[Top] [All Lists]

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

To: <>
Subject: Re: 53 TD - Oil Drip from "Flywheel Drain"
From: "Bob D." <>
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2003 23:17:28 -0000
It's always been my understanding that oil is supposed to exit from the
"cotter pin" hole. It's also my understanding that it leaks mostly when the
engine stops, before all the oil has had time to run down to the pan. While
the engine is running the oil is "slung" away from the rear seal. Correct me
if I'm wrong guys - but it's completely normal for one or two teaspoons of
oil to drip out of that hole every time the engine stops. I have a perpetual
oil puddle at this point on my garage floor, but the over all oil
consumption is quite good (2000 mi/quart). There's supposed to be an
improved rear seal available that doesn't leak, even when the engine stops.
But, it takes some machining in order to mount it.

Oil leakage is just part of this car's character, just tell people that it's
marking it's territory.

Bob Donahue (Still stuck in the '50s)
Email -
52 MGTD - NEMGTR #11470
71 MGB - NAMGBR #7-3336

----- Original Message -----
From: "James Fischer" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, April 25, 2003 1:16 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

///  unsubscribe/change address requests to  or try
///  Archives at

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>