Hello fellow Healey Club Members;
Yosemite Healey Week is only four weeks away! While you may be thinking that far down the road with regard to your clothing needs, cabin supplies and so on, I hope you are also thinking about your Healey’s requirements. Recently an extensive “trip preparation” tech session was held at Peter Roses’ home where every vehicle system was covered in terms of preventative and pre-travel checks and adjustments.
If you missed that session, some of the handouts are available for download on the website. Sign In, Click on Documents at the top of the page and then Tech Documents folder.
I had my Healey up on my mini-ramp last weekend and was performing the “shake and wiggle” tests on the front suspension when I was surprised to ?nd a loose and clunking steering idler. If you have never dug into your front suspension, you might not have seen this rather unusual device. While most cars use a simple arm and bushing arrangement for the steering idler the pivot point opposite the steering box, all big Healeys use a much more substantial “box” which contains a heavy shaft that rotates on two brass bushes. The bottom end of the shaft extends out of the box, via a lip seal, and attaches to the idler arm itself a substantial piece of metal&, which in turn attaches to the passenger’s side tie rod and the steering cross rod.
If the bushes start to wear, as mine had, you’ll hear a solid clunking sound coming from the box whenever you hit a speed bump or pothole. Moving the passenger’s side tire from side to side with hands at the 3 and 9 o’clock position will also reveal looseness in the steering gear, which may or may not be the idler box.
Most surprising, once I opened my service manual, was ?nding that this idler box is supposed to be ?lled with 90w oil! Who knew? I for one have never checked or added oil to a Healey idler box even though I am careful about lubrication and topping up the steering box…. hmmm…. maybe that’s why the idler box only lasted four years and 12, 000 miles!
Bottom line: Don’t take chances if you are driving to Yosemite. It’s a long and stressful trip for your Healey. Start your maintenance now, and be thorough. No! Putting a quart of oil and a can of brake ?uid in the boot does not suffice as preventative maintenance!