The Healey: Oil and Dust

Healey nose up
This past weekend I changed the oil in the Healey. That’s not really a big deal with a normal car, but with the Healey it’s an excuse to start and run the engine until warm, which is always a bit of an event in colder weather.
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The Healey: Fixing Leaks, Blowing Off Cobwebs

Healey Uncovered
Last week I mentioned that the Healey had a carburetor issue related to a sticking float valve. This would explain the fuel economy that barely broke into double figures on the last tank, not to mention the smell of unburned gasoline that enveloped the car when idling. Just switching the Healey’s ignition on would cause a disturbing stream of gasoline to run out of the overflow on the forward carburetor. Clearly this issue needs to be resolved before I take the Healey out for early Spring hooning.
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Reflecting on the Healey

Reflecting on the Healey

On the StartingGrid Facebook page we were discussing the various project cars we writers and reader (writers to be?) have, and the issues they are posing. The Healey is suffering from a stuck float in its forward carburetor. An easy fix, I just need to get out there and do it. Expect an update soon.

|Project Asuka| – A red-headed homecoming!

Well, it’s the moment that we’ve all been waiting for! Project Asuka has finally arrived on my doorstep!


I’ve been looking for a second project car to act as a backup for Project Kyoko, as well as be some cheap fun for the spring/summer autocross season. Asuka is a car that I purchased from a friend at a price so low, we might as well call it a gift. (Thanks!)

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|Project Kyoko| Not fixed…just less broken.

What happens when you have two valve covers? TJ tries to pretend that you have V8 swapped in...

What happens when you have two valve covers?
TJ tries to pretend that you have V8 swapped in…

Just a quick snap of TJ and I playing around with Project K today. The Miata hasn’t been running very smoothly lately. So once again, I have a list of parts to replace longer than my arm. New header, which has cracked again, a few next belts and other odds and ends.

It’ll make for another good post when I get around to fixing all of it. (That’s what I keep telling myself…) Or I will have gotten fed up and just got into another project. 😉

Anyway, stay tuned and I’ll keep you updated with something meaty next time.

|Project Kyoko| – “Got 99 problems, but a VLSD ain’t one.”


New turnsignals and a ‘new’ VLSD have been the latest updates on Project Kyoko.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a project log update on Project Kyoko. The reason was that she had been off the road for a while with a busted VLSD. The car had an unbearable gear whine that was just terrible. So I spent much of the holiday season messing around with Project MR2, and researching where I could find a suitable 1.6 replacement.

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|Project MR2| – Just getting it on the road is means for celebration.

East Seattle-20121208-00192

** Sadly, Project MR2 is dead, but we still keep this log up to show that we did have it at one point…

*Sorry for the lack of photos on this post. I just haven’t had the time, and actually really don’t have a good camera to take snaps yet.

Project MR2 has definitely started out well-intentioned enough. In fact, it initially really even start out as a ‘project’ at all. For sometime, Project Kyoko had been the workhorse car between myself and my girlfriend. Due to where our jobs took us, we ended up putting over 100 miles a day on my little Miata, and somewhere along the lines of around 25,000 miles over a year! (I’m not joking.)

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|Project Log|- Update on John’s Starlet!

Update 9/4/2012: A few weeks back, John was able to provide some updates on his project. Sorry for the delay on getting these up on the blog! John’s been super patient with us!

Recently the car has been back for mapping @ Tuning Developments. It’s now run in and well 278bhp an 280lbft 🙂

|Project Kyoko| Just some updates and stickers.

It always seems like I’m working on Kyoko every weekend, rather than racing, but at least I remember to take pictures for the blog each time. Not too bad for a Blackberry camera.

This weekend, we were trying to chase down a leak in the clutch lines that’s causing the clutch to go soft now and again. We found the leak, but no shop in the area has the clutch line in stock, so I’ll have to go hunt one down. TJ did replace the clutch slave cylinder while we were in there.

We also got a chance to reinstall my headers, which tried to free themselves from the car last week. It’s nice to have that deeper sound back, and the powerband has moved back to being more mid-range.

Oh yeah, and we’ve got some stickers available now for the blog. We’re giving out the first set for free. If you’re interested, just email me at relaxeddriver(at) gmail, and we’ll see if we can get people some.

|Project Kyoko| -Manifold Error!

Ever since I’ve started to own Project Kyoko, I’ve learned that no weekend will ever go according to plan. The plan had been this weekend to hook up with Peter and go down to Shelton, where there was a possibility of driving his Locost kit car at an autocross. Peter has also picked up a “new” NA8C, and I had planned to swap cars with him in order to bring that down south to the autocross. I was super looking forward to it.

I say plan, because like I mentioned earlier, nothing ever goes according to plan with Project Kyoko.

On my way down to Peter’s, Kyoko’s humming exhaust started to turn into a dull buzzing. It sounded alot like an exhaust leak, so I decided that when I had a chance at the end of the weekend, I would jack up the car and check. However, after a few minutes the buzzing turned into the loudest roaring sound I had ever heard.

It sounded like it was running right off the header! Fortunately, I happened to be by my local indoor kart track and was able to pull into their garage in order to check to see what the problem was.

Well, goddamnit…

It was running right off the header, and only the header. Turns out that my 4-1 Racing Beat headers had failed right at the weld underneath the collector. The subframe had caught the downpipe when it literally fell from the car. Apparently, my car loves weight reduction so much that it just spits parts off the car!

Well, this was just great… So now I was stuck down south, with a car that is too loud to drive ANYWHERE.

Fortunately, I have some other friends who own Miata and, after taking Alex’s car out to Bonny Lake, I was able to source a stock exhaust manifold. However, by the time that I got back it was too late to start working on the car!

Luckily Savannah, who has taken photos for the blog before (like these and these) , lived nearby and she was able to put me up for the night. Honestly, after the afternoon I had been having,  it was the most comfortable couch that I had ever crashed on. She completely saved me from sleeping in my car.

This morning, Cameron and I were back at the kart track and started to work on Kyoko. We were able to pull out the broken Racing Beat header. The break was clean at the weld, so we could determine that it was nothing that I had done. It was just crappy build quality on the design on the header.  Cameron is thinking about trying to weld it back together.

In the meantime, we were able to fit the stock manifold back on. Kyoko now doesn’t sound like a demonic Harley-Davidson, but she doesn’t have the same peppy revving sounds that she did before.

A better shot of the broken header. Racing Beat is supposed to be good stuff, right?

Le sigh. After one weekend of no breakages, normal service has been resumed.