seemed to go OK. The mot ran out shortly afterward and it clearly wasn’t going to pass another one easily but he put it in to see ‘what’s what‘. Basically it failed on rust at both rear sills and corroded brake lines.

Anyway a few weeks ago I bought it for £200 and will have a go at reviving it. Did I mention how manky and battered it is? Well it’s pretty bad... filthy dirty and moldy inside, and every panel either scraped or dented on the outside!

As ‘found’ in in Jan...
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-Steve-
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
How about a quick +/- evaluation for all our benefits?

Positives...

Starts, stops and steers.
Tyres OK.
Hood is OK. (has had a small repair).
99k miles.
Stainless coolant pipes.
It’s a 160.
It was cheap.


Negatives...

No MOT.
Front bumper cracked in two places and scuffed on both corners.
Both front wings bubbly. (Drivers side very bad).
Foggy headlight.
Badges faded to nothing.
Bonnet leading edge slightly kinked.
Driver door handle loose.
Dent on body nr passenger door air scoop.
Dent under passenger rear light (where the TF badge is).
Bootlid badly filled and resprayed.
Rear bumper scuffed.
All wheels kerbed.
Front of sills rusty both sides (driver side holed).
Rear of sills rusty (holed both sides).
Filthy Tan interior.
Tan dashboard ‘painted’ black! (Not a bad job but still why?)
Engine mangement light on.
Engine hesitant and lumpy at idle.
Rusty brake lines.
Probably plenty more!


hmmm.
 

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And it cost £200! Well, most of what you have described is a weeks work to do wonders- other than the body-work, as unless you can sprat, you are going to have to be patient for same-colour panels for it on Ebay. I look at your list and it reminds me of mine when i got it 5 years ago. i didnt have the bodywork rose but had a list of mechanical defects to attend. Give it a decent clean, inside and out and make a list. Be systematic about it and put prices- to see if you have the money to conclude. there are loads of suppliers but as the MGs no longer made, they are not as cheap as you average euro-car on the road. Badges-? you buy stick-on ones that go over the top! Headlights?- you remove them and wet-n dry, then machine polish with G3. iTS ALL ON THE net, you just need to do that list!
 

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My gut feeling is all doable. I would wash it inside and out and straightaway it will

1. Look better
2. Show up any other imperfections.

Unless you are competent at body repairs, I would take it to a body shop to carry out thorough body repairs/replace the faded badges. The biggest job appears to be the sills.

I would then painstakingly go through the engine/electrical issues one at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks for the comments, I’m no expert but I ‘think’ I know what I’m getting into with this. It should all be doable but the rust is the big challenge on this one. I have done a little bit of welding before on my other cars (80’s corolla wheel arch, 924 front sills) but this looks like it’s going to test me!

I know I only started the post last night but I have had the car for about 2 weeks now and have been thoroughly cleaning it bit by bit.

It’s been washed, clayed and I have t-cut most of the front end so far (doing a little bit each day). On the inside I have steam cleaned about 3/4 of the surfaces and I spent several hours trying to clean the passenger seat up yesterday (It was very manky). So it’s already looking MUCH better, but cleaning it can’t hide it’s battle scars.

There has been a VERY interesting development via another (non MG) forum I use when a member posted this...

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Needs further investigation I think!

-Steve-
 

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Got to save it now!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Chris T for those pictures it looks like a good in-depth, nicely photographed article. I have bought a copy on eBay and I can’t wait to see it in print 😀.

I’ve also managed to track the car down in two other publications. Both have been purchased and are winging their way to me...

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-Steve-
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I forgot to mention that I have checked the VIN number and it’s a pre-production TF, identified by it still having an MGF vin number! It was built on the 22nd of November 2001 and 1st registered on the 10th of January 2002 a week before the TF was officially launched at the Brussels motorshow. 😎

-Steve-
 

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Hi Steve,

Wow, what a shed find, congratulations.

A company such as MGFnTFBITZ may be able to help you with good replacement wings and other body panels the same colour as your TF if the ones on your car are too far gone.

Mike Satur makes sill repair panels for the TF, which might be of great help to you, Body Repair Panels

I have had great luck repairing cracks in my F's bumpers using a product called PlastiFix, PlastiFix Kit (White) | PlastiFix Kits This product is available from a few sources in the UK according to their website. There is another product called Plastex that seems to be the same sort of plastic repair product, PLASTEX, PLASTIC REPAIR KITS, FIX CRACKS, REPAIR PLASTIC

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for some great advise and suggestions there @mowog73. I’m not sure what, and in which order to tackle things yet but it’s good to bank the knowledge in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
To put this purchase into context, I bought it as a cheap winter fixer upper because I want to join in on a small group road trip to Italy next year (insert Covid caveat here). I already have 2 other project cars (Neither that I was happy to use for the above mentioned trip) and I wanted to keep this project limited to a ‘simple’ repair, tidy up and drive sort of level. Finding out the provenance of the car is very exciting but the downside is that it throws my original plans for the car up in the air. It makes me want to do a more thorough job than I had intended, which undoubtedly ends up taking longer and costing more.

My original intention was to repair the rust to a good standard, replace the brake lines and just tidy up the worst of the cosmetic bits. Now I find myself wanting to do a much more thorough job such as wanting to finish trim and paint to higher standards than I originally had in mind. I think I need to keep in mind the original goal and resist getting carried away. After all if I do the repairs properly, tidy it up and get it running nicely then I will have helped secure its future. The cosmetics can always be done further down the line whether that’s done by myself or the next owner.

Corr I do ramble sometimes!

-Steve-
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My friend sent me some more pictures of the car when he picked it up in January and told me a bit more about the previous owner.

He had owned this car for many years and was in his 90’s still driving this as his daily driver before he passed away, sadly often to the hospital for chemo treatment in the latter days. By all accounts he was a through and through car guy. I have been sent a great picture of him racing a Triumph TR2 at Brands Hatch but I’m not sure I can share that publicly. He used to have a MG TC classic car which he really cherished, unfortunately his house needed re-thatching and the TC was traded in at Browns and Gammons to raise the funds. I don’t know the date but the TF was fairly new at the time and worth in the £8-9k region, by all accounts looked like new. For many years it was well looked after and wanted for nothing servicing wise. In the latter years it was still used most days and maintained at the local garage but he was less able to clean and pamper it, also the garage housing it also started to fall into disrepair which didn’t help the TF’s condition.

My friends pictures when collecting it:

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-Steve-
 

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I agree Steve, you can fix it up now and then properly repair it later. My F's bumpers could use with a respray when I fixed cracks but for this year it drove just fine without perfect bumps; couldn't even see the bumpers from the driver's seat :).

Mark
 

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If your budget allows, I would get this lot done in one go on basis that the sills must be dealt with first. Reason: The respraying can be done in one go rather than spending money on numerous resprays.

Of course, if you are doing this lot yourself and you already have the tools, it does not matter!

Bonnet leading edge slightly kinked.
Dent on body nr passenger door air scoop.
Dent under passenger rear light (where the TF badge is).
Bootlid badly filled and resprayed.
Rear bumper scuffed.
Front of sills rusty both sides (driver side holed).
Rear of sills rusty (holed both sides).

The rest of the work a home mechanic can do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
@Julian Foulger A full respray is not on the cards any time soon, though I agree it would be the best way to do it for sure. My Corolla is first in line for a re-spray and that’s been waiting years!

I’ll do the sills myself, I might use mike-satur patterns or make my own I haven’t decided. Either way the sill ends are going to stand out like a sore thumb in primer so I’ll just do my best to blend the repair in and make a decision from there. The LeMans green looks amazing in the sun but I think it’s going to be a nightmare to paint match and blend!


A carefully taken photo can hide a world of sins:

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But the reality is the bumper has 2 cracks, a bad scuff and doesn’t even fit that well:

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It might not be pristine but it’s looking a whole lot better for a good clean and polish. Oh and yes, getting that wheel silver again was a challenge! (and my mate had already hit it with meguires wheel cleaner before I got it).

-Steve-
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
In other news Autocar came in the post today, the article is a simple double page spread. The TF gets a pretty positive write up:

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The TF and F got many good reviews while the cars were in production, contrary to what many say.

I'm not familiar with the TF but it appears that the lights are not fitted properly, or the bumper wasn't refitted properly. Hopefully clips were not broken.

Those bumper cracks can be repaired with the products I mentioned in #12 above. You can repair from the back for now and then repair from the front when the bumper is to be resprayed. The products I mention can also be used to repair broken clips too.
Repainted wheels with new tires-2.JPG
SAM_0306.JPG
SAM_0307.JPG


A spray of the repaired sills with a colour matching rattle can do the job for now and a slight mis-match in colour may not be very noticeable on the sills given how low to the ground they are
 
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