BRITISH CAR RANCH NEWS FOR DECEMBER 2021
One word” SNOW”!
6 inches on Monday, then 28 inches on Thursday. It has been 6 days and I have just barely got access all the way around the driveway to the front and rear of the building. We had to close for two of those days, no one could get in. It is some beautiful sights though.
Despite one of the crew having to take time off for illness, and each of us having a day off after our booster vaccinations, snow days, and Christmas/New Years' time off, we managed to get some work done in the shop.
Bob Withycombe`s Healey got to come back into the shop and have the transmission re-installed after some bearing work in it. We got that done just in time to see the snowmageddon hit. So, it now is waiting for some clear safe roads so we can finish up with quality check test drives.
Jocko McCants MGA frame is now ready to return to him, after the boys removed the remaining suspension, steering and drivetrain from it. It is headed for the sandblaster and powder coating shop, and then the painting of the body pieces.
George Tsoukalas's Healey really jumped forward. The disc brake conversion, rear brakes, wheel bearings and seals, are done, the cylinder head gasket has been replaced. We are waiting on carb kits so we can rebuild the carbs and prepare it for startup.
Jahn Johnson`s Healey is resting in the hallway, waiting for its` tires and wheels to arrive back from Hendrix Wire Wheel. From there we can proceed to test driving.
The engine for Ron Gangnes`s Healey was stripped down, and Ron volunteered to transport the block and parts to Auto Sport Machine shop I Seattle for the heavy machining to be done. The transmission and overdrive are now ready to begin assembly on the bench.
Rick Casey`s steering box was removed from the car and is now being rebuilt here in our shop.
Steve Meece`s TR6 was brought in with the intention of doing rear axle rebuild and a custom console installed. It was quickly discovered that the steering column needed rebuilt and damage in the car's wiring harness was found. The wiring damage was so critical, we had to change plans and do a complete wiring harness replacement and the rear axle work will be done next winter. Staying flexible is the key to success isn`t it!
Cal Ison`s Healey came into the shop and had the list of mechanical work begun on. First up was removing the engine cylinder head to have a complete valve job done, complete with hardened seats. During the removal, it was found that the core plugs in the block were rusty and beginning to leak. Further examination revealed coolant passages plugged and excessive oil reaching the carb air cleaners via the valve cover hose. All of these were explained to Cal and the decision was made to pull the engine and do a complete rebuild now rather than a little later.
Eric Nelson contacted us in Jan. of 2021 to get on the schedule and have his 3 Triumph`s worked on a TR3, a TR4A and a TR6. The TR3A came in first and had its assessment done. Once in a great while, we have the unhappy duty to inform an owner that the car needs far more than is sensible to do, mainly a combination of hidden frame rust, body rust and mechanical needs. That was the case on the TR3. Eric stopped by and viewed the needs firsthand and agreed, the car needs too much to continue. That meant he could bring in the TR4A and take the TR3 home. We will now do the assessment on it.
And finally, Mini and Mike Riley. Mini has her throne on the “gold recliner” in the shop. Mike has a TR6 we have done extensive work on and a BJ8 Healey we are waiting to transport to the body shop to begin restoration, and he visits the shop almost every Friday. Mike is also a very dedicated dog person, he and wife Mindy own 4 Scotty Terriers, so when he does visit, he and Mini get together for a nice love fest, she even willingly shares her throne with him.
Dave Murray`s MGB is getting a new camshaft, lifters, and carb conversion. We have the old stuff removed from the engine and the new cam installed. In January we have a first time treat to share, we have a shop owner from Portland coming to visit, he is a 20-year experienced mechanic and specializes in MGB`s. His visit is for 2 weeks so he can learn our procedures and take them back home to improve his shop operations. During those 2 weeks, he will be helping us out in the shop while he gets mentored on how we run our shop successfully. With Dave’s permission, we are having him continue the work on his MGB. Under our close supervision, of course!
Laurie`s schedule got overloaded, but she was able to do some upholstery work in continuation of Randy Gause`s TR6 and Les Pennington`s Healey.
Coming up for January, a new year! We will continue work on the above and add the work needed when the back ordered parts finally arrive. Next in will be Jahn`s Healey, and then behind that, Doug Anderson`s Healey.
Oh-oh, it`s snowing again, I better get out the plow!
Until next month,
Steve, Laurie, Christopher, Dana, Chasen, Eric and Mini