View Full Version : Hiram the Taxi

Trevor Triumph
12-07-2004, 11:43 PM
Hiram the '66 Austin FX4D, finally came home last week. The car has been at a diesel repair facility since the Fourth of July. We made the mistake of admitting that we were not in a hurry to have the car back. Of course, in July there wasn't a concern, the October driving season was far enough away. Seems it was the governor on the injection pump. Now it runs well. Unfortunately it doesn't stop so well. Wheel cylinder repair kits have been ordred. Whle crawling inder the car I noticed that the stabilizer bar is broken and the lever shocks look well used. The only solution to the bar is to find a previouly used one. But the shocks... Is there a way to rebuild them or would adding hydraulic fluid help? One of the mail order houses has lever shocks for about $200 a copy. By the time I put a set of shocks on the car I've just about doubled what I paid for for the car. T.T.

12-08-2004, 02:31 AM
Sounds like you need to go by the local airport and make Hiram earn his keep. But he is still a cool car. Wifey mentioned she wants one the other day.

Do they really tilt the front wheels when turning? If so how difficult will that make the shock job you have ahead?

12-08-2004, 04:36 AM
Adding "shock oil" is well worth a shot.
One of my first Sprites had well-worn front lever shocks and I made a huge improvement by draining all the old oil out of the shocks and replacing it. Moss and Vickey Brit sell the proper shock oil, but I have heard of folks using hydraulic jack oil or AFT (never use regular motor oil). In the case of my car, the shocks continued to "weep" a bit, so I had to add oil every few months, which was OK with me. I was always tempted to add a small amount of the "seal sweller" additive used to stop automatic transmissions from leaking, but I never did before selling the car.
Your shocks can be rebuilt, but if you decide to do this, choose a vendor carefully. One of the biggest lever shock rebuilders is located near me (Long Island, NY). I'm purposely avoiding stating their name publicly, but they have a rather *mixed* level of quality. I would not buy from them.

Trevor Triumph
12-08-2004, 10:23 AM
The front wheels don't seem to tilt through the travel. Fortunately I'm only working on one end at a time. I should have the car back on the road in a week. I'm done with school for a month. We want to us the car in two weeks for a Christmas Lights rally here in Phoenix. We plan to decorate the car - wreathes, reindeer and such. T.T.

Trevor Triumph
12-08-2004, 10:25 AM
I think I'll try the shock oil first. Aren't two companies one called APT the other Apple? T.T.

12-08-2004, 10:58 AM
Interesting name for a car. How did you come up with Hiram. This caught my attention since my name is the same.:)

Mark Jones
12-08-2004, 12:19 PM
I use motorcycle fork oil in MGB. The fork oil does have a swelling agent in it.

12-08-2004, 04:53 PM
Hiram - Hire him?

12-08-2004, 05:26 PM
Trevor, I think using a British car for a rally involving lights may put you on rather shaky ground!
I'm thinking about installing an MGB engine/Tranny in my FX4. Does that sound feasible to you? It had no engine or trans in it when I got it, and the B setup looks dimensionally close to the BMC K Series diesel.

12-09-2004, 04:02 PM
for dampners go to world wide auto they on the web, garranteed for life.


Trevor Triumph
12-09-2004, 07:08 PM
Yes, Hire'im. There is a club, London Vintage Taxi Association that might better answer the questions about engine changes. www.osfn.org/britishcabs/ (https://www.osfn.org/britishcabs/) Mof the members are more interested in restoration. We had sort of an opprtunity to replace the BMC engine with an Isuzu small truck engine but decided against it. We have narrow vintage tires, drum brakes, plus all the other thinngs to consider in such a trade.
I think I'll try the motorcycle fork oil.
Fortunately the lights rally is to look at the lights, of course, rather than to provide light.

12-09-2004, 07:09 PM
has a short article by Peter C. of Worldwide, explaining what they do when they rebuild to 'better than new' spec. I've heard nothing but good things about them on the Midgetsprite yahoogroup.

12-11-2004, 08:08 AM
Thanks for the info, Trevor and Emma.
If I had the option, I wouldn't be considering a transplant.
Whichever route I take, I refuse to make any modifications to the basic car. If it won't fit using existing holes, I won't do it. Special mounts, driveshaft, etc, and other "bolt ons" are OK, but no cutting allowed!
I did find a gasoline version of the FX4 locally, so will be able to take measurements from it and see if the "B" setup will fit.
Of course, this project is down the road a bit, as I have other things to finish first.
Don't we all!