Driving a 1954 Austin-Healey 100/4 from Peking to Paris in the June 2019 ERA Rally.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

0013 The work continues.....

27th July 2017
Dampers, diffs, and seats !

Driver's B pillar
Inside panel on B Pillar
The painstaking work of try to get the driver's side correct continues. 
However it should be remembered that Classic Car Clinic have many other jobs, so unfortunately they cannot spend all their time on our car every day !  Nevertheless, it is good to see the door shutting properly now, and the sill in place.  It is almost time to move over to the passenger side, which should move along a lot more quickly not only because they can copy the driver's side measurements, but also because it has not been accident damaged like the driver's side. In the meantime I had other things to keep me busy !

Damper as it was on car
Cleaned up rear damper
First of all I took the rear dampers off the car.  These are Armstrong
lever arm type that were very common in the 1950's and 60's - Even a lot of MGBs and Triumphs run these items.  When on the car, they looked in pretty sad shape - quite a lot of dirt and corrosion, plus I was surprised to find that the 2 bolts holding each unit in place were not very tight - I wonder how long they would have stayed attached ?  Having removed them I cleaned them up carefully, and once externally clean, I then removed the tops by undoing the 6 screws, which I then carefully drilled to enable us to wirelock them in place when they have been refurbished.  I also drilled the filler plug and Both dampers had fluid in there, although one was absolutely full to the brim, which I do not believe is correct.  I also noticed that the oil in there seemed to be suspending quite a lot of black dirt - They obviously need to be well cleaned out.  I will get the front ones off this week and get them up to WW Dampers in Brisbane who service these older units, and we can then use these as spares.

Damaged end of the axle tube
As mentioned previously, there was some damage to the axle at one end
Axle ready to send to Sydney
where someone had burred the face in order to get the bearing to seat - Not a good idea.  So I packaged up the diff, the bearing housings and wheel splines, the new uprated half shafts we have just received from the UK, and the axle housing itself, and sent them down to Sydney where Ashton has arranged for Garth Selig to sort the axle out completely.  The diff has already been cleaned out by CCC and was ready to go, so it is mainly the maching of the damage axle tube that needs to be done.
Our 4.1 diff

The clean diff was virtually ready to be re-installed.  Because we were uncertain of the diff ratio on this axle, I set to to count the teeth on the crown wheel - Not an easy task when they are curved, oily, and partially covered by the pinion wheel !!  I finally determined that there were 41 teeth, and since there were 10 on the pinion (equally difficult to count accurately !), that gives us a diff ratio of 4.1.  We shall use this later to work out our engine speeds etc.  

Short video clip of new alloy fuel tank

The new alloy fuel tank arrived this week, so I took this over to CCC so they could work on the chassis extensions in the boot to make sure they are in the correct place and not fouling the fuel tank.  The original steel fuel tank weighed 12.1 kg, while the new alloy one weighs just 5.65 kg, so quite a big weight saving there.  And it looks good in the boot - Alth0ugh of course it will be all covered up in the end !  Tempting to leave at least a part of it visible !!

Click here to see video link above :- https://goo.gl/photos/bsTbn8bPDzPn6jfm9

Our split ball joint boots
Brand new ball joint on other Healey
Next it was a look at the front steering arms, along with their ball
joints.  The rubber boots or gaiters that protect the ball joints from dirt and water are mostly perished and split, especially on the two side arms - The central arm looks as though the ball joints have been renewed more recently.  Unfortunately these side arms have the ball joints already permanently fitted, so we have to order two complete new arms - And will keep the old arms as spares. There is another Healey being totally rebuilt to concours by CCC and it is interesting to be able to see how everthng fits together.  In this instance, the totally new suspension arms show up the poor condition of ours !!

Short video of new jack

Our jacking point has been installed by Andrew, and here is a brief video of how the jack will work on our car.  I am really pleased with how this has worked out, and the jack is smaller and lighter than the scissor jack that was carried previously, as well as being easier to use.  Need to weigh each to find out the savings !

Click here to see above video link :-  https://goo.gl/photos/fzRpYhkR9caca9Q56

Tiny hole drilled in a nut
Today I was working in my garage, drilling small 1.5 mm diameter
Locking wire in place
holes in nuts so they can be wirelocked in place in order to ensure they do not vibrate loose on the rough roads.  We will of course use locktite / lock washers / nylocks as appropriate, but for important bolts that are hard to check when on the road, we will be wirelocking them all.  Not easy to do, but so far I have only snapped one of the tiny drill bits, which I reckon is pretty good !  And the hole is just the right size to enable two strands of locking wire to be threaded through.  I have a roll of helicopter locking wire left over from my Formula Ford days, and it is good to find a perfect use for it again !

Bump stop painted and ready to install

 I was also painting the two new rear bump stop boxes which come in bare steel, so need some kind of protection on them before the humidity and rust get to them.  So after rubbing them down and priming them, they got a coat of black top coat, and are now ready for installation - As soon as the car is ready !!

A big Corbeau box arrived !
While I was doing all this, a van pulled up in the driveway, to deliver a
A new seat
big box to me - The logo on the box was a dead giveaway - Corbeau.  Our new seats had arrived from Simply Sports Cars in Sydney, the Corbeau agent.  The original seats in the Healey were just that - 63 year old original seats.  The runners were rusted, the frame of one was mounted backwards, the padding in the seats was all over the place - In short, there was no way either Ashton or myself were going to be able sit on them for 36 days while travelling on bumpy Gobi Desert roads !  So Ashton had found these excellent quality seats that are sill in a "classic" style that suits the Healey, while also providing ample support to us.  
Old vs New !
Along with the seats were a 4 point Luke harness that we will be using to hold us in place.  Having unpacked the seats, I weighed them, and found them to be 7.3 kg, compared to the old ones which were 9.3 kg each, so a good saving there.  And when you look at them side by side, you can see how bad the old seats really were !  And having sat in the new seat on the floor of the garage, I can confirm they are very comfortable !!  And they even have pump up lumbar support in the backs, which will be very handy on the bumpy roads !

Short video - See below link to view
Finally, here is a video of the driver's side door and all the work that has been done on the sills and the A and B posts.   When you just look at it now that it is almost finished, it is hard to imagine just how much time goes into trying to straighten panels and get doors to close properly after an accident has bent all the surrounding bodywork.  We received new door striker pins from the UK this week, and it was amazing to see just how badly worn the old ones were.  I will try to get a photo pf them side by side to show this because it is yet another example of how some of these items wear away over time, and then start to cause other problems - In this case the door would not close properly on the pin, and would open whenever the chssis flexed !  Hopefully this will now be a thing of the past !
Click here to see above video :-  https://goo.gl/photos/epFPxdtbx7Ubd4KH6

 The remainder of the photos are here :- https://goo.gl/photos/3QdDYCsyd9XTztPB7

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Ashton & Giles welcome any visitors, support, and comments as we prepare for our Adventure !