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NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
5/24/22 1:28 p.m.

And on to the other side.

 

Coarse demolition done. 5 more zip wheels bit the dust and am about to kill 3-4 flap wheels getting the bits off of the remains.

 

The massive support structure does not really hold anything in place that wants to move. The main goal is to hold the bracket for the convertible top frame to bolt on to.  ( the thing under the yellow tape) Since the bracket is welded to the wheel tub, it serves as a datum for locating the new tub. The length of the crosspiece is also cut to exactly space the side panels the correct distance from side-side.

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
5/26/22 1:27 p.m.

 

 

I hate Healeys!!!!!!

At least the people who make the aftermarket panels. I really hate them.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
5/27/22 3:55 p.m.
NOHOME said:

 

 

I hate Healeys!!!!!!

That's why I am going into the business of producing excellent patch panels

FTFY

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
6/3/22 6:50 p.m.

Got far enough along that I can trial fit the shrouds.

The front fits like a glove and the rear is about 85%. So I am not unhappy pending how much time the remaining 15% is going to take in the rear.

 

From here it will get the doors and fenders attached and will try to align those parts. Should be fun

 

jgrewe
jgrewe HalfDork
6/3/22 7:02 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

The first 85% takes 85% of the time.

The last 15% takes the other 85% of the time.

cdowd (Forum Supporter)
cdowd (Forum Supporter) Dork
6/3/22 7:16 p.m.

Is it BJ8?  I have a couple of the rear cockpit trim pieces if yours is not nice.  I hear they are rare.  My first car was a 67 when I was 14. knew i was in trouble when the bottle jack went through the frame to change a tire.  fun cars when going though!

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
6/6/22 9:08 p.m.

In reply to cdowd (Forum Supporter) :

It is yes. Still have to investigate trim fit, so might reach out if needed.

 

For the first time since the 70s the old girl is wearing some clothes. I would like to say that the panel fit was drop-on with razor sharp gaps, but that is yet to come.  After a couple of hours today they are much better than when I started, but panel gaps is one of those games where I have to walk away and come back several times before I win. 

The yellow tape delineates panel edges that should be straight lines but are not. They will be.

 

Fun trivia point. For some reason, Healy designed this car so that you have to remove the doors in order to remove the front fender. If the car were complete you would also have to remove the intake  and cockpit ventilation tube in order to reach the fender bolts. Since I expect the front fenders to be on and off several times before the fit is correct, I will come to hate Mr Healy and all of his descendants by the time I am done.

 

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
6/24/22 8:38 p.m.

Now that I have some reasonable panel gaps, need to install a b-post so that I can latch the door and see what newfound hell that provokes!

Of course the new b-post panel has no hardware to attach the latch mechanism, and it needs to be adjustable and yet impossible to get at from the backside. So I dreamed up this little cage to hold a threaded plate. Can't wait to discover why the factory might not have done it this way. Carl?

 

 

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
6/24/22 8:47 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

All I can think of is bean counters. There are a lot of compromises in these cars and I think a lot of it was cost cutting. Plus they never expected them to last so long. They wanted people to run them into the ground then buy another one. 

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia UltraDork
6/24/22 9:02 p.m.

Hi, 

is there a Buyers guide as far as looking for rust  at places you would not expect to find rust ?

Someone had a AH 3000 they wanted me to look at for them , 

It was up near Portland Oregon so I am sure it got wet but not salted !

Thanks for your thoughts 

 

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
6/24/22 10:02 p.m.

In reply to californiamilleghia :

Pretty much everywhere is going to rust on these cars. No panels that you can buy are going to fit without some form of modification. If AH Spares sold bolts, it would be up to you to  put the threads on them.

The frame looks sturdy and is kinda massive, but the metal is like 0.060" more like body metal than what you would expect of a frame. You have to be careful when welding on it so that you don't warp the thing.

The top of the frame  in the passenger area can rot out where you do not see it because the tin floor is kinda sorta welded on.

The frame and the front bulkhead where they meet at the bottom of the foot well.

The 4 outriggers that go between the frame and the sills

The sills for sure

The rearmost cross member that holds the rear leaf spring shackle mount is prone to rust  on the ends and hard to see. This was not visible until the corner box in the trunk was removed.

Of course, the shrouds being alloy and the fenders steel, means that with the electrolytic reaction you not only rot out the fenders and shrouds where they meet, but you can jump start your own car. Finding someone that is willing and able to do a proper repair on a shroud is not easy. I CAN do them but wont do them for other people cause welding the crusty old aluminum is sketchy and I don't want to buy anyone new shrouds if the TIG gods are not with me that day. 

Most outer body panels that I have seen have had the bottom 8 inches repaired.

If you have to pull a front fender, removing the engine is not the worst idea you will have  to get at the bolts holding the fender to the shroud,  Oh...and the door has to come off to remove a front fender.

Look up "Healey Scuttle Shake" if you want to kill an hour or two learning what causes it and how to mitigate it. When was the last time you balanced your rear brake drums?

If it has wire wheels, it needs  4new ones. And 4 new hub$ at the same time.

They do look awesome when done, almost as nice as an MGA.

AxeHealey
AxeHealey Dork
6/24/22 10:16 p.m.
Carl Heideman said:

In reply to NOHOME :

All I can think of is bean counters. There are a lot of compromises in these cars and I think a lot of it was cost cutting. Plus they never expected them to last so long. They wanted people to run them into the ground then buy another one. 

The way I have often described the problems I ran into rebuilding ours to my wife is that they seem to have, in almost every case, come up with very strange and sometimes complex solutions to quite simple problems. 

In reply to californiamilleghia:

You should expect to find rust quite literally everywhere and then question why you didn't see it if you think it's not there.

In all seriousness, I don't know if there's an exhaustive list of common rust areas but my joke isn't far off. The outriggers from the main frame rails to the inner sills often begin to disappear at the sill...along with the inner sill. Usually the front floors are rusted along the inner sills as well because the sills have gone away. Back floors rust where they meet the rear kick panel and wheel wells. There are so many areas with considerable overlap between sheet metal panels that I can't list them all. Very important instances of this is the frame rails themselves. Floor and trunk panels sit directly on top and can hide that the top of the frame rail is rotting. The front leg of the quarters as well as the bottom rear of the front fenders catch a lot of junk and tend to rot. There's also the issue of the aluminum shrouds and steel fenders/quarters which corrode each other, mostly the aluminum, once the protective strip disintegrates. 

/rant.

Sorry. Back to Patches. 

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia UltraDork
6/24/22 10:27 p.m.

Thanks for the info , sounds like weekly tetanus shots ,

seems like it had 5.90 x 15 crossply  tires originally  , what's the modern size  radials ?

Cheers

 

AxeHealey
AxeHealey Dork
6/24/22 10:44 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

Looks like we were typing at the same time and share an opinion. 

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
6/24/22 11:00 p.m.

In reply to AxeHealey :

Heck, and you have had time to cool off since you got yours on the road!

I think on the Healey 100-4 I worked on, there was like 76 distinct parts to the throttle linkage if you broke it all down. Maybe a dozen moving parts with the corresponding stack-up error of 60 years of wear. These things are like a collection of rube-goldberg machines traveling in close formation.

In addendum to the caveats that I posted, I would suggest that a buyer be very cautious when buying a really nice looking car. There are a lot of nicely lipsticked pigs out there. Paint and upholstery covers a lot of horrors.

 

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
6/25/22 10:36 a.m.

One of the guys who used to work at Eclectic Motorworks, John, lived near Detroit in the 1970s.  His backyard neighbor worked for Ford, and mentioned in his British accent that he was working on that fancy tailgate for station wagons that opened down and sideways.  Years later, John bought and restored a BJ8 and found out that the 100/4 designer, Gerry Coker, also is credited for that Ford tailgate. Putting two and two together, he realized Gerry was that neighbor.  I had some magazine contacts that had Gerry's phone number and John called him and talked about the old neighborhood and big Healeys.  John visited Gerry several times at his home somewhere down south, and every time he did, Gerry was unboxing a glovebox door or some other Healey part to sign and send back to the restorer.  Gerry said when they designed and built cars back then, they never thought they'd last and they didn't build them to last.  Their goal was to sell as many cars as they could, and if they didn't last, they sold more cars.  I think that mindset, plus the resource shortages at the time, contributed to all of the goofy things we encounter as we work on 50+ year old cars that weren't expected to last more than 5-7 years.

I think big Healeys are the hardest production British car to restore, followed by MGAs. As NOHOME says, they're made of so many pieces, none of which fit together very well, all of which corrode, and the replacement pieces fit even worse.  They're wonderful cars when they are done, but for me E-Types are significantly more wonderful and honestly less work.

Sorry for the distraction, keep going! 

Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
6/25/22 10:43 a.m.
NOHOME said:

In addendum to the caveats that I posted, I would suggest that a buyer be very cautious when buying a really nice looking car. There are a lot of nicely lipsticked pigs out there. Paint and upholstery covers a lot of horrors.

 

YES!  With top cars being worth $60K plus since the '90s a lot of bad cars received bad "restorations" and nothing but a big checkbook and/or a lot of time can remedy all of the issues. Door fit is the biggest indicator.  If you're looking at a bad car, the door fit will literally change just by sitting in the car or jacking one corner up slightly.  I think that's one of the easiest ways to check without poking around too deeply. I wouldn't even think of buying a nice Healey without photo documentation of the restoration, lots of receipts, and names of the shops/subcontractors who were involved.  And I'd call the shops to be sure they did work on the car and what work they actually did.  We've had cars at Eclectic that we changed the oil on and some seller later claimed we did a lot more than that.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/25/22 4:49 p.m.
NOHOME said:

These things are like a collection of rube-goldberg machines traveling in close formation.

you have a way with words, my friend. I'm going to use that at my first opportunity.

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
6/29/22 5:51 p.m.

So, as mentioned, replacement parts and previous repairs are a challenge when trying to restore one of these cars.

 

Working on installing a new B-post. Things were not meshing. Decided to make a tape template to compare original and new B-post panel.

The yellow is the correct curve.  Cause why not sell parts that dont fit?

 

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
7/26/22 10:07 p.m.

Turned a corner yesterday in that I am now actually welding stuff together. Up till now I have been using sheetmetal screws to hold parts in place so that I could fiddle with the fit. Healeys take a LOT of fiddling to get stuff to go together nicely. Kind of like doing a Rubic's Cube when you have no strategy but a lot of determination.

 

One of the fun bits that makes me go WTF is the fir of the flat quartern panel that attaches to the wheeltub. The flat panel has a lip that folds in and gets spotwelded to the wheeltub arc. 

 

You can see in the pic below where I have started to spotweld the flat panel to the wheeltub. Where it gets fun is in the area marked with yellow tape. That shows an area where the two arcs deviate and since they do not meet, I can't spotweld the two together.

The plan is to trim the flat panel and then use heat to reform the lip so that it mates to the wheeltub arc. There is a second similar void at the 1-3 O'clock position on this same panel. So rinse and repeat.

The good news is that the doors swing and the gaps are reasonable all around. The B post are in place (those were scary to locate!) and the door latches are engaing nicely. 

None of this is rocket science, but I tell ya, the dude witht the rock and the hill had it easy compared to restoring these heaps.

 

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
8/1/22 10:13 p.m.

Points for consistency; the DS was the same as the PS.

Spring wire used as a batten to show the shape of the wheeltub. The 1/2" yellow tape is the metal needed to form the new lip.

A deathwheel is used to cut out any of the old lip not covered by the tape.

The metal is heated with a torch and formed over the edge of the wheeltub.

 

The new profile, You can see the heat marks from where the flame was used to help persuade the metal to fold over the wheeltub and not crush the wheeltub while beating the living bejabers out of the panel,

 

And with the new flange now contacting the surface of the wheeltub, it can be spotwelded in place. Had I not trimmed most of the old flange, the new flange would have been much wider than 1/2" and  looked kind of silly.

What I do not understand is that the two panels were bought from the same vendor. Would it be so difficult as to maybe test fit the two parts to see if they have a mating arc? 

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 UltraDork
8/2/22 11:29 a.m.
NOHOME said:

 Would it be so difficult as to maybe test fit the two parts to see if they have a mating arc? 

I believe the Fettler's Union has an injunction against this.

 

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
8/4/22 10:10 p.m.

You WANT the rust repair to be done, but it never is! 

The rear seat panel finally arrived. So time to cut out the old patchy one and weld in a new one

 

Not good

 

 

Fixed sorta

 

New part in place. It actually fits!!! This is the first of a dozen repair panels that came even close to fitting; several would have been better off as pieces of flat tin.

Still have some work to do on the corners of the rear panel where I tore off the scabby patches, but pretty sure I can make a better job of it than the last guy.

 

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
8/8/22 11:08 p.m.

Looks pretty much the same as the last pic, but 6 hours have gone into prepping the panel and the mating surfaces so that the panel is ready to weld in. 

About 120 spot welds and some seam sealer and this panel should be done. Really happy that the panel showed up since the original one was letting the effort down.

MyMiatas
MyMiatas Reader
8/8/22 11:50 p.m.

Seeing your last picture.... did you copy the factory style of MIG spot welding instead of using the approximent 1/4 drilled hole 1/2" apart traditional? Also do you use zinc primer on the to be welded areas or would you agree that it causes more problems than it is worth?    PS. Great topic, enjoy checking out your progress, interesting that it isn't your car. (not a bad idea)

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