Replacing BJ-8 Window Vent Seals

By J.L. Maney

Originally published in the Austin-Healey Magazine, Vol. 27 4-5a


Thanks to those who replied to my problem(s) and their suggestions on replacing the window vent seal on m BJ8. I want to share what I learned, perhaps, to save others from similar problems down the road.


Figure 1, taken from the Victoria British catalog, Spring 1996 edition., shows the frame components. To properly replace the seal (A), the vent window (B) must be removed. The best way to do this is to remove the frame (C) from the door. The major problem I had in the removal of the frame assembly was the two small, Phillips head screws that secure the vent window frame to the outside of the door. These screws are normally concealed by the chrome finisher and after 31 years, were securely corrod3d in place and didn’t want to release. A Dremel tool would have been helpful to cut slots in the heads – after the Phillips slots rounded off. A hacksaw blade worked fine, but the heads snapped off anyway. Use #4 screws as replacements.


After the vent window frame is out, the self-locking nut (D), the spring (E), three washers (F), and attachment plate (G) can be removed to provide direct access. The self-locking nut can be removed with the frame in the door, but a deep well socket and lots of care and patience are needed. The bushing (H) is the problem. The bushing is probably corroded and pretty dirty. Wiping, penetrating fluid, etc. did not reveal the nature of the beast. Heating the pivot post (I) won’t facilitate removal. The bushing is a very soft alloy – maybe aluminum – and will melt/distort if the post is heated. It is not a barrel nut either, so do not try to forcibly unthread either the nut or the post.


The self-locking nut can be removed with the frame in the door, but a deep well socket and lots of care and patience are needed. The bushing (H) is the problem. The bushing is probably corroded and pretty dirty. Wiping, penetrating fluid, etc. did not reveal the nature of the beast. Heating the pivot post (I) won’t facilitate removal. The bushing is a very soft alloy – maybe aluminum – and will melt/distort if the post is heated.


It is not a barrel nut either, so do not try to forcibly unthread either the nut or the post.


The secret: The bushing is, I think, called “broached bushing”. The ID of the bushing is slotted and mates with corresponding flats on the shaft of the pivot post. With the frame out of the door, simply grasp the bushing with pliers, or vice grips, and carefully pull the bushing downward while gently rocking it from side to side. When you’re ready to replace the seals, use liquid detergent to lubricate the seals before attempting to fit them into the vent window frame channels. Poly-unsaturated Crisco will also work.


There is a fallback option for those interested in replacing the seal, but not enthusiastic about taking the window frame out had a similar problem with his Porsche. He slit the vent window seal adjacent to the pivot post and worked the seal into the vent window frame around the post. The same will work on the BJ8 – slit the seal adjacent to the hole for the pivot post and work the seal around the post.


Be sure to make the slit on the inside of the seal to prevent leakage.


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