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T-Series MGTF 1500 Cooling Fluid Leak


Jedi Hopeful
Here is a strange one. I recently had the engine out of the TF and I replaced the water pump with a new moss pump while it was apart. I put it all back together, filled the cooling system and no leaks. I drove the car and no leaks. Every time I load it on the trailer and take it on a few hour trip I find cooling fluid on the floor of the trailer but I can not seem to tell where it is coming from. Any ideas?

The only thing I was thinking is it could be coming from the new water pump bearing because the moss water pump with a sealed bearing did have instructions to run the water pump dry for a minute or so before putting any fluid in to seat the seal, I did this with a drill before I installed it.

The puzzling thing is why does it not leak when sitting still for a long period of time or while under pressure but it leaks when the car is shaking around on a trailer. If I look at the radiator level it was full and after fluid leaks the level has not dropped very much.

It is difficult to replicate the leak.


Probably coming from the overflow tube. Unless you've made modifications, nothing is keeping the coolant in the radiator except for level.


Jedi Warrior
The TF has a pressurized system (albeit only 4 psi), so unless the pressure cap is not sealing, loading the car onto a trailer and transporting it somewhere should not cause it to loose coolant. If, on the other hand, the car is driven for a long enough period to bring it up to temperature before loading it onto the trailer, the loss of coolant is probably normal due to expansion of the coolant when it is hot. Add to that the fact that it will expand even further when the engine is shut off and there is no longer any air being drawn through the radiator to cool it, there is sufficient expansion of the coolant to push the excess past the pressure cap and out the overflow tube. One way to check where the coolant is coming from would be to position a paper towel under the overflow tube and another under the water pump when you put the car on the trailer and see which one is wet after reaching your destination. For more information on this subject, see the article, Expansion Tanks, Coolant Recovery Systems And How The Cooling System Works. Of course the other way way to avoid coolant spilled on the trailer floor would be to drive the car to its destination :wink:


Whoa, you're right Dave. I should have paid more attention to the thread title where it says TF, not TD. Still, this sounds like a splash-type leak since the car is not driven before the leak occurs, and happens when the car is jostled around.

Being a TF (duh!), it could have an incorrect radiator cap with too short of a center rod. If memory serves, the TF had an extra long neck the same as MGA and a standard cap will not seal. This would allow coolant to escape the same way as on a TD.


Jedi Warrior
"If memory serves, the TF had an extra long neck the same as MGA and a standard cap will not seal. This would allow coolant to escape the same way as on a TD."

That is true, I am not familiar with the length of the filer neck on a TF. The paper towel under the overflow tube would confirm that.

Curt - The other thing that you could do is to not fill the radiator clear to the top of the filler neck. Without a coolant recovery system installed, the cooling system will just push out the excess coolant until there is sufficient head of air above the coolant that the expansion will not expel any further coolant. By leaving the coolant level lower, you will also avoid any leakage do to sloshing.


Freshman Member
Can anyone tell me the dimenstions of a TF radiator core, thickness, lenght and width? I sold my 54 TF last year and still had some spare parts left over, most of which were sold. When I purchased the car origianlly, the po gave me a new radiator core and said that they had gotten it as a spare, "just in case". I am looking to sell the core, but want to make sure that it is indeed a TF core. Thanks for your help. BTW, I went over to the dark side, TR6


I just measured mine and it seems to be as follows: 13 inches wide by 4 inches thick and 16 inches high. The core itself is 12 inches high and the thickness I quote is not the core but the top frame where by the filler neck.

Hope this helps.

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