• Hi Guest! Being a Paying Supporter is NOT a requirement to participate at BCF. However, subscribing will help ensure we can continue to serve the LBC community for years to come. If you enjoy BCF and find our forum a useful resource...Please consider supporting us by **Upgrading**
    (PS: Subscribers don't see this banner)
Tips
Tips

Originality versus performance

Offline
I've read a bunch of posts on this topic, but wanted to see if I could get some more opinions. I have a '64 BJ8 that is well restored and mostly standard/original. So far, the only non-standard items are the color (Aston racing green with beige interior) and chrome-plated spokes. I purchased the car as a driver, but may want to enter it in some local shows.

I'm already running into tuning issues (misfires at high rpm) which seem to be distributor-related. So here is my question: I've read the threads on the 123ignition, versus Pertronix, versus traditional points. The 123 system looks great with both ease of use, and improved overall performance. However, this is potentially a slippery slope, there are a lot of non-standard performance improvement changes that I could make. If I go with some of these modern improvements, should I just not bother trying to show the car, as well? Or should I stick to improvements that can't be seen (like the Pertronix ignition)?

I realize that this is mostly a matter of personal taste, but I wanted to hear other owner's thoughts.

Thanks,
Steve
 

Healey 100

Jedi Warrior
Offline
I tend to be of the old car school, i.e. I kind of like my Healey the way it was built originally. I have no interest in concours level minutia, my Healey is a mostly original driver that probably performs, warts and all, about like it did when it was new. If I felt the need to significantly to update my Healey, I would probably just get a Miata and enjoy its fully engineered reliability, cold air conditioning, great handling, etc.

If your BJ8 misfires at high RPM, I suggest you study the problem rather than conclude that it needs electronic ignition. They didn't miss at high RPM when they were new, no reason for them to miss now. Could be your problem has nothing to do with ignition.

Still, folks who upgrade with 5 speed trannys, alternators, gear starters, electronic ignitions, and even v-8 engines enjoy their Healey's as much as I do. Some upgrades are necessary due unavailability or high costs of original parts. Hey, mine has an Autolite generator on it. It came that way and it works fine. I have a Lucas in the garage, but until the Autolite croaks, it's staying on my Healey.

It's a hobby, it's supposed to be fun. And driving a Healey that runs properly is a real pleasure, with or without upgrades.
 

dougie

Luke Skywalker
Country flag
Offline
Steve -

You going to get a lot different opinions on this topic and it really just depends on what you want to achieve, a reliable, comfortable, and easy to maintain vintage/classic touring car a bone stock concours level show car (trailer included). My approach to upgrades and improvements to my '65 MKIIl have been limit them to only the items that are concealed or are not easily identifiable. With the expedition of chrome/stainless wire wheels and larger Dunlap tires, the larger front sway-bar, polyurethane bushings, Pertronix ignition, sports coil and the like go unnoticed. I follow that same philosophy with my '57 100-6 vintage racer as well. I've tried to use only period style performance upgrades that will not detract from the 50's theme (or violate current vintage racing rules) of drive on the street during the week and on the track during the weekend.

Dougie
 

Keoke

Great Pumpkin
Country flag
Offline
I purchased the car as a driver, but may want to enter it
in some local shows.----- Great!!! :thumbsup:

I'm already running into tuning issues (misfires at high rpm
Probably just a bad set of points or they are set to close.


If I go with some of these modern improvements, should I just not bother trying to show the car,

WHY!!! :shocked:

Peoples choice is the main feature of most car shows and they really do not care whether your car is 100% original or not!!!

Or should I stick to improvements that can't be seen (like the Pertronix ignition)?

Well to make the presence of a Pertronix disapear in the engine compartment. You have to be very sneaky like a friend of Mine, named Keoke :D, and change all the non standard wire types[ Color ] that are included with the Pertronix unit to standard healey colored wiring.Further, folks are not going to get up under the car just to see his electronic fuel pump either.

P.S. OH!!! Pertronix is one great upgrade :driving:


FWIW--------------------------Keoke-- :wink:
 

AUSMHLY

Obi Wan
Bronze
Country flag
Offline
Personal taste it is Steve.
My 64 is a driver. I also show it and it does well with peoples choice.
I've changed out the valve cover and polished and chromed some items.

I wanted to keep the vintage feel of driving the car, so I did not modernize the suspension or gearbox. I did modernize things that would help keep it on the road and if I could hide them, I went that route. An exception from hiding would be the spin on oil filter. I have replaced the fuel pump with an electronic one that looks like original (even though it's hidden) and it retains the clicking sound. I installed a Pertronix ignition too. I hid the Pertronix wires in black heat shrink tubing.

Here's a couple photos.
Cheers,
Roger
 

RAC68

Darth Vader
Offline
Hi Steve,

Good subject, and as Dougie mentioned, opinions are as many as the colors on Healeys. I too have a 64BJ8P1 and follow 3 Prime Directives:
1. All changes must be easily and completely reversible.
2. All modifications must look as close to belonging as possible.
3. All alterations must be purposeful and improve safety, reliability, or enjoyment without changing the unique driving experience of the original vehicle.

As far as electronic ignition is concerned, I have had an Alison (now Craig) on the Healey for the past 15-years and installed a Pertronix on a friend’s car. These units are highly reliable, relatively inexpensive, and provide great performance.

As an individual that commonly shifts gears at close to Red Line (and sometimes past), constant carburetor tuning and point/timing adjustments were required to maintain performance. This condition was the result of a weak spark (points/coil) that required a perfect air/fuel mixture. With the installation of an electronic ignition and hotter coil, I now adjust the carburetors and check the timing once a year and have not experienced a miss at speed.

I have no experience with the 123 System, however, would personally choose the Pertronix for cost, performance, and original appearance. I would consider the 123 System, however, if I were considering track use.

All the best,
Ray (64BJ8P1 – Original Owner)
 
OP
steveHealey3000
Offline
Pertronix looks like the way to go, I'm going to go ahead and order one. Thanks for the photos, the heat-shrink tubing looks great.

Another project will be to install an electric windshield washer pump. I'm going to see if I can get a switch and pump that will fit into the existing "squirt-gun" pump.
 

GregW

Yoda
Platinum
Country flag
Online
No one will notice the shrink tubing cuz the K&N filter is starin' them in the face. :jester:
 

RAC68

Darth Vader
Offline
Hi Steve,

Keep in mind that it is unlikely you will often use a windshield washer. When my pump washer went bad I considered installing an electric unit installed under the dash activated by a button inside the push-pump. At that same time I decided to install relays on my headlights and driving lights to reduce high amperage passing through 45-year old switches. At that point I changed directions and installed my driving light switch within the washer push-pump to camouflage its presence. It worked very well.

I found it easy to install a push button switch, purchased at Home Depot, inside the washer switch. It should be noted that the electric switch must be secured in the canister to allow the button to activate the switch.

All the best,
Ray (64BJ8P1)
 
Offline
keoke, from what ive seen at these "shows" the cars with the least number of modern up-grades are the ones that most often require a trailer or tow-truck, boy id like to see even one that was exact untouched from the factory!, most likely got to be pushed around by hand, come on man', we all need to put a monster big ars "hemi" under the "bonette".
grin.gif
 

twas_brillig

Jedi Knight
Country flag
Offline
I, too, would appreciate thoughts on functional, tasteful, upgrades, and whether they were really worthwhile - preferably falling within the three point Prime Directive mentioned by Ray above. So, some thoughts from my BJ7 end (most suggested by the shop doing the final assembly; some my concerns):

- 3 point seatbelts (period type; attached to stock mounting points): very worthwhile
-Moto Lita steering wheel (marginal on the worthwhile scale)
-relocated windshield washer fluid container to be under hood - unsure on worthwhile scale
-K&N filters (worthwhile, but I have mixed feelings about K&Ns and wonder if paper would make more sense)
- spin-on oil filter: worthwhile
- power assist to the brakes: unsure
- monitoring the oil pressure relief spring and 'bullet': very worthwhile, as I don't need to rebuild the engine (65000 miles from new) after all
- 72 spoke rims and appropriate tyres: worthwhile
- 'modern' electric fuel pump: probably worthwhile
- pertronix ignition: probably worthwhile
- stainless steel exhaust system: unsure if this is worthwhile
- having a good shop spend probably 300 hours on reassembly and inspection/renewal for the appropriate price: very worthwhile

Future mods:
- a quarter light clamp-on mirror: going to order one to help with the blindspot when the top is up: probably very worthwhile
- upgrade to the fan (replace fan? install electric fan?): future, and probably worthwhile
- Toyota 5 speed: not installed, but sitting in the garage. The stock trans was rebuilt a couple of hundred km ago but still pops out of second (detent springs also replaced a couple of times); couple this with a non-synchro first gear.... I'll order the install kit soon, but will probably just store that option away
-add a cigarette lighter (somewhere hidden) to provide a power take-off: worthwhile

Thoughts from others?
Thanks - Doug
 

Keoke

Great Pumpkin
Country flag
Offline
Not much left to do HUH-Dough

1]- 3 point seatbelts (period type; attached to stock mounting points):
2] power assist to the brakes:
3] 72 spoke rims and appropriate tyres:
-4] 'modern' electric fuel pump:
5] pertronix ignition:
6] Toyota 5 speed tranny:
7] Upgraded cooling fan and a serpentine cored radiator

- having a good shop spend probably 300 hours on reassembly


------------------------------Keoke-- :laugh:
 

Keoke

Great Pumpkin
Country flag
Offline
keoke, WOT!!!
from what ive seen at these "shows" the cars with the least number of modern up-grades are the ones that most often require a trailer or tow-truck,

7777's,You mean so they can get em back home!!!!
Some of em even put wheels on the garage just to get em to
the show----------Keoke-- :devilgrin:
 
Country flag
Offline
RAC68 said:
Hi Steve,

Keep in mind that it is unlikely you will often use a windshield washer. When my pump washer went bad I considered installing an electric unit installed under the dash activated by a button inside the push-pump. At that same time I decided to install relays on my headlights and driving lights to reduce high amperage passing through 45-year old switches. At that point I changed directions and installed my driving light switch within the washer push-pump to camouflage its presence. It worked very well.

I found it easy to install a push button switch, purchased at Home Depot, inside the washer switch. It should be noted that the electric switch must be secured in the canister to allow the button to activate the switch.

All the best,
Ray (64BJ8P1)
I used the original, but defunct, plunger washer pump/cum switch to operate an electric pump.

https://www.rfdm.com/gallery/album53

bn6_pump_005.jpg


bn6_pump_011.jpg


bn6_pump_013.jpg


bn6_pump_015.jpg


bn6_pump_017.jpg


bn6_pump_018.jpg
 
OP
steveHealey3000
Offline
twas_brillig said:
... some thoughts from my BJ7 end (most suggested by the shop doing the final assembly; some my concerns):
...
Thanks - Doug

Doug, nice list - some were already on my wish-list plus some good ideas that I hadn't heard mentioned before (e.g. monitoring oil pressure relief spring).

* I definitely want to install 3-point seat-belts. the previous owner had installed racing-grade lap belts - too big and clunky.

* Already planning on installing a cigarette lighter hidden in the glove box - this will go with the MP3 player jack that is already there (previous owner had converted the existing Blaupunkt AM radio to an FM/MP3 in the existing shell).

* I don't think I'll go to a 5-speed, just because I enjoy the overdrive (lazy? -- probably) even though current tranny regularly pops out of 2nd.

* Moto Lita steering wheels look really nice, too. I may install one, especially if I do the Torrington bearing that you mentioned in post: https://www.britishcarforum.com/bcforum/u...ove_#Post701546

Of course, first I still have to fix whatever it is that is causing the car to fall apart at 3000 rpm. So far, doesn't appear to be the points, rotor, ignition cables or spark plugs (all at least look good via visual inspection/feeler gauge). Maybe it's time to buy a timing light.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
arizonamike TR4/4A Collector's Originality Guide Triumph TR2 TR3 TR4 Triumph 1
mikecyc72usa Personal choice over originality MG 20
bighealeysource Originality of carpets for BN6 Austin Healey 4
A TR2/3/3A TR3A originality questions Triumph 14
W Up-date to the "Originality Guide" Spridgets 0
M 64 B GHN3L roadster Originality questions MG 8
Geo Hahn TR2/3/3A TR3 Originality Question - Bonnet Buffer Triumph 14
drooartz RHD, originality, and other musings Spridgets 20
LeeMcKee TR6 1969 TR6 [question of originality] Triumph 29
M GT6 John Thomason's Triumph&Gt6"A Guide To Originality Triumph 5
R6MGS TR6 Late TR6 Grill Originality Triumph 5
jlaird Originality Guide Spridgets 2
Mark_Gibson TR6 Asking the Judge on TR-6 Originality Triumph 7
Lin Ford Versus Ferrari Question Austin Healey 23
H TR4/4A Original TR4a grill versus aftermarket Triumph 0
M XKE Coupe series 1 Tub versus series 1.5 Jaguar 1
Michael Oritt Spridget Differential Carrier--early versus late question Spridgets 1
S Ribcase versus Ribcase Spridgets 1
maxwedge5281 bn6 two seater trunk versus bt7 four seater trunk Austin Healey 27
D TR2/3/3A Patching, versus replacing floors? Triumph 15
S Points versus Pertronix Spridgets 22
S Idle Speed Setting versus Generator Output Spridgets 3
DanLewis AN5 versus AN5L Spridgets 10
DanLewis Oil cooler hose fittings - 5/8 UNF versus 3/8 NPT Spridgets 2
P Tachometer versus lights Austin Healey 5
F BN2 versus later seats Austin Healey 6
O TR2/3/3A TR3 Rear Turn lights Versus Rear Stop Tail lights? Triumph 5
K TR2/3/3A TR3 9" versus 10" Brakes? Triumph 8
racer_x Wedge TR8 Headers: Rimmers versus Woody/TSI Triumph 34
G Texas Cooler Versus Flex Fan Austin Healey 20
bighealeysource Redline versus 20w50 for trans on BN6 Austin Healey 7
bighealeysource original versus replacement bumpers Austin Healey 4
svtmikey Metalastic versus generic Roto-flex couplings Triumph 5
N Ported versus manifold vaccum. Spridgets 31
fad64b Bonnet Steel versus Aluminum MG 4
S MGA MGB engine versus original in 1957 MGA Coupe????? MG 17
D Weber versus twin SU's British Motor Corp 1
2wrench Cam degree wheel versus protractor Triumph 11
2wrench New versus core and rebuild versus running used?? Triumph 5
BritCarFan STP versus Purolator oil filters Jaguar 10
Newkie PPG versus Dupont MG 24
S Flywheel versus pilot bush Triumph 10
Michael Oritt Guages--mechanical versus electrical Racing 31
Daimlerdb18 Timing light timing versus static test lamp MG 7
fmichaels old harware versus new Spridgets 22
Steve_S Falcon SS versus Peco HDR MG 23
J BJ8 versus BT7 Shroud Austin Healey 11
M Side versus rear exhaust Austin Healey 24
G Midget versus Beetle Cabrio Spridgets 5
jaybird Mike's Midget - or Midget versus semi MG 4

Similar threads

Top