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MG MGA - Drip pan plan....

First, let me say Happy New Year to all!....
If you have owned your MG for very long, then you know that there are oil leaks that are almost impossible to stop....It's one of those things that you have learned is part of owning almost any year MG.
I did this for my TD, a car known for oil leaks, and it helped a lot....
So I decided to try it on the "A"....Now, if you are leaking from the front cover seal, or the fronts or sides of the sump, this won't help , but if your leaks are mainly at the rear of the pan , (and down the front of the rear engine plate), and/or through the drip pin, then you will have less visible leaking....
Most of us have learned to put a piece of absorbant material under the car, but what do you do at your friend's house, when you are dripping on his clean driveway? Apologize?
The drawing IS NOT TO SCALE...Measurements shown are pretty close to the drawing, but in the second image, I made a full size carboard mockup first, to make sure it would fit....
Then I cut the sheet metal...After bending it up, (drill bolt holes first, and cut notch). I traced the end panels...Leave the top of the end panels short enough to get a wrench in there....Also, use a washer between the rear plate and the drip pan, so fluid can run down at the 1/4" bend on the front side.
Not shown on the drawing, but seen in the third photo, is the radiator-style drain tap...I used one with a 1/8" pipe thread...screwed and soft soldered in place....I chose to attach the end panels with silver braze, then, filled the inside with a good sealer...Finally painted the inside with rubberized undercoating, to help keep out the leaks...
One other slight benefit, is that oil that blows back from the front, hits the pan, and helps keep some oil off all the rest of the underside.

Edward

Edward Wesson 60MGA

Image of mockup:

Edward Wesson 60MGA

Image of finished steel pan, mounted and painted:

Edward Wesson 60MGA

One note...If you make the center bend 90 degrees, then bend the other two parallel to each other, you don't really have to worry about it coming out...it will....I used two hard boards in a large vice to do the bending...A block of wood and a hammer to get it flat.
Edward
Edward Wesson 60MGA

Hey ED....How well does that work? My yellow MGA has always left stains in my driveway. It is annoying Does it keep from dripping or does ot just spread the oil around the bottom of the car? Nice post!
Steven Devine

I did something similar with a piece of galvanized steel and it worked a treat until it fell off on the 101 freeway somewhere. I put steel wool inside the tray to keep the oil slosh inside. I have no idea if it really was effective since I failed to secure it solidly. Ah well....
David Holmes

Something similar has been on my back burner for a while, kind of in reserve if I cant solve my oil drip problem by fitting a PCV system from an MGB. (My car doesnt really have much in the way of crankcase ventilation, I have a non vented alloy valve cover plus I dont have standard air cleaners)

I recall seeing a similar design on which was intended to be self emptying. It had a clever sort of flap at the back which opened at a reasonable road speed to let any oil collected run out. That was a neat idea too

Was that your idea David?

Colyn
c firth

Quite a bit in the archives. I found this one from 2008: http://www2.mg-cars.org.uk/cgi-bin/gen5?runprog=mgbbs&access=&mode=archiveth&subject=6&subjectar=6&thread=2008061504062727603

Similar set up.

Steve
Steve Gyles

Tried your link Steve and it just brought me back to this page.
I tried it a few times and just ended up with a desktop full of the same pages!

Could be my limited computer skills are the problem. :-)

I was planning on looking into the archive to see if I could find the drip catcher but it seems you have beaten me to it Steve.

Colyn
c firth

This is the simplest design that I could come up with....
I have every reason to believe that it will work for rear-engine drips....(Weather is so crappy right now, with ice and snow tonight, it will probably be a few days before I get to really test it).
So far, using a Speedi-Sleeve and late rubber seal , on the front pulley and timing cover, I don't have leaks there. (who knows how long that will last?)
Anyway, I put this out there for those who have too much time on their hands this Winter, and want a small , but satisfying , project....
The TD was so successful, that my friend , in the machine shop business, took orders for fifty of them... The TD pan , was flat bottomed, but I think the "V" bottom will work better on this car. The concept is NOT an original one, just the design...
Anyway, it's out there for those who want to give it a try....Cheap too!
Edward
Edward Wesson 60MGA

Colyn

You are right. Does the same on mine. The webmaster must have put a security barrier in the system to stop unregistered users accessing the archives from an external link. Bit of a catch all as it also seems to prevent logged-in users from using the links.

The relevant titles in the archive for this thread are:

MGA Nappy 15 June 2008

Oil Leak 14 February 2012

There was also another amusing one that I can't find right now. It was the top section of a 5 litre oil can, that was inverted, bolted in place, and used the screw cap as an emptier!

Steve

Steve Gyles

Steve
The major difference between my design, and the two that you refer to, is that mine bolts in front of the plate, between the sump and the rear plate....The bent 1/4" tab catches oil that drips down the rear plate...(Barney refers to this intentional drip in one of your referenced articles)..
I have tried a design that bolted directly under the curved portion of the bell housing, but it didn't catch sll the oil, because of the location.
Edward
Edward Wesson 60MGA

Edward

Good effort. I just remembered previously some of the attempts to solve the problem.

My car is almost totally dry underneath with the 1800 engine so I don't have the problem. Either that or I have run dry on oil! Not checked the Type 9 gearbox for 13 years. No sump plug does not help! It's on my list for the next few weeks. I keep drip trays underneath, filled with cat litter, but still almost spotless from oil (and cats) since I moved here 2.5 years ago.

Steve
Steve Gyles

A lot different with a "B" engine, for sure! You have a good rear main seal, that when properly functioning, there should be virtually no leaks....
I've owned two "B's", and was able to stop all oil leaks in both of them....
Remember that the MGA engine has no rear main seal at all! I would like to meet the guy who came up with that bright idea!
Edward
Edward Wesson 60MGA

Ref Steve's comment about the can, can i claim to be the comedian? Works a treat. The most difficult thing now would be to locate a metal can.

regards
Colin

Colin Manley

Made this several years ago. It catches all oil coming from rear crank/bell housing area.

CM Harter

Colin - that is so elegant I'm off right away to find an old can and get them tin snips into action. That is so right, many thanks. Thanks to Ed too for bringing up the idea for our "A's" - have seen this sort of idea on a T-type. As you say it other people's drives we feel sorry for.
Pete
P N Tipping

Colin - Working from your pic and an old can I have here it would appear the depth of your drip catcher scales around 2-1/2" (64mm) deep. Sorry to be a pain but could you possibly confirm this for me as I will have to make and fit this one the hard way - from underneath..! Thanks.
Pete
P N Tipping

Colin

Is that a Twin Cam finned sump?

Steve
Steve Gyles

Pete, I'll try and get a measurement over the weekend and let you know. I fitted it the same way as you'll have to - from underneath, and just positioned it so that the screw cap was not too low.

Steve, Yes, it's a Twin Cam car.

regards
Colin
Colin Manley

Why you people are not going the easy way and install a good rear seal as on the MGB ??

I did it and it works great.

Gio
Giovanni Delicio

Giovanni
Can you describe how you did it?....
Edward
Edward Wesson 60MGA

Barney has instructions for installing a rear seal on his site, and after having read them, I don't think "easy" is a word I would use to describe the process.
Del Rawlins

Anyone...

Let me try this again...

Does it keep from dripping or does ot just spread the oil around the bottom of the car?
Steven Devine

Steven
These trays/pans catch the dripping oil, and , hopefully keep it from making a mess all over the rest of the car....You have to occasionally drain the pan, way before it's full!
Obviously , it's not intended for catching huge amounts of oil...Just the drips from the rear of the sump, the joint between the tranny and the rear plate, and the drip pin....
If your car is like most, it will leak about a teaspoon full of oil every time you drive your car.
That oil will spread everywhere under the car, and , mixed with road grime, makes a sludgy mess....
Hope this answers your question.
Edward
Edward Wesson 60MGA

Thanks Ed, Yes thats what I wanted to know. Ive got an early 3 main B engine in mine and it drips a little less than a teaspoon each time. Ive been parking it in the same spot for a decade or more and after all those years its taken its toll. I do a lot of highway travel so oil goes everywhere!
Steven Devine

I made a longer drip pan to catch the oil from those drips, and have put a rectangle of dishcloth sponge in it to soak up the oil, and as a result the car is a lot cleaner underneath than before. It gets a pressure wash twice a year underneath too. The only drawback of my design is that I have to remove it if I want to do an oil check on the five speed gearbox. I keep thinking about adding a removable inspection hatch on the tunnel to be able to do this from inside the car, but I need to check to see where the toe board and supports sit relative to the oil filler hole.
5^71:0:4

So... If I make one of the trays.... Do I disable the perpetual rustproofing function?
C.R. Tyrell

No - this function is a wonderful and totally automatic thing mainly emanating from the crankcase breather as we proceed in high speed forward motion. Here we are only discussing the well documented rear main stationary drip that mucks up the drive.
I have my can already snipped in half and just waiting Colin's dimension now.
Pete
P N Tipping

Hi Pete, Sorry for slow response. The can measures 50mm deep. Its a balance between capacity and ground clearance!

regards
Colin
Colin Manley

Thanks for that Colin - now I can get cracking. I guess it might help if washers/thin spacers are placed between the can and the back-plate?
Pete
P N Tipping

Pete,
Yes. I used repair washers to spread the contact face area.

regards
Colin
Colin Manley

In my notes about my pan, I have included the use of washers between the pan and the "front-side" of the engine plate....You might also consider bending the last 1/4" away from the plate for the whole length of the drip pan (as I did, and show in my drawing), to catch even more oil.
Edward
Edward Wesson 60MGA

Ed - I had recalled your comment above about making a gap and bending the edge away from the back-plate - it all makes sense. Will this version make mine the MkIII Drip-catcher? Incidentally the lower half of the can looks as if it will be handy for catching the oil drained from the drip-catcher. I have hammered over the top edge to save cutting the pinkies. Its getting close to being a razor blade at only 0.010" thick, so be careful if anybody has a go at this! What do they say - don't try this in your own home... but its OK we're in the garage with our "A's".
Pete
P N Tipping

It will have to be a Mk4, as my first attempt, was using a piece of aluminum channel, cut to fit the bell housing.and sealed on the inside...That's when I realized that it was on the wrong side of the engine plate....More oil dripped outside the drip pan, then collected inside....
I still haven't had a chance to try mine on the road, as weather, and some minor body work, will tie me up for a while.
"Necessity is the mother of invention".
Edward
Edward Wesson 60MGA

Thanks to Colin here is a pic of my drip catcher (before this thread disappears) trial fitted prior to a camouflage engine maroon paint job. The old can I used here appeared to be a bit narrower (just 7" wide) and as you will see needed cutouts to clear the back plate. As the can was so thin I knocked up and bonded on an aluminium plate to give some extra support to the thin material. I've also turned over and hammered down the sharp edges to make it a more user friendly thing and with the suggested 1/4"x45deg lip. Happy snipping everybody!
Pete

P N Tipping

....and, you can use the handle to carry the car!(LOL!)
Good job!
Edward
Edward Wesson 60MGA

Where do you find the cans with the metal screw on caps? The only ones I can find are child proof plastic!:-(
Steven Devine

Pete

A nice touch would be to use a 'period' can!

Steve. New tin oil cans are still available over here. My latest semi synthetic oil for the next oil change is sitting in such a can.

Steve

Steve Gyles

That can you have is too pretty to cut up to put on the bottom of my MGA Steve.

I never thought Id see the day id be worried about this...Ha ha ha!

Nice pic!
Steven Devine

Mr Gyles - That handle is too huge for the speed bumps around here !
Mr Devine - You just have to hang on to these things, you never know when you might need them. Could you cut up a plastic can? Easy with scissors and then support it with a piece of metal sheet?
Mines got itself painted now - see attached before it gets mucky.
Pete

P N Tipping

I often cut the plastic outer cap off the child proof caps. I have always found there is a metal cap underneath. They are not ideally shaped for grip, but at least you can get a gripping tool on them.
John DeWolf

Both good Ideas...I would never have thought of!
Steven Devine

Now, don't forget to report on your "results".....
If I ever get the car off the lift, I will post my observations after driving.
Edward
Edward Wesson 60MGA

The handle should not be an issue for speed bumps. Keep in mind that the screw cap protrudes about the same distance as the handle. That could be a problem if it protrudes below the engine sump, and especially if protrudes below the frame round cross member.
Barney Gaylord

Barney,
Are you saying this wouldnt be an oily soaked hand grenade should it be impacted by a foriegn object...

Ha ha ha! :-)
Steven Devine

Well, think of this way. I appreciate that the MGA has 6-inches of ground clearance under the side frame and front cross member, but only about 4-1/2-inches under the round cross tube just aft of the bell housing bolts. I think it inadvisable to position that drip tray much lower than that.

There are many (perhaps most) MGA with the round cross tune somewhat dented from road hazards in a past life. When I restored my MGA I didn't bother to remove the dents in the round tube, figuring that is part of the character of the model. Now 27 years and more than a quarter million miles later, that tube looks pretty much like I remember from past years. If there are more dents there today it it lost amongst the prior damage,

Recollection of experience says it scrapes the center ridge of a gravel road occasionally. If I was to install a drip pan like this, I think I would install an angle iron at the front edge to serve as a cow catcher, and try to keep the drain plug no lower than the angle.
Barney Gaylord

Take a look at this image of my FFR roadster....
The frame is 4.5 inches off the ground, but the side pipes are much lower than that....The heat shield edges are about 3 1/2 inches.......
In 11 years of driving, I have never hit anything with the heat shields....Not to say it can't happen, just that I don't take the FFR off road, and I wouldn't take the "A" off road , either.
I also avoid traffic "bumps" , whenever possible.
Edward

Edward Wesson 60MGA

Well, I have somewhat different driving habits. I drive just about anywhere, and I don't slow down for speed bumps. I do sometimes slow down for large rocks.
http://mgaguru.com/pic89/logrd.htm
http://mgaguru.com/pic89/tjmx.htm

I have done a lot of competitive autocross, but my car remains a touring car, and there is no way I would lower the suspension. I happen to like generous ground clearance.
Barney Gaylord

You're the MAN!
Edward Wesson 60MGA

Here you go chaps - job done: drip-tray cleaned - will we see a difference...
Pete

P N Tipping

I have to say that is a really neat concours unit....Rex
Rex Thompson

Not exactly a drippy question but anyone know why when I click on images in this thread I get no picture?
H L Davy

H.L.
Possible that your "options" for the site have changed for some reason.(Computers never malfunction, you know!)..Go back and check to make sure that box is checked.

Edward Wesson 60MGA

Here you go chaps, before this thread drops into the abyss - see the drawing attached of the Colin/Pete Drip Catcher. No excuses now. Happy snipping !
Pete

P N Tipping

You know, I've been cooped up here for a few weeks. There's 2.5 feet of snow just laying on the ground not going anywhere due to the 11*F temperature and I read about drip trays.

Hey, if I could get out to the garage, I could whip out a version to keep my driveway spot-free.

I eyeballed the dimensions onto a cereal box cardboard and fit it to a spare trans bell housing. Transferred design to a scrap of 20 ga. sheet and cut out the pieces. The trusty MIG welder made short work of the assembly. I cut a scallop out of the edge of a 4"X4" to use as a form, into which I hammered the rear flange (to catch the bell housing cotter pin drips).

Drilled a 5/16" hole on the backside for a drain, to which I welded a 5/16" nut. A 5/16" bolt with copper washer seals the drain. I'll install it with some wirewool in the trough to keep the oil from sloshing about.

Primed and painted and I feel like I've accomplished something - after weeks of daily snow shoveling which doesn't accomplish anything!

Thanks Ed, Pete, Steve, Colin for this great diversion!
John




JR Alexander

JR
Good job!....Now, if we could only figure out what to do with the draft-tube oil, we could have a really clean undercarriage!
I thought I had that solved until Barney&Co. shot me down...
If you think of a way to stop the drip from hitting the bottom of the car, (and still retain the draft-tube function), please post it.
Edward
Edward Wesson 60MGA

This thread was discussed between 01/01/2014 and 11/02/2014

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