I have a 1955 XK140 which I have restored. I currently have approximately 2,500 miles on the clock and most of the post restoration wrinkles are worked out except a continuing problem I am having with oil filter canister leaks. Oil pressure is 55 psi at driving speeds and 42-45 psi at idle when warm. The problem I am having is with leaks occurring at the canister “O-ring.” I do not have any leaks at the top of the canister head where the 9/16” AF bolt which pulls the canister up into the O-ring, my problem only occurs at the interface between the canister, O-ring, and groove. Specifically, the problem is that after driving the car 100 miles or so, the long bolt loosens ¼ turn requiring me to pull over and tighten it. If I don’t, a leak will occur and the O-ring will be damaged, requiring it to be replaced. Here is a photo of my oil filter assembly and a close-up of the groove where the O-ring fits. The groove is deep, smooth, and clean.
Right now, I have no confidence I can drive the car on a tour without pulling off the road every 100 miles, getting out a ratchet with a 9/16” socket and a long extension, popping the hood retightening the bolt, and pressing on, hoping a leak won’t develop. It is quite frustrating and has shaken my confidence in the engine.
Over the 2,500 miles I have driven the car, I have changed this O-ring perhaps 4 or 5 times, replaced the canister with a spin on adapter, and now removed the spin on oil filter and gone back to the original set up. The best results I’ve had are with an O-ring recommended by Rob Reilly of this forum that has an “X” shaped cross section. It has lasted the longest, but the long bolt still loosens ¼ turn every 100 miles. Most recently, I started the car up after an overnight run and watched the oil start to seep out of the canister at the O-ring. Fortunately, I was able to shut it down, tighten the bolt, sealing the leak, and make it home without being towed.
The top section of the bolt is sealed with a 7/8” OD, thick rubber washer. I have sandwiched an aluminum, Stat-O-Seal washer on top of the rubber and below the flange on the bolt. I’ve never had a leak at this interface.
I’ve done at least 50 or more oil changes on my classic cars with spin on and canister oil filters and never had a leak. I’m baffled. I’m afraid if I tighten the bolt too much I’ll strip the threads in the canister or tear the O-ring. Does anyone have any possible solutions to this dilemma?