Tagged: Austin A40 Somerset
January 29, 2021 at 12:21 pm #3087
I have a 1953 Austin A40 Somerset that I haven’t used in a while. The speedo has never worked since I have had the car. Before I laid it up in 2019, I replaced the speedo cable (twice),the speedo drive (twice) and the speedo head but it still fails to operate. Does anyone know why, please? Also since being laid up, it has become quite difficult to select 1st and 2nd gears. 3rd, 4th and reverse are all fine. Again, if anyone can offer a solution, I would be most grateful. And finally, the car leaks a little oil from the gear selector lever. Is it possible to change the oil seal without removing the gearbox, please?
Kind regards and stay safe.
RobinJanuary 29, 2021 at 2:25 pm #3089MikeNParticipant
With the Speedo removed from the car I would test it with a cordless drill. Find a bit of metal rod and file a suitable square on it .
If that works connect the cable and put the cordless drill on the other end. If that works. Jack up one rear wheel. Crawl underneath. With gearbox in neutral revolve the propshaft with your hand and see if the speedo drive is turning. If not then there must be a problem with the skew gear drive which you will have to investigate.
BTW the Speedo on my pick up works but is hopelessly inaccurate so I always drive using my sat nav to indicate speed and miles driven.January 29, 2021 at 11:15 pm #3091number5Participant
Hi Robin–Mike has covered the checking of the speedo very well-nothing more to add on that. With the gear change, if when laying up the car the gear change was OK, it still should be OK. Is the selection problem one when standing, or when actually moving. Having first had had A70, and then A90 Atlantics, with the latter for 50 years, the gear selection adjustment can be a fair bugger. Sometimes, a mere adjustment of the outer cable thread section down under the box, either in or out 1/4mm can make a difference. In my coupe, travelling 300,00 miles, and 475,000 I have found that over time, the inner cable can stretch, and as such, on some occasions, the tightening has solved the problem. Other times has resulted in the cable needing to be removed, cleaning of it and the outer case, then re-installing and starting all over again.
With your cable, are you able to spray some good old WD40 down the tube to give it a bit of lubrication
Here, a colleague with A90’s believes he has found a common problem with the C lever in the box, in that there is a spring loaded “divot” that locates into a neutral position on the lever, which in some instances, does not locate at all. He has modified his current box, and has tested it with the rear wheels off the ground, but has yet to do the same on the road.
Just remember, if adjusting the thread, measure the existing distance from the inside of the bracket, or the outside, to a set point, so that you can revert back to the original setting should you want to. Also, make only minute changes at a time
Good Luck-Peter.February 1, 2021 at 11:56 am #3099
Many thanks for your reply.
I have tried the new/old stock speedo I have, as well as the original speedo with a piece of old Speedo cable and using a drill, both work perfectly. I have had the car on a wheel free hoist with the speedo removed and the cable does not turn at all. I have three new cables and two new drives but none of these work. This has led me to believe that the fault lies within the gearbox. I just wondered if anybody knew what the fault was.
If anyone knows what this fault is, I would be extremely grateful.
RobinFebruary 1, 2021 at 9:07 pm #3101
Many thanks for your message.
I suspect that the speedo issue is within the gearbox itself, having replaced everything else with new cables (x2) and drives (x2) and a new/old stock speedo head. Both heads work via a piece of old speedo cable and a drill, so I very much doubt it could be anything else.
The gearchange was always ‘fiddly” to select 1st gear but not as bad as it is now. It is fine once mobile. It’s just getting into either 1st or 2nd to pull away that is an issue. I don’t know if this will throw any light on the issue but I had reason to move the car today. When I pushed the gear lever forwards, I eased it back just a fraction and 1st gear selected easily.
The other issue I have is since starting the car up after it’s “rest” the gearbox now drips from the selector lever. Is it possible to change the oil seal without removing the gearbox, please? If so, I will order the parts from Ray. I suspect that I will need to change the gearbox at some point as it crunches when changing down from 4th to 3rd and vice versa. Changing down to 2nd is not usually an issue. On the move, 2nd can be selected easily from 1st or 3rd. Reverse is never a problem.
Any thoughts you (or anyone) has would be VERY much appreciated.
Warmest regards and stay safe.
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