Lots of great things happening with my BN1 restoration over the past few weeks!
Jason Stoch at Jetstream has begun the metal repairs on the chassis frame!
Here you can see the new front cross member he's welded in.
We got this piece from Kilmartins out of Australia, who in my opinion supplies the most accurate & best fitting metal components for Austin Healeys.
I scrubbed clean my old steering column, dated Mar.'53
In preparation for its rebuild I've ordered a new oil seal and dust excluder for the rebuild.
Like much of the car, I found more evidence of mud from mud wasps actually inside the stator tube of the coloumn! Clearly the horn & its wiring must have been removed a long time before -
I disassembled and inspected my original interior mirror. You can barely make out the old inscribed "Eversure" "M677" identification markings.
Unfortunately the metal is so badly pitted I'm just going to buy a new one and have it engraved - like the one below.
Last week was a lot like Christmas in October! I received several orders of parts from various sources. The biggest being a huge box from AH Spares, full of all sorts of goodies we're needing for the project...
Below are just some of the bits: Valve guides, thermostat, rad cap (that I'm going to modify with the correct rivet), generator brushes, bearings, overdrive wiring, choke hardware...
I got a NOS pair of front lower side lamps with frosted white glass lenses, and a pair of matching Lucas 488 tail lamps - original and still in their original boxes! These came from Rogers Motors in MA.
We got pairs of new front and rear wire wheel hubs with new knock-offs, these are the correct 4 bolt hubs only suitable for the early BN1's,
A replacement water pump, replacement gearbox mounting rubbers, a new set of seat tracks and wood risers, and even a correct Lucas sticker to add to bottom of my original Lucas coil...
I decided to get a new stainless exhaust, which I promptly painted in flat black high heat manifold paint.
I've ordered a pair of new reproduction Lucas 6 volt batteries. These new ones come as a new modern dry cell battery inside. The old vents and fill caps are just for show, they will never need filling. The terminals are even already drilled & tapped for the original style helmets & screws. These are available through Jim's Battery Mfg.
From my good friend Michael Salter in Ontario, I got a pair of Lucas horn body rings (these are usually cracked and broken), an exchanged front gearbox cover plate that has an oil seal machined into it, and an original Bakelite gearshift knob! Thanks again Michael!
With the new horn rings in mind, I got into rebuilding my pair of original Lucas horns.
I got one apart and rebuilt with no problems at all, however the other one had major issues with several of the outer screws braking off because they had become so fused with the aluminum body!
Replacing these old broken flat cheese head screws is going to be a tricky feat of either detective work or having them made!
Internally the horns both look to be in great shape, I just cleaned them up and made some new paper gaskets.
Lucky to have the new outer rings because the old ones had broken into many pieces...
I was able to finish one of them, but the other will have to wait until I can source some new screws!
Finally, I dropped off my Gearbox & Overdrive unit to my friend Tom Munro for him to inspect and rebuild. Tom is an expert classic car mechanic who's been rebuilding all sorts of engines and gearboxes for all sorts of classic cars for decades. He even drives his own BN1 that he's been driving and maintaining since the mid 80's.
There aren't a lot of people out there with the knowledge and expertise Tom has for this stuff!
I also sent my gauges off to Nisongers in NY to be professionally rebuilt and restored. They'll be replacing some of the old faded faces and the discolored odometer number wheels.
Good piece of mind to know the gauges will be freshly done and working properly.
Lots happening and still so much more to do..
With all these new parts in I'll have lots of work to keep me busy for a long while!
Until next time -
Classic auto enthusiast, upholsterer, coach trimmer, and fine scale modeler.