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I am restoring an mgtf 1500 and want to show it in concourse settings. Opinions please. Would you finish the frame with powder coating or paint. Advantages, disadvantages.

Thanks for your input
J Fleshman

I'm not a fan of powder coating. If for any reason you want to strip the powder coating, you have to soak the part in a nasty bath. It is tricky to touch up, and it was not an avalablel coating when the cars were made.
On the plus side, it is quite durable.
D. Sander

My personal opinion is that a proper Concours d'Elegance restoration would mean as original, i.e., painted.

However, I also believe that if you could get the powder coating to match the original paint it would be more durable but it probably wasn't available in the mid '50s.
JE Carroll

I prefer a good quality paint like the original over powder coating and it's also far cheaper and something you can do yourself in your garage. I sprayed Eastwood chasis black on my concours MGA coupe restoration and it looks just like powder coat. You also don't have the problem with tapped holes being plugged with the powder coat.


55 TF
60 A Coupe
67 B Roadster
74 BGT

Andy Preston

Hello J. Also remember that the powder coating process requires that the part be sand blasted, the powder put on and heated to melt the plastic to the part. This can cause the parts to warp because the stress in the metal from forming and welding is releived by the heating. I have seen this on several peoples parts, one was a TC differntial housing, the axles wouldn't line up and go into the differential carrier and they didn't mask the ground surface the the oil seal lips ride on. That coarse surface would have wiped out the lip of the seal within a couple of turns.

I'd stick to paint!

Butch Taras
R Taras

Butch, I don't think the warpage experienced was due to the powder coat. The temperature needed to flow the coating is in the 400-425 degree F range, which is much lower than the 1100 degree F range usually required for stress relieving.

That said, I used Rustoleum 7777 (satin black) for my chassis. I didn't even prime it, and it has held very very well over 18000 miles and three years. One common mistake in restoring cars is too much gloss. The paints used for chassis and underhood parts was not very shiny.

Dave Braun

I painted mine with Martin Senior semi-gloss. I've used it before on antique American cars I've restored and it holds up really well. PJ

55 TF 1500

P Jennings

Guess I'm the odd ball here. I went with powder on both the TF and the TD. Biggest reason I suppose was to get the frame blasted and cleaned up. I have been around the process for quite a few years and have learned there are things I will and things I won't do with the powder.

Think the frame is a good investment and I doubt that any point picker is going to notice the difference.


I used powdercoat on the frame, as well. That's after having it painted then having the paint not survive storage and moving about very well.

I had mine done in a gloss, though, and wouldn't do that again because it is too shiny to look authentic. Changing it now isn't an option.

I'd certainly do powdercoat again on the frame, but a satin finish.
David Littlefield

The body shop that sandblasted and painted my frame used a semi-gloss urethane paint. It seems pretty indestructible so far, very difficult to scratch and resists fluid spills, etc. George
George Butz

There is definitely something wrong with your garage floor!
Mort 1950 TD1851 Möbius

I used Por15 then top coated with their chassis black. You must take the frame down to bare metal, etch and chemical wash to get the best adhesion.
Mike Hart (52 TD 16378)

Hello Dave. According to the Jorgensen book most of the carbon steels shown in the mechanical properties charts, start loosing tensile and yield strength at 400 dergees F. I'm sure that we have some engineers on the list that can enlighten us.

R Taras

Yes, Butch, they do lose tensile and yield strength at 400 F, but that does not imply that they will lose their shape or form at those temperatures. It just means that if you select a steel and intend to use it at an elevated temperature you need to be aware of its properties at that temperature.

Shape, form and stress relieving isn't going to happen until the temperatures I already mentioned, and then only if held for a period of time, say about 30 hours... not the 15 minutes or so used to cure the coating. Lower powdercoating temperaturs (375 F) will require longer cure times, but still not exceeding 25-35 minutes and still much shorter than the period of time required for stress relieving.

take care,
Dave Braun

This thread was discussed between 27/12/2011 and 30/12/2011

MG TD TF 1500 index

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