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MG TD TF 1500 - Concours - Not

I'll be displaying the TD at a car show next month (competing in would be a poor choice of words for my plain-Jane daily driver TD) and, although the judges will not give me a second look I'd like to avoid unnecessay embarressment by having most of the surface oil and road dirt cleaned off the motor and front of the tranny. I suspect this is another subject that has been beat to death but do y'all recommend spray on/rinse off cleaner from any autoparts-R-us store, purple stuff, or something else.


Head Casting 22952 (1/2" reach plugs)

J K Chapin

I would not put any of that stuff on your engine compartment. It looks pretty clean to me.

I would seek out any really greasy areas with some light cleaner that takes oil off but won't hurt the paint.

Then what I used is Pledge. It does a good job of getting rid of dust and light dirt and leaves a nice patina. Also nothing shows in the places you cannot remove.
Chris Couper

Jud, its the support of the daily drivers that turn a small concours into a great concours (and make the show cars look good -LOL).

I use el-cheapo aerosol degreaser which will spray a straight jet so I can aim it at the filth. I also use a very long thin paint brush to loosen the crud and save my knuckles. Follow up with a cotton rag. Try to keep it off the duco.


M Magilton

I am a fan of Simple Green. It has been a pretty good grease cutter for me. Most of the TD engine can be reached with a long brush and rag.

I am a bit fastidious with my engine compartment,but that is me.

Bruce Cunha

Bruce, just gorgeous. I hope I can just get close with Simple Green or maybe 409 or something else that I'm not afraid to get on my hands. Chris, would you consider something like 409 a light cleaner?

Also, thanks for the words of encouragement - yeah, I'm going for the fun, the beer (BYOB) and to make the other TDs look great but I know a rich Farrari (SP?) pusher who'll be there and maybe he'll buy me a burger or a red-hot.

J K Chapin

Liquid Dawn detergent is what I use. I brush it on straight or spray a 50/50 water mixture. We used it when building water fronts in the ocean and waterways, when we had a diesel spill. We bought the stuff by the case. It will dissolve diesel oil on the surface of water in a flash. A spilled table spoon of diesel will spread like wild fire and cover an acre of water in no time, A few squirts of Liquid Dawn and the whole area is clean. And, it's kind to your hands and smells good!! Grin. Just don't take your wifes supply. Doesn't make for good harmony! PJ
Paul sr

Dawn dish soap.
Gentle enough to remove oil from ducks ...and leave your paint!
Seriously ...try it.
David Sheward

We have plunger squirt bottles of L-Dawn in the kitchen, the bathroom and in my shop but I never thought to use it to clean the engine compartment. Let's see - sliced bread, aspirin, Liquid Dawn, what's next?


J K Chapin


Don't forget the old favorite "GUNK" spray on and wash off.

Mind you that was 20 years ago from Halfords


R D Jones

Couple weeks ago was at a Saturday car show where a 67 Chevy popped an oil fitting. Made a nasty mess of the already dirty engine bay. Friend of mine went to her house that night and used dawn to clean it up for the elderly lady that owned the car. Sunday she was at another show and engine bay was beautiful. She has owned the car from new but had never had the engine bay cleaned.

Purple power and some of the other products you have to be careful how long you leave it on or it can soften/damage/discolor the paint. No worries with dawn. I use it on my "Sunny Dawg" he likes to help with oil changes sometimes!
David Sheward

I like a clean engine too

D. Sander

Y'all are great! Dawn it is.

BTW, I meant to include this link in the first post. Hope some of y'all can be there.

J K Chapin

I have had very good results with,
S100 Spray cleaner.
I purchased it at a Motorcycle store they also had a long soft brush ( that gets into all the tight spots with out fear of scratching anything.
For really heavy grim it took a couple applications.

Dawn mixed 50/50 with water or Simple Green have my votes. I also use Simple Green and a sponge in nylon mesh to clean the underside of my wings of road grime, including tar.

Dave Braun

I hope you are planning to come to the Southeastern MG T register's Fall GOF at Calloway Gardens, GA on Oct. 10-13/

We have popular vote, not concours, so anyone can get a trophy.

I hope to see you there, I would like to meet you sincve I have enjoyed your communication on this site.

Don Harmer, Editor
Southeastern MG T Register
Don Harmer

What is wrapped around your steering column down near the U joint??


Don, thanks for the invite. I have some committments so probably won't make it this year but I have great ambitions for next year.

Steve, it was there when I bought the car a year ago. Some kind of thick tape to route some wires. It's truly ugly and I plan on removing it (hope it's not what's holding the rest of the car together). I keep looking at pics on this bbs to get an idea of how best to handle the wires - perhaps just black tie-wraps.


J K Chapin

This thread was discussed between 10/09/2013 and 11/09/2013

MG TD TF 1500 index

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