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MG MGA - Fuel Filter


I have to install a inline fuel filter. Does anyone have a suggestions on how it is done? Do I need pipe fittings? Please see attached picture.

Best regards,
Michael O'Brien

Michael O'Brien

The easiest way would be to cut a section of the ridged fuel line out and some line between the filter and each end of the cut line. You pictured the engine compartment, so I assume that you want to install the filter somewhere in that location, which is a good location. You do not want to install the filter between the tank and the fuel pump is you are using a OEM SU pump: see the article, SU Fuel Pumps Facts and Myths in the SU Fuel Pump Articles section of my Homepage at:

I have to ask about your wording, "I have to install a inline fuel filter" Why to you have to install a filter? There is a filter screen in the pickup inside the fuel tank and another one in the fuel pump (if you have a SU fuel Pump) and a third one in each of the carburetor float bowl inlet. The filters will stop rocks and small birds, but allow the very fine rust particles through, which will settle out in the float bowls. If you are getting excessive debris through the fuel system, you should take a look at your tank for a rust problem and cure that instead of just installing more filtering. Cheers - Dave
David DuBois


Thank you for your response. I will look at your article. Yes, I want to install one of those clear filters where you can see the fuel right on the location in the picture. The only filter I have right now is the one in the SU pump (which is a screen). The gas tank is a SS (reverse engineered) that I picked up at the time I restored the car – 10 years ago. The car has been running great ever since. I don't know about the filter screen in the carburetor float bowls (next time I take the carbs off I will check, if not sooner.)
All of this is because the MGA is "sputtering". I drive for about 10-15 minutes then it "sputters". I can just barely make it home. I tried STA-BIL fuel stabilizer and nothing changed. Just to make a clear point – I’m not “filtering” up the car. I am starting on the ignition side. I will be ordering new “tune-up” parts and starting there (no more Lucas). If that doesn’t work, I will move over to the fuel side.

The fuel filter is just something I have wanted to do for some time and this issue with the “sputtering” is a good reason to get it done.

If you have any suggestions on where else to start, they would be VERY appreciated!!


Michael O'Brien

Michael - There are several articles on my Homepage that might be helpful with your sputtering problem, starting with Fuel Delivery Troubleshooting Guide and Air Leak Troubleshooting. And there is always the possibility that the fuel pump is acting up. Cheers - Dave
David DuBois

David - Thanks again! You are correct in saying that there is a possibility the fuel pump is acting up. Something I will be looking at. It is ten years old and the only one I have used since I completed the restoration.

Michael O'Brien

Here is a pic of my "In Line" filter which is probably what you are referring to? Fittings are really just hose & hose clamps.

I B Morris

If you don't mind cutting up that nice braided fuel hose, you can cut the hose about 2-inches from the inlet end and install an inline filter with hose clamps. But it should not be needed.

I believe the fuel tank has no screen on the pickup tube. There is a screen in the bottom of the SU fuel pump that you can check and clean. There are also (originally) thimble size screens at the inlet to the float chambers, accessible by removing the banjo bolts on the fuel feed hoses (don't lose the copper seal washers).

You might also remove the float covers and floats, and see about cleaning any sediment out of the bottom of the float chambers. Too much gunk there might plug the fuel feed hole.

Also check condition of the rubber grommets where the float chamber is attached to the throttle body with a banjo bolt. When these grommets deteriorate they can clog the banjo bolt to stop fuel flow to the main jet. 10% alcohol in the fuel is hell on these grommets. Several years ago Moss Motors had these parts made in Viton, which is very fuel resistant and durable.

When all is well the screens will catch he big stuff. Anything small enough to go through the screens should pass unhindered through the float valve and onward through the carburetor and main jet with no problem. Therefore any sediment in the fuel tank gets washed out, so the tank stays clean (if you drive it occasionally). I have never used a separate in-line filter with the SU fuel pump. Never put a filter in line before an SU fuel pump.

Some years ago I changed to an Airtex type in-line electronic fuel pump. That's the one that looks like a steel shell fuel filter with power wires. That one calls for a filter before the pump. If a filter is supplied with the pump it is usually a finger size metal filter with sintered bronze filter element inside. On my car that goes 100,000 miles without clogging up, meaning I have a very clean fuel tank due to lots of driving.

If you do install an in-line filter, and it gets clogged up, you need to clean out the fuel tank (after which you shouldn't need the in-line filter).
Barney Gaylord

This thread was discussed on 17/03/2013

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