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Discussion Starter · #1,621 ·
Funny you mentioned the Austin being around so long, as I drove it to our Thu. night get together and had a number of people ask me where I'd been hiding it, and said they'd never seen it before? Surprised me considering I've put nearly 20,000 miles on it the last 11 yrs. and at so many shows I figured most guys had seen it too many times!
The Austin seemed to get more attention when I first got it on the road, and it was still in it's original black patina. People often asked if it was a survivor gasser from the 60's. I'm always surprised how many people prefer "rough" cars over finished cars?

 

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Sill think it would be MOOCHO gooder with a "belt driven parts destroyer". As per my TF injected buddy.
 

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Still NEEDS a blower! Yeah I know according to the rule book blowers weren't legal til '65 on short wheel base English Cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,625 ·
Still NEEDS a blower! Yeah I know according to the rule book blowers weren't legal til '65 on short wheel base English Cars.
Actually the early Austin never was legal for NHRA anyway. NHRA changed the wheelbase rule to 90" so the Anglias and Austin A40's were included. But my Austin is 89" wheelbase, and that's why you never saw these early Austins in NHRA racing.
And that rule still stands today. I can't run my car on an NHRA track if a tech inspector is sharp enough to measure it. I've run it and just hoped they didn't catch the 89" wheelbase; and so far they haven't. But I mostly run an unsanctioned local track that's privately owned.
 

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Actually the early Austin never was legal for NHRA anyway. NHRA changed the wheelbase rule to 90" so the Anglias and Austin A40's were included. But my Austin is 89" wheelbase, and that's why you never saw these early Austins in NHRA racing.
And that rule still stands today. I can't run my car on an NHRA track if a tech inspector is sharp enough to measure it. I've run it and just hoped they didn't catch the 89" wheelbase; and so far they haven't. But I mostly run an unsanctioned local track that's privately owned.
NHRA is just a big bunch ot crap anyway!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,627 ·
NHRA is just a big bunch ot crap anyway!!
Even worse where I live! Our 1/4 mile track got neutered to an 1/8 mile strip by the city here to reduce noise. Since NHRA was running 1/4 mile for all championship events, Portland was eliminated from the championship races, and that ended our big time racing here. Now they only do 1/8 mile Sportsman races, and they're OK, but sure not entertaining like the big name cars and drivers were!
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,628 ·
Dropped the rear axle out of the Austin this morning. Drove to a cruise last Thu. night, and on the way home I felt like maybe a wheel bearing, or U joint might be going out? Jacked it up and spun the tires in neutral, but nothing sounded wrong? Started it and put it in gear and still nothing sounded wrong. Didn't want to run the rpm's up on jackstands, but it seemed smooth.
Finally checked for play in the U joints, but nothing there either? I decided to double check driveline angles, just in case it was induced by an angle issue. I did note the trans is 5 degrees down, and rear pinion was only 2 degrees up. With my ladder bar suspension, and lack of inline adjusters, I had to drop the rear of the ladder bar rod ends out of the plates, and then make a guess at how many turns to do. I guessed 5 turns, and put it together. Seemed to be close enough I couldn't see a difference. But raising the pinion did shorten my driveline a fair amount by tilting the pinion up. So it's OK now, but going to pull the driveline soon and cut 1/2" out of the length, and shorten it. I can just barely get the U joint in place, and only have about 1/2" of slip yoke up front.
Always planned to shorten it, and get it balanced, but it's worked so well I never bothered. Probably just shorten it myself, and not bother with re-balancing it again if it still runs smooth. It's not much over 24" long, so not much there to balance! Drive it tomorrow to our Wed. night cruise/drags, and see if it sounds better. Think my granddaughter wants to go along, as she's off work tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,629 ·
I think I need to increase my granddaughter's exposure to hotrods a bunch! Last night as we're walking around the cruise I noticed she couldn't identify any of the cars we looked at, except some VW beetles!! But worse was after we got back to our chairs she told me she thought she wanted to build a copy of the Scooby Doo "mystery van"!!! I was speechless for awhile, and then told her I'd help her build almost ANYTHING, but not that van! Geeez.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,631 ·
Yeah, I'm just glad she doesn't own a Prius! She's driving my wife's old '97 Mazda, which we gave to her mother, and she gave to her. Still only has 150k on it as my wife rarely put many miles on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,632 ·
Looks like I need to dig into the Austin's cooling system. It's been in the 90's here lately, but the Austin has never ran more than around 195-200 all the time. Coming home from the Wed. night drags it got up to around 230 stuck in traffic, so need to see why? Maybe a stuck thermostat, or maybe needs to be flushed. Radiator was new 10 years ago, and of course the engine was new 8 yrs. ago. No signs of previous overheating, so hoping it's something simple.
The Griffin radiator is extremely small with a 16"x17" core, but an extra thick 2.5" core for better cooling. Unfortunately it doesn't have a petcock to drain it, so I've always had to wrestle the lower radiator hose off to drain it. Makes flushing it a bit tougher, as I need to put a hose in the outlet with a rag around it to try and seal it.
Too hot to do it anytime soon as we're in another 100 degree heat wave here, so I'll wait until it drops back into the 80's to check things out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,633 ·
Think I figured out the cooling issue, before I got too deep into tearing it apart!
I remembered that last tank of gas I bought was an issue, as the station had no premium that I stopped at. My engine compression is high enough that it has always needed premium, plus a little octane booster to not ping. But the station only had regular, and I couldn't find VP Racing quality octane booster. I think the low octane gas may have caused the overheating issues.
Today I paid through the nose for ethanol free "clear gas" 93 octane, and put 5 gallons in to top off the tank. Then went to 3 auto parts stores until I found a quart of VP Racing's hotter octane booster, and added another 4 oz. to the tank. It picked right up, and ran great, plus stayed around 190 degrees. So maybe bad fuel was all that caused it?

I also took care of a driveline issue on the Austin that's kept it sidelined the last week. I dropped the rear axle previously to adjust the rod ends on y ladder bars, and reset pinion angle. That adjustment pushed the pinion up about 2.5 degrees, which moved the yoke deeper into the trans. It was close before at about 1/2", but afterwards it only had 1/4" movement on the yoke! So pulled the driveline today, and cut 3/4" off the back, and then pressed the U joint yoke back into the tube, and welded it back on.
I could barely get the driveline out, and now it's got plenty of room to push forward and pull it right out. It also seems to be a bit better balanced now, seems a little smoother now too, so bonus! Now I need to do some work on the '39 oil gauge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,634 ·
Cleaned up the Austin yesterday, and took it to a charity car show today. Pretty hot day coming home, but she's back to normal now with premium gas and VP Racing octane booster concentrate. I think the old gal was happy I treated her to good gas again!
Austin wont "best muscle car" at the show. Had to chuckle with so many Camaros, Mustangs, Challengers, etc. entered. Muscle car??
 

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Cleaned up the Austin yesterday, and took it to a charity car show today. Pretty hot day coming home, but she's back to normal now with premium gas and VP Racing octane booster concentrate. I think the old gal was happy I treated her to good gas again!
Austin wont "best muscle car" at the show. Had to chuckle with so many Camaros, Mustangs, Challengers, etc. entered. Muscle car??
Hey a trophy is a trophy no matter what they get wrong in category. You deserve it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #1,636 ·
Thanks Mario!
I spent the day with an old friend who used to be one of my customers! By chance they parked me right beside his car, which I'd never seen before. We were both surprised to see each other after almost 15 years since we'd talked. He has a gorgeous '34 Ford rumble seat roadster, with a '53 flathead V8, C4 automatic, and 9" Ford rear axle. It appears 100% stock outside, but has the upgraded drivetrain, with Offy heads, intake, and 450 cfm Holley carb. Plus nice interior and custom gauges. Even has the old painted wire wheels, but in 16" diameter. I was shocked when he told me it was an all glass body! Sure looked steel, right down to the cowl vent most glass cars don't have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,637 ·
With our unusual weather I figured I'd take the Austin for a drive today. Pulled it out of the garage and checked tires, and found a couple that were low. Filled them, and then noticed the right rear fender radius looked closer than the driver's side? So jacked the car up and took a look, but couldn't see any issues? So put it up on jack stands to let the axle hang, but still looked fine.
I finally decided the coilover spring adjustment must have backed itself off maybe. I unlocked it with my spanner wrench and gave it about two turns on the adjusting nut, and locked the 2nd nut against it. Lowered it down, and it sat close enough to perfect to leave it alone.
First time in 11 years I've had to readjust height, and the locking nuts seemed snug, so not sure why it changed? After the checkups, and adjustments I finally got it out of the driveway for an hour ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,638 ·
A couple weeks ago on the way to the weekly drags I hit a big bump in the Austin that felt extremely harsh! After a couple days I got some time to check things out and discovered my front springs have settled over the last 12 years. So my front shocks had about 2" of travel and appears they bottomed out hitting that bump hard.
So last weekend I fabricated new front shock mounts that are identical to what I had, except being about 4" long so I could extend the top mounting point a couple inches above the frame to give me about 4.5" of travel, and still not top out on rebound. I got out this morning and moved the Austin from the house garage to the back shop where my welder is, and began removing the shocks. That's when I discovered the passenger side wasn't going to be as simple as cutting the old mount off to rework it. The fuel line was right above the existing mount, so I had to remove the fuel pressure regulator, and put it aside. Then cut the shock mount off and ground the frame smooth and welded the new mount on. Covered the engine with my welding blanket, and put shop rags over other things I wanted to protect. Did the same on the driver's side, but no fuel line. Instead the alternator is just above the mount, so it made it tough to get the angle grinder in the tight quarters to cut the old mount off. But I finally got it, and welded the new mount on the frame.
Once it all cooled off, I cleaned the bare metal, and shot black paint on all the bare parts. Then drilled new holes to mount the regulator, and mounted it up. Fortunately I had a short piece of flexible line between the frame and the engine, so I was able to just bend the line off the pressure regulator, and add a few more inches of flex line to replace the shorter line and it was done.
Hopefully 4.5" will be plenty of travel, and not bottom out. I didn't want to make the ride stiffer, or raise the stance with an extra spring as I like how it sits. So time will tell when I take the same route tomorrow to the drags, and see how it handles the same bump now.
 

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I used to use the long roll of aluminum foil to wrap and deflect welding sparks. I wish I knew you were doing those shock relocations because I would’ve brought my car over so you could do mine too. I need that on the coupe in fact I don’t have any shocks in the MG up front so you can put them on too. Lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,640 ·
I used to use the long roll of aluminum foil to wrap and deflect welding sparks. I wish I knew you were doing those shock relocations because I would’ve brought my car over so you could do mine too. I need that on the coupe in fact I don’t have any shocks in the MG up front so you can put them on too. Lol
The blanket works really well for large areas like covering the whole engine, but the foil is a great tip for smaller areas, and I will sure use that in the future!
Wish we weren't on opposite ends of the country Mario, as I think we'd be over at each other's house a lot!
 
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