Austin A35 Project

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gazza82
Posts: 250
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Austin A35 Project

#1 Post by gazza82 » Mon Nov 23, 2015 5:22 pm

No pics or blogs really yet, but my "project" is to rebuild my Austin A35 2-door saloon before it is 60 (2019!). Acquired on around 1971 for the princely sum of £5, my little multiple-cream-coloured car was bought home gingerly by a mate when he found the brakes weren't to hot. Rivets digging into drums only have so much braking effect .. but once a few parts were changed (mostly by my Dad's work mates who ran a stock-car team), it became the car I learnt to drive in and my daily for a few years. I would get a few updates and "improvements" as time when by as any 17-19 year old does .. don't they?

Plans are not for a totally standard car, but for one that can cope a bit better with today's traffic and roads .. so rather than 34bhp, and 7" drum brakes, there is a 1330cc Midget engine with MK 3 Cooper head and HIF44, LCB, etc., Midget 1275 gearbox, 3.9:1 diff and Midget brakes to go on. The engine is almost complete. The wish-list is extensive and only limited by my wallet and skills. It's scary when you start to cost things up and maintain a list of how much you have spent .. word from the wise .. don't!

The car has been sat in my mother's garage since the mid 70s when I stopped using it .. I had a core plug blow and kept blocking new ones, then the alternator failed (positive earth one!) and tyres were shot .. plus it was a bit small. Being the only driver in the family I needed something a bit bigger to ferry them around ... so dived in a bought a '64 Triumph 2.5PI Mk I Estate ... which was mistake #1! But that's a different story! Needless to say, I haven't got the Triumph any more.

So my little A35 has languished in the garage being used as a dump and not accessible as there has been more and more junk piled around it making it almost impossible to get to. I did manage to get the drivers door open a few months ago and partially get in and it appears the floor is solid and also the inner sills. One outer is holed with rust so that's go to change at least. There are two patches of rust bubbles on the rear wings behind the leading edges of the bumpers. I haven't been able to get to the nearside of front. It will need a new bonnet which has been bent in! (one sibling on my other to-do list!). Luckily the roof isn't damaged!

Most of the latest paint coat has been scratched off .. which is what happens when you trust your Dad .. and he says "let's get some paint and I'll sort it for you" .. with a foam roller! Now to give him his due it did look OK .. but he really should have prepped it properly .. he worked nights at the time so a lot of this was done while I was working sensible hours and I didn't have the heart to stop him ..

Anyway it will need stripping completely, a shed load of parts replaced (a lot of which I've collected in the past two years!) and an open credit-card!!

More later .. but a little plug for the Austin A30 & A35 Owner's Club, of which I am a member, and already gaining valuable knowledge and access to parts .. http://www.austina30a35ownersclub.co.uk/Join.aspx ...

This one isn't going to end up as an Academy Racer yet ..


Apart from that I have a 1998 Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 TSpark that keeps me busy. It's done just over 205,000 miles (No not a misprint!) and is currently undergoing a head gasket repair .. not sure if this yet classifies as a classic (16 years old?) but with that mileage might be making legendary status soon!

Thanks all and really enjoying some of the posts on here ..

Might see arceye in his Austin A30 Seven one day at the National Rally!
"If you're driving on the edge ... you're leaving too much room!"

Retirement Project: '59 Austin A35 2-door with 1330cc Midget engine and many upgrades
Said goodbye: got '98 Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 TSpark to 210K miles before tin worm struck

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JPB
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Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:24 pm

Re: Austin A35 Project

#2 Post by JPB » Mon Nov 23, 2015 7:13 pm

Good luck, we'll enjoy this. :thumbs:

Just one thing baffling me; why go to the trouble and expense of hunting down a +ive earth alternator when - on cars that will start from the handle at least - much of the advantage of swapping from a generator comes in making the polarity change?
I've room to talk mind, says the bloke who fitted Riley 1.5 front drums to his Minor back in the eighties when they were dearer than the disc conversion everyone else was going for. OK, so disc brake setups aren't self servoing like drums are but equally, they don't ship water..

Who said owning an old car had to be logical? :oops: ;)
J
"Home is where you park it", so the saying goes. That may yet come true.. :oops:

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gazza82
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Re: Austin A35 Project

#3 Post by gazza82 » Mon Nov 23, 2015 7:46 pm

I fitted the positive earth alternator back in 1972. Seemed the simple thing to do at the time given I already has a +ve earth radio, etc.

Didn't take any tracking down .. Advert in Car & Car Conversions or HotCar mag ... Possibly still have the advert in a mag stored away safe.

Now I'd convert as it suits more add-ons.
"If you're driving on the edge ... you're leaving too much room!"

Retirement Project: '59 Austin A35 2-door with 1330cc Midget engine and many upgrades
Said goodbye: got '98 Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 TSpark to 210K miles before tin worm struck

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JPB
Posts: 10170
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:24 pm

Re: Austin A35 Project

#4 Post by JPB » Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:30 pm

HotCar mag
Ah yes, I remember that. I had a few dozen copies while as recently as last month but recently had a declutterer in and decisions were made involving old car mags and the blue bin. :cry:
Hands up who else sent away for stuff from the ads, such as grounding strips (instead of earthing the battery to a sheet of foil glued to the underside of the roof with another sheet on the bulkhead to make sure that Caroline came in without too much hash..), pussy dice in the most lurid available shade of heliotrope, puce or Rentokil orange, wiper aero aids and Savage nave plates, to make our perfectly serviceable steel wheels wobble badly and look ridiculous. Shame they wouldn't fit on the AE92 wheels or I'd be after a set now, with one missing for that accurate in period effect.. For an older car.
:oops:
J
"Home is where you park it", so the saying goes. That may yet come true.. :oops:

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arceye
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Location: Caithness

Re: Austin A35 Project

#5 Post by arceye » Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:14 pm

OOOOhhhh :D I'm looking forward to this :)

Don't be showing me up mind with high class workmanship

I just joined the A30 / 35 forum the other day, and once we get that dreaded expensive chrismas thingy out of the way I'll be joining the club proper too, so you never know, if the missus lets me off the leash long enough we may get to meet at a national. :idea: Now if I could only get the Grinch to steal christmas I'd be able to afford some metal and parts to get on with mine.

Piccies soon please Gazza :thumbs:

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gazza82
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Re: Austin A35 Project

#6 Post by gazza82 » Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:22 pm

Arceye: as I've never welded anything in my life before, I think you have the upper-hand! I'm trying to do what O can while I haven't got the car to get the project started .. not helped by the rest of the family fleet throwing the odd wobbly!

OK ... to whet your appetites ...

The finished head .. which is Red, not pink .. see the pic of the block for the actual colour. This is a 12G1805 Cooper Mk 3 head with new double springs, A+ valve seals, and paint job. 1.5:1 roller rockers, but I also have a set of original forged Cooper ones ... I've blocked off the bypass and they are stainless steel nut/studs/bolts for the thermostat cover and heater valve.
head_build41a.JPG
head_build41a.JPG (25.76 KiB) Viewed 4157 times
The funny bit in plug 3 is my tried and trusted spark-plug thread cleaner. The bottom off a Champion with slot cut up the sides.

For the bottom end, a +60 thou overbored 1275 (now 1330cc) with Minispares Mega pistons. It's got a Kent MD266 cam and Mayle/ACL bearing shells. The engine was used in a rally MG Midget in the '80s and was in perfect condition. The crank has standard sized journals and just has the centre strap. New everything where needed with upgraded head studs and nuts. I picked up a vernier cam gear set so that is next on the list to be timed in.
CNV00017a.JPG
CNV00017a.JPG (70.8 KiB) Viewed 4157 times
It's getting a spin-on oil filter (from a Mini) and some "bling" .. stainless braided hoses, etc.

It will run with a single HIF44 and use a converted Mini LCB manifold ..
"If you're driving on the edge ... you're leaving too much room!"

Retirement Project: '59 Austin A35 2-door with 1330cc Midget engine and many upgrades
Said goodbye: got '98 Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 TSpark to 210K miles before tin worm struck

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JPB
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Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:24 pm

Re: Austin A35 Project

#7 Post by JPB » Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:17 pm

:drool:
This will be a perfect example of a classic that truly is practical! I can't help breaking into a grin at the thought of a well modified A35, especially when the important mods will be beneath that shiny red surface.

The engine spec looks very impressive, I can't wait to see how this all comes together. :thumbs:
J
"Home is where you park it", so the saying goes. That may yet come true.. :oops:

rich.
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Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:18 pm

Re: Austin A35 Project

#8 Post by rich. » Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:45 pm

shiny! i like it :thumbs:

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gazza82
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Re: Austin A35 Project

#9 Post by gazza82 » Tue Nov 24, 2015 8:15 pm

Thanks guys .. I promise this won't be a quick project but it will be thorough ... :-)
"If you're driving on the edge ... you're leaving too much room!"

Retirement Project: '59 Austin A35 2-door with 1330cc Midget engine and many upgrades
Said goodbye: got '98 Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 TSpark to 210K miles before tin worm struck

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arceye
Posts: 1890
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:56 pm
Location: Caithness

Re: Austin A35 Project

#10 Post by arceye » Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:09 pm

Well, I probably won't be asking to race you 8-) The last 1275 I rebuilt went in a Moggie, along with an LCB exhaust and alloy inlet manifold, that was fun enough to drive so I suspect the A35 with your engine is going to be even better.

:thumbs:

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