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MG MGA - Coating Question

I haven't has any luck getting a solution on midget BBS, so I thought that I might try here-

We have become the happy owners of a completely stripped, dry ice media blasted 1968 Midget bodyshell. We've also acquired the badly-needed front and rear fenders and the complete front panel assembly. When the weather turns warm, we'll POR-15 the stuff in preparation for painting. Interestingly, everything is sprayed with a dark pink coating that they use for preventing rust during shipping. They said that it is not a primer, but it can be oversprayed with primer. It is similar in appearance to "Red Lead", a corrosion-proofing paint-type coating (presumably containing lead) commonly used back in the days when nothing was bad for you. I can't believe that's what it is though, as that stuff probably hasn't been used for over 30 years. I wonder if this is just something more "modern" in the same color in order to keep the marketability? But what is it and what will remove it? How do I get it off so that we can coat everything with POR-15? Does anybody out there have any idea of what this stuff is? Any body shop people out there?
J Strange

I have no idea what it is, but splash some lacquer thinner on it and see if it will dissolve and wash off.
Barney Gaylord

Can you find out from the previous owner where it was sprayed, or who did the media blasting? They would be best to ask. Red lead paints are still available, and it may be that this is what you do have.
mike parker

Eastwood used to sell a red looking paint called "corroless" that was supposed to fill a similar role as POR-15. I have used both, and found the Eastwood product to be lacking in abrasion resistance.
Del Rawlins

Just remember if the por primer is more than 6 months old on the car before the tie coat and top coat go on it will need to be blasted again and start all over...found out the hard way...
Mark Mathiesen


in the UK we call it "red oxide" (and it has NO lead in it, we haven't had leaded paint in the UK for a good 20 years or so). It is a primer, and can be left on, sanded and more primer applied to it or just sprayed over.

If you want to completeley remove it, try some thinners like celulose thinner (if you can get it in the USA, it's kind of illegal in the UK due to the Europeans), or some traditional applied elbow grease.

Kind regards,

Grant :-)
G Hudson

Perhaps a bit more information is in order as to how this all came to be. I spotted a couple of Midget bodies on Ebay that were being offered for sale by a boneyard company. By happy coincidence, I go to that small city on a semi-regular basis, so I dropped by when I was there. They normally don't sell to the public, but the reason that they were offering the items on EBay was that sales of old British car body parts to body shops were in the pits due to the recession, and they wanted to get rid of them as they needed the warehouse space.

I can't believe that the company would use a coating that would require the use of large quantities of solvent for a body shop to remove it. Not only would it be prohibitively expensive, but a visiting EPA inspector would go nuts and shut the place down.
J Strange

J, below is a link to a great forum that deals with automotive finishes. I would post your question there as well!
WMR Bill

Mr Strange.
What you might have is a type of protection that goes on parts like splines of halfshafts, gears, etc, to prevent rusting in transit and while in storage. It should be removed prior to painting. We used to sell a similar product made by ROCOL in Swillington, Leeds, England. They may be able to help you with the "antidote" to remove it. (ROCOL'S product was green, if I remember correctly) If you google their name you should find their web site. This is not really a paint shop question.
By the way, our local classic car paint shop will not let POR anywhere near the cars they are painting!
P. Tilbury

Hi Peter, why no POR? Not that I'm planning on using it, just curious.
MGA Larry

I used POR on my chassis (grey) and its finish is like its off a gun and tough as nails as well. Only issue is primer left without a top coat for more than 6 months as I said before and if you try to get a matching batch of gloss at a later date for touch ups (if its not black of course). Maybe the paint shop wont use it because its so damned hard to get off once it sets!
Mark Mathiesen

Hi Larry,
I did not ask, but I believe it is a contamination issue, as well as it takes a long time to cure.
Armorall is another no no for bodies in a paint shop.
Regards, Peter.
P. Tilbury

Armorall is silicone based and if it contaminates the surface you want to paint will affect the finish. It's also very hard to completly remove before painting. That's why spray painters hate cars that have been polished with a silicone base wax, The top coats tend to absorb it so repainting a repair and blending into existing paint becomes an issue. With the Por I think that they would want to spray it to quicken the job and reduce labour costs. It's a lot harder and time consuming to clean out of guns and if over spray dust lands on other jobs in the booth then adhesion of top coats could be an issue on those items.
I Hazeldine

This thread was discussed between 01/03/2009 and 03/03/2009

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