1959 Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite

Suns Out – Some of Our Projects Waiting to Go Home

With the weather being perfect last week, we thought we would snap some photos of a handful of classic cars lounging in the sun. Some waiting for collection, some just arrived.

Our restoration workshops at the Bridge Classic Cars HQ are always busy. A constant stream of cars coming in for our team to work on or going back to their owners to be enjoyed so as Nick walked past the eclectic row of cars lining the side of our workshop, he thought he’d grab a few photos to show them off.

Heading Home – Work on the 1959 Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite is Complete

The 1959 Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite has been in the Bridge Classic Cars workshop for our restoration technicians to get the amazing little sportscar back into perfect running order.

The team have worked on rebuilding and adjusting the brakes and working on the hydraulic system which not only controls the brakes but also works the clutch as well. The slave cylinder had to be replaced due to a leak from a seal which was causing an issue bleeding the system to make sure the whole circuit remained pressurised.

Along with that, the team found several issues with the suspension of the classic Austin Healey. This required some of the important substructures of the car to be carefully rewelded, as well as removing and correctly installing parts of the wishbones.

To take a look a the entire project, click here!

Repairs – Repairing Parts of the 1959 Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite Suspension

The Bridge Classic Cars restoration technicians at our workshop have been working on sorting out the suspension of the 1959 Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite.

While performing road tests, our technician Dave noticed the handling of the Frogeye Sprite wasn’t behaving as it should do. So, he began to look into the issue and narrowed it down to the front suspension. Upon inspection, he found a few areas which needed attention.

One of the bolts which holds the lower arm into the mounts had a lot of freeplay and should be tight with little to no movement for and aft. Dave found the backside of the bolt had not been rotated correctly and let the nut side be tightened down and torqued correctly. With that, Dave also discovered that there had been previous welding repairs carried out to the front suspension, but in another area, a gap had opened up where the bracket had separated from the frame.

So, he welded this area back up as tight as possible which wouldn’t allow the drivers’ side control arm and track rods to move independently to the car. After that, Dave went through to recheck and torque each part to the correct specifications to get the car ready to go back out for road tests.

New Piece – New Clutch Slave Cylinder on the 1959 Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite

The new clutch slave cylinder for the 1959 Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite has arrived at Bridge Classic Cars to be installed on the classic sports car.

Once the piece is in place and the hydraulic system completely bled, the workshop can begin to test and check over the rest of the car as part of the jobs requested by its owner.

Inspection – Clutch Slave Cylinder on the 1959 Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite

The 1959 Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite currently in the Bridge Classic Cars workshop at our Suffolk HQ has been having the clutch system inspected and assessed.

After very little use since being replaced, the inside of the slave cylinder has corroded and seized. The brakes and the clutch for the Frogeye Sprite share the same hydraulic system, so when the team at Bridge Classic Cars attempted to bleed the brakes, the seized clutch slave wouldn’t allow the brakes to be fully bled and adjusted.

A new slave cylinder is required in order to complete the overhaul.

Mirror Finish – Machine Polishing the 1959 Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite

At Bridge Classic Cars, we have a phrase called ”Dead in Red”. This is what we’ve found to be the best description of red paint after years of oxidization and exposure to the elements.

So, while we have this stunning 1959 Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite in our workshop we thought it was time to bring back the paint to its beautiful glossy and deep finish. The car has been both machine and hand polished to not only bring back the depth of the red paint but also protect it for years to come and allow its paint more longevity.

As you’ll agree, it looks absolutely wonderful now the paint is bright and vibrant.

Moving Along – Working on the 1959 Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite

The 1959 Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite in the Bridge Classic Cars has been moving forward towards the goal of running and stopping perfectly.

First on the list of jobs was for our technician, Dave, to look into the cooling system on the iconic classic sports car. Dave began by looking at the radiator, which on inspection had a broken mount for which he fabricated a new replacement for. With the radiator out, the workshop could then work on replacing the water pump for the car.

Dave found the old water pump wasn’t in the best of shapes so it’s good that we had been asked to replace it with a customer supplied unit. During this time, he took the opportunity to completely flush out the cooling system and clean up the outlets. With this, it was found the thermostat was packed almost solid. The battery on the car has also been replaced and the battery tray rust treated.

After this had been completed, Dave could begin his inspection of the suspension and brakes as part of the car’s pre-MOT check. He found the driver’s side track control arm was loose and the bolts which held it were so corroded they couldn’t be tightened accurately. So, he removed the old bolts, cleaned the threads in the arm and replaced it with new hardware from our stores. Whilst inspecting the braking system on the Frogeye, Dave discovered that the master cylinder had become corroded internally from sitting which in turn had caused the wheel cylinders (which were recently fitted) to seize. Replacements were going to be needed to get the brakes on the Frogeye working correctly.

With this and waiting for several parts, Dave could now move on to the next jobs on the list…

This Just In – 1959 Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite

This beautiful 1959 Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite has arrived at the Bridge Classic Cars for our restoration technicians to give the car a complete inspection and carry out a list of jobs for its very lucky owner.

We’ve been asked to carry out a full service and pre-mot check on the classic sports car along with a new water pump and fan belt to make sure the plucky little 4 cylinder at its heart is happy and healthy for many years to come.

Expect to see more very soon on this wonderful 1959 Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite in with Bridge Classic Cars.