The MGA With An Attitude
OIL COOLER for MGA 1600-MK-II -- FT-040
Wrong Port Spacing

This is not so much a faulty part as it is wrong part for the application. This oil cooler was specified by the vendor for use with the MGA 1600-MK-II, or any earlier MGA as an original type option. Bear in mind that this application puts the ports on the bottom with metal pipes running below the air pan. This unit is apparently a rather generic aftermarket part intended for use in many applications, but not exactly right for this one. This oil cooler is made by Mocal, but it is sold through many different distributors.

First problem is, for this application the center distance between the ports was originally 10-1/4 inches, but on this part the ports are 9-3/4 inches apart. The small bolt holes are in the right locations. The fiber gasket is incidentally exactly correct with 10-1/4 inches between centers of the large holes, so it works perfectly with the original application. However, to install this oil cooler in the original MGA 1600-MK-II you will have to elongate the large holes in the sheet metal air pan 1/4 inch each side to allow passage of the port fittings. Also elongate the large holes in the gasket to match. Good news is, this is all underneath the oil cooler and generally out of site, out of mind. Bad news is, you could mess up the paint on your original configuration MK-II car doing the mod to the air pan, and you may lose points on concours show judging.

Correct mounting dimensions are found in the "MGA 1500 and 1600 Special Tuning Manual, issued by MG Car Company. I have Issue 2, 1960 on my web site in PDF format. See: Special Tuning Manual. Oil Cooler information is on pages 24-25 of the book, which is page 16 of 18 in this PDF file. The 10-1/4" center distance specified for the large holes does match factory prepunched holes in the air pan of original MGA 1600-MK-II cars.

Second problem is, for this application the original oil cooler had mounting flanges on one face only, same side as the ports. If you want a better look closer to originality, you can trim off the unused mounting ears that will be on top of the oil cooler when installed (and repaint the cut ends).

Bottom line is, at this time there is no known correct part available for this application, so this is the one most people will be stuck with if they need a new replacement part. If anyone should happen to know where to get an oil cooler with the correct physical configuration (10-1/4 inches between ports), do tell.

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