Big Healey

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 […]

The Bloody Beast – 1960 Austin-Healey 3000 MKI BT7

First Drive

Welcome to my website covering the history, restoration and “personalizations” to my 1960 Austin Healey 3000 Mk I affectionately known as “The Bloody Beast.” Feel free to email me with questions, suggestions  and/or comments. As I progress, I would love to have your feedback so please offer comments. Cheers, Lin Bradenton, FL    

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 […]

Ignition BT7

123 Distributor

Editor Update: Originally posted in 2012 The Original Ignition System Distributor: Lucas DM6A Coil: Lucas HA 12 volt Spark Plugs: Champion UN12Y Modified Ignition System Distributor Having converted the Bugeye to electronic ignition with a Crane system, I knew that I wanted to use electronic ignition with the Bloody Beast, but unlike the Crane system, […]

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 […]

Adding a Reverse Gear “Back-up” Light

I use a Toyota 5-speed gearbox in the Bloody Beast, but I have never taken advantage of the “back-up” light switch feature that is available on the transmission. Our Healeys did not have a “back-up” light. Steve Gerow discovered a LED light made for the job designed to be mounted on the lower holes of […]

1-2-3 Ignition Installation

I am making this post to provide documentation for others on the subject of 1-2-3 electronic distributors and their installation in Big Healeys. There isn’t too much content regarding the 1-2-3 distributors on the Healey Forums, but I suspect that I am not the only one using this product from the Netherlands. I am not […]

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; […]

Overnight Travel Cover

Having attended many multi-day car shows such as Conclaves and Encounters, I have seen travel covers that cover just the top of the car and offer interior protection from the elements, but don’t cover the full body of the car. The beauty of these is that they are light and easy to manage when traveling. […]

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 […]

Chapter 85 Week Fifty-Five December 31, 2007

Week long trip to Florida to celebrate the New Year!

Chapter 90 Week Sixty February 4, 2008

After doing some research on the soft top, I have decided to order a Robbins top and tonneau. I was originally going to use the Sun-Fast cloth material, but have decided to use the material that is closer to the original vinyl. They should arrive this week and then I will decide if I will […]

Chapter 89 Week Fifty-Nine January 28, 2008

I began some work on the hardtop. The first step was the installation of the aluminum trim and cant rails, followed by the headliner and finally the rubber seals and the windlace. The article prepared by Roger Moment and the photos provided by John Homonek were a big help, but I discovered that advice on […]

Chapter 88 Week Fifty-Eight January 21, 2008

Jeremy Turner came by the house and helped me make final adjustments to the doors. The fit is good, but not quite as nice as I would prefer. The aluminum wings just don’t fit as well with the doors as the original steel wings, but as my wife, Judith, says, “only you and a concourse judge […]

Chapter 80 Week Fifty November, 26 2007

I had a little fun today, on the first day of December, 2007! I was able to drive the car, sans most of its bodywork, in the driveway and on our tennis court. Not far, but enough to enjoy the thrill of the progress to this point. I think the grin on my face says […]

Chapter 87 Week Fifty-Seven January 14, 2008

The windscreen was a very tight fit! I suppose that it should be to minimize leaks, but it took some tugging on a drift through one of the lower mounting holes in the stanchion and a lot of pushing to finally get the uppermost capscrew to thread into place. The RH side didn’t require any […]

Chapter 86 Week Fifty-Six January 7, 2008

After a week away from the Healey, I was eager to get back to the final assembly work. Connecting the check strap to each of the doors with the clevis pin was next. I found that making sure the check strap nut was sufficiently tight to hold the door open needed to be done first, […]

Chapter 84 Week Fifty-Four December 24, 2007

Today (Monday) is Christmas Eve and there is much to be done, so only a little Healey work will happen on this day, but I had a good week. I did manage to install the rubber buffers on the front shroud sill bonnet opening. Three on the left side and two in the right plus […]

Chapter 83 Week Fifty-Three December 17, 2007

This week begins my second year of restoration assembly. I have some time off in the next two weeks so I am hopeful that at the end of the Christmas holiday I will have my front body components on the car. While waiting for the carb repair, I decided to start a little work on […]

Chapter 82 Week Fifty-Two December 10, 2007

I sent my front HD8 carb back to Joe Curto. I suspect a faulty diaphragm causing a leak. When I get it back and on the car then I can finish up the cruise control throttle installation and the front bodywork. In the meantime I went ahead and installed the rear aluminum cockpit moulding. I used […]

Chapter 79 Week Forty-Nine November, 19 2007

  I am now waiting on Jack Harper to get free from his shop duties at Coachworks to come by the house and help me with starting and tuning the engine. While waiting, I took a few moments to check on  sealing the firewall from fumes and heat emitted from the engine bay. I turned […]