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The Workshop


Simplified engine/transmission removal can be attained WITHOUT using a lifting block and tackle using the minimum of tools and equipment:

1.           Disconnect battery.

2.           Remove engine sump guard.

3.           Drain engine oil and water.

4.           Remove R/H front wheel and support - place an axle stand under frame beneath front suspension unit.

5.           Fit a 1" block between upper arm and rubber. This allows easy removal of the swivel hub.

6.           Remove brake caliper and hang it up on an S-hook under mudguard.

7.           Remove 2 bolts to the steering arm and fold back out of the way (MKII). Disconnect tie rod on Mk l.

8.           Remove nut to lower ball joint and use two hammers, simultaneously striking side on to release taper.                A hydraulic jack placed under tension between upper and lower arms will help to release.

9.           Remove stabiliser bar and gusset plate to front of vehicle.

10.          Disconnect universal joint.

11.          Remove upper ball joint nut, strike with two hammers simultaneously.
              Assembly will fall under it's own weight.

12.          Withdraw hub/shaft assembly.

13.          Repeat steps 4 to 12 on the L/H side.

14.          Remove exhaust clamps and fittings throughout and remove complete exhaust system in situ.

15.          Remove gear lever inside car and stuff some clean rag into the hole to prevent dirt entering.

16.          Loosen the three nuts to the gear-change assembly.
              Remove the front nut but leave the rear two nuts on at least a couple of threads.

17.          Disconnect cables, hoses, etc. to carburettor, speedometer, heater, radiator, manifold and fuel pump.

18.          Remove clutch slave cylinder leaving hydraulic pipe attached, carburettor, exhaust manifold  completely, solenoid, and all electrical leads to starter motor, coil, distributor, alternator, and temperature unit, (identifying each with masking tape or similar).

19.          Remove distributor cap.

20.          Place two 3"x 2" timber battens underneath engine.

21.          Use two or three jacks in conjunction with the Austin jack, lower car to floor in easy stages.
              NEVER use two Austin jacks together, as the car will fall sideways.

22.          Release the two nuts to gear-change inside car and lower assembly to floor.

23.          Remove bolts to engine mounting channel and remove the two rear engine mounts.

24.          Remove L/H side exhaust engine mount.

25.          Remove R/H side alternator engine mount.

26.          Raise the car in easy stages, sufficiently to clear motor and then pull/slide complete motor/transmission assembly forward.

           Using this method, the assembly can be removed from the car in two to three hours. An added advantage is the motor can be easily test run before fitting to the car, with the oil and cooling systems filled.


The correct operation of the ventilation assembly near the carburettor on manifold is essential to prevent crankcase pressure build up and oil leaks.
Clean thoroughly and fit a new diaphragm (as used in the four-cylinder Landrover).
If you use a sealed cap or seal the old vent hole under side filler cap with a self-tapping screw, the engine will have a slight internal vacuum. The engine ventilates all right and there is absolutely no oil leaks.
This method has been tested on at least ten cars over a period of five years.


The 1800 Hydrolastic suspension can combine exceptional ride and handling with reliability if these points are adhered to:

1.          Check displacer housings regularly for signs of fluid leaks especially if one side is lower.
            Early detection of a leak will lessen the chance of displacer failure on the road.

2.          If front of car does not have correct ride height at recommended pressure, de-pressurise the suspension (a fitting can be made up from a tyre inflator connector), retaining the fluid. Remove the lower bolt from the alloy housing and the two small top bolts. IF the two middle studs are removed by fitting locknuts over the 'niloc' nuts, THEN nothing else need be removed, the housing will pivot away sufficiently to allow displacer removal.

If your problem is simply low ride height, THEN fit about three or four large washers (to approx .25" thickness) where the pivot ball pin fits into the displacer, refitting the ball end carefully with new grease. Fit these washers to front displacer pins only. When replacing a displacer, check that the original mulatoc disc (if used) at the base or hose end is retained.  Check the hoses for signs of leaks and the rubber diaphragms both ends for signs of perishing or leakage. A Company such as REPCO can refit a hose assembly to a displacer using new high-pressure fittings.

3.          It is better to consistently carry some weight in your boot for a couple of reasons:

*          by displacement, this will increase your front ride height.
*          lessens the likelihood of rear displacement failure when loads (e.g. passengers) are occasionally carried in the back, by flexing the diaphragm consistently.

Try 30 to 50 lbs weight (a good sized toolbox or a small bag of sand).

4.          If you're mechanically minded, a portable suspension pump can be made from the little pump inside an old refrigerator unit. Discard the electric motor section. Fit a handle and suitable fittings to the pump section. This will evacuate as well as pressurise. A pressure gauge is easy to obtain.

5.          The pivot arms or swing arms have either nylon bushes or tapered roller bearings, depending on the model. These would last a lifetime if the grease did not dry out. For the rear pivot, drill the hollow-arm housing, tap and fit a grease nipple. For the front pivot, this can be done in situ if you use a drill and tap to suit little Japanese grease nipples. Fill with grease (the rear will take quite a lot initially). Alternatively, Tasman or Kimberley rear pivot arms (reverted to taper bearings) can be substituted.

6.          The ball joints are adjustable and can be completely dismantled, cleaned and repaired.
            The dust boots are critical in preventing wear. Originals are Nila, but others such as Landrover tie-rod (Part No 214649) boot will fit. As the top ball joint carries the most weight, drill the arm centrally from the top into the nylon cup, fit a grease nipple and grease regularly.
Be sure to tighten and bend the lock plate back and check the housing for looseness afterwards.

7.          With the Mk l, check the hose on the rear displacer where it curves around toward the under-frame. For some reason the hose chafes occasionally. This can cause displacer failure. A compression joint will cure the problem.

Official Recipe for Hydrolastic Fluid:

The liquid is a solution of 49% alcohol, 49% distilled water, 1 % triethanolamine phosphate and 1% sodium mercaptobenzthiazole, which is of constant viscosity and has a freezing temperature of 31 degrees C. According to BMC, the particular reason this fluid is used instead of distilled water with an antifreeze is that this fluid IS an antifreeze solution of constant viscosity containing a rust inhibitor with an agent added to make the fluid distasteful. (This last was a legal requirement.)
A 50-50 mixture of methylated spirit and antifreeze (with a little radiator anti-corrosion added) can be used successfully with no adverse effects.

There were variations in the formula for Hydrolastic fluid between the UK and Australia. The firm of H.C. Sleigh (Golden Fleece) marketed a fluid to the following specification: Alcohol 50%, Water 24.45%, Bentmazol 0.05%, Ethylene Glycol 3%, (Bomar)? 0.50%, Union Carbide HB5100 22% (this is a viscosity improver).


Properly maintained, the 1800 is delightful.
Neglected, it steers poorly and gobbles tyres up, especially the front tyres.

Check the tie-bar bushes located at the front of the underbody for wear.
Check the lower inner bushes for wear and replace if worn or sagged.
Check that the top arm and swivel hub assemblies on Mk ll have not been mismatched.

*          Type 1: Top arm has a raised rib parallel with sides of arm. Use with swivel hub marked with raised letter 'M'.

*          Type 2: Top arm has a raised rib at right angles to the sides of the arm. Use with swivel hub marked with a letter 'P'.

These changes were made to alter caster and, IF they have been unknowingly mis-matched, can lead to the steering pulling to one side.

Ride height must be within limits. 14" to 15.5" from front hub spindle to under-edge of mudguard.

Adjust rack and pinion as per manual and check for wear of bush at L/H end. Replace with nylon bush. DO NOT over-tighten the ball socket on ends of the rack. Replace rubber boots if leaking and ensure assembly is properly lubricated.

Check toe-in regularly and set carefully to suit tyre type.

Any wear in the swing arm bearings/bushes, ball joints and wheel bearings must be corrected before attempting a wheel alignment.


CV joints are exceptionally durable provided the boots are not punctured.
Check the CV boots regularly (dirt and grit cause premature wear).  CV's will usually come off the shaft with the sharp tap of a lead mallet. If difficult to refit, remove the circlip that holds CV in place, carefully close it up and refit to shaft.

Driveshafts utilising steel universal joints were fitted to automatic models. These driveshafts will fit a manual model and the steel universal lasts much longer, is cheaper to replace, and can be removed with the shaft for service.

NEVER use any grease other than Molybdenum Disulphide type for the lubrication of CV joints.

If experiencing wheel bearing problems, or wobble and tyre wear, check the big nut on the front hub for looseness or signs of movement. This is always caused by movement of the driveshaft in the hub spline. Dismantle, clean, inspect and replace worn parts; when refitting always use the correct grade Loctite (from REPCO or Bearing Services) on the driveshaft and hub splines.
Use Loctite primer to clean away all traces of grease.

The large nut on the front hub needs to be very tight and requires the use of an extension bar to tighten. Workshop manual specifies 150 ft. lbs.

If wheel wobbles or disc has run out (not due to tyre imbalance), position hub 6 or 8 splines from the previous position. Mark the relative position of shaft and hub if OK before dismantling.

If 'cracking or clicking' sounds come from CV joints when driving forward/reverse ON FULL LOCK, this indicates wear and will require replacement. Before buying new ones, try replacing the joint with new balls (bearings). The size is 21/32" and available from specialist bearing outlets.

The CV rubber boot fitted to the early model Subaru 4wd will fit the Austin 1800.


One of the best braked cars on the road, the 1800 has very little trouble in this area.

Keep the adjusters free and adjust the Mk l  rear wheels regularly. Mk ll's are self adjusting.

Mk l and early Mk ll boosters are not as good as the PBR-VH40. It's cheaper and better to fit the PBR-VH40, late Mk ll type, to earlier vehicles if they have booster troubles.

If the PBR-VH40 gives trouble it will nearly always be confined to a split in the diaphragm actuating or the diaphragm sensing (small). Both are easily replaced.

Brake squeal is usually due to glazed discs and or pads. Roughen them with emery cloth.

Boosters are available on an exchange basis, rather than repair it yourself if you're not confident.

Most brake problems such as hard pedal, intermittent operation, vacuum leak, brake fluid reaching a hot manifold causing white smoke, can be traced to booster faults, particularly in early models.

The Mk ll 1800 booster seems the least affected and more reliable.

Sudden low pedal, or poor brakes in dual circuit systems is due to one circuit failure.

Rear brake linings, cylinder and complete assemblies are common to the Australian model HR Holden (only Mk ll and with PBR brakes only).

More Hints and Tips

The 'B' series engine is very reliable and a flexible hard working unit.

Watch these points:

*          Cars not often used or stored for some time can develop very serious bearing electrolysis especially on the connecting rod bearings. This can result in a fairly low mileage car throwing a conrod.

*          The result of neglect, poor oil or an oil filter not changed regularly, can cause a build up of acids, etc. in the oil. Acids attack the bearing metal, causing it to corrode away from the steel shell.

*          Overheating:
Have the radiator cleaned professionally if possible. Replace the thermostat, and remove plugs from the engine block and clean accumulated scale. Undo the drain plug and clean out the sediment buildup. Scale or sediment causes most overheating problems. Use good quality inhibitor and avoid mixing brands. The engine should never overheat if these points are adhered to.

*          Following a motor overhaul prime the whole system with oil first. As the oil is slow to be picked up, a set of new bearings can be ruined before full oil pressure develops. Cranking the engine over with the plugs removed for about a minute should suffice.

*          Oil on the clutch assembly can be traced to a failure of the rear seal in the engine or the clutch shaft seal. Sometimes the seal trench may be loose or worn.

*          When overhauling the motor, don't forget to remove the primary oil strainer located at the front of the engine (near the speedometer drive). This strainer incorporates a magnetic ring that must be thoroughly cleaned, along with the strainer.


The SU carburettor used on the 1800 is very reliable and provides good economy. For greatly improved performance without sacrificing cruising economy, fit 2 x 1.75"  SU's and extractors.
MGB's can be adapted.

If hard to tune, or using excessive fuel, replace the needle, seat and main jet (Part No TK 6001) with a matching needle. Using a different grade of oil in the damper will alter acceleration characteristics.

The main jet and needle are critical to good tuning and economy, and should be replaced if in doubt.

The vacuum advance diaphragm on the distributor is prone to leaks after a few years.
Test to see if it holds vacuum - if not, replace.

The two excess fuel drain holes under the inlet manifold next to the head are prone to fail and suck air. Remove and plug with a " SAE bolt.

The ventilator diaphragm can fracture and leak. Replace it with an identical part used on the Series 3 Landrover.

The booster on the brake system can leak and admit excess air. Test by blanking off the vacuum line.

Blanking off the small hole in the oil filler cap underside with a self tapping screw prevents dust entry, helps prevent engine oil leaks yet still allows engine ventilation. However, setting up an engine breather vacuum to overcome oil leaks would be risky in dusty conditions because, with heavy equipment, severe wear of seals and seal bosses occur with engine vacuum conditions.

Air cleaner to carby seal. Use an O-ring from a discarded oil filter.

Air cleaner bolt stripped?
Braze a nut inside a small piece of " tube and a large one over it to make a replacement.

SU Carburettor - Needles and Springs Fitted to Landcrabs:

MODEL                                                      NEEDLE                                SPRING COLOUR
                                                           Rich   Standard   Weak
Australian Production
Mk l                                                     SW          TW          CIW                              Yellow
Mk ll                                                                    SL                                               Yellow


U.K. Production
Mk l                                                        SW      TW       CIW                                Yellow
Mk ll 68/70                                              SA          ZH          CIW                            Yellow
Mk ll 69/72 (Canada)                                            BAJ                                             Yellow
Mk ll S                                                    CI        TZ           CIW                                 Red
Mk ll 71/72, 71/74 auto                         SA          ZH          CIW                                 Yellow
Mk ll (ECE)                                                       BBF                                                Yellow
Mk ll '72/'73                                                        ZH                                                 Yellow
2200                                                                   BBD                                                Red
220 (ECE)                                                           BBN                                                Red

The Mk l and Mk ll carburettors must only be changed with the correct manifold because the Mk l is 30 semi-downdraught while the Mk ll is 20.