DIY: how to remove the front wing (MGF and MGTF)

Words and Pictures: Rob Bell

The front end panels, in common with most cars on the road today, are designed to be readily unbolted for easy replacement. On the MGF and TF, this may be to replace corrosion or accident damaged panels. On this page, we look to see how to remove a front wing on an MGF. As will be explained, this is a relatively simple task - with the wing held in place by 8 bolts (locations shown opposite, right).

Picture key:

  1. x3 10mm head bolts along upper wing
  2. 8mm head bolt in headlamp closing panel
  3. single 8mm head bolt to wing support bracket
  4. x2 wing to sill bolts (10mm head)
  5. single wing to A-Post bolt (10mm head)


 

Tools required   Materials required   Time required
  • Socket set
  • Phillips screw driver
 
  • Replacement wing (if required)
  • Replacement wheel arch scrivets - typical price 4 for 10 from internet suppliers
 
  • Approximately 1 hour

MGF/TF front wing removal:

1.

The first step is the removal of the front bumper and headlamps, as covered here.

As you can see from the picture, the wing in question is heavily corroded in two of the commonest areas - between the front wheel and headlamp and the rear corner of the wing in the wheel arch. Surprisingly, the other problem area, around the side repeaters, was in remarkably good condition!

Now may also be a good time to remove the road wheel. Ensure that the car is on a level surface and well supported (an axle stand is highly recommended here).

2. The next step sees removal of the three upper wing retaining bolts (arrowed, opposite) that hold the upper wing to the inner wing assembly.
3. The next step is to remove the wheel arch liner. Once the road wheel is removed, it is straightforward to remove the liner - it is held in place by a couple of plastic expanding plugs (scrivets). These need to be identified.

Hypothetically, these should unscrew with a phillips screw driver. I found this was not quite the case... I ended up having to drill them out after the phillips heads were chewed up by the screw driver...

 

Once the scrivets are removed, the whole wheel arch liner assembly can be pulled away - as seen here.

4. Now the remaining bolts can be tackled. Pictured here is the location of the bolt to the support bracket. This is in an area of complex folded metal which appears to be something of a dampness trap, leading in this case to severe corrosion. The bolt should be readily removed however...
5. This bolt however proved somewhat problematic. It's located in the headlamp closure panel, and has an 8mm head. Being somewhat smaller than the other bolts, it simply sheared off. I ended up needing to drill the bolt remnant out, and re-tapping the thread - oh joy...
6. There are two 10mm head bolts attaching the base of the wing to the sill. Both need removing.
7. And finally, the bolt to the A-post (very difficult to photograph, but fortunately, much easier to remove!)

There is also a plastic rivet to remove at the base of the windscreen pillar that ties the seal to the top of the A-post - and this passes through a support tab in the top corner of the wing. It's readily prised out. After that, you're nearly there...

8. Before removing the wing, the side repeater needs removing. Slide the repeater rewards, and pull out. The lamp screws out - and the loom can be pushed through the wing. Now the wing can be pulled clear.

The astonishing thing here is that despite extensive corrosion on the outer wing, the substructure remains in remarkably good condition (despite what is clearly very thin paint application in this area). This is likely to be as a result of both good basic rust protection and the benefit of a plastic wheel arch liner!

9. Wing replacement is, remarkably perhaps, just a reversal of the disassembly process. Yes, wing replacement really is that simple!