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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Hoses

Had the bottom hose go on the M6 yesterday 60 miles into a 250 mile trip to Liverpool and back. To get right to the point I picked up a set of hoses from Clive Wheatley later on in the day and he was telling me that Unipart have stopped making V8 hoses now and the only alternatives are of very inferior quality, lasting only about 2 years instead of about 10. However they are the same price as the Unipart ones, so if you can get your hands on any remaining Unipart ones now I would do so. Clive is getting some quotes from an alternative manufacturer but they will be made to order and hence more expensive than the Unipart ones, but be better quality than the current alternatives.

Fortunately the hose failure was not explosive but sprayed water over the electrics causing a misfire under load. Could tell it wasn't fuel or LT ignition so suspected a hose but couldn't see any steam behind me because of the rain. Temp and oil pressure were OK so I carried on to the next service area and could only see the steam once I had completely stopped. There was a pinhole right by where the fan (OK PaulK, 'drive') belt goes past the hose (see 'A cheaper water pump'). I had seen a mark on the hose at that point a couple of years ago, put some tape around the hose to see if that got damaged as well but it didn't so I ignored it but it was obviously a weak point. Funnily enough I put a new rad cap on at the weekend because it had started vomiting some water when I stopped after a hard run. Stopped the vomiting and probably raised the pressure in the process, finding the next weakest point.

AA (roadside repair organisation) repaired the hose with some special tape, and I was impressed that it carried me another 150plus motorway miles on a 15psi system. I did keep the speed down a bit, and also manually switched in the cooling fans whenever I came to a halt to keep the temp at 'N' and hence the pressure down, but impressed nonetheless. I bought some 'heavy duty radiator hose repair tape' from Halfords on the way home which has now been added to my "bag'o'bits" that I carry around in the back of the car.

Paul Hunt

Paul H.,
Do you know if the inferior hose issue applies to the formed heater hoses as well? I bought a set ~2 years ago from Moss and I believe they were Unipart. Of course, they haven't been installed yet on the restored car, but for piece of mind I wouldn't mind a full set of Unipart hoses to keep as spares..
How does one get hold of Unipart parts here in the US (that is, ones that are not supplied through Moss USA)? Are there outlets over there that sell them?

Thanks in advance,
Paul K.
Paul Kile

Paul H.

Thanks for both advises.
My belt also cut the hose and to avoid this i made a guard from a piece of stainless exhaust pipe.
I feared that due to the belt contacting the guard, it would be damaged but after 8000km, it is still
Peter van de Velde

PaulK - can't help with the Unipart hoses, I am afraid, I would have to find two sets! Clive Wheatley certainly doesn't know of any, although some could be kicking around one of the many smaller suppliers. Clive reckoned one of the smaller hoses was the same as on a midget, but which hose and which year of Midget I don't know, a trawl of parts lists might reveal it.

Peter - I have been looking a providing a guard as well. It looks like the hose swelled up under pressure (it is very pliable, looks like it was softening with age rather than hardening and cracking) and got pushed into contact with the belt. I am thinking of using a painted guard that will mark if it comes into contact with the belt, showing it is time to change the hose again before either it or belt fail.

There is also a little bit of leeway in how the hose is fitted to the pump, depending on which way it is angled before tightening you can gain or lose over 1/4" clearance to the belt.

Paul Hunt

I've had three heater hoses crackup in about six years, always the one from the pipe under the manifold to the heater. Current replacement is a 'silicon' type thickwall hose supplied by Brown and Gammons. To date everything seems ok, only time will tell.

Haven't had problems with the bottom radiator hose and the alternator drive belt, but the top hose is very close to one of the distributor cap clips.


Dave Brooke


Reading your message, i assume you fit this guard only to the hose.
My bracket is fitted to the engine at 2 points so the hose cannot swell into the fan belt direction.
Peter van de Velde

Malcolm Beer fabricates an aluminium curved guide that looks like the slipper block in a Reynolds timing chain tensioner attached to the lower alternator lug and one of the timing cover bosses on his race cars to stop the belt cutting into the hose due to belt whip on the over run from high revs. I'm running my hose so that it is not right up against the stop lug on the out let of the pump.It would be nice one day to make a roller tensioner to go on the back of the drive belt-this would improve the wrap/contact area on the alternator pulley and keep the belt away from the hose.

Damn-I should of snaffled that genuine BL V8 waterpump I saw at Stoneleigh for 50 and it know looks like I'll have to snap up gen V8 hoses when I see them. Still I couldn't resist the genuine V8 rocker covers-another story...............

John Bourke

This thread was discussed between 14/04/2000 and 20/04/2000

MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical index

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