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Thread: Austin Healey 3000 Cylinder Heads

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    Freshman Member BN6's Avatar
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    Austin Healey 3000 Cylinder Heads

    Does anyone know the meaning of the numbers cast in to the Healey 3000 cylinder heads, this is a picture of mine which looks strange as I thought they began with AC 1234
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    Once a BT7 owner, now a BN6 100/6 owner.

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    Darth Vader steveg's Avatar
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    Re: Austin Healey 3000 Cylinder Heads

    Is that an aluminum head?
    Steve Gerow
    Altadena, CA, USA
    Maker of most complete Big Healey rear disc kit
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    Re: Austin Healey 3000 Cylinder Heads

    The only two casting numbers I have seen on Healeys are AEC 721 and AEC 960
    I also wonder if it is aluminum?
    Dave

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    Yoda Randy Forbes's Avatar
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    Re: Austin Healey 3000 Cylinder Heads

    Quote Originally Posted by red57 View Post
    The only two casting numbers I have seen on Healeys are AEC 721 and AEC 960
    I also wonder if it is aluminum?
    Dave
    I take it you're not where the head is, as that's easy to determine; just pick it up!
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    Re: Austin Healey 3000 Cylinder Heads

    Since BN6 is in the UK, it might be aluminium. Mine has AEC 721 cast into it.
    John, BN4

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    Re: Austin Healey 3000 Cylinder Heads

    Quote Originally Posted by John Turney View Post
    Since BN6 is in the UK, it might be aluminium. Mine has AEC 721 cast into it.
    John - do you have a DW aluminum head?

    The stock 100-6 head is the AEC 721.
    Steve Gerow
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    Re: Austin Healey 3000 Cylinder Heads

    Quote Originally Posted by steveg View Post
    John - do you have a DW aluminum head?

    The stock 100-6 head is the AEC 721.
    Yes, mine is from DW. I think the AEC 721 head was used until the thermostatic starting carbs were introduced. Thatís the difference between them.

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    Freshman Member BN6's Avatar
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    Re: Austin Healey 3000 Cylinder Heads

    Thank you for the replies, no its not aluminium its 100% cast iron, I have just had hot tanked and a light dry blast before painting. The head is definitely from a Healey but I cannot reference those numbers.

    IMG_8477.jpg

    IMG_8478.jpg

    IMG_8479.jpg
    Once a BT7 owner, now a BN6 100/6 owner.

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    Re: Austin Healey 3000 Cylinder Heads

    Interesting, the thermostat area looks like the earlier AEC 721 so pre-dates the thermochoke set-up. Based on Healey history that would make it around '58 or '59 vintage?? Please let us know when you learn the backstory.
    Dave

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Austin Healey 3000 Cylinder Heads

    You say that the head is from a Healey, but lots of 2.600 - 3000 Austins, Wolsleys and Morrises shared the same basic engines and indeed through the ages the saloon engines have been used in the Healeys, modified of course.

    Could the head be from one of them? or would the casting references be the same as the Healeys?



    Bob

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    Re: Austin Healey 3000 Cylinder Heads

    Bob, all of the C-Series (4 main) saloons 2.6 or 3L used the 2 port integral manifold head as standard.

    Danny

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    Re: Austin Healey 3000 Cylinder Heads

    Danny, they did until the new head came out, now I don't know if there was a different pattern to the chambers in the head or what have you, but a number of restorers on this side of the pond use these engines to replace broken Healey ones.



    Bob

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    Re: Austin Healey 3000 Cylinder Heads

    Bob, yes blocks are the same externally just different compression pistons. The saloons did not use the new 6-port head however in production. As you say many Wolseleys and Westminsters pillaged for their engines.

    I was born & bred in London S.E.5. BTW.

    Danny

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    Re: Austin Healey 3000 Cylinder Heads

    Quote Originally Posted by Dandare View Post
    Bob, yes blocks are the same externally just different compression pistons. The saloons did not use the new 6-port head however in production. As you say many Wolseleys and Westminsters pillaged for their engines.

    I was born & bred in London S.E.5. BTW.

    Danny
    While I cannot quote the passage, nor from which Healey Marque history book, I too am of the understanding that the detachable intake manifold was only used on the Healey sportscars.
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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Austin Healey 3000 Cylinder Heads

    Well, I must bow to the collectives superior knowledge.

    Following some research I must say that I can only find 1 photo that shows the removable intake manifold on an A110, and that surprises me, as I know that I have read at least two articles where the Healey head had been adopted for the saloon cars, see extract of one source below.

    The new A110 retained the same basic unit-construction chassis/monocoque as the original A99, but there was a 2-inch longer wheelbase (arranged by moving the back axle rearwards on its springs) which allowed modified wheelarches to be designed and more space to be provided in the back seats. Also at the rear was a newly-installed transverse shock absorber, between the axle casing and the bodyshell, to contain incipient axle sway due to all the rubber in the rear suspension linkage. After the first few months, power-assisted steering became optional.

    The engine was significantly more powerful, with 120bhp, this being achieved by 'raiding' the experience gained with Austin-Healey 3000s and involving cylinder head changes, a different camshaft profile and a twin-bore exhaust system. For this


    Ah well you live and learn



    Bob

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    Re: Austin Healey 3000 Cylinder Heads

    Hello Bob, The cylinder head changes for the 6/110 & A-110 were in the form of an increased capacity integral inlet manifold...what is sometimes referred to as a big log head.

    The cam profile was changed twice on the 110s and the twin-bore exhausts were put back to a single system.The conspiracy theorists would have it that BMC wre worried that the performance of this saloon car was getting too close to the Healey which was not good for sports car sales. In truth nobody really knows why BMC did the things they did!

    I have read in a couple of magazines that there were a couple of farina saloons built up to Healey spec by the competitions dept. for use as rally support barges for works Healey crews.

    Danny
    Last edited by Dandare; 08-10-2018 at 08:26 AM. Reason: Thought of something else

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    Re: Austin Healey 3000 Cylinder Heads

    Here is an image from the Wolseley 6/110 MkII sales brochure. This along with the equivalent Austin was the last example of the 4 main C-series saloon. You can see the integral manifold head and the reversion to single exhaust system.
    Another clue re the cylinder heads for these vehicles is the spec for carburetters, they have never used other than twin SU H4.

    Danny
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Austin Healey 3000 Cylinder Heads

    Hi Chaps

    Thanks for the clarification



    Bob

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    Freshman Member BN6's Avatar
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    Re: Austin Healey 3000 Cylinder Heads

    Quote Originally Posted by red57 View Post
    Interesting, the thermostat area looks like the earlier AEC 721 so pre-dates the thermochoke set-up. Based on Healey history that would make it around '58 or '59 vintage?? Please let us know when you learn the backstory.
    Dave
    Well after bit of research and examining a detailed picture of my cylinder head I believe its an AEC 721.

    On my cylinder head the AEC 721 has been machined off but the shadows of where it was in the metal can still be made out in a photo, the new casting numbers that are there are still a mystery but strangely I found a similar head for sale on eBay showing the original AEC 721 and the new casting numbers, maybe someone in the past was doing conversions/modifications and putting their own numbers on the heads !

    Here is a full picture of my cylinder head, the AEC 721 is faintly visible between cylinders 1-2 and the new numbers clearly visible between cylinders 4-6, the reason I spotted it was only because of the picture, looking carefully I can make out AEC 72? and the shadow of the Austin diamond logo. The numbers on my head AEC 721 and the new numbers read 033 0M 7

    IMG_8474.jpg

    Then I found this cylinder head on eBay and sure enough you can see clearly the AEC 721 between cylinders 1-2 and also the extra new cast numbers between cylinders 4-6. The numbers on this head read AEC 721 and the new numbers read 312 B 06

    s-l1600-3.jpg

    Does anyone have any idea of why these heads would have two sets of numbers or why the extra numbers where added, note the extra numbers seem to be cut into the head rather than cast as per the original AEC 721 or AEC 960.

    Edit: The thumbnail pictures don't show up very clearly what I described above but are very clear on my computer pictures, unfortunately I have now repainted the head so the shadows that could be seen in the metal showing the AC 721 have been covered up.
    Once a BT7 owner, now a BN6 100/6 owner.

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    Jedi Warrior pan's Avatar
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    Re: Austin Healey 3000 Cylinder Heads

    I have always thought it curious that the “12 port” cylinder head was used only on the Austin-Healey when so many BMC “Sports Saloons” were powered by the C Series engine.
    At the Goodwood Revival last year, an A95 was going particularly well against stiff opposition. I wasn’t too surprised to see that it was 3000 powered!
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