[Healeys] Aluminum cockpit moulding - BT7

linwood rose linwoodrose at mac.com
Thu Dec 13 18:14:01 MST 2007

Okay, here is my final summary of this topic.

I heard from a number of folks, several of whom I consider to be  
Healey "authorities." There was a split decision as to whether the  
front securing fastener on the aluminum moulding is a #10 machine  
screw with nut, or a #10 sheet metal screw. My guess is that  
originally the car had sheet metal screws in this location.

However, in my case, and I suspect in many others, the hole in the  
shroud for the sheet metal screw was enlarged over the years to the  
point that a #10 screw will no longer tighten down. Going to a #12 to  
solve the problem results in a screw head that is much too large for  
the moulding hole and it would not match the other machine screws in  
the moulding.

I love this the Healey fraternity because people are so willing to  
help. Jack Brashear came up with what I consider to be the best  
solution to this issue. Getting a regular nut on the back of the  
securing screw is virtually impossible. Good luck, too, getting any  
kind of wrench on the nut to hold it while tightening the screw!

Jack's suggestion was to us a Kep's nut (it has a star lock washer  
attached to it) to secure a #10 x 1/2" or 5/8" machine screw. See the  
photos (click on the thumnail for larger image) at the following web  


As Jack suggested, I stuck the Keps nut on the end of a hacksaw blade  
with some 3M rope caulk, being careful not to get the caulk in the  
threads of the nut. I used a 5/16" nut on the back side of the blade  
to act as a spacer and slid the blade with nuts behind the moulding  
and shroud lip. You can visually line up the holes and insert the  
screw, turning carefully until it engages. You might need to hold a  
flat blade screw driver against the nut until it gets tight enough for  
the teeth on the washer to grab hold. The hack saw blade was the key -  
nothing much thicker than the blade will work in the limited space  
available. That is why I think self tapping screws were used  
originally as in the door moulding trim, because this labor intensive  
process would just be too slow for the assembly line!

A very minor point in a total restoration process, but a potentially  
aggravating one when you get down to the final assembly stages.


1960 BT7 in restoration
1959 Bugeye

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