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Installing Garmin GPS in a BJ7

twas_brillig

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I've previously tried resting a Garmin GPS on the transmission cover, etc. etc., but believe that we've got a decent system working now.
Buddy Jeff pointed out that the rubber vaccum windshield mount at the base of the GPS could be removed by knocking out a pin; then he mixed up a batch of JB Weld and bedded 3 (1/2? maybe 5/8" diameter? can't remember) rare earth magnets into the base, and it now mounts to the steel heater box - see photos.
It's far enough under the dash that it gets some shielding from the sun, but also far enough back to be readable. If necessary, I can use my hand to provide some shade.
The keys are a bit of a distraction the way it's set up right now, but all I really want is to be able to read the GPS speed (we have the Toyota 5 speed but it's set up for a 3.54 ratio and ours is a 3.91, plus I'm really not sure how reliably accurate the Healey speedo is).
We've got a bit of flexibility in where to position the base on the heater box, plus the pivot arm on the GPS allows some additional fine tuning.
The first photo is from the rear of the car showing overall positioning; the second approximates what the driver sees.
Also - JB Weld advertises that it contains steel, and it surely does: the liquid mix moved around in reaction to the magnetic fields of the magnets.
Doug
 

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gonzo

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I was able to suction-cup mount an older Garmin unit directly to the speedo glass without obscuring the outer MPH marks or the tip of the speedo needle. Did this for several trips after the 3.53 rear-end was installed to provide "calibration". Speedo now reads 7 - 10MPH under and I'm fine with it. Tossed Garmin back in boot.
 

steveg

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I made a clip (from 1" x 1/16" aluminum strip) to hold the mirror frame together and slid the mirror to the right, allowing the Garmin to be suction-cup-mounted on the windshield to the left of the mirror.
GarminMountSketch.jpg
 

RDKeysor

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My Garmin fits in a handmade aluminum sheet metal frame with an extension, essentially a tab, that hooks into the windshield ventilator slot just to the left of my rear view mirror. The frame is painted flat black. My main use is as a speedometer. My BN7 also has the Toyota box but with an added 3.5 rear end. I have twice installed new speedo cables in the hope of dampening the Healey speedo needle bounce I get when under way but haven't been successful in that. I position my Garmin so that I can see the speedometer reading in the lower left corner on that instrument through the steering wheel, a Mota Lita type. I have a particular pair of sunglasses with a diopter (lens element) that allows me to read the speed. I take the liberty to ask others how they have handled the speedo to Toyota connection. I have fitted the metal bit that goes into the gear box to the end of a conventional Healey cable--a bit of Swiss file handiwork. But I have not tried the angle drive route, expensive and trouble prone, I have heard. My sense is that my cable gives a needle bounce because of the tight bend it makes coming out of the transmission. Thoughts? I might add that Steve G (above) usually provides good answers to these Healey puzzles.
 
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Is the bounce rhythmic--every second or two--or more-or-less random? If the former, it could be a cracked odometer/tripmeter gear.
 

steveg

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I went through the process of counting the turns of the speedo cable as a friend and I pushed the car through 52' 9-1/2" (IIRC), then sent the unit to Nisonger for recalibration. I'm using the Toyota right-angle adapter with my speedo cable. Nisonger made me the hybrid cable.
 

RDKeysor

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Definitely rhythmic. I have had two new cables with housings meaning I have twice hand-fitted the necessary piece on the tranny end of the cable that goes into the Toyota gear box drive port. I thought adding a longer cable on the second attempt might give me more room to provide a less restricted bend. This did not help and can't really provide any reduction in the cable curve as it comes out of the tranny and then must route to the front of the car along side the right-hand frame member. One of our club members suggested backing off the attachment collar at the speedo on the chance that I might have it a bit crimped. That didn't work. I have routed the cable through a hole I made at the front of the tranny cover so I don't have to go through that chore of removing it each time I fiddle with the cable. I have a multi-page, hand-typed primer on dismantling and repairing Smith tachometers and speedos on these cars---this work was done by one of our fellow enthusiasts and likely is owned by a number of ohers. I have successfully opened and dismantled (with great care) a couple of the Smith speedos and know there is nothing broken in the one in my car. Sorry to say that I have forgotten the details of a problem I had with this speedo early on that might suggest why I am having the continuing needle bounce problem. I do think an angle drive might solve it. You will note that Steve G in the below post says he uses a right-angle drive adapter and had Niswonger build his cable. I think the angle drive costs like $120 at the Toyota service counter. I haven't gone through the drill Steve describes and has probably described in greater detail here in the past to get the correct numbers needed for recalibration for his speedo. I think that in addition to the Toyota gear box, he may also have the 3.5 differential, and that sort of doubles the chances a recalibration is necessary to get the right reading.
 
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With a cracked odometer/tripmeter gear, the needle will rest at the indicated speed say, 60MPH, then bump up every second or so. Sounds like you've done all the usual remedial steps; it's a little bit of a PITA to remove the guts from the speedo, but IIRC you don't need to do any further teardown to spot a cracked gear. In older speedos I have, the gears were a pressed fiber type, newer ones have plastic gears and, as you probably know, plastic gets brittle with age.
 

AUSMHLY

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Nice to see others installing Nav's in Healey's. Here's how I hid my Garmin in my BJ8. Antenna is under wooden dash cover.


Antenna in top of dash 14.jpegAH photos Sonnen 01.12.09 040.jpgBack of grill with magnets 12.jpegFront with Screen on 13.jpeg
 

mgtf328

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When I need navigation assistance I fit a wife into the passenger seat. That way I can adjust the position on the move so there are no reflection problems. The voice instructions are easily heard over wind noise but the volume and repeat on demand functions are a little difficult to adjust on the move.
AJ
 

HealeyRick

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My SatNav is sort of taken care of by Siri on my Bluetooth enabled iPhone. It's ok most times, but others even worse than those old fold-up maps I used for years. I really use it to play music I can actually enjoy listening to through my Becker Europa II stereo but I haven't really found a way to mount it so I can see where I'm going on nav or find my tunes in the Spotify library if the sun is coming down from above. But give me a sunny afternoon with the Who or Santana playing and I sort of know where I'm going and it's magic.
 
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GPS is good, no question. But, since most of my longer trips have been of the 'random walk' variety we still carry a stack of AAA paper maps (it's the main reason I maintain my AAA membership). The regional maps, e.g. 'Western States and Provinces' are great to lay out on a table to plot a general course and spot parks, preserves, monuments and other items of potential interest. A couple years ago, the GPS in a new, rental Ford Edge expected us to ford a river in Rhode Island to get to my son's OCS graduation, but the iPhone GPSes had it correct.
 

Editor_Reid

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I led a tour a few months ago that took us to deepest, darkest southeastern Oregon. You could Google "Burns Oregon" if you're really interested. For some considerable portions of the route there was no reception of anything, AM, FM or cell (well, maybe HF or tactical SatNav, but nobody had receivers for those options). At one point I actually pulled out the paper folding maps, a la "gas station maps." The woman driving the square Sprite was really jazzed about it as she thought it really added to the tour: vintage cars and vintage navigation. It could become a thing!
 
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Oh, I know Burns pretty well (spent a night there on a couple occasions). There is one Best Western hotel, and next to it a really crummy restaurant (it makes Applebee's look like gourmet; IIRC, it's 'Apple-something'). The backstory, from some of the locals is that Burns was once a fairly thriving town with a plant that made rail cars. That plant closed shop and moved away years ago and, except for some farming and the fact that you pretty much have to go through Burns to traverse Oregon is all it's got now. Hwy 395 passes through it--there's an intersection with a Shell station that sells non-ethanol gas (at least it used to)--and 395 gets pretty scenic north of there.

The nominal price for the AAA maps is north of $6/per, and I'd always get 8-10 for our road trips, so the maps all but paid for the service. Their 'Tour Guides' are sometimes useful, but they seem to ignore any business that didn't have any AAA affiliation.
 
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My navigator passed early this year. She was so organized that several of my club nick-named her "GPS". She had brain cancer and lost her ability to read. We got a Garmin and she loved the help. The problems I have with it is that I cannot hear it's warnings and the sun makes the visibility poor as it sits on the windscreen. I called Garmin to ask why the don't put an earphone jack option for those of us who drive in open cars and motorcycles. They had not thought of it. I had put a cigar lighter in years ago (in the front of the passenger foot well) to charge my cell phone. The Garmin cord runs under the dash and comes up in front of the mirror. The unit sits just to the left of the mirror. The distance is "okay-ish" for an old fart and does not interfere with the driver view.
 
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twas_brillig

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Dang, tahoe healey.
I'm not looking forward to losing my navigator, and hope I go first.
The world is an amazing place, but it's a lot more amazing when you get to share it with a life-long companion. The two of us - and I hope it holds true for yourself as well - have been so much more fortunate than so many other people, in that we just 'acknowledged' (I'm not sure if 'celebrate' is the right word as the years flow by) our 47th anniversary of her agreeing to put up with me. Doug
 
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Thank you, Doug. After 47 years, she should be able to hand you the right tool like a surgical nurse when you are working on the Healey. My wife would supervise with the manual open to be sure I did everything right. And I loved it.
 
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Thanks, Gonzo. I have forgotten that video. There was a quick flash of her holding the 7 of diamonds. That was the first So. Cal event I attended (and we were the only Northern Cal car there). Talking it up with GGAHC guys, we soon had 20 or so cars attending their events traveling hundreds of miles together. All fantastic events. GGAHC was always made to feel welcome. We are preparing to return to Big Bear in May for the Conclave they are hosting (covid permitting).
 

Madflyer

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Well I have have all three one Tom Tom one box of maps and one wife of now 50 years. On or last trip up to Moscow ID in June this year she made copy's of the map sections she needed in to a folder and going up 395 from Reno NV. The TR 6 ran great drive through food sucked room OK did not let maid in just clean towels at door. The TR, the drive, it would be nothing without my Navigator. Madflyer
 
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