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MG TD TF 1500 - Engine Color

Hi Everyone,

I am starting to take apart my TD to access wiring and replace wood, etc.

My Engine is yellow. It has the original # on the block as the ID tag on the firewall. I thought engines were usually red? Is there a color system for when it was built?


Dan Gill

Welcome, Dan. If you look in the archives you'll find quite a number of threads and postings on the topic of engine paint. I'd suggest giving them a look. It's pretty well agreed that the correct color for the engine and gearbox are a red on the dark side, not on the bright side. Chris Couper's website is a great place to look for this type of info. See . My personal favorite is a Rustoleum paint called Burgandy. Good luck.. Bud
Bud Krueger

Dan, I painted my engine many years ago with Rustoleum Burgundy like Bud. It has resisted discoloration from antifreeze, grease, oil and heat. It still looks great!

Jim Merz

Hi Dan. I purchased my engine enamel from Sportsparts here in Sydney. It was colour matched about 40 years ago by the previous owner of Sportsparts. (See pic). I believe it is about as close to the original colour as you can get. If you take off the side breather plate you may be lucky enough (as I was) to find this area still showing the original, albeit faded block colour. Your car is just a day or so older than mine! Cheers.
Peter TD 5801

P Hehir

Mine. Probably not original but maybe close. Sadly done by PO so I have no idea what is is so just showing for the color.


J K Chapin

I had some original paint on my engine and I managed to clean it up for colour matching. I found that the Rustoleum Cardinal Red was a direct match and is available at Home Depot. Make sure you de-grease the engine block well and use a engine paint primer to have good adhesion of the paint to the block. After paint a few heat cycles of the running engine will cure the paint to a hard coating.

The TD XPAG engines were not the "maroon" colour used on the later engines.
CR Tyrell

TF9052 in the Gallery on The Original mgtf midget site has the factory paint.

M Magilton

Here is what the Moss MG engine paint looks like

Bruce Cunha

Hi Dan,

a bit of caution, some engine paints, Moss's paint in particular, will stain when antifreeze leaks on it. A lot of hard work down the drain.

Best of luck,

Bill Brown

Here's a picture of my engine and trans ready to be put back in my '53. The engine is painted with Moss paint but I opted to leave the original paint on the tranny. The original paint seems a little darker and less shiny than the Moss paint, even allowing for 60+ years of exposure. The bell housing, sump, and timing gear cover should, of course, be painted to be correct.

Joe Olson

Bill Hirsch, #1 engine paint sold, has MG maroon red. Regards, tom
tm peterson

Joe, I heartily recommend that you cover over that Moss paint while you have access to the engine. It will streak and discolor terribly from any anti-freeze splatters as well as some cleaning detergents. Bud

Bud Krueger

I have no idea why Moss hasn't changed their paint supplier, their paint has had this problem for quite some time and surely they know about it! Once antifreeze touches it, it appears to bleach out the color. PJ
Paul S Jennings

I seem to recall reading somewhere recently that they have indeed addressed that problem....
Rob Edwards

I certainly hope that Rob is right because it's a little late to change the paint now. I guess I'll find out soon enough. Start-up day is getting very near. Joe

Joe Olson

For Dutch readers; I was tipped by Jan Koerts who always uses Flexa Koraalrood (1033) to paint his engines.

It looks good and is holding up fine.

Willem van der Veer

Let us know. I know mine gets a yellow color if antifreeze gets on it.
Bruce Cunha

I wonder who makes that side cover on Koerts engine.
Rich (TD 3983) Taylor

Rich, it's not Koerts engine, it's mine!

I don't know who made this cover, but I do know it's old and I haven't seen an other one. If somebody can enlighten us, please do.
Willem van der Veer

I really like that it has the fitting for the vent tube Willem. I believe AS has same pictured in their catalog but no longer available.
Rich (TD 3983) Taylor

I found the engine color on my block to be more orange than deep red. I used bill Hirsch mg red when I repaired it. It was lovely to work with and can be re-touched as needed.

Alex Waugh

This thread was discussed between 07/03/2014 and 10/03/2014

MG TD TF 1500 index

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