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Cars > charlieoc’s Garage > Blog


charlieoc’s Profile Photo


M –65
Havana, Florida
United States


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Dead Again

By charlieoc

A couple of months ago I had a fuel problem that, after a great deal, was resolved by reseating the coil cable. Easy once you figure it out. Then, a couple weeks ago I took the Austin Healey out for a ride and didn't get more than 1/2 mile before it died on me. Fortunately I was able to start it, drive it a few 100 yards before it stalled, start it, drive it couple......

After I finally got it home I was able to determine that it was a fuel starvation issue - fuel wasn't getting to the carburators. I quickly suspected that there was garbage in the fuel line and that there may be an issue with my gas tank. Taking the fuel sending unit off of the gas tank and shining a light into the tank allowed me to see items floating in the tank and a rusted gas tank bottom.

Rather than refinish the gas tank I decided to replace it and then cleaned the fuel lines - no solida matter in the lines, but there was some residue/dirt on the rag. After assemblying everything, the car runs like it should again.

During restoration I had the gas tank flushed and sealed professionally, but it goes to show you that this doesn't always work. It doesn't take very much to block fuel from getting through to the engine.

There is a correct way to clean your car!

By charlieoc

At our monthly car club meeting last night, we had a local detailing professional provide us with a presentation on detailing our cars for both show and street. Needless to say, we learned a lot. The most important lesson was that I have been doing it wrong all this time! I learned that I shouldn't be using dish washing detergent to wash my cars and that I shouldn't be using old bath towels to dry the cars. He also turned us on to several very useful products to detail our cars. The most useful tip was a product call Pinnacle Safe Scrub Bug & Tar Pad. Bugs are a major problem in North Florida. Needless to say, this Bug and Tar Pad will be kept in the car for quick bug removal.

We also learned about "claying" the car and using a sealer in lieu of wax. Very interesting stuff.


Finished and on the Road

By charlieoc

I just realized how long it's been since I updated anyone on my Healey. The Healey was delivered about 5 weeks ago. The only thing left to do is install the convertible top on it (should be done by the end of this week.

I have been having a blast driving it around Tallahassee and Gadsden County.

Spring has arrived in North Florida

By charlieoc

The Austin Healey couldn't have arrived at a better time. The weather has been perfect for driving down canopy covered roads in North Florida. Good friends joined my wife and I in their MGB for a drive through Leon and Gadsden counties, with a stop off in Havana, Florida for their sidewalk sales day and for lunch.

Club members are getting anxious about our upcoming show. We're hearing that several events are being affected by the economy. The annual Red Hills Horse Trials have been cancelled in Tallahassee this Spring. I hope this is no indication as what is going to happen to car shows this Spring and Summer.

There's a Healey in my garage!

By charlieoc

My completed Austin Healey 3000 was delivered last night around 9:30 PM. I am so pleased with the word done by Imagination Engineering! I've posted some of the completed photos in a photo album.

Almost Done!

By charlieoc

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

I spent the weekend in Orlando working with Richard and Paul of Imagination Engineering putting the Healey together. We got a lot accomplished, but not everthing. Santa is supposed to deliver it to me Christmas Eve. I've added a couple new photos if you are interested in seeing how its coming along.

Healey in "new" paint

By charlieoc

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

I haven't posted photos from the restoration of my Austin Healey in a while, so I thought I would catch everyone up to date. This week the car has been painted and buffing and cleaning should be completed by end of week. Next step is to begin putting it all back together.

Upholstery has been delivered (Heritage Upholstery & Trim) to include carpeting, interior panels, seats and trunk liner.

Numerous chrome pieces were replated rather than buying new pieces. Chrome work was done by Pot Metal Restoration and Plating in Tallahassee, Florida.

Hope to have it on the road by end of year.


By charlieoc

I haven't been very good at posting information to my garage regarding my Healey or other cars, but I'll try to get better. Last week my Healey was taken for a successful test drive (posted on YouTube - see the video link in my garage). But, during the test drive there were some strange sounds coming from the transmission and the overdrive wouldn't kick in. The inspection of the transmission and the overdrive resulted in a discovery that a part was missing from the overdrive, and the gears in the gearbox are a bit worn after 48 years. So, we are replacing gears and adding missing parts to the overdrive. A slight (and somewhat costly) setback, but I'm glad we discovered it now and not after all the work has been done on the car.

I sold my '76 MGB a few weeks ago to help finance the Healey restoration, and I currently have my '71 MGB/GT for sale. After it's gone I will have a Healey Garage as I am also in the process of restoring a '59 Bugeye Sprite.

Visiting the garage

By charlieoc

On Friday I paid a visit to the garage doing the restoration on my Austin Healey. I was pretty disappointed in the progress they've made on the car, even though they have told me that it will be completed in the next month.

While there I picked up some of the chrome plated items so that I can get them rechromed while waiting to bring the car home.

Then, over the weekend, I sandblasted, repainted, and rebuilt the pedal box and the heater box for the car.

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