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Re: 53 TD - Oil Drip from "Flywheel Drain"

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Subject: Re: 53 TD - Oil Drip from "Flywheel Drain"
From: "david tinker" <>
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2003 17:10:20 +0100
Hi Jim,
Oil leaking from the 'Flywheel Drain' is a common T series problem but do
not automatically assume that is is coming from the rear crankshaft oil
thrower. Oil will also reach this position from the Camshaft blanking plug
and if yours is leaking oil will show up here.

Some 8 years ago I replaced the oil thrower with a Moss Garage rear crank
oilseal on my 51 TD and until last year no oil was showing from the
bellhousing drain.  As the core plugs needed replacing I took the engine out
this winter and decided to look at the oil leak at the same time. What I
found was that the cork seal at the rear of the sump was leaking allowing
oil to pass into the bellhousing and down through the drain hole. Fixing the
gasket fixed the leak.

But for your problem you can only find out for certain by dropping the sump.
Although some time ago someone on this list suggested a cost effective way
of stopping oil dripping onto your garage floor was to buy a drip tray.

Personally I would keep driving until you need to remove the engine for
something a little more serious.


David Tinker. Wales UK

----- Original Message -----
From: "James Fischer" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, April 25, 2003 2:16 PM
Subject: 53 TD - Oil Drip from "Flywheel Drain"

> We have a newly rebuilt mill in a 1953 MG TD, rebuilt
> by a competent specialist with a good track record and
> lots of happy T-Series customers.  (The rebuild revealed
> why the car had the "shakes", as the crank had a crack
> that had been welded at some point, and had never been
> properly balanced from that point on.)
> While working to get the car adjusted to run smoothly,
> we noticed a not insignificant oil leak coming from the
> cotter pin that is just behind the oil pan in the area
> where the clutch flywheel should be.
> This stuff is very dark/dirty-looking, and both the
> engine oil and the gear oil in the transmission are clean.
> (To me, this oil looks too "thick" to be engine oil,
> but we have yet to take a sample to someone who might
> be able to tell us for sure.)
> Jiggling the cotter pin increases the flow to about one
> drip per second, and enough oil has collected after
> much less than 1 hour of running the engine at idle
> to keep the drip going for several minutes.
> As neither fluid level is too high, we think that
> we have either:
> a)  A rear main engine seal leak
> b)  A front main transmission seal leak
> Both nasty enough problems to force us to drop the
> tranny down to fix the problem before doing anything
> else (how ELSE might any sort of oil get into that area?).
> We do not recall EVER seeing any oil dripping from this
> point before the rebuild (years of driving, including
> the "Lap of New England" rally/parade/Bataan Death March
> with a successful climb up New Hampshire's Mt. Washington.)
> But a search of the archives and FAQs yelled this semi-cryptic
> gem from a 1999 posting by a Mr. Bob Howard
> te
> in response to a question about a TD shaking when backing up:
> > There is the possibility of oily clutch.....
> > one hopes not.....   Is the cotter pin in the clutch
> > housing free to jiggle and keep the drain hole open?
> Which supports the impression that oil is EXPECTED in this area
> as a "normal" event.  (Why else would the hole and cotter
> pin be there? To drain off condensation?)
> I am not a big expert on TD specifics, as I drive an '72 Midget.
> Anyone have a clue to lend before we rent a tranny jack
> and drop the tranny?
> jim

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