How to Install a Spin On Filter Adapter in a 72 Triumph TR6

I have had the Spin On filter adapter I purchased from the Roadster Factory hanging around for a year now, waiting for my next oil change.  Changing the stock oil filter is such a pain.  You can do it without completely pulling out the canister by undoing the bolt, maneuvering the metal canister so the round end is towards the front of the car, and dropping the paper filter element out the bottom between the frame rail and the oil pan, near the clutch slave cylinder.  But it is a hassle.

1.  Buying A Spin On Adapter – Beware of Cheap Adapters

I’ve heard you have to be careful buying these adapters.  Some are cheaply made – either the aluminum is porous and the oil leaks through the aluminum itself, like

Others have a reduced flow capacity.  So I bought a Flotec FHT2 from The Roadster Factory to ensure I got good quality.  After discussing with others on various forums a lot of people also buy the Mocal Spin on filter adapter.

2.  Removing the Old Filter and Canister 

It turns out getting the metal canister out of it’s little “trap” is even harder.  I initially tried removing the Oil Pressure Relief valve, in order to take it out towards the front.  That didn’t work, and I broke the valve in the process.  Ordered an equivalent at Napa for a little over $8.  Part ATM 1431009

Product Image

To get the metal canister out, I had to remove the Fuel Pump.  Even that was a challenge, as I couldn’t get a socket on either nut of the fuel pump.  I took the front nut off with a regular 1/2″ open end wrench.  To get the back one out I had to use a stubby open end wrench that I had just purchased on sale at Northern Tools on the odd chance I might need it!


As my dad would say, “They oughta make the engineer that designed the d@mn thing work on it!”

3.  Removing the O-Ring from the Engine Block

The only other trick is to make sure you get the O Ring out of the Engine Block.  After trying a couple of things, I found an inexpensive voltage tester, the kind with the “ice pick” sharp end, did the trick easily (circled below in yellow).  I used a mirror to verify that the groove in the engine block for the O-Ring was absolutely clean, to avoid leaks.


4.  Installing the Spin On Adapter

Pretty straightforward.  Just use some oil on the O-Rings prior to installing.  You may have to angle it so the Oil Filter will be at about 7 o’clock (angled towards the front of the car) for the filter to fit.

5.  Selecting an Oil Filter

The only other challenge was the Oil Filter.  The instructions that came with the Spin On Filter recommended a Fram PH9A or Fram PH966.  These are both obsolete.  I did some research, and found the following on Oil Filter selection for the Spin On Adapter.

In particular, it is important to get an Oil Filter with the proper pressure regulating valve because “Full flow oil filtration systems such as used by Triumph pass all of the oil from the pump through the filter before proceeding to the bearings. Any stoppage at the filter results in no oil pressure at the bearings.”

After looking at all the suggested Oil Filters in the link above, I found the PH3600 at my local Autozone.  After buying two, I verified in the specs online that it had a pressure regulating valve.   I bought one, and installed it – angling it at about 8 o’clock towards the front of the car.  It is too tall.  The rounded top presses against the clutch slave cylinder hydraulic line.  I don’t think it is a good idea to heat the clutch fluid!

Ok, I got ahold of FRAM tech support.  The obsolete filter recommended by Flotec, the manufacturer of the Spin On adapter, was a PH9A.  Fram recommends a PH16 to replace a PH9A.  However, the diameter of the PH16 is too large at 3.66″ as opposed to 2.98″ of the PH3600, which “fits” the adapter well and just clears the engine/frame.   So we went back to the PH3600 as a starting point as recommended on the VTR site (but is too tall, hits the clutch hydraulic line).  After much discussion, they recommended a Fram PH3614.   There is a catalog with specifications, and it shows the same specs as the PH3600, only it is 3.34″ tall instead of 4.92″ tall.  That should clear ok.  I asked about the capacity.  Wouldn’t that be a factor, could we find something a little taller?  The tech said that is a common misconception, that height matters <g>.  this PH3614 filter is used on a variety of cars and tractors, including 6 cylinders.  He suggested if I am wanting to really go all out don’t focus on height, but get a better filter, get the TG3614, which is $6.99 at Autozone.    So I have a plan that doesn’t involve rerouting the clutch hydraulics I believe!  Off to Autozone.


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