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MG TD TF 1500 - Oil line block to cyl.head.

Hi all.

Through close examination of fairly original TFs, I am confident in saying that the oil line to cylinder head was painted engine red. This includes the copper line and brass end fittings. It seems the majority of this paint fell away during engine use.

I suspect TDs also had this line panted engine red.

Did TCs also have this line painted?

The Factory probably painted the engines in the same format.

It is understood many owner/restorers like the 'bling effect' by leaving this item in a polished state.

Rob Grantham
Rob Grantham

Rob If the process is similar to that used on Massey Ferguson and other brand tractors I suggest that paint on the oil line is a function of the block and ancillaries all being painted in the one operation.

Assemblers could not merit masking up individual components attached to the block.

G Evans


You are on the money ! My exact summation.

If you look at The Original mgtf midget' web site, the TF9052 Engine Compartment and Features (Gallery ) section of photos certainly depict a painted oil line. Photos 030 and 060 are quite clear in this regard.
I note the brass banjo to the head has typically lost a fair deal of engine paint. Probably a function of cyl.head heat.

I now have evidence that TCs also had paint on the oil line.

The Factory were expedient in other areas too. For example, the Fuel Tank End Panels were left with exposed chrome plating on the flange edge only and not the inside swedge line as so often done by many restorers latterly.

Cheers Graeme. Keep safe and well.

Rob Grantham
Rob Grantham


"Oil line - block to head Engine Red Many like to leave the brass ends natural. Most likely all red from factory."
Christopher Couper

Hi Chris,

I did read your statement before re the oil line on the informative 'The Original MGTD Midget' site.

Appreciate your response.

Rob Grantham
Rob Grantham

Rob: As I pointed out people love the polish this up natural, especially the fittings, so your question was certainly valid.

I think, as Matthew pointed out, just about everything got blasted by red paint on the engine after it was assembled save for a few parts added after assembly.

My favorite piece (that I don't have painted correctly) is that throttle return spring bracket. For whatever reason that got set onto the engine prior to the starter being placed and therefore it's red. I need to paint mine red. :-)
Christopher Couper

I totally agree. In studying what factory pictures I could get my hands on, it appears (at least for early TD's) that the engine was fully assembled along with the Bell housing and painted. There were no parts that were not painted. Even though many leave the bell housing, oil pan and timing cover raw aluminum, factory pictures indicate they were painted. With one exception, the engine on the test stand. This has an aluminum timing cover. It could be that engines were tested prior to being painted.

A few parts are a bit of a curiosity. The thermostat housing was black. The front of the generator, including the pulley, was red, but the body was black. The starter was black.

The big one I cannot determine is the oil filter. The factory pictures seem to indicate the filter was engine red. I suspect the filter was put on and then the engine painted. Since these were disposable, at the first oil change it would have been replaced with one with the factory color.

Transmission is another interesting one. It appears to have been painted with a dark red Glyptol paint. A different red than the motor.

Bruce Cunha

Here is the engine on the test stand picture. The second one shows an engine being installed. The timing cover appears to be painted.

Bruce Cunha

Here are a couple shots of the oil filter. It appears to be a similar color to the engine. Also note the paint run on the bell housing.

Bruce Cunha

On the thermostat body, I think you can go either way, black or red.

but ...

I wonder if it is faster to drop the radiator with the thermostat onto the elbow pipe vs trying to wiggle the rubber body and put the clamp on. This might explain why it was black.
Christopher Couper

This thread was discussed between 10/04/2020 and 11/04/2020

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