Archive for Healey

Laycock DeNormanville Overdrive Unit

We used to send these Overdrive Units off to a specialist to be rebuilt but something always went wrong on the first test drive. Come to think of it, sometimes they were leaking so badly that we had to take them apart and re-seal them before knuckle busting installation into the chassis.  Considering all the time to properly package the part, the cost to ship the 40lb crate as well as the weeks it takes to get it back, Nate decided to overhaul this Austin Healey 3000 Laycock deNormanville unit on his own. All the parts are available so once they arrive, he’ll slam it back together and test it by spinning it up on the lathe so he can be confident things are right before the installation.

Moss Gearbox

Moss Gearbox

Overdrive Repair and rebuild

Overdrive Repair and rebuild

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Old World Wool Seal Making

Wool felt front wheel seal

Wool felt front wheel seal

Today Peter created new bearing seals for the 1934 Lagonda M45 Rapide. The seals of the day did much the same job as today’s plastic over steel equivalent. The main sealing surface is wool felt that, soaked in oil, does a good job holding most of the oil and grease in place. The tools of the trade are pretty simple ones: a spoon, a ball-peen hammer, scissors and a razor blade. The thick wool felt is traced and cut via razor blade.

To make the wool a bit “proud” – to stick out like the chin of a duke – paper gasket material can be cut and built up behind the wool. A spoon and a ball-peen hammer are all that is needed to make an imprint to cut out.

This twenties automotive seal technology was used in agricultural equipment for decades such as wheel seals on an Oliver or Cockshut tractor.

Using the ball-peen hammer to trace the inner lip on the gasket

Using the ball-peen hammer to trace the inner lip on the gasket

A spoon has a nice radius for tracing the outer edge of the seal

A spoon has a nice radius for tracing the outer edge of the seal

Lagonda M45 Rapide front brake shoes and axle with hub removed

Lagonda M45 Rapide front brake shoes and axle with hub removed

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Adirondack Photo Shoot

Hacker Craft

Hacker Craft

An advertising company called us last week asking if we had a car that would be appropriate for a photo shoot in the Adirondacks for a major fashion company. We sent them photos of cars that we felt would be appropriate and they chose one of my favorites, the black and gray 1959 Austin Healey 3000 that is in excellent original condition and sits on pressed steel wheels rather than the typical wire wheels.

I was hired to bring the car to the Lake Placid Lodge in the Adirondacks and spend the morning helping to maneuver the car into position for photographs. There was no way anyone could have prepared me for scene I was about to experience. Not only was watching the intricate details of the photo shoot mind boggling, the Lake Placid Lodge was one of the most intricately detailed pieces of property I have ever seen. There were thick wooden layers after rich leather layers followed by curly birch bark layers of intricacies and rustic luxury.

It has been such a hot and humid summer here in the northeast but on this particular morning it was 48 degrees and overcast only to heighten magical experience of the experience.      http://www.lakeplacidlodge.com/

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Redneck Spring re-arch

Breaking its back

Breaking its back

Earlier this summer we had five (!) Austin Healey 3000′s in for service needing tons of small details addressed. Thankfully, nearly all the replacement parts are available for these cars and arrive the day after you order them through Victoria British, Moss Motors and my friend Mike Bounanduci in Vermont. Mike has some amazing new old stock stuff and has pulled a rabbit out of his hat on finding  odd parts for me on many occations. People complain that the reproduction parts are of low quality but i don’t care… the original parts were terrible as well and when you pay $15 for a complete gasket set for an overdrive unit or $9 for a thermostat housing, who cares if they aren’t perfect. We have had difficulty with repro brake and clutch hydraulics but when you pay $30 for a cylinder that has a 50% success rate, it beats the $250 clutch cylinder for a Ferrari with a 30% success rate!!!

Here is one reproduction item for the Healey that I don’t like. The rear leaf springs are too stiff and make the car ride high in the rear. A Healey with original springs has a nice ride but these replacements make the car feel like a empty boat trailer, in fact, maybe these are trailer springs that happen to fit the Healey.

Anyhow, after removing 2 leafs per spring pack, the car still rode high in the rear so here is how a redneck like me re-arches the springs to get the correct ride height and to get the LR on this car to be at the same height as the RR.

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Green Healey 3000 BT-7 on eBay

We’ve just listed a very original Healey on eBay in an auction format running seven days, but it doesn’t start until tonight. Check it out around 9:30 EST at http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320554848023 or preview the pics below.

100415_rpm_healey_1

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Drop Head Madness

As spring weather flirts with us, the shop flirts right back. Currently, not including open top race cars, we have five roadsters in progress (4 Healey, 1 Morgan), each one’s mecca being fun in the sun.

Austin Healey, Ferrari 308, a Morgan, and two more Healeys all the way in the back, and one out of view to the left.

Cream Austin Healey 3000 Mk III with B.A.R.C. badge

Hey Pig. Yellow, Cream, Green, and Silver all on tap

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Healey 3000

Before we delivered this Austin Healey 3000 to its new home, the purchaser wanted to make the car his by having us paint the “coves” ivory. I thought it was a great idea and Syl did an amazing job with the paint. The car was very nicely detailed to start with and with this color contrast, the car looks great.

Syl has been using a new clear coat that needs next to no wet sanding and polishing. The clear is so crystal perfect and it lays down with no orange peel. He just shot some Ferrari Boxer wheels and they are perfect! Loving that RM paint!

Healey Blue 3000

Healey Blue 3000

Healey Blue with Ivory Coves

Healey Blue with Ivory Coves

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