Healey paint and MG snag list

Classics Monthly - - Driver's Diary -

This month has been a ma­jor mile­stone on the Healey 3000 front, as I’ve fin­ished all the weld­ing and she is off to the paint shop. I had a long list of lit­tle fid­dly jobs that needed do­ing after all the wings and shrouds had been re­moved. How­ever, after re­search­ing pic­tures on­line, I re­alised I didn’t have any bat­tery brack­ets in place. This omis­sion was easily missed, as th­ese had dis­ap­peared over time it was a a lucky catch. Weld­ing them in post paint would have been a night­mare.

An­other lit­tle job was mod­i­fy­ing the bulk­head tri­an­gu­la­tion to the con­fig­u­ra­tion of a 3000 MkIII, which was made by a sim­ple cut us­ing the plasma cut­ter fol­low­ing a tem­plate off a friend’s car be­fore welded in a new flange. This pro­file on the later cars was there to clear the larger two-inch carbs on full engine rock and as the car will be run­ning the same larger carbs, I thought it might be a good idea to make the same mod­i­fi­ca­tion.

I sup­pose this was an­other good catch and again, could have been a messy one to re­solve after paint­ing or with the engine in place. Hav­ing never owned a com­plete big Healey, I’ve been pretty dili­gent check­ing through pic­tures on­line but am still wor­ried some­thing may have been missed but there’s not a lot I can do about it now.

The car was loaded up onto a trailer one fine Sat­ur­day morn­ing and de­liv­ered to the paint shop with a boot full of pan­els and other bits. I’ll be sup­ply­ing the chrome work soon and this will give the painter a tem­plate to work to and en­sure they all fit. I’ve done this be­cause of a mini dis­as­ter on a car I re­stored once where the head­lights didn’t fit – a mis­take I def­i­nitely won’t re­peat!

With that mile­stone reached, I turned my at­ten­tion to some main­te­nance work. The charg­ing sys­tem of my dad’s Sprite seemed a lit­tle un­happy and was star­ing to be­come un­re­li­able. Rather than per­se­vere with the stan­dard fit dy­namo and elec­tro-me­chan­i­cal

I’ve been pretty dili­gent check­ing through pic­tures on­line but am still wor­ried some­thing may have been missed

reg­u­la­tor, I de­cided to go for an al­ter­na­tor con­ver­sion. A num­ber of com­pa­nies are now of­fer­ing cheaper al­ter­na­tives to al­ter­na­tors that look like dy­namos and I even man­aged to find one with a tachome­ter drive for circa £150.

Some com­pa­nies even of­fer a dummy reg­u­la­tor box with a fuse in­side so the whole setup looks orig­i­nal but has a more pow­er­ful out­put, but I de­cided to have a go at con­vert­ing the reg­u­la­tor my­self. Armed with a wiring di­a­gram and a large fuse holder, I de-pop­u­lated the reg­u­la­tor and I sol­dered in the fuse to the right ter­mi­nals and was de­lighted that it all worked per­fectly and the car is charg­ing nicely now. My dad had a lit­tle snag list de­tail­ing the is­sues that had crept in while us­ing the car, so I at­tended to a few other lit­tle jobs, such as align­ing the bon­net catches and after that off she went back to my dad to en­joy.

On the MGB front I had also built up a lit­tle list of jobs, one of which was a plug, lead and dis­trib­u­tor cap change. There was noth­ing in­di­cat­ing they needed chang­ing but they did looked a bit ropey, with one lead be­ing dif­fer­ent to the oth­ers. A sim­ple but sat­isfy job and I will keep the old leads and cap in the car as emer­gency spares.

One area that did need at­ten­tion on the MG was the starter so­le­noid. It had be­come very un­re­li­able off the key but thank­fully the mo­tor has a man­ual but­ton that when pushed will turn the engine over. How­ever, it was get­ting a bit tire­some pop­ping the bon­net to start the car, so I pur­chased and fit­ted a new so­le­noid to sort the prob­lem out once and for all.

Some fur­ther pre­ven­ta­tive main­te­nance was to change the fuel lines. Hav­ing grown up with Volk­swa­gens where leaks out back can’t be smelt un­til it’s too late, I’m in the habit of chang­ing th­ese reg­u­larly. Th­ese were a sim­ple re­place­ment along­side a new fuel fil­ter just in case!

So all in all a busy month once again and now there’s some space in the garage to start tak­ing a look at the E-Type but more about that next month.

Off to paint

The Healey’s bulk­head needed mod­i­fy­ing to clear the carbs.

Fit­ting a new so­le­noid cured a start­ing prob­lem on the MGB.

Swap­ping the MG’s dodgy leads was a job that needed do­ing.

Fus­ing the Sprite’s mod­i­fied reg­u­la­tor turned out to be an easy fix.

My MGB needed a few jobs sort­ing out to get it run­ning smoothly.

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