Interior Removal

This will be a gradual process, but we did begin the removal of the interior components. Most of the interior will be replaced with new parts, but we will save everything until the new pieces are installed near the end of this project.

The first action taken was to remove the shoulder harness mounting points for both seats. We will probably replace these with retractable belts when we are at that point in the rebuild.

Shoulder Harness Removal

Shoulder Harnesses

At :13 in the video Episode Twenty-Two summary the soft top frame stowage bracket is removed. Each bracket is held in place with three self-tapping sheet metal screws.

Soft Top Frame Stowage Bracket in Place

Soft Top Frame Stowage Bracket

Next was the removal of the rear shelf carpet and its securing snaps. The process begins at the 1:00 minute mark in the video.

Rear Shelf Carpet

At 1:25 minutes into the video, the rear upholstered quarter panels and hardura covered wheel wells are removed.

Quarter Panel and Wheel Cover removal

Because the hardura wheel covers are glued in place, they left quite a mess when removed. We will need to try some adhesive removal to clean the surfaces.

Hardura Residue at Wheel Wells

We discovered that the covers were originally red. A previous owner had dyed or painted them black.

Hardura Covers removed

Although not removed at this point, it was noted that the wiring harness to the rear of the car is routed through a hole in the frame that is covered by the rear quarter panel.

Wiring Harness Behind rear Quarter Panel

 

At 4:24 into the video, the RH side seat, seat rails and carpet are removed. Each seat rail is secured to the floor with two bolts into captive nuts.

RH seat, seat rail and carpet removal

There is a wooden packer piece between the carpet and the floor for each seat rail.

Wood Packing Pieces at the Seat Rails

The upholstered panel under the RH door was then removed. It was held in place with four self tapping oval head screws with cupped trim washers.

Upholstered Panel Under the RH Door

Episode Twenty-Two summarizes the removal of the interior components highlighted above. https://vimeo.com/770800213/f36ec43100

RH Side Front Kick Panel  and Carpet – On November 17, while working on the final installation of the fuel delivery system it became necessary to remove the RH side front kick panel and front carpet. The kick panel was held in place by three self-tapping oval head chrome screws with cup washers and the two slotted screws that hold the door check strap in place. Once the fasteners were removed the kick panel was lifted out of the car exposing the wiring harness that is routed to the rear of the car.

The carpet was held in place with two floor snaps at the top of the carpet.

Video Episode Twenty-four summarizes the removal of these components:https://vimeo.com/773034332/b4bf5c4504

RH front kick panel

RH Side Front Carpet

 

 

Assorted Interior Modifications

Original Interior

The original interior was medium red with black piping using leather and matching “leathercloth” vinyl. Carpet was also red and black armacord finished the boot interior. An adjustable plastic 16 1/2” steering wheel was standard.

Interior Modifications

Upholstery and Carpet

The interior finish materials were supplied by Heritage Trim. http://www.heritagetrim.com/. While somewhat expensive and not particularly fast on delivery, they provide a premium product with top grade materials. As the images show, I decided on black leather upholstery with red piping. Although I would have preferred a brighter red material for the piping, I was quite pleased with Heritage Trim.

Heritage also supplied the carpet, and while a material very close to the original is available, I decided to go with Wilton Wool which is a softer cut pile and to my view a more elegant look.

Heritage Interior

Heritage Interior

 Steering Wheel

The Steering Wheel was replaced with a Moto-Lita wheel made of mahogany wood. It is ordered with a complimentary hub so that the original control head (trafficator) and horn button may be used.

Moto Lita Wheel

Moto Lita Wheel

 Fiberglass Gearbox Cover

Using a Toyota five speed gearbox required relocating the hole for the shifter in the gearbox cover from the original side mount to a center location. A fiberglass cover is available from http://www.britishcarspecialists.com/. The fiberglass cover is lighter, cooler as it does not conduct the heat like the original metal cover, and was easy to modify. I covered the gearbox cover with Dynamat Extreme and an additional layer of aluminum duct insulation to keep things cool.

Fiberglass Gearbox Cover

Fiberglass Gearbox Cover

Interior Insulation

Anyone who has ever driven a stock Healey knows that the interior, particularly in the footwells, can get quite toasty but the combination of sealing firewall holes and installing modern insulation materials can virtually do away with the cockpit heat. I used Dynamat Extreme in the Bloody Beast and then installed a layer of aluminum backed foam duct insulation used in home HVAC systems on top of the Dynamat. All gaps between the pieces of insulation were covered with aluminum tape.

Dynamat Extreme

Dynamat Extreme

Interior Insulation

Aluminum Interior Insulation

Tilted Driver’s Seat

Big Healeys have reasonable legroom for those of us who are over six feet tall, but the designed seating arrangement places the driver very close to the steering wheel. One way to improve on the situation is to add spacers of varying lengths to the studs on the seat rails. The effect is to create a slight rearward tilt to the seat that then permits a little more arm extension for driving. I just picked up the extensions at the local hardware store.

Tilt Seat

Tilted Seat

Cup Holder

While I do not permit any beverages in the Bloody Beast other than water, the good ol’ American cup holder is a convenient accessory to the Healey interior. I borrowed the idea from Roger Conte – Ausmhly rfc_2002@sbcglobal.net. I used a Volkswagen Jetta cup holder #1J0 858 601D and mounted it under the parcel tray. Works like a charm and virtually hidden when not in use. This link will navigate you to the detail page on the cup holder: https://valvechatter.com/?p=3487

Cup Holder Empty

Cup Holder Empty

Alloy Pedal Covers

Just to dress up the pedals a bit and to provide an improved pedal surface, I installed alloy covers on the original pedals. My brake and clutch pedal covers were custom made and a gift from buddy Mick Nordquist, while the accelerator pedal came from Denis Welch Motorsport http://www.bighealey.co.uk/content/wider-accelerator-pedal.

Alloy Pedal Covers

Alloy Pedal Covers

Arm Rest/ Console

The padded arm rest provided as original equipment in the MK1 interior, while attractive in appearance, was pretty useless in that it was too low for one to actually rest an arm on the pad while driving. I decided to use the cushion as supplied by Heritage Trim to fabricate the top of a box or console to be installed on the gearbox/propshaft tunnel.

I began to form my idea for the console by fitting a cardboard shoebox to what I considered to be ideal dimensions, and then built a wooden box to provide some storage along with a fully functional arm rest. I encountered the need for lots of weird angles, but eventually got it all worked out and was very pleased with the outcome. After hinging the top, I covered the box in the wilton wool carpet and created something that appears original to the untrained eye. I could have permanently mounted the box to the tunnel but chose not to do so. This allows me to reposition the arm rest as desired.

Console Installed

Console Installed

Console Box

Console Box

Console Box

Console Box

Console Interior

Console Interior

Console Box

Console Box

Console Lid

Console Lid

Console Installed

Console Installed

Rear Luggage/Parcel Shelf

MKIII owners have a nice luggage shelf behind the front seats if they need more storage space, but MKI owners didn’t have that convenience. Inspired by my upcoming cross-country trip, I decided to bold my own. The shelf is completely removable, but alas, unlike the BJ8 owner, I cannot just fold my up and out of the way. In my case, I either travel with it, or without it. This is the link to assembly directions and more images: https://valvechatter.com/?p=3508

Luggage Shelf

Luggage Shelf

Luggage Shelf

Luggage Shelf

Luggage Shelf

Luggage Shelf

Luggage Shelf

Luggage Shelf

Luggage/Parcel Shelf Image 6

Luggage/Parcel Shelf Image 6

Spare Tire Cover

While not technically the “interior,” I wanted to dress up the boot for appearance purposes nut also to protect clothes or other objects place in the boot that would have been exposed to a spare tire. I had a local upholstery shop sew a cover for me. I then cut a slot in the rear for the hold-down strap and I was in business. It makes for a much cleaner look in the boot.

Spare Tire Cover

Spare Tire Cover

Chapter 54 Restoration Assembly, Week Twenty-Four 5/28/2007

After the LH side rail was carpeted I installed the carpet piece for the driver’s side footbox toeboard. This was the most difficult piece to glue in to the car because it is a little harder to get to (as in standing on your head!) and because it is one piece for two panels. It also incorporates the vertical panel by the gearbox surround. After several iterations of fitting I was pleased with the result and glued it in place. Then on to the RH side.

RH footbox carpet

Next came the two pieces of carpet that are glued to the vertical kickboard bulkhead behind the front seats and the rear seat surround. With some minor trimming they fit nicely. I then glued the two small pieces to the LH and RH side of the rear of the car where the soft top and its frame rests when folded down.

RH rear panel carpet

LH rear panel carpet

Rear seat carpet

The hardware for the rear vertical upholstered panel was then mounted to the car and the panel was dropped into its position.

Rear seats

 The RH side rail carpet was glued to the rail as per the left side installation.

Heritage Upholstery and Trim provides a piece of vinyl (as per original) to cover the RH kickboard panel as it is an “open” piece. I wasn’t pleased with its appearance so I cut a piece of extra carpet I had to cover the opening and I was very satisfied with the results. It looks much better than the vinyl! I then carefully drilled holes through the LH and RH kickboard panels into the car superstructure and screwed them in place #6 stainless flat head screws with trim rings.

RH Kick Panel

After some trial and error fitting and trimming I put the floorboard carpets in place, cutting the rear most pieces to accommodate the seat rails and their mounting strips. I am going to try using velcro for these pieces rather than snapping them in place since I would have to drill holes in the new floorboards for the snaps. I will see how the velcro works and return to the snaps if my solution is not satisfactory.

The two vinyl covered rear quarter panels were installed next. Four #8 flat head stainless wood screws were used on the vertical rails and two #6 pan head screws were used on each of the top horizontal panels. The front seats were then put in place and tightened. I installed bolt extensions on the fasteners on the driver’s seat seat rails to slightly angle (tilting rearword) the driver’s seat. This proved to offer a better driving position for me.

Assembled interior

Assembled interior 2

I am going to delay fitment of the gearbox extension cover and gearbox cover carpet until I have the engine and gearbox in the car just to be sure I end up with a good fit.

Chapter 53 Restoration Assembly, Week Twenty-Three 5/21/2007

My plan is to devote the next couple of weeks to getting the interior finished. This required completing the dynamat extreme application and then adding an additional layer of aluminum insulation of the type that is used around home duct work. I taped all the joints with aluminum tape which resulted in a nice looking job. Of course, looks won’t matter – all the insulation will be covered by carpet or panels, but it should result in a quieter and cooler car!

Interior Insulation 7

Interior Insulation 1

Interior Insulation 6

I was eager to get a little carpet into the Bloody Beast so I pulled out my carpet installation instructions from Rich Chrysler and the digital images from Heritage Upholstery and Trim. The two together provided all the help I needed. BT7 Carpet Install Rich Chrysler The carpet was also supplied by Heritage. I used the wilton wool option and was very impressed with the quality. The first piece in was the LH side rail. All the carpet was secured with Weldwood brush on contact cement.

Editor’s note, May 2020: Rich Chrysler’s son, Geoff, has followed in his footsteps. Geoff has his own interior trimming business named Rightway Heritage Trimming. In addition to his trimming business, he also is currently involved in the restoration of his own 1953 BN1. He keeps an on-line Blog with information about his business projects as well as his own restoration. He posted the following information which provides superb guidance on the installation of a BT7 interior. This link will direct you to a pdf file of the post. Geoff Chrysler BT7 Trimming

Interior Insulation 4