Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.



MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Car Fire Due to Faulty Fuel Filter

Well I almost lost my daily driver GT V6 due to a faulty fuel filter.
About a year ago I bought a nice looking fuel filter from our local speed shop, two chrome end caps and an unbreakable glass container that houses the filter.
My fuel pump puts out 6 1/2 lbs max The Holley carb only requires about 4 to 5 lb at wide-open throtle.
Anyway one end came lose and the pump was pumping fuel into the rear of the engine and into the hot crossover pipe, you guess it right, FIRE. I did not notice the fire under the car until smoke cam in the passenger side, at first I though it was electrical fire, I pull over and the flames started inside.
Thanks to a fuel tanker truck driver who came to my rescue with a fire stingusher, he saw the flames coming from under the car, and the fire trucks who were going home, when they saw smoke they came to the rescue ready.
Stay away from those filters. I examine the filter it's poorly made, the threads that holds the filter together were made in the deepest part of China with a file, thats what they look like to me.
Car will be fix with new paint in the engine bay, repair the custom dash, replace all of the wirering with a Painless 18 circuit kit etc. etc.
Its just more work.
The good of all this is that I will have new wires with a new fuse box.
Lucky that was not a total.
Bill Guzman

Congrats on NOT loosing your car! As an insurance, guy, I see lots of cases where the cars don't make it through, and yeah, it's nice getting a new car, but it's even more nice getting to keep yours!

Am I reading this correctly that you didn't have a fire extinguisher in the car?!?!?!?! You were *very* lucky that the trucker stopped to help!

Yet another reminder why we all need fire extinguishers in our cars. (I have mine)


Bill and everyone.

Those filters are a known hazard and should be pulled from sale period. I have heard of hundreds of cars burning due to them. I fact some Dyno shops and the NHRA/IHRA will not allow them. PERIOD.

Bill, very sorry for your problem there. Glad to hear you are ok and that she can be saved.
Larry Embrey

As Larry said, glad your OK, and the car can be saved.
What kind of fuse box are you considering?


Bill, greetings,

No offense intended, but after reading this board for a couple years; and all your informative posts, how did you get caught short of a fire extinguisher? I only ask, not to be rude, but I carry one, and I would truly like to know how this came to be, so I don't make the same mistake. Glad YOU and your car survived!



Well, I did a have a fire extinguisher in the car, it was located between the battery boxes, I don't have a rear seat. When I made an attemp to get the fire stinguisher from the rear hatch ( I had to bail out of the car) the smoke was very thick and could not get the stinguisher. The fireman gave us oxygen to the boht of us. The carpet and glue plus other chemicals are not good to you.
What also help was that the fire wall was fully seal, the heat from under the car was so great that the interior on the passenger side caugh on fire.
The car is striped and it will be ready in a month or sooner.
I just wanted to share the bad filter,install the fire stinguisher in place where it can be reach in an emergengy, and keep your fire wall seal. It must be a reason why they call it fire wall.
thanks, Bill
Bill Guzman

Bruce, the Painless kit comes complete with modern fuse box, relays etc. I think it's the only way to go for the price. $300 for a 18 circuit kit and it comes with everything you need to do the job, all of the wires have lavels printed on them.

Bill Guzman

I kept my extinguisher behind the passenger seat. I hope with the miata seats I still have that little space for it. I could reach behind the seat while driving and grab it.
Larry Embrey

I'd like to know more details about the filter you were using, brand names and model if possible.

I'm always leery of fire and try to take as many preventive measures as reasonable.


Basically any "GLASS" or see through filter is a no-no. They look cool and all, but are just a hazard. I had one even with the plactic shield on it and had lots of people tell me to pull it out. There really is no reason to need to see your fuel other than to verify the pump is working when you 1st intall your fuel system, but a hose held in a bucket will tell you if it is working.
Larry Embrey

This is awful news Bill. This past spring I had a similar thing happen, but no fire. I rolled the car out of its winter storage place and fortunately I had the hood open when I first started it. When I did so, a huge stream of gas was spraying out one end of exactly the kind of filter you're talking about -- one of the O-rings must have dried up over the winter. Obviously I shut off the car immediately and fortunately there was no fire -- nothing was heated up yet. There was gas spritzed all over the engine bay. I immediately took off that filter, threw it out, and put on a 1-piece metal unit.

Reading your posting, I am getting a fire ext. tomorrow.

What I really don't understand is how Jack Emery at The MG Guys up in Bangor, ME, who I thought was supposed to be pretty savvy V8 conversion guy, always advertises these fuel filters on Ebay, and he charges an absolute fortune! See, e.g., #1871289297 -- text thus:

> This years HOT item...These are manufactured by a
> firm that has been in high performance parts since
> 1959! The element is easily replaced. The filter has
> 5/16 hose nipples on each end and comes with clamps. > You have seen these sell in the last few weeks for
> $60-$100. We are starting at $14.95 with $5 shipping

Uh, Oh; I have 2 plastic filters, one between tank and pump, and 1 in the engine bay; bought locally, and cheap; are they really dangerous?

Not to 2nd guess you Larry, just looking for any additional feedback.


steve, now more careful than ever.

I bought one just last week. (A Purolater filter). I think I'll return it, as I haven't installed it yet. From the damage, it sounds as though bill was lucky to save his car.
John Davis

A close friend with an extremely nice show quality I-H Scout also had a fire caused by one of those filters. The lesson here is that you do not take chances with the fuel. Use the most durable materials available and check them often. Glass has been used in fuel systems but it really has no place there. Plastic is better but has a finite lifespan. For cars like these, steel and even stainless are much better choices.
Jim Blackwood

Well, I guess I will be replacing my see through filter very soon. I have been using these for over 10 years without a problem, buy no point taking chances.

As far as wiring harnesses go, I have used Centex GV21 on the last two cars, & will use one on the next. Cheaper than the Painless, more circuits. All the wires are colored, not black, so they are easire to trace, & they are labeled every 5 or 6 inches. All wires are preterminated at the panel, includes 2 flashers & a horn relay, plus the wires are long enough to locate the fuse panel in the passenger footwell or under the dash. Some kits only have wire long enough for the panel to go in the driver's footwell or under the dash on the driver's side.

Anybody have a good location for that fire extinguisher? Trunk is too inaccessible, not all of have a roll bar to mount to. I just have mine laying on the floor behind the passenger seat, not fastened.
Jim Stuart

Some years ago (together with Princess Anne) I had a Scimitar GTE. This had a Weber carb (or a Ford version of it more like) and had a bit of a reputation for catching fire. The brass fuel inlet pipe could be pulled out of the alloy casting with predictable results, and if it *did* catch the whole car went up because of the fibre-glass body. Have you ever seen the results of that? All that is left is bundles of glass strands and molten metal, not even the Fire Brigade can put them out let alone an extinguisher. Reliant (!) had a recall to fix the problem and when I got mine the manufacturers records showed it hadn't been done so the first thing I did was book it into the local dealer. All was well until I was working on the engine one day - and pulled the brass pipe out of the carb! Got on to the manufacturer who's records showed the mod had been done, back to the dealer who sheepishly admitted it hadn't. This time they *did* do it, but I was alternately horrified and very angry that I had been driving round with my two kids in the back for some time. Because of the Princess Anne connection there was question asked in Parliament about the safety of these cars, and the manufacturer responded "The Reliant Scimitar is no more likely to catch fire than any other car." Not only was that weasel-wording (look what happens when they do) but because of the carb fault it was a downright lie.
Paul Hunt

Forget all these silly little plastic and chrome filters. They are all crap.
Your cars desrve better then that.
I recommend the Filter King filter/regulator made by Malpasso in italy. All alloy with an alloy fuel bowl with the ability to regulate the flow to precisely your needs. It comes in two sizes the larger being more suited to a V8. They are about 30 in the UK.
I'll mail a picture of one installed in my car to anyone that emails me.
Les Cole

Steve it is not the plastic filters that are bad, it is the "fancy" chrome and glass ones you can see though... Those are the big problem filters.

JIM, I have my extibuisher in the same spot. that way the driver (always in the car) can reach behind it while still seated..
Larry Embrey

If you are using the correct SU pump with SU carbs you don't need a regulator, 30 or otherwise.
Paul Hunt

This thread was discussed between 02/11/2002 and 12/11/2002

MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical BBS is active now.