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MG MGA - Engine paint colour

My rocker box cover and various ancillaries after many years are suffering from paint chips. Way back I painted it with an 'International Paint' maroon colour that seemed a pretty close to the original. It seems to have disappeared from the range now. If I go to another brand it may not match so I wondered if anyone knows of any other sources for this colour?
J H Cole

Hi JH,
I got some of this paint from Moss. They have it in aerosol cans or tins of enamel. Other mg spares shops will also sell it if you have one near you.

P Parmenter

The Moss paint reacts badly with things like radiator coolant, turning it a rusty orange color. I found this out the hard way, when my radiator developed a leak in the top tank and splattered coolant all over my generator. Fixed it, but an annoying experience. The attached image is my engine bay, still in Moss Maroon.

I've had good success with Duplicolor Dark Canyon Red (different MG), which doesn't seem to have the reactivity problems that the Moss paint does. There's also Hirsch engine paint. I have no experience with it, but if you search the boards you should be able to find more information.

Mark Lambert

The Moss paint is close but not quite the same shade as the original. From my experience it is a couple of shades darker.
Neil McGurk

That would explain why it wasn't an exact match for the "MG Red" powder I bought for powder coating engine parts. The Moss paint was indeed a little darker.
Del Rawlins

Engine enamel trends to turn slightly darker with age and heat cycling. I'm not sure if this would apply to baked on powder coat paint. Mark's picture is the correct color for the engine. If it looks orange or pink or red it's wrong, should be dark red as in the picture.

I have had generally good experience with Moss engine paint over the past 30 years. I have never had it discolor with spatter of fluids. There have been some reports to this effect (I've even seen it a couple of times), but I think it is something that happens occasionally with an odd paint lot, not the general rule. If it does that you should notify Moss so they have a chance to fix the problem with the paint, and maybe refund your money or send more paint when they get it right.

Acrylic enamel works well for engine paint. I take a sample of the right color to a local paint supplier and have it mixed to match in pints or quarts for use in a touch-up spray gun. One pint with a little reducer will paint an engine several times over, where it may take 2 or 3 aerosol cans for good coverage on one engine.

Avoid using lacquer paint on the engine. That stuff definitely will decompose and discolor with spatter of fluids.
Barney Gaylord

I believe it is a problem to discuss colors in terms of images posted on the Internet. Different people see different results depending on their particular computer monitor. CRT or LCD? Color (contrast and brightness)adjustments on a CRT? Different monitor manufacturers etc ......
I see Mark's photo as chocolate brown, not milk chocolate but dark chocolate, not maroon.
I think we should use a common standard such as "a lighter red than Clausager's book Page X".
Or "a darker red than Clausager Page Y".
A body color "the same as the green in Clausager Page Z".

Would that help?

M F Anderson

I also used the Dark Canyon Red paint after trying the Moss paint first. I liked the look of the Duplicolor better (not quite as purple). another plus was that when I needed mpre paint is was a 5 minute trip to the Napa store to pick it up.

M Gannon

I agree with Mick in that Mark's picture shows a red that is much too dark on my screen - unless the colour changed during production (I have two late 1600 mkII engines with original paint).

Mine most resemble the lower picture on Clausager page 56, although both shots on this page are of the same engine!

Neil McGurk

Something that has puzzled me is why the Twin Cam and pushrod engines are a different color. They would both have been assembled in 1958-59-60 in the Morris Engines Branch in Coventry.
When I bought my Twin Cam in 1964 it less than 5 years old and the engine color was close to that on page 60 of Clausager (the same engine on page 61 looks lighter).

M F Anderson

This thread was discussed between 01/02/2009 and 02/02/2009

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