Bad Day at The

An Austin Healey with a bad tune up

Butch & John and a Bad Tune Up

The hood latch didn’t latch and the safety catches didn’t catch.  The carburetor tuning didn’t go well Monday on this Phase 1 BJ8, but last week we did promise you a picture.   As the wise man once said, “That’s what insurance is for”.

We traced the latch failure back to poor routing of the release rod mechanism, something not at all obvious at first blush until we realized the pivot was binding on the radiator.  The fact that neither of the safety catches did their thing reinforces our belief that Mondays are “Heck” Days.  Anyway, it runs well now.

Studebaker Dave & Jonathan Bateman

Two Wise men: Studebaker Dave & Jonathan Bateman

Wednesday drew an unusual convergence of wise men: Studebaker Dave & Jonathan Bateman.  Dave was dropping off the Borg Warner Detroit Gear 250 automatic for our Jaguar Mark IX project.  He happened to overlap with Jonathan Bateman of the near-mythic “Liberal Arts Garage”.  My camera caught the two of them together assessing Mr. B’s handiwork on the supercharged TC race car.

MG TD with a secret
MG TD with a secret

This is a nice MG TD, well presented, which we’re serviced from time to time over the years, and in fact it’s the first car that Butch ever worked on here.
This time around two front wheel cylinders were sticking, one on each side, and it got four new ones, a set of shoes and a complete hydraulic brake system flush and refill.
We are strong advocates of hydraulic system maintenance, and it’s particularly important with these cars.
Brake fluid is “hygroscopic” which means that it absorbs moisture, and that’s a

Scotch-Lock connector on the ammeter

Scotch-Lock repair on the ammeter circuit

good thing.  Silicon fluid isn’t going to help that situation because moisture’s gonna’ get in there anyway.
In a TD (or a TF) it helps set up an electrolytic corrosion between the aluminum cylinders and the steel pistons, and we’ve found ’em stuck tight after as little as five years of neglect.  Think of a brake fluid change as being directly analogous to changing the oil in your engine to remove the contaminants which are the by-product of combustion.  Change it every other year and your brake cylinders will live almost forever.
Now the other little faux pas here was the Scotch-Lock connector on the ammeter wire.  I mean come-m’on, it wasn’t even the right size.  This wire is carrying the entire charge load back to the battery.  O.K.  our bad too, because we never looked before.

2nd Lt. Warner Clark at the Westminster West Church Fair

Last Saturday: 2nd Lt. Warner Clark at the Westminster West Church Fair photo: Rose Shaoul

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