Customer Comments & Results !

Roy's Diary of his restoration of 1966 BJ8 Healey Blue

In Jan 2004 I purchase a 1966 BJ8, an import from the USA. The car was originally delivered to Hamilton Canada in 1966. The colour was originally Healey Blue.

The condition could be described as normal with rusted outer sills, boot floor, outriggers, door pillars, damage to the front shroud. With this restoration my intention was to do it all myself and to this date nothing has been a big issue.

The most important thing for restoring a car is time (plenty of it ) and careful planning, it’s not rocket science.

An important part of the restoration was to keep the car original and use the best paint systems possible to avoid it returning to its present state.

I chose POR 15 products for its rust resistance and durability and ease of use. I will then use a good quality 2 pack paint system over the top.

Because the restoration involves cutting away about a third of the vehicle I decided to do the chassis work and basic panel fit before sandblasting the chassis and painting it with the POR-15.

Picking up the car Jan 04

Stripping the car down

On the rotisserie Feb 04

Rust in sills – and everywhere!!

New sills, floors and outriggers April 04

Chassis Gusset treat with Por15 before Replacement section is put in. Due to lack of access once the new piece is in place

Replacement section

Su Carburettor before rebuild Aug 05

After rebuild. All zinc parts have been replated and new Carburettor kit fitted. It was then coated with POR-15 Glisten PC for an everlasting new look. The only part not coated is the Dashpot cover which will be light glass blasted to give factory look just before it goes on the road

The heater box was badly rusted and was sand blasted before treating

The heater box came up great. First a coat of POR-15 black then a light skim coat of P38 filler, then another coat of POR-15 and finished off with POR chassis coat (satin) to give the correct finish.

Boot rusty section ready for removal Jan 05

Replacement part tack welded into place before tig welding

Boot painted (brushed) with POR-15 ready for 2 pack system at a later stage

My workshop area in the garage

Stripping old paint off, ready for repairing and fit up.

Brush painted with POR-15. Note the lead loading on adjoining guard to get gaps correct

Starting to come together now. Once panels are fitted up and prepped the chassis will blasted and painted also.

The thing I like about POR-15 is the finish you get from painting by hand. At this stage there is no advantage of spraying panels when the finish is this good. It has saved me a lot of time in cleaning spray equipment out and waisted overspray.

In the next update I should have all the panels trial fitted and primed ready for Chassis blasting and painting.

20th May 2005
The steering wheel was badly cracked and in need of some major repair. This section has had the cracked pieces removed and has been bead blasted clean to give the epoxy good grip

After much research on the web for a good strong epoxy putty for the repair POR Putty was the strongest and the easiest to work with. You just knead the two parts together and you have 30-60minutes to work it into shape.

This is the above picture after the repair. I found that a file and wet and dry was the best for the final shape up as the product sets extremely hard

The wheel also had hairline cracks running all the way around, so I decided to key out sections with the Dremel tool stabilizing the cracks with epoxy.

I wasn’t in much hurry with this repair and found myself sitting in front of the Television over several nights moulding epoxy into the cracks. The steering wheel was then given a coat of Flexi Primer, then a coat of 2k Primer Filler and then top coated with High Gloss Black 2k.

It is the first time I have used 2k paint and the result was fantastic. I do have an Iwata Spray gun but it was too big to play around with on this small Job. So I purchased one of the mini touch up guns from PPC in Sydney and was most impressed with its performance.

12th July
I took a week of work to sand blast the car here are my friends Paul & Graham helping me lift the car onto a float

All loaded and ready to go! I had always intended in doing as much as I could myself and that included sandblasting the chassis.

I may have taken on a bit too much here as I had problems with the Air supply and it took me two days to finish.

On the second day I had an accident whilst stepping off the draw bar on the trailer. I got my jean cuff caught on the jockey wheel knob and fell to the ground receiving a compound fracture to my wrist and a night in hospital. This will slow me right up for next couple of months

My friends all chipped in and got the car back to my place ready for paint. The blasting came up great, no distortion. I must have of got all the rust as I only one had piece that blew through. It was only the size of a 5 cent coin.

It makes such a big difference once all the surface rust and paint is removed. Just like New!

We had to clean the surface with Prepsol before the second coat as the ilmenite may have had some silicone in it causing fish eyes or It may have come from the brake and clutch lines as the previous owner was using silicon hydraulic fluid. The next step is to do one more body panel fit up to make sure it all fits up correctly and then to paint the chassis back to the original colour (Healey Blue)

Just thoought I would would send you a couple of pic's of the Healey Chassis. These shots are of the tie coat over the Por15. The chassis looks fanatastic and I can't wait to get some colour on it. Next month I will send you update 3 for your site.

Chassis ready for the rebuild

Wiring harness being installed and in back jump seats fiberglass seat pans to replace the rusted out steel ones

Diff and springs installed

Braking system being installed

Front suspension being installed

Front Suspension assembly installed

Dash laminated with walnut burl veneer, ready for Enviro Tex coating

Enviro Tex coating going on to the veneer. Absolutely amazing how the colour came up on the veneer. Enviro Tex is a self leveling 2 part resin.

My zinc plating kit in operation. I have re-plated every nut and bolt for the Healey. It’s not hard to do, but you must make sure the parts being plated are perfectly clean.

Some of the plated parts laid out on the bench

This picture shows the pile of rusted and damaged aluminum that has been replaced. As you can see the pile is quite large.

8th of May 2006 as you can see the progress is coming on quite well. The engine is now being rebuilt by a local machine shop. The work being carried out is quite extensive as the engine had been exposed to moisture through the exhaust manifold area and the pistons where seized into the block. The block has since been re-sleeved and re-bored to original size standard pistons.

I have been very busy with work over the pass 10 months but have still managed to soldier on and make good progress.
The car is now running and I have had it out on the road for a test drive and it runs superb.
I am now focusing my efforts on the outer body as all the engine and running gear is now working correctly. This is the bit that everybody loves, its going to start to look very pretty soon.
Anyway here is a few pictures to show you what's been happening.

The engine has been totally rebuilt and has been converted to unleaded fuel. The gearbox has also been totally rebuilt. The overdrive unit was sent to the UK to be rebuilt by Overdrive Services in Sheffield. All 3 components can now be described as back to new condition, as all major components were either replaced new or have been professionally reconditioned.

I chose to use your engine enamel as the base for painting the engine. The can car describes it as Healey Green however it is different from the original colour as in the next few shots. It is very good base for the correct engine enamel to be painted over the top.

The correct colour has now been sprayed over the top and is now starting to look very pretty.

My two daughters are now starting to get very excited as the engine goes in. Restoration is a funny thing! You can look at photos from the start and usually the kids are so young and as the project develops the kids start to get taller and mature. I have seen this on many Yacht building sites as well. A project is a project and it just doesn't happen overnight, it can take years!

It's a tight squeeze to get this engine in and you have to be very careful not to bump any parts or make any fast movements in fear of scratching or chipping the paint.

This is a shot of the engine in the car with all the components hooked up and working. It looks great and is a far cry from what it looked like before the restoration. All Healey's before restorations are generally black inside and covered with oil and grime. British cars are notorious for oil leaks and I think a lot of it was due to the gaskets and sealants used in the past. The engine hass been running for about three hours now and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will be oil leak free for years to come.

This shot shows the completed dash with the instruments in place and working. I was really pleased in the way the dash came out using the Enviro Tex resin finish.

The next update will include some body shots as I am in the process of painting the inside of all the panels so they can fit back on the car for exterior painting. I found it a great help to fit the panels up before painting the chassis. It is important if you do this that the car is weighted properly as to simulate the engine and running installed, I used lead weights. If you don't do this the door gaps and panel fit will be incorrect as the chassis flex's under the weight of these components.

This is a shot of the front shroud painted and ready to be fitted to the body

The front shroud is now fitted and ready for final fitting up

Bonnet trial fitted and guard check for final fit.

Front shroud and bonnet epoxy primed and guard ready for painting

Front section of car fully epoxy primed. Final block sanding will be done once the whole car is at this state. Progress is reasonably quick at this stage but I am not looking forward to the sanding and final finish as its going to take ages.

Here's a photo from a couple of weeks ago when the car went to the paint guys. I am getting so excited now the car project is nearing the end. Can't wait to drive it and enjoy the hard work I have put in the vehicle. Thank you so much for all the products you have helped me with.

This is the car as it when to the car body specialist. His job was to work the gaps and panel flatness.

Once it came back from the body guy it was Shawn’s turn to block sand and work out any minor imperfections in the panels this job was very painstaking and took many hours of rubbing. In this photo you can see the guide coat and where it’s been sanded flat.

Whilst all the body work was going on, I started on the rear parcel shelf. It was also a difficult job as the frame I had looked original but had actually been butchered and rebuilt incorrectly. I managed to get a good peek at my mate’s car which happens to be all untouched.Heres a few pic’s of the process.

This shot shows the old timber frame. The side upright sections are original but have had the bottoms cut off to remove previous dry rot and the bottom rail was a piece of timber from the hardware store with no cut-outs or shape as per the original. The back section was original but in poor condition and the top rail was bent like a banana. So it all had to be remade from scratch.

I chose to use straight grain Tasmanian oak for the new parts. Here are the uprights

The back was reproduced with a piece of masonite as per the original.

Sections of the masonite needed to be bent and this was done using water and weights the get the correct shape. There’s a little jump in the next few photos as I misplaced my camera

This is the complete rear parcel shelf covered in leather.

This photo shows the parcel shelf in the open position.

Anyway back to the car body. As you can see the door shuts have now been painted and ready for the doors to be fitted for the last time before final paint.

Doors are now fitted and it’s off to the panel shop for the final rub and paint.

In the booth with Shawn, masked up and ready for colour.

This shot shows the metallic basecoat after spraying and ready for the clear coats.

Clear coats going on!

After 2 coat of clear the car was once again sanded ready for another 2 flow coat of clear.

Finally painted and looking fantastic.

The car finally arrives back home on the tray lift and the next few months will be spent fitting up all the pretty looking parts. The paint job has taken since November 07 to get it to this stage and now its March 0 and Shawn has done an outstanding Job.

A picture of the light bucket showing surface rust and ready for restoration

I used your Deox-C liquid to remove the surface rust and what a wonderful job it did as you can see from the picture

I then used Por-15 as the finished paint surface. They looked as new

All installed into the car ready for the Head Lamps

Fully installed

This shot shows the parking lights and blinkers installed

Door mechanicals being installed

Window frame guides had to be removed painted a reglazed

Window reglazed and new nylon guided installed

Glass and all mechanicals installed ready for door liners

Before installing the windscreen the dash top area needed some flat black paint sprayed in the area where the dash top and the screen meet. This stops any reflection of colour on to the chrome frame or glass

Windscreen fully installed

On Show at Euro Car Day down at Lambton Park

“The Healey finally finished after using a range of POR-15 and PPC products. Namely;
POR-15 Marine Clean,
POR-15 Metal Ready,
POR-15 Rust Paint,
POR-15 Glisten PC Clear coat,
Deox C rust remover,
POR-15 Fuel Tank Repair Kit.”