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Keeping Cool in Florida


Jedi Trainee
Country flag
In the continuing effort to keep my very handsome '60 BN7 drivable in the summer heat in the Jacksonville, FL, area, I've just tried a couple of new tricks. At last fall's Brit car show at Safety Harbor near Clearwater, another Healey owner showed a less-known trick to improve engine cooling. I've just done this, and while I haven't really checked out the results because its been really hot here, I'll explain the fix. Like most Healeys, my radiator has two bolts on either side at the top and brackets with two bolts at the bottom on either side. These are the bolts that go through the frame member, not the ones that go through the brackets into the sides of the radiator. When the bottom bolts are removed and the top ones backed off, the radiator can move rather freely. I bought four longer bolts, 2 1/2" but could better be 2 3/4" or 3", and then cut four 3/4"-long spacers from a section of 1/2" electrical conduit. The goal is to shim the bottom of the radiator forward, thus distancing it a bit more from the frame member that runs just behind the bottom radiator tank. Healey was aware of the issue here, as the cars were manufactured with several large holes through that member likely intended to enhance air flow. No need to remove the radiator hoses or drain any coolant. Now remove the four lower bolts and install the new bolts with the spacers between the brackets and the frame member. This then spaces the bottom of the radiator 3/4" further away from the frame member. Reinstalling the bolts and spacers is easier said than done, of course, like all things on Healeys. Be sure to push the top of the radiator fully forward when tightening the top bolts. I found my Texas cooler-style fan came no closer to the top of the radiator than before I made this modification. Since the cost of this effort is minimal and it can be undone, why not? The wonderful Safety Harbor show, by the way, is Oct. 25, unfortunately the same date as our British Car Classic XXVI show near St. Augustine on the other Florida coast. Our Triumph Brethren are sponsoring that show.


Great Pumpkin
Country flag
Keep your tie loose and walk slow.:congratulatory:
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