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MG MGA - Axle capacity

i just filled the axle with 75-90 oil. It only took about 3/4 of a litre, vs 1.28L in the WSM.
What could be wrong? Car was level, on raised blocks and I used a plastic hose from the oil bottle which had a nozzle.
I can't remember adding any significant oil when I assembled it way back.
Art Pearse

Early cars leaked oil down the axle and MGs solution to this problem was simple They lowered the filler so the oil level was lower and hence held less oil, but less leaked down the axle. I guess that you have the far more common later axle casing but a WSM with the original volume listed. Don't worry.

Paul Dean

OK, interesting Paul.
Art Pearse

Banjo axles hold almost a quart and a half (US). Late MGB tube type axle (1968 on) only takes a quart. Did someone switch axles?

I have never heard of the factory lowering the oil fill port. I have heard recommendations to leave oil level about "one knuckle" low. If you have good hub seals it doesn't matter. I fill mine right to the port, and it doesn't leak.
Barney Gaylord


Like you being a very long term A owner (since 1969) there are things I read, or was told, a very long while ago but don't know where or by whom. Anyhow I decided to check around and I can't find 'the story' about why the level was dropped but it was dropped between 1500s and 1600s.

My workshop manual that covers 1500s and 1600s lists the capacities (Imperial pts/US pts/Litres) for 1500s as 2.75/3.25/1.56 and for 1600s as 2.0/2.4/1.14. As the instruction is fill up to plug I guess it must have been lowered.

I also thought I would check part numbers but my parts book is 1500 only. I suppose though there probably is no change in part number as they would have always supplied the latest.

As mentioned in the 'usual sources' O ring seals were added to the hubs in the very early days which is evidence of an oil retaining problem.

I suppose this change applied to all applications of this axle not just As.

Another of theses quirks. Perhaps concourse geeks should check they have the correct axle casing.

Paul Dean

I have a banjo type.
Art Pearse

My Workshop Manual AKD600D covering all MGA, MGA 1600, and MGA 1600-MK-II lists
1500 = 2-1/4 pints-Imp, 2.7 pints-US, 1.28 Litres
1600 = 2-1/4 pints-Imp, 2.7 pints-US, 1.28 Litres
1600-MK-II = (Refer to MGA data on previous pages)

So my book says it never changed. Perhaps it was a misprint in en earlier Workshop Manual (if yours does not cover 1600-MK-II).

SPL 1500
ATB???? Case assembly, DW prior to (C)10917 (Dec-1955)
ATB7224 Case assembly, DW Com. (C)10917 (when RH and LH threaded hub bearing nuts were introduced)
ATB7199 Case assembly, WW prior to (C)11450 (Jan-1956)
ATB7225 Case assembly, WW Com. (C)11450 WW (when RH and LH threaded hub bearing nuts were introduced)

SPL 1600
ATB7224 Case assembly, DW
ATB7225 Case assembly, WW
ARB7288 Case assembly, all round disc brakes

So there was no change of part number(s) for the axle case assembly, also implying no change of oil quantity. Best information I have.
Barney Gaylord

Well, whatever the reason, it's full to the brim!
I'm not going to drain it all out and stuff it back in.
Art Pearse


For the record: ATB???? should also be ATB7224, the difference being that prior to (C) 10917 you needed two extra locknut washers p/nr 1G7584

Rutger Booy

Interesting, Barney.

My WSM cover says it is a AKD600B, so earlier than yours and covering only 1500s and 1600s (not mk 2s). Incidentally at the bottom of both the relevant pages it says: -

M.G. 'MGA'. Issue 1. 22142'

Some later pages go up to 'Issue 7'.

It is also interesting that the figures in your WSM are neither of the sets that mine contains but approximately half way in between.

I wish I could remember where I first heard or read the story but it was certainly a long while ago. I had the feeling it was during the early 1500 years rather than at the switch to 1600. What is true is that I have certainly heard or read the story and and probably at least 30 years ago so nearer to when MGAs were current.

I am not sure the part numbers tells us much as once they made the change presumably they would have always have supplied the later one, and the part number could have hence stayed the same.

In summary we have 2 original but different revisions of WSMs that give 3 sets of figures so there is something odd, and I guess it means it isn't that critical how much oil you use.

Paul Dean

My Workshop Manual AKD600C covering all MGA, MGA 1600, and MGA 1600-MK-II lists the following.

Under the General Data pages

MGA 1500 (M.G. 'MGA'. Issue 3. 40954) 2-1/4 pints-Imp, 2.7 pints-US, 1.2 Litres

MGA 1600 (M.G. 'MGA'. Issue 2. 29723) 2 pints-Imp, 2.4 pints-US, 1.14 Litres

MGA 1600-MK-II (M.G. 'MGA'. Issue 1. 40954) = (Refer to MGA data on previous pages)

Under the Lubrication section page of the same WSM it lists the following

(M.G. 'MGA'. Issue 6. 29093) 2-3/4 pints-Imp, 3-1/4 pints-US, 1.56 Litres.

R A Evans

Seeing Richard ref to the 'Lubrication Chart' I looked for it in my AKD600B and it refers you to page P2 then P5 where it says the same as Richard i.e. 2-3/4 pints Imp which of course is the same figure as my manual says for 1500s as my first comment. The refill instruction is 'fill to level of plug' so you would think a change of capacity would mean a change of plug level, or some other change.

There again this may just be confusion within the MG technical authors, as seems to be the case regarding removing the engine (see separate theme).

I presume there must have been a AKD600A WSM probably only covering 1500s, has anyone got one?

I summary just make sure you have more than 2 Imp Pints as I don't think it is that critical, and going higher may just cause leaks.


Paul Dean

I have an AKD 600 WSM. Bear in mind that it was for the MGA; not called 1500 at that stage!

Rear Axle 2 3/4 pints Imp; 3 1/4 pints US; 1.56 litres. I hope this helps. Shane

This thread was discussed between 01/09/2013 and 05/09/2013

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