The MGA With An Attitude
COTTER PIN, The Engineered Leak Point -- GT-109

At 08:06 AM 10/31/05 -0700, Bill Robinson wrote:
"It appears a little bit of oil is leaking from the bell housing. Could this be from the tranny of which I did nothing to, or my main seal which needs breaking in?"

You are dealing with a 1950's vintage car which was built with 1920's technology. Do not expect a perfect seal or a drip free garage floor. Find more about engine oil leaks in the Engine section.

Most MGA have no rubber seal in the front of the gearbox, using a scroll seal in that location. These usually don't leak much, but a few drops here and there may be expected. You can replace the gearbox front cover with one from late production MGA MK-II, which does have a rubber seal. If you happen to be installing a MGB clutch, then you will use the early MGB gearbox front cover, which also has a rubber seal.

Cotter pin in bottom of bellhousing While fiddling about with the gearbox you may have noticed a curious little cotter pin rattling about loosely in a hole in the bottom of the bellhousing. That is by no accident a genuine factory engineered leak point, designed to never get plugged up. Engine vibration makes the cotter pin rattle about to keep the hole clear so any oil which may (will) get into the bellhousing has a way to drain out.

Now, did you really want to buy a 1950's vintage car?

On the other hand, if it looks like the Exxon Valdez stopped in your garage, you may have an actual problem.

Thank you for your comments -- Send e-mail to <Barney Gaylord>
© 2005 Barney Gaylord -- Copyright and reprint information