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MG MGA - orginal exhaust manifold color

While my car is in the body shop with the engine out, I've been cleaning and painting what I can. So far I've painted the radiator and the metal part that goes over the transmission.

The exhaust manifold I have is covered in surface rust, but works fine. I have a wire wheel that I can use to take the rust off if I want to. I tried it in one spot and the metal was black. Should I just leave it, or paint it after I clean it? I was thinking about spay painting it silver like the wheels.
Darian Henderson

PS sorry for the typo in the title...
Darian Henderson

You will need a high temperature paint. You can probably find it at local auto stores, or Eastwood has quite a few different colors.

The dark grey-black is the color of the raw cast iron. The original was unpainted and quickly got a coating of rust. I used aluminum color on mine, but you can also get some that duplicates the color of raw cast iron.

These exhaust paints generally need high temperatures to cure properly. The heat of the exhaust may cure it, but I baked mine in an old gas grill and it still looks good after 5 years.

Jeff Schultz

Darian, let it nickelplate. It will get a nice blueish color in time.

Wim Betzel

Concours correct is rust. Concours points is cast iron gray high temperature paint. Concours does not always mean original (unfortunately).
Barney Gaylord

Hi Darian. I carefully bead blasted and painted my exhaust manifold 3 years ago, using brand name extremely high temperature manifold and header paint. About 3/4 of the paint is now missing, and the manifold is slowly reverting to it's previous rusty surface. I believe that the high temperatures will burn off most any type of coating eventually! Since a rust coating is natural and "concours", I would not fight nature, and simply let the manifold rust! Cheers, Glenn

If you care about such things, you can always get it ceramic coated iron grey. I did my exhaust manifold that way and it looks quite nice. I think the trade name may be "jet coat".
Mark Lambert

The rusty manifold is as comfortable as my favorite jeans or old shoes. Just feels (and looks) right in my opinion. My engine is coming out for some repairs soon, as well as a paint job. I might knock the scale off, but that's it!

If this is the Derrington header, the catalog pictures seem to show silver or black for different headers, but neither picture is for MGA. The pictures are B&W. The header is worth preserving via Jet Hot or similar coatings; Caswell has a product that sounds similar to Jet Hot, but is DIY and way cheaper, haven't used it.
FR Millmore

Hi again,

I was writing about the stock header, which I think I'll just leave alone. I wasn't going to, but I may put on the Derrington header I have, I just didn't want to deal with getting the pipe welded. How much of a crime is it to cut the flex tubing off the header and weld on a flange?


Darian Henderson

You can use cold gal. It dries a dark gray and looks neat its cheap but does not look cheap. One coat is great then leave it alone. A lot of the vintage people use it. Denis

This thread was discussed between 02/06/2007 and 04/06/2007

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