1935 Lichfield no drive?

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colinj123
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Location: Hockley, Essex

1935 Lichfield no drive?

Post by colinj123 » Mon Apr 18, 2022 7:52 pm

Hi, I have just purchased a 1935 Lichfield. It comes from the estate of a deceased owner and is currently parked at his old, now his daughters, home.
The car hadn’t been used for around 12 months and it looks like the previous owner was in the middle of doing some work as all 4 chrome wheel caps were off along with one front hub cap. All four wheels are fitted.
The car started okay with a freshly charged battery, brakes feel good and appear to work, clutch and gear selection feels good, however, when I lift the clutch nothing happens. On closer inspection when I lift the clutch the centre wheel nut on the offside rear is turning. It is not even finger tight.
The old owners daughter is very cooperative and is not pressuring me to shift the car however I want to get it home as soon as possible. Fortunately I am only 5 minutes drive/ tow away.
I do not really have any idea what the problem is so would appreciate your advice as to what the problem could be. I had thought to initially take each wheel off in turn to check and secure the centre nuts, which I believe should have split pins but don’t presently.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Regards
Colin

Rod
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Re: 1935 Lichfield no drive?

Post by Rod » Mon Apr 18, 2022 9:30 pm

Colin, when you say the rear axle nut is turning, I am presuming the axle shaft that it is screwed onto also turns? These cars have a separate flange carrying the wheel which is taper fitted to the axle (half) shaft and secured on the taper by the nut. I suspect the axle flange has come loose on its taper, possibly because the locating key been left out on assembly (or has sheared). In any case you will need to remove the flange and check what has happened and rectify as necessary. For removal a puller is normally advised but I think, given my suspicion, you will be able to remove it without one. You will need to examine the key slot in the axle shaft to make sure that the keyway (the slot) is in good condition, no bell mouthing or cracks on the 'drive' side of the slot. You will need to check the condition of the external taper on the axle and the internal taper in the flange for damage as this is designed to be a friction fit and relative rotation will damage it. The drive is through the taper fit, the key is only there for location so lapping them together is permissible but you need to be careful you don't overdo this and thoroughly clean before assembly. Any replacement key(s) also needs to be carefully fitted. Hub nuts need to be tight, 150 ft/lb is the figure usually quoted, and you may need to swap the hub nuts site to side or carefully face them to align the split pin holes so the pin can be inserted once they are fully tight (don't back them off...)..
Important that you check the opposite side as well, if you're inheriting some one else's unfinished project you may also inherit some more unanticipated issues.
If you're a newcomer to the pre-war Austin world may I suggest an ATDC membership, and also see if you can find yourself a copy of the Pitmans "Austin 10 Workshop Manual" ( or T B D Service's "Austin cars"). There were no official workshop manuals until the post war A40 (apart from the Austin Service Journal which was more in the nature of Dealer Technical Service Bulletins)

colinj123
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2022 6:49 pm
Location: Hockley, Essex

Re: 1935 Lichfield no drive?

Post by colinj123 » Mon Apr 18, 2022 10:42 pm

Thanks for the information Rod. I am going back to check it on Saturday so this will certainly help. The car had been on the road last year so I am hoping it was just routine maintenance that was in progress when things came to a halt. I couldn’t check the rear near side when I lifted the clutch but the nut appeared tighter. With the car not running and in gear, it didn’t engage and could be pushed easily.
The rest of the car appears okay but I will check everything when I can get it home. I have recently joined the ATDC and will be going to the national rally, albeit in my modern car.
I have a small Pitmans “Book of the Austin Ten” but it doesn’t go into much detail for the rear axle. I’ve just enquired online for a Austin 10 Service Manual which looks more comprehensive so I’ll hopefully get that.
Thanks again, I’ll provide an update at the weekend.

Rod
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Location: New Zealand

Re: 1935 Lichfield no drive?

Post by Rod » Tue Apr 19, 2022 7:33 am

Make sure you are looking at the correct A10 manual, it might be for the later GS1 (1939-1947). They are significantly different from your model.
I'm pretty certain ( I stand to be corrected on this) that there's no Austin generated workshop manual for pre -war cars.
Also, seeing as how you are an ATDC member, why not go on the 'members only' forum with your query? Members can post images on there (not possible on the public forum) which might be a big help to you .

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peter_winney
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Re: 1935 Lichfield no drive?

Post by peter_winney » Tue Apr 19, 2022 8:53 am

Colin
From what you say it sounds like the offside half shaft is broken, probably sheared at the keyway as described by Rod. Do NOT tow the car as the road wheel will fall off! Best use a trailer or small transporter truck to move it.

Pitman's only covers what the "average" pre-war & 1950s owner-driver would have been able to do themselves in the way of servicing. Similarly the Club Technical Fact sheets do not yet cover back axle dismantling other than replacing oil seal, bearings etc of the hubs. But there is detailed info in the ATDC Magazine Technical Reprints Vol 1 - pages 45 to 48 (available from club shop - can be ordered online). As usual dismantling is relatively easy it is correct reassembly that is more difficult and may need mechanical skills i.e. re-meshing the crown-wheel and pinion

Peter W
Member since July 1972
I ache, therefore I am

colinj123
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2022 6:49 pm
Location: Hockley, Essex

Re: 1935 Lichfield no drive?

Post by colinj123 » Wed Apr 20, 2022 10:15 am

Thanks Peter and Rod, I appreciate your advice and fingers crossed it’s not too serious. If I can just get it home I’ll feel a lot happier and be able to work on it at my own pace.
I have looked at the ATDC info and also another old blog someone created whilst restoring a Lichfield so have some idea what I am looking for when I take the hub off on Saturday. It may become clear when I see it but what does the key actually do? Should the whole lot be greased on assembly?
Apologies if these are stupid questions. I am keen but am on a steep learning curve. I will also check the front wheels before moving it as these also have the chrome cover plates removed so may also be work in progress.
I am also struggling to see where the ATDC members only forum is.
Many thanks
Colin

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peter_winney
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Re: 1935 Lichfield no drive?

Post by peter_winney » Wed Apr 20, 2022 3:43 pm

The Woodruff key merely locates the hub. It should not take the drive which should be taken through the taper. If the hub becomes loose on the shaft such that the drive and overrun is taken thru' the key then the keyway slot in the half-shaft will be subject to repeated on-off loading that will result in metal fatigue cracks and breakage of the end of the half-shaft.

Picture showing cracks on keyway is not mine but by another member
rear-axle-keyway.jpg
rear-axle-keyway.jpg (116.48 KiB) Viewed 1395 times

The rear wheel bearings are lubricated by the 140 oil in the back axle and greasing is not necessary.
Member since July 1972
I ache, therefore I am

colinj123
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2022 6:49 pm
Location: Hockley, Essex

Re: 1935 Lichfield no drive?

Post by colinj123 » Wed Apr 20, 2022 11:04 pm

Thanks Peter.

Rod
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Location: New Zealand

Re: 1935 Lichfield no drive?

Post by Rod » Wed Apr 20, 2022 11:10 pm

Colin, you are most welcome. As you can see from my profile, I am a considerable distance from you (and not a member) so I cant post photos.
If you're used to more modern vehicle, pre-war Automobile Technology can be confusing (and baffling/idiosyncratic/eccentric - but the Designers had good reasons - at least in their own mind- for doing things that way.). There's plenty of material about to help you navigate(like Jim Butterworth's posts I think you're alluding to?) and there's lots of info available from the ATDC.

Peter W can give you the instructions on how to access the members own forum, the question of how to access has been asked several times to my recollection.

Also Peter W, that pic looks more like a repair gone wrong to me. It looks more like someone has run a weld down the side of the damaged keyway and the weld blob has broken out in the transition area between the weld material and the parent axle. Either way, not a good look.

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peter_winney
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Re: 1935 Lichfield no drive?

Post by peter_winney » Thu Apr 21, 2022 8:36 am

Rod
You might well be right about the attempt at a repair with weld. It is not my photo, I "borrowed" it from another member without acknowledgement
Peter
Member since July 1972
I ache, therefore I am

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