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MG Car Repair/Oil Filter for MGB


QUESTION: Firstly, thanks to Barrie for recent advice on removing an MGB water pump with broken bolt - all now done and new pump fitted! Before getting it MOT'd I decided to change the oil - never done this before - but all seemed to go well until I started her up and ended up with 4+ litres of oil over the driveway (I moved the drip tray too soon!). The oil was gushing out from the bottom of the new filter which I thought I'd screwed on correctly but on re-checking it just rotated freely and pulled off. It's a Unipart GFE422 which I got from MGOC having ordered GFE121 - I presumed the Unipart was just a changed number. So as that didn't work I bought one from Halfords HOF202 which is supposed to be for my MGB but that just rotates the same as the Unipart so won't screw on.
The old oil filter still screws on easily with a good tight fit - I'm not re-using it but just put it back on to check. The markings are faded but it is a Crosland ending in 9/1, possibly 529/1 and it appears slightly but noticeably longer that the Unipart and Halford versions and it appears to have a recessed area at the far inner end to possibly locate the tube / pipe onto which it screws. The other two don't appear to have that.
So can you please help - am I doing something wrong or have I got the wrong oil filters? The car is 1969 1.8 GT but the engine is a later version (I don't know its history) - 18V582.
Any help gratefully received please? Thanks, Gary


The 18V582 engine uses a vertical filter part number GFE422.  It sits on top of an angled alloy adapter which holds it upright.  This is called a "Filter Head".  See part numbers 75 and 76 here:

The filter head is only made from aluminium alloy and it is possible to damage the thread,
so that eventually the filter just spins and cannot be tightened properly.

If this has happened, then you will need to obtain a replacement.

New ones are not cheap.  They cost 51.  You may prefer to buy a good second hand one from a breaker, such as Andy Jennings MG.  

If you do not have this arrangement, then please get back to me, preferably with a photograph of your engine.

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MGB Oil Filter
MGB Oil Filter  
QUESTION: Thanks Barrie. The filter head seems okay as far as I can tell. I've attached a photo showing the head and also the old filter (blue Crosland) and new one (white Unipart GFE422). I've just taken the old one off again and it unscrews fine and back on fine. The new one just rotates - as does another one from Halfords - and you can feel them sliding over the thread on the filter head as though they are the wrong size or can't make contact with it - maybe they are too short? You can see the size difference in the photo. Thank again. Gary

ANSWER: Just looking at the filter head, it seems to have a very long tube.  Is it possible that the new filters are bottoming on the end of the tube, whereas the old filter is deeper and accommodates the long tube?  

Also, have a look at the female threads of the old and the new filter.  Are they the same diameter?  You may need to source a smaller filter.  The standard MGB filter has a 3/4 inch thread.  There are some filters for newer cars that have a smaller thread and most new cars have metric filters nowadays.

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QUESTION: Thanks Barrie. Yes, I think the tube length could be the issue - it's approx 60mm long from the base of the thread, 40mm from the top of the thread. The old filter is noticeably taller than the replacement so maybe that accommodates the tube and the newer replacements won't.

The old filter a Crosland 529/1 is marked near the seal with 3/4 so I presume this is the thread size - if so, then the replacement filters are the same thread size but as said they're all shorter in length. I can't source another Crosland 529/1 - Euro Car Parts had another Crosland listed which was supposedly the same spec (including length) but when I got it home it's just as short as the others. Bit of a brick wall at the moment.

Seem to have three options - replace the whole filter head (not cheap as you say and I don't know how difficult it is to do), cut down the tube (don't know if this is feasible or if it needs to locate into something within the filter) or put the old filter back on for now (with new oil) until and if I can find another one. Any thoughts please? Many thanks for your time and patience with this.

Hi Gary

It looks like you have a non-standard filter head fitted to your engine.

You have two choices.  Either you buy a longe filter or you cut the end off the tube and fit one of the filters that you have already bought.  

The filter head is nothing special.  It is just an adaptor to convert a hanging filter into an upright one.  It is held in place with a single bolt.  If you do cut it, make sure the tube is at least 10mm shorter than the filter or else you could block the pipe.

Alternatively, the Crosland 529 filter is very common and fits lots of cars.  Type "Crosland 529" into Google and it comes up with dozens of cross-references.  

Regards, Barrie

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Barrie Jones


MG Sports Cars from 1949 to 1980 - Including MGB, MGBGT V8, TF1500, TF, TD and modern Midgets. I also specialise in SU carburettors, Lucas wiring, suspension, steering & brakes.


I have owned my 1955 TF1500 since 1966. Technical specialist for the TD and TF with the MG Car Club T Register. Also owned 20 MGBs and currently own an MGBGT V8. Written 3 books on MGs and produced a DVD on how to strip and rebuild the TD/TF gearbox.

MG Car Club.

Barrie's Notes on the 1953-55 MG TF (author). /=====/ Barrie's Notes on the MGB (author). /=====/ Barrie's Notes on the MGB GT V8 (author). /=====/ The Essential Buyer's Guide to the MG TD, TF and TF1500. (author)

M Phil, C Eng, BSc (Eng).

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