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Old 06-26-2022, 11:20 AM
Kerry Pinkerton's Avatar
Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
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Default Austin Healy 100 questions

I have a customer that has brought me the nose and rear end from his Austin Healy 100. It needs some serious love.

The plan is for this NOT to be a restoration. He owns a Corvette shop and doesn't speak aluminum. He'll street rod it. He doesn't want it metalfinished which is fine worh me as i hate metalfinishing.

Does anyone know what alloy this is? I'm guessing 1100 based on how easy it moves.

So far, I've filled and repaired 762 holes and cracks in the nose and am ready to start on the lower nose.
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My problem is, i dont really know what it looks like. I have the grill and can make sure the opening is correct. Whati dont know is what the area below the grill is supposed to look. Based on some internet photos, it appears to be pretty low crown.

Does anyone have one they could take some detail photos for me?
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Old 06-26-2022, 01:14 PM
Essexmetal Essexmetal is offline
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Kerry, I did quite a bit of metal work on the front and rear Healey scuttles back when they were not as far from new. There was a very large daily driven British car contingent in Canada so they got both collision damage as well as vibration / fatigue cracks.



I can not tell you what the alloy is but I can tell you that the material is crappy, dirty shit. Since the 100 /4 is the first in the model range and not that long after the war you could assume it is some left over war material spec aluminum. But on their later models the aluminum is just as crappy.



It does not TIG well but gas welds very good. The flux does its job and floats the crap and oxides out of the way. Its really not fair to compare that aluminum to the modern alloys available for the last 40 years. From the picture the opening looks correct in the face view, not sure of the wrap shape.
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Old 06-26-2022, 04:26 PM
steve.murphy steve.murphy is offline
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Kerry, if nobody comes up with an answer, you can send some shavings to a lab that does spectro EDX analysis. Many places that do engine oil analysis have this equipment. They will provide a chart showing the alloying compounds by percentages, allowing the material to be identified.
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Old 06-26-2022, 09:11 PM
Marc Bourget Marc Bourget is offline
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A local metal salvage has an optical unit that will give the alloy % breakdown if it can't determine the conventional alloy (i.e. 6061, etc).


Engineering inspection firms use these as well.


FWIW
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Old 06-26-2022, 10:10 PM
DarkLightning DarkLightning is offline
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I used to design mechanical ground support equipment, alongside my other tasks. I was fortunate that the vendors had to provide certs with their choice of metals, etc. Working with old materials like this is pretty challenging, to say the least.
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Old 06-26-2022, 10:51 PM
crystallographic crystallographic is online now
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Hi Kerry,
I've un-messed a few of the AH flavours -

AH 3000 x2, alloy center section, felt like 3003/3005 to my hands, so I treated the torch-cut sections as if - and the job was very successful.

Later on, AH 3000, dents and patches and was treated as 3003/3005, successfully.

Sprites x2, steel.

AH 100 - photo thrifted from web, for your research info :
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AH 100 club, UK reports that body metal as "Birmabrite" (AKA to us working LandRovers, Aston Martins ... etc ....) as 5005 /5052/ 5086 American alloys.
The entire Al-Mg alloy grouping is 5XXX, including 5005 and 5052, with 5086 and 5083 being later alloy additions, along with a host of other 5XXX additions: (5005&5657,5010,5019,5024,5026,5050,5052&5652,5056,5059,5083,
5086,5154&5254,5182,5252,5356,5454,5456,5457,5557,5754.)

As for the reported nasty quality of the now-old body panel aluminum, I would only add that dirt and corrosion can work their way more deeply into the surface than immediately expected/suspected. For my own weld-prep on ratty old aluminum still worth saving - I use a ss toothbrush w/99% isopropyl to get it sort of brite - and then a spray of 25% phosphoric (now that transient oils are reduced) left for 10 minutes to etch well, then another good scrubbing (both sides, please) and a final rinse w/fresh water.
Since O/A welding is more forgiving than "clean-room" TIG, I use that - and preheat the weld area and dry-brush again with the ss toothbrush prior to fluxing and welding. "Sanitary" is okay for Oh-Ay.
5356 filler is commonly available and works well on welds that subsequently get hammered/rolled.
Good luck,
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Old 06-27-2022, 04:36 PM
Phil Minton Phil Minton is offline
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Hi Kerry,

There's a good few photos on this site from different angles. https://www.historics.co.uk/buying/a.../#&gid=1&pid=1
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Old 06-27-2022, 05:13 PM
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Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
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Thanks guys. I certainly agree on the metal being nasty.. I'm merrily TIGGING along and suddenly a black smear of soot.

Welds end up acceptable. Spoke to the owner again about the quality he's after. He said 1/8" of bondo is fine. I expect I can do that. Lol
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Old 06-28-2022, 05:18 AM
Fargoman Fargoman is offline
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We paid for the repair of quite a few early Healys (we were classic car insurers like Haggerty) and I know the front and rear clips needed to be on the car for final shaping as they moved around a lot when off the car.

Most repairers refused to work on them.
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