The Home of Austin Cars and Light Commercial Vehicles from 1939-54

Technical Articles

A number of technical articles have been submitted to the club, which may be of use to members and others. As with any technical advice, you should verify to your own satisfaction that any modifications made, especially those where safety is a factor, will not put you at any risk. The club offers no recommendation nor guarantee in respect of these – they are posted for information only.

A40 Sports Windscreen Replacement Instructions from Workshop Manual Suggested by Steven Littler.

Austin Counties Spares oil filter adaptor kit instructions Supplied by Ray Dawes.

Austin Counties torque settings and static ignition timing details  Article supplied by Ray Dawes (Adobe pdf file)

Removing octagonal hub nuts from rear axle – from Mike Greasby (Adobe pdf file)

How to fit seat belts to your Austin Somerset – article supplied by Ray Dawes (Adobe pdf file 235kb)

How to fit an original Radiomobile 100 radio to an Austin 12 or 16hp – article supplied by Pete Simmonds (Adobe pdf file 500kb)

How to fit an A60 engine into your A40: Part 1 Part 2 – article supplied by Colin Peck (Word documents 30kb each)

How to make and fit a new headlining to your Somerset – article supplied by Dennis Robinson (Word Document 24kb)

Original A40 (GS4) Parts list – kindly supplied to the club by Andy Coe (pdf file – 13.5mb).

If you have a technical article you’d like to be considered for inclusion here, please send it to Pete Simmonds.


  1. PeteJS

    Hello Ken,

    Removal of the dash panel is relatively straightforward. Under the dash below the removable centre, you’ll find 2 set screws. Undo these and you will be able to pull the removable part of the dash forward far enough to reach behind it and unscrew the speedo cable.

    Once this is removed you’ll be able to move the dash further out, and you’ll see that each of the gauges is held in place by a bar, secured by a couple of knurled nuts, which are probably only hand-tight. Unscrew these, remove the bar, and the gauge can be pushed out forwards through the dash.

    Replacement is the reverse of the removal process – the only tricky bit might be getting the 2 set screws to start, as the captive nuts that they screw into are held in a little surrounding cage and tend to move around a little when you’re trying to poke the end of the set screws into them. Sometimes pushing a piece of wire into the hole helps centre them before putting the set screw into the hole.

  2. Kenhenryboy

    Hello all, I have an Austin 16 1948 in good original condition. I need to access the fuel gauge, and before I start pulling things about, I wondered if any member could give me any tips about dash/gauge removal. I don’t want to damage anything.

    Thanks, Ken,

  3. Terry Leach

    Hello would you know the kerb weight o any other weights of the Austin 3 way van and or wayfarer ambulance.

  4. PeteJS

    It’s unlikely that the ignition switch would just fail so suddenly in such a way. Are you able to temporarily bypass the switch (i.e. ‘hotwire’ the car)? If that works, then the switch will be the source of the fault – but it could just be a loose wire to the switch.

    I’d check all of the wires to the switch and also all of the wires going to both sides of the regulator box. If you have a local auto-electrician or even a competent mechanic who know a bit about older cars I’m sure they would quickly identify the fault for you.

  5. Brent Minshull

    Hello from Nova Scotia, i own a 1952 a40 somerset, im looking for some technical assistance. The old girl was workin* great however the other day she would not start. There is nothing happening when the key turned. No red light, starter button is inop as well. When i manually push the starter solenoid it cranks. As a retired technician i suspect the ign sw. is faulty. However before i try to source one are there any other tests i should care out, as the switch is not cheap! Thank you in advance. Brent from the colonies !

  6. John Withers

    Hi pete,Thanks for coming back to me regarding fitting of fan belt to crankshaft pulley. I think it is the original engine so any help would be appreciated.there is very little space between the crossmember an the pulley.Thanks once again

  7. PeteJS

    One question – is your engine the original 1200cc engine or has your car been fitted with the later ‘B’ series engine, as some were?

  8. John Withers

    Hi I am restoring an A 40 Somerset, bit of a basket case the engine seems to be ok .Ordered a fan belt from Longbridge spares having difficulty fitting it due to the crankshaft being close to the crossmember advice would be much appreciated. John Withers.

  9. John Withers

    Hi I am restoring an A 40 Somerset, bit of a basket case the engine seems to be ok .Orderd a fan belt from Longbridge spares having difficulty fitting it due to the crankshaft being close to the crossmember advice would be much appreciated. John Withers.

  10. Robert Smith

    Can anyone advise me on how to remove the internal window winder handle and door opening/closing handles on my Austin1936 12/4 Ascot please?

  11. PeteJS

    The club no longer supplies spares, but we do have recommended suppliers for such parts.
    Please see for further details.

  12. gill

    Hello i have austin A40 Somerset 1954 i need Piston ring and bear for piston

  13. Tony Turner

    I need to replace or get rebuilt my steering idler on my 1951 A40 sport GD2
    can anyone point me in the right direction.
    Many thanks,
    Tony Turner

  14. dave hayward

    i have a austin devon van i need to find chassis no van could anyone help please

  15. PeteJS

    Barry, which vehicle were you discussing? I know Mark Yeomans has fitted an electric pump to his Atlantic, as has Dave Whyley I think.

  16. Barry 42

    Hi, Following a conversation at the NEC last week. A member on our stand, sorry I forgot your name, told me about fitting the new electric pump in the boot. Not under the bonnet so as it is away from the heat of the manifold. He has carried out this on a couple of cars. Should the pump come after the “pigtail” on the tank and then into the boot, the filter, and pump and then carry on to the engine?

  17. PeteJS

    I’d suggest avoiding E10 petrol and using E5. Some say E10 does no harm, but others reckon it has caused damage – so perhaps best to err on the side of caution.

    If your car hasn’t been converted for use with unleaded petrol I’d suggest using a suitable additive to compensate for the loss of lead. There are numerous ones available – e,g, Castrol Classic Valvemaster; Penrite Valve Shield etc.

    For future reference, you’re likely to get more responses if you post your queries to the ‘Forums – General Counties Cars Discussion’ thread on this site.

  18. Colin Hepper

    I live in NZ and have just bought an Austin A40 Devon 1952 and am not sure what fuel to use and or if I need an additive

  19. miketipper

    New to Austin ownership and seeking advice. I have an A70 Hereford which I am re building. finding parts is rather problematic as is finding assistance – hence why I joined this club.
    I have a simple one for starters – what is the size of the front brake bleed nipples ? pipe is 3/16.
    secondly I am waiting for a new wiring loom but interested if anyone has done the postive earth to negative earth conversion ? any advice ?
    thanks in advance

  20. Werner

    Good day: who can help with gearbox and odometer for +/- 1952 Austin A40 ldv.

  21. Ganderson

    I have a small water leak at the water pump on my A40 Sports. It is a reconditioned one bought through the club in 2017, and has less than 400 miles use.
    Having stripped everything, and re-made the gasket seal with a new gasket, re-assembled it all, but there is still a small, but persistent leak….
    It appears to be coming from the small recess in the bottom of the pump – I’m not sure what this recess is, or what it is for?
    When stripped, there did appear to be a small amount of ‘play’ on the main shaft – is this the most likely cause, and if so, does that mean another strip-down, and another re-furbished pump, or is a bearing change fairly simple??
    Hopefully someone will be able to advise!!


  22. nearsidewing

    Does anyone know if it’s possible to convert the A40 Devon GS2 to disk brakes at the front? I suspect the MG Midget setup might be a go, or something similar. I’ve had the suspension on my Devon apart a few years ago, so I am fairly familiar, but maybe there’s someone who’s done it…Tony Wright Member 943 USA

  23. Ian Pitman

    Sounds like the problem lies in the master cylinder not returning the piston, or passing fluid past the piston seal stopping it from returning. Was the master cylinder new old stock with the original seals in? I’ve not had the MC on my A40 apart, but had a similar problem with a Morris 1100 which was solved with a new seal kit for the master cylinder.

  24. Dave Hemmings

    Hi I have problem with front brakes on my A40 Sports,everything is new including hoses pipes shoes cylinders and master cylinder.when I drive car and use brakes the front brake shoes do not return causing front brakes to bind and eventually stop car.If I slack fluid supply pipe on master cylinder the front brakes release immediately.The brake pedal gets harder each time the brakes are operated due to front shoes staying on .any ideas thanks Dave

  25. david1945

    check the coil and condenser-both can cause the same symptoms.

  26. Ray Millard

    Is the petrol pipe getting too hot with heat from the exhaust manifold? If it is the petrol can vapourise and starve the engine.

  27. Mike collins

    Hi looking for some advise I have a 1954 Somerset ,with a fuel starvation I think .Starts first time and ticks over well go for a run and is ok but when engine gets warm it cuts out .i have dropped fuel from tank which look clean replace out let fitting and new fuel line refurbished petrol pump refitted and made new copper pipe fitting from pump to carburettor stripped carburettor and cleaned but still have this problem of engine stalling does anyone have any ideas .

  28. browclose2

    member n0-5388
    1947 austin8
    engine completely stripped down 1 piston+60 damaged ,so replaced with no problem
    the other 3 pistons +60 are different ,the bottom grooves (oil rings) have dowels in ,when put into the bore the ring breaks due to catching the dowel . has anyone had this problem and hopefully a remedy without having to buy 3 more pistons


  29. Peter taylor

    Hi my name is Peter taylor I’ve just brought an Austin 10 Iam having trouble pulling out the sunroof I’m just wondering if someone can help me and also looking for a complete horn button and blinker set up for the stearing wheel thank you

  30. Dave Fry

    Hi folks, I am about to embark on fitting a 1500 Riley B series engine to my A40 Sports. I have a modified A40 flywheel, A70 diff and speedometer. But I know I need to modify the engine mounts to accommodate the slightly longer engine. Could someone who has done this job let me know the details of this mod or details of the plate’s needed to make the engine fit. Thanks.

  31. mhacche

    Hello everyone, I have a loose steering wheel (wobbly)! Has anyone had this problem? I’m loathed to strip until I hear back from someone who has stripped the inner workings. It’s definitely at the top of the column. I normally make notes and take pictures so if no one has I’ll write an article after carrying out the task myself. Thanks everyone Martin

  32. Hugh nutting

    Can any one tell me the rear end gear ratio for a 1948 A-40 axel. I am building a vintage Trials/Hill Climb car some thing like a Dellow and wonder how strong the A-40 rear end is.

  33. Lucas Matuschka

    Hi all. This is my first post. I hope it belongs here and not somewhere else. I have 1 1950 A40 Devon. Can someone tell me what the usual oil pressure should be? Mine seems to hover around 30lb, idling when warm, which seems a little low to me. Also, what’s a reasonable temperature for a Devon in city traffic? Mine sits at about 180F, or a bit higher (I have an aftermarket thermometer). I hope someone can help.

  34. Paul Johnson

    Hi, I’m doing some research into intake valve sizes used in the A90 cylinder head. Some NOS valves are listed as 1.6″ (1948-1950) and some are listed as 1.725″. Can someone confirm there was a change in the inlet valve size in 1951-1952 cylinder heads?
    My head is fitted with 1.6″ inlet valves.

  35. jock1953

    Hi Can you tell me if the solid copper cylinder head gasket is supplied hard?

  36. Kenny186

    Hi new hear , Has anyone swapped the diff in an a40 devon, would like to go hydraulic brakes and better diff ratio, thinking datsun or Mazda, overall width is main concern, pertch mounts and tailshaft can be modified, Trying to keep stock look

  37. BrianMcC09

    does anyone have an exploded picture of the inside of the trafficator switch on the steering column of a GS2 please

  38. Paul Thompson

    I am looking at adding a oil pressure switch so need to introduce a T Piece.
    does anyone know what the thread is at the connection between the flexible hose and the copper pipe secured to the bulkhead

  39. PCT1959

    Anyone going to the Pride of Longbridge on the 15th April if we don’t get snowed in again

  40. PCT1959

    Any one happen to know the O/D of the Somerset exhaust down pipe.

    Regards. Paul Thompson

  41. PCT1959

    Although I did not convert it myself my Somerset has a 1959 Riley 1500 engine.
    I have removed and rebuilt the engine and most of the parts appeared to fit correctly.
    There is a slight difference in the bell housing and it looks like extra holes had to be drilled in the rear sandwich plate.
    Also the exhaust downpipe needs to be modified.
    Hope this is of some use
    Paul Thompson Birmingham

  42. Pete Brown

    Hello all. I’m very new to the club (haven’t even got my welcome pack yet), but not to British cars. Have 4 MGAs, a couple of MGBs and a TR3 Recently acquired a 4 door Somerset that had bee sitting behind a dealer for a number of years. I did get it running but smokes worse then a teenager behind the barn! Now a friend gave me instructions to convert it to a MGB engine (original transmission). I was wondering if anyone has tried installing a TR3 engine? Seems easier, without the clearance problems in a LHD car? Also would MG (a, b or midget) suspension work on the front end? Thanks for any advice!

  43. Bluescaster

    Hi Rallyman, You may have solved your (friends) problem by now but for what it is worth: The original Zenith carburetors do come up for sale occasionally on Ebay. or other internet sites. If that is not an option you may wish to repair the original carb. dependent upon what is wrong/how bad it is. The float valve is, I assume, the needle you speak of? These too are available – details of the needle valve are usually on them – if you have good eye sight;-0 take it out and examine it for the number. Also, unless very badly damaged, the float – brass in these carbs. can be repaired. First thing to do is drop it in a pan of boiling water – this will do two things. Firstly it will push out any fuel inside, besides pushing out the air and in so doing point to where the leaks are with a stream of bubbles. Remove from the pan and mark the position of the holes/split and then solder carefully (don’t use too much solder for fear of making the float too heavy.) You may need to go thro’ this procedure several times to make sure you’ve found all the leaks – although in my experience I’ve never found more than one pin prick or a seam split. Good Luck! Blue

  44. rallyman1

    My friend has an austin16/4 in india. The original carburettor that came with the vehicle was Zenith. Unfortunately, the float and needle is in bad shape and as a result he is now using a Solex and modified the air cleaner also. The performance is not the same. Could you suggest a remedy so that the original carburettor can be used again.


  45. Tony Wright

    I do believe I’ve answered my own question with some help from the club. I found that the small square rod that goes into the locking mechanism from the handle was rusted into place and needed copious ammounts of penetrating oil to free it. (plus Gas in the UK I think) The handle should come out with a straighforward pull, but I had to prise it free with two screwdrivers used on opposite sides of the estutheon. Once on the bench, I punched out the small pin that holds the square rod in place and punched out the other pin that holds the lock mechanism. It came out with a simple pull of the key. Again, thanks to the club.

  46. nearsidewing

    I’m having trouble removing my 1950 Austin Devon boot handle. I bought the car in the UK 35 years ago and I’m just getting round to having the handle and hinges replated. I removed the four screws from the inside of the boot lid plate and tried twisitng it free but no luck. The handle works okay and it’s in the unlocked position. I’m going wrong somewhere. (I’m new to the website and I hope I’m doing this right) Tony Wright, no. 943, Lancaster, Calif.

  47. Paul Thompson

    Hi John
    I have just replaced all mine when I rebuilt the engine.
    My engine is a 1500 Riley B Series Engine, the core plugs in this fit in a recess and are a dished washer.
    The principal of the core plug is that the core plug is slightly smaller than the recess in which it fits and when in place using a die you hammer the plug in to place which flattens it and as the dished core plug flattens it gets larger and thus tightening up in the recessed hole. you should use a sealant that sets firm. you can get brass ones that require less force to fit and as brass expands greater than cast iron are a better option.
    Please feel free to contact me by email if you require more info.

    Regards Paul Thompson

  48. John

    how do I fit a core plug in my Austin Somerset

  49. Rod Macdiarmid

    Hi folks
    As a young man in the early 1970s I had an Austin A40 Sports convertible for a year or so. BUT it was just a two seater. It had an aluminium body, with an egg crate grille. It looked very much like the four seat Jensen model, but was a little shorter. There was no evidence that it was anything other than original, but I can find no reference to any such car having ever been manufactured – anyone else ever heard of such a thing?
    Rod Macdiarmid

  50. Alan Lawday

    Hi there have an Austin sommerset column change assume its three speed gearbox -could tell me how to locate Reverse gear on column change, Regards Alan from ashford kent.

  51. Matthew Austin

    Hey everyone!!

    I’m currently in the process of restoring a 1950 Austin A40 Countryman. As you may be aware this particular model has a wooden roof insert in it. My question is how were these roofs made as my original one has been to moved and over the years was lost by previous owners.
    Any help, drawings, diagrams, pictures or references would be very greatly appreciated.
    Thank you
    Matthew Austin

  52. Yogeswaran

    where is the chassis plate located for a 1948 Austin A40 Devon? thanks

  53. Yogeswaran

    I just bought a 1948 Austin A40 Devon. Can anyone tell me where is the chassis plate located? Is it the plate which is screwed on the glove box lid? or there is a chassis plate near the left side shock mount? I been told that for the early model austin A40 the chassis plate is on the glovebox lid and the later model the chassis plate mounted on front subframe/shock mount, so is it true? Please guide me. thanks

  54. richard.broad

    I have problems in selecting reverse gear in my 1951 A40 Sport.
    Its a column change and it takes multiple goes to select reverse rather than 4th gear.
    Does anyone know of a tip to select the gear or is there an adjustment to solve the problem. I am aware of the need to pull out the knob on the end of the gear stick
    Richard Broad

  55. Anthony Mealing Austin Ten Drivers Club

    I have just aquired a large box of Girling brake repair kits for the Counties Austins, A40’S 70’&90’s all new
    There are various kits, one for the springs, one for the expanders (no rubbers) and so on.
    If any of you Counties drivers are interested they are all up for sale at £15.00 a kit plus P+P. I have about 50 of each, all new, rust free and in the their Original Girling boxes. I will be on holiday from 6th October to the 19th October. 01494 533675.
    They will start to go onto eBay in November at £25.00 plus P+P each.

  56. clive williams


  57. clive williams


  58. PeteJS


    It’s just the bit of lining that covers the sunroof panel – and really only the front corners of that. If you feel just behind each front corner you should be able to locate the triangular plates I referred to in my previous comment.

  59. clive williams


  60. clive williams


  61. Ted Butcher

    Good morning, I own an Austin 12/4 New Ascot of Feb 1939, also of 1535cc. Although I am a member of the ATDC, I’m sure we have a like interest!! My problem is that, as I’m sure you are aware, this veh was manufactured with an ally head and cast block – result – disaster! Consequently over the years the old mechanics in their workshops have replaced the ally head with a cast one from a previous model. The problem there is the block water holes are oblong, and the cast head one is round.
    Would anyone in your organisation know if ‘a’ such replacement heads exist, and ‘b’ if they are prepared to sell!
    Thank you in anticipation.
    My address is:-
    3 Meadow Close
    Exmouth, Devon
    EX8 5LQ
    01395 263846

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