Chapter 50 Restoration Assembly, Week Twenty 4/30/2007

Rather than using the original Smiths heater, I am taking advantage of more modern technology and substituting a two speed heater available from Cape International. The heater unit integrates the hot water radiator as well as the fan blower. I had installed the heater unit previously and the time had come to put the demister hoses in place. These install basically as on the original.

Demister hoses

The next task was to install the hot water heater hoses. The kit is supplied with brass step down joints as the interior diameter of the hose at the heater and at the control valve is larger than the hose that connects to the heater control tap on the motor and the water return pipe.

Heater hoses Step-down

Heater hoses Step-down

Heater hoses through Firewall

The wiring for the ground connection and the power to the two fan speeds is sadly visually obvious from the interior seating. To obscure the wiring a bit, I ran all three wires through a length of heat shrink tubing.

Then the Cape heater water control valve was connected to the original heater control panel by a short length of bicycle derailler cable. Since I am using the overdrive switch to control the two speed heater fan, the switch on the heater control panel is available to control the original Smiths blower to bring fresh air into the passenger seating area. Whether the new heater works any better than the Smiths unit, I don’t know. We will see come next winter!

It was now time to move to the boot to install the Armacord and fuel tank. I ordered my Armacord kit from Heritage Upholstery. I began with the vertical piece through which the battery cable runs and then moved to the right and left pieces that fit the rear inner quarter panels. I brushed on Weldwood contact cement for the adhesive on the body components and used 3M spray adhesive for the back side of the Armacord.

Boot Armacord 2

Boot Armacord 5

The left rear wheel arch was difficult to cover without some minor buckling. I was not entirely satisfied, but in this case, my less than perfect fitting will be covered by the spare tire.

Boot Armacord 6

I then installed the vertical rear Armacord panel. In addition to gluing this piece in place I installed three pop rivets as original. I also installed three #8 stainless self-tapping screws and trim cups through the Armacord and into the rear bulkhead wall.

The two spare tire wood blocks and tie down hardware were then installed. I am using Michelin ZX 175 tires that required repositioning of the left quarter panel block, raising it about 1/2.” I made a new longer and thinner wooden block for the rear bulkhead so that I could continue to use the original mounting holes.

Armacord rear bulkhead

Spare Tire Stop Extension

Chapter 49 Restoration Assembly, Week Nineteen 4/23/2007

Four university students (young, strong backs) arrived and helped me install the assembled rear axle in about five minutes. The install was accomplished with just one minor scratch!

Rear axle help

I am pleased that I assembled everything on the bench first. I don’t know if it would have worked with the panhard rod in place, but since I am using the Jule frame I don’t have a panhard rod.

I put the rubber buffers in place on the axle and installed the U-bolts supplied by Martin Jansen to fit the springs he had made for me. I did need to open the hole in the spring plate to accommodate the larger pin in the springs.

The lower brackets for the Udo Putzke Bilstein shocks were attached to the spring plates. The next task was to bolt on the upper brackets for the Bilstein tube shocks to the original shock mounting brackets. The Bilstein shocks were then installed on the brackets.

Rear Tube shock bracket

Bilstein Tube Shock in Place

The handbrake cable was then put into place and adjusted for the the proper tension on the emergency brake calipers.

The rear flexible stainless steel flex pipe for the brakes was then mounted to the car.

SS brake line

Final fuel hose connections were then made from the two pumps to the steel line running to the carbs.

Bump box LH

The ground strap was connected to the frame. The other end will later be fixed to one of the bell housing bolts.

Ground Strap Engine

Chapter 48 Restoration Assembly, Week Eighteen 4/16/2007

I decided to completely assemble the rear axle for installation into the car. I will recruit four weightlifters to help with placement!

Jeremy Turner worked his magic and made the axle assembly look brand new in its glossy black. I installed the bearing carriers with new bearings, “O” rings and paper gaskets. I lightly coated the gasket between the bearing carrier and the axle half shafts with hylomar sealer.

Rear Axle assembled

Rear Disc Brake Rotor

I am using Cape International’s rear disc brake conversion kit to replace the original rear drums. Cape Int Disc Brake Conversion 1 The kit is nicely done including aluminum caliper mounting brackets, drilled mounting bolts (drilled for safety wire), a template for modification of the axle flange,  disc rotors, locking conical hub nuts, jaguar calipers including ancillary handbrake calipers and brake pads, and a threaded rod with end fittings to connect the LH and RH handbrake calipers. I did have to “rework”  the short connecting rod to obtain proper alignment, but otherwise, everything was a bolt-on job.

Rear Disc Brake Adapter Plate

Jaguar Rear Disc Brake

Handbrake Caliper

Cross Rod and Lever

Chapter 47 Restoration Assembly, Week Seventeen 4/9/2007

There wasn’t much time available for Healey work again this weekend. I did install some more Dynamat product over the interior floorboard and the propshaft tunnel. I was then able to glue the black interior vinyl around the handbrake bracket on the tunnel.

Handbrake vinyl

I then installed my rechromed handbrake lever and its mechanism including attaching the cable to the lever and to the bottom of the floor pan to keep it from fouling the propshaft.

Handbrake lever

Handbrake cable clip

Using contact cement, I glued the foam rubber seal to the bottom of the boot in preparation for the fuel tank fitment.

Fuel Tank Seal

Chapter 46 Restoration Assembly, Week Sixteen 4/2/2007

Ah, yes! Finally back to some Healey work. I had planned to use an amplifier mounted under the parcel shelf, bookcase speakers behind the dash fascia, and a small subwoofer in the boot for my sound system. No radio needed, just planned to plug my iPod into the amp.

Roger( AUSMHLY) on the British Car Forum recommended using some amplified two-way computer speakers made by Creative Speakers.pdf. Doing so would mean no additional amplifier and no subwoofer and they only cost $99 for the pair. I decided to try them.

Left Speaker

Right Speaker

For a power source I used a Power Adapter.pdf  from Radio Shack with a “M” size adaptaplug. I plugged it into a accessory Power Outlet.pdf  also from Radio  Shack mounted on the vertical support brace for the parcel shelf. I mounted it high on the brace and it is not visible from the interior.

To support the speakers I made a couple of steel “L” brackets and screwed them into the speaker casing (carefully) and then mounted them to the fresh air plenum, to the left of the steering column and over the passenger parcel shelf. The photos show the idea. Sorry for the messy wiring. I will clean that up before I finish the electrical work!

I am eager to try this new sound system on the road because it sounds terrific in the garage! Thanks to Roger for a great idea.