DCZR Racing

Owned since 28/5/12

        Fiddled with since the same date. Thought I'd record the highs and lows of owning one of these. The reasons I chose one are that:

Back in 2003 I worked at Upper Heyford airfield where the new Rovers/MGs were stored, thousands of them, and of all the 25s/ZRs, only the 160 felt nice.

I wanted something with a bit of power, simillar to a Seat Ibiza Cupra Sport GTI 16v I used to have.

The 160's are a lot of car for the prices they go for.

As they are no longer made I wanted to get one before they became old and knackered, hopefully.
It's British :)

I love the look of them. (I have a big rear spoiler fetish! Evos, Cossies etc)

My local friend is an excellent mechanic who owns and races a ZS so I have access to nicely priced parts, his knowledge//experience/physical help, and his wonderfully tooled-up garage :)

MAY 2012
    Bought on the Monday 28th, after a few days high speed brake judder gets a bit silly so order discs and pads for the front.Operation goes well, helped by the fact that the disc retaining screws were sheared the last time somebody tried to undo them. See that track rod ends have play in them so order them to do the next day. Track rod ends go on fine, tracking set up fine.
JUNE 2012

    Hated the chrome, plastic rear clusters that were on the car so buy standard clusters off of eBay for £15 and swap them over. One mounting screw shears so luckily have new clusters have all screws.

    Dipped lights crap, find that ZR has crappy blue tinged H7 bulbs, so crap that some of the blue has burned to black stopping the light getting out. fit new (Expensive) bulbs and raise the headlight aim a hell of a lot! Pointing straight down didn't help the effect of the blackened bulbs lol

    Always change the oil and filters on a new car. So these were done. Oil and filter went smoothly. Discovered wrong (smaller) air filter in the housing, ordered one was also small, then replaced with the correct larger one. The air filter housing wasn't screwed to it's mounts, wanted to re-attach it but discovered the battery retaining clamp bolt was too rusted to undo. Just about managed to get the screws into the filter housing to re-attach it. Will deal with battery retaining screw another time, hopefully before I NEED to undo it.

    And so the wiring saga begins..... A couple of random times the alarm goes off when I unlock the car with the fob. Along with the alarm set off, it then starts blowing the No.5 engine bay 25w fuse on unlock. I read up and see that tailgate hinge wires in the rubber gaiter break and short on the ZRs. I check the wires - out of 9 wire, 6 bare, 1 broken. So basically when the car tries to unlock it sends electric to the rear central locking, shorts, sets off the alarm via the combined central locking/alarm unit, or does that and blows the fuse. The broken wires also explained lack of working luggage compartment light, and, when I put the rear wiper fuse back in, it randomly clicked (shorting to the boot locking solonoid) After a few times blowing the No.5 fuse, it then decided to stop the central locking opening working at all. This sucked mainly because the passenger door was deadlocked and couldn't be opened. Mending the boot hinge wires was fairly straight forwards. I've soldered probably once before when I was kneehigh, but just about managed to get enough solder onto the joins.
    There is just enough slack in the boot wire loom to join the wires, it gives you just enough to be able to tuck the joins up into the tailgate. Next time it will be a new loom, or at least new wires around the hinge area. Due to the age of the insulation in the bendy bit now I don't expect them to last too long.
    After research I learned all about the 5as unit that controls the alarm/central locking that is positioned way up above the accelerator pedal, behind the passenger compartment fuses etc. First look at this showed that the bracket holding it in this awkwardly accessible position has 2 sheared, rounded bolt heads. Hmmmm. But also 2 plastic nuts holding it to the car, which apparently can be broken by pulling it off. Whilst attempting this, I discovered that the bracket wings covering the plastic nuts bend, revealing the nuts, which I then could undo. Hooray! Then you can get a 10mm socket straight onto them. So with the 5as unit removed, I checked the circuit board and discovered one track burnt out. After one failed attempt to solder with the chunky soldering tip available to me, luckily a fine workmate managed to solder a piece of wire to bridge the gap. It wasn't pretty but it did the job :D

Cut the lot and start again.

Caution: Man at work with hot tool.

Amateur solderer at work.

Heat shrink insulation hides all evils. These all then get tucked into the tailgate.

5as unit bracket showing bendable bits.

Burnt out track.

It was bloody awkward so not attractive, but it works!

ZR and I had a lovely day out together at Silverstone for MG Live on 24th June courtesy of my friend who races his ZS diesel, as I went as his 'Pit Crew'. This involved the important task of changing the wheels when we got there and changing them back again at the end of the day (What? Yes, of course I made my own air gun noises!) ZR enjoyed his day as he got to park in the paddock with all the race cars.

Paddock action.

The ZS and driver are scrutinised.

At the front, once :)

Off down Wellington at a sunny Silverstone.

July 2012

Added some Kenwood KFC-M6942's. It's as close as I'll be getting to.....

ZRs with a little bit of time and cash spent on them.

Mine gets vinyl! :)

September 2012 

Well, that was a pleasant few months of trouble free motoring! :D

Then BOOM! No pressure on the FR/RL brake line. Suspected master cylinder seal failure, so buy ludicrously expensive new one, and problem not resolved :(

A few tests this week to check new M/C is ok, then it's on to ABS module fiddling....

...replacement ABS unit on. No difference. After a lot of bleeding, discovered that it was just being a beeeatch to bleed. So finally sorted, and happily, probably the £150 master cylinder to blame.

October 2012 

Didn't want to go a month without repairs, so decided to see to her cracked ABS rings. These aren't hugely important but do result in a rare application of ABS at very low speeds when the sensors think a wheel has locked. I also decided to put fresh CV boots on at the same time. I got replacement CV joints with the rings already on and new boots so it was a pretty straight forward job.

Out with the old....

One break on this ring, two on the other.

On to the operating table....

Shiny new, with intact rings :)
December 2012

      After much deliberation over cars and race series, I'll be attempting to get the ZR (and myself) up together to FIA/MSA/MGOC regulation standard to compete in a few rounds of the MG owners Club 2013 Lancaster Insurance MG Owners Championship The same series that my friend races his ZS in (as mentioned above) This involves a lot of time and money, and for this year at least the ZR will be run as Road/Race. I'd love to at least get things up together for Silverstone in June... More soon and also now on a Facebook page at:

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