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MG TD TF 1500 - Exhaust coating

Another thread requesting your recommendations for exhaust manifold coatings and paints.

I am looking for a coating that ...
> Looks similar to the original coating
> Will not obscure the casting details of the cast iron.
> Is reversible - can be removed without damaging the original casting.
> Will look good for a reasonable length of time
> Costs less than $150.

My car is pampered like most of our cars, but it is not a concours trailer queen.

Flat white "High Temperature" paint seems be the closest in appearance to what I want, but I understand that it will deteriate rapidly. (true? suggestions?)

Here is a recap of the info that I read in the archives ...

> Original manifold (and manifold clamps?) were sprayed with aluminum, which eventually failed. Dull white appearance.

> "High Temp" paint does not seal out moisture, so it may start looking bad/rusty and flake off after a few months.

> Aluminum coating, like the original, is available, but I can't find a source.

> JetHot coatings seems to be the BBS favorite, but they are very "proud" of their process. I called today for cost estimate for my manifold:
++ $190 for polished silver. Unpolished at same price, looks like bright aluminum.
++ $245 for any color except white.
++ $370 for white.

> Coatings from Swain Tech are white, but are very thick and may obscure the original look of the manifold.

> Powder coating may be lower cost. It can trap moisture if chipped. I don't think that it is easily reversible. (?)

Am I being too pickey? Any updated suggestions?

Thanks for your help.

LM Cook

Lonnie please E mail me I offer wholesale prices for coatings, by Prodigy Coatings.
Len Fanelli
Abingdon Performance
XPAG Roller lifter camshafts
Roller rocker arms
914 420 8699
Len Fanelli

I used a spray can of Ace high temp silver paint, intended to just hold me over till I have the cash for jet-hot or something similar. Still, it looks worlds better than what was there before! And with new studs, nuts and gaskets it will be an easy job to disassemble when I'm ready for an "upgrade".
Not being a purist, I may be tempted by some outrageous color, like cherry red :)

Geoffrey M Baker


You can go wrong with Swain Tech for ceramic coating to help with under bonnet temperatures and the white finish that is very similar to the Factory aluminized coating. Pricing is about the same you quoted for JetHot.

The finish is slightly coarse texture but not much. Similar to skate board tape or anti skid tape to put on deck stairs. Plus, no one will ever know or touch it since much of the manifold is hidden below the carbs and air cleaners. Your car being a TF, only the top will show due to fixed bonnet side panels.

Frank Cronin

Top view

TF9052 has superb surviving white aluminized coating still on the cast iron manifold that is just slightly starting to show some wear.

Frank Cronin

I use these people. My exhaust has held up for about 20 years, still looks good.
in North Carolina near Charlotte. Thanks Larry
Larry Brown

Lonnie, i used these guys. great work quick has been 5 years, but at the time significantly cheaper than jethot. regards, tom
tm peterson

Mine was done by JetHot. The guys who I use for powder coat told me that regular powder coat will not take the heat. They get a discount and delivered it to me for less than JetHot charges dealing direct. I'm not a purist for things like a manifold and had them do a bright silver color. As others have pointed out, not much shows on a TF anyway.
JE Carroll

For those prices you could ship your manifold to Sacramento, have it done correctly with aluminizing and get it back for less than $150.

I only re coated mine because I spilled some oil on it and I wanted it pristine looking. It seems to last for decades otherwise.

BTW why will hi temp spray not hold up to a manifold? That is what it was designed for? I found that a mixture of white and silver looked the closest. You could paint it white first and then mist on silver to give it that aluminized sheen. Poor man but what the heck.
Christopher Couper

You are correct about the "high temp" paint not lasting,, I would trust Lens post above,, he stands behind all of his work.
I don't understand your comment about being reversable,, and I don't think you will get a good, long lasting job for under $150.


Thanks. I will contact the recommended sources and I am sending emails to some of you.

I know that rattle can paint will probably fail after a short time, but I haven't totally dismissed the idea of trying it -- since I am becoming pretty good at removing and replacing my manifolds!

Steve, maybe I am taking my role as steward of my MG too far. I want to make sure that anything that I do to the car can be removed my the next owner. I don't know if a thick hard coating that has started to chip and fail (years from now) can be removed from the cast iron manifold by a future owner without destroying the details of the original casting. (I feel the same role as steward of our 1906 bungalow).

"OLD STUFF ... houses, furniture, cars, wine ... I love it all"
LM Cook

Lonnie, what about old women?

I agree about stewardship; I'm happy that by replacing the manifold and using new stainless studs and copper nuts, the next owner should be able to redo them in 60 years - without going through the trouble I had!

I will probably do jethot, maybe later this summer when finances are better.
Geoffrey M Baker

great timing as I need to redo my manifold. The paint just sucks. That classics coating looks promising and is 1/3 the cost of jet hot. Think I'll give them a try.
L Rutt

they gave me great service..5 plus years and thousands of miles it looks like it did out of the box. regards, tom

i have no affiliation, just a happy customer
tm peterson

Following a suggestion by Chris Couper, I will look into the Aluminum Metalized Spray Coating that was originally used on the exhaust manifold. Chris describes the finish as flat white with some metalic sparkles. Chris and Frank Cronin both told me that the finish is tough, but that oil etc can stain it.

The process is called Metalized Spray Coating. A brief Google search turned up a number of companies that do the work. Search "Metalized Spray Coating" or "Aluminum Spray Coating" for more information and sources. I believe that at least one company is in South Florida. Maybe some more are even closer to me. I haven't contacted anyone, so I don't know price, turnaround time, or if it is applicable to my manifold.

Here are some videos for your viewing pleasure ...

Flame spray

Arc Spray

Large scale Flame spray

Really large scale spray

Len Fanelli sent me some info on companies that he works with to coat manifolds with other processes.

LM Cook

Cool videos. I get excited seeing how some of these lost art techniques are not only done, but still have a application today.
Christopher Couper

IMHO: To be "reversible" easiest would be paint.
The TF was fairly notorious for vapor-lock problems.
That is what first sparked my interest in Jet-Hot.
They coat the "inside" as well as outside, allowing hot gas to escape quicker reducing the operating temperature. As I understand it, originally developed for racers, and also give a slight HP advantage. Again, IMHO, I would go for something that treats the help eliminate Vapor-Lock problems before they start.
I will say they stand behind their work. When I melted down #2 & #3 pistons due to freeze plug loss at speed my manifold discolored. They re-did the manifold for cost of shipping 1 way.

OBTW: Returning to what was originally on my car was never an issue! No way did I ever want it to look like this again: coated manifold

The price quoted on this link is from 14 years ago, so a bit dated!
David Sheward

I think it needs to be made clear again that we are comparing apples and oranges. If the goal is to obtain an external exhaust manifold finish that most closely resembles the factory treatment, then the aluminizing process is without a doubt the way to go. If an external rust-preventive coating is desired and more important than appearance, then the various paints and coatings will work just fine, although different from the original.

JetHot is an entirely different process that results in a different appearance, with certain very practical advantages. The main advantage is that both the inside and outside of the manifold are coated, which serves to insulate the heat, and reduce under-bonnet temperatures significantly. The JetHot coating process, when coating the inside, also provides a smooth surface that increases exhaust flow, that increases efficiency at the same time it lowers operating temperatures.

I had a manifold JetHot coated a number of years ago, and silently popped it onto the car of a customer who complained that his car was not fun to drive, due to hot feet and passenger compartment. He returned after an hour or so with wide eyes, and said that the car was now comfortable, and that he was amazed at the improvement; he also felt it had more power. (I can't say it was ALL JetHot - I also plugged holes in the firewall, and replaced the floorboards with ones that had not been hacked-up and trimmed all over the place in order to more easily remove an engine).

JetHot and similar coatings may seem pricey when compared to a rattle-can or other external coatings, but have very real and unique advantages. I suppose, like much of life, you get what you pay for.

Tom Lange
MGT Repair
t lange


Where the hell do you get the idea " ... My car is pampered like most of our cars"?

That's a long way from the truth. From strictly a gut feeling, I would guess that a great portion of participants on this forum, don't pamper their T-Series and certainly not me. I put at least 5,000 miles a season on my TF.

There are others who have driven coast-to-coast, north and south. LaVerne Downey, Bud Kruger just to mention two that come to mind. The late Gord Lawson, I first met in Tennessee. He drove everywhere. Bob Grunau has a "touring " TC and its his MG of choice in the summer.He also has 5 Triple M MGs.

If you're going to pamper your T-Series, you'll never really enjoy it. Get off the expressways. Allow time for some back-country driving. So it rains? Big deal. And a chip in the paint, not the end of the world.

It will keep you young. believe me - I know!

Gord Clark
Rockburn, Qué.
Gordon A Clark


Who is the company in Sacramento who can aluminize a manifold?

Many thanks, Terry
A Peddicord

Christopher Couper

I had not realized that Jet-hot was also used on the inside of the header to smooth the surfaces and reflect heat out into the exhaust stream, thus cooling the engine compartment. That's a big point in its favor. So what would be the closest Jet-Hot color to the original "aluminized" manifold?
(Before I pick tangerine-flake candy-colored red!)
Geoffrey M Baker

Geoffrey, classic coatings does the same 1/3 the cost. Regards, tom
tm peterson

May be others that now do the "inside". IMHO a big advantage so I would ask. My TF had severe Vapor-Lock problems when I fist got it, so it was a biggie to me. They offer a white that looks real close to correct, however I believe it cost more. If you looked at the pics from my link...obviously anything was an improvement over what I had!

Coating the inside was an old racer trick...very popular on the drag circuit in the 60's to run cooler and increase HP.
It has worked for me and with the service I got from JH I will continue to recommend them.
So far they have done : TF /TR / Opel GT / Firebird / & 2 of our 4 Mits 3000GTs for me.

Like Tom said ...get what you pay for.
Several of the above are notorious for running hot (TF being the worst!). ON average I saw about 20 degree lower temps.
David Sheward

It seems that the aluminum metalizing process meets the criteria that I set for my exhaust manifold. I contacted some metalizers in Florida, but I did not feel comfortable with their abilities.

On Chris Couper's recommendation, I shipped my manifold and four clamps to Brian Bendix at American Stripping Co in Sacramento. Brian seems like a nice guy who knows what he is doing.

I think that Chris and I have the same "picky gene." So if he is satisfied with American Stripping, then I know that I will be, too.

Turn around is about a week after they receive my manifold. I'll follow up with the final result.

Thanks to all who contributed and helped me make a decision.

> Gordon - I fell in love with the lines of my TF the first time that I saw it. Like any beautiful gal, it deserves pampering, then a romp in the country!

I'm looking forward to getting my car up and running like yours. So far, I've had it torn apart more time that I've driven it.

LM Cook

This thread was discussed between 19/05/2014 and 22/05/2014

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