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MGF Heater Air Intake

The heater air intake in the earlier models was replaced in 2003 by a better design air intake. This new air intake is now available (Pt No. JKA000120) and gives improved sealing preventing water leaking into the passenger foot well.

To install start by removing the moulded cover firewall side of the boot which has a plastic button that fitted into the air intake. As “Porter” (an author of DIY books on MG maintenance and restoration) had suggested I cut the old air intake to pieces with a die grinder but found the maker had changed things. Remember that fine print near the bottom of manuals etc.?

“The manufacturer reserves the right to change specifications without notice”.

Well they had. Instead of 6 holes with captive nuts to hold the intake it was held by self tapping screws fitted from the inside, hence placed very early in the car’s build and the screws went into “speed washers” moulded into the plastic of the air intake and they were rusted! An application of acetone and hydraulic fluid (50/50) left for 24 hours and a vice grip clamped on the tip of the exposed screws managed to turn them free (no chance of getting at the screw heads).

Next problem was, a trial fit of the new intake showed 4 holes matched, 3 along the lower edge with 1 centre upper edge. How to secure? Answer was to use nut rivets (essentially a hybrid pop rivet). The 4 aligned holes took 6mm rivets neatly. But angling the drill up under the windscreen grille to make the 2 new holes was a mistake. The holes were just a little too big as the rivets need an accurate hole to grip. I should have used a smaller drill and reamed or filed to fit. So that was what happened ending with 8mm rivets in those 2 holes. The new intake was bolted in and sealed with polyurethane sealant around the margins. Replaced the moulded cover and believe it or not that plastic button fitted neatly into the hole in the new air intake.

Brian Braithwaite

On The Marque May 2020

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