Ten-Year Renewal Blog – last update 11/15/18

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 as one should. There have been a few things along the way that have required attention, such as the failure of the brake master cylinder that led to the replacement of both masters and the clutch slave cylinder while I was at it. However, for the most part, it has simply been fluid changes, tire replacements and etc.

I am sad to report that I have not driven the Healey as much as I should have during the time since I finished the restoration. About a month after I completed the restoration work I drove the Bloody Beast 8,000 miles in a cross-country trip from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware to California, up the coast to Victoria, BC and then back to Harrisonburg, VA. Between helping my son with his Bugeye, restoring a 1964 Jaguar MK2, and maintaining the 1987 Alfa, a 1969 MB 280SL and the Porsche in addition to the daily drivers there just wasn’t much time to drive! I am ashamed to say that I only put an additional 2,878 miles on the Healey in the ensuing nine-plus years. Driving, however, is the whole point of having a sports car and that is certainly true for an Austin Healey roadster. My son has now taken the Bugeye to his home. I have sold the Jaguar and the Mercedes. I now intend to spend more time driving the Bloody Beast!

After almost ten years I thought it might be healthy to go over the car carefully and examine the condition of components, check tolerances, and replace items that typically wear – even though they might be in operable condition at the moment. I will be making myself a list of items, that will probably not be in any particular order, and I will undertake some of the work as the list is added too over time. I will gradually need to accumulate parts for the work to be done.

For those who read this post, I hope you will contribute through your comments and make suggestions about anything, but particularly about items that should be added to my ten year renewal list. To be clear, an item on the list, an oil change for example, doesn’t mean that it is only to be done every ten years. I will make entries on this post chronologically as items are accomplished. I will keep a ten year renewal checklist as a separate post and add to it as I think about items to address. I will organize this list based on the categories of the Workshop Manual.

So, lets start this project! 

August 24, 2018

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 an 11/16″ wrench for removal.

I ordered the oil from Moss Motors and the filters directly from K&N. You don’t need a filter removal tool for the K&N filter as the canister comes complete with a 1″ wrench fitting! 

K&N HP-2009 Oil Filter

 

Hick’s Oils Collector’s Choice 20W-50

 

October 16, 2018

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.

Oil Leak on Frame RH side

The leak got me looking around. I seam to have oil leaking from the alternator mounting bracket suggesting that I need to replace that gasket and reseal the bracket. Not that the frame oil came from the oil sump, but I checked the oil sump mounting bolts and noticed that many of them were not tight. A 7/16″ socket with an extension had those bolts tightened up in no time. I will keep a watch on this area, as I may need to replace the sump cork gasket as well. I will come back to this problem and specifically the alternator bracket seal a little later.

I observed that the rear differential drain plug was also leaking a little gear oil. I took this as an opportunity to change the gear oil and put some sealant on the plug threads. The manual states that the capacity of the rear axle is 1.7 lites, but I just fill the diff until oil begins to drip out to the fill plug hole.

Shell Spirax HD Gear Oil SAE 80W-90

October 22-25, 2018

Car Show – 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 The Beast not too long ago, so this time I just washed and waxed her. I always use Griot’s Garage Best of Show wax. I think it is a great product. Super shine and very little residue. I apply with an orbital buffer (also Griot’s Garage) and remove with a micro-fiber cloth.

Best of Show Wax

The brightwork was cleaned and polished with Meguiar’s All Metal Polish. It produces a great finish. I use it on the stainless steel grill, the chrome and stainless steel wire wheels and on the body chrome.

Meguiar’s All Metal Polysh

I like to use SprayWay Cleaner for the glass. You need to make sure the glass is completely dry after using the cleaner but if you do it results in a clean and streakless appearance. 

SprayWay Glass Cleaner

In the interior I use Griot’s Garage interior cleaner on all of the vinyl surfaces and Lexol Leather Conditioner on the leather seats. I have used Lexol’s conditioner since the upholstery was new and it still looks that way! I wrapped up the interior with a good vacuuming.

Lexol Leather Conditioner

The tires were cleaned and then treated with Griot’s Tire Cleaner. This dressing provides a nice clean and smooth look without an “over-done” glossy shine.

Griots Vinyl & Rubber Dressing

The surfaces under the bonnet were in pretty good shape, but I used some of the Meguiar’s polish on the rocker cover, carb dashpots, and the aluminum radiator upper tank.

While under the bonnet I changed out the spark plugs. The used plugs were sootier than I like and I will address this issue later by examining the timing and carburetor richness. The plugs are gapped to .03″

NGK BP6ES Spark Plug

 

The Bloody Beast looked quite good for the show and her paint received many compliments. We brought home the Best in Class award. Not bad for a nine-year old restoration!

The Bloody Beast – 1960 AH BT7

The Bloody Beast – 1960 AH BT7

November 15, 2018

Front Shroud Badge – 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, my 2008 badge wasn’t as good as the original.

Shroud Badge Losing Enamel

But…the badges available now are not as nice as the ones that were available when I did the restoration. I had to return one vendor’s badge that wasn’t very good at all. I then ordered one from AH Spares, part # BAD-107, and while the metal is thinner than the one it is replacing, it does have the curvature of the shroud and the lettering and enamel look pretty good. We will see how long the enamel holds up on this badge! The badge has two studs and came with the fixing washers and nuts – a 5/16″ wrench is used.

Replacement Shroud Badge

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Responses to “Ten-Year Renewal Blog – last update 11/15/18”

  1. Kjell Johansson says:

    You sold the Jaguar? I am still waiting for posts lol!

    Kjell

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