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MGA 1500 - oil pressure

To: "'MG submission'" <mgs@Autox.Team.Net>
Subject: MGA 1500 - oil pressure
From: "Cordell, Ralph PhD" <>
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 15:27:41 -0400
I had the A in stop&go traffic for the first time yesterday - definately
not fun time.  I am a bit concerned about the oil pressure - it was up
around 40-60 in gear and running but out of gear and stopped it dropped
down to just above 20 (I'd guess about 25).  If I "goosed it" a tad -
the pressure would rise and then fall as it dropped back.  My tach is
nonfunctional so I don't have any rpm data.  I'm using straight 30w
Castrol.  The temp was also a tad on the high side (190) compared to
what I usually run.  I'm thinking of upping the idle speed a bit - with
the idea that the increased rpm would keep the pressure up.  At the
current setting - the idle is fine when it is cold but it was getting a
bit ragged yesterday.  My dad rebuilt (new bearings, rings) the engine
>15 years ago but has <100 miles on the rebuild.  I know nothing about
the clearances he used.  I've been gentle on it for that 100 miles -
nothing over 50 - and have changed the oil (and filter) 3 times in that

Question - is this pressure (under the circumstances) normal or
something to be really concerned about? 
          - is upping the idle a cure or addressing the symptom?

I am giving serious consideration to installing an oil cooler in a month
or so - will this help with the temperature?  

Followup - thanks to all who provided input on the horn.  After driving
around last weekend - it works though I am not sure just why.  I believe
the battery had gotten down to the point that it would not operate the
horn and the weekend driving charged it back up to the point where it is
now functional.

-thanks much.

ralph cordell
'59 MGA
'84 Turbo Regal - the next project
'87 Grand National
'96 Roadmonster

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