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MG MGA - Spin on adaptor or original?

I have delayed changing the oil filter on my Mk2 for long enough now. But having searched through the archives, it is full of complaints about both:
1. The difficulty in refitting the original cannisters and
2. problems with fitting the Moss spin on adaptor.
I am trying to ascertain which is the easier job. Any opinions greatly appreciated!
Thanks, Graham
Graham M V

Go for the Moss spin-on adaptor Graham, it works really well. Mine is the upside-down type and there are really only two issues with it.

First you have got to buy the correct type of filter and dont do what I did and try to cut costs on these.

I bought a half-dozen "equivalent" filters from a friend of mine who owns a motorists discount shop. Big Mistake!
When I fitted the first one after changing the oil I found I had no oil pressure and that most of the oil had been pumped onto the drive!

So I went to Bob Wests, bought the correct type from him and the problem was solved.

The height of the threaded dome at the base of the filter is the issue and this is what causes the problem.

The second minor issue is that when you remove it, a filter full of oil leaks out.
But a bunch of rags beneath the filter housing can catch it all very easily and non reaches your drive or garage floor.

I change the oil and filter at least 4 times a year now and it is so easy with the spin on filter.
However, with my old set-up it was so awkward to change the filter that I used to put off oil and filter changes for months at a time ( or even worse, maybe even once a year!)

On the plus side you can change the filter in a few minutes which with the price of engine rebuilds today, can only be a good thing.

Colyn Firth

Sorry Graham, this is the only picture I have which shows the oil filter on my car.

Colyn Firth

I use the one that comes from an MGB. It uses the same filter as the one I have fitted to my midget and also fits Minis. Using it has the filter in the normal position and not upside down. Thus oil changes are cleaner and by prefilling the filter running up oil pressure after change is almost instantaneous.
I think it is from the early MGB.
Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

Colyn, when you say the upside down adaptor, is that part no. MOC289 on their site? If so I see it says "suitable for models without an oil cooler" which is a bit confusing as it doesnt make it clear if it's also suitable with a cooler but can call to check.
I know I need to file the shoulder down, but looking at the pictures am bothered that I may end up damaging the screw thread - or does it not come into play that far down?
Rob- Thanks for your input but I think I would rather keep to "MGA parts"
Graham M V

I have the Moss adapter. Filter is right way up. I ground off the interfering metal from the centre boss.
Art Pearse

I have the Moss adaptor from about the late '90s or early 2000s and it has been excellent. Never had to grind any material away anywhere, and zero leaks. (from that area anyway!)


I bought my Spin on conversion from B&G 3 years ago and used their filters -very easy to fit and will also take the Halfords Filter (HF102 from memory)it is the hanging down type No leaks to date
P D Camp


You may have come across an earlier post from me in the archives. I use a Flexolite system. Works fine.

Steve Gyles

I have a Moss adaptor with the filter on the bottom. I use a NAPPA Gold filter number 1374 and I have never had a problem.
GK George

I have a spin-on adapter on mine. I'd rather not have it, as I'd prefer the car to look as original as possible. But the fellow who rebuilt the engine found a leak in that one, so he grabbed what he had on the shelf to substitute, reminding me that I could always switch it back later. So far, I've been too cheap/lazy to do that, but I still intend to eventually. The old, used element filters are great for starting bonfires!
David Breneman

Sorry Graham don't understand MGA parts comment?
The MGA is the one you have. The alternatives are the MGB filters. The upside down one fitted to later MGBs or the normal one which is the one fitted to early MGBs. They are both suitable for the MGA because it is the same engine?
Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

Forgot to say that my engine is from a 3 bearing MGB and the upside-down spin on filter adaptor may be a different because of this.

I have just looked at the Moss catalogue it appears to have a different casting design to the Moss type shown. I have always assumed it was a Moss conversion but maybe it is from another source.

I have just taken a couple of pictures to show how it looks.

Colyn Firth

ist pic (2nd attempt!)
The 1st image was too large to upload

Colyn Firth

2nd pic showing general view of filter side of engine compartment

Colyn Firth

Thanks everyone. I will definitely go with the spin on.

And Rob, sorry for my ignorance. Being pretty much a novice, I thought I should steer clear of modifications, which it appears it is not.
Graham M V

A couple of questions please, based on what I've read and seen above:
1) Steve; does the filter hang downwards in the Flexolite supplied arrangement? Would there be any clearance issues with the (standard factory supplied) oil cooler pipes and hoses?
2) Colyn; I notice your inner guards are louvred, (similar to the Twin Cams). I'd wondered about doing this too, though I'm reluctant to "cut up" my rather original lowish mileage Mk2. Whilst the logic of the modification makes sense, in reality, can you detect a difference? Given the big gaps (nicely visible in your second photo) at the side of the engine block and around the shock absorber, one would have to question if the louvres could add a significant additional benefit.

Thanks guys.
T Aczel

T, my car does run fairly cool even with the bigger MGB engine in it, the gauge shows between 160F and 170F under most conditions.
The bigger diameter fan probably knocks off as much as 10 degrees but it is really noisy and I would like to go the electric route sometime.

I do think that the louvres must contribute to this (my car also has 2 rows of louvres in the bonnet) but I suppose the only way to really confirm this is to temporarily block them off and check the running temp.

Colyn Firth

Thought it might be useful if I reported back.
I have bought the adaptor from Bob West who very helpfully (& patiently) explained the problem with the adaptor and I now realise why, as evidenced in the archives, some need to adapt it, whilst others don't.

As we know, the problem arises because the shoulder of the bolt in the adaptor, if not filed down, prevents the filter being screwed all the way down. Well apparently it all depends on the filter you use. Some have a domed end, and others are flat. So the former can cause problems, whereas the latter should screw home without a problem. That makes good sense I think.
Graham M V


I emailed you on this topic. In summary, my filter hangs down. I do not run an oil cooler so cannot comment on your second question.

Looking at the Flexolite website, I dare say they can supply any adapter to suit your needs. May be worth an email to them.

Steve Gyles

This thread was discussed between 24/04/2011 and 27/04/2011

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