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HINTS and TIPS

 

 
Automatic Owners:
Does your transmission 'CLONK' noisily when engaging Drive or Reverse?
If the answer is "yes", first check the engine idle speed followed by a check of the down-shift throttle cable adjustment. If this 'clonk' persists, it may be necessary to dismantle and clean the valve bodies together with checking the strainer, alloy suction pipe, O-ring and pump at the same time. However a likely cause which the workshop manual omits is the possibility the large nut on the output shaft is loose. Access to this is gained by removing the extension housing (speedometer drive). It is not uncommon for this nut to work itself loose.

Bearings:
Have you discovered a shiny bare metal area caused by the tyre rubbing against the body when removing a rear wheel?
The rear pivot bearing on the suspension of the Mk ll is a Slipflex, a rubber bearing and not as good as those used on the Mk l, that is a tapered needle roller type.
On Mk ll's that have seen considerable use, the Slipflex bearing wears causing the tyre to rub against the body due to the pressure exerted by the Hydrolastic unit which tries to push the rear radius arm sideways.

When this happens it will be more than likely that the Slipflex bearing will need replacement,  however ... here is a tip worth trying first.
Jack up the car and remove the rear wheel; you can now get to the 15/16" pivot bolt.
Try tightening this bolt, nine times out of ten, a couple of turns can be had - and this does seem to reduce the side play in the pivot bearing. I have done this several times in the past and it extended the time in which to effect a repair or to seek a good second-hand one.

Many Mk ll sedans with Slipflex rear suspension bearings often get a bad lean in on the rear wheels. Providing the bearing is OK, the correct .5 degree camber can be restored to the wheel by inserting appropriate shims between the body and the suspension cradle. These can be inserted without de-pressurising the suspension, merely slacken the four mounting studs, remove the outer two in turn to insert the shims. 1/16" aluminium sheet is very good material for making the shims. This negligible cost of repair can save a very costly replacement of the Slipflex bearing. Even with new bearings a set can very soon occur which puts you back where you started.

Brake Cylinders:
If you didn't know already, Mk ll PBR rear brake cylinders are no longer available.
A similar one, suitable for the 1800, is from a Chrysler Valiant, however the thread is different and longer, which would warrant altering the brake line to the hub.
The other and better alternative is to have your old cylinder fitted with stainless steel sleeves. These sleeves will still take the standard size hydraulic seals.

Clutch Pressure Plate:
Mk l clutch pressure plates have a weak thrust area, which self destructs and should be replaced with Mk ll or exchange units. Clutch master cylinder push-rods can be usefully lengthened to keep the pedal out of the carpet (" optimum).

Conversion of 1800 from Automatic to Manual:
Those of you who have had an automatic in which problems occurred or anyone now experiencing problems, where perhaps there is loss of a particular gear or even a complete loss of drive, have you wished for a manual drive car?
Loss of drive is most commonly attributed to a broken drive plate. This is relatively easy to replace as the motor can be removed without too much trouble. The gearbox must be supported firmly and, following removal of the engine mounts, radiator, exhaust manifold and ancillary items, the crankcase bolts and nuts can be removed together with the four bolts attaching the drive plate to the torque converter, accessible through the starter motor housing. When ready to remove the engine, first lift it about an inch (1") at the radiator end then move engine to the right an inch or two in order to clear the torque converter boss from the crankshaft spigot.

If loss of drive is not a broken drive plate, then suspect a broken drive shaft or HyVo chain, either of which involves some expensive repairs. Now is the time to consider what to do and whether it is worth converting your car to a manual.
Provided the engine is in good condition the answer is "Yes". How do you go about it? Ideally the best way of going about it is to obtain a complete old manual power unit where the engine is worn out (preferably one you know mechanically) - for example, if the gearbox was good, was the clutch OK, are the gear change cables working OK, are they frayed or leaking oil?

The next thing to do is clean up the old power unit (invariably covered in thick grease), then pull the whole thing apart. Before substituting the (automatic) engine, the steel bush located in the end of the crankshaft must be removed and replaced with a bronze clutch shaft bush, which is larger. Removal of this bush can prove difficult but a good tip is to fill the hole where the bush is fitted with grease. Insert a loose fitting metal dowel into the bush, then hit it with a hammer, the bush will pop out due to a hydraulic-like action.

When re-assembling, here are a few things to look out for:

1.          Ensure the four lay-gear thrust springs and gear selector rod lock-plate are correctly located before bolting the adapter plate to the engine/gearbox.

2.          Check the flywheel ring gear. If badly worn it can be reversed.

3.          It is wise to renew the clutch release bearing and perhaps the clutch drive plate if more than one third worn.

4.          Replace the clutch shaft oil seal.

5.          The speedometer unit from a manual car should be used as it differs from one fitted to the automatic. Sources say the difference in speedometer readings after converting from automatic to manual is caused by the different differential ratios: 3.88 (auto) to 4.19 (manual).

6.           Finally, don't forget to make sure the dipstick is the manual (longer) one.

If you are unable to obtain an old power unit, a list is compiled below of all the components needed to make the conversion:

*          Gearbox complete with gear change cables and control box (gearlever housing) and cable-change housing.

*          Change auto (blank) cover plate for the manual cover plate (hole for gearlever).

*          Substitute (auto) brake and accelerator pedals for the (manual) clutch, brake and accelerator pedals.

*          Clutch master and slave cylinders c/w hydraulic line.

*          Adapter plate bolts to end of engine/gearbox.

*          Flywheel, clutch pressure and drive plates.

*          Flywheel housing c/w clutch fork and release bearing.

*          Idler and primary gears, clutch shaft and primary gear cover.

*          Bronze bush for the crankshaft.

*          Manual (longer) dipstick.

*          Manual engine tie-rod (longer than the automatic).

By leaving the auto gear change mechanism on the dash in place, it is still possible to immobilise your car by selecting any position other than 'P' or 'N'. This isolates power to the ignition switch.

Cooling System:
Most of us flush out the cooling system at least once a year (disconnecting the radiator hoses, flushing and back flushing the radiator) but how many of us flush out the engine block and, more to the point, know a plug exists for this very purpose? It is situated directly beneath the oil pressure switch adjacent to the distributor. Often this plug is neglected and in most instances, upon removal of the plug, sludge will be found behind it. This can be cleared using a length of soft wire poked up and around the angled passageway inside. This usually works and it is surprising how long it takes for clear water to flow from this outlet. In extreme cases when the passageways cannot be cleared it will be necessary to connect everything else up leaving the block plug out and running the engine until the pressure builds up, forcing the buildup of sludge out. Take care to do this in a safe area and stand clear of the outlet. Flushing the block can make a critical difference on a hot day and will prevent any overheating problems.

Crankshaft Bush:
A variation on removing the steel bush in the end of the crankshaft on the automatic engine is to tap the bush with a .5" SAE thread. With the aid of a suitable stud, a large socket, washer and nut, the bush can be extracted.

Constant Velocity (CV) Joints:
When you next service the CV joints on your Landcrab, check for excess wear in the inner and outer ball race tracks in the hub. If you look carefully you will see that wear will be in the form of a small indentation on one side of the ball-race track. This of course, results from the constant pressure applied by the drive in forward motion. It is suggested that following inspection and renewal of the six steel balls, you fit the previously left side to the right side of the car and vice versa. This ensures the constant pressure of the drive will occur on the opposite unworn side of the ball-race track.

Exhaust Clamps:
No doubt you have, at one time or another, had oodles of fun fitting the exhaust clamp to the manifold and exhaust pipe. As you know, one needs three hands and triple jointed fingers to accomplish this task. A solution is at hand. Fit the two bolts into one half of the clamp and tack weld the hexagon to the clamp. This allows easier fitting of the other half of the clamp, with the added bonus that the nuts can be tightened without the bolts turning.

Exhaust Leaks:
Should you experience a noisy exhaust leak around the exhaust clamp, first try tightening it up. If this doesn't rectify the leak, remove the exhaust clamp and place each of the two halves of the inner clamp in a vice and nip them up a bit. Make sure the whole of the clamp is covered. The effect of this is that the V is narrowed a bit (this tends to spread over the years) and, on reassembly, the gas leak should be eliminated.

Flooding Carburettor:
If dismantling, checking the needle and set, float and float level fail to rectify the fault, the trouble may be the fuel pump over pressurising.
This problem can be solved by fitting extra gaskets (in addition to the existing gasket and block) between the fuel pump and crankcase.

While on this topic, if you experience intermittent and erratic running (with the engine even dying) while driving around the speed limit for some time, you would not be blamed for thinking there was a fuel problem or a blockage, or the fuel pump was at fault. These symptoms do suggest a fuel problem. However, before pulling down the fuel pump or carburettor, try replacing the ignition coil as this could well be the problem, especially after running for an hour or more when a faulty coil will get overheated and breaks down.

Flywheel Ring on Automatics:
When the flywheel ring gear becomes worn after lengthy service, it will be found increasingly difficult to start the engine due to the starter motor teeth not being able to engage in the worn ring gear. When the engine is switched off and comes to rest, the crankshaft and flywheel nearly always stop at the same position. Normally this is the time for some expensive repairs, not to mention the inconvenience. Not on the automatic Landcrab, the solution is very simple. The flywheel ring gear on the automatic is bolted to the torque converter and not to the engine. By removing the four bolts from the converter plate, turn the engine through 90 degrees and replace the bolts. The starter motor is now able to engage on better and less worn teeth.

Front Seats:
The front seats of the Mk l differ from the Mk ll.  Apart from being slightly wider the seat base rests on a criss-cross of Pirelli webbing, whereas the Mk ll rests on a metal seat pan. After many years, the Pirelli webbing perishes and becomes hard and brittle. Replacement can be obtained from Clark Rubber, about 10 ft or 3 metres (which is tight) - 6 pieces cut to 21 inches (53 cm) and 6 pieces cut to 17 inches (43 cm) for the two seats. The job of replacement is quite easy and takes about an hour per seat.

Fuel:
A useful tip worth remembering, is that if leaded fuel is unavailable and you are forced to use unleaded petrol, add 4% of diesel to the fuel. This should minimise any damage to the engine, but don't expect any sparkling performance.

Fuel System:
When did you last clean out your fuel system? Like most of us, you've probably never given it a thought. Here's how you can do the job very cheaply and effectively.
The idea is to fill your tank with a 20% proportion of high octane unleaded fuel once in a while.
The advantage is the high octane unleaded fuel has a very high level of detergent additives included to clean fuel nozzles in the fuel injection systems of the cars, which use this type of fuel. The 20% proportion is not sufficient to do any damage to valve seats (being unleaded fuel), but does wonders in removing sludge and fuel gum even after a short run. Remarkable results can be obtained using Shell Ultra High fuel, but other brands would probably have the same effect.

Gear change cables:
(For Aussie 1800's or if you know someone in Australia)
Tasman/Kimberley cables will fit the Austin 1800. These cables are heavy duty compared to the original 1800 cables and thicker. The cable ends also have a larger diameter and will NOT FIT into existing 1800 cable change housings. Tasman/Kimberley cables have extra long ferrules at each end, unlikely to ever leak. These cables are 1" shorter in length than the 1800 but it makes no difference and they fit ideally.
Note: The cable assembly must be replaced entirely.

Gear change removal:
Should you have occasion to remove the gear change cables, control box and cable change housing from the transmission, it can be done without disturbing the exhaust system. Simply remove the gear change lever along with the six nuts, which secure the top half of the control box. Next remove the four 7/16" bolts securing the control box to the heat shield, and the ower half of the control box and cables will slide down at an angle between the heat shield, exhaust pipe and handbrake cable.
 

 

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