Sealing and Paint

The time has come for painting the Bugeye!

Color and Painter Selection

The short list for paint colors included Nevada Beige, Old English White and Cotswold Blue. The Nevada Beige and Old English White were factory colors available for the Sprite in 1959. The Cotswold Blue is period correct in that it was available at the time, but not for Austin-Healey Sprites. Slightly different variations of Cotswold Blue were used on Jaguars, Triumphs, Rovers and perhaps some other makes. We zeroed in on the Jaguar paint code as produced by Glasurit. Glasurit Line 22 was the single stage urethane topcoat paint used originally we believe. We will be using Glasurit 55 which is a basecoat/clearcoat urethane system.

This was a data sheet we located on the Austin-Healey Experience Forum.  It provided information on the Jaguar version of the paint:

Cotswold Blue Glasurit codes

This is the actual paint that we used:

Glasurit Cotswold Blue 55

We are hoping that the end result will look similar to the Jaguar XK 140 below:

1957 Jaguar XK-140 Cotswold Blue

The next task was to find a painter. Unfortunately, Jeremy Turner who painted the Bloody Beast is a long way away in Virginia. By way of word-of-mouth we located Gabor Fodor in Sarasota who has his own painting business. As with Jeremy, Gabor owns a one person operation which appealed to us. We put a call out to the Paradise Coast Austin-Healey Club membership to see if anyone had a truck and closed trailer who was willing to help us get the Bugeye to Gabor’s shop. Amazingly four members immediately offered to assist. Gary Cox arrived at the house on March 5, 20024 and we delivered the Bugeye to Gabor that morning. Thank you Gary!

Undercoating Protection

The underside of the Bugeye is in such great shape and looks so good that we did not want to cover the surface with undercoating, but we did want to add some protection against road rash in the wheel arches. We considered Raptor Bed Liner but after consulting with Jeremy we decided to use a product called Rock-It XC made by SEM. This is the data sheet with instructions for the product: Rock-It XC Data Sheet Instructions

Rock-IT XC

Gabor did a great job of masking off the area to be treated and then applied a sealer to the body before spraying the Rock-It XC.

Masking for Rock-It 1

Masking for Rock-It 2

Masking for Rock-It 3

The Rock-It XC product can either be sprayed on as black and left that way or it can be top coated with the body color if you like. However, it can also be purchased in a tintable mix with directions on how much paint color to add to the product to achieve the desired effect. We went with the tintable version and will just have to wait and see how well it matches up with the body color. By adjusting the air pressure in the application gun one can also vary the texture of the product on the surface. We chose heavy smooth which calls for 65 psi in the gun. We are very pleased with the results. The last shot below shows the texture.

Front Inner Fender

Front Inner Wing 2

Rear Inner Fender

Heavy Smooth Texture

Seam Sealer and Sealer

The next job Gabor undertook was seam sealing in the interior. We used a urethane 3M seam sealer for this. Here are a few of the images after the seam sealer was applied:

Front Interior Seam Sealer

Rear Interior Seam Sealer

This is the sealer we are using before paint:


Boot Sealer

Interior Floor Sealer

Front Interior sealer

Interior Paint

Rear Interior

Rear Interior 2

Front Interior

Front Interior 2

As the painting progresses more narrative and images will follow….


Chapter 32 – Cleaning and Trial Fitting


October 27, 2006

Jeremy’s Rotisseri

More Rotisseri Images –  The rotisseri really does make working on the underside of the frame so much easier. These are a few additional images of the assembly at work.

rotisseri 7

rotisseri 6

Rotisseri 9

rotisseri 1

anti-sway bar bracket


November 7, 2006

Jeremy’s Bodywork

Jeremy has continued to work hard on the final work on the frame/tub. He has done a very nice job with the judicious use of filler to give a nice finished appearance to the frame as if it was the body! Pitting on the outside of the kick panels and on the underbonnet inner fenders just looks great.

Frame blasted clean 1

Frame blasted clean 9

Frame blasted clean 10

fill primer 3

frame bodywork

frame bodywork 3

frame bodywork 2

frame bodywork 4

frame epoxy primer 1

fill primer 4

Final sanding 1

Final sanding 2

Final sanding 3

Final sanding 4

November 12, 2006

Engine Rebuilding

Water Pump – Although Jack Harper will be doing the engine rebuild, there are some items that I can take care of before I take the motor to him. I already sent the rocker arm assembly out for rebuild, and today I queried the internet healey list about their thoughts on the water pump. Was I better to rebuild my own or purchase an after market replacement? Those whose opinions I have come to count on recommended rebuilding my own and perhaps purchasing a new one to have as a spare. Bill Bolton, Peter Caldwell and Joe Curto were suggested as possible rebuilders. I had experience with all three but decided to call Peter since his lever arm Armstrong shock rebuilds will be on my car and because so many rave about the quality of his work.  He indicated that his company didn’t “officially” do water pump rebuilds, but they were getting ready to do a number of them and that I should send mine along His rebuild would be $75.00. I took mine off the motor – four nuts on studs and took the pully off the pump shaft. That required the use of the slide hammer, but was easily accomplished.

Water pump 1

Water pump 6

Water pump 8

Water pump 5

Aluminum Oil Sump – I ordered an aluminum oil sump from British Parts Northwest. After researching the sumps available from various suppliers. Others reported that the BPN sump did not require modification to the oil pump because it is a little deeper than the others. Of course, that also means it protrudes lower in the frame, but since my motor mounts are ¼” high I concluded that it would work best. Unfortunately, it arrived in pretty rouh shape with grinder marks on the exterior and some casting depressions. I sanded the body until most of the grinder marks were eliminated. Jeremy will glass bead blast and we will put a few coats of clear paint on it for protection.

aluminum oil sump 2

November 24, 2006

Jeremy’s Painting and Bodywork

Suspension and other little bits   To take a break from sanding the frame, Jeremy turned again to finishing some of the smaller parts that are to be painted gloss black. The following images show some of the work.

small primed parts 2

media blasted parts 2

small parts black 1

rear springs blasted 1

flywheel ready to paint

Rear Springs painted 1

Rear Leaf Spring Assembly – The leaf springs were painted semi-gloss. I put a layer of teflon tape between each of the leaves to provide for smoother action between each of the leaves. It should help to eliminate creaks and moans later. The finished products looked very nice.

Rear spring glide strips 1

Rear springs teflon tape

Rear springs completed

Smitty Toyota Transmission Conversion and Clutch Assembly – I wanted to see how the conversion assembly was going to fit so I decided to rmove the gearbox from the bell housing and set things up. The lightened flywheel from Bill Bolton had been cleaned up and painted just for some rust protection. I inserted the aluminum pilot bushing with bearing pressed in by using my lead knock-off hammer and soft drift to keep from damaging the aluminum.

Flywheel Smitty Pilot Bearing

Crank Rear Oil Seal – I will be purchasing an improved crank rear oil seal which will require some modification of the backplate, but for now I just wanted to see how things were going to fit, so I used the backplate as it was. I then fit the flywheel to the crank. Although not in the image below, I will be using the flywheel bolt lockdown tab washers.

Engine Backplate

Flywheel installed 1

Then I installed the Pressure plate using the Smitty supplied clutch disk (thicker than stock Toyota) and centered it using the alignment tool supplied in kit. After installing the bell housing it became obvious that the throw out arm did not have sufficient travel without hitting the back edge of the opening in the housing. I will add some length (others have suggested about 3/16” to the pivot fulcrum to gain the travel required.

Clutch plate assembly

Bell housing installed

Clutch arm pivot 2

Throw out bearing clutch arm 1

Throw out bearing clutch arm 2

throw out arm 1

November 27, 2006

Back to the Engine Work

Tach Drive Housing – Detached the tach drive housing from the block. Three ¼” x 7/8” Hex head bolts with flat and lock washers. As per the manual, pulled out the gear drive with a 3” x 5/16” bolt attached to the threaded hole in the drive. Will need to install new rubber seals in the unit.

Tach Drive assembly 1

Tach Drive assembly 2

Tappet Cover Plates – There are three covers. The rear cover with the breather pipe is secured with one 1 ¼” x 5/16” hex head bolt with a copper washer and a cork gasket. The center cover is also attached with one 1 ¼” x 5/16” hex head bolt with copper washer and cork gasket. The front cover which is much heavier to support the weight of the generator is secured with five ¾” x 5/16” hex head bolts with copper washers.

Rear Side Cover

Center Side Cover

Front Side cover 1

Heater Water Valve –  Secured by two 5/8” x ¼” hex head bolts and washers.

Heater water valve

Blanking Plate – Located on the right side of the motor. Two hex head bolts 5/8” x 5/16.” Course threads with copper washers.

Blanking Plate

Oil Pipe Fitting, back side – One hex head bolt, 3/8” x 5/16” with copper washer.

Oil Feed Pipe

Oil Feed Bolt

Oil Pressure Relief Valve – One 1 1/8” (wrench size) hex head bolt x 3/8” long. Copper washer with spring and cup.

OIl Pressure Relief Valve 2

OIl Pressure Relief Valve 1

Plug for Oil Filter Feeder Hole – Right side of block. One 7/8” (wrench size) hex head bolt 3/8” long, with copper washer.

OIl Filter feeder hole plug 1

OIl Filter feeder hole plug 2

Union for Oil Gauge Pipe – Right side of block. Nut with pin hole. Fiber washer.

Oil Pressure Pipe Union 1

Oil Pressure Pipe Union 2

Block Drain Tap – Brass with fibre washer.

Drain Tap 1

Drain Tap 2

Carb Drain Pipe Brackets – Located at the second and seventh oil sump mounting bolts from the font of the block. ¼” nuts used to secure the clips.

Fuel Drain Pipe Clip 1

Fuel Drain Pipe Clip 2

Fuel Drain Pipe Clip 3

November 27, 2006

Jeremy’s Painting and Bodywork

New Seam Sealer and Prep for Chip Protector   Jeremy finished the sanding work and installed seam sealer. 

Seam sealer finished 1

Seam sealer finished 2

Seam sealer 4

Seam sealer 1

Seam sealer 2

Seam sealer 5

Seam sealer 8

Chip Guard for the Wheels Wells – We decided to use a chip guard product in the wheel wells and will also use the same product under the front portion of the front shroud. It turned out very well, nice even coverage. The final red paint will then be sprayed over the chip guard so that it isn’t quite so obvious. 

Chip Guard 1

Chip Guard 3

Chip Guard 4

We also drilled access holes in the frame and outriggers and applied an etch primer as well as paint to protect against rust. I will need to decide if I will plug the holes or just leave them open.

Engine Work Again – I received the rebuilt rocker arm assembly from The Rocker Arm Specialists and could not have been more pleased. The installed the new pedestal with the threads for the oil pipe and rebushed the whole mechanism. It looks great as well.

Rebuilt rocker assembly

Rebuilt rocker assembly

Oil Pump Removal and Inspection – After dropping the oil sump and cleaning it up a bit, I removed the oil pump to inspect it. I think I will go ahead and replace it to be on the safe side. It is the gear type pump, but others have recommended the rotary pump and since the fit is interchangeable, I think I will take their advice.

Oil Pump 5

Oil Pump 2

Oil Pump 8

Oil Pump 7






Chapter 31 – Cleaning and Trial Fitting

October 1, 2006

Jeremy Turner’s Work Continues

Hardtop – Jeremy packed up the car and got everything in his trailer to bring back to me. We were delayed a day because of rain, so in the meantime he began bodywork on the hardtop. Then it was final priming for the body panels.

Hardtop 1

Hardtop 4

Hardtop with Filler

Hardtop Prep

final primed front shroud

final primed rear shroud

Frame disassembly – With all the exterior panel fitting and bodywork complete, I now have the car to disassemble. I need to remove the engine, and suspension components and put the car on the rolling cart I made. Jeremy will then complete bodywork on the frame and we will be ready to paint.

Before I can begin the disassembly there are a few things to be done. First, is finalizing the throttle cable set-up. I also want to check the aluminum radiator baffles that Schickel’s fabricated to see if they are going to fit properly.

October 12, 2006

Work Continues in the Rose Garage

I completed the development of the throttle cable components and fit them to the carbs and the body firewall. This required fabricating a couple of brackets – one at the carbs and one for the firewall. Per Jack Brashear’s instructions, I also modified a stock BJ8 accelerator lever to make it longer (5 1/8”). I used a stainless steel braided cable from Lokar.

Fuel throttle bracket 3

Fuel throttle bracket 2

Fuel trottle lever modified 2

I also purchased some cheap flexible 2” exhaust pipe and cut it to fit so that I knew the lengths needed to order the stainless steel flexible pipe from Epiflex. Being considerably more expensive, I didn’t want to “learn” on the Epiflex pipes!

My next job was to install the brackets for the rear seat squab. I installed the rear quarter panels, the rear seats and the squab to make sure the assembly would fit properly on final assembly.

Then removing everything from the superstructure was in order so that I could return it to Jeremy for media blasting, a little body work, priming and painting. After four long years, the next time I see the superstructure it will be RED! One added complication and expense is that I have changed my mind and will use gloss rather than a matte black finish on those components that should be painted black. Therefore, larger pieces such as the axle and the steering box will need to be resprayed. Everything was stripped by October 12 and Jeremy again picked up the car. I then separated all smaller compenents into those items to be sprayed gloss black, red, or engine green and prepared them for delivery to Jeremy. Now I await the return of the red frame and superstructure.

October 22, 2006

A Jeremy Turner Update

Jeremy took some time from the worst task in the painting preparation process: sanding, and blasted and painted the bits I gave him to be painted black.

Black Painted Parts

More Black Painted Parts

While I remained positive about my choice of exterior paint, we decided to paint a sample just to see what the final color would turn out to be. Jeremy orderd a pint to try.  Judging from the open can it will be a very red car! I love it, but it will be good to see it on a bonnet to get a perspective on a larger sample than a paint can top.

Corsa Rossa ferrari red paint

October 22, 2006

Engine Work Begins

Rocker Assembly – I plan to send the rocker assembly to Rocker Arm Specialists to have it rebushed, so I removed it for cleaning and mailing. First step was to lossen the fitting of the oil feed pipe to the head. Then removed the 12 nuts securing the assembly to the head. When replacing the assembly one MUST fit the oil feed pipe banjo bolt to the assembly BEFORE fastening the assembly to the head! This had apparently not been done previously which resulted in the stripping of the aluminum pedestal. I ordered a new pedestal.

Rocker oil feed 1

Rocker oil feed 2

Rocker oil feed 3_2

Rocker oil feed 4

Brake Discs – To prevent rust on the brake rotors I painted the centers of the front and rear rotors.

Brake disc paint

October 26, 2006

Back to Jeremy’s

The battery tray   as assembled by Martin did not have enough support at the rear brace, so Jeremy did a little modification so that it would have a solid mount.

battery tray brace

Martin had stitch welded the two pieces of the front inner fenders, and it wasn’t a pretty site. Jeremy took the pieces apart. Cut out some unneeded metal and welded the pieces back creating a much neater appearance.

Inner Fender Repair

Left inner fender repair

The Rotisseri – I had the yellow brackets in the photos made to fit Jeremy’s rotisseri. This week he got the two together and got the superstructure on the rotisseri. It turns quite easily.

Rotisseri 1

Rotisseri 2

Rotisseri 3

Painting – We ordered a pint of the Rosso Corsa Red paint to try a test panel. We painted the extra bonnet I had. It is beautiful! No modifications to paint formula required. It is definitely a Ferrari Red.

Ferrari Red 1

Ferrari Red 2

Seam Sealer – I spent a half day at Jeremy’s stripping out the seam sealer Martin had applied to the bottom of the car. The rotisseri made the job fairly easy, but it is a dirty, smelly job. Jeremy will now do a little more welding to fix a few places and then he will be ready to glass bead blast the assembly, do some body work to cover old pitting, and prime and paint.