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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Oil cooler position ?

If I mount the oil cooler in a higher position than usual say the height of the rad header tank then when I switch the engine off would the oil run back to the sump every time I switch off? Then when I start the engine would it have to reprime the cooler. It looks like most coolers are lower than the engine block pipe union take off.

Thanks Roy
R Mcknight

It makes sense to mount the oil cooler low down so that it is always full; that way you avoid airlocks and it's a much easier task for the oil pump. Roy, is there any reason you might wish to mount the oil cooler higher?
Nick Nakorn

if you must have an oil cooler for normal road use then it's best to also add an oil thermostat so the oil doesn't get over cooled and help the engine warm that bit quicker during cold spells (often in summer too as we know)
Nigel Atkins

I read a special tuning booklet on SpridgetGuru (I think) all about the factory racing midget 1500's. In the booklet they gave details about mounting the oil cooler rad high up in the wing to be cooled by air from the missing headlamp bowl. That looks quite high so is do-able. Though I'm not sure of whether they had a one way valve or not to stop oil drainback.

Rob aka MG Moneypit

not so doable on a road car perhaps Rob
Nigel Atkins


Why do you need it mounted higher ?

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

It does show that there is no problem with mounting it higher. I realise going without headlights would upset Mr. Plod but positioned in the wing behind the headlight is a lot higher than anywhere under the bonnet.

Rob aka MG Moneypit

Rob, I can see that it can be made to work higher (in the case where a useful airflow can be had) but in your example it's the air-flow that counts not the height. So Roy, why do you want to mount it higher?
Nick Nakorn

Rob, what do you mean by 'factory racing Midget 1500's' as I don't think I've ever heard of the factory racing any Spridgets after Sebring 1968?
David Smith

Just planning my next build . Large Alloy Radiator with the Turbo intercooler mounted down low in front of the rad and it leaves a nice position on top of the intercooler for the oil cooler .

Ah so that's why .
R Mcknight

David, I have a download from Filename MgMdgt1500CompPrep.pdf titled British Leyland Competition Preparation Manual MG Midget 1500 1st Edition written by

Competition Technical Advisor
British Leyland Motors Inc.

the first page of which has an ink stamp for a company in the states

16552 East 14th Street
San Leandro, CA 94~n

Rob aka MG Moneypit

Thanks Rob, I understand now. This booklet was solely for comp prep in USA to meet SCCA rules in 1976, so the introduction says. I was mystified by the 'remove a headlight for cooling air' bit as the MSA Blue Book requires lights to be present for most disciplines of motor sport on our side of the pond.
To try to answer Roy's question, I don't think oil will run back through the pump, neither will it run through the galleries and past the bearing shells.
David Smith

This thread was discussed between 27/09/2014 and 29/09/2014

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

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