Healey Sports Cars

mods & upgrades for Healey (Nash, Austin, or Jensen) cars, including engine swaps

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Thor
Al Wohlstrom
Tucson AZ
(11 posts)

Registered:
05/05/2015 11:44PM

Main British Car:


Austin Healey Build
Posted by: Thor
Date: May 07, 2015 10:43AM

Hi, I'm new here. I previously built a Kirham aluminum bodied Cobra and am just finishing and selling a RCR Superlite Coupe. Since riding in a friends 327 powered Austin Healey in the 60s I've always wanted to build one. I will most likely use a pre 60s AH because I like the 2 seater, is any year or model preferable? Are they aluminum or steel bodied? Would I be better off looking for a finished or partially finished build and add to that? Can you suggest a good place to look? I'll probably use an LS3 with a TKO600. Has anyone done a build manual with suggested rear differential, suspension, steering, brakes, radiator, exhaust routing, structural add ons, and the best way to get an acceptable drivers foot well, etc? Sorry about all the questions, but I've always found other people experience to be useful.Thanks, Al


uncle cracker
Robert Lummus

(21 posts)

Registered:
06/04/2008 08:06PM

Main British Car:


Re: Austin Healey Build
Posted by: uncle cracker
Date: May 07, 2015 11:11PM

Thor, sounds like you have a lot of builds under your belt. As for which car to start with For me, it came down to whether you like the 104 grill or the oval grill of the 100/6 which both come in 2 seat. The advantage of the 100/6 is it is 2 inches longer and this is in the door, so it's easier to get in and out of. Also it's easy to retrofit the way down windshield on the 100/6. By doing all this you get, the best of all worlds. I went with a 302 based engine as you can get an aftermarket block that gives you 368 ci, but in 8.200" deck hight that will easily produce 500HP, and is very compact( read large foot box area, and room for exhaust) I could have moved the eninge 6 inches forward if I wanted, but with the 2 extra inches in the door area and I sit straight in the driver unlike a corba where you sit sideways.
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HealeyRick
Rick Neville

(463 posts)

Registered:
12/19/2007 05:01PM

Main British Car:
1963 Austin-Healey 3000 Ford 5.0L

authors avatar
Re: Austin Healey Build
Posted by: HealeyRick
Date: May 08, 2015 07:38AM

Thor,

I think it's important to decide at the beginning how much you want to modify the car and how much you're willing to spend in time, money and fabrication. At the lower end are cars like mine where I did a basic old school swap that tried to follow what a lot of guys were doing in the '60s. My car's "only" got 345 hp at the crank and most everything else in the car is still stock. It performs much better than original, is a bunch of fun, but it's no Kirkham, either. I started out with a very solid old SCCA racer so the car was a good basis for what I wanted to do.
But if you are talking about a nearly 500 hp motor, you're almost in the territory of completely remanufacturing the car. You want to start with a real solid frame, and frankly, a lot of Healeys are really weak in this area after more than 50 yrs on the road. I'd probably start by talking to Marty Jansen at Jule Enterprises about building a new frame that would meet your needs: [www.jule-enterprises.com] He can also fit rack and pinion steering which is a nice upgrade. It may seem an expensive way to go at first, but would probably save money over buying a car that's going to need repair in all those areas. If you buy a new frame, you can buy a project base car for the body and interior panels and VIN#, since you're going to redo all that stuff anyway.
Personally, i think the Ford motor is a better choice for our cars as it's more narrow and will give you more room in the footwells.There really aren't any build manuals, other than seeing what other guys have done. If you come back with a better idea of exactly what you want in your build, maybe we can point you to someone who's done something similar.

PS - I PMed you on Club Cobra


Thor
Al Wohlstrom
Tucson AZ
(11 posts)

Registered:
05/05/2015 11:44PM

Main British Car:


Re: Austin Healey Build
Posted by: Thor
Date: May 08, 2015 09:13AM

Robert and Rick, thank you both for your response, it's helpful. Robert, is that TWM injection? Had it on my Cobra, worked great. Rick, maybe the new frame is the way to go, saves a bunch of work. Thank, Al


uncle cracker
Robert Lummus

(21 posts)

Registered:
06/04/2008 08:06PM

Main British Car:


Re: Austin Healey Build
Posted by: uncle cracker
Date: May 08, 2015 10:11AM

Your welcomemy frame is Chris Alston with 9" rear and mustange II front suspension. Let me know if you have any other questions.


Sidecardoug
Doug Rowe

(46 posts)

Registered:
07/04/2012 05:09PM

Main British Car:


Re: Austin Healey Build
Posted by: Sidecardoug
Date: October 03, 2015 04:37AM

For whatever it may be worth, the Ford small block is a better fit - it is longer than the Chevy, but narrower,
and requires much less footbox removal. My '61 3000 ( 4 seat ) required a wedge about 1 1/4 inches wide
at the front inside of the driver's footwell, tapering back to the dash, and a notch about 2 inches square at the inside front of the passenger footwell to clear the heads and header tubes. Footroom seemed about equal to a friend's 100-4 that I drove about the same time The exhaust was handled by Corvair Turbo mufflers, and exited just ahead of the rear wheel wells.

You will need a good radiator/shroud/fan setup to keep things decently cool, especially at lower speeds.
Louvering the hood ala the 100S with the louvers in a narrow V shape parallel to the outer edge of the hood
would help keep hot air from being trapped at low speeds. Ceramic coated headers would help too. One thing to keep in mind- you want your filler cap for the cooling system to be the highest point in the system,
to avoid having air trapped in your cooling system, so you may need to use a surge tank/remote filler if you go with a crossflow ( Much more efficient ! ) radiator.
Eastwood is offering a pretty good deal on crossflow ( 3 pass ! ) radiators -look for their ads in Hot Rod or
Street Rodder. Summit Racing has both surge tanks and a remote filler tube designed to fit in the upper radiator hose. How your engine is fitted into your car,and where the radiator is situated will affect whether
you need either of these or not.

Doug


Jim Stabe
Jim Stabe
San Diego, Ca
(715 posts)

Registered:
02/28/2009 10:01AM

Main British Car:
1966 MGB Roadster 350 LT1 Chevy

authors avatar
Re: Austin Healey Build
Posted by: Jim Stabe
Date: October 03, 2015 04:32PM

With any substantial power I would recommend a much stronger frame. Even with a stock engine the cars are pretty flexy. My vote goes with the 100/4, they don't get much prettier than that car.



maxwedge5281
larry ingram

(49 posts)

Registered:
09/23/2014 05:59AM

Main British Car:
59 bn6 zz4 sbc, 63 bj7 383sbc

Re: Austin Healey Build
Posted by: maxwedge5281
Date: October 11, 2015 08:42AM

i just bought a 59 bn6 two seater with sbc zz4 engine and four speed manual. it has the very early corvette cast exhaust manifolds. the car was built in the early 70s or late 60s and was built using an early fuelie engine and transmission. footboxes are a mess and that will be my first task to bring back to life. what exhaust headers do you guys recommend? i want to install them before i remove the engine to work on the footboxes. i am not interested in long tube headers......something like the picture shown in uncle cracker car. and, the original fuelie motor is long gone but the manual rebuilt transmission remains!
100_01891441806031.jpg


Anarchy99
Jim Purdy
Memphis, TN
(115 posts)

Registered:
12/06/2013 03:54PM

Main British Car:
61 austin healey sprite LS6

Re: Austin Healey Build
Posted by: Anarchy99
Date: October 18, 2015 07:55AM

I love the look of the stack injection on hot rods... The cross ram type looks better but damn its way more expensive!! I've always said that maybe someday I'll give it a try and see how it works on a daily driver type setup. Do they have air cleaners for them?


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