$4,000 is a lot of money, there is no question about that. So when confronted with a price tag calling for that much money, it’s best to be an intelligent buyer. This engine has been listed for auction by a seller who has been listing a lot of Bantam and Austin parts over the past few months. This engine is probably one of the greatest finds in the collection because of the potential it may offer.
I don’t have an awful lot to say about this engine, as people have their different views on rebuilt engines and engines that are rebuilt but lay dormant. While some may recommend tearing it down to go through the engine, others may be willing to run it as is. If you’re willing to accept this as being equal to a modern rebuild where all of the parts have been wet magnafluxed, rebabitted, and assembled with the highest quality materials; this could be a bargain.
In theory, I believe it should be torn down and inspected before being run; but then again I am usually a “get the ether and a jumper pack” kind of guy because I just want to hear the engine come to life (which is a terrible idea). I’ll let you be the judge, but I’ll give you a few things to consider:
- In the 1980’s, parts may have not been magnafluxed or at least not wet magnafluxed (which is a far superior method of crack detection).
- Original Bantam rod bolts are notoriously weak, we do not see a bill of materials indicating what was used.
- New main bearings were cited in the ad. Does that mean the rebuilder used NOS front and rear bearing retainers with their original poured babbit, were original retainers rebabbitted, or were some sort of inserts used?
- We don’t know if the new rods were the NOS 38 style rods which were available with original babbit or something else. In any event, how were they modified to accommodate the undersized crankshaft?
- The engine does not appear to have any of its openings sealed.
This is what a NEW or never run rebuilt Brennan IMP looked like in the exhaust ports after laying dormant for years.
This engine could be great or it could be a very expensive (but pretty) collection of parts.
What are your thoughts? (A few people have already chimed in and have inspired some additions to this post).
Click here to see the American Bantam Engine
Here is stock number 666 of the Perfection Gear Co. – Chicago:
It looks vaguely familiar, right? However, there is something that has you scratching your head. It has 30 teeth and looks like something you’ve definitely seen before, the cam gear of an American Austin engine.
It does look quite familiar, however, it isn’t a cast iron piece, but is actually a fiber gear. Something which, to my knowledge, did not come on an Austin from the factory. Fiber gears were known for their silent running characteristics. When when properly made (and stored) they can supposedly live a long and healthy life in an engine. However, they do have a reputation for silently stripping and eventually letting go.
Personally, I don’t think I would run a fiber gear in my Austin and risk plugging up the small oil passages with fiber gunk. However, the box is cool and the part is probably something you wont find again.
If you are considering buying this for your car, please note that Austins and Bantams used a variety of different timing gears. You should check your application before taking the plunge.
Click here to see the Austin Fiber Timing Gear
For more reading on fiber gears check these links out:
Model T Forum
Ford Garage (Check out that Bill Stipe gear.)
The other day, I received an email from a person who had what he believed to be an American Austin radiator cap. We exchanged a few messages and the owner sent me a few photos. It’s always nice to chat with people regarding parts they have, helping them identify them, and ultimately helping them to find a good home for what ever they have. If you have any parts or cars that you are looking to identify and pass along to a new home, feel free to contact us.
If you are interested in learning more about the history of American Austin rooster cap reproductions, click here. The seller shared a photo with me of the bottom, indicating that it does not have any of the original Stant manufacturing information. The lack of lettering and the plethora of detail leads me to believe this is one of the caps made by Hal Thompson, which I believe could have also been sold by New Castle. This cap is likely not made from stainless, but is chrome plating over some other non-ferrous metal.
Having had a busy couple of days, I did not get a chance to get this identifying information to the seller before he listed it; but I did just get it to him.
With a starting bid of $50.00, this could end up being a tremendous bargain. I picked one of these up a year or so ago after a lot of hunting and am likely going to use it on my 33 Austin. At the price, why not cast a bid?
Click here to see the American Austin Radiator Cap
She’s a beautiful car isn’t she. Absolutely gorgeous and tastefully restored too. If you’re looking for a well preserved restoration, this may be just the car you are looking for. The seller restored the car a few years ago, but has only put about 100 miles on the car since then.
For more information click here. If you follow the link, you’ll learn more about the car for sale and you can view a plethora of photos of all of the fine details featured on this restoration.