Another Year Over, Another Year Wiser

Warner pulls an Austin Healey Transmission

Warner pulls an Austin Healey transmission

On Thursday the 22nd I had some deferred maintenance taken care of at BMH which puts me on light duty for awhile, and on Friday Patrick and Warner transitioned back into the shop to help us start grinding thru our seasonal backlog.  This is the Austin Healey which we retrieved from Westport, Massachusetts early last week.  Warner got it running and out for a road test Tuesday, but try as he might, he couldn’t get the clutch to break loose in the yard, so he brought it back in and hauled out the transmission and took out the clutch.  It was a new clutch which had been sitting for some time.  This can be a prescription for trouble because the clutch linings soak up moisture like crazy when they’re new and fuse to the pressure plate & flywheel.

Gravity defying clutch disc

Amazing gravity defying clutch disc

In this picture Warner is holding the clutch assembly upside down but the disc is still stuck tight to the pressure plate.  This is another strong argument for keeping a dehumidifier going in your storage garage, or even better, driving your car every chance you get. It’s less of a problem once a clutch has accumulated some milage.  Presumably the glazing of the linings, a completely normal condition, tends to seal out moisture.

Patrick & Steve assemble an E-type IRS

Patrick & Steve Assemble an E-type IRS

While Warner was wailing away upstairs, Patrick & Steve were methodically assembling the Independent Rear Suspension unit for the red E-type downstairs.  I am going to resist the temptation to wax eloquent about what an elegantly simple  mechanical device this is actually.  It will suffice to say that in 1961 it was a couple of light years ahead of what anyone else was doing.  Fifty years on it’s still a pleasure to see how right it is

Patrick & Steve accessing front drivehshaft hardware

TEAMWORK: Patrick & Steve access front driveshaft hardware

Warner test his work

ROADWORK: Warner tests his handywork

Warner lights ’em up on a frosty morning.  Clutch & TX back in the car, he’s eager to see how it’s going to perform out on the road Thursday morning.  After returning from our standard five mile road test he had a whole new punchlist to work through.

Our UPS driver Jim Coffey snapped this picture of the six of us this morning.  We don’t have any wine or cheese tastings planned in the New Year, nor do we have any interest at all in servicing your other European prestige or exotic car.  In fact it doesn’t matter whether your garage holds one car or six.  However, if you’re passionate about your british sports car and like to receive real value for your hard earned money, then there are some things we should talk about in 2012.

This is our last post of the year.  May the next year be as good to us all.  David Clark

Patrick, Butch, David, Warner, Steve, John

Patrick (with Stumpy), Butch, David, Warner, Steve, John

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