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The engine of the MGA ran strong and had good compression and oil pressure. The car drove well. So there was no point removing the engine. That meant cleaning and painting the engine in situ and also painting the engine compartment with the engine in place. I also wanted to put new brushes in the dynamo and install a new starter and water pump while I was at it. Once all the wiring, equipment etc had been removed from the engine compartment, and the ancillary items such as carbs, starter, dynamo etc was off the engine I had access and space to work.

Original state of MGA engine – pretty grotty…

The engine was dirty and the red engine paint as missing in places. The valve cover – which is a prominent item in the engine compartment was pretty grotty. So, it was clear that things would need to be cleaned, stripped, primed and painted. This also meant choosing the shade of red to use. Moss Motors sells an engine red for the T-series and one for the MGA. I found that the T-series red seemed to match the paint remaining on my engine. Unlike many MGA’s, my car still had an original 1500 engine rather than upgraded to a 1600 MGA engine or early MGB 1800. The number 1500 could be seen in the casting of the block. I liked the T-series red a bit better than the MGA shade from Moss – so I stuck with the T-series paint. BTW – I find that the Moss engine paint is a really good product overall. A bit expensive, but good.

Decided to use the Moss Motors T-Series red to paint the MGA engine.

Another decision is how to treat the intake manifold, heat baffle for the carbs and the bodies of the starter and the dynamo. Originally the engines were assembled and then liberally painted red. This included the dynamo, intake manifold etc. I like to see a little differentiation and decided to not be quite so liberal with the red paint. I kept the bodies of the starter and dynamo black and the intake manifold and heat shield silver.

After a thorough de-greasing and cleaning, I stripped the paint off the valve cover, oil canister and as much of the engine as possible.

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