Saturday, January 14, 2012

Replacement Engine Found

Following from a lead at MiniFest back in November I collected a replacement power unit today. Neither the current engine or gearbox belong to the Traveller. The old engine is a 998cc from an Australian Deluxe, fitted to a gearbox from a later 850. The new engine would have originally been fitted to an Australian assembled (CKD)  Morris 850. It has the same 8AM-U-H engine number prefix as the original, and I believe the casting numbers (and hence the casting) are correct. Advice from the Early Mini Forum suggests that it dates from around January 1962, so is only 12 months younger than the Traveller, which makes it very close in style to the original one, having the same small tail crank, spring clutch and cone synchromesh. None of these features are actually very good, hence they were all phased out and improved soon after.

I believe that these are the same casting numbers
 that the Traveller would have had originally.
22A363 indicates a late cone synchro gearbox, phased out in 1962
I pulled the head off in a brief spare moment today and it looks a bit sooty inside, but it doesn't seem to have a noticeable ridge in the cylinder wall and seems to be on the standard bore, which is quite remarkable considering its 50 years old and an 850.

One nice thing is that this engine has a lot of the original bracketry and hardware missing from the other one, but I have all of the major parts that this one is missing.

I'm extremely grateful to Don C., who sold me the engine for a very reasonable price, largely because he appreciates the Traveller and what I'm trying to do with it. The engine was stored at Don's friend Rod's place, where I was treated to a display of several very nice Minis in a range of styles and colours, but all in excellent condition, plus a yard full of "spares" in varying states of saveability. Rod is a very friendly bloke, who obviously loves his Minis, so it was a pleasure to spend some time chatting after he'd helped me load the engine. Rod was quite happy for a complete stranger to drive off with his mate's engine without paying for it. I'll fix Don up next week. Its great to have met two excellent Mini men who want to share their passion and help out others, without first thinking of the profit line. I hope to be able to pay the favour forward.

Having this engine means that I can start the next stage of the restoration. Because I have so little spare time I'm reluctant to fly into stripping down the Traveller, in case I get stuck and have to leave it pulled apart forever. This engine is a bite-sized chunk I can be going on with while leaving the car intact.