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MG MGA - Annual Service

Just thought you would like to see the grime that the air cleaners keep out of the engine in just one year. That fluid was clear when I started. If anything the rear filter was the dirtiest. I had noted that the car was starting to run a bit rich (no choke needed on start and plugs a bit sooty). Whether this is down purely to the filters I will find out shortly. Carbs are all set up ok. Free movement in every respect and choke fully home.

The stub stacks still looking good.

Steve

Steve Gyles

Are they K&N elements, Steve?
Mike Ellsmore

Must be the pure mountain air, but mine never get that dirty
Dominic Clancy

Mike

Yes.

I am also giving the whole system, including timing a check over. Vacuum at idle has dropped a tadge of late by 1" (now sits at 16" instead of my normal 17") so giving it all a once over. Hope it's not an air leak or burnt valve which is one of the symptoms. Could be timing but I would not have expected it to alter with electronic ignition but worth checking. Bit reluctant to scream the engine in the garage at the moment for dynamic ignition testing as I have a pair of Blue Tits nesting in a box on the garage wall!

Anyway, one step at a time.

Steve
Steve Gyles

I have never cleaned my V8's K&Ns in the last 20 years - they are very dirty but pose no restriction on the airflow - in fact I am sure that I read somewhere many years ago that the dirtier they get, the better they filter the air...
Chris at Octarine Services

Dominic

I have never had them like that before either. The only thing that's changed in the last year is my 7 blade asymmetric fan. Maybe it's disturbed the engine compartment of residual dust and dirt and also brings in a lot more from outside.

Steve
Steve Gyles

Chris

You appear to be correct. I have just looked on the K&N site about cleaning. See here: http://www.knfilters.com/cleaning.htm

Done mine now and oiled them, so a bit late! Seems a bit odd though that 20 years of dirt (they say 50,000 miles) does not affect their efficiency. Not sure I could leave it that long, but there you go; just me and my old fashioned views.

I filtered the cleansing fluid through a cloth. The photo shows one year of residue. At least it's better trapped by the filter than going in the engine!

Steve

Steve Gyles

Steve

Out of curiosity do you use the standard A air filter body, if so what K &N filters do you use? The reason I ask is that I had to hack mine to fit.

Paul


Paul Dean

Paul

I use the standard MGA Volkes canisters. I only had to hack the front filter and case. I ground down the outer part of the weld for the breather pipe and also cut a notch in the filter in the same place. Otherwise an excellent fit. I can't remember the filter number off hand. I will see if it's on the filter (which is now back in the container!).

Steve
Steve Gyles

Paul

Mine are K&N E-3180

Steve
Steve Gyles

Last year I swapped my H4 SUs for a twin choke Weber DCOE.
The SUs had ram-pipes fitted and so I had to use Piper sock air filters on them.
The other day I was having a look at the filters to see if they would fit my Weber and I was amazed to see how much dirt was stuck to the side of each SU piston.
It had obviously built up over a few years but it just shows that some dust must get through the filters.

I will take some pictures when I get home next week.

Colyn
Colyn Firth

I was chatting to my local garage mechanic a few hours ago and he disagreed with leaving K&Ns so long. He said that despite what they say it can't be good for the engine. Some of the dirt is bound to find its way through over time. He cleans them regularly like I have been doing.

On another note, I must have set the timing up badly last time. Probably dialled up the advance incorrectly. It was about 3 degrees out at 3500rpm. Going really nice now with plugs now the correct colour and idle vacuum back to my normal 17". All is good. Now to look at the brake dust. I suspect a tadge of air in the 'clean' wheel side. I detected a slight initial pull towards the other wheel which disappeared after a few braking sequences.

Steve
Steve Gyles

Hi Steve
I fitted some K & N filters in the original Vokes outer. Just cut the filter around the breather pipe in front case. Just of interest I have a spare set (bought 2 sets by mistake) so if any one is interested in buying the new spare set let me know. Mine are marked E-3212 bought from Moss.
Cheers Brian
Brian Paddon

well - here you go - a picture of my filters after 20 odd years, maybe 22, and probably around 50,000 miles.

Wires still clearly visible and within the K&N definition of not needing to be cleaned. Maybe the position of the filters at the back of the engine compartment with fresh air entering from the high pressure area in front of the screen ( no bonnet seal fitted) means there is actually less dirty air being filtered?

Since the cotton mesh held within the wire is soaked in oil, I cannot see how dirt can travel through the filter - it just gets stuck on the outside, becomes oily and adds to the surface area of the filter.

Piper socks are only any good for keeping rocks out of the engine - they don't filter small particles at all.

Chris at Octarine Services

Chris

Whilst acknowledging that what you say and show in the picture is in line with what K&N say I still find it difficult to understand how the airflow is unaffected by 20 years (50,000 miles) of dirt. There is only so much surface area in the filters for the air to pass through and each little bit of dirt, although minute, uses some of that area up. Surely the accumulation over time must affect the mixture balance?

Steve
Steve Gyles

Steve,

I think that is true of paper filters because the pores in the paper are tiny. The K&N filter cotton has quite large pores and the oil makes the "mesh" sticky so dirt accumulates without actually blocking the air.

I suppose it works like the really old oil bath filters where there was a coarse steel mesh coated in oil that trapped the dirt.

All I can say is that despite the amount of dirt on my filters the airflow & fuel mixture is unaffected - I have a Sun diagnostic centre with gas analyser and I have never had to adjust the mixture since the engine was originally fitted & set up on Peter B's rolling road.
Chris at Octarine Services

.....agh. Nothing is ever easy on the MGA. Just investigated my slight pull to the left when cold brakes but nothing untoward when warmed up. Took the right pads out and they looked heavily contaminated, possibly a bit of grease has migrated to the disc? The picture shows the left pad cleaned up on 180 grit; the other is untouched.

But now for the ...agh. During the investigation I pushed both caliper pistons fully in to check no seizure etc. Then gently applied a tadge of brake to make sure they both moved out. Good, worked fine. Pushed them back in and inserted the pads. Once all back together got in the car and applied a full welly of brake. As expected pedal went almost fully down while the pistons moved back out a fair distance to engage the pads. Unfortunately the MC piston did nor return!!!! It seems stuck in its last few mm of travel. The brakes operate beautifully even with this minute movement at the end of the MC piston travel. Pulls straight and releases, but there is something untoward in the MC. Ho hum. I know all about the release hole in the MC etc but will now have to take it all apart to investigate. A one hour job has now turned into one day.

Life is fun

Steve

Steve Gyles

Hi Brian
I am interested in your spare K&Ns. My email is enclosed.
John
John Francis

If you plan on replacing the pads Steve I would strongly recommend that you fit some Mintex 1144 material ones.
I think they are excellent.

Hope the M/C is soon sorted out.

Colyn
Colyn Firth

Colyn

Going to fit new seals. Brake seals felt a bit sticky. As a trial I swapped the pistons over. The difference was immediately apparent.

I will bear the pads advice in mind. Going to sort the seals first and see the result.

Steve
Steve Gyles

Has anyone else found that the current batch of brake pads are too thick to go in the callipers?
Dominic Clancy

I gave some thought to the MC seal issue last night and why the brake seals jammed. With the clutch seals they operate the full length of the cylinder each gear change whereas the brake seals move just a few mm each brake operation. When I refitted the pads, having pushed the calipers pistons fully back, the operation of the brakes was the first time those seals had travelled the length of the cylinder in some 3 years. Jamming was one obvious outcome.

Steve
Steve Gyles

Dominic,

A couple of years ago I swapped my front drums for disk brakes. I installed them using original disk calipers and mounting hardware. New disks and Classic ceramic pads (182-212) from Moss. Either the pads and/or the disks were too thick. I had to remove the anti-squeal shims from brake pads. Fortunately no squealing, even without the shims.

The attached picture shows the tight fit of one of the disk pads without the anti-squeal shim.

John

John Backman

I have three sets of new pads without shims and none fits in the callipers!
Dominic Clancy

Yes, Dominic. Two sets obtained recently have all had to be trimmed down to fit.
Gary Lock

New seals fitted. Brakes lovely.

I had forgotten a previous experience with Eezi-bleed. I usually operated it with an empty container, stopping regularly to top-up the MC. Today I filled the container. Unseen by me at the time the screw cap onto the MC leaked a little. The result was 1/3 pint of fluid leaked out under pressure all over the firewall shelf and migrating into every nook and cranny; even dripping down the MC pedestal bolts onto the cockpit floor. At least being silicon not a major issue and should prevent rust!

Steve
Steve Gyles

Gary, how do you trim them down?
Dominic Clancy

My God. Where do you live and what do your lungs look like? Even my daily driver doesn't collect that much grime on it's filters.
MAndrus

This thread was discussed between 11/04/2017 and 21/04/2017

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