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.

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. 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

  2. clive williams


  3. Peter


    You’ll probably get more response if you place your query in the Austin Somerset forum – see the ‘Forums’ page for details.
    Briefly though, it you check the front corners of the sliding roof you should find triangular plates, under the headlining. Each has a single screw-headed bolt which when undone will enable you to lift the front edge of the roof panel and withdraw it forwards, leaving the guiding bar at the rear of it behind. Problems with closing are usually related to inadequate lubrication of the runners or the track they sit in, or with the ‘snail-cam’ locking mechanism at the rear, which can flip over on itself if a bit worn. You’d need to carefully remove the headlining cover on the removed panel to see all of this.

  4. clive williams


  5. 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.

  6. clive williams


  7. clive williams


  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Yogeswaran

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. John

    how do I fit a core plug in my Austin Somerset

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.


  20. 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

  21. 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!

  22. 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

  23. PCT1959

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

    Regards. Paul Thompson

  24. PCT1959

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

  25. 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

  26. BrianMcC09

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

  27. 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

  28. jock1953

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

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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

  33. 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.

  34. 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

  35. 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


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