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austin america

SSS

Freshman Member
Offline
Have about convinced myself I want it soooo..... Opinions on reasonableness of retrieving an Austin America with a pickup and tow dolly? (Nephews got car from estate sale.) Positive is they had it running and driving around farm last summer, and it came with an extra engine. Negative is their farm is in Nebraska and mine is in Washington. Does this sound like something doable or utter folly?
 

Banjo

Yoda
Country flag
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Risky, but not impossible. As long as it's solid, has good tires and wheel bearings. You would be much better off to find a full trailer to put it on. How about renting a U-haul trailer when you get to Nebraska.
 

aeronca65t

Great Pumpkin
Offline
Flatbed would be better, but I've done worse things....you have a pretty good chance of success.
As Banjo says, be sure the car has good tires (at least the two that are on the road). If you can get someone to check and grease the wheel bearings ahead of time, you would be on the road sooner. If not, it's really not a big job to pull the rear drums and grease them. You may want consider bringing a spare wheel bearing-set as "insurance".
No need to remove halfshafts...put the front wheels on the dolly.
 

Super 7

Jedi Warrior
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Good luck. I like those. A Mini guy would probably pay good money for the motor spare.
 

ThomP

Jedi Warrior
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FWIW. Make sure the rubber is good and don't worry too much about the wheel bearings. Unless the car has been in and out of the water they shouldn't be a problem. Bad rubber from sitting will be your first and worst failure point.
 
OP
S

SSS

Freshman Member
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Nephews are pretty fair with a wrench. I'll check with them on the rear bearings, and maybe see if I can bribe them into replacing. Thanks for the encouragement. Looking at the ones fixed up on a few sites, they aren't too bad. Told daughter was probably as close to a mini (her desire for a set of wheels) as she was going to get. She's relatively enthused about it now too. Have a wedding to attend back there in June so have some time to get ready for the adventure.
 

Xracer

Jedi Trainee
Offline
Nebraska isn't too bad an area for rust, but if you're going to use a front wheel dolly, I'd still jack it up and check out the rear subframe for rust-through or weakness in any areas.

If the car is relatively rust free in the usual areas (floors, trunk, battery box, sills, A-pillar, etc.) you're probably OK on the rear subframe too.

I can almost guarantee that the front subframe is fine. Over time they collect a fine coating of oil and road dirt that protects them from rusting.(honestly...no kidding) /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

dklawson

Yoda
Offline
The AA shares a lot in common with the Mini (more than the engine alone) . As stated above, you shouldn't have any problem with a tow-dolly as long as the front wheels aren't the ones on the pavement. The rear of the car is light and the bearings won't have seen too much abuse. Like the Mini, there are inner and outer bearings separated by a precision ground spacer. There is no adjustment to be made on the rear bearings. If the cotter pin is in the stub axle, that's all you can do. However, the rear swing (radius) arms may need greasing before you tow it home. Pump some fresh grease into the nipple on the outboard end and watch until grease starts coming out of the inside.

Do a google search for "Todd Miller" along with "Austin America". He runs what is probably the best AA web site in the U.S. He's very helpful and will be able to answer all your questions.
 

huck6

Jedi Trainee
Offline
But, don't depend on Uhaul for your trailer needs. They are terrible fickle about honoring reservations. I have had a lot of luck with Budget.
 

jsneddon

Jedi Knight
Offline
re: Uhaul Reservations.

I totally agree!

Do not, EVER, use 1-800-GoUhaul or whatever that number is. It's the national 800 reservations center. The reality is that the local dealers are not obligated to honor their system. Just a bunch of order takers probably making a commission. They have no real idea of what trucks are where at any point in time. The truck that national thinks is there could have been sent to any other dealer and their tracking system hasn't caught up.

I learned the hard way years ago when I drove 50 miles to a small-time dealer that supposedly had a truck and trailer for me. They didn't. I had to drive 150 miles in another direction to get the only truck and trailer left that day in the central Illinois area. Friends who didn't heed my warnings had the same issues since.

If you want to reserve a truck you MUST find the numbers for all the closest dealers yourself and do all the legwork yourself. The local dealer is the ONLY person who knows exactly what inventory he has and is the only person who can make arrangements to get one there for you on the day you want it.

Did I mention that the national reservation system is useless????

Be warned!

Just as an aside.

Their pricing structure is geared toward demand... On two occasions I found it hundreds of dollars cheaper (including mileage and the fuel needed) to drive to Las Vegas and rent a truck for a cross country one-way trip and drive it BACK to the Los Angeles area than rent the same truck in Los Angeles.

They say that they have too many trucks leaving the LA basin and not enough coming back so that is why they charge more. Doesn't make much sense to me since every week I hear about another 20,000 home development starting in the area and nobody seems to be leaving!

All I can say for sure is CALL AROUND yourself to the actual dealers in a few places and see what kind of price you can get.

Oh... and one other thing (I promise)...

Usually the Uhaul flatbeds just have two rails for the wheels. A TR3 will fit just barely... A good inch of tire will hang over the inner edges but I moved it 500 miles without problems... just crank it down really tight on all corners. A better bet is another company (Ryder I think) that has flatbeds with a full deck.

OK.... my Uhaul Rant is now finished. I think I'd better go get a cup of coffee.... you caught me in my early-morning cranky mood.
 

Gordy Hill

Freshman Member
Offline
First, if you have a full size pickup just put the little rascal in the back. The wheels will fit between the 48 inch wheel wells and my Austin weighs 1050 pounds.
I wouldn't bother with a dolly. A trailer would make much more sense. Put the miles and wear on the trailer wheels.

.........send us a picture..
 
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