[Healeys] A Christmas Story

Bob Spidell bspidell at comcast.net
Sat Dec 26 20:04:38 MST 2020

re: 'The non adjustable steering uses a black "birds beak" shaped lever.'

Is that the one the Brits call the "Witch's Nose?"

On 12/26/2020 6:08 PM, gradea1 at charter.net wrote:
> 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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