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Thread: advice on rally vents

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    Jedi Warrior maxwedge5281's Avatar
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    advice on rally vents

    i like the idea of the rally vents to help remove heated air from the engine compartment. my car is a bj7 with a sbc 383 roller motor with long tube headers. the headers are wrapped from the engine to the collector. fortunately i took extra precaution with insulation and this car is much cooler in the footbox area than any stock healey i have ever owned. i was also considering hood louvers but i think that i have decided against. that. i bought a set of fender vents with about 1.5 flange and am trying to decide to mount with the flange behind the fender or with the flange on the outside of the fender. i could cut the opening. paint the vent, and glue or bolt in location. i suppose if i was careful enough with the opening i could go back later and weld in place behind the fender and finish the edges for a cleaner look. right now i am leaning toward cutting the flange down to maybe a half inch and mount from the outside. does anyone have a picture of this method that you could post.. yes, i have reviewed the back side mounting with finished edge...so i am really looking for the outside mounting.. any comments will be appreciated. and, is the a general consensus of the placement using the cove line and front fender opening? thanks
    1959 bn6 sbc zz4 with aod transmission....... 1959 bn6 inline 6 250 chev engine and tremec 5 speed.......Porsche 911 all aluminum 434 cubic inch dart sbc engine 930 4 spd

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    Darth Vader John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: advice on rally vents

    I mounted on the inside, but be sure you plan on clearing the inner fender when you cut those openings.
    John, BN4

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    Re: advice on rally vents

    I installed vents on friends car a few years ago.
    Marked openings on fender About 5/8" smaller than vent. Then cut this smaller opening out. I made two wooden forms about a 1/16" larger than the vent. One form was located inside of fender, other form on outside of fender and clamped securely together.
    I then gently turned a 1/2" flange to the inside using the wood forms as my guide.
    a little hammer and dolly work will leave a very crisp flange turned to the inside of the fender.
    Insert vent from outside. Drill through newly made fender flange into new vent for 1/8" pop rivets and secure as needed. I used a total of 6 rivets.
    Only a few hours work. Looked great.
    hard part was getting brave enough to cut holes in perfectly good fenders.

    Good luck.

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    Moderator Editor_Reid's Avatar
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    Re: advice on rally vents

    Why do you think it's necessary to install wing vents? Is the engine overheating?
    Reid Trummel
    Editor, HEALEY MARQUE magazine



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    Jedi Warrior maxwedge5281's Avatar
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    Re: advice on rally vents

    i like the look of the vents especially on a hotrod healey.... the body and lines are outstanding and cutting into good fenders is a bit harrowing! but, i want to move more air through the engine compartment. i suppose it is just my want to for the car. TFR1, did you turn the fender metal down all the way around or just in the straight line areas of the vent opening! did you remove the fenders? do you have a picture? seems i saw this some where on the forum! maybe i can find it via the search function.
    1959 bn6 sbc zz4 with aod transmission....... 1959 bn6 inline 6 250 chev engine and tremec 5 speed.......Porsche 911 all aluminum 434 cubic inch dart sbc engine 930 4 spd

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    Luke Skywalker RAC68's Avatar
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    Re: advice on rally vents

    Hi Reid,

    As I have come to understand and experience, the Big Healey engine compartment is not effectively designed and builds up high pressure to partially stagnate effective air flow. When this happens when at idle (stopped), air build and finds easier escape around the steering box only to be pulled back through the radiator with the use of more aggressive fans (i.e. Texas Cooler, etc.). When driving casually, air will enter between the cross member and, with the contribution of an aggressive fan, will also build a blocking high pressure and also cause a less then free flowing escape path.

    With the introduction of bonnet louvers as on the 100/4s or the addition of wing vents, air flows freely back and out resulting in a cooler running system. Although I have not installed vents or louvers, I have created a number of panels to help direct and guide air paths to escape more effectively without being obvious. A more effective approach would be to have a effective separation by the radiator bulkhead to eliminate air from passing into the engine compartment without going through the radiator. However, on a completed car, this approach would be very difficult to implement and, for many, vents are far more stylish and easier to implement.

    Ray (64BJ8P1)

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    Jedi Warrior maxwedge5281's Avatar
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    Re: advice on rally vents

    yes, thank you ray...that was what i was trying to say......but it is still a daunting task to cut perfectly good wings for the vents! still working on building up the courage. thanks for the explanation.
    1959 bn6 sbc zz4 with aod transmission....... 1959 bn6 inline 6 250 chev engine and tremec 5 speed.......Porsche 911 all aluminum 434 cubic inch dart sbc engine 930 4 spd

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    Re: advice on rally vents

    Thanks Ray. I get the theory of wing vents (allowing hot air to escape and therefore achieving better engine compartment air flow), but I'm not convinced that we have good evidence that they are needed or even very helpful on mostly standard cars. They were installed on competition cars that were expected to be driven far more aggressively than anyone drives a street Healey. If you're considering installing wing vents to reduce engine running temps on your babied street Healey, you have other issues.

    If someone just likes the look, fine, but to my eye they look out of place as a competition car feature on a street car, and particularly out of place on a Healey with roll-up windows which would be a pretty civilized touring car and far removed from the character, purpose and use of the factory rally cars.

    It also hurts resale value as it is a multi-thousand dollar proposition to return to standard wings, and collectors who pay the best prices do not appreciate previous owners' personalization - modifications just make them seem more like used cars.

    Just my take of course.

    Reid Trummel
    Special Operations
    Sports Car Market magazine (scroll down)
    Reid Trummel
    Editor, HEALEY MARQUE magazine



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    Re: advice on rally vents

    Agree with Reid (FWIW). As an owner that puts 5-6K miles/year on a BJ8--much of it in the Southwest including deserts and Death Valley--I've never felt the need for vents. Make sure your block is clean and install an uprated radiator and you'll be fine.

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    Darth Vader John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: advice on rally vents

    Bob, Reid,

    I hope you realize that we're discussing a Healey with a 383 V-8 in it. Originality is already out the window and air flow through the engine compartment is somewhat blocked by a larger engine. I agree that on an original car, wing vents and other mods that are expensive to reverse ar probably not a good idea, but for those of us who are not at that starting point, a little individuality is IMHO ok.
    John, BN4

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    Yoda HealeyRick's Avatar
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    Re: advice on rally vents

    Don't forget Maxwedge is driving a V8 car in South Carolina so I'm sure he's trying to do everything he can to keep it from overheating. I'd still like to see some empirical evidence regarding the efficacy of rally vents. Should be pretty easy if someone with the vents bought a cheap infrared laser thermometer from Harbor Freight and did a couple of tests of engine temperature both at idle and after a high speed run with the vents taped up and untaped.
    Rick

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    Yoda
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    Re: advice on rally vents

    Quote Originally Posted by John Turney View Post
    Bob, Reid,

    I hope you realize that we're discussing a Healey with a 383 V-8 in it. Originality is already out the window and air flow through the engine compartment is somewhat blocked by a larger engine. I agree that on an original car, wing vents and other mods that are expensive to reverse ar probably not a good idea, but for those of us who are not at that starting point, a little individuality is IMHO ok.
    Didn't realize that. Disregard; car's already hacked so do what you will with it (of course, you can do that with an original car, too, but it's a value losing proposition.

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    Luke Skywalker RAC68's Avatar
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    Re: advice on rally vents

    Reid/All,

    As the woman who kissed the cow said, each to his own taste. Whether you like louvers on the hood of a 100/4 or vents on the wings of a 100/6 or 3000, these elements do allow air to flow more efficiently through the engine compartment, and as a result, allows the escape of heated air from the compartment. Our Healeys are loveable but not perfect and most of our heat issues are the result of a porous radiator bulkhead and other similar engine compartment flow approaches of the period that were expeditiously addressed by cutting holes in the body panels. It would be difficult and impractical to reengineer the compartment's design to take advantage of modern techniques but louvers and vents were already found by the original designers to satisfy some of the more critical heat issues and is period correct .

    Reid, your car may have been manufactured with louvers but I wonder if, at the time, there were those questioning the style and sensibility of cutting into the bonnet. Although I have added many modifications to address heat build-up in the engine compartment, all of which are as inconspicuous as I could design, it would have been easier if I had just take Donald's approach and vented through bodywork.

    RAC68 (64BJ8P1)

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    Re: advice on rally vents

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_Spidell View Post
    Didn't realize that. Disregard; car's already hacked so do what you will with it (of course, you can do that with an original car, too, but it's a value losing proposition.
    Ditto.
    Reid Trummel
    Editor, HEALEY MARQUE magazine



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    Re: advice on rally vents

    Quote Originally Posted by RAC68 View Post
    Reid, your car may have been provided with louvers when purchased but I wonder if, at the time, there were those questioning the style and sensibility of cutting into the bonnet. Although I have added many modifications to address heat build-up in the engine compartment, all of which are as inconspicuous as I could design, it would have been easier if I had resorted to Donald's approach and vented through bodywork.
    RAC68 (64BJ8P1)
    Actually the car in my signature photo was/is a standard car. I ended up owning a louvered bonnet from one of the 640 100M models (long story), and so when it was restored I chose to use it. It's an authentic item and was used on cars sold to the public. (Unlike wing vents that were only seen on factory competition cars, and were never used on cars sold to the public, even as an option).

    I am fortunate to own two more standard BN2s and each of them is completely stock-standard in the cooling department (and pretty much in every other way, too). They even have their original fans. Both run cool (I should probably install warmer thermostats - they run that cool). Makes me wonder if a lot of our problems are the result of trying to improve things. Of course in the case of a Healey with a big American lump for an engine, all bets are off.
    Reid Trummel
    Editor, HEALEY MARQUE magazine



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    Jedi Warrior maxwedge5281's Avatar
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    Re: advice on rally vents

    i will have to say that the v8 conversion runs much cooler than my bn6 and a whole lot faster. some of us just drive to a different tune...and speaking of a big lump...700 pound 130 hp engine seems a bit lumpish to me!
    1959 bn6 sbc zz4 with aod transmission....... 1959 bn6 inline 6 250 chev engine and tremec 5 speed.......Porsche 911 all aluminum 434 cubic inch dart sbc engine 930 4 spd

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    Re: advice on rally vents

    I had the fenders on my work bench. Much easier than on the car, but certainly could be done either way.
    I turned the metal 90 degrees. You end up with a great edge to attach the vent. I have seen others do the same and fit the vent from the inside. Not sure if there is a right or wring way to do this. I am better at taking pictures now, but do not think I took pics at the time.

    TFR1

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    Jedi Warrior maxwedge5281's Avatar
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    Re: advice on rally vents

    thanks for the input from the forum. one of the vents is warped from fabrication or from shipping damage and will have to be returned. i am still having a hard time deciding to cut my fenders. if i do i think that i will reduce the overall size of the flange and leave it on the outside of the fender following the advice to cut the fenders and turn an edge to affix the the vents to the car. flash!!! decided to return the vents to healey surgeons and leave the fenders alone....now i will consider hood louvers! anyone have a picture of louvers on a 3000?
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    1959 bn6 sbc zz4 with aod transmission....... 1959 bn6 inline 6 250 chev engine and tremec 5 speed.......Porsche 911 all aluminum 434 cubic inch dart sbc engine 930 4 spd

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    Luke Skywalker RAC68's Avatar
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    Re: advice on rally vents

    The choice is yours as both have been used as styling points and functional components on many of the worlds most popular cars. However, placing louvers into the bonnet may be a little more difficult as the incorporation of hood louvers will imposes some considerations and difficulties. I believe your previous choice of fender vents provides you with the easiest approach to venting the compartment and removing the vents will require a patch and paint but louvers will require a bonnet replacement.

    There are alternatives to vents and louvers and a few forum members are looking to see how to effectively address the issue of a porous radiator bulkhead without tearing apart the car. At present, however, no easy fix to the issue of radiator recirculation has been secured and vents and louvers have the benefit of having been proven.

    Good luck,
    Ray (64BJ8P1)

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    Re: advice on rally vents

    What I did on a customers car many years ago was use 3/8 rod made to fit my final vent outline, tacked it to the back of the vent hole and then hammered the metal to a nice neat radius inward. Vent was metal and with out the flange, I had to move the channel support back a little and simply tacked it to the inside of fender and was done. Very neat and if I remember just the way the factory ralleye cars had it done. This was done to make a replica works car and run in the Tour De France in '99.

    I think your on the right track by having a hood louvered , easy to replace to stock, side vents do look cool, almost did it to my 65 BJ8, glad I didnt, as Reid said if the factory had it done in a production car it could have been easily have been a dealer install.

    However you can get a spare set of fenders......

    let us know the outcome

    Carroll Phillips
    Top Down Restorations

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