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AxeHealey Andrew Grannis
Cleveland, OH, USA   USA
Bill - sorry to hear that your racing for 2018 might be a no go. It is fascinating, however, your analysis of failures and how you're going to overcome them.

Not hugely unexpected, but the doors don't fit all too well. I'm fairly certain I have everything in the correct spot but it was kind of a fudging game from the beginning with not a whole lot to work with. The driver's side door is VERY close but the passenger side is off by about 1/4". A lot of fettling will be needed. Does anyone have a measurement from the hinge pillar to the shut pillar handy?


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Dougie Avatar
Dougie Doug Escriva
Portland, OR, USA   USA
Bill -

Sound like you've got it everything figured out except the lottery numbers to pay for it all. Oh, how I know that feeling. As it turns out, I think Barry could use another year to complete, I know Andrew needs more time and my wife just reminded me it's our 30th anniversary. With a trip to Mexico now in the works, I could use another year to fine tune the car and my finances for the RA roadie. Plus, I think they'll be an overwhelming number of Sprigets to deal with this year at the ELVF.

perk74 Avatar
perk74 Barry Perkins
Lenoir City, TN, USA   USA
Andrew,

32” ish is what mine are sorta.
LS: top to top 32”, bottom measured on top of rocker panel 32 1/4” outer edge.
RS: top 32 3/8”, 32 1/4.

I’ll bet I took the doors on and off 100 times trying to get the gaps even. Seemed like they changed every time, can’t wait to see what surprise is waiting for me after I get paint on them. I’m not convinced any two of these cars are the same or even the same side to side on the same car. That being said this car was raced for 15 yrs and had been hit and repaired everywhere except the LR.

Barry

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AxeHealey Andrew Grannis
Cleveland, OH, USA   USA
Barry,

Thanks for sharing the measurements, much appreciated.

Seeing as though I've just started into the process and I've had them off twice on each side, I'm thinking I'll be joining you in the 100+ department. Although this car wasn't raced, I did find a little bit of accident damage in the trunk area. It was also "restored" by someone even less professional than I am (if you can believe that) at some point!

Fun, fun, fun. spinning smiley sticking its tongue out I'm just focusing on this...



I suppose if the doors don't fit when I'm done, it won't be any worse off!

wagonaire144 Avatar
wagonaire144 bill d
mequon, WI, USA   USA
Andrew,
Looks like you're closing in, and on the right track. Just remember how you love that body line, and the sweep of front fender to rear, and stay motivated. Even tho Barrys' observation
regarding inaccuracy car-to-car, and left to right is dead on balls accurate, keep at it! Your pop is waiting.....

Barry,
When for the dyno? when for the budget? First test? YOUR Mom is waiting....
Heading to Moldex this Friday, to drop my last std./std. BMC crank off. Cross your collective fingers, lets hope for a beautiful result. Still no report from the machine shop on mag for the balance of parts. Inquiring about home equity loans.....
I think Dougs idea about leaving Road America for the Sprites makes good sense, and also makes for a better spectating/visiting weekend. Lots of people i never get to see will be up there, so mebbe i get to eat/drink later each nite, without needing to get to bed for the next raceday. hmmmmm...
billd.

AxeHealey Andrew Grannis
Cleveland, OH, USA   USA
I spent some time tonight getting the rear fender fit and in place solidly to really see what I'm working with. I then proceeded to sweep the floor while thinking through my options. I'm a little stumped at where this is going wrong because at this point, my issues are more than just getting the gaps nice and even.

For reference as compared to Barry's car, the "bottom" measurement along where the rockers would be are about 32 1/4" and the "top" measurements are just under 32", about 31 7/8"

- The front wing and shroud meet up as they should
- The shut pillar and the rear fender fit just about perfectly
- The front edge of the door and the rear edge of the front wing meet very well
BUT
- The rear edge of the door overlaps the rear fender

What I've landed on is that I must have gotten the hinge pillar(s) wrong even though the placement matches the measurements and reference points I had from the original. What doesn't make sense, however, is the the good gaps between the front edge of the door and rear edge of the front wing. If I move the shut pillars forward by 1/4", I'll have to use 1/4" worth of shims to get them to clear the wing which puts me back in the same place... right??

Here is how I see my options:
- Move hinge pillars forward, use a lot of shims, probably trim front wings
- Move hinge pillars forward, trim front wings
- Move shut pillar back, trim rear fenders
- Move nothing, trim doors

If those of you who have been through this could lend some advice, I would greatly appreciate it. I want to seriously consider options before either moving the hinge pillars or cutting up the doors / fenders.

EDIT: The only bogey in all of this is weight on the chassis. I know there is a debate as to whether the engine and trans (or an equivalent weight) need to be in the car to ever get this right. What is the consensus of the racer group? I'm not going to drop the engine and trans back in right now, but if you guys think it important, I'll go grab ~720-750lbs of sand bags and get it distributed as close as possible. The car is currently on jack stands inline with suspension points and always has been.









Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-02-15 10:16 PM by AxeHealey.

perk74 Avatar
perk74 Barry Perkins
Lenoir City, TN, USA   USA
Andrew,

So now might be a good time to decide what kind of roll bar or cage you plan to use. Are you going to have door bars or something that permanently stabilizes the door openings and ties the front half to the back. The cars Bill D has done have a low bar spanning the door opening that tie things together and is virtually unnoticeable, if dual purpose street /track is the goal, this is a pretty good option.

Prior to taking this car apart I thought the door gaps were pretty good, so assumed they would be the same when I bolted it back to together. Not so much. I did sit it on it’s wheels with a block, head and tranny in it and about 50lbs in the trunk before welding the cage and trying to fit the body. I couldn’t believe how bad the door gaps were, and still don’t understand why they changed. I had over lap on one or both the rear fenders like you do, and too much gap at the front. I tried to sneak up on it by milling the door hinges to move the doors forward, about an 1/8” maybe, still had to grind the back of one of the doors a bunch and then weld the fold over back together also added some 1/8” welding rod to the front of one or both doors to close up the front gaps. Had to add to the bottom edge of the right door, and the left finally fit perfect everywhere except the bottom half was too far in at the rear fender by about a 1/4” when the top curves and front fit perfect, so split and welded a wedge in it to move the bottom out. Oh yeah and all the time making sure the swage/cove line still lined up.

Hope this helps, I don’t know if the restoration purist would agree with these methods, but bottom line is it can be a lot of work, and I have a lot of respect for those who have done it.

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AxeHealey Andrew Grannis
Cleveland, OH, USA   USA
Barry,

The plan is to have a 6 point cage, yes. Two points right behind the seats, two in the trunk and two up under the dash with low door bars just as you describe. I've kind-of-sort-of decided to make the the cage a next winter project in an effort to get the car done for road use by fall of this year. I plan to send the car to a well respected cage builder down in Akron over next winter to have it done. I suppose if the group here thinks this is fool-hearty and it should really be done now, I'll have to reevaluate.

Your experience makes me feel like I should get some weight on the chassis. One of the things that I'm realizing is that you started with good door gaps before the restoration process and STILL ended up with a mess. The doors on this car never fit right and that was the basis from which I was putting in the new metal.

I truly appreciate how candid you are with your process for getting everything to fit. It makes all of the thoughts I'm having seem not so crazy!

As I sit here right now thinking about the Healey while I should be working... this is what I'm thinking for a plan of attack. Take the hinges to a machine shop and have them mill off ~1/8" from all mating surfaces (probably actually a little less). That will give me ~1/4" extra room which I figure is damn close to what I need. That means I'll have to trim the front wings and most likely a bit off the rear edge of the door. It avoids me having to undo all of the work I did on the hinge pillars or move the shut pillars which according to the rear fenders are dead on accurate. the only thing I'm a little worried about with trimming the front wings are the swage lines. But if I'm trimming anything, that will always be a concern.

How does the pool of Healey wisdom feel about this?.

On another note, can anyone confirm if this is the correct hinge set up for roadster doors? If one of these is a convertible door hinge, that could be a big issue too I suppose.

wagonaire144 Avatar
wagonaire144 bill d
mequon, WI, USA   USA
Andrew,
Please look for PM from me. The problems arise in the new sheet metal, not the original parts. And in our minds...
billd
PS, i would write more on this, but i'm on the road, and hav'n't a good wifi deal.

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RAHealey Jeff L
Lakeville, MN, USA   USA
You have two different hinges. The top looks to be from a BJ7/BJ8 and the bottom is for a BN4 - BT7.

Regarding cages, I used Welch’s bolt in cage. It is FIA approved that has a serial number certification. You have to custom fit it which takes time and the use of a portable hand hydraulic bender just to fine tune the final curves and angles. It comes with all the pieces required. I purchased an inexpensive bender with a 1.5” mandrel. The shipping was spendy because of it odd package size but in the end I ended up with a nice finished product. Mounting I custom made 1/8” plate and welded it in. The great thing is if you want to convert the car back to street you unbolt and remove. I had it powder coated.

Dougie Avatar
Dougie Doug Escriva
Portland, OR, USA   USA
Hi Jeff -

Great to hear from you. How are your repairs coming? I was so sorry to see the pictures of your beautiful car after the collisions at RA during the last ELVF. I was planning to come back for the 2018 ELVF, but it looks like it's going to be 2019 instead. I guess that's more time to get every race big Healey there for the event. It's hard to get the guys in Cali to travel East with Laguna Seca and Sears Point in their backyard. I'll keep trying though.......

Best

RAHealey Jeff L
Lakeville, MN, USA   USA
Doug


The crash made me reflect that maybe I should just hang it up. 32 years was a good run. I had to think things over and come to my own decision. I had encouragement from friends including Bill D.

It took me 7 years to build that car but I was working at the time. Retirement will give me more time.

As for rebuilding, it could have survived the right rear hit but the front just compounded it. It may be rebuilt at some point but not now.

However there is a new car on the drawing board.

Who know it may ready for the 2019 ELVF.

Jeff Johnk continues to be the one to chase and never catch. Scott McQueen’s fast learning curve and fast car has quickly become the one to also chase.

Dougie Avatar
Dougie Doug Escriva
Portland, OR, USA   USA
Jeff

It's good to hear you didn't get any injuries, and your health is good for a few more projects. If you get back out to Oregon, give me a call we're close to the wine country and always up for a tasting or two.

Best

AxeHealey Andrew Grannis
Cleveland, OH, USA   USA
Jeff - Do you know if the convertible hinges are considerably different than the roadster ones? The only thing I can tell is that the mounting surface doesn't have two "fingers" like the roadster ones. They seem to have the same dimensions elsewhere...

I spent a ton of time on the phone with Bill last week (thanks again) and also got a call from a Healey friend down in Florida who echoed exactly the same process for remedying this as Bill. I went over yesterday with the intention of getting the shut pillar cut off and digging into how much the rear needs to move. Before I did that, however, I decided to trace where the back edge of the door hits the rear fender. Although the front edge of the door meets the front fender fairly well, I realized that the increasing gap top to bottom in the front exactly matches (in terms of angle) the increasing over lap in the rear. This says clearly to me that the angle of the dangle of the hinge pillar is off.

It's even more work than what Bill has laid out but as I've learned, the key to everything is that the front shroud and the hinge pillars are correct before anything else on the body can be right. The shroud is definitely right, so that leaves the hinge pillars. I think once I get the pillar angle adjusted (easier said than done), the door will be much closer to fitting and the rear adjustment will go from needing 1/4" to 1/8" or less which I feel gets me in the right zone.

Dougie Avatar
Dougie Doug Escriva
Portland, OR, USA   USA
I've got a box of old hinges, I'll check what they are when I get back from SoCal. If correct, you're welcome to them.

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