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Who owns an "AUSTIN AMERICA" out there?

toysrrus

Yoda
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Who owns an "AUSTIN AMERICA" out there?

Hi Folks,

I just may be buying a `71 Austin America shortly?

She`s an "Orig. Owner" car & has been sitting in a garage since 1978. She`s an "Automatic" with "Zero" rust on her!!!

I`m going to see her this coming Sat. 11-29-08 for a birds eye view.

What info. can you give me relative to condition etc.

Thanx Much in Advance,

Russ
 

aeronca65t

Great Pumpkin
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Re: Who owns an "AUSTIN AMERICA" out there?

The company model code-name is "ADO16"

They were sold in other markets as the Austin 1300 and the MG 1100, Austin 1100 and Morris 1100 were very similar. There's also Riley or Wolsley versions and even a deluxe Princess version.

They are a neat little car but have two main problems.

The 4-speed automatic transmission and the hydrolastic suspension.

With the automatic trans, if it is driveable, be sure to warm it up fully and then drive it. The forward drive clutch packs often fail, but you will not see this until the trans is warm. Usually, the reverse gear will still work fine but it will slip in forward (and make a funny "graunch" sound as well). These transmissions share the motor oil with the engine...not a great idea (so there is no automatic trans fluid in them). If they do not get frequent oil changes, they fail. The best solution (in my opinion) is to swap in a 4-speed manual trans. With the stick shift, these are a wonderful little cars. The 1275 engine is a great little engine. Finding a stick shift trans and flywheel in the US could be tough but not impossible. They are fairly common in Canada and the UK, so you could get one if you are willing to pay shipping. The classic Mini manual trans might work but would require a different final drive ratio (Americas have 12" wheels and most classic Minis have 10").

The hyrodelastic suspension usually needs to be recharged every so often or the car will "sag" like a lowrider. If you can find someone to do this, it not a complicated process......sort of like recharging air conditioning. I have heard that folks convert them to simple coil-over shocks and do away with the hydro suspension, but I have no info on this.

You can find some more info ~HERE~
 
OP
toysrrus

toysrrus

Yoda
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Re: Who owns an "AUSTIN AMERICA" out there?

Hi Folks,

"Thanx" for the info. I have most of it now but thought there may be some add`l. info.

Nial; The car will come with another spare engine & 4 speed trans!!

I wonder what sort of modification would be req`d. in the Int. If any??

There supposedly are only about 100 or less of these cars still around!! Or at least known to exist!!

Thanx Again & Happy Thanksgiving,

Russ
 

weewillie

Darth Vader
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Re: Who owns an "AUSTIN AMERICA" out there?

is it the 1275 or 1098 engine?
 

weewillie

Darth Vader
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Re: Who owns an "AUSTIN AMERICA" out there?

AAAHHH! didn't know that, mine at home was 1100,changed the cam and carb and made quite a difference
 

DART

Darth Vader
Country flag
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Re: Who owns an "AUSTIN AMERICA" out there?

I had a new MG1100 in -I think- 1964 with manual, trany would "fail about every 7,000 miles. Wouldn't stay in gear, which was supposed to be some sort of parts alignment problem. Bottom line was the dealer bought it back & gave me a used Hillman Minx. That MG suspension was a real hoot under strong braking as it tried to keep the body level.
 

racingenglishcars

Darth Vader
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Re: Who owns an "AUSTIN AMERICA" out there?

I had seven Austin Americas back in the late 80's. All but one was automatic. The 4-spd was complete rust, so I put the engine and trans into a 66 Mini Cooper (green with white top as seen here. (no I didn't change the diff ratio)

The driver was beautiful, white, completely rust free and automatic. It had a bad differential when I bought it, but they can be changed from the outside of the gearbox. They also have the "good", Cooper style hardy joints.

It had only the small problem that the torque converter held the idle speed down to around 500 rpm. Maybe there was something wrong with the converter, but I never fixed it.

Overall, it was a wonderful car. Drove like a (big) mini like it is, always started and ran well. Cornered like it was on rails. Reasonably powerful. The box shifter beautifully. Could drive it like a manual box too. Minis also came with the same box.

It got T-boned when we had an inch of water over top of 3 inches of slick ice on the roads. (I couldn't even walk home without going on the neighbors' front lawns.)
 
OP
toysrrus

toysrrus

Yoda
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Re: Who owns an "AUSTIN AMERICA" out there?

Howdy Folks,

Some very int. stuff here about the "Austin America"!

Donn; You had "7" of them!! How many of the "7" are left?

This car I may be buying is coming with a "Spare Engine couple to a 4 speed trans. She currently has the Orig. Eng coupled to an Automatic. If I were to "Swap" the Engine & Trans; What kind of problems would I be encountering going from an "Auto" to a "Stick"?

Will be there major modification on the interior? I don`t have a clue, Just thinking ahead to some possibilities. Your opinions are certainly more than welcome.

Thanx Again,

Russ
 

tony barnhill

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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Re: Who owns an "AUSTIN AMERICA" out there?

I have a 1963 MG1100 - they're not all that rare...I know where there are a couple of old austin America's sitting in the weeds behind a guy's house. That particular car was the highest selling of all the MG's....ADO16 was the bread & butter car during its production run....here's mine:

mg1100003.jpg
 

racingenglishcars

Darth Vader
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Re: Who owns an "AUSTIN AMERICA" out there?

I don't have any left.

Swapping to manual gear shouldn't be a problem. Maybe the hardy joints, hole for the shifter and shifter housing rubber mounts. Of course there's mounting the clutch pedal. The suto shifter mounts solidly to the floor and shifts with a cable to the gearbox, but the manual shift is mounted to the remote housing which is mounted to the gearbox. The shifter is therefore indirectly mounted to the engine.

It really can't be that hard.
 
T

TRDejaVu

Guest
Guest
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Re: Who owns an "AUSTIN AMERICA" out there?

I had an Austin 1100 in the olde country - worst car I ever owned.
 
OP
toysrrus

toysrrus

Yoda
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Re: Who owns an "AUSTIN AMERICA" out there?

Hi Folks,

Sounds like we have some mixed emotions on the car. "Love It or Leave It"?

I was hoping to see it this weekend but that did`nt happen.

Tony; Nice looking MG1100. From reading thru the "Austin" website; There are less than 100 of these "LBCs" know to exist. How true that is ??????????

I spoke to the owner today & will see the car next wk. Mon.

I`ll keep you folks posted.

Again; "Thanx" for the input.

Russ
 

Roger

Luke Skywalker
Bronze
Country flag
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Re: Who owns an "AUSTIN AMERICA" out there?

The 1100 was, at one time and briefly, the most popular car in the UK. That is, until their notorious build quality problems surfaced!
But when in "good nick", they offered great space, handling and economy for such a small car, and if cared for lovingly provided good service. They could also (like all 'A'-types) be tuned to provide good performance, though not with the 1098 engine which tended to object to such treatment.
Unfortunately, there were many, many lemons.
 

tony barnhill

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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Re: Who owns an "AUSTIN AMERICA" out there?

toysrus said:
Tony; Nice looking MG1100. From reading thru the "Austin" website; There are less than 100 of these "LBCs" know to exist. How true that is ??????????
I'm gonna try to be nice - TOTALLY UNTRUE!!

More AOD16's were built than any other MG/Austin from '63 until '74....& they're everywhere today! In addition to the one I own, I've owned 2 more & have crushed 2 additional ones....plus, I can put my hands on a couple that are just standing in place within 50 miles of my house....and, unless they're perfect like mine, they're CHEAP! & they don't go up in value!

Go here https://www.justbritish.com/mg1100/ and here https://www.bmc1100.co.uk for more information....& don't buy into the "its rare" pitch!

Mine is in perfect 'knick' & it's a blast to drive - the few times I can actually move enough cars to get it out of my garage!
 
OP
toysrrus

toysrrus

Yoda
Offline
Re: Who owns an "AUSTIN AMERICA" out there?

Hi Tony,

Thats some interesting news relative to how "Common/Rare" these little devils are.

I`ll see soon enough what this particular one is like comes Monday.

I`m not really goin crazy (By no means) anticipating something really good to come of this venture but Its fun anyway.

Wish it were a "Mini" I was going to look at!!!

Regards,

Russ
 

tony barnhill

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
Offline
Re: Who owns an "AUSTIN AMERICA" out there?

Russ....they're definitely not rare nor are they 'common'...I'd use the word 'unique'.

There were 2 at the Chattanooga car show last month, for example.
 

healeynut

Jedi Knight
Offline
Re: Who owns an "AUSTIN AMERICA" out there?

There's a Vanden Plas version at my mechanics. He said the auto box practically caused the car to leap in reverse and destroy half the cars in his shop!
 

weewillie

Darth Vader
Offline
Re: Who owns an "AUSTIN AMERICA" out there?

Although I am partial to BMC a Hillman Imp would be a blast.
 
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