[Healeys] Engine Rebuild Modifications

Bob Spidell bspidell at comcast.net
Thu Mar 2 08:22:01 MST 2017

Well, the snide answer is: "If you want a 'modern' engine, buy a modern car."  But, there are things you can do to a Healey engine to (marginally) improve performance and reliability without changing the essence of the car.  Here's some of the things I did for a recent rebuild:

* Denis Welch DWR1 cam.  This cam is 'slightly better' than a stock BJ8 cam, and is gun-drilled to provide extra oil to the lobes and lifters
* 84.5mm Omega forged pistons.  Way overkill for a street engine, but I couldn't find 'out-of-the-box' pistons that were of sufficient quality  with 'modern' features like the 'latest ring design'--the top ring is about 1/16" thick!--from any of the usual suspects.  My builder was impressed with both the cam and the pistons; the pistons were not much more than half the weight of the older, more-or-less stock pistons, and the cam was of extraordinary quality
* DWR high capacity oil pump with upgraded shaft (DWR sells this shaft and thrust washer for about half of the 'usual suspects,' esp. with the favorable exchange rate)
* adjustable vernier timing set.  My builder said it took almost 4deg to dial in the cam perfectly.  Timing set is of excellent quality.
* fully engineered PCV 'system.'  Still just sucks gasses from the crankcase, but my builder designed piping to equalize flow to both carbs, and I can run K&N filters without modification
* instead of cork and fiber ('cigarette') gaskets, my builder used a modern sealant ('Right Stuff') to seal the rear main, engine plate and pan.  Several hours on the test stand and 'hasn't leaked a drop'
* Jet-Hot coated exhaust manifold.  I believe ethanol-blend fuel was causing some stumbling on hot starts and I'm hoping this solves the problem

I have some video of the engine running on the test stand (LARGE files), and my builder wrote a detailed list of all the work he did to make a strong and reliable street engine.  If anybody's interested I'll scan the list and post URLs to the video, but I can't do it until I get home Saturday.


Bob Spidell - San Jose, CA

> On March 2, 2017 at 6:07 AM 1 2 <healeydohdahman at gmail.com> wrote:
>     Hi All,
>     Is there a list of commonly done rebuild mods for the 3000 engine/transmission to modernize it?
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