BN2 RESTORATION PROGRESS –AUGUST TO DECEMBER UPDATE!
The beautiful front view of the car
Side view of the BN2
After a wonderful summer of enjoying the BJ8 (and the Alfa Romeo) it was back to work in the garage with the goal to finish the BN2 before next summer. Although me and my father were disappointed not having completed the BN2 for TEHMIS, we now realize that everything takes incredible amounts of time, partly due to the constant need to modify parts to get them to fit, and partly because of our lack of experience putting these kinds of cars together. However, a lot has happened and I am happy to say that we are closer to the finishing line than the starting line.
So what has happened? Starting with the front end the engine has been installed, along with the beautiful 1,75 inch SUs, competition style manifold and all the little pieces. Earlier this year we dyno-tested the engine which produced just shy of 150 bhp in street mode. Goran Nilsson did a fabulous job in building a true race engine! Back to assembly; to our great disappointment we realized that our cold air box did not fit! Apparently the front shroud mount is mounted further forwards in 100M cars, leading to the cold air box hitting the shroud mount in its current position. To solve this problem we came up with three alternatives; (1) bending the shroud mount which would reduce the shroud’s stability and potentially crack the paint (2) mount original air cleaners or (3) mount trumpets. We opted for the third option and hope that this will give the engine a nice masculine sound. Further milestones include mounting the aluminium radiator, which proved to be quite a tedious job. The beautifully chromed grille is also mounted and looks absolutely smashing! The center section of the grille is matt-chromed, which according to the Healey Restoration Guide was the original chroming technique. It gives a nice contrast to the chrome surround and looks great.
Everything shiny and clean in the engine bay. It looks the business!
Moving to the middle of the car we have installed the wiper motor, which we had to purchase new because we realized that we had a BN1 type wiper motor which does not fit in the BN2 due to different mounting points, leading to the wiper cable being too short. Other little bits and pieces include the bonnet latching mechanism and other electrical components. At this time we estimate that about 95% of the front portion of the car is completed with just some small details left.
Turning to the inside of the car less has been completed. The dash has been installed but needs to be disassembled due to mounting of the demister vents and the aluminium trim around the cockpit. The trim is at another shop being polished (although the original configuration is to have them anodized). The gearbox, overdrive and prop shaft are all installed along with all electrical components. The brake and clutch pedal are in working order, although the dual circuit brake system has given us plenty of headaches.
Dashboard installed, but must come off soon again.
Gearbox installed with all wiring done.
Thanks to the visit of the original owner Peter Dulieau we learned that a pair of 10 mm thick spacers need to be mounted before mounting the hood frame. We cut out a pair and test mounted the frame which fit nicely. The biggest job and question mark at this point is what to do about the interior. We have purchased a pair of fully upholstered seats in red leather, as well as a full armacord set for the boot and rear cockpit. The question is what to do about carpet and door panels; have them custom made or buy from vendor. The issue is that reproduction carpet sets and door panels (especially the latter) are not of great quality and don’t look quite right. The AH Spares door panels include a thin padding which does not look correct. Looking at Morgan Larsson’s 100% original BN2 this summer I realized that the original door panels do not have padding and have a better looking stitching.
Heater package and wiring done.
Underneath the car everything is pretty much complete. The exhaust system with side pipe is installed and will hopefully give a great sound. The fuel lines and electrics have been run on the frame rails and fuel pump is now mounted in its original position (whereas before we installed it in the boot but realized it didn’t look very attractive). In the rear things have been moving more slowly. After eight hours of hard labor and lots of frustration the driver side rear wing is installed. I would like to thank Magnus Karlsson for his help, guiding us in the right direction. Amateurs as we are, we found it very difficult to simultaneously fit the wing strips while getting the wing to perfectly match the shroud edge. However, we finally got it to fit nicely and hope for better luck with the passenger side wing. The tail lights, license plate light and bracket and all electrics are finished. The mounting points for the hood and the boot hinges are where they should be. The big job will be to install the armacord set, which fits very poorly. It will involve several hours of measuring and carefully cutting the armacord to fit. Another major job will be installing the fuel tank. Because it’s a racing style fuel cell the original mounting points are no good. Furthermore, because the racing tank is higher the carpet will not fit over the tank. Also, the battery has been mounted in the boot to avoid dirt and spray from the wheels (as the original pair of 6 volt batteries were mounted in front of the rear axle).
Plenty to do in the boot.
Discrete side pipe.
Heat shields, fuel lines and brake lines.
Master brake cylinders...tricky to get set up properly.
The progress has been slow but very rewarding. Despite hours of frustration and headaches it a great experience to learn every last detail of these cars. Nothing beats experience when it comes to these cars, and it’s no wonder that guys like Steve Pike, Curt Tanner and Steve Norton have perfected the art of restoring these automobiles thanks to years and years of experience. Since the restoration is nearing its end you might think that there will be no more 100 restoration updates…but have no fear! Johan Larson has started disassembly of “GLA” which will be getting a well deserved freshening. Hopefully we can try our newly developed skills and see how much faster we can assemble a 100 the second time around! As I said, nothing beats experience.
Happy holidays and happy healeying!!