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MG MGA - Do I really need an oil cooler?

After the failure of a hose I am attempting to reconnect the engine to the cooler using a new pair of flexibles. It is turning out to be a nightmare of a job mainly because "flexible" seems to be a misnomer .
For the moment I am seriously considering using the shorter flexible to connect from the filter housing to the block and by-pass the cooler all together.
The car is only used for road driving. I'm sure it will have a tendency to run hot in stationary traffic but that hasn't been put to the test in the year I have had the car. So my question is would leaving the cooler out of circuit be asking for problems?

(Secondary question which I also asked on the midget board: can I twist a fitting where it sits at the swage without damaging the integrity of the seal and joint? Despite every effort and every route, one of the two angles fittings on the pipe is always rotational out of square to the block or cooler and there is no torsional flex to the pipe.)
Graeme Williams

I had an oil cooler for years. Recently I installed an anti-roll bar up front, with remarkable improvements in already great handling being apparent.

But during the install I ran into a conflict between the hoses for the oil cooler and the new anti-roll bar: They both wanted to occupy the same space under the duct panel. The oil cooler hoses lost the battle, and although the cooler is still in place, it is no longer connected - fortunately I had a bypass pipe from another donor engine in the cellar to be able to connect the oil filter adapter to the rear of the block. The old adage of "if you haven't needed it yet, you haven't kept it long enough" is in this case taken as proven!

The long and short is that the car runs 5-10C warmer without the oil cooler - not bad as I have always struggled with over-cooling.

This will no doubt stimulate a flood of new posts so here are the answers in advance:
1. No I can't be bothered to uninstall the oil cooler and give it to someone who has overheating problems
2. If anyone needs a set of oil flex hoses maybe....(apple autocorrect wants to replace flex with sex ???????? But I don't frequent that corner of the internet.....)
3. Your mileage / temperature may vary: An oil cooler may help with addressing symptoms but an original radiator core is probably a better approach.
4. 85C running temp is still acceptable and can't be defined as overheating. Still much better than many MGAs.

But the answer to the posed question is
I wouldn't put an already suspect hose connection under stress, but would just call Andy Jennings and ask him to post you a bypass pipe asap.

dominic clancy


You can guess my answer: unnecessary in the UK for standard driving if you have the correct radiator.

I have mentioned before of a colleague whose MGA was overheating. He fitted an oil cooler; absolutely no change; he added an electric fan with similar results. I then lent him my radiator whilst I had my engine out for a repaint. Instant drop of some 20 degrees. Off to Bob West he went. Got a 'proper' radiator. Electric fan never went back on and he removed the oil cooler. His engine ran as cool as mine from then on.

Steve Gyles

I have to add my weight to the "not necessary in the UK climate" argument. Never had any overheating or running hot issues and have no additional cooling aids. Also lost the felt pad over the radiator decades ago.
If an engine is running hot here, then there is a fault(s) with the radiator, thermostat, water pump or coolant pipes/passages in the block. Any such fault needs to be identified and fixed and as Steve says the radiator is the "usual suspect".
Neil MG

I agree 100 percent with Steve Gyles.
D Quinn

I have a big cooler put on when the car was raced.
Oil temperature never came over 60 .The aperture is now blocked off.
D. Van Ussel

This thread was discussed between 20/05/2016 and 01/06/2016

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