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Restoration

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Gazzam Garry McDonald
Kootingal, NSW, Australia   AUS
Hello all,
I am planning to do a full body/chassis restoration of my 100/4 and need advice on the order of the whole process.
I am not going to do a full mechanical restoration as it doesn't need it. It runs very well and other than a fixing oil leaks and painting, motor, gearbox and diff will be left as is. Brakes and suspension will be fixed as needed.
There appears to be very little rust, but I'm sure there will be problems exposed when it is back to bare metal.
So I need advice on how to go about the process. For instance, do I start by removing the mechanicals and then working on panel gaps etc?
I am confused because I have read that doors need to be sorted with the motor in place. Advice from someone who has done it would be very much appreciated.

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simon1966 Avatar
simon1966 Silver Member Simon Griffin
.Madison County, Illinois, USA   USA
If your intent is to take it right back to the chassis and substructure to make repairs that are almost certainly lurking under the skin, then the panels all come off first. My car is nearing completion at one of the best shops here in the USA. I have been in receipt of hundreds of photos. Here is a selection to give you and idea of their process. The body panels were on and off the car several times during the repair to the substructure. The drive train was NOT in the car until all the panels and substructure were repaired. This is because they have developed their own methods of supporting the frame at key points in the repair. I have every expectation of having perfect gaps when it is completed.


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simon1966 Avatar
simon1966 Silver Member Simon Griffin
.Madison County, Illinois, USA   USA
You will notice that the engine and gear box are not in the car all the way to the point of having a rolling repaired and painted substructure. The photos of the yellow are after everything has been cleaned and blasted to protect the bare metal while the welding work is done. In this batch you can see the repaired panels going back on the car for the last time and test fitting of the doors now that the drivetrain is in the car. The car is in final trim out stage now and will probably be complete sometime next month hot smiley

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simon1966 Avatar
simon1966 Silver Member Simon Griffin
.Madison County, Illinois, USA   USA
As you can see, my car was really quite bad under the skin! Hopefully you won't have near as much work to do.


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NOHOME P P
O, Ontario, Canada   CAN
1967 MG MGB GT "Maggie (GT From Hell)"
First thing to do is a bit of inner soul searching. What do you want to end up with? The pictures you show look pretty good to me and you say the car runs fine. I would buy some sunscreen and a pair of dark glasses and call it done!

You cross a point when you decide to remove the shrouds.It is necessary for a full-blown-back-to-new restoration, but not for the timid. At that point you are going down to a bare frame and building every single component back to as-new.

Before you start, have a plan for how you are going to document the dis-assembly so that you can re-assemble the car a few years down the road. Healeys, may be agricultural in demeanor, but they are some of the most diabolically complicated cars out there when it comes to a lot of the mechanical actuators. For example, the throttle linkage on a Healey had over 50 individual parts. Some are obvious in where they go and others are not, so pictures, baggies, notes and sketches are a good idea. If I had my way I would have a "Restoration Secretary" who would photograph, annotate and document everything I took off the car.

The argument for having the drivetrain in the car is so that the chassis is loaded and there are no surprises when the engine is put in after all the gaps have been set.

You dont mention your experience or tool arsenal? Are you an experienced restorer who is already comfortable doing this stuff or a first timer just jumping in? Is there a budget or is money no object? In my experience I would say that less than 50% of home restorations ever get back on the road.

simon1966 Avatar
simon1966 Silver Member Simon Griffin
.Madison County, Illinois, USA   USA
I completely agree with Pete here. I started to take my car apart 20 plus years ago. I realized very quickly that there was no way I had the time, skill or patience necessary to complete the job, The car languished in my garage for a couple of decades before I had the resources to get it done properly. The tricks that an experience restorer has with home made jigs and things make such a difference. The jigs they used during the test hanging of the panels to get all the alignment right makes it clear to me that a home restorer trying to do it on their own for the first time would be doomed to failure. It is not to say that it can't be done, but I know I could not have been successful.

sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, california, USA   USA
Garry,

It looks pretty nice as it sits, why not just drive it and enjoy it. From the pictures you've provided it looks like you want to restore something that doesn't need to be restored.

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Gazzam Garry McDonald
Kootingal, NSW, Australia   AUS
Has my wife been talking to you guys?
She also says leave it alone.
The photos are very deceiving, it's a classic example of the 10 foot car, actually more like a 10 metre car.
I'm certainly no pro, but have a very decent workshop including a (homemade) spray booth. Earlier this year I finished my 911. It was a fairly major repair to damage from an electrical fire. This involved a complete interior and respray. The only bit I didn't do was fitting new trim to the seats. No major body work though.
At the moment I'm almost finished a refurb of an E type - new interior, door seals etc and a tidy up under the bonnet. Again no body work,though the doors and hatch had to come off.
But I'm keen to have a car that is as close to faultless as I can make it. I don't want a concours car, I want a driver. I bought this as a project car, but I don't want it off the road for too long - it's too much fun driving it. I will admit that the Healey construction sounds a bit daunting though.
Maybe I'll do it without removing the shrouds - strip the paint and mechanicals, repaint the body and reinstall the (repainted) engine gearbox etc.
Thoughts?


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Michael S Avatar
Michael S Michael Salter
Dwight, Ontario, Canada   CAN
Hi Garry, you have received some very good advice above but, based upon the skills that your previous work shows, I don't think an Austin Healey 100 will be too much of a problem for you.
As mentioned, deciding exactly what you want to finish up with before you start is important. Personally I enjoy the unique experience of driving a car that is as close as I can make it to what came out of the factory however, that doesn't last too long before you are reliving the experiences of a Healey owner of 60 years ago.
Don't be too concerned about the body sag due to the weight of the engine and gearbox. When the structural work is done correctly there is virtually no measurable sag when they are installed. I typically leave about 1/16" additional gap at the top of the doors but even that is often too much.
Digital photography has made documenting the replacement of parts much easier, just be sure to take many shots from many angles with good light throughout the entire disassembly process, you will really appreciate it as you put things back together.
If your car has been "previously restored" be prepared for considerable frustration in trying acquire the parts that the previous restorer chose to replace with reproductions which, in my experience, are seldom up to the quality of the originals.
If you decide to go the 'concours restoration" route I strongly recommend that you refer to the "Concours Guidelines" which we expect to have"on line" within a few months.



Michael Salter
Technical Chairman (Big Healeys)
Austin Healey Concours Committee

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Gazzam Garry McDonald
Kootingal, NSW, Australia   AUS
Thanks Michael,
I take your points about photos - lots of angles and good light. I thought I took plenty on each of the two projects I mentioned but there were times that I was wishing I had taken more. And/or in better light.
So I think I'll strip the paint (using paint stripper) and see what that reveals. I know it has badly repaired damage on the driver's side. It will probably need a new skin on that door to correct the swage line.
Once I've a better idea of what's needed body wise I can work out which way to proceed. Hopefully it will be to remove the mechanicals and mount it on a rotisserie.
Cheers
Garry

DTDuck Avatar
DTDuck Dan Marshall
Redwood City, California, USA   USA
In reply to # 195545 by Gazzam Hello all,
I am planning to do a full body/chassis restoration of my 100/4 and need advice on the order of the whole process.
I am not going to do a full mechanical restoration as it doesn't need it. It runs very well and other than a fixing oil leaks and painting, motor, gearbox and diff will be left as is. Brakes and suspension will be fixed as needed.
There appears to be very little rust, but I'm sure there will be problems exposed when it is back to bare metal.
So I need advice on how to go about the process. For instance, do I start by removing the mechanicals and then working on panel gaps etc?
I am confused because I have read that doors need to be sorted with the motor in place. Advice from someone who has done it would be very much appreciated.
Well I can tell you the process I came up with for my '55 BN1 (I think this is a pretty good road map) To do what you are talking about you will have to do most of this,:
1. Get it running and driving the way I want, so I can evaluate everything mechanical
2. Make and integrate all the mods I want to do (Oil cooler & remote filter, 4-wheel disc brakes, BN2 gearbox swap, dual master cylinder, 100S Oil temp gauge, Fuel pressure gauge)
3. Once all the mods are installed and working correctly, completely disassemble the car and send it to media blast and get it back in epoxy primer.
4. Once it is back from media blast I will address all the metal work (and there will be plenty I'm sure)
5. After I have completed the metalwork it will go out for finish body work and paint.
6. While out for paint, etc. I will do the mechanical work it needs, engine rebuild, aluminum head, suspension rebuild/re-bush, etc.
7. When back from paint, re-install all the mechanicals, then the trim, finally the interior.

I have set a 5-year goal for all this and I am about 1-year in. Currently I am working on the braking system upgrades.

Hope this helps,
Dan Marshall

PAN Avatar
PAN Alwyn Keepence
Ipswich, Queensland, Australia   AUS
Hi Garry,
Do you have any information on previous owners of your 100? If it was previously a Queensland car I might have information on its history. That might shed some light on its condition under the skin.
The Austin-Healey Owners' Club of New South Wales has many members who would be happy to advise a fellow club member, or one who is thinking of joining. It is my firm opinion that if the AH clubs had not formed when they did in the late sixties, there would be few Austin-Healeys around and their value would be a fraction of what it is today.
Cheers,
Alwyn

Gazzam Garry McDonald
Kootingal, NSW, Australia   AUS
Hello Alwyn
I bought it from Jim Berting near Burringbar (northern NSW) almost 4 years ago. He gave me a file with some info but I will have to dig it out. Soon as I find I'll give you some more details.
Thanks
Garry

Qldelsie Silver Member Giles Cooper
Benowa, Queensland, Australia   AUS
Garry, if you are coming up just over the border any time soon (on the Gold Coast) come and have a look at ours, and it might give you an idea of what you might find. Ours is probably a worst case scenario ! But it is a slippery slope, especially if you do, as you say, have accident damage. Our "accident damage" meant that none of the replacement floor or sill panels fitted correctly, which in turn lead to more and more "adjustments" ! But we do now have what I believe is going to be an incredible car for the adventures we plan for it.
See all the details here Peking to Paris 2019
You would be more than welcome to come for a look - Got a bed here too if you need to overnight.
Cheers
Giles

Gazzam Garry McDonald
Kootingal, NSW, Australia   AUS
Thanks for the kind offer Giles.
I have a sister in Bundall so I get to that area from time to time. Next time I'm going that way I will be sure to get in contact.
I'm near Tamworth and if you happen to be headed this way give me a yell.
Cheers
Garry

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