Little red MGA-love at first sight

So I thought to myself, perhaps I should consider changing the oil in my little Chinese-red racer.  This is the first summer that I have had the opportunity to drive my ‘58 MGA roadster.  During the past two years I have had to buy a steering mechanism all the way from New Zealand, new springs for the front suspension, a rebuilt windshield wiper unit, side  curtains, the list goes on and on……

However, it’s worth the cost and effort, and, driving an MGA on a sunny day is still one of the best cures for that crappy day feeling, for the blues, or just to make one feel a bit special.  Kids love to let you know that they ‘dig’ your car, they holler, give you thumbs up,  high-five, smiles and whistles.  It sort-of makes one feel ‘cool’ and young.  Older people pull up along side you and comment:  ”nice car”–“what year?”– “had one of those when they were new.”  If you drive one you know what I mean.  I’m off topic and I must get that oil changed.  At our Hoser-eh’s pub nights last week we had talked about the ‘spin-on oil filter adapter’, It sounded like the way to go.  No more fighting with that filthy oil filter that has become seized in its rusty holder.

So, once again I put off the drive and get down to the serious business of perfecting this ancient piece of machinery.

Step number 1.  Look up the part number in the handy-dandy Moss catalogue.

Number 2.  bring up ‘bookmarks on the old computer—Little British Car Company‘–  search–type in 235-940 and presto, up comes a part described as ‘Adapter kit, spin on oil filter’ MGA, MGB, thru ’67 (18G, G1, GB).  Obviously this is the part I have looked for and at an excellent price to boot, thank you Jeff Zorn, MG guru.  Oh, and I also need a shifter knob and the turning light green crystal (about the size of a lentil),  might as well get that too.

A few days later my parts arrive, an event every bit as exciting as Christmas.  I take the spin-on adapter out to the garage, open the hood – sorry, bonnet – and check my replacement part’s point of destination. At first glance it looks straight forward, spin the old one off–spin the new one on.  A second more careful inspection reveals a major problem.  My new adapter requires, what appears to be, a short rubber hose to transports the oil from the filter back to the engine.  My car’s oil filter canister is ‘sans’ hose.  A trip to Mike’s house (Mike also has an MGA, only his is in top-notch condition) proves that my engine is indeed different.  A quick reading of the Tech Sessions chapter on the subject (18/1 Page 115) tells me that I must have a 1500 ZA Magnette engine.  My engine number is BP 15M 5724–not even an MGA engine.  That should mean something really important, but for now I have hit a brick wall.  What to do next?

I check the condition of the oil, it’s golden and clear. Decision made.  I will go for a slow, lazy drive through the old neighbourhood. “Hey, what year is that?  I had one of those when they were new”,– “hey mister, nice car”.  Now, there was something really important I was going to do to my little Chinese-red chariot, but for the life of me I can’t remember what that was.  Driving my MGA always makes me feel so gosh-darned great.

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