Oil Cooler Installation (air/oil cooler)

Words and Pictures: Eduardo Miro


Oil coolers are not fitted as standard to any model of MGF, and only to certain versions of the MG TF (the 160 model sports a neat water/oil heat exchanger mounted under the inlet plenum). Clearly, MG didn't feel it strictly necessary to fit a cooler to most models, although their fitment is common practice on cars that reach the race track. However, if your road car is used frequently for track days or competition, or even if, like Eduardo, you are fortunate enough to live in a warm climate, then an oil cooler is a good idea. In Eduardo's case, he was getting very excessive oil temperatures, even while driving on the highways in Panama, so he endeavoured to install an oil cooler - and his instructions are found below.

One interesting adaption Eduardo has made to his oil cooler installation is to mount the cooler behind the radiator rather than in front - the rationale being to avoid over cooling the oil, as the Mocal 13-row oil radiator kit that he fitted (obtained from Brown and Gammons) came without a thermostat. This method seems to work very well for him, with oil temperatures now down to the 130 level whereas before the needle would enter the red zone fairly readily.

Tools Required

Materials Required

Eduardo's installation instructions:

1. Raise your F up onto a ramp
2. Locate the front mounted coolant radiator - the picture opposite shows the coolant radiator fan coupled with the supplementary fan that is fitted when A/C is specified.
3. Install the brackets (have to adapt it with some curves) on oil radiator so as to mount the oil radiator in the position behind the main radiator.
 
4. Open 2 holes (with drill), each 15.5 cm to both sides of central axis of spare wheel well
 
5. Position the oil radiator behind the cooling fan(s) [two if air conditioning is installed on your car]
6.  rivet upper brackets from inside the spare wheel well
7. Open 2 more holes to fit radiator lower brackets
8.  rivet radiator lower brackets
9. Radiator in place - between the radiator and the spare wheel well (visible to the right and left of picture respectively)
10. Apply PTFE Teflon plumbing tape to both the radiator oil unions
11. Attach both the oil hoses (the longest union fits to the left radiator connector)
12. Now remove the under tray that is located midway under the passenger compartment.
13. Now the under tray needs to be modified in order to run the oil hoses from the rear mounted engine to the front mounted oil cooler. Start by making a 2.5 cm x 4 cm hole...
14. And again on the other side of the under tray...
15. Now remove any sharp edges that may damage the oil hoses.
16. Now the oil cooling pipes can be run backward from the radiator to the engine compartment.
17. This is how the standard oil filter appears. A strap type oil filter removal tool can be seen attached to the oil filter ready for removing the filter.
18. Now remove the oil filter (place a bowl under the filter to catch any split oil).
19. Moving to the oil cooler/filter adapter 'sandwich', wrap the threads of the oil unions with plumbers PTFE tape.
20. Apply some engine oil to the rubber sandwich seal.
21. fit sandwich with connections pointing downward
22. Run the hoses and refit the under tray
23. Attach the plastic fasteners
24. Finally, a view of the hoses as they pass through the under tray.