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New member two questions: Engine/Frame


Freshman Member
Wow, what a great website. I hate to trouble all of you but I need some expertise. Finally got my 1976 TR6 out of my Mom's garage after four years of neglect. The car was just inspected and is up and running very well. I have owned it for about 14 years. The car is all original and has 35,000 miles on it.

Anyway, two questions. Let me apologize as I am no mechanic. First, the engine looks great except for two cosmetic items. The part of the engine that I believe covers the cylinders and the air filter cover are covered in orange paint - it looks to this untrained eye like primer. What is the proper color - I know it is grey, but is there a more specific shade? Where can you get that paint?

Second, the shop that serviced the car said the only sign of rust is a bit of surface rust on the frame. I want to get this taken care of as soon as possible. Is this something that could be sandblasted or grinded off? And if so, what sort of protective coating should be applied afterwards?

Many thanks for your advice. I just ordered one of those restoration books - so I promise to keep my novice questions to a minimum - just thought I would ask these two questions while I am waiting for Amazon to mail me the book!

Ted in Philadelphia


Jedi Trainee
Hi Ted,

Call the Roadster Factory, 1-800-234-1104. They can tell you the correct shade of silver that the valve cover and air cleaner should be. As for the frame, I would use a good semi flat black paint that can be applied to less than perfectly clean (i.e. light rust) surfaces. I have used a product called Chassis Saver in Antique Satin Black and it works great. You can pick up a can at any automotive paint supply stores. I would just either pressure wash your frame or have the underside of the car steam cleaned and then apply this with a brush. It's time consuming but it will protect the frame from any further deterioration and it looks alot better than rust also! Best of luck,

1970 Frame Off Restoration Project
(Almost done)

Ab Crevoiserat

Jedi Hopeful
Try Por 15, This is a rust preventitive and works great. I have used it on my CJ7 and it covered the rust and prevented it from getting worse. For more info you can Google Por15 and there will be plenty of info for you. Good Luck


Luke Skywalker
Hi and welcome Ted,

Yes, I agree that POR15 is a durable paint and can be applied pretty successfully with a brush. It's supposed to be able to stop rust via "encapsulation" (seals it from oxygen" so that minimal surface prep is needed. I'd not recommend trying to sand blast or grind the frame unless the body is lifted off the car.

A couple caveats regarding POR15 (www.por15.com)...

Handle with care. Don't get it on *anything* you don't want permanently painted, including your hands and face. It's a bugger to get off once it dries. You basically have to let it wear off of skin... which can take weeks.

I'd consider their new line of "Hardnose" paints for their UV resistance. I've had experience with traditional POR15 yellowing and looking pretty ugly after awhile, due to UV exposure, even indirectly on the underside of motorcycle fenders.

Another thing, you won't be able to get to the top side of the frame to paint it, between the body and the frame. You might want to have a protectant like Waxoyl sprayed on. This is a waxy coating that is used to protect undercarriages and more. It needs to be reapplied every year or two or three, depending upon how the car is used. It also serves to lubricate parts, while protecting them. An example is the parking brake mechanism. This is *not* the heavy, black pitch-like undercoating that most restorers hate to see (hard to remove and doesn't protect that well.)

Also, TR frames tend to rust from the inside out. So, Waxoyl and some other similar products can be "injected" into the frame rails and other enclosed areas of the car (rocker panels, for example.)

One key problem area is the angled strut that comes from the front spring tower down to the frame rail. It's not got a drain hole. Because of this, condensation and water get trapped and rust it from the inside out. It's possible to drill a nearly invisible 1/4" drain hole on the inside, right where it meets the large frame rail. When this is done, almost always some powdery rust comes flowing out! Left without a drain, it's often one of the first parts of the frame to fail due to rust.

I believe the valve cover and air cleaner cover were originally painted "Argent Silver". But, confirm this, I don't have a TR6 personally. This is a pretty widely available color and can be bought from Eastwood (eastwoodco.com) if you can't find it locally. It's a slightly warm silver that was used for wheels and many other parts on British cars.

Hope this helps!

Enjoy your new/old car!

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