Our MGF is no more. Well, it still exists but as a static ‘display’ rather than a demonstration vehicle. It was recently pushed out of the workshop to allow work on our TF (details next month), prompting various less than complimentary comments from my neighbours. Most started with reference to the blue tape marks by the left front wheel.

We have enjoyed our F. Having rescued it from being scrapped, it has seen plenty of action in the workshop and on the road. Refurbishing the hydragas units returned the ride back to production standard and allowed a series of tyre tests to take place. We then developed our Bilstein monotube damper specification. Fancy the agility and responsiveness of an MGF Trophy, but without the harsh ride? Try our damper kit (see ‘How to increase the value of an MGF’ blog August 2020).

Having enjoyed the VHS dampers (and their welcome ability to disguise a multitude of elasto-kinematic issues), the F became a mobile test bed for the development of our adjustable lower arms (see ‘Take time to adjust’ blog May 2021). From initial clearance and travel checks, prototype development, production checks and integrity testing, it has proved to be an excellent tool. I also suspect that it has had more lower arm swaps and 4-wheel alignment checks than any other road going F!

So why the blue tape? Having had the benefit of working for vehicle manufacturers for the majority of our careers, we wanted to make sure that the lower arm integrity exceeded that of the original part. The routine of analysis, design, check, make, rig test (and various iterative loops) meant we had confidence in our product. But it would be good to confirm integrity on the car. The arm is designed to be stiffer and stronger than the original part, but if the driver hits a catastrophic pothole, would there be progressive deformation and a clear signal to the driver to get the car checked? Detailed measurements of the lower arm assembly before and after were conducted. However, the blue tape gave points to measure for quick and easy reference during testing (as did a pointer and scale on the steering wheel).

Did it work? Yes, the lower arm passed the test rather easily. So why is our F now static? Well, the severity of testing has damaged the aforementioned hydragas system (creating a lean…) the 16” alloy wheel rim is anything but circular and the tyre sidewall is laying eggs. Destructive testing? Yes indeed, but the VHS adjustable lower arm for MGF and TF is ready for another go.