Front Hub Assemblies Installed

We had previously built-up the front hub assemblies including the “A” arms, stub axles, king pins, bearings, hubs, rotors, calipers and etc. This process is covered in “Front Hub Assemblies and Brakes” https://valvechatter.com/?p=13792

The “Front hub Assemblies and Brakes” post also includes a video depicting the process.

“Rebuilt Front Suspension Installed in the Car” https://valvechatter.com/?p=13828 is another post made earlier in the restoration process that is helpful to review before installing the front hub assemblies.

Installing these components can be approached two ways. One can assemble everything on the bench and then mount the entire assembly to the chassis as we did. Alternatively, one can mount the “A” arm and the shock absorber to the chassis and then build-out the assembly on the car. This method is the one explained in the owner’s manual.

Choosing the approach we did certainly made it easier to put the various pieces together, but you end up with a pretty heavy unit that can be a bit of a struggle to mount to the chassis. Resting everything on a floor jack helps, but it is still difficult to get the holes and lower fulcrum pins lined up perfectly. At any rate the job is done.

The two plates below show the various parts that are used to comprise the assemblies. Note that the lower fulcrum pins are inserted from the inside of the chassis cavity with the special washers toward the front and rear of the car. The second plate shows the earlier drum brakes while we are using later front disc brakes.

Front Suspension Components

Front Suspension Components 2

 

Bugeye Restoration Video Episode Seventy-two shows the process of installing the completed front hub assembly to the chassis. https://vimeo.com/981964234/b1aa7a5a24?share=copy

0:00 – Front suspension hub assembly

1:07 – Installing rubber rebound buffers

1:35 – Cleaning paint from chassis mounting area to “A” arms

2:09 – Poly lubricant on fulcrum pins and bushings

2:44 – Moving the hub assembly into position

3:11 – Fulcrum pins and special washers installed

4:26 – Wood spacer blocks installed

4:56 – Upper fulcrum pin locking bolt into shock

5:50 – Coil spring installation

6:30 – Coil spring installation tool

6:54 – Compressing the coil spring

 

The split pin on the upper fulcrum pin was then installed. All bolts and nuts were checked for tightness with the exception of the lower fulcrum pins and nuts to be tightened when the car is on the ground. A little paint touch up on a few scratches completed the process.

Wiring to the rear of the car

We completed the wiring harness for the central part of the car and to the bonnet before the Bugeye went for paint. Now that the car is home we are able to finish up the wiring to the rear so that we can send the harness components off to Rhode Island Wiring to have them wrap the harnesses in cloth braid.

Crawling into the inside rear of a Bugeye, or “hole” as I refer to it, is no easy task. It is best handled by a nimble young contortionist – not by a 6′ 1″ seventy-two year old! Wiring the tail lights with brake lights, flashers and side lights, the license plate lamp, the fuel level sender, the fuel pumps and rear courtesy lights required many a trip into the depths of the “hole.”

The rear flashers require the installation of spire nuts to the body. We purchased some new ones and mounted them.

Rear Flashers Spire Nuts

The original Sprite MK I had a mechanical fuel pump but with the onset of later Sprites, and the 1275 engine, the design was modified to incorporate a rear mounted electric pump. In our case, we mounted the SU pump as it would have been secured in the later Sprites, but we also added in series a redundant low-pressure Facet pump with a dash mounted switch enabling the driver to switch between the two pumps as desired. The center position on the switch disconnects power to both pumps providing a form of anti-theft deterrent.

We fit the rear courtesy lights to each of the rear boot trim panels. We purchased the panels from Bugeyeguys.com. They required considerable trimming to fit them to the car, but once achieved we were able to mount the lights and complete the necessary wiring. The panels will eventually be covered in a red vinyl that matches the other interior panels.

Rear Trim Panels and Courtesy Lights

In the rear we resorted to using rubber covered bullet connectors for a number of fittings. This was done because it is hard to reach into the back of the car and if it became necessary to separate wires for one reason or another it is easier to accomplish with the bullet connectors as opposed to the Deutsch connectors. Since weather isn’t an issue in the boot we should not experience any problems with the bullet connectors.

Once we established our wire lengths and connections we pulled the harness out of the car to send off to have them braided in black with the signature baby-blue tracer used in the Sprite. Originally, all of the wires to the rear of the car were bundled in one braided wire package and routed to the rear under the door sill and rear trim panels. Because we added wires to the mix we decided to bundle the wires into two four-wire groups to run in parallel under the panels. Hopefully this will cause the trim panels to protrude less and yield a nicer finished product.

Bugeye Restoration Video Episode Seventy-one shows the creation and installation of the electrical wiring in the rear of the car for the exterior lights, interior courtesy lights, the fuel pumps, and the fuel sender for the fuel gauge. Fitting of the rear trim panels is also shown.

https://vimeo.com/978445012/5aa017a2ba?share=copy

The following content is found in this video:

0:00 – Wiring for tail lights and flashers

1:24 – Spire nuts for side lights/flashers

1:40 – Wiring the side light/flasher fixtures

2:40 – Chrome trim rings and red beehive glass

3:25 – All rear lights mounted

3:36 – Internal rear lights wiring

4:17 – License plate wiring

5:39 – Dash “F” connector wiring to the rear of the car

6:15 – Bullet connectors for lights wiring

7:54 – Rear courtesy lights and trim panels

12:15 – Fuel pump wiring

14:43 – Facet fuel pump fuel filter

15:00 – Fuel level sender

15:42 – Floor rubber grommet for fuel sender wire

16:00 – Removing wiring to have Rhode Island Wiring braid the harness

16:28 – Taping the wires

 

Dashboard Upholstery and Assembly

We were eager to see what the red interior upholstery was going to look like with the Cotswold Blue paint. The interior upholstered panels from Bugeyeguys arrived and so we set the panels in place to have a look. We are biased, of course, but we are more than pleased. We think we hit upon a beautiful color combination. The photo appears to brighter than the red actually is. The dash vinyl matches the interior panels and is a truer color depiction.

Interior panels

Next, it was time to wrap the dash in the matching red vinyl. We need to install the assembled dash in the car so that we can complete our wiring harness to the rear of the car. So after glueing the vinyl to the dash with 3M 77 adhesive we also installed all of the gauges and most of the switches.

3M Super 77 Adhesive

We held off on those items that extend through the firewall such as the water temperature and oil pressure gauge, the heater switch, as well as the choke, and starter switches/cables. In addition we covered the face of the hidden switch panel under the dash and installed its components.

Finally we made all of our electrical connections and temporarily installed the dash in the car. The entire process is shown in the Bugeye Restoration Episode Sixty-nine Video

https://vimeo.com/960749153/8aa0edf407?share=copy

The following steps are addressed in the video:

0:00 – Interior panels arrive

0:13 – Cockpit aluminum trim

1:11 – Dash vinyl applied

2:48 – Hidden switch panel

4:12 – Cutting holes in the covered dash

4:30 – Upholstery clips

5:00 -Grab handle and RH ground bus bar

5:30 – Washer pump install

6:18 – Ignition switch

8:18 – “D” and “F” connector harnesses installed

9:20 – Turn indicator warning lamp

9:30 – Fuel gauge

10:00 – Turn indicator switch

10:20 – Turn indicator warning lamp

11:00 – Fuel gauge

11:19 – Wiper switch

11:37 – Speedometer, tachometer, panel light switch and wiper rheostat knob

11:50 – Panel light switch

12:12 – Power inverter cube

12:18 – Dash wiring complete

13:44 – Disconnect instructions for dash removal from the car

14:55 – Completed dash

15:27 – Hidden switch panel

15:47 – Dash temporarily installed

And now on to the rear electrical connections and the wiring harness completion.

 

Front Shocks and Rear Bumpers

We know, this is an odd combination of things. The installation of the shocks was driven by a need to get something substantial mounted on the car. Silly, but gratifying.

Front LH Shock Installed

The rear bumpers, on the other hand, were installed for a very practical reason:  because we wanted something to hold onto at the rear of the car to move it around the garage on its dolly. Pushing the car by placing one’s hands on the boot area just didn’t seem like a good idea with fresh paint.

Bugeye Restoration Video Episode Sixty-eight shows the installation of the front shocks and the rear bumpers:

https://vimeo.com/960378353/c6dafdba0f?share=copy

0:00 – Front shock absorbers installation

1:06 – Rear bumper installation

Home From Paint

On June 3, 2024 most of the Bugeye came home from the paint shop. The doors, bonnet and few odds and ends remain to be painted, but it was nice to get the chassis home to begin the reassembly process. Most of the parts clean-up and painting have already been completed, so for the most part our next steps will be about getting everything back on the car.

This is an image of Gabor Fodor who painted the Bugeye. Obviously, pleased with his work.

A pleased Painter, Gabor Fodor

A Healey friend, Gary Cox, helped me get the car to the paint shop and he also helped us get the Bugeye home. Thank you Gary! Could not have done it without you, your truck and your trailer.

Bugeye Restoration Video Episode Sixty-seven shows the home delivery and the installation of the number identification plates on the car:

https://vimeo.com/960346111/7bf3cbd398?share=copy