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The 100-Six Forum

Hard top restoration

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sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, CA, USA   USA
Darin,

Wow, $7500 is what a restored hardtop is bringing these days? I found a hardtop for my first Healey in the classified ads for $90, I thought it was a little overpriced but it was in really good condition, it went with the car when I sold it, if I'd only known. It is a real beauty, nice work.

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Rob Glasgow Avatar
Lompoc, CA, USA   USA
DK, Beautiful job on the restoration of the hardtop. I noticed you have the same gap I have on mine where the bottom edge of the top meets the cockpit surround just behind the back edge of the door. Right where the locating pin of the hardtop enters the hole in the body. I have used some black foam weather stripping to fill in the space, but am trying to figure out how to get the top surfaces to mate closer. I am considering replacing the weather stripping in the U channel that sits on the cockpit surround with something thinner, but I doubt it will get me much closer. My top did not come with my car so maybe they were matched to a specific car and fit better.
Anyway, I don't use the hardtop much but is certainly changes the entire driving experience when it's mounted.

Rob Glasgow Avatar
Lompoc, CA, USA   USA
DK, One more question if you don't mind. What is your car parked on. I looks almost like 1"X24" wide wooden siding but I don't think that makes sense. I can't imagine what it is.

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dkgraber85 Avatar
dkgraber85 Darin Graber
SLC UT, USA   USA
Hi Rob -

Thanks for the kind comments. The gap you see was when the top was just placed and setting on the car. With a little fiddling, adjustments and cinching down using the hardware, the gap closed up. and the seal seems good. I had to even loosen and slightly adjust the windscreen posts to get the top to settle down. Not sure but I think a lot of these tops didn't fit perfectly - these were hand built cars with minor differences from car to car.

The mats on the floor are rubber mats that are used along assembly lines where people are standing for periods of time. I came across a bunch of it, cut it to length, and it provides a nice oil barrier between the car and the floor. Plus its softer to sit/lay on when working on the car. and moveable from garage to garage. Best.


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rusty1c Avatar
rusty1c Peter D
Antioch, CA, USA   USA
1961 Austin-Healey 3000 BT7 "RUBY"
1963 Chevrolet C10 "Rusty"
Darin,
I noticed that your hood is louvered. Was this done prior to you owning the car or was it something you had done? The reason I'm asking is, if you had it done how much difference did you notice it made to the cooling of the engine? The topic of overheating Healey's has been ongoing for many years and I'm considering having my hood louvered but so far can't bring myself to put louvers in it. I'm probably going to pick up another hood and have that one louvered.
Any info would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Pete

dkgraber85 Avatar
dkgraber85 Darin Graber
SLC UT, USA   USA
Hi Peter -

I had the louvres done when I restored the car. I think it cost about $250 at a hot rod shop here in Salt Lake for the set up and punching.

Did it help? That is a loaded question...I'll give you the long answer.

We live in the high desert and I knew I was going to drive the car - a lot. I wanted to plan for every possibility having read that these cars tended to run hot for a myriad of reasons. So I have...

Installed an aluminum high efficiency radiator
Installed and electric pusher fan to a switch if needed
Installed a regular 6-blade high efficiency fan to the water pump
installed the later radiator side shields even though they were not on this car originally
Had the system professionally flushed out
...am running the correct 185 deg. thermostat that blocks the little inlet when open
Punched louvres in the bonnet to keep the high pressure "bubble" from forming under the hood

I can't say if the louvres themselves helped that much overall, but I can say that the car rarely gets over 160 degrees...ever. In the winter (I have a hardtop so when its dry I drive it too) my heater doesn't work at all because the water never gets hot. If it's REAL hot in the summer (and we're at a higher altitude), sometimes the car gets to 190-200 in stand still traffic. Thats when the electric fan comes in If I think I need it. All of the above are reasonable fixes in whole or in part, I think it just depends on your driving and condition of your car, timing, etc. Honestly I think this is all overkill - I could have done one or two of these and been just fine. And honestly all of these are reversible except for the louvres so if you have another bonnet, keep one of each and experiment. Best...

sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, CA, USA   USA
Peter,

Overheating has been a much discussed subject on these boards, I can only speak for myself, I louvered my hood and installed a Texas Cooler fan and my Healey overheats never! There are two ways to go here, the rally side vents or hood louvers to reduce engine compartment pressure and heat. Since heat rises louvers seem to be the most efficient way to go. Also louvering is the easier and cheaper way to go. Do louvers work? I've sat at a light on a hot day and I can see the heat shimmering out of the louvers. They look good too. You can get your hood louvered and enjoy the benefits(cool running and looking) and look for a stock hood at your leisure. When you find that spare I don't think you'll be in a big hurry to put it on.

rusty1c Avatar
rusty1c Peter D
Antioch, CA, USA   USA
1961 Austin-Healey 3000 BT7 "RUBY"
1963 Chevrolet C10 "Rusty"
Darin and Kevin,
Thanks for the info guys. I have already had the block flushed out and installed a high efficiency fan. Here in northern California it can get pretty hot in the summer and the car can climb to over 200 deg in short time be it in traffic or pulling a long grade. I think I'll look for a hood and try the louvers next with a pusher fan. I have plenty of paint left from when the car was painted so I'm not worried about matching it.
Pete

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