SEC 2018 tech session,
Reliability with originality
Stuart Shepherd



These are the topics covered in this presentation

Engine cooling,

Reliable fuel delivery – pumps

Charging systems

Improved Air filters

Curing Oil Leaks

Addressing low Oil Pressure.

Other improvements

Our cars look original

But if you look closely some

reliability modifications have

been made.


My favourite Tool

Lift makes parking for two cars in one slot.

We even lift cars up to perfect height to change light bulbs

Is a great table at tech sessions

Makes it possible for old guys to keep their cars and work on them

Engine Cooling

Make sure you have a good radiator

Install an efficient fan. Texas Cooler or similar, Effective heat shield,  louvers in bonnet,  cold air to carbs.

NOTE:  100-4 fan overlaps header tank reducing efficiency.

Water pump pulley diameter

Wind speed tool

Hold this in front of radiator and check cooling fan efficiency at various RPM

Compare with other cars replicating conditions.

Fuel system reliability

Second electric pump

Solid state pumps not too expensive - very reliable.

Facet brand,   auto zone or online

Wire up with three way switch,

Centre off position acts as security device.

Original pump

Simple plumbing, Push or pull fuel through the original SU pump.

Charging systems

Alternators are great and very reliable.

It is a choice, generators are fine too especially if you need perfect originality.

I painted my alternator engine green.

What to do with the regulator?


Just leave it sitting there wired up as it always was looking very original after you fit an alternator.

Simple wiring diagram
This is for the Delco alternator, other makes will have similar wiring hookup.
Improved air filter

Probably the most neglected maintenance item on our cars is the air filter.

Very difficult to remove and service.

This modified one does not need to be removed to service.

Air filter Rebuild

Remove and discard original mesh and filter material

Can be made easier to service by a removable front mesh cut in a circle to fit housing and then sliced in two

Copper pan scrubber makes a great filter material

Copper Pan scrubbers

These make great air filters when oiled.

Inexpensive to replace

Gutter guard material from Lowes

Cut to fit the air filter housing

Slice in two then fit the semicircles into the filter housing

Trumpet Filters

No reason  to have unfiltered air on cars fitted with trumpets. 

Spread a long cotter pin to prevent filter material being sucked into manifold

Pull out filter material when racing

Filter for 100-4 Cold air box ducting

Two pieces of coat hanger wire held in place by a blob of JB weld.

Oiled filter foam sits nicely in place hidden from view

Curing oil leaks

Bread Pan oil Drip catcher

When your wife/mother/girl friend/ Panera Bread is not looking, steal a bread loaf baking pan.

Oil Drip catcher
Take the bread baking pan and shape to fit Engine/Bell housing joint
make a drain,  
Paint it engine green
Attach with two bottom bell housing bolts
Install Oil seal in Bell Housing

If the leak is too bad and if you do not like the bread loaf pan option then pull the bell housing out of the car and fix the leak another way.

Big Healeys up to 1959 did not have an oil seal, they had a scroll. Machine bell housing to accept oil seal same part number as later models.

Low oil pressure solutions

Before you pull the engine out for overhaul try these less radical options.   Pressure gauge accuracy – next slide

What oil are you using? – see John Jones next tech session – I use 20/50 weight
Increase the oil pressure relief valve spring tension by adding washers to increase spring pressure.
If that fails, check rocker shaft for wear and if necessary replace shaft and bushings.
Install timing chain tensioner six cylinder engines with optional small oil hole.
Oil Gauge Accuracy

Very difficult to remove original combination gauge.

Temporarily install a trusted gauge to compare readings.

Various Options if gauge is inaccurate: 

1)  Replace expensive combination gauge.

2) Remove face and carefully pull needle off and move to read accurately.

3) Fit a new auxiliary gauge and abandon original gauge.

Rocker shaft

Relatively easy to remove, measure shaft to bushing clearance and if necessary replace shaft and bushings.

Tip:  Slide a rocker to one side and check shaft for wear

You could pull it off and take it to your machine shop to be measured or repaired.

Other fixes and improvements

Control Head. Repair.  It is not a Trafficator it is a Control Head made from Bakelite

These brittle components can be made on a 3d printer

Stuart has some.

Control head items

Springs sourced from ball point pens and curved guide made from coat hanger material.

These work great if originals are lost or damaged.

Make your own windows from flat hardware store Plexiglas.

The factory window on the hard top had a slight compound curve.   A thin flat piece of material from the hardware store works great, is cheap and easy to make.   Nobody notices that it is not a factory item.

Use of Clear Coat

After painting with Healey engine green, coat with engine high temp Clear coat for better appearance and durability.

Use ball ends instead of clevis pins

This is the clutch mechanism on our 100-4

Original was mickey mouse and susceptible to wear.

Other places ball ends could be used.

Hand brake linkages

Shock absorber linkages.

Gasket tip

Use bulldog clips to hold gaskets in place until adhesive sets

Next project

Found at a derelict farm, Bill Walton and I rescued it recently.

Can it be saved???
Contact info for questions
Stuart Shepherd
704 877 4405