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Thread: 1954 100 Project

Forum to discuss Austin Healey Sports Cars

  1. #21
    57_BN4
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    Re: 1954 100 Project

    The gas-axed off bit looks like the RHD mount for the brake master cylinder.

    With all that welding around the mounts I'd reckon that the chassis rails will have cracks too. My bog-standard 100,000 mile BN4 had a variety of cracks, enough to warrant replacing the entire chassis.


    Your kingpins have been replaced at some time and should have been rebushed, also those finned drums are from a late BN4/BN6 which are marginally better than the original ones. Get them balanced if you are going to keep them- I did some a couple of weeks ago that were over four ounces out.

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    Re: 1954 100 Project

    based on the pictures you are showing, it is clear the car has taken a front end hit .The result of the hit is damage to the front shroud, front mounting points from the frame to the shroud, the welding to the lower A arm mounting brackets and the additional buckling at the lower a arm mounting brackets. The picture showing the scraped metal where you removed the tar to expose the bare metal just beyond that point a dent is seen. this is generally caused by jacking up the car at these points which demonstrates how weak the chassis is because it buckled when it was jacked up or as a result of an impact causing a buckle. Sighting down the right rail you can see the buckling down the side of the rail. Based on what I can see this chassis has a lot of damage.
    I see you are running a small block v8 which will introduce substantial torsional loading far greater than what the original engine produced causing the car to be an absolute witch in handling. there are much better solutions than patching it up and hoping it works right. I have built a few modified Healeys and have a good idea of what works and what doesn't and in my opinion this chassis should not be a part of this build.

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    Re: 1954 100 Project

    You build new frames, do you not? The frame does have a few points that are dented due to someone jacking in the wrong areas or letting the car down with too much force onto jack stands, but i am not sure the frame should just be thrown in the scrap pile. Send me a price on your new frames please.

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    Re: 1954 100 Project

    Yes I do build new frames. Send me your number to my email jule_enterprisesah@yahoo.com and I will call you tomorrow and we can exchange some ideas. New frame is $3250.00.
    It was not my intent to sell you a chassis but to share my knowledge and experience with chassis.

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    Re: 1954 100 Project

    I appreciate the insight! It might be cheaper to go with a new chassis and a better idea since this car is more or less a restomod, at your price at least. However, at 8 grand before shipping for the australian mfg, that is way out of the budget.

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    Re: 1954 100 Project

    i was looking closely at this car as well. several phone conversations with the owner. he also sent several pictures of various aspects of the car. in the meantime i found another healey on craigslist in the cincinnati area. i had sent several inquiries to the ad but no responses and had almost given up. and, just before i was ready to bid on your car i got an answer. i bought this one instead. it is a 63 bj7 with a 383 roller motor with a beefed up powerglide transmission. it will require some detail work but overall is a very nice and very solid car. the conversion was done in the early 90s and the car was seldom driven. i do wish that it was a two seat body style.
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    Re: 1954 100 Project

    Yes, he informed me that one of the potential buyers had found another car. Glad you got what you were looking for! Looks nice! I thought the car was in better shape as far as the "driveability" aspects were concerned, but that's alright. 53-54 100 cars don't come up for sale very often and while it needs about 10 grand more work than i initially thought, i am still happy with my purchase!
    Enjoy your car!

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    Re: 1954 100 Project

    Chris
    Sorry to hear that the car needs a little more than you thought. I had made Dan an offer on the car but now glad it didn't work. I've done a grd up on a BJ8 and its not fun or cheap. Best of luck.

    Marv

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    Re: 1954 100 Project

    It's still a rare and nice car, so i am not worried. I have the skills to turn it into something really special that i believe others will envy. Not to sound really weird or cheesy, but sometimes cars choose their next owner.

    Now please go talk the Adams brother's into selling me the 66 and 67 Shelby Mustangs for a reasonable price!!! Ive offered them way above market value!

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    Re: 1954 100 Project

    Hi Guys! It looks like I am going to be moving to Dallas next year, so Im probably going to need to sell the 54 Healey. If anybody is interested, please let me know.

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    Re: 1954 100 Project

    Quote Originally Posted by christophe View Post
    Hi Guys! It looks like I am going to be moving to Dallas next year, so Im probably going to need to sell the 54 Healey. If anybody is interested, please let me know.
    Bring the Healey with you! We have a good Healey club here.
    Patrick
    '67 Metallic Golden Beige/Red
    Owned since '72

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    Re: 1954 100 Project

    Well, I ended up not moving to Dallas and the car has just been sitting in my garage kind of in limbo. I had it sold twice, but both times the buyer magically vanished after committing to buy the car...ebay, go figure.
    I've replaced the front springs and I have completely overhauled the brakes. I also have new rear leaf springs and have started to accumulate some of the metal the car needs.
    The starter was acting really odd and would only engage 1 time out of about 20 when pressing the start button. I thought it was an issue with the spacing of the starter, but it turned out to be the starter wire. The copper was so corroded inside of the sheathing that it would not carry the full 12 volts to the starter most of the time. However, it would carry just enough voltage to make the gear on the starter motor come out partially and make a clunk noise. The clunk noise made me think that the starter was spaced incorrectly. Anyway, i put in an original style starter on the 283 and ditched the mini-starter. It fires right off now an the car runs great.

    I bought new tires last week and had them mounted yesterday. The previous owner had 215 tires mounted in the rear and they were rubbing the wheel wells pretty aggressively. I went with 165mm tires, but could have gone wider. I did not realize that the car had 72 spoke rims until after I had the new tires mounted....oops!
    Black walls look 9,000 times better than the whitewalls. I'll post some better pictures once i can get her outside.

    Pic with the nasty old oversized white walls


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    Re: 1954 100 Project

    So Patrick was right ;-) and you also

    Quote Originally Posted by christophe View Post
    ... but sometimes cars choose their next owner. ...
    Keep us posted !!
    The least I can do is keep my CarClean.com
    Jaguar X type 2.5, 2003 Carnival Red Metallic
    Austin Healey HBJ8L/40871,MkIII ph2 April 1967 Original MGBeige, now BRGreen

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    Re: 1954 100 Project

    When I read your Car/Chassis number was 158588, I thought, hang on, that's close to mine. My number is 158836. If you are now saying your number is 152588 I would get the Heritage Certificate from the UK. It will tell you the body number and you will be able to see which one of your 4 digit numbers are correct, not that it matters much. Your car was made prior to July 1954 based on my car info.

    If you got the Heritage Certificate you could likely get the title corrected at the dmv to reflect the 152588.

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    Re: 1954 100 Project

    Yes, I did get the heritage certificate and the title has been corrected. Fortunately, I am in a state where the DMV isn't arse backwards strict yet for all the wrong reasons. She is now registered with her proper birth number.
    I think whoever typed the report was drunk or under the influence of something at the time that made them impaired, but I ended up not having to pay for it so I guess that's alright.

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    Re: 1954 100 Project

    I replaced all of the suspension and completely reworked the brakes. The car sits much better now and has been fun to cruise up and down the driveway, but the master cylinder is still not working, so I ordered a new one. I also tuned the engine a little more and replaced the spark plugs...she fires up instantly now and purrs like a kitten.
    Im getting pretty deep into this car, so it might end up coming completely apart. I took the panels from the drivers side to the blasters. There are about 8 layers of paint on the panels. They come off very easily with a razor scraper, but it's easier to just pay someone a small amount to soda blast them. The car was obviously originally black, then yellow, then black again, then yellow, then blue, then finally another shade of blue. There are some layers of primer mixed in as well.

    The rocker and outer sill were pretty rotten and it turns out that the latch pillar and front of the rear wheel well were toast as well. I'm not sure how the metal on the rear of the car and quarter are completely fine, yet the front of both rear wheels wells look like they lived in a salt marsh.

    I cut off the previous repair on the driver's rear quarter, which was made out of galvanized steel. You can see the original black paint where i scrapped off the other 8 layers of paint.



    I have a patch panel for the rear wheel well and it looks like it will be pretty easy to repair once the rear clip is off.



    The latch pillar needs to be completely replaced. It has some rot at the top which was stuffed full of cheap filler.




    On a positive note, the rear of the car is really clean and solid. The panels and frame were all coated with tons of grease from the engine, trans, and rear end leaking, which preserved them nicely. The only rear panel that needs to be replaced is the lower trunk panel. It has a previous repair on the outboard driver's side. I guess I could patch it, but I might as well replace the entire thing.


    Why someone blew a hole with a torch through the vertical trunk panel on both sides is beyond me.

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    Re: 1954 100 Project

    i guess we all go about a different set of updates. i was fortunate that my car had no rust and an excellent body....but since purchasing the sbc converted 63 bj7 i have replaced the dash and gauges, replaced the interior carpeting, removed the rear bolted in place flat package tray with the correct seats to include a proper squab, added a new top done professionally by a local craftsman, added new shocks, added trafficator and wooden steering wheel, converted wheels to bolt on mililites, added a dual brake system. i have new rear springs on order from jules. in progress of updating the exhaust system to stainless steel from the collector to the front of rear tires, upgrade to h4 lights and relays. major upgrades remaing are convert to 8.8 ford rear axle with posi and disc brakes with internal hand brake, 5 onn 5 axles, etc and upgrade braking to four piston calipers and new rotors. so i was fortunate not to worry with body parts but rather update to my tastes. i did add a correct heater system and lots of other miscellaneous gaskets aluminum door pieces etc. very pleased with the results to date, i do drive my car most every day and it gets lots of thumbs up and tailgaters trying to read the austin healey badge on the trunk lid! good luck and keep up the good work! i still wish my car was a side curtain two seater..... i also changed out the overdrive to a 200 r4 aod transmission for interstate cruising.
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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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    Re: 1954 100 Project

    Sometimes you just don't know how bad things are until you start pulling back the layers! Judging by the thin sheet metal on the sills, Im going to guess that it is pretty common for them to rot out. I found a ton of seed casings in the front hinge pillar area and it looks like a mouse or something had a nice little home somewhere in that area, although I haven't found a nest yet.
    If I had known that I was going to pull the entire car apart, I wouldn't have bothered with the suspension and brakes until later.

    If I decide to overhaul the entire car, i plan to add an updated wiring harness from American Auto Wire, sell off the original heater(i think it is worth money) and buy a replacement system from old air products or vintage air, add seat heaters, ditch the 3 speed and add a muncie 4 speed with a hydraulic clutch, and change out the pedal assembly to either a wilwood unit or use a later healey pedal box if possible.

    Anybody know what the original pedal assembly, heater, and horns typically go for?

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    Re: 1954 100 Project

    i wish i had used a vintage air unit myself. i have used them before and they are compact, prewired and blow lots of heat or defrost. easy to wire in place...just hot wire and ground! much better than the healey heater/defroster and you can disregard the air intake hookup from the grille area on the passenger side. or, use it as a source for cabin ventilation...a real plus in the summer.....
    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: 1954 100 Project

    That reminds me, i used fans made to evacuate gases from the engine compartments of boats as foot box blowers a few years ago on an AC Cobra replica. They worked really well. Might be a nice addition to the 54!
    https://www.iboats.com/Turbo-3000-Bl...FZcYHwodWYIE_Q

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