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Thread: Scuttle shake.

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    Scuttle shake.

    Good afternoon,
    i have posted about my car before. One thing has lead to another and because of the inequities with my car Iíve elected to do a full frame off restoration.
    I took the windscreen off and discovered that the previous caretaker had not only installed the wrong year shroud but that they took a short cut and hid the parting line under the windscreen it is completely disconnected from the dash, would this contribute to scuttle shake?
    The car obviously took a major broadside as the scuttle support on the frame is bent inboard. I noticed a small crack at the shock mount.
    Iím inclined to replace the shroud and straighten anything bent, weld the fissures properly and make sure the frame is straight. If anyone could lend a bit of advice I would be deeply grateful, thanks - jeff

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    Re: Scuttle shake.

    Some scuttle shake has been attributed to rear brake drums needing balancing. Hendrix wire wheel does this procedure.

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    Re: Scuttle shake.

    I'm not being snarky--for once--and I sympathize with your plight, but at this point mightn't it be better to find another candidate for what will likely end up being a full frame-off resto? Dunno which car you have, but you will almost certainly be way underwater on it when it's done (not that that's a major concern for most of the owners here). Also, many reproduction parts are of dubious quality, which can add to the effort and frustration you will encounter. OTOH, if you really like this car then go for it; it's definitely an experience you won't soon forget (though you may want to).

    Scuttle shake can have many causes, and in most cases it is probably a combination. In addition to the aforementioned brake drums, unbalanced, untrued wheels can cause or contribute, and the chassis of Healeys--esp. the scuttle/bulkhead you mentioned--is simply not as robust as it should be (some weld in bracing in the gearbox tunnel, not sure what the efficacy is). Also, shake is common in older convertibles--and, from what I hear in some newer ones--our '65 Mustang convertible has a shake almost identical to my Healeys. My father was a factory rep for Ford, and told me 'They all do it.'

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    Yoda HealeyRick's Avatar
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    Re: Scuttle shake.

    I'm sorry this car has turned out to have some hidden problems. https://bringatrailer.com/listing/19...-bj8-mk-iii-8/ I suppose cutting the shroud the way they did for the repair could contribute to scuttle shake. It would remove some support from that heavy BJ8 windshield and frame. The rest of this car looks very nice and perhaps you wouldn't need to do a full frame-off restoration. Try to hold out for finding an original shroud (with the right number of lights, of course) as some of the repros can have fitting problems. As far as the crack in the shock mount, take a look at these methods for strengthening that area: https://www.britishcarforum.com/bcf/...-reinforcement If you do have to source a new shroud, I'd ask around for some references of people that have already fitted the product. This fellow in the UK seems to know his stuff, but I have no personal experience with them: https://www.facebook.com/Dave-Hardwi...J7mPwvUixvnQJU
    Last edited by HealeyRick; 07-16-2019 at 07:45 AM.
    Rick

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    Re: Scuttle shake.

    Good morning,
    Thanks to all of you for your responses.
    Bob I have a 66 mustang convertible restomod I've done. The scuttle shake in that car can be cured by adding a proper monticarlo bar and shock tower support. I will be glad to share images of my mustang if you contact me at jeffdaniels@sbcglobal.net.

    The saga of this Healey will be an epic tale to be sure, Never buy a car from an unknown source site unseen, my bad. I really deserve everything I got.
    Unfortunately at this time in history, personal integrity means little and it's about the almighty profit margin. I likely paid about 15k to much for this car.

    knowing little about his car I had a vehicle and road worthy inspection performed that cost me a lot of money and I was told that the car was a great vehicle.
    The mechanic adjusted the valves and allegedly the carbs, inspected the wheels tires and changed it over to negative ground.
    The car seemed to run fine other than the scuttle shake and the overheating issue.
    The car got a flat and was leaking something weird so I pulled the wheel off and in big bold red letters it said Used -fix a flat 1999 The whole side wall was split from wheel to tread, I had that car to 90 miles an hour I could have easily Died.

    My friend roger started helping me with the overheating issue and we discovered that the carbs had never been touched and all the settings were frozen which prompted us to send them for rebuilding.
    We sent the carbs to Dana of SU carbs, That was a disaster, never ever use that person he will ruin your carbs.
    Roger and I started taking the car apart and found that the fuel system leaked badly, the wiring harness was toast as well as the wheels, tires hubs ,fuel tank and pump.

    At this point I'm too far down the line to look back, I'll be underwater for a while, it's ok I'm well familiar with breathing from a straw from deep below the surface!

    Some positive things On my side are I own a well appointed metal fabrication shop with a lift and a very large pram blasting cabinet and have
    the expert help of roger who lives very close to my shop.
    I'm building a rotisserie and sending the Healey to be soda blasted as soda blasting seems to be the safest on aluminum.

    I met a guy locally that has a shroud from a 100-6 that needs the under the grill portion of the shroud swapped out . I already own that patch panel and he is willing to trade the shroud for the rotisserie when I'm done with it.
    I did a swap with a painter so the paint and body work are basically free at this point. I have all the tools to make new fuel and brake lines.
    The engine was rebuilt when I bought the car and seemingly they did a nice job. The interior was new and nicely done.
    I'm confident this frame off will go smoothly. I'll keep you posted, I'll likely be leaning on the forum for future advice. Thank you all for your contributions so far! -Jeff

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    Re: Scuttle shake.

    My own experience with scuttle shake....

    Obviously, many things can make the car shake (wobbly wire wheels, driveshaft balance issues, brake drums, etc.). My scuttle shook terribly. During rebuild, I found that the scuttle bottoms (where the scuttle meets the floor) had completely detached from the floor due to rust issues. In addition to new floors, i also added patches to the lower parts of the scuttle to secure the scuttle to the floor. This, along with some new wire wheels, has almost entirely eliminated the shake.

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    Re: Scuttle shake.

    Jeff--

    Sorry you got stung so badly.

    As to scuttle shake, some cars have it and some don't. Some folks have luck reducing it by the methods stated in previous posts and some folks learn to tolerate it and not drive at or around 60 mph where some synchronicity sets in to brake drums, wheels, etc.

    When I bought my car it had the original 48 spoke Dunlops and some bias ply tires and the car shook like mad. A set of 60-spoke Daytons and Hendrix balanced/trued tires later and voila--pretty close to a glass-like ride, all things being equal. Money spent on rotational parts is fundamental to a smooth ride and money well spent.

    Before setting into your car with a die grinder perhaps you can make contact with some other Healey owners and get some perspective on just how bad is your case of the shakes. I know you feel you are already underwater but there is no sense in throwing good money after bad, especially in your quest for something that may not be that much better than what you now have.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
    Last edited by Michael Oritt; 09-13-2019 at 07:16 AM.

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Le Mans
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    Re: Scuttle shake.

    "Never buy a car from an unknown source site unseen ..."

    yep

    I often wonder how many similar stories we'll never hear, as the poor guy who bought a big disappointment "sight unseen" doesn't want anyone to know.

    Chalk it up as a learning experience.
    Tom M.

    Mac & Phyllis Take a Trip: http://nutmegflyer.com/trip-details-daily-updates/
    History: 1976 MGB, 1959 Triumph TR3A, 1960 Mercedes-Benz 190b, 1958 Rambler American.
    Current: 1953 MG TD27318.

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    Re: Scuttle shake.

    Quote Originally Posted by metropolisman View Post
    Good morning,
    ...
    I met a guy locally that has a shroud from a 100-6 that needs the under the grill portion of the shroud swapped out . ...
    I'm sure the upper 100-6 shroud is different than the BJ8 shroud. A friend of mine with a BJ7 must have had the same body shop work on his as worked on yours. He pulled off his windshield and dash pad and found two sets of defroster vents, with a seam between them. The convertible (BJ7 & BJ8) defroster vents are located further forward than on the earlier 6-cyl cars.
    John, BN4

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    Re: Scuttle shake.

    Before tearing the car apart, take a deep breath and consider where you are at the moment. Does the car still suffer badly from scuttle shake after you installed the new wheels etc? Have the rear drums now been balanced? Is it possible to weld the shroud so that it has a lip piece to attach to the scuttle. Before diving in I would do the easy fixes first. ( Ok shroud isn’t an easy fix but you know what I mean). Then take stock of where you are.

    Is the chassis straight and strong? Things may not be as bad as they seem.

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    Re: Scuttle shake.

    New hubs and good wheels sorted my scuttle shake out

    Best of luck



    Bob

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    Re: Scuttle shake.

    Have a look at a thread entitled 'tasteful upgrades' if you're going the full body off route as there may be some ideas there to consider incorporating in your rebuild.
    Regards underwater: I can't justify the amount of money our BJ7 cost, but I'd gone back to work and just transferred pay cheques over to the shop, which turned out to be an excellent allocaiton of my time. I could've sat in the garage, contemplating and stewing and twisting wrenches for six months, and not accomplshed a whole lot; or spent the same six months (or however long it was) working for a cheque and reimbursing the guys with the skills for their hours. ANd hours. And hours. Doug
    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

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    Re: Scuttle shake.

    Hi and Welcome to the many intregues posed by the Austin Healey.

    I applaud your selection of an experienced mentor and Roger is one of the best to follow.

    Keep in mind that "Scuttle Shake" is not usually the result of one issue but is created from a number of small and large faults within the components and structure of the Healey. A while back, I read an article asserting that although the Healey may have been designed with sufficient rigidity, Jensen (the bodies manufacturer) cut back on the number of welds in strategic areas to increase volume and reduce unit cost. Add to this manufactured reduction to original designed rigidity forming the scuttle and transmission support structure, deterioration over time of light weight 15-gauge steel structures (frame, suspension supports, etc.) from the common formation of internal corrosion and rust, and the number of potentially imbalanced components (i.e. brake drums, drive shaft, wheels, tires, etc.) and you have the potentials creating what we refer to as "Scuttle Shake".

    I am sorry to say that there is no easy solution but many have reduced or eliminated this shake by doing a few things. First, make sure your wheels and tires are trued and balanced. Make sure you have balanced rear drums as they are quite heavy and for decades I just assumed they were (never assume). Last, pull the front fenders and add weld in additional support to the scuttle and outrigger supports.

    Sorry to say, if these actions don't provide a sufficient and satisfying reduction in shake, you will then have to go deeper in your investigation. However, I think these actions will provide a sufficient reduction in shake to make driving your Healey very enjoyable.

    My last suggestion is to Enjoy the Pursuit as the logic used in the investigation and understanding gained will be quite entertaining and prove valuable during your ownership.

    All the best,
    Ray(64BJ8P1)

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    Re: Scuttle shake.

    I heard/read somewhere that Geoff wanted to use thicker steel for the chassis when they went to 6 cylinders; BMC nixed the idea (natch, would've cost profit).

    I'd love to see a map/schematic--whatever the correct word is--of where additional welds should be applied to help eliminate shake. I know some have built angle-iron brackets in the gearbox tunnel, and some have added additional beads where the frame is welded to the chassis, but no one to my knowledge has documented where these welds should go.

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    Yoda HealeyRick's Avatar
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    Re: Scuttle shake.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_Spidell View Post
    I heard/read somewhere that Geoff wanted to use thicker steel for the chassis when they went to 6 cylinders; BMC nixed the idea (natch, would've cost profit).

    I'd love to see a map/schematic--whatever the correct word is--of where additional welds should be applied to help eliminate shake. I know some have built angle-iron brackets in the gearbox tunnel, and some have added additional beads where the frame is welded to the chassis, but no one to my knowledge has documented where these welds should go.
    Bob,

    Here's Keith Pennell's article on the angle-iron brackets: http://www.britishcarweek.org/scuttle.html I had these put in when I was installing the V8 in my BJ7. I also have 72 spoke Daytons, Michelin XAS that were mounted and shaved by Hendrix Wire Wheel along with rear drum balancing. True shotgun approach. One or all of these things fixed it and the car runs down the road with absolutely no shake. I've also read that the heavier windshield on the convertibles added to scuttle shake.
    Rick

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    Re: Scuttle shake.

    Hi Bob,

    I too would like to know the location and number of the original welds. Also, since the Healey's structural rigidity is, and has been, extremely important to the running operational stability of our cars, I would expect there was much that has been learned by those participating in competition (track and road) over the years. Is there any documents produced by Healey racing competitors. Keep in mind that scuttle shake is most noticeable during in-line runs at cruising speeds (50 - 65 MPH) and may not be as noticeable under road racing conditions. However, racers often try to improve the rigidity of their Healeys to improve directional responsiveness and this pursuit falls in line with achieving increased rigidity.

    A while back, I was interested in improving the rigidity of my Healey and during my rebuild, added quite a few additional welds to improve structural rigidity. During that process, it was obvious that rust had penetrated the frame of my Healey and I sliced the bottom of my frame and rewelded it to identify locations and add replacement plates to assure structural strength. A while after completion of my rebuild, I read an article describing how foam was being injected into the structure of more modern cars (i.e. Audi's, etc.) to achieve added rigidity. Although this approach seems it would help in achieving our objective, passed on this approach as a result of concern for my facility to do the task properly on my already completed and roadable Healey. I bring this up to show that other approaches may be viable and I look to other Forum participants for their thoughts and suggestions.

    Ray(64BJ8P1)

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    Re: Scuttle shake.

    IBOB:

    I read a different cause for the poor metal in our Healeys

    .
    The Queen only allowed good metal to be used by car manufactures that had existing car export history. ?
    1966 Daimler V8 Saloon; Safely Fast, Built to Last & and; Smooth as Glass.
    1966 BJ8 [ 2 ] Lil Red & Miss bLU
    1985 XJ6 Saloon
    1948 & 70 Lincoln continentals
    1973 Volvo P1800ES

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