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MG MGA - Engine Painting

Has anybody tried to bake various bolt on pieces after painting with the Moss paint in order to improve durability?
T McCarthy

I haven't tried this, but why not just order a quart of the Hirsch MG Maroon. I just paid around $40 inc delivery, came a couple days after I called to order it.
G Goeppner

While the Hirsch MG engine red is a better paint and arguably closer to the correct color, it IS a different color. The Hirsch paint is definitely a shade of maroon. The Moss paint is a relatively bright red.

As has been described before, the Moss paint quickly stains on contact with antifreeze. If you like the Moss color, you could consider putting a clearcoat over it or finding a similar color from another source that is more durable.

(Picture of Moss MG Engine Red attached--before I drained coolant out of the draincock for the first time!)


Larry Shoer

Good grief! I live on the TD/TF section of the website and pop over to the MGA world to read about a modern car. I thought I was posting in the TD/TF world and believe, but am not certain, that what I described is equally correct for MGAs. In any event, I know the picture I attached gave me away!

Larry Shoer

FWIW - I powder coated the bolt on parts to my engine by mixing maroon and black powders together. The match was great and the powder coating is bullet proof. I find it much easier to powder coat than paint and generally get good results. How can you beat 20 minutes from sandblasting to bolt on.

Randy Myers

I used Hirsh to paint my 58 coupe motor. When my wife came home she said "why did you paint that motor brown?" She was right...and the color is not. It's not really brown, but it's not the right shade. I contacted Hirsh and even sent them a color sample as requested. No response. The Moss paint is much to bright. The Hirsh paint does seem to hold up better and is much cheaper. What's a woman to do? :)

G T Foster

To the original question:
Why do you think baking Moss paint would make it more durable? Oh, it will be baked by the engine heat. But I don't think that's going to help. Baking is usually a way to cure paint faster. Some paints are designed to be baked. I don't think Moss's is one.

G T Foster

I recently purchased a can of MG maroon Hirsch engine paint and it was also too brown. I think his standard colour is for T-types, rather than B-series engines. I emailed about this and after sending a sample for matching, Bill replaced the can with a tin of the correct colour. This was great service from the other side of the world.
M Wellard

My motor is painted with POR 15 engine paint for Mg's and I have no trouble with it.
Gordon Harrison

I used Rustoleum Burgandy. It's a very close match to the original valve cover paint. It is holding up very well too.
Ed Bell

I used Seymour "FARM AND INDUSTRY Heat Resistant Spray Enamel" p/n 16-214 IHC RED from a local farm supply store. It was a very close match to the existing valve cover, and has held up very well. The color is very close to the picture Larry posted of Moss MG red.

As for correct color, half of the MGAs I see at shows have the brown colored paint which looks nothing like what I remember of my original MGA back in the 60s. The picture that Larry posted looks much more like what I remember of the original. On another board someone posted a color magazine cover showing an original MGA on the factory floor. The engine color looked very close to the color in Larry's picture.

Jeff Schultz

I painted the 1800 I am rebuilding with Duplicolor Dark Canyon Red with a top coat of Duplicolor Clear engine paint.

The color is almost exactly like the Moss color but it does not water spot or discolor like Moss. Picture of the timing cover attached


Jim Ferguson

After this thread started I called and asked for a sample of Hirsch MG maroon engine paint. They were quite nice about that and the sample arrived today.

It looks almost identical to the Moss paint I have on my engine currently.

Here is a pic of the sample.

So are you folks saying this color is too brown for a true MG Maroon?


Christopher Wilson

My original batch # 24456 was too brown (more like the colour used on T-types). the replacement batch # 26403 was good, so it looks like you have the correct colour for a B series engine.

M Wellard

Here's a sample photo of my engine installed shortly after re-build.My wife in passing by the mga in the garage said .."That sure is a pretty purple.Well needles to say after a while it started to have a nice look to it, and it grew on me as I put the engine back together.I believe in my opinion that alot of young Americans back in the day and still now a days prefer the chevy red look.
GGG Gabe

This thread was discussed between 22/09/2008 and 29/09/2008

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This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGA BBS is active now.