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MG MGA - Oil Cooler

Has anyone any info on this type of oil cooler?


No 2


No 3


On the car.


It's a "competition" oil cooler.
(As with most things MGA), there's some information on them on Barney Gaylord's MGA Guru site:
T Aczel

That bit of sheet metal is an interesting concept, but I don't know if it would work as intended. I presume one would cut an aperture in the air pan between grill and radiator to duct heated air from the oil cooler underneath to bypass the engine cooling radiator. I question this because, ....

Fairly often an oil cooler is located below the air pan with a aperture cut in the valance panel for air inlet. This works because when the car is moving air immediately in front of the valance panel is at higher pressure than air aft of the valance (meaning air will flow through the hole in the valance panel).

Problem is, I'm not sure that air immediately inside of the grille is at higher pressure than air below the air pan (behind the closed valance panel). There is some restriction going through the grill such that pressure will be slightly lower aft of the grille.

Absolute air pressure is relative in different locations. Increased pressure in front of the valance panel does not necessarily mean decreased pressure aft of the valance panel. Pressure aft of the valance panel may also be increased slightly, just not as much as in front. When the valance panel is turned under and back with lots of space below, pressurized air in front is forced under the car, which is possible to cause increased pressure and "lift" from underneath. Pressure below the air pan might be equal or greater than pressure above the pan. If so, that could defeat air flow through the oil cooler using the sheet metal duct in your pictures.

Head scratcher for the day.
Barney Gaylord

Yes there is a hole cut in the air pan.
The reason i ask is im unsure about fitting this back on the car.At the moment im rebuilding the body so.
1/ do i bring her back to original.
2/leave it as is and show her history.


From below.


PD, I would put your competition oil cooler back on as part of the restoration.
Its a rare and unusual oil cooler and as you say, part of its history which gives your car a little bit of individuality.

I have often wondered why the standard type of oil filter is usually fitted in the radiator duct in front of the radiator. I would have thought that any heat removed from the oil system would then be transferred straight back into the water cooling system and increase the water temperature.

I am fitting an oil cooler in the next few weeks and I intend to fit it beneath the radiator duct. My car has a Sebring front valance so it is fairly straight-forward to cut out a vent hole in it to allow cool air through to it.

Colyn Firth

I'd patch it and just fit an MGB cooler on top of the panel during the rebuild. If you leave it and ever need to replace that cooler, you'd be out of luck.
Bill Spohn

Barney the cowl is actually aluminium and although its not clear in the picture it looks and feels as though it is a part and possibly supplied with the oil cooler.On the cooler there is self tapped holes where a tag was fitted,But there are also self tapped holes on the cowl (But they dont seen to be in a regular pattern)where possibly tags were fitted.Now i dont say that this is defiantly the case but it doesn't "Feel" home made.
Bill i take on board what you say and you are correct in the replacebility (Is that a proper word) of the cooler.
Colyn. I would like to keep it as part of the history but if i dont repare the panel now as bill says i could regret it later.
Time to put my thinking cap on:-))
On another issue i see your in South Yorkshire.Have you ever used Prestige Plating Mexbourough?


Plus you don't really need an oil cooler in the UK. Of course you could take that either way: So it doesn't matter whether it functions efficiently or so it's not needed to refit it...

Do you know anything about the car's history?
N McGurk

Pete, I have heard of prestige plating but never used them myself, I think I know someone who may have though , so I will ask them for you and let you know.

Colyn Firth

Hi Neil I haven't done any research on the car.All i know is its a 1958 export to North America,But it seems to have come back over here in 1961.I did contact the last owner and all he said was he fitted a 1800 3brg MGB engine when the 1500 broke a crank.
I dont know if it has ever been used in competition as i wouldn't know what to look for.The only other difference is the speedo is from a twin cam but the rev counter is just the normal MGA one.
I wouldn't know were to start with researching it (Not very good at that sort of thing):-)


Leave it in - it's neat and a good story or even a good puzzler if you follow Barney's logic above...and it costs you nothing, and it can't hurt to have it there.

AJ Mail

This thread was discussed between 25/02/2012 and 02/03/2012

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