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1955 Austin Healey


Dandy Dave

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The styling of all the big Healeys was beautiful. I had a '67 Austin Healey 3000 that was a great car. Bought it new and drove as my everyday driver for over 100K miles and 8 years. Big mistake selling it, now can't afford one!

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Same story here. I should have held on to one of my Healeys because they're out of my reach now. I preferred the early 6 cylinder cars, but that 4 would do just fine

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This model (BN1) was best looking post war car to come out of England. Mechanically simple, Austin A90 drive train. 4 cylinder 2660 cc twin SU carbs, 4 speed trans with over drive and first gear blocked out. Donald Healey supposedly named it 100 because it was capable of 100 MPH. I believe this same engine was used in David Brown farm tractors.

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The 6 cylinders, starting in 1956 Model BN2, were 4 seaters and compromised the body lines to accomodate the rear seats. Later 3000 series were restyled enough to correct the body lines.

Dave, the Serial number tag should be on the top of the right hand frame rail just behind the front suspension and should have the prefix BN1. There were less than 16,000 BN1's produced from 53 thru 55. Other than MG TC and TD models big Healey's were the top selling import sports car.

In an earlier post I stated I though the AH 100 engine might have been used in David Brown tractors. I did a little research and I was wrong. Pre WWII the Ferguson-Brown tractors used Coventry Climax engines. After 1939 Ferguson made a deal with Ford which lead to the Fordson tractor. With this split from Ferguson, David Brown Engineering designed and built their own engines. Company chairman David Brown of the mid 20th century was also the DB of Aston Martin cars.

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All 4 cylinder Healeys were BNs. The BN1 was the early three speed car. BN2 was the four speed 100-4. There were no 4 place 4 cylinder cars. In 1957 the 100-6 was introduced. The BN6 was a two seater, the BT6 had the little occasional seats, making it a four seater if your passengers were children or had no legs. It had a cylinder head with integral intake manifolding. It was later replaced with a more conventional head with a separate intake. The 3000 came out in 60 and were BT7s and BN7s. The convertible BJ7, built from 62-64 had the old vinyl covered dash. The BJ8s were the last models built and had the burled wood dashes. I always preferred my roadsters, but the BJs were really nice cars that could be driven nearly every day. The roll up windows and the folding top were quite weather proof. The heaters weren't very good, but there was plenty of heat from the hot exhaust pipe that was just under the hump, next to your right leg.

To me, the sound of a six cylinder Healey, going through the gears, is absolute music

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Nice car and probably the best way to buy an AH - looks very presentable yet it is not a freshly restored show car so I hope he bought it right. He should not be afraid to enjoy this one once it is woken up...

An early big healey, along with a "T" series MG, is on my short list...

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What kind of dollars does he need to get out of the Healey?

Where is it located ?

Gee wissss fellas, He just purchased it. The car is not For Sale at this time but may become available after we do a few adjustments and spiffy it up a bit. Give us time to have a little fun with it gang. :D Dandy Dave!

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  • 1 year later...

TTT.. Hey Gang, We finally got this car out of the back corner after sitting since it was purchased, and I found out it needs Dential work. I Disassembled the transmission and out came chicklets in the mix. I have been around the web a little looking, but just wonder if anyone know a supplier that will have transmission parts for this car? It has the 3 Speed with an Electric Overdrive. If I do not forget my cammera, I'll get some photos next time I'm there. Dandy Dave!

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Guest my3buicks

Dave, I think your first sentence in your first post made people think you were going to help your friend sell a car he just purchased. Help a friend move this car versus "helped". What a great little car, he will have great times in it. Logged a good many miles in a twin to this one back in the early 80's.

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Dave, cars like that were a blast to drive to school during the week, and to AUTOCROSS on the weekend -

between 1959 and 1976 that was the kind of excitement that we really enjoyed with a succession of early Austin-Healeys, Triumph TR-2, TR-3/3A, MG-TC, Alfa-Romeo Giulietta Spider Veloce, Jaguar XK-120MC, ice racing with Renault Dauphines and 3-Cylinder 2-stroke Saabs, and rallye thrills with several Citroens.

Hopefully your friend will get the kind of enjoyment which so many of us experienced back then.

Please don't forget your camera on your next visit.

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Dave, I just saw a story on an early A-H on "Bring-A-Trailer":

http://bringatrailer.com/2009/04/07/lemans-bits-1954-austin-healey-100-bn1/

this ad for the 1954 Austin-Healy (certainly out of my price-range and no more garage space) will hopefully encourage your friend to work on his car. I was almost drooling...

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Dave, I think your first sentence in your first post made people think you were going to help your friend sell a car he just purchased. Help a friend move this car versus "helped". What a great little car, he will have great times in it. Logged a good many miles in a twin to this one back in the early 80's.

Dang websites sometimes change or drop a few letters. I corrected it, and yes, I ment that I helped trailor the car that day. Now off to find gears and other parts for the Tranny. Dandy Dave!

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Dave,

2X on Marty's suggestions...you might also cruise CraigsList in a nearby metro area...I'm always surprised what pops up.

I once owned a 1959 100-6 (2 seater) which was a great, very tough car. The 6-cylinder engine probably would have lasted forever but everything else disintegrated. No I am riving a 1950 TD whihc is also great fun. But everytime I see a big Healey for sale, I check my bank account and dream...

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Thanks for the links Fellows. Here is some photos... You can see teeth missing from the lay gear, The layshaft and bushings are worn from lack of lube. looks to be a common problem with these. I don't trust the gear that drove the broken one. Someone had to run her hard to break it up like this. Dandy Dave!

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"Running her hard" is what sports cars used to be all about. That, and the wonderful sounds that they made while running hard, especially a Big Healey. I had an MGB for almost forty years but running that thing hard only produced annoying noise. I eventually got so sick of it, I practically gave it away last summer. No regrets but it sure was a pretty car.

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You might try a company called Quantum Mechanics in Connecticut who rerbuild transmissions for Big Healeys. I think they have a website and they used to run an ad in the magazine of the Austin Healey Club of America.

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Yes. I have looked at the Moss catalog and they list the Gears we need as NA. (Not Available). We will need other stuff also and some of it they have. First we need to track down, and replace the broken the gears. Dandy Dave!

If all else fails, these guys can make one for you.

[TABLE=width: 632]

<tbody>[TR]

[TD=width: 26%]

Twin City Gear (Tom Brunner)

[/TD]

[TD=width: 42%]

1551 99th Lane NE Blaine MN 55449

[/TD]

[TD=width: 31%]

763-780-9780

[/TD]

[/TR]

</tbody>[/TABLE]

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  • 3 months later...

Check with Russ Thompson at Thompson British Car, here in SoCal. He has been a Healey guru for 40 years. 818-256-0693. I used to work for him and there is no one who knows big Healeys better than Russ. If he can't point you in the right direction, nobody can.

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Photos... Had to heat the Syncro to fit first. Boiled in in oil to 250 F. Then set it up in the hydraulic press and pushed it home. After that the finish diameter and taper needed to be turned. I had to make a plug to support the shaft in the lathe. The taper was achieved with a taper attachment. Moving right along. We should be driving this car soon. Dandy Dave!

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Here is the NOS parts and another photo of the machining process. NOS second gear and Laygear. New Laygear shaft and ball bearings. Machining these parts precisely is not as easy as it looks. Tolerances had to be within 0.001". It takes a lot more time preparing than it does to do the actual cut. Dandy Dave!

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Check with Russ Thompson at Thompson British Car, here in SoCal. He has been a Healey guru for 40 years. 818-256-0693. I used to work for him and there is no one who knows big Healeys better than Russ. If he can't point you in the right direction, nobody can.

Thanks for the info. We already tracked down what we need for now. Dandy Dave!

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Laygear = = Cluster Gear ?

In my yout I wanted a TR3. Found a Jag that was in my budget. Then found out why.

Yup, been wrenching on stuff for 40+ years and I still find out that I don't know nothing... Laygear = british car terminology. So you have an input shaft. And then below that you have a Laygear. Transfer the power back to the output shaft. This is a transmission that is built on a 4 Speed and one reverse design. Trouble is that first is locked out or omitted. So to confuse the issue, low gear is 2cd. Intermediate is third or 2cnd in a three speed. And lock up, or 1 to 1, is 4th, or third in a three speed. Don't you just love British Sports Cars and terminology? Dandy Dave!

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Actually, you have a "first motion shaft", a "laygear" and "layshaft", a "mainshaft", "baulk rings" and other "bits and bobs" in the "gearbox", which, of course, transmits power through the "propeller shaft" to the "crown wheel and pinion".

I spent too many years behind the parts counter at British dealerships

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Way back in 1967 a fellow classmate purchased a very well used 1956 Healey. It was a blast to drive, and the windshield folded down. As A result we got chased by the local police for not having it up however; he couldn't catch us on the back country roads! Still remember that day as if were yesterday!

Beautiful car and good luck with it.

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Actually, you have a "first motion shaft", a "laygear" and "layshaft", a "mainshaft", "baulk rings" and other "bits and bobs" in the "gearbox", which, of course, transmits power through the "propeller shaft" to the "crown wheel and pinion".

I spent too many years behind the parts counter at British dealerships

Dang Straight. You got it right brother. :cool: Just the way it is written in the books. :D Dandy Dave!

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Way back in 1967 a fellow classmate purchased a very well used 1956 Healey. It was a blast to drive, and the windshield folded down. As A result we got chased by the local police for not having it up however; he couldn't catch us on the back country roads! Still remember that day as if were yesterday!

Beautiful car and good luck with it.

If I was only a fly under the windshield. ;) Dandy Dave!

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