I went crazy, and painted my MGB front shocks black


I just refurbished my warn out Armstrong lever shocks and the rebuild went well. You can read about this very exciting project at Refreshing the MGB GT Armstrong hydraulic lever shocks if you really care. Bottom line, time to paint these babies.

This is one of the hardest decisions a car restorer has to make, keep it original or make your totally cool restoration project yours. Another factor that comes into play is… how cheap are you? One thing about the MG is it’s likely never to be worth much, unlike a Porsche or Maserati. There are just too many of them around. And I’m cheap. The cost so far on my restoration has by far exceeded the cost of my dad purchasing the car. That’s OK though, I’m having fun and still married!

I was thinking of painting my antique Armstrong lever super duper shocks Dark Canyon Red like the engine of my car. I thought about clear coating the aluminum body and painting the arms black which is likely close to the original. But, you know what? I got lazy and just painted them black like the rest of the suspension.

I’m sure this will irritate the purists. It likely will irritate the hot rod crowd. If I ever sell the MGB GT I’ll probably suffer and lose thousands of dollars because it’s not correct. But.. I had black paint in quantity from a Home Depot run when I was south during the winter.

A minor rant here… why does a can of spray paint that costs $5.40 in the USA cost about $12.00 in Canadian Pesos? How can anyone afford to live in this beautiful country full of bureaucratic BS? Anyway, fortunately I’m down south often so take advantage of the better prices. Enough said, back to painting my MGB front shocks.

I etched the surface of my MGB front shocks with POR-15® Metal Prep. At this point I’ve committed myself to paint as the aluminum doesn’t look very nice anymore.

MGB Armstrong lever shock ready to paint
MGB Armstrong lever shock ready to paint

Two coats of an etching primer and the shocks are ready for paint.

2 coats of primer MGB Armstrong lever shock
2 coats of primer MGB Armstrong lever shock

Three coats of gloss black paint and the shocks are ready to dry for a few weeks. Even though supposedly these paints dry quickly I expect it takes about a month to fully harden.

Painted MGB Armstrong lever shock
Painted MGB Armstrong lever shock

And the finished product. The shocks look great and don’t seem to be leaking oil. I’ll install these once the main suspension parts are on the car in a few weeks.

Awesome Painted MGB lever shock
Awesome Painted MGB lever shock



  1. Hello Rick, you have exact 1:1 same Engine bay as I have had; I have open tourer (05-67). Good documentation.
    I found something after hard search for rear shock repair. Looks smart. The lever arm has to be knocked out from other side.


    Home Rear Damper Repair

    Do you have an old exact photo of the choke how (cable) it is fixed behind the airfilter? Your photo does not show. Can´t get mine to work.

    Best regards Thomas


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