Posted in: BJ8 Restoration Information Healey Concours Information

Original BJ8 Exhaust Systems

The original exhaust systems on Healeys were very different from those currently available.

This deviation from “originality” is particularly evident on the BJ8 and is not mentioned in any of the “authoritative” books I have read. This is my attempt to ensure that this detail of originality will not become lost as the years pass.

Some of the differences that I have noted are as follows.

The front down pipes utilized one continuous sweeping curve rather than the series of small bends on the mild steel systems that have been available for the last 20 or so years.

I believe some of the stainless systems may have the single curve but of course stainless in definitely not original.down-pipes.jpg

These are a pair that I had hanging around for years for when I build my BJ8 “museum” car..which I don’t think is ever going to happen.


The front mufflers are constructed entirely differently from anything I have seen available for many years. The parts book shows what I believe were the original type.


The mufflers originally used were what I describe as “pinched end” mufflers. These were “straight through” type mufflers and were stuffed with fiberglass. The metal used was quite heavy and they actually lasted for a very long time in good climates. Each muffler is 27 1/4″ long and oval in shape 31/2″ x 5 1/8″ and there is a folded and crimped seam along the top center. The edges where the pinched sections meet appear to be TIG welded together.


I had a couple of these they are both lefts, not a pair.


The parts book shows that the rear mufflers were not of the “pinched end” type but, like a few other things in the parts books, I believe that illustration shows what was available from the parts system rather than what was actually fitted to the cars. This did not happen very often as the original parts books are amazingly accurate and the only other questionable item which springs to mind are the felt insulation pads which are illustrated as fitted to the inside of the bonnet of non U.K. cars. I have never seen these or any evidence of them, however I digress.


The parts book shows the rear mufflers (resonators) as being the crimped end type rather than the “pinched end” type. I have seen a number of very original cars where the resonators were the pinched end type and am fairly convinced that these were what was originally installed.

Fortunately the hanger and clamps have been quite faithfully reproduced.

I’m sure there are people out there who have seen more original systems than I have and I would appreciate any comments or corrections.

Comments (13)

  1. I now have a complete nos BJ8 exhaust system. Considering having them reproduced. Is there a market for original type pinched muffles with correct number tags?


  2. Thanks Mike for the reply and listing my response on your blog. The BJ8 I have I bought from the original owner who purchased it from the dealer in Germany. It black with red coves and red interior and originally had red carpet. Additionally it has the original sound proofing under the bonnet.

    Its not felt but appears to be similar to carpet. If you still have the original from exhaust I am interested in those as well.

    Regards George

    1. Hi John,
      I’m basing my conclusion as to the packing material on what was common practice in the day. “Glasspak” mufflers were readily available in the 60’s and 70’s and had a unique construction consisting of a single perforated tube running straight through from entry to exit. I had on a Mini during that period and it can’t have been very well made as shreds of fiberglass material used to be expelled from the tailpipe and catch on a little burr on the end. After a few thousand miles the exhaust noise increased dramatically, much to the delight of the “hoon” driver.
      I can’t think of any other inexpensive and readily available fibrous material that would work for such an application

  3. Mike,
    The oem BJ8 Burgess mufflers arrived today in good shape. They are already stored securely with the down pipes and all have been treated with phosphate conditioner until new powder coatings are applied. I do realize their relative historical significance, as very few of these have survived, and I THANK YOU for allowing me to continue their custodianship. Searching for those original ‘pinched end’ resonators may be an unending task, I am afraid, but certainly worth while, should they be located, to complete an all original system. Best wishes in your racing and all projects! Highest Regards,

  4. Could you list the key dimensions of these silencers before you sell them so that people will have a reference of the original sizes should anyone wish to produce replicas?

  5. Dear Michael,
    Hope you are moving forward and all is well there. As the now proud owner of the oem BJ8 Burgess downpipes, they arrived in good shape and I thank you, I might be interested in the oem Burgess mufflers as well, if they are still available. Please let me know if you have a chance. I am the same bloke which has been looking for that German spec. steering column lockring ( part #17K6536 )
    Best Regards,

  6. Hi Michael,

    This is the first time I’ve run into your Blog. Some very interesting stuff. If you still have the Exhaust system for the BJ8 I would be interested. How much are you looking for the entire system? Thanks.


  7. Mike, I think you intended to say that “This is my attempt to ensure that this detail of originality will NOT become lost…”

    Thanks for that.

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