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Thread: Healey BJ8 failed MOT in 1979 - Almost restored Aug 2019!

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    Healey BJ8 failed MOT in 1979 - Almost restored October 2019!

    A SAGA OF DEDICATION WITH FRIENDS OVER 40 YEARS

    I bought the Healey 3000 MKIII BJ8 in 1972. Used it until it failed MOT in 1979 in Birmingham. Total nut and bolt stripdown with my friend Phil having a garage facility.

    AAHealeyrotten1.jpg
    aahealeyrotten2.jpg

    I moved away from the area in 1981 and the car was then in the hands of Phil who took it on as a labour of love. In those days we were getting parts from Southern Carburetters....I buyed....he fitted. Over the years he fully restored/repaired as necessary. Bare chassis upwards.

    aahealeychassis.jpg
    Not attempting concourse!! Could not afford it!

    At 60 years old Phil retired and went on the dole and enrolled on a Tech College body spraying course funded by the social! The facilities were top class and he worked on all the car panels and sprayed them in the best possible standard. Today, those panels are still in perfect condition.

    In 2010, he found it too much to carry on and his friend Paul took it on. He restores classic Ferraris in a barn that has a hoist, compressor, welding gear etc etc.



    Again, it was a labour of love. I had not seen the car since 1981. Everything going well until Phil passed away.

    I met Paul at Phil's funeral and discussed the way forward. He was keen to carry on and so I communicated with him over the next years until he suddenly decided to move to Thailand late 2018.

    I am 75 years old and have recovered the part finished Healey on a trailer, brought it home to my garage together with a pile of dirty rusty rotting bits and pieces, with every intention of completing the restoration.
    IMG_20181206_141058.jpg
    I put oil in and immediately found water dripping from a rusted sump. 2 Ltres!! 20 years of standing in a barn! Condensation?

    Currently struggling with my aged bones getting under and around the car but progressing slowly. AH Spares supply wagon is in full use - carpet/boot sets, upholstery and panels all bought and fitted by me.

    aahealeyupholstery.jpg

    Got the engine fired up but blew three core plugs. Rusted out!

    No oil pressure..... sump full of broken, rusted metal from rotting strainer! Pump obviously useless. Sump has pin holes.

    aahealeysump.jpg



    Today, 7 Aug 2019, I have been laid on my back spraying petrol up the engine insides and cleaning out with a brush and hoover. Purchased a new pump but will travel to Bill Rawles Healey restorers this weekend to get a second hand strainer ...... cannot get new ones anywhere! Bill also has a used horn push and indicator for my adjustable steering column....again, I cannot find a new one.

    Luckily there is oil in the conrod and main bearing shells so I shall eventually flush the whole system as it is, with a new alloy sump and oil pump/strainer.

    Feeling my age, but determined to see her on the road again. More anon....and thank you for indulging me so far.

    IMG_20181207_135742.jpg

    ....10th August...
    Visited Bill Rawles empire today. What a wonderful set up for Healey restoration advice. Lovely people to deal with....at last I have got hold of a hornpush/indicator assembly and oil sump strainer. Can't wait to get going...

    17 August... So...oil pressure problem ....installed new oil strainer and sump. still no oil pressure so confused but went back to the friend who had the restoration before me and he felt he may have put the modification to the oil filter 180° out I checked that and he had .. soon as I changed it back oil pressure fantastic! Fired up at last. haven't heard that sound for 40 years. what a wonderful engine noise. there is huge classic/vintage car festival about 1600 cars this bank holiday Monday coming and mixture of loads of healeys, all the British cars, American classics, Rollers all sorts of things. This was my original target date to show the car fully completed. I have an exhibitor's pass for the day so now i intend taking it down there on a trailer. I think it would make a nice display and I would benefit from talking to like-minded people about the actual car itself so that I can move on with good ideas and tips to move forward.

    Anyone know how to rewire the horn push and indicator? Not sure how to separate the bits to un solder the wires and replace.
    .....
    14th September...
    Didn't make the Pershore show...couldn't get a trailer. Attended and met many Healey owners. Good chats....gave me confidence in knowing things that don't quite fit is not unusual and just need to be creative sometimes. No-one has ever managed to completely strip an old car and rebuild exactly!

    Managed to strip, rewire and reinstall horn push. What a test of manual dexterity!!!

    Started bleeding brake system but replaced both front brake calipers because of my inability to remove and replace corroded bleeders!. Damaged the casting on one of them! Found a very good price of £69 per new caliper!! So bought two to ensure good balance. The flexipipes and copper pipes needed clearing after years of sitting unused. All ok now.

    Next job is sorting charging issues. Dynamo

    ....26th Sep 2019...

    Charging sorted! Checked output from dynamo....14 to 15 volts.....ok. Although I knew the regulator box had been ok 40 years ago I adventured in to opening up the unit. Carefully cleaned four sets of points. Interesting that buffing up still failed to succeed but after cleaning with meths, charging is restored. The joy of seeing the charging light going out !!!
    Equally the sense of achievement using my new found electric skills.... It prompted me to open up the traffic indicator control box and carry out similar action. Again, success! Indicators working. Now only left with no tacho operation. Likely to take for testing.

    So.... Engine good, electrics ok, brakes done... Allows me to put the front shroud on at last. This feels like a very significant step towards completing the restoration.

    The shroud settled down very well the only question was the closeness of the the inside of the bonnet opening to the carburettor air intakes. A few spacers inserted on the support struts etc seems to have done the trick. I continued to have fantastic telephone support from Bill Rawlings and JME restorers as to to the worries I had about misalignment. They confirmed again that as with any old car, stripping down and rebuilding will present such problems. At this stage I had been following in reverse the Haynes manual instructions for removing the shroud and was now at the point of installing the grill. I chose not to finally fix or rivet the shroud until I had the grill installed. Horrendous arrangement of three pieces of chrome, nuts and bolts etc etc caused huge frustration with the grill arrangement. In the end I decided to lift the shroud off and install the grill on it before refitting to the body. Much easier and I see no issues in the future for having done so

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-2QUABQ2uJcBcf3w0SCEWH2KPMVP6GlF/view?usp=drivesdk

    27th September 2019

    .... What a great moment!! Today at 3am (yes ..3am) I have fitted the windscreen wipers! Yes, I know, it doesn't seem so epic, but it follows two days of complete rebuild of windscreen assembly and its final installation.! One of the trickiest jobs I have experienced so far. Haynes manual followed to a letter, spacers bought for the support struts to body fitting. Sealant applied. Almost overlooked the attachment to the centre bracket.... I thought the centre hole in the shroud was of no use until JME restorers told me about the rubber insert including its thread for taking a centre fixing bolt was available from head4healeys. This was an item that was probably in the pile of bits I collected with the
    car way back in December 2018.... and probably threw away!!

    http://photos.app.goo.gl/PbtDFQ9Jcr1nHRNi9

    Now at a point where my healey, after 40 years labour of love, only needs two wings and two doors fitted.!! The paintwork is already done and I've invested in all new bits for both doors, although both windows are salvaged.

    Hey!! What is in Coca-Cola that brings rusty chrome back to perfect?!
    Great tip given to me by ANOTHER new found friend who happened in to my garage today.

    1st October....

    Why did I not realise that the wings go on before the bloody windscreen!! Can't get them on! Ne'er mind, having installed the windscreen once I can remove and re-install again.

    27th September 2019

    .... What a great moment!! Today at 3am (yes ..3am) I have fitted the windscreen wipers! Yes, I know, it doesn't seem so epic, but it follows two days of complete rebuild of windscreen assembly and its final installation.! One of the trickiest jobs I have experienced so far. Haynes manual followed to a letter, spacers bought for the support struts to body fitting. Sealant applied. Almost overlooked the attachment to the centre bracket.... I thought the centre hole in the shroud was of no use until JME restorers told me about the rubber insert including its thread for taking a centre fixing bolt was available from head4healeys. This was an item that was probably in the pile of bits I collected with the
    car way back in December 2018.... and probably threw away!!

    Now at a point where my healey, after 40 years labour of love, only needs two wings and two doors fitted.!! The paintwork is already done and I've invested in all new bits for both doors, although both windows are salvaged.

    Hey!! What is in Coca-Cola that brings rusty chrome back to perfect?!
    Great tip given to me by ANOTHER new found friend who happened in to my garage today.

    October 16th 2019.....

    Managed to fit both wings on with a struggle with making the shroud and the wing fit so as to make a perfect hole for the installation of head and side lights. But then came the doors ....the final stage!!

    Both door apertures were too tight at the top and prevented them shutting. No adjustment possible at all so investigations ensued with the very worrying thought that I had chassis alignment problems following 40 years of restoration getting to the point where I may have to strip it all back again!

    Lots of advice from many sources suggesting not an uncommon problem after stripping the car down to bare chassis and hoping it would all fit together again. Thinking of making the doors themselves fit by shaving and respraying bits off but that wouldn't get over the problem that the Chrome flash at the top of the doors are about 3 mil too long if I did so.

    Then I found the Healey 3000 forum website with an article starting on page 9 about such problems. It highlighted the problem of the "Healey sag" which occurs as a result of the car sitting for some time during restoration.

    I therefore decided to jack the car up at the point of the chassis at the middle of one door thus taking the whole weight of the car at that point. This immediately resulted in the aperture opening at the top and allowing the door to fit perfectly!

    My dear Healey is now sat cockeyed in the garage with me hoping that if left long enough it may settle permanently in this position. And then I can do the same to the other side!

    If this doesn't work then I have another new friend who knows another man who knows a garage that will take the car and bend the chassis as appropriate,!!

    Oh this saga is endless.....
    Last edited by Cutrog1; 10-21-2019 at 02:03 AM. Reason: Progress report 16th Oct 2019

  2. #2
    Darth Vader
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    Re: Healey BJ8 failed MOT in 1979 - Almost restored Aug 2019!

    Hello Roger

    Welcome to the forum.
    Great saga. I am sure you will het the Healey back on the road again.

    I remember the MOT was always touch and go with my TR2.

    David
    TR3A TS75524L

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    Great Pumpkin JPSmit's Avatar
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    Re: Healey BJ8 failed MOT in 1979 - Almost restored Aug 2019!

    wow, amazing saga! well done and let's get it done!
    John-Peter Smit
    1976 MG Midget
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    1958 Fiat Multipla (Barn art)

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    Jedi Knight TimK's Avatar
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    Re: Healey BJ8 failed MOT in 1979 - Almost restored Aug 2019!

    As a fellow 75 year old with a 38 year history with my 1960 BN7, I’m nearing the end of my time with my Healey. Age has made me much less tolerant of the pain involved with leaning over or climbing into awkward positions/places to fix things. Heat also is a major inhibitor to my enjoyment of driving my Healey. It is rare to find the perfect day to take a drive. Congratulations for undertaking this project at this “late” date. Hope you bring it to fruition.
    Tim K.
    1960 3000 BN7 (owned since 1981)
    1973 Yamaha TX500 (Owned since new -- 11,000 lifetime miles)
    Former LBC’s: 1961 TR3, 1966 MGB (SCCA race car)
    First car: Volvo 122S

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Healey BJ8 failed MOT in 1979 - Almost restored Aug 2019!

    Best of luck on completing your project.
    Remember that Beaulieu is coming up next month and might be worth a visit to find some bits.
    Cheers,
    D.
    "If it's got t*ts or tyres, you've got problems"
    www.englishmotorsatfairbrook.org
    TVR Car Club North America Southwest Regional Organiser

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    Re: Healey BJ8 failed MOT in 1979 - Almost restored Aug 2019!

    Thanks for responding David. I intend posting regularly.

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    Re: Healey BJ8 failed MOT in 1979 - Almost restored Aug 2019!

    Thanks for responding D. Not quite understanding T*Ts ?

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    Re: Healey BJ8 failed MOT in 1979 - Almost restored Aug 2019!

    Thanks for responding Tim...nice to be in amongst you all.

    Worried that if I get in to drive it, I won't be able to climb out!!

    First car Austin seven ruby.!!

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    Re: Healey BJ8 failed MOT in 1979 - Almost restored Aug 2019!

    Thanks JP! Nice to be on board with you all.

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Healey BJ8 failed MOT in 1979 - Almost restored Aug 2019!

    A part of the female anatomy.
    i have a mate that lives near you if you need some help. He is retired now, but has a workshop that his home.
    Will see him next month when over.
    Cheers,
    D.
    "If it's got t*ts or tyres, you've got problems"
    www.englishmotorsatfairbrook.org
    TVR Car Club North America Southwest Regional Organiser

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    Re: Healey BJ8 failed MOT in 1979 - Almost restored Aug 2019!

    Thanks for that. Someone to bounce off locally would be ideal..

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    Re: Healey BJ8 failed MOT in 1979 - Almost restored Aug 2019!

    Visited Bill Rawles empire today. What a wonderful set up for Healey restoration advice. Lovely people to deal with....at last I have got hold of a hornpush/indicator assembly and oil sump strainer. Can't wait to get going...

  13. #13
    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Healey BJ8 failed MOT in 1979 - Almost restored Aug 2019!

    He is located in Inkberrow. PM me if you would like his details.
    Cheers,
    D.
    "If it's got t*ts or tyres, you've got problems"
    www.englishmotorsatfairbrook.org
    TVR Car Club North America Southwest Regional Organiser

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    Re: Healey BJ8 failed MOT in 1979 - Almost restored Aug 2019!

    Would welcome contact details.

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    Re: Healey BJ8 failed MOT in 1979 - Almost restored Aug 2019!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cutrog1 View Post
    Would welcome contact details.

    He had asked you to PM him for the contact info (not always a good idea to post phone numbers or email addresses in the open forum). To PM Grantura_MK1, simply click on his name that's on the left in the post above, then simply click "Private Message" in the drop down. From there it works just like posting a message in the forum, except it will go to him privately. Then, when he replies, you will see a notification that you have a new PM in the "Notifications" area just at the top-right of the page.

    Basil
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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Healey BJ8 failed MOT in 1979 - Almost restored Aug 2019!

    Cheers, Bas.
    Cheers,
    D.
    "If it's got t*ts or tyres, you've got problems"
    www.englishmotorsatfairbrook.org
    TVR Car Club North America Southwest Regional Organiser

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    Re: Healey BJ8 failed MOT in 1979 - Almost restored Aug 2019!

    So sorry....I really am struggling with the technicality of this forum. Your instructions are clear but they don't offer me a drop down menu for PM messages and I'm not the best with how it links members. Bit lost I'm afraid.
    Last edited by Cutrog1; 08-12-2019 at 11:51 AM. Reason: Corrections

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    Re: Healey BJ8 failed MOT in 1979 - Almost restored Aug 2019!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cutrog1 View Post
    So sorry....I really am struggling with the technicality of this forum. Your instructions are clear but they don't offer m drop down menu for megards
    If you're not used to forums it can seem a little daunting at first, but I'm sure you'll soon get the hang of it. Here is a little video I made explaining the PM system which might help (not when you click on this link you will leave the "New Members Forum" and go to the Video Tutorials forum:

    https://www.britishcarforum.com/bcf/...Message-System
    “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” - Oscar Wilde

  19. #19
    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Healey BJ8 failed MOT in 1979 - Almost restored Aug 2019!

    I have sent him a PM from my end. Hopefully he can open it?
    Would be nice to finish this project so he may get the joy of using it!!
    Cheers,
    D.
    "If it's got t*ts or tyres, you've got problems"
    www.englishmotorsatfairbrook.org
    TVR Car Club North America Southwest Regional Organiser

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    Administrator Basil's Avatar
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    Re: Healey BJ8 failed MOT in 1979 - Almost restored Aug 2019!

    Quote Originally Posted by Grantura_MKI View Post
    I have sent him a PM from my end. Hopefully he can open it?
    Would be nice to finish this project so he may get the joy of using it!!
    Thank, I was going to suggest that.
    “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” - Oscar Wilde

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