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new member BN4


Jedi Hopeful
Good morning all from sunny South Australia.
This is an introduction. I am new to this forum having spent the last few years on the MGA forum and just completed a nut and bolt restoration of an MGA. I'm more of a lurker than a poster, but I've spent time going through the archives and this is a wonderful resource.
Anyway, I have just bought a '59 100/6 BN4 (#BN4LO76762) One of the last made. The car is basically complete, unmolested and straight, with rust in the usual places. (I'll try and post a pic). I have managed to get the engine running with 50 psi of oil pressure and a compression test revealed between 145 and 155 in the cylinders. So, I'm hoping the motor isn't too bad. (yeh, right!!) I have nearly completed a strip down, about to pull the engine and gearbox.
When I took the body off my MGA it was crucial to brace the door openings. The chassis on this car seems solid and strong, but the sills need replacing. Should I brace the door openings prior to sand blasting or when I remove the sills?
Also, this car came from New Mexico. I have sent for a heritage certificate, but I am hoping that someone on your side of the pond may have seen or know the car and can give me some history. It was originally black with red trim but has been painted white at some point in the past.
I look forward to spending many hours here and learning much.
Matthew DSC_0060.jpg


Jedi Warrior
Country flag
Yes definitely race the cockpit before doing any removal of panels or welding. I too had a fairly rust free car from New Mexico but I still did not risk any frame tweeking by not bracing the openings prior to any work. It has paid for itself because now that the car is going back together everything is still fitting. Don't risk it even though the chassis seems strong and sound...Brace it.


Jedi Warrior
59austin082206 006.jpgHello Matthew,

I live in Bali Indonesia part time and know many Australians who live in Bali and Oz! Welcome to the Healey world! In fact my first Healey was a 1959 BN4 I have alot of tear down pictures when i was doing a frame off.... replacing floors and sills as well! I do advise keeping your motor and transmission in place when Replacing your sills, and i also braced the door openings as they do when replacing sills in e-type Jaguars. There are many great people in the forum who are very keen when helping a fellow Healeyist! So fire away with any questions you many have. Michael, IL.View attachment 25056
Country flag
Some years ago, I made up a pair of modular/adjustable braces. The turn-screws allow for fine tuning the door shut and swage lines. They are attached near the hinges and latch points, and the doors can still swing shut (a benefit to getting the positioning right.

A little time spent fabricating the right tools/fixtures can save you a lot of trouble later on.

Take a look at some of the details of construction, and see if you can rig yourself up something similar: https://www.spcarsplus.com/gallery3/index.php/Bic-Healey-Deluca-s/door_opening_fixtures




Jedi Hopeful
Wow, thanks for the replies everyone. Randy, that brace looks just the ticket. I might have a go at making something similar. Thanks for the plans.
I have heard about leaving the engine in to hang the doors, but the problem is that I was hoping to be able to turn the chassis to weld in new sills: makes access easier. Obviously can't do this with the engine in. I was hoping that bracing the door openings very solidly would be ok to replace the sills.


Jedi Knight
Country flag
Hi Matthew
Your car seems in good conditions, and also the engine have the correct value of compression and oil pressure
White color is sure one better choice in sunny country, consider also that black color is a wild beast for coachbuilder and painters
every blemish and flaw will be over hing-light- Interesting can be see a photo of the under frame of your car,
I hope it should be better than mine that are a 1957 Longbridge car, barn-abandoned
Honestly Butch, the e bay seller, give me a lot of photos of the under carriage, but I am pig-headed.
Note: Normally the out side of our cars look better than the contents.
In the last four years I have see tens of different approach, to the change of sills and door shut panels, someone very reckless
the suggestion that you have received here, are the right way- to avoid problems in the future

and now

Last: I have studied a lot of solution for a AH rotary system - this my Google album can help you in the choice

Welcome in the AH adventure world


Jedi Hopeful
Thanks Andrea
Great pictures! and very useful. Thanks so much for that.SN2727-13U.jpg Yes, I think my car is solid. Here's a pic of the underside: surface rust but (I think) generally strong.


Jedi Knight
Country flag
If you're buying replacement inner sills, check around before buying. You can buy replacements made of thicker sheet metal than the originals. Given the importance of these sills to the overall body stiffness, I think the thicker ones are well worth a little extra money.



How far away from Ballarat are you? For about 6kAUD you could take home a new chassis and save all the hassle of patching up the original. Probably seems a fairly extreme measure for a car that "just needs new sills" but when you take into consideration all the other problems like jacking damage, engine mount cracks, suspension mount cracks, outrigger rust, bend under the diff and so on it is well worth the expense if you want to keep the car for a long time afterwards.


Jedi Hopeful
Thanks everyone.
Andrea, I will be replacing the wiring loom, but I did isolate the ignition wires and ran the engine. No problems, but I was very wary. I am a fair way from Ballarat, but I am familiar with Kilmartin panels. I used them on my MGA. I really don't think I will be replacing all the chassis, lots of work and expense. However, when the sandblasting is done, i'll reassess the situation.


Darth Vader - R.I.P
Welcome to the forum. If you heed the advice of these Healey folk, you will end up with a very fine Healey. While I wouldn't be of any help, I can give you encouragement. :encouragement:
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