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Cowl & Windshield Discussion

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Re: Cowl & Windshield Discussion

Post by bwdz on Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:32 am

I have downloaded the manual from several links, they all are blank when it comes to the windshield installation.
As for gluing the body, that would make it unserviceable in the future, I am going to run a 302 EFI I have already for now (out of a scrapped Mustang, GT40 heads, F303 cam, cobra intake and I kept all the mass air and harness) but would later like to swap motors to either a LS or Coyote, even considered a Jag supercharged V8 (to keep with the British theme) or a Ecotec 2.3 turbo just because. I do not wish to have the front end on there when I am fabricating so I thought it would just remove with ease.

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Re: Cowl & Windshield Discussion

Post by Hotrod on Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:12 am

bwdz wrote:
As for gluing the body, that would make it unserviceable in the future,

You should rethink not gluing the firewall to the front cap.  These cars suffer from varying degrees of cowl shake.  If you've never experienced it, it's very annoying.  On my car, the steering wheel and column would move sideways an inch or more under some road condtions.  The firewall is the only thing that could reinforce the cowl area. My firewall was glued to the front body with flexible silicone glue.  

I am looking at options to gluing them together, but if no other options are practical, I will fiberglass the sections together.  I have some ideas on how to bolt them together and will report on that when I get to that stage.

You also need to look at adding some additional bracing to the cowl bar.  Extra diagonal gussets in the corners as well as some sort of connection to the transmission tunnel.  I think removing the front cap with everything glued together would still be possible, but not easy.  The entire under dash area would have to be disassembled, though.
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Re: Cowl & Windshield Discussion

Post by bwdz on Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:02 pm

Those are all considerations I am making as well. I actually thought about reinforcing that firewall with thin sheet metal overlay, just cut out pieces to fit over it and tack it all together till I have a metal firewall to go in front of the other firewall. As for the front body, I would rather glass in some extra brackets that will bolt to the firewall to facilitate easy removal if necessary. For the cowl bar, I may be missing parts of it, the only part I found so far is the cross bar under the dash but haven't come across the bars that go to the frame yet. I will consider improving on it based on your recommendation.

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Re: Cowl & Windshield Discussion

Post by Hotrod on Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:46 pm

Your thoughts on the firewall connection are pretty much the direction I'm looking at.

The cowl bar uprights are also what the door hinges bolt to.  They would be fairly simple to make as they're just approx 1/4" plate bent into a ninety degree angle.  You might even be able to locate some angle iron that would serve just as well.

BTW - The LS fits pretty well, that's what I'm putting in mine. The Coyote would be pretty wide for the narrow engine bay. Would look awesome though.
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Re: Cowl & Windshield Discussion

Post by bwdz on Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:31 pm

I like the way you are approaching the firewall issue, I haven't even got the car here yet but see the same problem as you just from your description. I can't wait till Saturday when I get it. I just rented a larger storage unit for working on it with lots of room, I only have a 1.5 garage (had a 10x30 now a 20x40 so that my Boxster will fit in there as well) Could you take a picture of the uprights for that cowl bar? I will be sorting through all the packages that come with the car and that may be one of the things that is in there we just didn't open boxes that were still taped for the sake of transport to my house.

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Re: Cowl & Windshield Discussion

Post by bwdz on Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:33 pm

btw, the Coyote would be great, I have a friend who has a smashed 2016 GT 6 speed with 83 miles on it but he wants and will get way more than what I want to spend on that motor.

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Re: Cowl & Windshield Discussion

Post by Hotrod on Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:38 pm

I'll take a pic of the uprights.  They're actually closer to 3/16" thick.  I can make a rough drawing if you need to make some.  They're pretty simple.  I have drawing of the hinges if you need them.

I've got to work tomorrow, I'll get the pics after I get home.

As for the firewall connection,  I'm thinking about fiberglassing some blocks to the inner body and attaching some angle brackets to them.  The brackets would bolt to the firewall.  

The connection needs to have some adjustment so that you can align the fenders to the doors.  I know that sounds backwards from most cars, but that's pretty much what you have to do.  Adjust the rear of the doors to fit the rear section and then adjust front section to the doors.  The rear section is too stiff to move very far, especially if the inner and outer sections are assembled.
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Re: Cowl & Windshield Discussion

Post by bwdz on Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:11 am

The hinges for the Cobra kits are around $100 per pair, I saw a few in person at the hot rod place down the road from me. I think they would work as it is similar how they mount and swing out. I would love a picture to compare them to. For all I know I might still find the originals in all the boxes. I hope for the best but have been doing research in preparation for the worst case scenario.
I like your idea of mounting the front. Thinking along the same lines. Glass some place to mount brackets that will have slotted holes so that adjustment can be made for lining everything up. As simple as this front end seems to be it should be made so that it is not more than an hour to get it out of the way including windshield frame removal.

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Re: Cowl & Windshield Discussion

Post by Hotrod on Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:01 pm

Here's the pic of the uprights.  Not very complicated.  Approx. 25" tall.  3"x3" angle trimmed to roughly follow the contours of the body.

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Re: Cowl & Windshield Discussion

Post by bwdz on Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:51 am

Thank you, I should have expected it to be so simple and crude from a kit car maker but I just imagined something fancier as if it was OEM and crash tested, LOL. What is the square tube that is bolted in front of the angle iron? Don't think I have that either. BTW, going to get the car today and bring her home so I can start. I will start by opening boxes and inventory.

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Re: Cowl & Windshield Discussion

Post by Hotrod on Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:30 pm

The square tube is the "cowl bar" or dash bar that supports the steering column.  It also has a couple of brackets that tie to the body through the windshield wiper transmissions.  They are only 16 gauge steel though, so they don't offer much support to the body.  The uprights also support the windshield frame.

The square tube upright in the foreground is part of the frame work that I am adding.  Eventually, I will tie my new frame and the original dash bar together.
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Re: Cowl & Windshield Discussion

Post by bwdz on Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:43 pm

I got the car home today and did some preliminary inventory. I have the cowl bar but no uprights. I am curious about that extra frame work you are adding. I have no windshield frame but have the chrome pieces that go over it probably most of them if not all. Do you have a picture of the windshield frame? I have the cracked windshield so won't really need dimensions and could make it out of stainless or polished aluminum just want an idea of what it looks like and how it mounts as well as how the top attaches. I have the rear but not front bumper. I have carpet and door panels. I have a Chevette steering column and regulators albeit its all in so so shape. I have 3 of the 4 body grommets over the bumper supports, missing one front one if anyone knows where to find one that works. Anyone have a pic of the trunk hinges, there are some tiny hinges in there that could be it but they are maybe few inches long total. I have hood hinges from a Mustang II in the boxes. I have the door windows and tracks and the small glass as well. How do I post a picture here?

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Re: Cowl & Windshield Discussion

Post by Hotrod on Sat Dec 03, 2016 7:16 pm

I can get a pic up of the windshield frame.  Gotta go to a Christmas party tonight.  I might be able to get it up later when I get home.  The frame is made from what appears to be a custom aluminum extrusion.  There is a groove in the front edge.  The top slips into this groove and folds over on itself.  This is very similar to my old 84 Jeep CJ5 soft top.

The front and rear bumpers are the same, including the steel brackets they bolt to.

There were two different trunk hinges.  The cheaper set looked like a marine part.  The Deluxe parts were actual Austin Healey hinges.

The MII hood hinges are correct I believe.

Pics need to be uploaded to third party site like Photobucket and then linked to your post.  David can also post pics if you email them to him.

I'll be updating my build thread ASAP.  I will be showing the new frame works.  Not elegant, but very solid.  Should add some additional crash protection, too.

Many congrats on getting it home.
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Re: Cowl & Windshield Discussion

Post by bwdz on Sun Dec 04, 2016 6:54 am

I wonder if either of these would just be easier to do for the windshield. I can take a look at a backdraft and get measurements as Vanguard Motors by my house usually has 1 or 2 in stock and they definitely have a minimum of a few FFRs
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Re: Cowl & Windshield Discussion

Post by bwdz on Sun Dec 04, 2016 6:59 am

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This one at $700 shipped for everything with glass seems appealing if the curve is the same. I can actually probably still get a real good tracing on some paper of the cracked up one I have and lay it right over the FFR to see how close it is. I have seen the windshield question come up a few times so if the tracing fits that would answer many people's question at least about the glass

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Windshield

Post by DrJ on Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:10 am

I did a bunch of research with regard to windshield replacement. The two reasons were that I wanted to determine the feasibility of incorporating a curved windshield to the car and that I have modified a convertible top frame to fit the Healey from a 91 Capri and would need a new windshield frame to accept the header. A very generous Cobra builder I talked with offered to give me a spare windshield frame. The lower curve of the Cobra is quite different from the Healey, the frame would need modification and more importantly the glass. Did some looking into regarding cutting curved windshields and you will find guy's demonstrating the "art" on You Tube but it is real easy to get it wrong and crack it. The glass in the Cobra is in the range of 400. per unit. Could get real costly. You would also need to relocate the windshield wiper stanchions on the cowl further forward which looked to be possible. There looks to be a lot of room behind the dash to relocate the transmissions. Now an alternate that is less risky is to go for the Lexan windshield replacements used in some Cobras and just about anything else. They claim to have various anti-scratch coatings on them that would hold up to wiper use but for how long???? You know the essence of marketing is telling a guy what ever he needs to hear so as to willingly open his wallet. Lexan would be easy to reshape to the Healey bonnet curvature and they also cost about 400/unit but no worries about cracking them. The shed water well but you better count on replacing them, depending on usage, from time to time.
Still undecided about what id anything to do. If I keep the current configuration I will need to make a new windshield frame as well so st to complete the new top mechanism but that is a project scheduled for 2017-18.

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Re: Cowl & Windshield Discussion

Post by Hotrod on Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:12 am

Like a lot of things on my project, I'm also looking at doing something about the windshield.  I think improvements can be made, but the real question is how much work do you want to do.  I'm pretty sure these cars are wider in the cowl area than a real Healey, so the original frames won't work.  Like J said, the Cobra parts are too different to be readily compatible.

I think the answer might be something semi-custom.  Maybe use the stanchions from an original Healey, combined with a custom frame and glass.  The Healey used a fairly simple U-shaped channel that wrapped the glass.  It was held in place by the cast aluminum stanchions.  There are a couple of Healeys local to me.  I'm trying to catch up with the owners to get a good look.  So far, my research work has been from pictures.  Aluminum extruded channel is available in raw form and should be easy to form.  

The main problem is the glass.  If you're going to cut down a curved glass, you might as well use something cheap.  The Healey doesn't appear to have a lot of curve.  Older Chevy truck windshields are much cheaper and might have enough curve.

It's also possible that a curved glass isn't completely necessary.  Just making a slimmer, trimmer frame combined with original Healey uprights would look better.

I've also thought about custom stanchions.  That would be much more work, but certainly doable.  

None of this takes the vent windows and top into consideration.  I'm not a fan of the fake vent windows.  The older Healey 100-4's and 100-6's didn't have them and look much cleaner IMO.  I'm thinking of making them removable and only use them with the top.  That or make them functional so that they could be used as true wind wings and make them worthwhile.  

The top would require a header bar to mate with a new windshield frame.  This is how most convertible tops handle this.  Header could be wood.  No real issues there.

Of course, all this is speculation at this point, but you have to start somewhere.
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Windshield

Post by DrJ on Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:10 am

Just to add to Hotrod's commentary, I have noted that small Jeeps had removable flat glass up until a couple of years ago. Now new Jeeps have a slight curved windshield although taller and wider that what we would need. A curve is a curve and it is conservative enough that it could be made to fit (assuming you get that cutting process under control) without interference of the wipers, so that's good. The question you would have to answer is is it worth the expense and potential headaches for a windshield with a slight curve? Now many of us have noted the proclivity of the current frame to catch bugs. That, I think, is the combination of the flat glass but especially the cupping effect of the frame itself. The lateral trim pieces are aesthetically pleasing (enough that I paid the ransom price to get polished aluminum parts form the Brits.) but that traps wind pretty well and combined with the top section that overhangs and you have a bug catcher. A new frame that is all but flush with the glass would possibly resolve much of that tendency.

Hotrod is correct in that the AH 3000's are narrower as are their windshield frames so no joy there.

The compromise that I am likely to settle on is a new frame to help address the bug thing and to accept the new top frame (did I mention the fiberglass work required in rear cockpit so as to accept the top when folding it down??). And yeh, while at it I hope to fabricate functional vent windows as that looks to be fairly straight forward and the top of the vent frame is unnecessary low.

Well I hung the plow on the front of my truck. Winter comes early up here on Lake Ontario. Just need to clean out the garage pellet stove and I'm good to go'ish.

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Re: Cowl & Windshield Discussion

Post by gkerbow on Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:35 pm

I too am working on the windshield. As I have posted before, my unfinished Saxon came without the windshield although I do have the fiberglass trim pieces. I am still working on my solution. I would like to have a template of the windshield glass to use as a guide since I have a hardtop and would like to be able to use it without too much modification. I would also like to use the original soft top. I have the top and hardware but the bows are missing so I need a template or drawing of them as well.

I have sourced an aluminum extrusion very similar to the original one used by Classic Roadsters. It is still commonly used in the manufacture of dune buggy windshields. One fabricator (Bug Shields by Dino) kindly sent me some samples of the extrusion. He can't fabricate a windshield for us because the ones he makes for the dune buggies use about a 6" or greater radius for the top corners. If I am seeing the originals for our kits correctly, there is a miter that does not go all the way thru at the top corner where they are bent. The extrusion that Dino sent me could be used with the original style corner or even with a full miter. I am working on that detail. Another possibility is to use readily available U-channel extrusions to fabricate a frame with out the bulky look of the original frame. That would also allow for a slimmer and more original looking post or stanchion.

As for the windshield posts, I like the look of the earlier 3000 without the vent windows. Since my kit did not come with those pieces or the regulators, I plan to complete my build without them and use side curtains and/or framed windows as the earlier 3000. I have been looking to acquire an original set of posts but to date have had no success. I suspect they could be adapted for use with a more original style extrusion. I have also considered taking some of the bulk out of the existing trim pieces to make them look more original. Another option I am working on is the use of parts made by a South African manufacturer of replicas. I am in contact with the owner and hope to get more information soon.

Of course the most costly option to consider are the parts that are available from Sebring International. I have a quote from them and while their parts look to be well made, they are quite expensive.

It seems there are options to solve the windshield problem, but all will require some fabrication. I will continue to watch this thread for ideas and contribute any information that I find. If someone could help with a template of the original windshield glass, I would appreciate it.

Greg

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Re: Cowl & Windshield Discussion

Post by Hotrod on Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:57 pm

David, could we move these windshield discussions to a dedicated windshield thread? There seems to be a lot of interest in them and it would make it easier for someone to find.
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Cowl & Windshield Discussion

Post by bwdz on Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:01 pm

I have access to a prototype shop owned by friend's father and they make entire cars from scratch and have many million dollar 5 axis machines that would take up my entire house. They make their first prototype windshields from thick lexan. They have one of the machines cut out the contour out of this material that is kind of clay kind of foamy. They make basically a press out of two pieces, a top and bottom. The lexan is put in between the two pieces and put into a warming oven and some pressure is applied till it conforms to the mold. Once cooled excess is trimmed off and you have your windshield for a prototype.

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Re: Cowl & Windshield Discussion

Post by bwdz on Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:44 am

I would really love to see a picture of the frame and it's attachement points

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Re: Cowl & Windshield Discussion

Post by Hermn8r on Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:22 pm

I have an extra windshield frame to who ever wants to pay for the shipping from Canada.

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Re: Cowl & Windshield Discussion

Post by bwdz on Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:32 am

Where in Canada are you, I am in Detroit area so 20 minutes from the bridge to Windsor for example.

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Re: Cowl & Windshield Discussion

Post by gkerbow on Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:28 pm

Hermn8r,

Sent you several PM's about the extra windshield. I haven't heard from you in a while. Hope all is well. I am in no rush but just need to know the status.

Thanks,
Greg

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Re: Cowl & Windshield Discussion

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