Ten-Year Renewal Blog

Ten-Year Renewal Blog – last update 9/3/2019

  It has been approximately ten years since I wrapped up (if you ever really complete a restoration of a Healey) the restoration of the Bloody Beast. He has weathered the ten years quite well – better than me, that is for sure! I have taken good care of the Beast and completed periodic maintenance […]


Charlie Hart Fuse Panel

Fellow Healey enthusiast, Charlie Hart has come up with several “customizations” over the years to “improve” on the original Austin-Healey design. He then makes these available to the Healey community. One of those items is a fuse panel that mounts to the firewall in the same manner and place as the original. The panel has […]


Rear Main Oil Leak – Diaper Fix

Healeys, as well as most other British cars of the period, like to leave their mark! That is, one can expect oil leaks on their garage floor or driveway. When I rebuilt my engine ten plus years ago, I installed an improved rear main seal designed and sold by Dennis Welch Motorsports. Disappointingly, it failed […]


Rear Axle Breather Replacement

Most of the vendors sell a plastic breather for the threaded hole in the Healey’s rear axle. However, a fellow in the UK sells brass equivalents from vintage Land Rovers that fit perfectly. While the plastic component works just fine, I couldn’t resist replacing it with a clearly superior quality brass piece. It was a […]


Oil Sump Oil Leak Repair

The cork gasket between the engine block and the oil sump (oil pan) has deteriorated and needs to be replaced. It appears that the gasoline flow from the intake manifold overflow pipes contributed to the problem. The oil sump is an aftermarket cast aluminum piece, not the original pressed steel pan. The sump was painted […]


Replacing leaking RH Lever Shock

I use Bilstein tube shocks on my car having installed Udo Putzke’s mounting kit when the the car was restored. Details may be reviewed on a previous post http://valvechatter.us/?p=3365 regarding the front and rear suspension. The kit uses the original lever shocks without the pistons as the upper “A” arm of the front suspension. The […]


Cylinder Block, Front Cover, Oil Leak Repair

The front cover has leaked oil for some time. In this post, I describe the process to remove the cover, replace the gasket and then reinstall the cover to the cylinder block. This process involves removing the alternator. When I restored my BT7 I “upgraded” from the original dynamo, or generator, to an alternator. At […]


Preventing Vapor Lock – Float Bowl Kouzies

The summer temps in southern Florida get pretty high and I have experienced a few episodes of vapor lock. Joe Curto who is well know as an SU carb guru sells some covers or “kouzies” for the car float bowls to help prevent boiling the fuel in the bowls. The “kouzies are made from “Koolmat” […]


Fuel Delivery Modification and Ram Pipes 

This project actually began back in November and took me till Spring to complete! I was inspired by Doug Escriva’s beautiful engine bay on his even more beautiful Healey racer: I especially liked Doug’s fuel delivery system to the carbs. Of course, Doug’s car is a tri-carb while mine has only two HD8 SUs. I […]


HD8 Carb Initial Tuning

I have read many “how to” documents concerning the tuning of the SU HD8 carburetors including the “Bible” – SU Carburetters Tuning Tips & Techniques and Des Hamill’s The SU Carburetter High-Performance Manual. But, The summary put together by Steve Byers is about the best single document specifically for HD8 carbs that I have reviewed. Byers […]


HD8 Carb Rebuild and Test Installation with Throttle Cable

Since I had removed the carbs to install the new intake manifold, I decided it might be a good idea to go ahead and rebuild the carbs. They didn’t have many miles on them, but it has been about eleven years since they were last rebuilt and although I wasn’t experiencing any leaks it seems […]


Carb Removal and Intake Manifold Replacement

So, here is a step-by-step of the process from tear down to completion. More than anyone (except me) would want to know. I first removed the air cleaner that I have been using for ten years from the carbs. Next was removal of the throttle return springs with a note about orientation of the springs […]


Valve Adjustment

I really don’t recall when I last checked valve clearances, so as part of this ten year renewal process adjusting clearances was an obvious item for the checklist. You really don’t need many tools to take care of this project. An 8mm socket is used to loosen the hose clamps on the crankcase breather apparatus, […]


Oil Catch Can Installation

Our Austin Healeys did not come equipped with oil catch cans but they did have a method of addressing combustion “blow-by.” The image below, with the components outlined in red, depicts the components of the system. A contaminated air/oil/fuel mix leaks down from an engine’s combustion chamber, around the piston and into the crankcase, where […]


Front Shroud Badge Replacement

They just don’t make them like they used to! The shroud badge I mounted on the Healey around 2008 started to lose its color (enamel?) this year. I think the problem was that the entire badge was chromed and then the enamel was applied. It is hard for anything to stick to chrome indefinitely. So, […]


Car Show Preparation

The Tampa Bay Austin Healey Club hosts an annual British Car Show held in Safety Harbor, FL. The 2018 Show will be held on October 27 so I side-stepped my ten-year maintenance project and gave some attention to cosmetic issues to get The Bloody Beast ready for the show. I had clayed, polished and waxed […]


Oil Leaks

Of course, the standard joke is that the car wouldn’t be British if it didn’t leak oil. My car isn’t bad, but when I had it up on the lift, I noticed some oil on the RH side of the frame. The leak got me looking around. I seam to have oil leaking from the […]


Engine Oil Change

A pretty simple and straightforward first step. I have a spin-on oil filter adapter and use a K&N HP-2009 Filter with a little under 7 quarts of Hick’s Oils Collector’s Choice 20W-50 motor oil. A fresh copper crush washer was used under the oil sump drain plug. The drain plug on my aluminum sump requires […]