Ten Year Renewal

The Big Healey Ten-Year Renewal Blog – last update 10/10/2020

  If you scroll down to the October 2018 entry to this Blog you can read about the motivation for what I then called the Ten-Year Renewal Project for my 1960 Austin-Healey BT7. True to my history with this car, everything takes longer than expected! While the care and maintenance of a classic car never […]

Cooling System Renewal

I noticed a very slight wobble in the shaft of the water pump that was ascertained when holding the fan at opposing sides and shaking. Since I am I the midst of a ten-year renewal I decided to go ahead and replace much of the cooling system to include the water pump, mechanical fan, the […]

Changing Gearbox Oil

I have not changed the gearbox oil in the Toyota 5-speed since it was initially  filled around 2007, so as part of my ten year renewal process I thought it should be done. The gearbox uses just under three quarts of oil and I use Redline MT-90. This image taken before I installed the gearbox […]

Bell Housing Oil Drain Hole

Healeys, as they came from the factory, did not have a rear main oil seal. The factory must have anticipated oil leaks from the crank because they put a small hole in the bottom of the bell housing to provide a place for the leaking oil to go other than to accumulate and potentially get […]

New Vinyl Door Piping and Ignition Wiring

Two more little jobs need to be accomplished in my journey to “renew” the Healey: Vinyl Door Piping After a little over ten years of use, the vinyl piping that edges the aluminum trim plate on the passenger side door shut face pillar was just worn out. My rear door gap is a little tight […]

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Fortunately, my website is filled primarily with good news stories. There are a few bad news posts but I think this is my first entry that falls under the heading of just plain “ugly!” Back in November I did something really stupid. I have lots of rationalizations to explain how this “ugly” event could happen; […]

Fuel Hose Replacement

I have two fuel pumps installed in the Bloody Beast so that I have a back-up at the ready should one fail. I used a combination of steel pipe and rubber fuel hose to plumb the system between the tank, the fuel pumps and the hard fuel line to the front of the car.  Rubber […]

Leaking Steering Box

It is not at all uncommon to have a leaking steering box. When I rebuilt my steering box some years ago I filled it with Penrite Gearbox oil – the recommended oil at the time. It is very thick and has to be warmed up to get it to go into the steering box. My […]

Electric Pusher Fan Installation

  While my car usually runs at a reasonable operating temperature, I do get a little worried about the potential for getting stuck in traffic, and now that we are in southwest Florida with routine summer temperatures often in excess of ninety degrees overheating could occur. I have already applied all of the typical tricks […]

Throttle Cable Design Modification

In the mid-2000s I did a fair amount of research regarding the conversion of the original mechanical throttle control linkage used on Big Healeys to a cable system similar to what DMH used on the Sprites. I was restoring my BT7 at the time. The results of that research and a description of what I […]

Lucas PL700 Headlight Conversion

I have always liked the looks of the Lucas Tri-bar PL700 headlights. Unless one can find some new old stock units on eBay or from an individual seller the originals are hard to locate. However, reproduction vintage lights are available and come with a modern twist in that they utilize H4 bulbs, giving you a vintage headlight […]

Rear Rally Overrider Modification

I have never been happy with the Rally Overrider brackets I installed during the restoration process for the Bloody Beast. I ordered the brackets from Cape International and while they fit (I guess), the Rally Bumpers protruded too far from the rear shroud. I had resigned myself to finally solve the problem with some cutting […]

Brake and Clutch Master Cylinder Replacements

I am seeing a very slight seeping of brake fluid around the clutch master cylinder on the pedal box inside the cockpit. So as a preventative measure I’m going to go ahead and replace both the brake and clutch master cylinders. This was last done in 2014. The original manufacturer of the master cylinders was […]

Charlie Hart Fuse Panel

Fellow Healey enthusiast, Charlie Hart has come up with several “customizations” over the years to “improve” on the original Austin-Healey design. He then makes these available to the Healey community. One of those items is a fuse panel that mounts to the firewall in the same manner and place as the original. The panel has […]

Rear Main Oil Leak – Diaper Fix

Healeys, as well as most other British cars of the period, like to leave their mark! That is, one can expect oil leaks on their garage floor or driveway. When I rebuilt my engine ten plus years ago, I installed an improved rear main seal designed and sold by Dennis Welch Motorsports. Disappointingly, it failed […]

Rear Axle Breather Replacement

Most of the vendors sell a plastic breather for the threaded hole in the Healey’s rear axle. However, a fellow in the UK sells brass equivalents from vintage Land Rovers that fit perfectly. While the plastic component works just fine, I couldn’t resist replacing it with a clearly superior quality brass piece. It was a […]

Oil Sump Oil Leak Repair

The cork gasket between the engine block and the oil sump (oil pan) has deteriorated and needs to be replaced. It appears that the gasoline flow from the intake manifold overflow pipes contributed to the problem. The oil sump is an aftermarket cast aluminum piece, not the original pressed steel pan. The sump was painted […]

Replacing leaking RH Lever Shock

I use Bilstein tube shocks on my car having installed Udo Putzke’s mounting kit when the the car was restored. Details may be reviewed on a previous post https://valvechatter.com/?p=3365 regarding the front and rear suspension. The kit uses the original lever shocks without the pistons as the upper “A” arm of the front suspension. The […]

Cylinder Block, Front Cover, Oil Leak Repair

The front cover has leaked oil for some time. In this post, I describe the process to remove the cover, replace the gasket and then reinstall the cover to the cylinder block. This process involves removing the alternator. When I restored my BT7 I “upgraded” from the original dynamo, or generator, to an alternator. At […]

Preventing Vapor Lock – Float Bowl Kouzies

The summer temps in southern Florida get pretty high and I have experienced a few episodes of vapor lock. Joe Curto who is well know as an SU carb guru sells some covers or “kouzies” for the car float bowls to help prevent boiling the fuel in the bowls. The “kouzies are made from “Koolmat” […]

Fuel Delivery Modification and Ram Pipes 

This project actually began back in November and took me till Spring to complete! I was inspired by Doug Escriva’s beautiful engine bay on his even more beautiful Healey racer: I especially liked Doug’s fuel delivery system to the carbs. Of course, Doug’s car is a tri-carb while mine has only two HD8 SUs. I […]

HD8 Carb Initial Tuning

I have read many “how to” documents concerning the tuning of the SU HD8 carburetors including the “Bible” – SU Carburetters Tuning Tips & Techniques and Des Hamill’s The SU Carburetter High-Performance Manual. But, The summary put together by Steve Byers is about the best single document specifically for HD8 carbs that I have reviewed. Byers […]

HD8 Carb Rebuild and Test Installation with Throttle Cable

Since I had removed the carbs to install the new intake manifold, I decided it might be a good idea to go ahead and rebuild the carbs. They didn’t have many miles on them, but it has been about eleven years since they were last rebuilt and although I wasn’t experiencing any leaks it seems […]

Carb Removal and Intake Manifold Replacement

So, here is a step-by-step of the process from tear down to completion. More than anyone (except me) would want to know. I first removed the air cleaner that I have been using for ten years from the carbs. Next was removal of the throttle return springs with a note about orientation of the springs […]