The Misery Continues

It’s that time of year again and no, I’m not talking about pollen allergies.

It’s the annual throw money and time at a Piece Of Shit British Car again.

It’s like a fucking ritual.

Every year for the last twenty five or so, I unbury the sonofabitch and start dreaming of driving with the top down and zooming down a twisty river road in the sun.
Every year, I also get disgusted at just how fucking much the parts cost and park the fucker again.

I have had this POS 1964 Austin Healey Sprite for over twenty five years.
You would think, by now, that this thing would be cherry and nice.

But no.

Sprites and MG Midgets are identical except for some trim items and the serial numbers but in 1964, they only made 26,000 Sprites, period.

This is what it is supposed to look like;

sprite 2

This is what it looks like in my dreams;


I came close a couple of years ago when I had it painted but then in my drunken haze, I let the damn thing sit out in the weather with the tarps coming off every wind storm and letting the damn thing go to hell again and get full of water and shit.

Bad Busted. Very,very, bad Busted.

Mine has zero interior, no carpeting and the seats are completely shot.
You can buy new seats of course, for $1800. New carpet kits are about $300 and new interior panel kits are about $350-$400.

The whole fucking car is worth, maybe, $4.000 .
You can see my reluctance to throw insane amounts of money at the damn thing.

I had the head redone this last winter and put a new starter in it because it kept locking up and wouldn’t turn over. That problem turned out to be the fucking teeth on the ring gear on the flywheel being mangled as fuck.

I pulled the engine and transmission Saturday and got in a new ring gear last week.

Normally that is a nightmare job, you have to pull the engine and transmission out together but this thing has been modified to a tilt front end. Two pivot bolts, a stop cable and unhook the wiring and the whole front of the car comes off and you can get right to it.

I swear, someone thinks these fuckers are Jaguars or something. The price of parts has gone through the roof!

I’ll admit, it’s forty five years old and British but there are companies that still make brand new parts for these things all over the place.

I am serious about getting this thing at least drivable this year.

I have a whole ton of spare parts that I have accumulated over the years and I just got off the phone ordering a bunch of little transmission parts I am going to throw in it while the damn thing is out. Kind of a tune up for the transmission.

I will acquire a cheap digital camera soon and start taking pictures to document my self inflicted torture for your enjoyment before I put the motherfucker back together.

Hopefully now that I am sober, I will see some serious progress.

It sure helps to have a garage instead of trying to do this shit outside in a gravel driveway!

Wish me luck.


My luck with this thing is batting a thousand.

I cut the old ring gear off the flywheel after heating it up and beating the shit out of it for forty five fucking minutes yesterday. I went to press the new ring gear on after work with their brand new fifty ton hydraulic press and the fucker got started cockeyed and wouldn’t come back off.
It was three quarters of the way on so I moved it over and pressed that fucker hard.

There was a loud thud and an immediate POP!

The thud was the fucking ring gear finally seating. The POP was the motherfucking flywheel breaking in half!

That press works real good.

I have already located another flywheel on Ebay for a hundred fucking dollars. Come Friday I will have it shipped for round two.

Dirty rotten sonofabitch cocksucker. Fuck was I mad at myself!
I will win…….. eventually.


10 thoughts on “The Misery Continues

  1. Ouch. Car woes are the most woeful. LIke my 68′ Ford Ranchero sitting under wraps…

    And completely off topic? Could you eliminate the “Herlander Refugee” link? When I left Blogger, they sold that address to some yahoo named “Hamid”….he is very much NOT me!

  2. I was thinking it and glad you said it–being sober might get the job done this year. Yes, I am quite sure the garage would be a great improvement to outdoors on gravel. All I have is a cheap digital camera, and it gets the job done. I always buy cameras at Office Max because it seems something is on sale.

  3. I fully agree about British sports cars. I still have the 1973 MGBGT that I bought brand new in Sacramento. 5 miles on the clock and the top of the radiator seperated and the whole damn rad fell out of the car. then with less than 500 miles on the clock, the ignition lock froze, with the key in it. Then of course, within the first 2 years I owned it I had to replace the cluch master cylinder, the brake master cylinder, the cluch plate, and all the rear axle seals. Then over the years it started to get expensive. After all these years, having replaced damn near everything that can be replaced I have come to the conclusion that the Brits, during the 70s, could not build a car that would last.
    But OTOH, damn I have had fun with this car. First driving all over the mountains in northern CA and all up and down the coast on the 101 and driving in San Francisco several times while stationed at Mather AB in Sacramento. Then driving all across the country(every trip an adventure waiting to see what broke next) and continuing to drive in in northern Michigan(summers only) after I got out of the Army in 1980. Now its in my garage, driven only on days when the weather is good and the roads are dry here in San Antonio, Texas. And I have well over 100,000 miles on it. Despite all its problems, I will never sell it, it has been a total blast to drive

  4. Gotta heat that ring gear up to get it on.

    Oh yeah, if you haven’t already replaced every single component in the cooling system, you will.

    1. Yes, I have done them before.
      I got it hot enough that you can still see the outline of it on the steel work bench.

      I’m thinking I should have taken the torch to the press with me and kept heating it though.

      Shit happens and the replacement should be here tomorrow.
      As fer the cooling system, I hear ya there. New fan is on the way and a new al-yoominium radiator is next on my list.

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