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MG TD TF 1500 - Pre-Oiling Oil Filter Question

Hey guys,

On the early TC/TD engines the oil filters were mounted in the up and down (vertical) direction and it was easy to fill them with oil before installing them in place after an engine rebuild to ensure you could build up oil pressure pretty quickly.

I've now building a later engine with the horizontally mounted oil filter - is it possible to pre-fill these filters with oil without making a hell of a mess on the floor or do you just hope the oil pump is going to do it's job quickly and stick it on dry?

Thanks in advance...

Gene Gillam


I have the newer TD horizontal type and have never bothered to fill it with oil after replacing it.
3 oil changes back, I converted to the new style twist on type and again have not have any problems with getting the oil system to fill it and work as it should.

This is on a working engine prior to the filter change

If you are building the engine and are doing this for the first time? Just make sure you prime the pump well and you should have oil pressure from just running the engine on the starter only.

There was talk on this forum about applying some low air pressure to the sump to push the oil up into the pump and assist in getting the system filled with oil quickly. You could do a search of the archive for that?

R D Jones

Seems like you could crank the starter (without overheating it) with the ignition off to fill the cannister and get some oil pressure before turning on the ignition. It tried one of those horizontal deals on a different make once and it was a melluva hess. Maybe someone has a clever technique for that. Mike
MW Davis

Gene. Just use a pressure pot and prime the filter that way. 5 minutes at most.


That's what I normally do even with the upright filter arrangement...I just hate having that oil filter being empty when cranking the starter motor trying to build pressure the first time.

Rod, yes I saw that comment...clever idea. I've never had a problem on previous new engines but those were all with pre-filled filters. I just wasn't sure if there was a trick I wasn't aware of for filling the horizontal filter prior to installing it.

And Mike, yes, I've always made sure to get pressure before I turn on the ignition and try to start it. Normally, as Sandy suggests, using a garden sprayer pressure pot to fill all the oil galleries prior to using the starter motor ensures there's almost instantaneous oil pressure when you crank.

Gene Gillam


If you warm the oil for draining by running the engine, you will still have enough oil on the bearings to cushion them at cranking speed for the limited amount of time it will take to build oil pressure and fill the filter again, assuming you can complete the job in half an hour.

Hope this helps,
Dave Braun


New oil...

Gene Gillam

A good assy lube will stay in place until washed out by oil. You're fine.
Dave Braun

I have a horizontal, spin-on filter on my 52 TD. Before installing a new filter, I fill the filter about half-way and then rotate it, watching through the mounting hole, to saturate the entire filter medium before mounting it on the engine. Very little mess and quick pressure build up. I never install a dry filter on any engine. I always pre-oil the filter before installation.
John Masters

Thanks John...
Gene Gillam

And when cranking on the starter to gain initial oil pressure it helps to have the spark plugs out, faster cranking speed and less load on the big end bearings.
John Quilter (TD8986) problem. Garden sprayer pre-lube pressurization and a few quick spins on the starter got the pressure up almost immediately.

Thanks all...


Gene Gillam

Sounds like you got the hot rod motor built? Lots of pretty pieces in that one. Planning to stand run it? Dan
Dan Craig

Nope Dan, gonna high idle it in in the driveway...I've never done things the easy (or smart) way. Hope to have the rest of the car together by tomorrow and start 'er up on Thursday or Friday.

Fingers crossed.
Gene Gillam

This thread was discussed between 10/10/2013 and 15/10/2013

MG TD TF 1500 index

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