Alfa Ownership & Maintenance Blog

February 15, 2021

70,747 miles on the odometer

In the last ten days or so I have tracked some of the low hanging fruit to fix on Alfie, I have continued my cleaning – but this time under the car, and I decided to trace the fuel system and vacuum hoses to inventory the types and sizes of hose clamps used on the car. Most of the original hose clamps are still on the car but a number have been replaced and usually with cheap inappropriate clamps. The clamp inventory project turned out to require a bigger effort and time commitment than I thought. I will make this the subject of a separate category and post at this location: https://valvechatter.com/?cat=2043.

I ordered an upper radiator hose and installed it only to discover that the radiator leak must be from the top of the tank rather than from a perished old hose! This will require some further attention, but it looks like either a radiator repair or replacement is in my future.

The handbrake did not function at all so I undertook a fault finding mission and the restoration of braking. As it turned out, the handbrake mechanism located at the rear of the differential was rusted in place and frozen preventing the operation of the brakes. 

This is a photo of the original cable mechanism. As the center cable is pulled (at the top in the image) when the handbrake arm is lifted, the two brackets with the LH and RH cables (in the middle of the swivel arms) are supposed to pivot and pull the drum brake cables tight. However, mine was rusted and frozen in place and consequently did not operate properly. 

Handbrake Center Cable Mechanism Mounted

I ordered a new mechanism from Centerline International and installed it on the car. The original part number is 605.17074 with Centerline’s order number being BC420. The item was $59.50.

Alfa Center Brake Cable

After removing the old assembly, I took the opportunity to clean up the differential a bit more  and I painted the two steel mounting blocks just to prevent them from further rusting.

Handbrake Assembly Mounts

I then installed the new assembly. I applied synthetic grease to the rotating components. Yes, that really nasty looking brake pipe is one of the next few items that will get my attention!

Handbrake Assembly Installed

At the other end of the cable I attached a new fork to the handbrake lever with a cleaned-up clevis pin and new split pin. The cable slides through a threaded fixture on the car chassis. It is the red item in the photo below. The cylindrical device is a rotary adjuster that is used to tighten/loosen the slack in the primary center cable.

brake cable adjuster

The first step in actually adjusting the handbrake is to place something heavy on the handbrake handle to keep it down (depressed) while making alterations to the system. I then lifted the rear of the car so as to remove both rear wheels/tires. This makes the rear brake rotors accessible. The handbrake works by expanding two small brake shoes inside the drum (rotor). There is a star adjustment wheel inside the drum that expands and contracts the shoes against the drum surface. Using a screwdriver the star adjuster can be moved toward the front of the car (loosen/contract) or toward the rear of the car (tighten/expand).

After removing the disc brake caliper one can loosen and remove two screws and then pull away the rotor/drum – AFTER CONTRACTING THE SHOES. However, in my case it was not necessary to remove the caliper and rotor drum. Because the handbrake is almost exclusively used when the car is stationary, the shoes actually have very little wear.

Rear Brake Rotor & Handbrake Drum

Brake Shoe Adjustment Wheel

Turning the Adjustment Wheel

I then turned the adjustment wheel on both the LH and RH wheels to fully tighten the shoes against the drum. I then loosened each adjustment wheel three clicks. This enables the wheels to turn freely or perhaps with just a slight friction or rub. Once this is accomplished, the next step is to turn the cylindrical cable adjuster to tighten (not overly) the center pull cable for the brakes. This process resulted in my handbrake working fully on the third click on the brake pawl.

I then reinstalled both rear wheels/tires and torques the lug nuts to 70 ft. lbs. I then tested the handbrake in the driveway and again after a short test drive and concluded that one more task could be checked off the list! 

The rubber door buffer on the RH door was broken and deteriorating. I ordered a replacement from Classic Alfa part number RB061 for $7.10 and installed it by removing two Phillips head screws from a threaded captured plate pin the rear of the door.

Rubber door buffer

Rubber Door Buffer Installed

The Alfa has power mirrors on each door. They are controlled by a small switch with a rotational stalk on the center console and each mirror is selected by turning a ring with a selector tab to one side or the other. Alfie was missing the selector ring but I was able to find one (and a spare) from a fellow Alfa owner who frequents the Alfa Bulletin Board. The little ring must be carefully positioned on the switch and then pressed into place. Once installed Alfie’s mirrors both functioned properly!

Power mirror control

Power Mirror Switch

Power Mirror Selector Ring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 31, 2021

70,735 miles on the odometer

After a longer than expected storage at the Madison Automotive Apprentices Shop in Harrisonburg, VA I finally transported Alfie to our home in Florida. We don’t really have the space for him, but we will make do. I need a project, Alfie needs some work and the time is right!

Passport Transport (Camille) moved the car to Florida. The process took about four days. here is a shot of the car being unloaded in Bradenton.

Passport Transport Delivering Alfie to Florida

Alfie Unloaded in Bradenton

While he looked good in the Florida sunshine, he was actually quite dirty. He started just fine. The brakes felt a little squishy, but I drove Alfie the 2-3 miles home from the delivery point.

The first thing I did was wash, polish (with a buffer) and wax the car just so it had some protection and, of course, he looks a lot better too. I then began a process of inspection and discovery to see what worked properly and what did not. I began with the interior and exterior while the car was on the ground and then followed that with putting it on the garage lift to clean and inspect the underside. I took literally hundreds of photos and made a few videos of the entire car. I can use these to compare my car to others and to answer my own questions about how things were BEFORE I started tearing things apart. My experience with this is that you can never have enough photos. More is always better.

After Wash and Wax

I was pleased, and surprised to find that most things electrical worked as they should. A few needed some cleaning and coaxing such as the courtesy lamps. I have spent a lot of time on the Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board and learned a great deal. One of the contributors suggested that I should snap the door jamb switches a few times and spray them with some electronics contact cleaner. I did just that, and like magic the courtesy lights are now working! 

I am sure that I will discover many other items that need attention but this is my first list of things that need to be addressed. Should be fun!

  1. The upper radiator hose leaks. I installed a new heavy duty clamp and really cranked it down but it still leaks so I have ordered a new hose to try it before I conclude that I have a radiator problem.
  2. Both power windows are slow (probably from lack of use), and the driver side window will only operate with the door open suggesting that I may have a wiring issue in the door jamb where the wires pass from the body to the door.
  3. Both of the door upper trim pieces need to be replaced – especially the RH side.
  4. The car has a fairly strong fuel smell that seems to be emanating from the trunk as opposed to the engine bay.
  5. The car is missing its radiator shroud. I have a new one to install at some point.
  6. I need to locate the water temperature sensor that is typically located on the shroud.
  7. The dash pad has a couple of bad cracks on the top – very common.
  8. The windshield is slightly fogged on the “A” post LH side.
  9. The front license plate mount is still on the car. A front plate is not required in Florida so I will remove the bracket.
  10. I do not know the age of the fuel hose and vacuum lines in the engine or from the fuel tank to the front of the car. These will all need to be replaced. Most of the hose clamps look pretty well used or weathered so I will look into replacing them as well.
  11. The mirror control switch is missing its bezel that allows the operator to select the LH or RH mirror for adjustment. These apparently break fairly easily and they are hard to find. I located a couple and have ordered them.
  12. The front, under dash speakers appear to be Alfa originals – at least the speaker grilles have the Alfa Romeo name. They don’t sound very good so I may see if I can find some improved speakers that can use the same grilles. There are also some rear speakers located on the rear parcel shelf that are not working.
  13. There is a lamp at the rear view mirror. I really do not know how it operates so I will need to explore that a bit more.
  14. The speedometer needle does twitch especially at lower speed so I may need to look at the cable?
  15. The heater blower does not work at all and I discovered a brand new heater blower motor in the trunk of the car that was purchased by a previous owner. Some of the Bulletin Board posters have suggested reaching up to the fan opening under the dash to see if the fan action can be freed by starting it with a finger push. I will give that a try. Everyone says that accessing the heater and its motor is a royal pain in the _ss, so this job will be put off for a while. 
  16. The air conditioner blower works just fine but apparently the compressor does not and I am sure that it needs a coolant conversion and refill. The crank/compressor pulley belt is not on the car.
  17. Under the car there seems to be a slight leak at the brake pipe joint located near the fuel filter.
  18. The pinion seal on the rear differential appears to be leaking. the casing was quite oily and dirty. 
  19. It is hard to tell at this point, but I am obviously experiencing a pretty good leak from the engine rear main and/or the transmission.
  20. The flex disk or guibo looks to be in satisfactory condition. I don’t see any cracks in the rubber. However, I know that the center driveshaft support bearing and housing is bad and needs to be replaced. Again, a previous owner purchased new items and they are in the trunk of the car. Looks like I get to be the lucky one to replace them!
  21. The welded front muffler bracket that attached to the brace on the transmission has been broken off and is missing completely.
  22. A number of the mounting brackets and clamps (fuel filter, fuel pump, exhaust) located under the car are quite rusty, they are still functioning as they should but look pretty bad.
  23. The rockers or sills on both sides of the car a quite rusty and will need to be repaired/replaced at some point. The front floor boards and the spare tire wheel well have also been patched – probably Bondo. I will need to remove all of that and properly patch with metal.

I am sure that I have only touched the surface of issues with Alfie, but it is a start and gives me a list of parts I need to order and install or repair.

July 10, 2017

70,600 miles on the Odometer

Ignition Update

I am experiencing some starting problems that seem to be due to a partial discharge of the battery after the car has been sitting. Not knowing the car and what others may have changed/updated/disconnected or connected, I thought I would begin by replacing components in the ignition system including the distributor cap, ignition wires, rotor and coil. I ordered these components from Centerline International.https://www.centerlinealfa.com/store

Centerline International Invoice

Old Coil to be Replaced

New Bosch Coil to be Installed

New Bosch Coil to be Installed

 

I began the task by removing the old coil. There are a total of six wires connected to the coil terminals. The (-) terminal has four wires secured to the mounting post with an 8mm nut: a larger cream-colored wire, a white wire with a black tracer, a yellow wire, and a white wire. The (+) terminal has two wires and both of them are light green with black tracers.

Wiring to the Old Coil

Wiring to the Old Coil

To access the mounting bracket nuts for the coil, I found it easier to first remove the coolant recovery tank. This was accomplished by loosening the screw in the bracket connection and then lifting the tank temporarily out of the way.

Coolant Overflow Tank Mounting Bracket

I was then able to remove the old coil and install the new one:

New Bosch Coil Installed

I then carefully marked each ignition wire with a number to designate its location for replacement, and after also marking the old distributor cap for location purposes, I snapped the top off of the black plastic loom to free the wires.

Ignition Wiring Loom Harness

I then disconnected each wire at the spark plugs and popped free the two securing clips on the distributor cap. I could then lift away the old cap and wiring. I had previously disconnected the coil wire while replacing the coil.

The new wiring came with numbers on each wire. After properly locating the wires in the appropriate place on the new distributor cap, I pushed the wires into their seats. This is a tight fit and they were somewhat difficult to fully seat. The coil wire included a rubber cap to press fit over the top of the coil.

New Bosch Distributor Cap

Alfa Spider Ignition Wiring Kit

I then removed the old rotor and installed a new Bosch rotor on the distributor shaft.

New Bosch Rotor

New Bosch Rotor Installed

The new distributor cap and ignition wiring assembly was then reinstalled to the distributor and to each of the spark plugs and to the coil. The coolant recovery bracket was replaced, the coolant tank was restored to its mounted position and the bracket was screwed back together. 

The task was then  completed with a successful test drive.

However, I discovered the next morning that the battery discharge issue remains and I will now begin my sleuthing to try to discover the source of the problem.

Battery Clamp Set

My battery bracket/clamp was pretty rusty and partially consumed by battery acid. I could have replaced it with a universal clamp for considerably less expense, but I chose to purchase and install the proper clamp set from Alfaholics in the UK. https://www.alfaholics.com/parts/105-series/electrical/battery-clamp-set/

Battery Clamp Invoice from Alfaholics

This is an image of the battery clamp set as it was received:

Alfa Battery Bracket

I just did not have the space at our home to keep Alfie and not having the time to work on him, I decided to relocate Alfie to a friend’s shop. After some sleuthing about, it was discovered that the start-up injector in the fuel injection system was not functioning properly and it was replaced. This solved the start-up mystery and the car now starts without any hesitation!

Assorted Fuel System Modifications

Fuel Pump and Fuel Lines

Fuel Pump and Fuel Lines

The Original Fuel System

The fuel system consists of the fuel tank, the fuel pump, the carburetters and the air cleaners. The original fuel system included the following: Fuel tank: 14.4 U.S. gallon steel tank Fuel pump: SU electric Carburetters: Twin 1 3/4” semi-downdraft HD6 Air Cleaners: Coopers “pancake” type.

 Modified Fuel System

Aluminum Fuel Tank

I replaced the steel tank with an aluminum version sourced from Hemphill’s Healey Haven in Maryland.

Fuel tank aluminum

Aluminum Fule Tank

Solid State SU Fuel Pump

I used the original mounting bracket, but replaced the pump with a solid state version of the original fuel pump. The pump was supplied by Burlen in the U.K.

Solid State Fuel Pump

Solid State Fuel Pump

 Redundant Fuel Pump

I expected the solid state unit to perform better than the original with its “points,” but I still remember problems with the original pump while I was driving the car in college. I would give it a few good “whacks,” and it would start pumping again. I had read about installing a redundant pump either parallel or in-line to avoid dead fuel pump problems. I mounted the auxiliary pump on the rear boot wall and ran it in-line with the SU. The restoration blog explains the installation. I used a Master E8016S electric pump available from Autozone. I installed a toggle switch on a small switch panel under the wiper motor that controls the fuel pumps. At center, neither pump is activated (a great anti-theft device); a throw upward activates the SU pump, and a throw downward activates the Master Pump. The pumps can be switched on the fly.

Master Fuel Pump

Master Fuel Pump

 

Aux fuel pump

Auxiliary Fuel Pump Installed

Toggle Switch Panel

Toggle Switch Panel

Fuel Gauge Dampener

Every Healey owner experiences the erratic swings of the fuel gauge needle. Zims Autotechnik, www.allzim.com , 1804 Reliance Parkway, Bedford, TX 76021, 800-356-2964, sells a little electronic device (see image to the right) that mitigates the needle swing. I believe it was originally conceived for the Porsche 356. Steve Gerow shared this little tip. I ordered one, installed it in a few minutes and sure enough it works! $19.95 for the part. Fuel Gauge Dampener instructions.JPG are provided, but Steve’s photo tells the whole story!

Fuel Gauge Dampener

Fuel Gauge Dampener

 

Carburetters

I replaced the original HD6 SU carbs with 2″ HD8s to boost HP a bit. I purchased these from someone on the Healey list and had them rebuilt by Joe Curto. I was pleased with his results. The older used units polished nicely. Using the HD8s did require switching to a later intake manifold from a BJ8 as well, to take advantage of the 2″ diameter carbs.

HD8 Carbs

HD8 Carbs

Carburetter Choke

The choke mechanism for the BJ8 carbs is a dual line system as opposed to the single cable used with the original HD6 carbs. So, I ordered the HD8 choke bracket and cabling and installed it in the Bloody Beast.

Choke Firewall Bracket

Choke Firewall Bracket

Air Cleaners

In 2008 when I restored my car, I decided to replace the original pancake Cooper air cleaners and use the “itg” competition foam air cleaner available from Denis Welch. The air cleaner is a single unit working with both carburetors. For appearances, I painted the red plastic body of the air cleaner a gloss black.

However, recently, as part of my “ten-year renewal” process I have moved away from the ITG filter and now use twin ram pipes with individual trumpet filters. This change is explained in this post: https://valvechatter.com/?p=12574

ITG Air Cleaner

ITG Air Cleaner

Aston Quick Release Fuel Filler Cap

I like the looks of the racing heritage Aston cap that also has its practical ease of use advantage. To install, it is necessary to cut off the original fuel filler pipe and solder a threaded ring onto the pipe. The cap then screws onto the collar. It gives a very nice finish to the fuel system!

Aston threaded collar

Aston threaded collar

Aston Fuel Filler Cap

Aston Fuel Filler Cap

 

Fuel System

Petrol Filter

AC supplied the fuel filtration device for the Jaguar. My early version includes a filtration screen, but newer versions have a paper filter in the bowl.

The filter is bolted to a mounting bracket with two 5/16″ – 24 x 3/4″ hex head bolts, split washers and hex nuts. The bracket and filter are then mounted to the RH wing valance with two 5/16″ – 24 x 3/4″ hex head bolts, split washers and hex nuts.

Petrol Filter

Petrol Filter

Petrol Filter & Bracket

Petrol Filter & Bracket

I trial fit the fuel filter and fuel pipe to the RH valance.
Fuel Filter and Fuel Pipe Installed

Fuel Filter and Fuel Pipe Installed

Fuel Lines

I am replacing the hard brake lines, but the original hard fuel lines were in very good shape. I just cleaned them before reinstalling.

Cleaned Fuel lines

 

The hard fuel lines run along the RH frame rail. Rather than using the original mounting clips, I used a double stainless steel clip that permitted running the fuel and brake pipe in parallel on one side of the clip and the battery cable in the other. Information and photos of the fuel line installation can be found here” https://valvechatter.com/?p=6627.

Petrol Tank Filter

I ordered a new filter for the tank.

Petrol Tank Filter

Petrol Tank Filter

Petrol Pump

I ordered a new SU electronic petrol pump to replace the old, but still functioning unit.

SU Electronic Petrol Pump AZX1308EN

SU Electronic Petrol Pump AZX1308EN

As part of the trial fitting process, I installed the two rubber grommets with their metal “distance tubes” in the boot. Pushing the grommets into place is no easy task. I placed them in boiling water for a few minutes to soften them and it did seem to help. Also put a little vaseline on the mounting plate to which they are affixed.

Petrol Filter & Bracket

Petrol Filter & Bracket

A black 14 AWG wire is used as the ground for the pump and it attaches to the mounting plate via a #10 – 32 x 1/2″  machine screw, flat washer, split washer, and nut. A spade connector is located on the pump for the other end of the wire.

Ground Wire Mounting for Fuel Pump

Ground Wire Mounting for Fuel Pump

I cut the new nylon hoses, sourced from SNG Barratt, to length using the originals as patterns, and pressed them onto their pump fittings. I then installed the pump by inserting the pump mounting studs through special large washers (to evenly compress the rubber grommets) and then fastened in place with lock washers and nuts.

Fuel Pump Mounting Studs, Special Washers and nuts

Fuel Pump Mounting Studs, Special Washers and nuts

Installed Fuel Pump with Nylon Hoses

Installed Fuel Pump with Nylon Hoses

Petrol Hoses

New petrol hoses were purchased for installation. I had purchased the hard nylon tubing from SNG Barrett as shown in the image above, but have since decided to use rubber fuel hose. The rubber hose is easier to work with. I did not want to use the fuel tank for the fuel source for  a test start-up of the engine, so I plumbed the fuel pump, including the relocated fuel filter, and will use a five gallon plastic fuel can sitting in the spare tire well.

Fuel Pump Hose Fittings 5/16″ Rubber Fuel Hose

Fuel Hose with Filter to Temporary Fuel Source

 

The petrol hose fittings from the petrol pump were cleaned and clear cad plated for re-use.

Fasteners for Petrol Pump Hose

Fasteners for Petrol Pump Hose

The image below shows these fasteners securing the fuel hard line that travels to the front of the car from the fuel pump. The image was taken from the floor, looking up to the underside of the boot.

Fuel Connection From Pump to Pipe to Engine Bay

Petrol Tank Element Unit

The unit is secured to the tank with six set screws and 12 copper washers and a cork seal. The unit is positioned in the tank so that the float is toward the front of the car. I did check the fuel gauge with my multimeter and found it to be functioning properly. The swing motion of the Petrol tank Element Unit float arm worked just fine and the interior of the units seemed to be clean and without damage so I just cleaned up the exterior of the mechanism and got it ready to reinstall when the time comes. I ordered a new seal.

Petrol Tank Element Unit, Seal and Fasteners

Petrol Tank Element Unit, Seal and Fasteners

Throttle Link Rod Assembly on Trunnion

I just media blasted this throttle controls component to zinc plate for reuse.

Throttle Link Rod Assembly on Trunnion

Throttle Link Rod Assembly on Trunnion

Throttle Link Rod Assembly on Trunnion

Throttle Link Rod Assembly on Trunnion

SU HD6 Carburetors

I am using the original HD6s used on my 3.8 motor. The carbs and all of the hardware were cleaned and inspected by Joe Curto and rebuilt by Mike Gassman. Mike tuned for the run-in, but I will re-tune after the engine is in the car and operating with load. These are tuning instructions located on the Moss Motors website:

SU Carb Tuning

Carburetors Fuel Feed Pipe

I am not using the original “pancake” air cleaner designed for the 3.8 MK2. I just cannot cover up the beautiful twin cam engine with a big ugly air cleaner, so I will be using small air cleaners located at each carb. This does create a few logistics problems. For starters, the original carb fuel feed pipe junction fitting and flexible line to the fuel filter on the RH engine bay valance conflict with the front air cleaner. This image illustrates the problem with fitting individual air cleaner using the original fuel feed pipe.

Original Fuel Feed Pipe to Carbs

Original Fuel Feed Pipe to Carbs

I had a new fuel feed pipe made using the original fittings with a relocated junction to avoid the problem.

Original Carb Fuel Feed Pipe & Fittings

Original Carb Fuel Feed Pipe & Fittings

Modified Carb Fuel Feed Pipe

Modified Carb Fuel Feed Pipe

 

The Auxiliary Starting Carburetor – Otter Switch

The auxiliary carburetor is an enrichment device to make starting the car easier. The unit is actuated by a thermostatic switch (Otter Switch). These switches are notorious for failure; however, Mike Eck, best known for his Jaguar clock repair, upgrades the original Otter Switch by by putting a sealed thermostatic module inside it, so it looks the same as it did originally but works reliably.  At the time I had his improvement fitted he charged $45 for the modification.

Otter Switch

Otter Switch

The electrical connection from the otter switch to the solenoid of the enrichment carb is achieved with a dark green 18 AWG wire in a rubber sleeve. 

Otter Switch Electrical Connection to Auxiliary Starting Carb

The thermostatically controlled enrichment caburetter is actuated by a solenoid. The additional electrical connection for the solenoid comes from a four way snap connector on the RH engine bay valance. The connector joins the 18 AWG light green/white from the enrichment carb solenoid with the wire emanating from fuse position #22 to the brake switch. In other words, the starting carb gets its power from the powered side of the brake switch located on the RH engine bay valance.

 

Trial Installation Update

Carburetor Mounting

I installed the carbs as an assembly. I loosened the couplings between the connecting rod and the throttle spindles, fully closed each butterfly and then secured the couplings. In my case because I am not using the original air cleaner, I had to remove the dowel bolts that connects the throttle stop bracket between the front and rear carbs. I replaced the dowel bolts with 5/16″-24 x 1″ hex head bolts and nuts. After the carbs were mounted to the inlet manifold I removed the two nuts and the 1″ hex head bolt was then used for the installation of the air cleaner.

Before mounting the carb assembly on the inlet manifold I first installed one gasket (c.7221), then an insulator block (C.8486) and then another gasket (C.7221) on the four 5/16″-24 inlet manifold studs for each carburetor.

Gaskets and Insulator Blocks between Carb Bodies and Inlet Manifold

I then mounted the assembly and securely tightened split washers and nuts on each of the eight studs. Before tightening the two nuts/washers on the lower studs of the front carburetor, I reinstalled the bracket assembly for the throttle return spring anchorage. I cleaned and painted the bracket but this is what it looked like prior to “clean-up.”

Bracket Assembly on Front Carburetor

Fuel Delivery

After the carburetor assembly is mounted on the inlet manifold, the starting pipe assembly is connected with two short pieces of neoprene fuel hose requiring four Jubilee Hose Clips. I don’t have a good photo of the staring pipe full assembly, but these are the three components that screw into the underside of the inlet manifold.

Front Manifold Starting Pipe Assembly

Center Manifold Starting Pipe Assembly

Rear Manifold Starting Pipe Assembly

The neoprene hose connections are not simply made and must be done from below the car. These can be seen in the photo below, although they are somewhat difficult to ascertain. The photo was taken from below the car.

Manifold Starting Pipe Assembly Fuel Hose Connections

I have decided to move the fuel filter from the engine bay. 

I am sure that the original design is perfectly fine, but I was never fond of Jaguar’s placement of the fuel filter on the RH engine bay valance. The filter has a glass bowl that is functional permitting easy viewing of fuel flow and any sediment caught by the filter, but I am leary of fuel in glass in an engine compartment. With no insulation, the fuel is also subject to “boiling” after the engine has been run and then parked due to residual engine heat. 

Eliminating the original AC fuel filter from the engine bay also gives me some much needed room under the bonnet. With my modifications including air conditioning, power steering, and carb mounted air cleaners among other items, space in the engine bay is at a premium.

Jaguar located the petrol pump in the LH side of the boot and I decided to do the same with the fuel filter. I will install a Fram G-2 opaque plastic filter  between the fuel tank and the fuel pump.

Fram G-2 Fuel Filter

I cut the long 5/16″ steel fuel line that travels along the RH frame rail from the rear of the car to the front slightly above, but near the oil filter. I installed a ninety degree elbow female compression brass fitting to the end of the fuel line. Holyoke P/N 70-54, 5/16 compression to 1/4 NPT. The elbow is attached to a male 1/4″ NPT to 5/16″ barb fitting.  I then ran a 5/16″ ethanol resistant rubber fuel hose from the barbed fitting to the barbed fitting on the carburetor fuel delivery pipe. Used two 11-16mm jubilee hose clamps.

Brass Connection Hardware from Fuel Pipe to Rubber Fuel Hose

Fuel line from tank is connected to the rubber fuel hose that is routed to the Caburetters

A Jubilee Hose Clip is used to tighten the hose on the barbed fitting.

The image below shows the new rubber fuel hose running from the head fuel line under the car to the carburetor fuel feed pipe.

Fuel Hose from Carb Fuel Feed Pipe to Hard Pipe from Tank

Throttle Return Springs

With all of the fuel delivery hose connections made, I then attached the throttle link rod assembly on trunnion – part #81 in the schematic to the bell crank lever assembly from the accelerator controls and tightened the securing screw holding the ball joint together.

Throttle Link Rod Assembly

I then moved onto the throttle return springs. The shorter spring is the return spring from the lever on the front carburetor to the anchor bracket mounted below the front carburetor (photo shown above). The longer spring is the return spring from the linkage to the Bracket on the Oil Cleaner.

Throttle Return Springs

My next step was to loosen the two float chamber overflow pipes at the float bowls so that the pipes could be aligned and routed through the clip near the oil filter.

Air Cleaners

As previously mentioned, I am using carb mounted air cleaners rather than the original contraption that I am confident worked well but completely covered up the beautiful twin cam engine. After experimenting with a number of options, I settled on air cleaners sourced from Advanced Performance Technology (APT) http://www.aptfast.com. These air cleaners use K&N Filters.

Carb and Fuel Connections Schematic

The “intermediate throttle lever from throttle link to stop bracket” – part# 82 in the diagram – on the  MK2 carb set up is offset to the rear of center. This requires a comparable offset in the air cleaner mounting to avoid the throttle lever striking the air cleaner casing as it travels its logical path.

I used filters that are 1-3/4″ tall. The rear cleaner is offset upward and is part number: SD24-318 for HD6 SUs. The front cleaner is center mounted and is part number SD4-318. The air cleaner casings are actually highly polished. The blue tint in the image below is a plastic protective coating that easily peels off.

APT K&N Air Filters

A gasket is placed over the mounting studs for the air cleaners and then the back plate of the air cleaner is installed and secured. I used a 5/16″-24 x 3/4″  and a 5/16″-24 x 1″ for each air cleaner. The longer bolt is needed where it must also travel through the throttle stop bracket.

Air Filter Rear Plate Mounted

The K&N oiled filter is then installed followed by the cover plates secured by shake proof washers and acorn nuts on the studs.

K&N Air Filter Element Installed

APT K&N Air Cleaners Temporarily Mounted

Air Cleaner Update – Cold Air Box

Well, after the time devoted to researching the ideal air cleaner solution and the expense of ordering the K&N offset filters, I became convinced that an air box delivering cool air to the carbs is the way to go. I recently saw several approaches to these “boxes” on some of the Jag Forums, and Mike Gassman of Gassman Automotive convinced me that the cold air delivery system would be a good modification to make to assist with expected heat problems under the bonnet. I anticipate that my air conditioning system will add more heat to an already “hot” situation. Mike has a very talented welder/fabricator on his team, Brandon Tyree, who designed, fabricated and installed the “box” – I am going to call it a “pipe.” I don’t know why “they” call these  things “cold air” boxes – they do not deliver cold air, but instead, ambient air from outside the engine bay to the carbs. A “pipe” also has all smooth and rounded surfaces which would seem to promote better air flow than a “box.”

This topic deserves a separate post and it may be found at: https://valvechatter.com/?p=9163

Bloody Beast Maintenance

Maintenance

October, 2014 – 

Returning home from the Shenandoah Valley British Car Club show in Waynesboro, VA I noticed that the clutch pedal was slippery. Sure enough the seals in the master cylinder failed and I had some nasty brake fluid leaking from the cylinder. I removed both the brake and clutch masters figuring that I might as well rebuild them both at the same time. Both were brand new when installed in the car, so other than cleaning the bores I did not bother with a full rebuild including honing or lining the bores. I have fewer than 12,000 miles on the originals, but it has been five or six years and who know how long they were on the shelf before I installed them?

Both of my masters were 5/8″ bores and I decided to purchase a new 3/4″ bore for the brake system. Ordered one from British Parts Northwest.

In preparing to bench bleed the two masters I decided to purchase a little “HELP” kit from Summit Racing for all of $6.00. I did substitute clear hose for the black vinyl so that I could observe the air bubbles flowing to the fluid reservoir. The Healey master cylinders use the 3/8″ –  24 and the 7/16″ – 20 fittings, but many others are supplied in the kit.

Dorman Bench Bleeder Kit

Dorman Bench Bleeder Kit

Steve Gerow on the British Car Forum recommended “pulling” the air from the brake calipers rather than pushing the fluid from the reservoir:

“This bleeding syringe worked a charm, obviating the need for bench-bleeding. My Healey-neighbor Dennis Williams suggested packing the area around the nipple with grease to prevent air leakage. You just pull the air out of the system until you’ve got clear, bubble-free juice in the syringe. Keep an eye on the reservoir, of course.”

Cardone Brake Bleeding Syringe

Cardone Brake Bleeding Syringe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve often comes up with the innovative ways of approaching maintenance issues so I thought I would give it a try. These are the directions that came with the syringe:

Cardone 10-5000MCB Master Cylinder Bleeder Tool Directions

I was overdue for a complete brake fluid flush so I pumped out all of the old stuff while I was at it.

Motive Power Bleeder

I have had a Motive Power Bleeder http://www.motiveproducts.com for several years and never used it. I ordered the special reservoir cap specified for the Healey – Part number 1100 I believe. It did not fit!

This master cylinder episode got my inspired to solve this little problem. I ordered another master cylinder reservoir cap and seal from Moss Motors. Part numbers 596-210 and 582-500. I then went on a search for a 1/4 brass fitting to install in the cap. The fitting was easy to find but after trying two automotive parts stores, a “they have it all” hardware store and a large plumbing supplier I gave up on finding a nut with the proper pipe thread! Finally, at a local fabrication shop I found these Russell fittings and they worked perfectly. The hose and cap #1100 to the right in the image below were supplied with the Motive Bleeder. I just disconnected the hose from the cap that did not fit.

Reservoir Cap Modification for Motive Bleeder

Reservoir Cap Modification for Motive Bleeder

I then drilled a hole in the center of the Healey reservoir cap to tightly fit the Russell hardware. This required flattening the center of the cap which is raised on its top and bottom. Flattening the top is easier to do AFTER the hole is drilled in the top.

Drilled Hole in Cap

Drilled Hole in Cap 

The Russell fitting was then pushed/screwed through the cap and the nut was tightened on the reverse side.

Russell Fitting Secured in Cap

Russell Fitting Secured in Cap

Russell Fitting Secured in Cap

Russell Fitting Secured in Cap

To help ensure the fitting would be air tight, I then smeared a fairly heavy coating of Clear RTV Silicone around the fitting and nut in the reservoir cap. Finally the rubber seal provided by Moss Motors was inserted into the inside of the cap.

The new custom hose extension can then be attached to the pump hose and we are then ready to use the Motive Bleeder on a Big Healey.

Healey Custom Extension Connected to the Motive Power Bleeder

Healey Custom Extension Connected to the Motive Power Bleeder

 

 

June 12, 2014 – 

Conclave 2014 is to be held at the Homestead Resort, only two hours away from home. Judith and I will attend an plan to drive The Bloody Beast to the event. The car is generally in good condition, only needing a few things tended to before driving to Hot Springs, VA for the event.

  • Inspected and replaced the spark plugs, NGK BP6Es – stock number 7333.
  • Installed a new silicone rocker cover gasket, glued to the cover with permatex high temp red RTV silicone gasket maker. I then used Hylomar Advanced Formulation sealer (blue) between the gasket and the head. This work seemed to be effective in eliminating previous cover leaks. I have had problems with the gasket leaking with my cast alloy cover from Cape International. So, I will try this one from Gasket Innovations.http://www.gasketinnovations.com/index.php/gasket-innovations/product/110-gah-al6 
  • Polished the aluminum rocker cover and carb dashpots.
  • Repaired a bent exhaust hanger and leak.
  • Adjusted the adjustable steering wheel. The wheel had gradually moved toward the driver in an uncomfortable position. I was able to free the boss with channel locks and push the wheel to the dash fascia.
  • Removed each wire wheel and tire and polished all chrome and stainless steel. Approximately 1 1/2 hours per wheel.
  • Tightened the nuts on the rear tie down hooks. Both had become loose.
  • Checked all key fasteners to make sure they were secure: motor mounts, shocks, suspensions, propshaft and etc.
  • Washed the entire car, polished and waxed a few places.
  • Touched up paint in a few areas.
  • Cleaned all leather and vinyl surfaces and treated with Lexol.
  • Vacuumed carpets.
  • Polished chrome trim and cleaned windscreen and mirrors.

October 5, 2013 – 

I was doing a little engine bay wipe down after having the Bloody Beast on a little road rally in Northern Virginia when I noticed that the surface of the light relay box mounted on the left front inner wing had deteriorated in appearance. I should have put a clear coat on the zinc when the cover was new, but did not think about it at the time. Any way, I removed the cover, sanded and polished it the best I could and then clear coated it before re-installation. Back to looking good once again.

Light Relay Box Cover Clear Coated

Light Relay Box Cover Clear Coated

Clear Coated Relay Box In Place

Clear Coated Relay Box In Place

May 24, 2013 – 1,580 miles

  • Removed the itg air filter, cleaned it and sprayed it with dust retention spray.
  • Replaced the purolator fuel filter just in front of the carbs with a new one.
  • Replaced the thermostat with a 195 degree unit and added a new gasket.
  • Changed the oil (20W-50), 6.4 quarts.
  • Installed new K&N oil filter – HP.2009
  • Greased all grease fittings.
  • Cleaned the underside of the car including wheel wells.
  • Touched-up paint in a few places.
  • Checked tire pressures.

Hub Nuts

I had some problems with loosening hub nuts on the rear hubs and upon closer examination discovered that the proper Healey hub nuts do not fit the hub stud opening as they should. My conclusion is that the reproduced Healey hubs mimic the angle of more contemporary hub nuts. Dorman  #611-014 hub nuts fit much better than the original nuts.