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Austin Healey

Published: 7th Jun 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Austin Healey
Austin Healey
Austin Healey

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Approximately every 10,000 miles, apply a few drops of engine oil to the dynamo’s rear bearing.


Overhead valve (pushrod) in-line six-cylinder. 2639Cc, 102-117bhp; 2912cc, 124-148bhp. (Note: Earlier 100/4 models were fitted with in-line 2660cc four-cylinder engines; 90-110bhp).

Valve Clearances

It is advisable to check/re-adjust the clearances approximately every 12,000 miles or earlier if neat unleaded fuel is regularly used. Conventional screw and locknut adjusters are employed. The clearances for both inlet and exhaust valves should be 0.012in. (Note: for early examples it was recommended that the valves be adjusted ‘hot’; for later cars, ‘cold’; check the manufacturer’s data specific to your model). The ‘Rule of 13’ is applied, i.e. check/adjust valve No. 1 with valve No. 12 fully open, check/adjust valve No. 2 with valve No.11 fully open, and so on; in each case the sum of the valve numbers is 13 (nine on four-cylinder cars).


Firing order: 1-5-3-6-2-4 (No. 1 at front of engine) Spark plugs: Early examples, Champion N3 or equivalent; later cars, Champion UN12Y or equivalent (please consult manufacturer’s literature). Gap 0.025in. (0.64mm.).Check/clean plugs every 6000 miles; renew regardless every 12,000 miles. Every 6000 miles, assess the condition of the high tension leads, distributor cap and rotor arm. Sparingly re-lubricate the distributor’s shaft and mechanical advance mechanism (using a few drops of engine oil), also the contact breaker arm pivot (with a single drop of engine oil) and the distributor cam (apply a dab of high melting point grease). (Note: Early cars were fitted with a special lubricator on the side of the distributor; every 3000 miles, rotate the lubricator half a turn clockwise; replenish as required). Every 6000 miles, renew the contact points (check condition every 3000 miles and re-gap if necessary); gap to 0.015in (0.38mm); dwell angle 35 degrees±2 degrees). Every 6000 miles, check ignition timing; static setting for Mark I 3000 models is 5 degrees BTDC (notch on crankshaft pulley rim aligns with ‘centre’ pointer on timing cover). Static setting for Mark II and III 3000 cars is 10 degrees BTDC (dynamic setting, 15 degrees BTDC at 600 rpm).

Fuel System

Oil-wetted gauze type air filters: Every 6000 miles, rinse gauze in clean paraffin, dry thoroughly then lightly wet gauze with fresh engine oil. Paper element type air filters: Every 3000 miles or annually (whichever comes first), examine the air filter elementand renew if visibly dirty; renew regardless every 12,000 miles. Every 6000 miles/annually, check all fuel system pipework. Renew at once any ailing pipes/securing clips. Every 6000 miles, check/clean the fuel pump filter, and renew the pump gasket if necessary. At each service, check/top up the oil level in the carburetor dashpots; if necessary, top up the piston spindles with SAE20 oil. At every service, check/re-lubricate the accelerator linkages.At each service, check carburetor synchronisation and mixture settings; use proprietary carburetor balancing equipment. Re-set idle speed to 600 rpm. Every 20,000 miles (approximately), remove carb suction chambers and pistons, clean (DON’T use abrasive compounds) and re-assemble, toppingup the dashpots with oil on completion.


Engine oil: Ideally, change the oil and renew the filter at least every 3000 miles or annually (whichever comes first). To change the filter element, first release the filter housing, then take out the old filter element. Clean the housing in paraffin and dry before re-assembling with a new filter element. On assembly, ‘prime’ the new filter with fresh engine oil. Fit a new filter housing seal, and lightly coat this with a little fresh oil before fitting. Use a good quality lubricant, with a viscosity rating of SAE15W50 or 20W50. On completion, ensure that the engine is leak-free. Please dispose of the old oil in an environmentally friendly manner - local councils provide waste oil collection points. Sump capacity (including filter): Mark I and II 3000, approx. 11.5 pints (6.55 litres); Mark III 3000, approx. 12.75 pints (7.24 litres).
Transmission lubrication: At each service (at least every 3000 miles), with the vehicle horizontal, check the lubricant levels in the gearbox (engine oil originally specified) and the differential - SAE90EP gear oil for temperatures down to 10 degrees F (minus 12 degrees C); SAE80EP for colder temperatures. Check for leaks and rectify at once. The gearbox oil level is checked using dipstick provided (accessible through an aperture in the gearbox cover, after removing the rubber plug). Where overdrive is fitted, checking the gearbox oil level also takes care of the overdrive unit oil level. However, separate drain plugs are fitted in the gearbox and overdrive units. Approximately every 24,000 miles, after a long run (during which the lubricant will be warmed) drain the gearbox (and the overdrive unit, where fitted), also the rear axle, and re-fill with fresh oil. (Note: Where overdrive is fitted, the unit’s gauze filter should be removed, cleaned and re-installed). Oil capacity, manual gearbox: Mark I and II 3000, approx. 5 pints or 2.84 litres (with overdrive, 6.25 pints or 3.55 litres); Mark III 3000, approx 4 pints or 2.27 litres (with overdrive, 5.25 pints or 2.98 litres). Differential lubricant capacity: Approx. 3 pints (1.7 litres). At least every 3000 miles (and preferably every 1000 miles), re-grease the propeller shaft universal joints (one at each end of shaft), and the splines at the shaft’s front end. Check the joints for wear at same time.
Running gear lubrication: Before applying fresh lubricant, check all joints for excessive movement and renew if worn. At least every 3000 miles (and preferably every 1000 miles), re grease the following points (where greasepoints are fitted): Steering linkage joints (six nipples). King/swivel pins (two or four nipples). Outer lower suspension joints (one nipple each side).Handbrake cable (one nipple). Handbrake compensator (one nipple). Rear spring shackle pins (one nipple each side). At each service, check oil level in steering box and steering idler assembly. If necessary, top up with SAE90P oil. At every service, apply engine oil to all brake linkage joints/pivots, also the clutch pedal pivots. Approximately every 10,000 miles, check all hub bearings for wear, and sparingly re-grease the front hubs as required; take care not to over-fill. On versions with wire wheels, every time the wheels are removed, check the condition of the hub splines; if these have worn to sharp ‘points’ the hubs need to be replaced. If they are in good condition, apply a little copper-based anti-seize compound to the splines before re-fitting the wheels.


At every service: Check the master cylinder and reservoir for leaks (investigate at once if the fluid level is low), also assess the level and state of the fluid. Check brake servo operation (where fitted) and assess servo hose condition/security. Inspect all fixed and flexible brake fluid pipework; renew if damaged/corroded. Inspect the front brake pads, discs and calipers; renew the pads if the friction material is badly worn. Replace the discs in axle sets if their working surfaces are seriously worn/scored/corroded. Investigate reasons for uneven pad/disc wear. Remove the rear brake drums and check for lining wear and fluid leaks; renew worn linings and weeping cylinders (AT ONCE!) in axle sets. On re-assembly, re-adjust the lining to drum clearance (please consult manufacturer’s literature). Ensure that the handbrake mechanism moves freely, and make sure that the rear brakes are locked with the handbrake fully applied, also that the rear wheels are free to rotate with the brake lever in the ‘off’ position (please consult manufacturer’s literature). At least every 24,000 miles/two years whichever comes first), renew the brake fluid after flushing system.

Cooling System

Always use high quality anti-freeze mixture containing corrosion inhibitors; this should be retained within the system all year round to protect against corrosion. Every 3000 miles/annually (whichever comes first), closely examine the radiator, the fan, and all hoses plus their connections. At least every two years/20,000 miles (whichever comes first), drain the system, reverse flush the cooling and heater systems, and re-fill with fresh anti-freeze solution (observe the dilution recommendations of the anti-freeze manufacturer). Capacity, including heater system: Approx 18 pints (10.2 litres). At each service, examine the dynamo drive belt and renew if worn or damaged. Check that there is deflection of approx. 3/4in (19mm) under firm hand pressure applied midway along the longest belt run. Approximately every 10,000 miles, apply a few drops of engine oil to the dynamo’s rear bearing.

Running Gear Components

Running gear lubrication: Examine the front coil springs and the rear leaf springs, watching for sagging and for breakage/corrosion; renew in pairs. Check all shock absorbers for worn bushes and leakage. Scrutinise all suspension/steering component mounting bushes; renew in sets if worn. Check/re-tighten rear spring mounting bolts/nuts. Examine ball joint gaiters. Assess the steering system and ball joints for wear, and check for oil leaks from the steering box and idler. Every 10,000 miles (approx.) have the steering alignment checked/re-adjusted. Approximately every 30,000 miles, clean and examine the front wheel bearing assemblies; renew the bearings if the bearings are pitted, worn or noisy. On re-assembly, re-lubricate with fresh grease (specifically stated as being suitable for use in wheel bearings).


Every 3000 miles or annually (whichever comes first): Re-lubricate all hinges and catches (wipe off excess lubricant afterwards). Assess the cleanliness and security of all electrical connections; inspect all wiring for damage. Check the condition, security and tightness of the road wheels; closely examine the tyres. Inspect the underbody, rectifying any paintwork damage discovered. Ensure that all underbody nuts/bolts are fully tight and relavent clips still in place. Examine the exhaust system. Assess seat belt condition (where fitted). Check all fluid levels (investige any leaks). Check/re-adjust headlamp beam alignment. Every 20,000 miles (approximately), lightly re-grease the drive cables for the speedometer and tachometer (Don’t over do it here).

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