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MG MGA - Fan Blade Colour

I know the standard fan blade colour is the engine maroon. I am also aware that, for 'elf and safety', the MGB 1800 had yellow blades. Without old age and diminishing eyesight moving in, I am considering repainting mine yellow to keep my fingers intact. Question: is it just the blades that were yellow on the MGB or the blade hub and spokes as well?

Steve Gyles

Steve - See my answer to your question on the MGB General forum. Cheers - Dave
David DuBois

Hi Steve. I painted my fan blades and only my fan blades yellow, but dont know if that is "correct" You could paint your fan blades "shocking pink" just to 'be different though! lol, Glenn
Glenn Hedrich

I thought some MGA fan blades were painted yellow, perhaps in later cars, or perhaps those cars that were repaired at the end of the line with faulty water pumps. These of course would not have been engine colour, would they.
Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

Clausager page 56 states that the yellow fan is typical of the Mark II - but may also be original on some Mark I models. The picture shows both blades and hub painted yellow. Peter
P B Chappell

Hi Steve, mine appears to be original and is yellow (May 1960)- sounds as though the refurb is going well - cheers Cam
Cam Cunningham

Early models the fan was painted black. ooooo scary. My 57 is painted black and I have all my fingers... so far.
David Holmes

My 1500 roadster is a "bitsa". A 1958 chassis with a late 1956 engine BP15GB9871, it has a yellow fan and hub for what it's worth.
Lindsay Sampford

Just removed mine to replace the front oil seal The Fan is yellow(5 blades) but the hub underneath is engine red ?
MK2 Coupe
P D Camp

I have an original fan and pulley from a June 56 build 1500. It is the pulley that is keyed on the water pump shelf. I believe it was never painted and both the fan and pulley are yellow. If one can imagine events in the factory, it is plausible that the engines were painted red at times without the ancilaries attached and that some engines could have unpainted intake manifolds and heatshields, black generators and starters, and yellow fans and water pump pulleys.
Not everything in Clausager is absolutely correct, even by his own admission.
This is great fun!
James Johanski

My car is a Nov 1957 build date and is very much original. The fan is black and shows no sign of any other color anywhere.
Bill Haglan

Hi Steve
not all of the fan is a problem, only the extreme edge. why not paint only the outer inch or two, to make it visable.

R W McIntosh

Thanks for the inputs. Just seen the 'all over' yellow fan at Bob West's. However, I am tempted to just tip the blade ends as Ross describes.

Steve Gyles

Bill, Mine is a 57 also and had a black fan as you describe. I opted to keep it black because my hands don't fit well down there anyway. Living a wee bit on the dangerous side has its moments. Broken wrist due to imporper had crank operation... there was a loose nut behind the wheel....
David Holmes

Mine is mid-'57 and has an all black fan. I painted the fan yellow, but left the hub black. Wouldn't this be correct for an earlier car that had a later (yellow) fan installed? I really don't care about correctness - but I thought the yellow fan was a good idea since I like my fingers.
AJ Mail

The fan on my Mark II is was yellow when I got it 42 years ago. Also a fellow club member was an original owner of his Mark I and it also was yellow. Faded but yellow. I suspect that like most things MGA there were variations at the factory from time to time as the engines were build in one plant and put into the car in another. I support yellow for safety.
Keith Lowman

Maybe MG were just being practical when they painted the fan and engine red.
Probably a case of : "Lets paint everything blood red, Not for IF someone has their knuckles rapped by the fan but for WHEN they do"!

I discovered years ago that if you look beyond the pain caused by this experience, the metal fan actually does make quite a pleasant ringing sound not unlike like that of a wooden stick against the spokes of a rotating bicycle wheel!
Unfortunately followed by the much more unpleasant sounds of much swearing, sobbing and tearing open of elastoplasts.

I would not recommend that anyone should try this but possibly print this out and stick on the workshop wall at the top of their NOT TO DO LIST! just in case they are tempted to recreate my experience for themselves.

If anyone else out there has shared my wonderful experience, maybe we should start a sub division of this club with possibly a suitable logo and badge made available.
Any suggestions?
colyn firth


I have gone all yellow at the moment. However, may be a red portion would disguise the blood!

I have found a trophy for your 'finger' club.


Steve Gyles

Steve, You could paint the blades in Ar*enal colours. I bet you would keep your fingers out of their goal space!

BM Gannon

That is superb Steve, almost the ideal Logo.
Possibly a few less fingers though?)
colyn firth

Excellent trophy for the chopped finger club Steve -what TV show was that from ?
Colyn -Ahh - the lollipop stick in the bike spokes - those were the days!!
Cam Cunningham

Cam - So you think I should take the lollypop stick out of my bikes spokes and act my age?
Sharnt! Sharnt! Sharnt!
Ok Ok. Im now going to sit for 59 minutes on my naughty step!
Ps Im actually going into my garage for an hour to try and fit the new yellow plastic 6 blade fan that has just arrived.
(for all you masochists and potential chopped finger club members out there, the blades look really really sharp and I will probably have to do another finger count when I have finished!)
By the way, I have just found 2 old mga fans in the garage, one a black one from a 1600 engine and one an all yellow one from a 1622.
colyn firth

OK Colyn - off the naughty step now. Let us know how the new plastic fan performs - cheers Cam
Cam Cunningham

Well I did have a look at fitting the new plastic fan but quickly realised that I would need the hands of a five year old to get a spanner onto the fan retaining bolts.
I thought I would have to drain the cooling system and take the radiator off to gain access to the fan. However, thinking about it, I may be able to unmount the rad and tilt it forwards so that I can get a spanner on the fixing bolts without removing the hoses.
Has anyone ever done this? Is it possible?
The curved blades on the new fan look much better than the flat blades of the standard one but probably a bit expensive for what it is.
colyn firth


Unless I have a hybrid car I would have thought it most unlikely that you can tilt the rad forward. I have barely enough room to lift it upwards, let alone tilt it. My rad brackets all but touch the metal air intake tubes and the fibre tubes that slide over them prevent any forward movement.

It's only an hour or less job to drain and remove the rad. Easiest way to go in my opinion. I would not contemplate any other method.

Steve Gyles

I went the all yellow route, leaving the pulley and bolts red!

Engine, freshly painted etc, going back in shortly.


Steve Gyles

Looking good Steve.
Cam Cunningham


Thanks. Out into the freezing garage in a few minutes to continue.

There was a very good reason why I did not paint the fan pulley and bolts yellow - I ran out of yellow paint!

By the way, I noted that you were about to fit the MGB timing cover. Just a reminder to fit the flat MGB oil thrower and not the MGA dished version.

Steve Gyles

Lovely paint job Steve, almost too nice to actually run it and get it dirty.

I have been looking for the " before" picture you sent in showing the old red paint with all those amazing oil streaks all over the engine (cant remember which thread it was in )

Now that was a really distinctive finish, sort of a cross between a US Navy SEAL face camoflage and the Star Wars SITH warrior look.

I would have varnished it over to preserve the effect.

It would certainly made a great talking point!
(Or possibly another good candidate for my chopped-finger club logo!)
Hope you have the engine in soon
Colyn Firth


No, it was past its sell by date. I was getting quite ashamed to raise the bonnet as Cam will tell you.

I originally just took it out to paint, but it has also had a decoke, waterway clean out, new timing chain set, clutch and thrust bearing.

Engine ready to go back in now, just a small matter of cleaning up the engine bay first.

Steve Gyles

This thread was discussed between 20/11/2009 and 02/12/2009

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