Building Sports Cars at Sports Car Services

John comes up for air

John comes up for air

John has been putting this freshly painted TR3  back together.  I snapped the picture while he was enjoying a pensive moment, probably wondering what it would be like to stand up straight again.  It’s what we might call it a “rolling refinish” because we didn’t take the car completely to pieces like the BN7 Healey he’s contemplating here.

We’ve converted this Triumph to overdrive, which is a MUCH more elegant way to go than the five speed conversions that the big players in the aftermarket are pushing so hard right now.  Once a car’s been restored about all that’s left to sell is the bling, but then that’s what those color pages in the front of the catalogue are all about.

Building up a two seat Austin Healey BN7

Building up a two seat Austin Healey BN7

Last week I said we’d have something to say about our Austin Healey projects.  This enlargable photo is a good illustration of where we start with a completely dismantled car; installing the front & rear suspension.  Because they have the better facility for it, Elisha at East Coast Collision & Restoration bead blasted this axle for us.

Shortly after this picture was taken, Warner humped the axle downstairs and stripped it for reconditioning in our driveline shop, which is where, if you flip back to last week’s commentary, you might have seen the sparks flying as Patrick re-sized a Jaguar IRS thrust washer on the surface grinder.

Warner bolting up the left side front suspension

Warner bolts up the left side suspension

Although the Healey rear axle is pretty robust, the pinion flange in the BJ8 differential ran loose for a long time, and as a result we had to change out both the pinion and carrier bearings.  You know  we’ll be looking very closely at the BN7 diff.

Warner can be seen here working to Sports Car Services standards of workmanship and detail.  Because they were kept well greased, these stub axle assemblies  still had a useful service life ahead of them, as did the brake rotors, which we media blasted and painted before they were resurfaced.

By the way, did you know that we can supply stub axle sets on an exchange basis for big Healeys, disc braked Sprites & Midgets, MGB’s and also MGC’s ?   This is because we have the correct   Churchill tools to accurately ream king pin bushings to size for these cars.  Inquire..

The phase 1 BJ8 that Butch is building up

Same Old, Same Old: More stunning paint work by E.C.C &R.

Don’t be fooled by the wheels, this is a no-holds barred restoration built on a Jule frame.  The uprated engine is fully balanced and features a stage 2 Dennis Welch aluminum cylinder head breathing thru a DMD intake manifold and a DWR extractor exhaust, as modified* for the application by Butch Howe.

Previous remarks not withstanding, this car is also running a Toyota five speed transmission, just like the one we exorcised from the BN7 in favor of the original side shift TX.  We have our opinions, but when it’s your car you ought to be able to have it your way.

access plug for servicing clutch slave on the Toyota TX

Butch devised this service access for the Toyota TX slave cylinder

Of course the service access to the slave cylinder was a little squirrely, there wasn’t any.  Butch put aside the temptation to simply use a cold chisel and instead cut a very nice access hole which uses an MGB bulkhead plug to seal it, very much like a Midget or a Sprite.  As near as we could figure it, the only other way to bleed the slave cylinder was to do it before stuffing the transmission in the car.

It’s just another typical aftermarket parts engineering challenge, of which we seem to encounter many.

Patrick makes a carb adjustment on the series 2 E-type

Patrick tweaks the Webers on the series 2 E-type

Late Wednesday afternoon Patrick managed to get a road test done on the red E-type.  With the benefit of new valve guides, there’s no blue cloud trailing behind at longish stop lights anymore.  Patrick asked me to see if the engine felt like it was hunting at small throttle openings, but when I managed a quick (the operative word) ten miles behind the wheel, I forgot to drive slow.

I actually saw 70 click up on the speedometer, but it wasn’t until after I got back that I realized that on the new 3.31 final drive ratio (was 3.54) it was probably a pale imitation of the actual road speed, which is also, I suppose, a favorable commentary on our suspension work as well.

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