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MG TD TF 1500 - Calling Paul Jennings re: Hirsch paint

Paul, an old post by you said you were going to try Bill Hirsch engine paint. How did it work out?
I just tried it and and it came out rather dull and a matt like finish. Label was marked "High Gloss". I emailed Hirsch and got a very quick response from Bill himself (I assume) and they are going to test my batch number there. (Great service!)

Just wondering how your's looks compared to mine - picture below. Maybe I'm expecting something other than what it should be. Could be my error, I admit. I used a small hvlp gun with a 1.0 tip for such a small project. Snowing outside but a toasty 65F. in heated garage. Engine wire brushed & cleaned spotless with Eastwood Pre before spraying.

Anybody else feel free to chime in as well!

efh Haskell

Ed looks like satin in pic. Perhaps the block was not up to 65 Degrees. Temperature does some crazy things with paint. By the way, It looks like you sprayed over the brass tag on the block. If so get it off quickly. Be careful what you use.

Dan H.
Dan Hanson

Thanks Dan. I didn't spray over the tag. It's taped up really well! Same with the drain tap, etc. I spent two whole days taping this thing and the tranny up. The painting took ten minutes. Good point about the block temp, but I'm pretty sure it was same as the room. Wish I had one of those infrared thermometers:( I'm wondering if I had too much air and it atomized too much, if that's possible? This stuff is enamel, I'm used to urathane.
efh Haskell

Could just be the picture Ed, but it looks glossy where you might have gotten a heavier application such as around the thermostat neck. If thats the case the slow down your passes and apply a heavier film or turn up the paint flow on the gun. What are you using for reducer?

LaVerne, yea, there are a few glossier spots, but 95% is dull. Hirsch instruction sheet said should not be necessary to reduce, but if you have to just use a slow drying lacquer thinner. I used ACE and maybe a teaspoon full for the 1/3 quart I mixed. Was so thick (even after stirring) it wouldn't even flow through a medium filter so I had to use something.

Did you use the Hirsch stuff or something else?
efh Haskell

Ed, I didn't use Hirsch paint. Reason, I heard that there were issues with it at times. Some get good results and some get results like you did. I just didn't want the hassle spraying the engine and having to do it over again. I sprayed mine with Duplicolor Canyon Red. As far as I'm concerned, it's an excellant paint as far as quality goes. The color is a tad off, but it's pretty close from what I've heard from others and is supposed to hold up well. We'll see on that after I get it running and the engine gets hot. Looks good now, but? PJ


P Jennings

Thanks Paul, your's looks pretty fine to me! Only Duplicolor around here was that bright orange stuff. I tried some and it came off on a damp rag days later so I ordered the Hirsch because I read only good things here about it. Have you had that problem with Dupli?

Hirsch just reported my paint batch worked fine for them just dipping a piece of metal into the can. They think it's my spray technique. I guess I'll try again with a bigger tip on the gun. Excellent response time from them however! Hope they're right.

Side note. Your photo has what looks like a block of wood in left front suspension I assume to keep the gap open where the rebound bumper goes? Did that gap open up when you dropped the engine in? I'm assuming my will do the same because there is no way to get those bumpers in without weight!

efh Haskell


I have used Hirsch paint on my TD as well as my Austin Healey with very good results.

Steve Averka

Ed, If it's enamel paint, then you definatly do not want to use lacquer thinner to reduce it. I'd ask the people a Hirsch what they recomend.

Ed, for me painting is always a challenge as I hardly do it. On top of that paint type and applications change constantly. On my body color I'm using a high gloss hardener and a reducer that is rated for the temperature. This is a single stage and there are 3 types of reducers. I'm not familiar with the Hirsch paint. A 1.0 tip seems somewhat on the small side. Attached is an interesting article on spray guns and tips.
Mike Hart (52 TD 16378)

ed, i just bought a can of hirsch engine maroon. the problem you maybe having is the HVLP sprayers put out pretty warm air and the paint is basically dry by the time it hits the block. regards, tom
tom peterson

Once that mill is covered in manifolds, generator, wires, distributor... it'll look beautiful.

After a few hundred miles, there'll be another coat on it.
Jim Northrup

Ed; Same on my first attempt with the Hirsch paint. Went on too dry. Friend came over a couple of days later and reshot it. Added a medium speed enamel reducer and opened the gun up-shined up nicely. Used a brush initially to be sure and get in the hard-to-reach spots (pushrod tubes-behind the oil pump-etc.)-really worked well like that. Dan

Dan Craig

Dan, I like how your overflow lines are routed. Seems like the original straight down position would direct gas on the exhaust pipe if the carbs overflowed while driving. NOT A GOOD IDEA! I think mine might wind up looking like yours. Never can be too safe! PJ
P Jennings

LaVerne, the instructions that come with the paint specifically tell you to use lacquer thinner! I asked Hirsch specifics on spray equipment and they do not have that information. Interesting. Based on feedback above I guess I'll try again with more volume. Good thing they only sell it in quarts! I've got pleanty left.
efh Haskell

Must be lacquer based paint then and not enamel, which I find hard to believe. Id give em a call again and ask them if thats a misprint. If it's enamel, go down to NAPA in Gunny and get a pint of fast reducer for enamel and mix a little in till you get the same consistancy of the paint you shot on the body panels. I just picked a red color off the chip chart and had em mix some up for me to shoot on the engine to cover the leak detector Moss stuff.

Not what my can says, Ed. Specifies that the contents are an enamel paint and recommends an enamel reducer as the prefered agent.
Dan Craig

ED, In reference to the side note in one of your posts on the blocks I put in under the upper arms. This is how I found out my springs are of a different tension. My left spring I can push down on the dumb iron with my hand and pull the block out, on the right side, I have to put all my body weight on it and bounce to get the block out, indicating the right spring is the wrong one, to strong! They were that way when I got the car and I'm assuming that years ago when someone rebuilt the front end, they picked up the wrong spring and installed it. When I took them out they both looked like they were in there for a very long time and that's why I need to replace them with a matched set for a TF. 100 bucks from Moss. PJ
P Jennings

Okay guys, we're both right! The paint says "ENAMEL" in big bold print on the can. The instruction sheet that comes in the box with the paint, which I read first, says "...if necessary to thin you can use about 1 ounce of XYLOL or high quality slow drying lacquer thinner". I had only lacquer thinner so that's what I used. Don't know what XYLOL is. But Dan is right. I just read the can label and the can says "...use a slow drying enamel reducer. You can even use a lacquer thinner...". Great:<

Well, if the fact I used a lacquer thinner is my problem, I think Hirsch owes me a free can of paint! $47 and change including shipping for this stuff. To say nothing of the time I've wasted. I'm not a happy camper.

Can anyone else concur that lacquer thinner should not be used with enamel? If so, I'll contact Hirsch again.
efh Haskell

I find it hard to believe they would recommend lacquer thinner or Xlol for a reduceing agent. Xlol is a paint remover for latex paints. Lacquer thinner is great for clean up, particularly enamel paints. Even after they have cured it will curdle the paint right up. Never heard of using it for a reduceing agent but I suppose I can be learned something.
Mineral spirits/paint thinner maybe but lacquer thinner???

I wouldn't use the slow reducer this time of year. Use a medium or better yet a fast reducer.

I looked on line and they do indeed say lacquer thinner or Xlol. I'd call em up and quiz them about that Ed and share the reply with us. It's news to me.

Ed, I just got my first HVLP gun not long ago and was getting dry results at first with epoxy primer on some of my brackets and small pieces. I turned up the juice and all went well, so you might just try turning up the flow and laying on a thicker coat. You have me curious though so I am going to try some of the engine brackets this weekend and will let you know how it goes.
Richard Taylor TD3983

Thanks Richard. For what it's worth I just finished painting my entire car having never done it before. My epoxy primer (Sikens) spec sheet told me to use a 1.8 tip, which I did, and had no problems. Hirsch paint comes with no spec sheet whatsoever. I find that very odd for an automotive paint supplier, expecially since they recommend spray equipment for the best results. Yes, please keep me informed how it goes!
efh Haskell

ed, i thought you posted you had trouble when you painted your car..that you had REAL problems with orange peel and had a big sanding job to do? am i not remembering this correctly?
prior to squirting the block did you shoot a few practice shots on butcher or rosin paper until you were happy with the gun set up PRIOR to shooting the engine?
i still think with the HVLP you will need a slow reducer because of the warm air produced by the HVLP compressor. i used the hirsch recommended xylol and the paint laid down like warm butter.
the xylol can label says enamel reducer. i picked it up at my small town hardware store.

regards, tom
tom peterson

Yea, Tom, that was me. Clear coat was a real challange!! Still sanding that orange peel when I get tired of chassis work. But I'm getting there. You're probably thinking I'm a real paint "hacker", hah!

I always shoot lots of practice shots and they looked fine. But when paint meets metal stuff can look different I guess.

Not sure what you mean by an "HVLP compressor"? I know there are dedicated paint compressors out there. Some even provide breathing air I believe. But I'm using a standard 60 gallon Husky air compressor. Wish there was a way to detect the air temp coming out. Might be interesting? Still waiting for response from Hirsch about their recommendation to use lacquer thinner. I think that might be the problem. I'm gonna respray with bigger tip and skip the thinner but they said to wait 2 weeks for 1st coat to cure. Seems like a long time to me. Wish they sold it in spray cans. I'ld be long done!
efh Haskell

ed, you are mistake. when you said HVLP i assumed the dedicated turbine compressor set up. those are the units whose air is so warm it seems to need a slower reducer. best of luck with your project. regards, tom
tom peterson

This thread was discussed between 22/11/2010 and 26/11/2010

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