Spares Concerns

One of the major benefits of owning and using Austin Sevens is the readily available supply of spare parts, many of which are now being manufactured by various suppliers. However, there appears to be concern amongst some enthusiasts that specification of a few of these spares do not quiet come up to expectation. Whilst this may not be a problem to experienced owners with good workshop facilities it may cause problems to the less experienced or less equipped owners.

In an attempt to both determine whether the problem exists or not and whether any improvements can be made, owners are asked to log their experiences using the submissions page. Please complete all the information including your email so that further contact can be made for clarification purposes only.

If you are aware of any spares which have particular merit then we would be grateful for that information as well so that a balanced picture of the manufactured spares can be obtained. Please use the same submission form making it clear it is praise rather than complaint.

Below is a list of concerns already submitted; if you have experienced similar problems please submit the information so that the scale of any problem can be judged. Any process can throw up ‘one off errors’, in which we have no interest.

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Submitted Concerns

Halfshaft Nuts:[ 2 submissions ]

The threads cut in the nut are just too small and will not fit the half shaft. It may be that they are plated after machining. I have tried them on a lot of shafts so its not the thread on the shaft. The problem is not with just one nut.

Brake Cam Shafts:

The slot machined in the shaft for the brake lever is not in the right place and makes the lever point forward too much, i.e. about 20-30 degrees not 10-15 degrees.

Brake Cam Shafts:[ 3 submissions ]

There is no rounded edge on the flats of the actuator so it cuts grooves in the shoe foot after little use.

2 previous comments that faces are not rounded causing grooving in the steel shims. An AMCo drawing for the Girling brakes clearly shows radii, unfortunately the Archive has no drawing for the pre 1936 but Pitman drawing might suggest radii. Austin 10 cams were certainly rounded. Stanley Edge’s original pocket sketchbook for around 1922 shows rounded cams. I have filed radii on my cams (use a chainsaw file as there are no edge cut faces) and there is no loss of braking as the eventual full diameter is still reached. Note that new steel shims for the 1926-36 shoes have been available in sets from Don Breakspear for several years-see Red Cross Directory.

Brake Cable Ends:

The end that is bolted over the ball has a slot in it to accommodate the neck of the lever ball. It is tapered to a point so it cuts into the ball neck. the originals were rounded. it is necessary to grind this before fitting.

Rear Wheel Bearing Retaining Nut:

Carrying on from the half shaft nut problem, I can add the fact that several new nuts as above were impossible to fit, even after a bit of fettling. The original nuts screwed on by hand no problem. Not sure of the reason, but maybe plating or just poor manufacture? (please note that the threads on the axle were fine although I carefully cleaned them with a thread file just in case).

Fabric Coupling (Propshaft):[ 2 submissions ]

P.C.D. of holes in the coupling incorrect. Two would fit over the studs but the third would have to be forced over the stud to fit (both gearbox spider and propshaft spider), thereby putting undue pressure on this stud with the result that the propshaft was out of balance. Required over an hour to fettle to make a good and easy fit.

Front Brake Rope Swivel:

Replacement swivel of poor casting quality, with brake rope fitting on one side of the swivel only (between flanges). Opposite side had to be filed out to ensure a correct/clean fit of the brake rope.

Front Shock Asborber Spring Plate:

Replacement spring plate is really not fit for purpose. Spring plate (spider washer) can be virtually flattened against the shock absorber arm/friction discs without providing sufficient force to provide efficient operation of the shock absorber/friction discs. The 6 arms of the replacement spring plate are not of the correct form which combined with the depth of the plate (effective force) being only 0.375″ against the 0.5″ of the original plate.

New 3 speed clutch toggle levers:

The replacement 3 speed clutch toggle levers are the same profile as the 4 speed whereas original 3 speed toggle levers were a different profile. This means that the new 3 speed toggle levers are no better than a worn original.

Clutch toggle levers

If you have the same concern please log it on the submissions form to add to the overall picture