View Full Version : TR2/3/3A Oil Filter Adapter question

07-06-2014, 06:01 PM
Hi Folks,

I'm about to change my "Cannister" Oil Filter to a "Spin-On" type.

Moss shows one for about $40. TRF has an identical one for about $70. VB has one for about $90 but its a 90 deg angled adapter vs the other 2 suppliers who show a straight screw on.

If you were buying one; Which one would you purchase & Why?

Thanx, Russ

07-06-2014, 06:37 PM
I bought the moss, have had it in service 2 years. Works fine.

Lou Metelko
07-06-2014, 07:09 PM
Real men don't use a screw on adapter! Warm oil running down the arm puts hair on the chest and lead in the pencil!

Lou Metelko
Auburn, Indiana

Geo Hahn
07-06-2014, 08:33 PM
I have used the Moss version for many years. Just be sure you get all the old seal(s) out and everything is clean before you install.

No more Captain Hazelwood oil changes for me.

...Warm oil running down the arm puts hair on the chest...

Maybe I'll try some on my scalp.

07-07-2014, 12:18 AM
TRF has an identical one for about $70
Hmm, I see list price under $60, currently on sale for $50. Where are you looking?

I got one from Moss many years ago. Eventually got it to work OK, but the whole experience was very frustrating. At the time, they seemed to have no clue as to which cars had which filter head; or which filter heads their adapter would or would not fit. I was running an earlier engine, with a bypass type filter head on it; and the adapter will not fit the bypass filter heads. They didn't know that, and didn't believe me when I explained it to them. To add insult to injury, the counterman told me "No one has ever complained before", when I knew for a fact that _I_ had complained. They were completely disinterested when I offered to show them both types of filter head and why their adapter did not fit. It was several years before they finally corrected the catalog (and even then the next catalog went back to saying it fit all filter heads).

Installing the full flow filter head from a later engine was certainly no big deal, and probably a good idea to boot. But that experience is just one of the reasons I now prefer to deal with TRF.

As noted, be certain to clean out the groove in the filter head. It's not at all unusual to find the remains of one or even two gaskets hidden in the groove, and they will interfere with mounting the adapter (as well as causing leaks). Also check the adapter carefully for any burrs, nicks or dings in the sealing surfaces.

They are probably different today, but with the one I got you had to be careful how far to screw the threaded piece into the filter head. If I turned it in all the way, there weren't enough threads sticking out for the spin-on can to grab. Took me a couple of tries to get it right.

07-07-2014, 03:59 AM
Real men don't use a screw on adapter! Warm oil running down the arm puts hair on the chest and lead in the pencil!

Lou Metelko
Auburn, Indiana

Hi Lou,

Yes; I agree with you. My Brit Car Mech. comments like this: "But its not Orig"!

Again I agree & I like Originality. I`ve "NEVER" had a spin-on filter on any of my cars.

This one is just getting me "VERY" frustrated with the "LEAKING"!!

I don`t mind a drip here & there. I don`t mind the Oil flowing down my arm (Not too much); When changing the Oil but yesterday I found that my cannister is "LEAKING" pretty good where the seal goes at the top.

I hope to have her in the shop real soon to check out the seal but I simply wanted opinions on the "Spin-On" & "IF" I purchase one; Whom to buy it from.

Thanx for everyone`s input.

Regards, Russ

Geo Hahn
07-07-2014, 08:38 AM
...yesterday I found that my cannister is "LEAKING" pretty good where the seal goes at the top...

As Randall notes, some POs have been known to leave an extra seal in there. On one of my TRs I dug out 3 old seals before I found a clean channel (used a plastic dental pic & a dental mirror).

If you have an old seal in there (or an extra seal or the wrong seal) that may be the source of your leak. Particularly and extra seal as it may be quite old and brittle/cracked.

07-07-2014, 10:39 AM
Well, I went & ord. The spin-on from Moss. Got a hold of my Mech. Buddy & told him to be expecting a visit on Thurs. Pending weather.

i'm very aware of the "Other" seals that may be in there & I suspect that is my problem. I'm going ahead anyway!

Sorry Lou!


07-07-2014, 08:47 PM
I don't see where Spin-On filters are any less messy they canisters.

There was one on my TR4 when I bought it, and it was one of the first things I removed.

Every modern (and I use the term modern loosely) car I have ever owned that used a spin on filter was just as if not more messy than all the cartridge filters I have ever changed oil with. I would start unscrewing the spin-on filter and oil would be running down all over the place before I could get the filter off which was filled with even more oil. I no longer own any cars with spin-on filters thank god.

It all seems to depend on the angle the filter is installed, and I have never seen either type installed in the correct direct to not leak oil all over the place when removed, except my 2002 BMW Z3 and my wives 2003 Mini Cooper S. They both have cartridge style filters mounted vertically with the cover facing up, so all the oil in the filter runs back down into the engine before the filter is removed leaving only residual oil in the filters when they are removed and a single paper towel catches all the residual oil.

The angle of the spin-on TR3 /TR4 filter installation does not seem to led itself to a cleaner filter replacement then the original cartridge filter.

The cleanest oil change I do is on my 1933 Chevrolet that I have owned of 43 years. I remove the oil plug and drain the oil. Next I replace the drain plug and add the new oil. Oil change complete, no oil filter to deal with. The engine was last overhauled in the 1950s and has never had a problem in the past 55+ years.

1933 Chevrolet
1962 Triumph TR4
1984 BMW 633 CSi

07-08-2014, 05:31 AM
I always fit spin-off conversions and have them on my Healey and my Bentley MKVI. I much prefer them and like the reassurance of being able to buy another anywhere and for very little. My TR3A has a Moss one.

07-08-2014, 08:08 AM
The advantage of the canister is you get a chance to inspect the filter element up close to see what's floating around in your engine. If you see a lot of metallic flakes...or large chunks...you know you have a problem. It can frequently flag a minor failure before it turns catastrophic.

The advantage of spin-ons is convenience.

Geo Hahn
07-08-2014, 08:35 AM
For Russ -- The spin-on you get may look less out of place if you paint it a color similar to your old canister. These were sprayed with Detroit Diesel Alpine Green engine paint:


Fairly fuel-proof which is good as the filter is right below the fuel pump. If you work ahead (yeah, a year or two) the paint is really dry & hard by the time you use the filter.


07-12-2014, 03:28 AM
Hi Geo,

Yet "ANOTHER" great idea!! I like that & my "Cannister" is "Green"!!

How does a 1 or 2 days sound to paint the "Fram" filter before installation??

Thanx, Russ

PS: Its going in tomorrow, Sunday.

PPS: "VILLA"; WHAT, REALLY?? You sure you don`t have it backwards?? Never heard anyone complain before!!

Geo Hahn
07-12-2014, 01:41 PM
...How does a 1 or 2 days sound to paint the "Fram" filter before installation??

That will work, worst case the paint will be more vulnerable to gas and oil. I paint in a batch of 4 to 6 at once and write the date on the box so I can use the FIFO method and get maximum drying. I probably have too much time on my hands.

07-14-2014, 02:47 AM
Hi Folks,

Yesterday the new "Moss" Spin-On adapter & Fram filter went in. It was a very easy, clean Installation.

"What a Pleasure"!! "How sweet it is"!! No more cannisters for this guy!!

Thanx for everyone`s input.

Regards, Russ

07-14-2014, 10:01 AM
Geo...it just clicked with me what you are talking about...painting the spin on's to look like the canister! I can be slow...or possibly because just 6 months ago I was rebuilding 5 canisters at once and actually had 5 canisters painted at the same time?!? Anyway, very cool idea!