[Healeys] A Christmas Story

gradea1 at charter.net gradea1 at charter.net
Sat Dec 26 19:08:13 MST 2020

	A Christmas Story by Hank Leach 

	Friday, December 25, 2020 

	5:41 PM 

	This is a story of a new trafficator lever, a lost filter and a new
flashlight for Christmas. How all three items relate is the makings of
a Christmas Miracle. 

	It starts out by first obtaining the correct trafficator (directional
flasher) lever to fit on my Austin Healey 100. That car uses the early
adjustable steering setup so that lever is a curved chrome handle
(same one used on the later adjustables). The non adjustable steering
uses a black "birds beak" shaped lever. That one was wrongly used on
my 1953 BN1. So with new part in hand, the procedure is to remove the
trafficator indicator unit, disassemble it and replace the lever. Lets
just say it’s a time consuming task that requires nimble fingers and
a set procedure. Upon completion of the project its time to check the
working characteristics. 

	Turn on the key, listen for fuel pump to stop then check horn and
flashers…uh, oh, fuel pump is not stopping…stuck float. So now
move to the rear carburettor float bowl, remove lid and free up brass
float, clean needle and seat and check float height. Reassemble, being
careful not to drop any parts. Darn, there goes the fibre washer,
brass filter and spring. The washer was laying under the car, but the
filter was no where to be found. Looked everywhere on floor, within
the engine bay, on the frame, on the suspension too, but it was not
located…it just disappeared. I tried blowing out the area with
compressed air, then a vacuum maybe to suck it up from some obscure
spot. Not found. That was Christmas Eve. 

	Christmas Day we open presents and one was a 500 Lumens flashlight
from my Sister-in-law; she is so thoughtful. So, after we opened the
gifts, I thought, why not try out this super-bright flashlight and see
if I could to locate the elusive filter-its out there somewhere.
Shined the light on the engine, under the carbs, on the frame and
master cylinder-where is it? As I moved the new flashlight toward the
frame support, it touched the edge and the lens fell out into the
Healey frame. You know that spot. It collects any part you are unable
to find, and it is curved just enough that you can't see to the bottom
where it ends on the frame rail. I shined the lens-less flashlight
down the frame and sure enough there was the lens…and the filter,
and even a missing choke lever return spring lost during the
re-assembly in 2015. With the help of the flashlight and a long armed
grabber all items are now retrieved. 

	Back to the trafficator, key on, horn and flashers work correctly
with the new lever, so everything was assembled correctly, including
the overflowing float bowl…a Christmas Miracle. 

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