Snapped Gearbox selector cable.

This is not a common failure point on the MGF, but it has been reported and very clearly has a high nuisance value!

There are two potential causes for loss of the ability to select gears:

  1. A slipped cable end, causing the end of the selector to fall away from either the gearbox (most common) or from the gear lever itself (thankfully very uncommon). The solution is to relocate the ball and socket and reattach the clip- a reasonably simple job.
  2. A snapped gear selector cable. The only solution here is replacement, and this job is much more involved!

A DIY solution to this was been developed by Valter Fernandes, Lisbon - Portugal, and was posted onto the MGF technical BBS.

Over to Valter…


I managed to replace the snapped gearbox selector cable with the help of a friend. The rear of the car required jacking-up, but no disassembly, either in or outside of the car, was required.

I just needed to remove the ashtray, the central glove compartment and the leather gaiter that surrounds the base of the gear lever. All this was easily done without any difficulty.

With this access, you can disengage the forward part of the cable. Then comes the hard part. You must spend some time under the car to remove the fixings without lowering the sub-frame, but it is possible!

You must be patient unscrewing the bolts from the closing plate. Because of the sub-frame being so close you need to use the correct tools, articulated ones, sometimes. You don't need to remove the plate. With a screwdriver operating from bottom to top, my friend dismantled the grommets and the cable was then loose. Now we just pulled it off from that point.

When the cable is completely loose, you must pull it from behind and then install the new one the opposite way; from the back to the front. The hard part comes again fixing the cable to the tunnel, but I've done it, so...

The hole where the new one enters is tight for 4 twisted cables and the position of the sub-frame doesn't help... If you release the handbrake, these 2 cables become easier to operate. But you MUST put something under the tyres, as you don't have now anything to stop the car from moving.

We inserted the cable with the grommet attached, as comes from MGR. I pulled the cable from inside the car and we installed the rubber seal back to the plate.

The rest is simple. You just need put everything together again by the reverse order.

At the end of the day: 2.5 hours spent, 90 EUR for the cable, no seats out, or console, or sub-frame, or tunnel, or engine or bleeding the cooling system.

20 days later and the F is back on the road again! I've done 70 km today and everything seems exactly the same as it used to be. Looking back now, it seems absolutely ridiculous to remove the gearbox and engine to do the job! Come on MGR what where you thinking???