Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Tasteful upgrades for a BJ7

Forum to discuss Austin Healey Sports Cars

  1. #1
    Jedi Knight
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    803
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Tasteful upgrades for a BJ7

    We have a 1962 A-H BJ7 (roll up windows) that has been in a shop for about two years. During this cycle (plus previous years) we've made the following modifications:

    Steering & Suspension
    - Norman Nock front turnnion bearings
    - polyurethane bushings from Udo Putzke
    - Moss camber etc. adjusters
    - slight negative camber alignment
    - Udo Putzek Fahrspass Bilstein tubular shocks
    - Moto Lito steering wheel

    Driveline
    - Toyota 5 speed all synchromesh transmission
    - Lempert 3.54 gear set
    - speedometer modified to match the above
    - Redline trans/diff fluids
    - 5.5" wide 72 spoke chrome wire wheels
    - Vredestein Sprint Classic 185/70 HR15 89H tyres

    Safety
    - 4 way flashers
    - LED tail/brake lights
    - moved signal lights up to replace the rear reflectors
    (I consider these two items (signal lights and LEDs) as essential improvements)
    - three point seat belts
    - quarter light rear view mirror

    Convenience
    - moved windshield washer fluid container from glove shelf into space in subframe under right front fender
    - cigarette lighter/power take off installed on wood behind 'chicken handle'

    Cooling
    - triple core rad
    - stainless steel fan and shroud from Norman Nock

    Engine
    - K&N air filters
    - spin on oil filter
    - Pertronix ignition
    - modern pointless fuel pump

    Brakes
    - vacuum power assist
    - braided stainless steel brake lines

    Remaining ToDo:
    - radiator fluid recovery
    - raise front edge of stock seats

    I would appreciate hearing from others as to their 'tasteful upgrades'. Thanks!
    1959 pristine 948 cc Bug-Eye; DCOE, 5 speed; bought 1971
    1960 BE bought 1971 & stored since; body tub restored and reassembling (1275; etc.)
    1962 AH 3000 BJ7; 3rd owner (1982?); in shop Oct. 2015 for paint job - home soon!
    1962 VW Meyers Manx clone dune buggy; stripped last winter and being reassembled
    1969 Kawasaki 500 H1 Triple, orig. owner; stored since 1973, but runs again! 1999 Buell S3

  2. #2
    Jedi Hopeful
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    West Bloomfield, Michigan
    Posts
    155
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post

    Re: Tasteful upgrades for a BJ7

    You have a very thoughtful restoration with many safety and reliability upgrades. Maybe replace the generator with an alternator. Driving or fog lamps.
    Decent radio and speakers. I attached my stereo to the bottom of the heater box, in a black plastic housing.

  3. #3
    Luke Skywalker
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Hampshire in the UK
    Posts
    1,623
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    4
    Thanked in
    4 Posts

    Re: Tasteful upgrades for a BJ7

    I have fitted a few driving light on the front - two Marchal 662 / 762 spots in the middle and a couple of Lucas Fog Rangers, one on each side slightly angled to pick out the sides of the road. The poor old dynamo (generator) fails to keep up with the demand so the next add on will be an alternator. The badge bar is mounted off brackets, fixed to the front irons, the front valance has been taken removed and the fogs are mounted off brackets also fitted to the irons.



    I have also installed some of Vredestein's finest Classic tyres and find them very acceptable.

  4. #4
    Jedi Warrior maxwedge5281's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    easley, south carolina
    Posts
    518
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Tasteful upgrades for a BJ7

    two of my favorite upgrades are tube shocks on all four corners and bolt on 5.5 and 6.0 by 15 minilite wheels....maybe a bit less tasteful to some but my most favorite upgrades are the sbc stroker motor and aod transmission..
    Attached Images Attached Images
    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

  5. #5
    Jedi Warrior CLEAH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    485
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    3
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    11
    Thanked in
    1 Post

    Re: Tasteful upgrades for a BJ7

    Bob, very sharp looking car. I like the collection of auxiliary lamps. Very nice.
    Hugh
    1965 BJ8
    1958 AN5


  6. #6
    Yoda Randy Forbes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    SW Florida (Sarasota/Bradenton area)
    Posts
    4,304
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    3
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    13
    Thanked in
    11 Posts

    Re: Tasteful upgrades for a BJ7

    With concessions to originality, and a nod to your pleasure in using the car, it's a balancing act. In a nutshell, anything that can be bolted on, can be unbolted later. Any required holes drilled can be plugged with a grommet (in hidden areas) or welded, smoothed and painted if done to the exposed bodywork. In other words, anything you do to personalize the car to your tastes can ultimately be undone by a future owner.

    The car's value will reflect the appeal of your mods, as most are detractors, not value adders (you will always make more money on the sale of a stock car, and offer the performance/aftermarket parts in separate sales/auctions).

    Having owned my Healey nearly forty (<40) years, I've committed a number of sins with it, but considering that whole cars can be produced from a VIN plate, an engine block, a transmission case and an axle housing, anything I've done/will do to BN6L/942 can be corrected at some future time.

    So have a ball with your Healey, and do anything you want that will encourage you to drive it more!

    I could spend a day trying to remember all the deviations I've made on my own car and not list them all, but some of the more memorable ones are below:

    disc brakes from a '59-'60 3000
    braided stainless steel/Teflon brake & clutch hoses
    tubular front shocks
    7/8" fron swaybar
    articulated A-arm locating rear axle

    28-1/5 gallon fuel tank
    Facet interrupter fuel pump + Holley PRV
    3 X Weber 45 DCOE dual-choke carbs (36mm main venturis)
    Iskenderian T3 camshaft
    aluminum rocker cover
    rotating/reciprocating components balanced
    cylinder head combustion chambers matched; port matching
    .030" overbore
    Mallory DP distributor
    MSD 6 AL ignition system, including coil
    Al Kirkland tube headers
    Ansa exhaust system
    remote spin-on oil filter
    oil cooler with thermostatic control
    increased capacity competition "TX" radiator core
    overflow/recovery tank (brass, from a late MGB)
    thermostatically controlled electric radiator fan

    (Porsche) Wine Red paint/Honey Tan interior
    AC Cobra 15 x 6 72-spoke wire wheels
    Borrani-pattern 3-eared K/Os

    Moto Lita wood rim steering wheel
    painted and engine-turned dashboard

    And more, no doubt
    http://www.britishcarforum.com/bcf/image.php
    57 Healey BN6L-942 Wine Red/Honey Tan
    99 BMW M Rdstr Cosmos Black Eurosport Twinscrew Supercharger
    01 BMW M Rdstr Steel Gray Performance Center (factory) Delivery
    11 X5 35i Sport Deep Sea Blue Metallic Wife's Turbo Hauler

  7. #7
    Jedi Knight
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    803
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Tasteful upgrades for a BJ7

    Bob: really nice front end treatment. I had a look at your photobucket collection - nice!
    Maxwedge: 5.5 on front; 6.0" on rear? what size tyres are you running?
    Randy: what is an 'articulated A-arm locating rear axle'? do you have them available for sale?

    And I forgot to mention for ours: stainless steel exhaust system. I'd like to find someone with a mild steel exhaust and do a sound comparison (not loudness!) as I think I prefer the 'sound' of the original stock system.
    1959 pristine 948 cc Bug-Eye; DCOE, 5 speed; bought 1971
    1960 BE bought 1971 & stored since; body tub restored and reassembling (1275; etc.)
    1962 AH 3000 BJ7; 3rd owner (1982?); in shop Oct. 2015 for paint job - home soon!
    1962 VW Meyers Manx clone dune buggy; stripped last winter and being reassembled
    1969 Kawasaki 500 H1 Triple, orig. owner; stored since 1973, but runs again! 1999 Buell S3

  8. #8
    Jedi Knight
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    803
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Tasteful upgrades for a BJ7

    Courtesy of the Trailering Thread: consider adding towing eyes to the front: http://www.mossmotors.com/Shop/ViewP...IndexID=110651 or https://www.ahspares.co.uk/austin-he...G-BRACKET.aspx Doug.

  9. #9
    Jedi Trainee Elva164's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Hopewell Junction, NY
    Posts
    234
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Tasteful upgrades for a BJ7

    Quote Originally Posted by twas_brillig View Post
    Randy: what is an 'articulated A-arm locating rear axle'? do you have them available for sale?
    Randy can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe he means a setup much like my Courier has:


    You can see the A-arm in silver. It locates the rear axle laterally like a panhard bar, while also minimizing changes in differential nose angle.
    Interested in vintage cars and vintage racing? Photos, videos, our race schedule, and more can be found at www.michaelsvintageracing.com!

  10. #10
    Yoda HealeyRick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    5,283
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    5
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    7
    Thanked in
    7 Posts

    Re: Tasteful upgrades for a BJ7

    It's a BJ7 Nasty Boy, which for some will immediately take it out of the "tasteful" category. My build plan was to convert this car, a former SCCA racer in the 60s as if a Healey guy in 1965 found a Shelby GT350 in a junkyard and did a driveline swap, putting the 302 hp HiPo 289 into the Healey.

    The idea was to keep it looking more or less period stock until the bonnet is lifted. Other than the engine and transmission, everything looks pretty much what this car could've looked like in 1965.





    Lempert 100S style Derrington Wheel
    Halda Speedpilot
    Becker Europa II Stereo AM/FM with attached Becker amp
    Custom made coco mats from https://www.cocomats.com/
    AMEREX chrome fire extinguisher
    Dealer style period style three point aircraft buckle belts with Austin-Healey/MG dealer emblem
    289 Shelby Cobra shift lever with faux reverse lockout trigger. Topped by a 289 Cobra 4 speed knob, but connected to a Steeda Tri-Ax shifter on a Ford T5Z 5 speed transmission.
    One of the biggest challenges was to keep the original gauges and make them work with the Ford motor. With a lot of effort, every original gauge reads correctly.



    A Series 1 E-Type rear view mirror with day/night option on MGB sliding rod



    Long handled headlamp dip switch moved to the dash with an E-type escutcheon.



    100M leather bonnet strap from the LeMans Registry



    More fake stuff. ANSA look dual exhaust



    This is the original "Mystic River Bridge" sticker the car used when it was still commuting into Boston.

    And, of course, the 5.0L Ford motor dressed to look like a 289 HiPo:



    It's got 72 spoke Dayton Chrome wire wheels, a larger ADDCO front sway bar, traction bars, HKS brake pads, stainless brake lines and a bunch of other mods, but still looks like a stock BJ7:



    Like every Healey, it's a work in progress. My planned updates this year are genuine ANSA Typo 2751 Twin Tip resonators that will replace the fake ones that are a bit oversize.





    Some louvers in the hood to increase engine cooling along with some exhaust headers to free up some horsepower that's being strangled by the Sunbeam Tiger cast iron exhaust manifolds I'm using.

    It has a sound all its own, nasty at the low end but quiet on the highway. At the British Invasion at Stowe, VT this year I was really pleased to talk with some guys that thought it was a stock Healey with a really good ANSA exhaust. Gotta love a Q-ship.


    Rick

  11. #11
    Yoda Randy Forbes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    SW Florida (Sarasota/Bradenton area)
    Posts
    4,304
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    3
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    13
    Thanked in
    11 Posts

    Re: Tasteful upgrades for a BJ7

    Quote Originally Posted by twas_brillig View Post
    Bob: really nice front end treatment. I had a look at your photobucket collection - nice!
    Maxwedge: 5.5 on front; 6.0" on rear? what size tyres are you running?
    Randy: what is an 'articulated A-arm locating rear axle'? do you have them available for sale?

    And I forgot to mention for ours: stainless steel exhaust system. I'd like to find someone with a mild steel exhaust and do a sound comparison (not loudness!) as I think I prefer the 'sound' of the original stock system.
    Pictured below, it's just something I fabricated to rid myself of Panhard Rod characteristics (hard cornering in one direction reacts with jacking up one side of the car).

    Quote Originally Posted by Elva164 View Post
    Randy can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe he means a setup much like my Courier has:



    You can see the A-arm in silver. It locates the rear axle laterally like a panhard bar, while also minimizing changes in differential nose angle.
    No correction necessary, as that is exactly what I mean. I got the idea from a Lotus suspension, but I did it so many years ago, I don't now remember if it was the Elite or the Cortina...

    The Articulated A-Arm locates the axle laterally, limits torque reaction from accelerating and braking, and also lowers the rear roll center of the car.

    http://www.britishcarforum.com/bcf/image.php
    57 Healey BN6L-942 Wine Red/Honey Tan
    99 BMW M Rdstr Cosmos Black Eurosport Twinscrew Supercharger
    01 BMW M Rdstr Steel Gray Performance Center (factory) Delivery
    11 X5 35i Sport Deep Sea Blue Metallic Wife's Turbo Hauler

  12. #12
    Darth Vader Michael Oritt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Lusby, MD, USA
    Posts
    2,877
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    4
    Thanked in
    4 Posts

    Re: Tasteful upgrades for a BJ7

    Since Randy and Mike have already hijacked this thread I'll pile on. Attached are a couple of shots of the link on my Ginetta G4 which mounts between the longitudinal frame tubes and the center section of the rear axle. It serves to both locate the axle laterally and prevent wind-up/jacking under braking/acceleration.
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Lemans
    1958 Elva Courier (FOR SALE)
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

  13. #13
    Darth Vader steveg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Altadena, CA
    Posts
    2,700
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    9
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    18
    Thanked in
    17 Posts

    Re: Tasteful upgrades for a BJ7

    Ha ha - comes the counter-revolution. Since Size (of Feature List) Matters, here goes:

    Brakes
    - 4-wheel disc brakes – Front:Toyota 4-piston calipers/BJ8 1/2" discs; Rear - Jaguar calipers – ceramic pads all around. Booster unnecessary with Toyota calipers.
    - Calipers painted red so you can't miss 'em
    - Dual-circuit 3/4” master cylinder with rear-circuit proportion valve
    - Braided SS brake hoses
    - Custom-designed e-brake linkage replaces original, gives better operation with lesser e-brake angle

    Steering & Front Suspension
    - BJ8 swivel axles allow larger brakes (Girling Type 16, Toyota)
    - Modified BJ8 rotor dust shields
    - 3/4” anti-roll bar
    - Modified Cape bronze adjustable upper trunion bearings for camber
    - Front trunion needle bearings
    - Tom's Toys front shock base plates
    - Spax tube shocks on custom mounts*
    - A-arm poly bushings (I no longer consider these an upgrade – they squeak)
    - Custom-designed Lempert 100S tribute steering wheel

    Rear Suspension
    - BJ8-upper radius arms in custom brackets ( fits 2-seaters only)**
    - Spax tube shocks on custom mounts*
    - Uprated Panhard bar
    - Additional leaf in each spring

    Driveline
    - Toyota Supra (28% OD) 5 speed - with Ferrari-style shift knob
    - BJ8 diaphragm clutch
    - Lempert 3.54 axle ratio
    - 180HR-15 Michelin tires
    - Speedo calibrated for diff & tire diameter
    - 72-spoke chrome/SS Dayton wheels

    Engine
    - DMD high-efficiency manifold with HD8 carbs and modified K&N air filters
    - PCV equally distributed to both carbs
    - Ceramic-coated Kirk headers with Monza exhaust, custom muffled tips
    - 1.6 ratio high-lift aluminum rockers
    - Extra long-reach NGK plugs flush with combustion chamber
    - Ray Juncal finned aluminum Valve cover
    - Aluminum sump
    - Denso alternator on Hendrix mount
    - Spin on oil filter
    - Pertronix ignition – DM6 dist modified by Advanced to D25 specs
    - Bosch blue coil
    - Mr Finespanner remote brake slave cyl. bleeder
    - Facet gold box fuel pump with heat shielding

    Cooling
    - Quad core radiator with MG fluid recovery tank
    - 6-bladed Stainless fan
    - Augmented Kilmartin fan shrouds pass more air with less leakage
    - Comprehensive baffling around radiator prevents recirculation of hot air forward and improves coolness of fresh air to cockpit
    - Air “shovel” scoop directs cool air to bottom of radiator, prevents hot air recirculation
    - Tefba cooling system filter prevents sediment buildup in radiator

    Safety
    - Dual-circuit braking
    - LED tail/brake lights with additional turn lights in rear reflectors
    - Three point seat belts
    - Non-hanging compression-style rear exhaust mount with safety screws

    Additional Instrumentation
    - O2 meter with sensor for each carb's exhaust header
    - Smiths Battery Conditon voltmeter
    - Smiths Oil Temperature gauge
    - Fuel-gauge dampener

    Convenience, Interior & “Comfort”
    - Improved e-brake operating angle
    - Bilge blower on fresh-air intake
    - Fresh air intake isolated behind grille to prevent hot air intake from engine
    - Auxiliary dash panel under heater control, contains...
    ... Dual USB charger outlet for 1 ft cord for windshield Garmin
    ... Infinitely variable fan controller for fresh-air bilge blower
    ... Switch for O2 sensors
    - Dual cigarette-lighter power outlets under dash
    - Turn-light beeper has adjustable volume
    - Daytime-only LED indicator light for driving lights
    - Fire extinguisher behind driver's seat
    - Anti-heat and -sound shield layer under carpets

    Future:
    - Engine rebuild with BJ8 cam and J&E pistons
    - New wiring harness
    - Consolidate all auxilary electrical (relays, etc) into master fuse & relay box
    - Paint engine compartment

    * I don't recommend building your own shock mounts or using Spax shocks. I don't weld and the cost of machine work, welding and the shocks was only slightly less than the Putzke kit. In addition, Udo's custom-valved Bilsteins ride better than Spax, in my opinion.

    ** If I'd known about Randy's setup, would have done that. Mine was difficult, expensive and required lots of fitting - also it can't be used on 4-seaters.
    Steve Gerow
    Altadena, CA, USA
    Maker of most complete Big Healey rear disc kit
    Check out my galleries:
    http://www.pbase.com/stevegerow

  14. #14
    Jedi Warrior maxwedge5281's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    easley, south carolina
    Posts
    518
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Tasteful upgrades for a BJ7

    twas brillig....the tires are 195/65 by 15 and 225/60 by 15 on the 5.5 and 6.0 minilite bolton wheels. i also like the speedhut gauges with gps speedometer with built in gas gauge. all gauges fit the standard healey openings.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by maxwedge5281; 10-19-2016 at 08:20 AM.
    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

  15. #15
    Obi Wan Johnny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,053
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Tasteful upgrades for a BJ7

    Here's an upgrade I'm considering for my '63 BJ7. In the July/August 2012 (yeah I know it's been awhile) issue of the Austin Healey magazine AHCA there's an article on replacing the entire exhaust system for Healey's. Steve Day (British Car Ranch) came up with the upgrade. It can be found on their website www.britishcarranch.homestead.com even has a link to hear the actual sound when installed. Great article but need to find me a local shop willing to build it.
    BTW has anyone else tried installing a "equalizer pipe"??

  16. #16
    Darth Vader John Turney's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,883
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    5
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Tasteful upgrades for a BJ7

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny View Post
    Here's an upgrade I'm considering for my '63 BJ7. In the July/August 2012 (yeah I know it's been awhile) issue of the Austin Healey magazine AHCA there's an article on replacing the entire exhaust system for Healey's. Steve Day (British Car Ranch) came up with the upgrade. It can be found on their website www.britishcarranch.homestead.com even has a link to hear the actual sound when installed. Great article but need to find me a local shop willing to build it.
    BTW has anyone else tried installing a "equalizer pipe"??
    The original non-BJ8 system has an equalizer in the muffler.
    John, BN4

  17. #17
    Jedi Knight
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    803
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Tasteful upgrades for a BJ7

    Our BJ7 came out of the shop in early July (and it's quite wonderful!); I just took a run up to watch our granddaughter playing lacrosse (about 350 miles round trip; air temp a bit less than 80F) and one upgrade I'm wishing I'd really pursued was following the standard advice regards checking and sealing all the gaps that might let hot air into the passenger compartment as well as upgrading/augmenting/adding insulation to the transmission cover, floor, etc. etc.
    Other than driving with no pants and asbestos briefs/socks, what to you guys down south do?
    1959 pristine 948 cc Bug-Eye; DCOE, 5 speed; bought 1971
    1960 BE bought 1971 & stored since; body tub restored and reassembling (1275; etc.)
    1962 AH 3000 BJ7; 3rd owner (1982?); in shop Oct. 2015 for paint job - home soon!
    1962 VW Meyers Manx clone dune buggy; stripped last winter and being reassembled
    1969 Kawasaki 500 H1 Triple, orig. owner; stored since 1973, but runs again! 1999 Buell S3

  18. #18
    Jedi Knight
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    803
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Tasteful upgrades for a BJ7

    http://www.britishcarforum.com/bcf/s...ighlight=chunk
    Over on the Spridget side, I initiated a thread regards tilting the stock seat back a bit by raising the front, which prompted others to share further ideas including a BMC service bulletin for changing the pivot point. The Spridget and 3000 seats mount differently, but thought that this discussion would fall under the 'tasteful upgrades' concept. Doug

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •