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Jensen Healey musings from The New York Times  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 11-07-2013 07:55 pm
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Greg Fletcher
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Here's an article about one persons Jensen Healey ownership in The New York Times entitled "End of an Era: Yesterday’s Joy Became Today’s Inconvenience"

I love the retro photos!

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/08/automobiles/end-of-an-era-yesterdays-joy-became-todays-inconvenience.html?_r=0

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 Posted: 11-09-2013 07:59 pm
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Gary Martin JH 15371
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Interesting article. He should have kept it. I have had mine for 27 years, although 22 years of that it languished in a garage waiting to be reborn after suffering the dredded fuel tee engine fire back in 1986. No plans to sell mine now that it's restored and reliable.

Gary

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 Posted: 09-24-2016 02:58 am
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redracer
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Just read Times story; I'm sure it reminds all of us of stories from our younger days.
Boy--how'd we get so old!

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 Posted: 02-10-2019 05:09 pm
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noomg
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I'm surprised he kept it as long as he did, it sounds like a lot more hate than love in that relationship. While it was common on the TR-7 I haven't heard of engine warping being a J-H problem, overheated due to coolant loss maybe, which would be on him not the car. Also, anyone who sticks with an original Lucas fuel pump gets what they deserve. One of the first things I did when I got my J-H was install a Facet pump. That was about 25 years ago, I haven't given it a thought since.

Since he's the original owner I'd be interested, with all the problems he had, to see how many miles he put on the car. When I got my J-H in '93 it was cosmetically pretty rough but with 80,000mi on the clock it would have had to have been on the road most of time before I got it. In the 26 years I've had my J-H the longest it's been off the road was for 6mos for bodywork and paint. While it's only my experience I'd have to rate the Jensen-Healey as a pretty reliable machine.

I hope this guy enjoys his BMW "ultimate plain vanilla driving machine".

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 Posted: 02-14-2019 04:06 pm
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redracer
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Maybe now the FACET square pumps are dependable, but a over 25 years ago when they first came on the market we considered the Boat Anchors". The changing magnetic field was fine but the seals constantly broke.
On the other hand, the SU has been very reliable assuming one is not too lazy to have changed the points or allowed condensation from getting on the point contacts due to sitting too long.
In 1994, when the Atlanta Austin Healey club was hosting the nation meet(Conclave), I had just done a technical session on rebuilding the SU. I had loaned my green autocross car to be used by the winner of each group to determine an overall winner. Well, my car all of a sudden would not run; I got around to checking the fuel pump(Facet-square) and found it had stopped working. Fortunately, I carried a spare SU and got the car moving again.
Currently, I recommend the cheap ones from Rockauto as a backup(crimp on 2 male spade connectors and preassemble the fittings to allow a very fast fix).
https://www.amazon.com/attwood-Universal-Anti-Siphon-Valve-Fitting/dp/B00E21PVE8?th=1&psc=1

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 Posted: 02-18-2019 06:46 pm
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noomg
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The Facet pump is pretty lightweight, I'm not sure it would make a very good boat anchor. Maybe you've just had bad luck, but I find it hard to imagine that a points actuated pump would be more reliable than a solid state pump. I'm not really sure what you're talking about as far as changing magnetic fields and broken seals. When I installed the Facet I just hooked up the incoming/outgoing fuel lines, hooked up the hot and ground wires and was good to go. I've had two SU pump failures in two different cars. I guess different people can have different experiences with the same things.

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 Posted: 02-18-2019 07:57 pm
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redracer
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I forgot to mention that the SU pumps have gradually been upgraded so they are now solid state. A little pricey now at around $200, but quiet(compared to the FACET) and reliable

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 Posted: 02-19-2019 03:13 pm
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noomg
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Looks like we've reached an impasse, I'm going to stick with my $25 Facet and you're going to stick with your $200 SU. BTW, I actually like hearing the pump running when the ignition is keyed, it lets me know the pump is working properly and once the motor is started you can't hear it anyway.

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 Posted: 05-02-2020 05:00 pm
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noomg
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I'm surprised this guy kept the car as long as he did, it doesn't sound like he did any maintenance on it whatsoever. As we all know when you get involved with Brit sportscars they require a little more attention to detail, it's just part of the deal.

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 Posted: 05-03-2020 03:27 am
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discogodfather
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Unfortunately it seems to just perpetuate the general idea English cars are unreliable and don't run and specifically the myth that the JH is particularly bad.

It's a high performance car. I have been working on and restoring Porsche's, Ferrari's, tons of old motorcycles (American, German, and English) for 25 years and they all have problems. The concept that English stuff from that era isn't reliable to me is really generally absurd. They all suffered from various issues. Ask me how my early to mid 70's shovelheads have run. What about the countless 289's and 351's and 327's from that era- they all required tons of work.

Going back further they are far less reliable and require even more effort.

Fact is technology progresses fairly evenly and things just work with less effort. Pinning it on "English" engineering is silly. My 1969 BMW R60/2 has been one of the most unreliable motor vehicles I have ever owned, but I make excuses because it's worth a lot and it's a fantastic vehicle. The myth of "German engineering" is as strong as ever, regardless of reality.

Just saying it's part of this auto culture to constantly badmouth and generalize English stuff, besides the fact that it was quite nearly as bad as everything else at the time. The perception makes the reality.

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 Posted: 05-04-2020 02:44 pm
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noomg
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I remember hearing about the announcement of Donald Healey's all new sportscar. I was quite excited, at the time I was driving a '57 100-6 so I was already a big fan.

Then I recall reading every road test I could find, their reports were quite disappointing, I thought they were unnecessarily harsh.

The styling of the car they generally described as plain vanilla. One tester said "The rear end looks like a Spitfire and the frontend doesn't look like much of anything." On the other hand I've always found it to be a study of elegant simplicity, the way a modern roadster should look.

Unfortunately it was a pricey four banger so it had to compete with sixes in the same price range and like all new Brit cars it had some teething problems.

I think all these things combined to give the Jensen-Healey the bad reputation it still enjoys today.

The funny thing is despite it's reputation and bad press I've found my J-H to be highly reliable.

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