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New member - need help.

Jocaral

Freshman Member
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Hello everyone, need some input from this great forum. I'm in a conundrum, I have a BJ8 in fairly rough shape. It needs a new frame and some inner structure work.

I want to start the restoration process on my car, the difficult part seems to be picking the right chassis to use.
The two options I have is the Jules chassis and the Kilmartin
chassis. The Jules chassis is not original but stronger and a bit less costly, the Kilmartin is original looking but a lot more costly.

I am leaning towards the Jules chassis right now.

Anyone want to share their thoughts on this topic?
Most interested in resale values, drivability etc.

Rich C., I already know your response-thanks.
 

Patrick67BJ8

Darth Vader
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Jocaral said:
Hello everyone, need some input from this great forum. I'm in a conundrum, I have a BJ8 in fairly rough shape. It needs a new frame and some inner structure work.

I want to start the restoration process on my car, the difficult part seems to be picking the right chassis to use.
The two options I have is the Jules chassis and the Kilmartin
chassis. The Jules chassis is not original but stronger and a bit less costly, the Kilmartin is original looking but a lot more costly.

I am leaning towards the Jules chassis right now.

Anyone want to share their thoughts on this topic?
Most interested in resale values, drivability etc.

Rich C., I already know your response-thanks.
I ahve a Jule chassis and I'm finishing up my chassis to send the whole car to the painters in May. The Jule is strong and you don't have to have the engine & trans installed to line up the panels. Be sure you understand what IS and ISN'T included. You will have to drill most of your mounting holes so be sure to make a template of the seat-track holes, insulation panels holes and the exhaust mounting holes. See my section on John Simms website for the way I solved some of the captive nut issues. www.healey6.com
Also, you can not possibly take too many photos of your car when you're dismantling it!!! Use a $100 digital camera and you'll be fine. Most of the photos you will be able to pickup on the web will usually show you and "overview" and lack some of the details you'll need.
 

Keoke

Great Pumpkin
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Yep I think this is much better than just leaning on it.---Keoke-- :laugh:
 
5

57_BN4

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I went with the Kilmartin because they are fairly local to here and I could visit the factory while attending an event nearby. The price was similar to a quote I got to restore the original chassis.

If I were looking for impartial advice I'd find a third party workshop that has installed a chassis and ask them how easy/difficult it was and how much the body tubs required modifying to fit the new chassis.

I'd also question the statement that a particular chassis is "stronger". Stronger than what? By how much in which test by whom? Any new chassis is stronger than the original simply because the original one is 50 years old and full of stress cracks and rust. My replacement chassis has the optional reinforcing plate down the middle of the main rails plus the 'rally' type reinforcements around the engine mounts and wishbone mounts. I can say it is considerably heavier than the original one but will have to wait another year or so to drive it.

Agree 100% with the digital camera comment. If you have 2000 Hi-resolution, individual, clear, detailed and triple backed-up photos after the stripdown is done then that is a good start. I have 2216 pics totalling 2.97GB so far and there are many times I want to look at a detail that isn't quite in the shot. Then I visit Randy Forbes' website.

Andy.
 

RestoreThemAll

Jedi Warrior
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I also have a Jule frame. Keep in mind that the front and rear shrouds are aluminum. Martin did all of the sheet metal work for me. My car was rough, with dents and rust holes. My car came back to me with a new frame, and all body panels mounted. I hear mounting the body panels for the first time can be challenging. Everything in between the frame and body panels is new or refurbished. Martin also arranged to have the body skim coated. Before my car went to Martin I was overwhelmed. It was just too big of a project. I wouldn’t have taken it on. Don’t misunderstand though. There’s plenty of work to do even with a new frame, superstructure, and body panels!
 

Hawkscoach

Jedi Hopeful
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Jocaral

just thought I would put my 2 cents in. How bad is the original frame? Unless you are really pushing the car (eg. racing), you may want to consider repairing the original. Mine was in fairly rough condition in some areas but repairable with a little (ok, a lot) of effort. I just think that a "restoration" is making every safe/reasonable effort to repair the "original" part.

I striped the whole car down to the bare bones, put it on a rotisserie and carefully cut and repaired each damaged or rusted area. It can be done, just takes patience and time. Some may give me heck for this, but just thought I would put in another option to consider. If you are doing a full restoration the correct way, you will have a lot of time, work and money invested. If you post some pictures maybe some of us can help assess what you have. Best of luck.

Doug
 
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J

Jocaral

Freshman Member
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Thank you all for your input. My car is in rough shape, paid less than $1000
for it, it's a basket case. When I bought it it had been sitting outside under a tarp for 5 years.
The owner was in the process of adding a V8 to it. I don't have a motor or trans for it.
Most of the body is in okay shape, inner structure is in rough shape, the frame is totally rusted (very soft)and was cut up by the previous owner to suit the V8. I am fairly handy at the restoration process, having restored a few cars in the past, but don't want to attempt to add a new frame to the car.

If any of you have a lead on a good motor and trans for a BJ8, please let me know. Also need interior pieces, seats etc etc.
 

HEALEYJAG

Jedi Warrior
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WOW...sound very ambitious.... and expensive... My thoughts would be to use this car as a parts car and look for another healthier project.

Unless you really enjoy a LONG expensive project.

Pete
 
OP
J

Jocaral

Freshman Member
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Yes it's going to be somewhat expensive, but if I do most of the work myself (other than the chassis) and use as many
used parts as possible it should be manageable.

I don't want a concours car, just a car I can drive safely
for many years.
 

pkmh

Jedi Warrior
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"I don't want a concours car, just a car I can drive safely
for many years."

I had to chuckle...Still sounds expensive.

Anyway, good luck and hope you have fun!

Paul
 

dougsmarkIII

Senior Member
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I have restored several cars including my '66 BJ8 and another '67 back in the Late 70's. I would not touch a basket case. I'll bet you don't even have any of the nuts and bolts and a clue where they go even if you have some.

This thing could cost more than paying more up front to get something decent to start with and is mostly complete.

Doug
 

Lotuswins

Jedi Hopeful
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Jocaral,

I second what Doug says, it very well could end up costing more than it will be worth when done, even doing it yourself.

I too had a 'rough' BJ8 which I thought I could save a bunch on by doing it myself....I've spent over $20k so far, and still have about $10k to go (paint and interior).... and I had the engine/trans/rearend in decent condition. The parts for these are expensive, and there are three times the parts than my Europa had, at least!

I wish you well, and though I wouldn't do it again, I've learned so much in taking this on, including how to weld aluminum, TIG weld, eliminate rust, etc. etc.

Good luck!!

Jerry Rude
BJ8
Lotus Europa
 
5

57_BN4

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A different POV is that we shouldn't allow our lives to be directed by money, or lack thereof. I paid more than my car was 'worth' because it was very appealing to me for several reasons. The car was sold locally in 1957 so it still has the original black license plates whereas most Healeys in NZ are LHD>RHD swipsy-swapsies imported from USA and have to wear the ugly modern white license plates.

The second thing I liked about this car is that it is built in 1957 and I collect things from 57. I specifically wanted a Healey because when I was four years old I dreamed that one went silently past me, which was a good ten years before I knew that the car in my dream actually existed and I had got the name correct as well as the shape and wire wheels with chrome spinners. Still a very vivid image today.

So it had three desirable features, the fourth was that it be a basket case. I don't want a restored car- otherwise I'd have nothing to do in the evenings and I don't really like driving for no reason.

The finished cost will be about 80,000NZD whereas a similar one in good useable not majorly restored condition sold a couple of years ago for 49,000. Is it a waste of money? Yes of course, that is the whole point. Money is but a means to give us pleasure and this car of my dreams ticks all the right boxes.

So if your heart says yes to a basket case, the rest doesn't matter. And you'll definitely need a whole shed load of money to make it go again.

Andy.
 

rjc157

Jedi Warrior
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Your way over your head here if you have to look for a motor and trans and interior and new frame your in wat too deep if your looking to do a ground up atleast have all the parts i think your nuts to get involved in such a project your never going to finish it
 

Bob Hughes

Luke Skywalker
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Engine and trans could come from either an Austin Westminster or a big Wolsley or even a big Morris if you have them over there? You need to research the scrap yards. If you have the bucks you can buy in a new aluminium engine from Australia.

If the front and back shrouds are OK then your $1000 should be a good investment on just those parts alone.

Put some photos up so we can have a look at the state of things, chassis are in some instances recoverable, just depends what has gone. I thought that my old 100/6 was in a state when I sold it, but in the hands of a refurbisher I saw it come together and now it is a snazzy ice blue racer.

:cheers:

Bob
 

reddsprite

Senior Member
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I am 64 years old and have restored and built a number of classic old cars over the last 35 years including some very competetive drag race cars. My theory is to take a estimate at what this takes and quadruple it. As these cars are set up in a chassis jig from the factory,doing this is a tedious undertaking to say the least. I have no idea what your skill level is, but this can become quite a undertaking.

If this project is purely a therapy issue for yourself be aware that the deeper you go,the worse it gets. I think it would be a reasonable idea to buy a 2nd car in better shape and proceed and use your present car as a parts donor.

The restoration process is a slow,gradual exercise that can bury you in the car and if the satisfaction at completion is something you can live with, so be it. Good luck and remember most of us do this stuff for fun
 

drambuie

Jedi Warrior
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Mmmmm let's see, No frame, no motor, no transmission, no interior = No car......In reality you still haven't bought a healey my friend! :wall:
 

Bob Hughes

Luke Skywalker
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Drambuie

The storey over this side of the pond goes that there was once a chap walking around the Beaulieu Autojumble with just a log book for a car, his intention was to build it and he was collecting parts.

That is true dedication, and he sure did not have a car to start with!

At least our friend has something to work with, and as I said, if the chassis revitalization proves to be too much, the shrouds can be sold to defray expenses.

:cheers:

Bob
 
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