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Author: Subject: Austin Seven Special gets a rack and pinion steering
theprisioner

posted on 11/11/19 at 08:05 PM Reply With Quote
Austin Seven Special gets a rack and pinion steering

Having lots f fun upgrading my Austin seven Special to have better steering. I have recently upgraded the engine, suspension and brakes. The car is capable of 70 Mph only I am not brave enough to take it above 60mph as it still has the original steering. See how I have adapted a Hilman Imp R&P to fit an Austin Seven.

Video LinkVideo Link





http://sylvabuild.blogspot.com/

http://austin7special.blogspot.co.uk/

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Mr Whippy

posted on 12/11/19 at 12:45 PM Reply With Quote
hmm I'd have thought such a mod would have knocked quite a bit off the value, could you not have just got the steering box refurbished etc?

Currently saving up for a Ruby myself, may take a few years tbh

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v8kid

posted on 12/11/19 at 04:30 PM Reply With Quote
How does that work with a beam axle? Surely there will be horrendous bump steer?

Cheers





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v8kid

posted on 13/11/19 at 12:35 PM Reply With Quote
Might work OK if the beam axle was converted to swing axle I believe is was a popular mod back in the day and it would be similar to the imp suspension ( in broad principle)





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Fred W B

posted on 14/11/19 at 06:07 AM Reply With Quote
I've seen a project where the builder mounted the rack on the axle to get around the bump steer problem. Obviously the steering column then needs suitable joints to accommodate the articulation and plunge.

[Edited on 14/11/19 by Fred W B]





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John P

posted on 14/11/19 at 05:19 PM Reply With Quote
Not sure how I feel about this sort of conversion.

I have an Austin 7 Ulster Replica which was built up from parts and, whilst not an original car, and with some later parts it is, never the less, all Austin 7 and gives you a feel of what racing an Austin back in the 1920's / 1930's would have been like.

There does seem to be a trend towards modernising these type of cars with modern starter motors, gearboxes from more modern vehicles and even programmable electronic ignition.

For me the whole point of having a vintage car is to preserve a piece of motoring history so people can both see and experience how much things have changed and also how much remains remarkably similar even after 90-years.

I can see using modern components if it is the only way to keep a car on the road or for reasons of safety but otherwise you may as well build a kit car such as a Locost where the challenge is more to do with the engineering and achieving maximum performance and handling using your own skills.

Anyway, that's just my viewpoint.

John.

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v8kid

posted on 15/11/19 at 09:25 AM Reply With Quote
IIRC the OP actively races this vehicle and it is in the competitive nature of things to improve.

Better than it sitting in a garage unused in my also humble opinion.

Cheers





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Mr Whippy

posted on 15/11/19 at 12:16 PM Reply With Quote
Well off course it's very much up to the owner what level of originality they wish to maintain the car at and going above 60 mph in one sounds scary enough to justify improving such an important thing as the steering, if only not to write the car off in a wreck (while probably dying in the process).

When modifying such things though, personally I'd always do in such a fashion that it can be returned to the original setup in the future, i.e. not cutting off or welding parts to the chassis, instead bolting to existing mountings and storing everything that was removed.

I look at ownership of these kind of cars as more being the current custodian in a long line of owners who hopefully the car will outlive but that doesn't mean you can't have fun in the process

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v8kid

posted on 15/11/19 at 06:00 PM Reply With Quote
Oh come on itís just a lump of mass produced metal. There are thousands still in existence.

So if you buy an Ikea cupboard do I have any right whatsoever to pontificate about what you can or can not do with it?

Indeed if I went to Sky and burnt a million pounds it would be applauded by the millennial liberal elite as a as a seminal artistic statement so whatís the difference?

Hold on I can feel a rant struggling to get out here better go and get my supper before itís too late &#128513;

Cheers





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Sam_68

posted on 15/11/19 at 09:37 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by v8kid
So if you buy an Ikea cupboard do I have any right whatsoever to pontificate about what you can or can not do with it?


By the time it reaches the age and level of historic importance of even an Austin Seven, yes you do.

The equivalent in building terms would have been 'Listed', and you'd need to make a written application to the authorities, assessed by a historic buildings specialist, who would certainly insists that you preserve such original features.

I tend toward John P/Mr Whippy's side of the argument.

Objectively, Austin Sevens are crap. Compared to any modern car, their performance is dismal. If you want to go fast, or be safe, or be reliable, buy or build something modern and mod it as much as you like. If you want to race it in historic classes, then by all means apply period modifications, but otherwise, enjoy it for what it is.

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v8kid

posted on 15/11/19 at 11:20 PM Reply With Quote
So what are you proposing to do with this load of tat nobody wants to use/live in?

There are listed buildings crumbling all over the country because they are not fit for purpose and yet planners who will not put their money where theyíre mouths are prevent them being returned to use. Itís just self aggrandisement at others expense.

Nobody would describe Ikea furniture as other than complete tat designed for a very limited lifespan and yet it appears to be acceptable to consider preserving this edifice to consumerism - I think not&#128514;

WRT the OP he is actually using the vehicle and giving enjoyment to himself and the spectators so why not. If you want to see a historical record go to a museum there are literally hundreds preserved for just that purpose.

Why in the name of goodness should we presume that we have any right whatsoever to dictate how another person should use his property is beyond me. Come to think of it itís not I used to work in a university and this form of self entitlement is encouraged by the politically biased higher education system.

Told you I could feel a rant coming on didnít I ?

All in good fun

David





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HowardB

posted on 16/11/19 at 12:07 AM Reply With Quote
I feel there is a place for both camps on this - not so much fence sitting but genuinely keen to see both survive.
Dad has a 28 top hat, one of very few in the country,. the plan is to get it back on the road, it will never be concourse, but then it has been driven many thousands of miles and was used on farms in NZ as well as to drive round europe.
On the other hand there are some amazing developments and work done on these cars, almost from the day they came out of the factory,... development then and development now.

The worst thing that can happen is they end up in a glass case in a museum with a fine layer of dust resting on them,...





Howard

Fisher Fury was 2000 Zetec - now a 1600 (it Lives again and goes zoom)

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Sam_68

posted on 16/11/19 at 12:26 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by v8kid
So what are you proposing to do with this load of tat nobody wants to use/live in?

There are listed buildings crumbling all over the country because they are not fit for purpose and yet planners who will not put their money where theyíre mouths are prevent them being returned to use. Itís just self aggrandisement at others expense.



If you want me to give you a lecture on built heritage, the Planning system and the maintenance and rehabilitation of historic buildings, I am happy to do so. Speaking as someone who runs a Chartered Planning Consultancy and Chartered Architects practice, and who spent many years as the custodian of a Grade II listed cottage (by Ernest Gimson, though I doubt the name will mean anything to you), it's a subject I have both personal and professional experience of.

Suffice it to say that the comments you have made above are so far off the mark that it's comical. It's far from perfect (what is?), but on balance, the system saves and preserves vastly more buildings than it harms and IMO we would do well to adopt something similar to the Listed building system for the protection of heritage engineering assets, too...

....And if you have no interest in preservation of historic assets, you should buy neither a Listed building or a 90 year old vintage car. They are best left to those willing to treat them more responsibly.

quote:
Originally posted by HowardB
The worst thing that can happen is they end up in a glass case in a museum with a fine layer of dust resting on them,...


No, the worst thing that can happen is that they are destroyed altogether.

The next worst thing that can happen is that they are butchered to the point where they lose all historic value, character and meaning.

Being preserved in a museum where future generations can learn from them and be inspired by them is actually quite a long way from the worst that can happen to them.

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sdh2903

posted on 16/11/19 at 09:18 AM Reply With Quote
It's a car. It was designed to be a car. Intended to be a car. And is still being used as a car. The op is adapting it to make it a bit better at being a car. Hes hardly sticking a fake carbon spoiler on it. Jeez it's his car he can do what the hell he wants.

Well done to the prisoner for rebuilding your car and using it to the max rather than sitting In the back of a barn or a museum. Bravo.

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Sam_68

posted on 16/11/19 at 09:57 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sdh2903
Jeez it's his car he can do what the hell he wants.


Which is precisely the attitude that led to the introduction of the Planning system for buildings (and with it the Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act).

The problem is, just because someone has sufficient money to buy a heritage asset - of any sort - doesn't always mean that they have sufficient understanding and appreciation of it to act in the best interests of its preservation and maintenance.

There is a balance to be had, of course, between the rights and needs of the owner, and the heritage value to society at large, which the Planning system at least attempts to get right for buildings. There is currently nothing at all for engineering heritage assets, which given this country's history as a leader in the industrial revolution and engineering in general might be considered at least as important to future generations as our buildings.

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sdh2903

posted on 16/11/19 at 11:05 AM Reply With Quote
But this isn't a building. It's a CAR. An austin 7. Not a super rare exotic. If your hell bent on building analysis. It's like fitting loft insulation in a 2 up 2 down.

Even listed buildings are allowed to be 'modified' and improved are they not?

Cant believe the post the other day on the foose e type didnt bring such emotive responses. Considering the e type is such a design icon.

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Sam_68

posted on 16/11/19 at 11:29 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sdh2903
But this isn't a building. It's a CAR.

But it's not just a car.

In fact, let's be clear, its primary importance is no longer as a 'car'. Even the most facile among us wouldn't be stupid enough to claim that it is first and foremost a means of transport to its owner, any more - it is no longer remotely practical for that purpose.

Its main importance is as a heritage asset. Same as a Listed building is. In fact, even more so, since (as v8kid points out) most historic buildings rely on some continued practical purpose for their existence, whereas, thankfully, there are responsible collectors of historic vehicles who are willing to preserve them for their heritage value alone.

If you want a CAR, even a £couple of hundred will buy you something that is better in every single way than an Austin Seven. So why not do that, and leave the Austin Seven for someone who is willing to appreciate it for what it is, rather than destroying its character and authenticity by trying to make it into something it isn't?

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sdh2903

posted on 16/11/19 at 11:51 AM Reply With Quote
Hes changed the steering rack ffs.

We'll just have to agree to disagree. But for me I get far more satisfaction seeing a classic car going up a hill climb or on a rally. Not gathering dust in a museum because they need to be 'preserved' and if a change of steering rack makes this more enjoyable and safe for the driver then crack on.

Cars are living breathing mechanical machines that are meant to be used. To compare to static old listed buildings is silly in my opinion.

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Sam_68

posted on 16/11/19 at 12:24 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sdh2903
Hes changed the steering rack ffs.


And uprated the engine, suspension and brakes; the latter in a quite fundamental way.

quote:
Originally posted by sdh2903
Cars are living breathing mechanical machines that are meant to be used. To compare to static old listed buildings is silly in my opinion.


Perhaps that's because you're not into buildings? To me, buildings are 'living breathing' things that are meant to be used, too. As I said, you'll tend to find that continued and purposeful use is actually more important to ensure the survival of of an old building than it is for an old car. Very few people collect old buildings for their historic value.

Purely out of interest, what do you thing buildings are for, if not to be used?

But yes, as you say, I think we'll have to agree to disagree.

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sdh2903

posted on 16/11/19 at 12:47 PM Reply With Quote
Your missing the point. A car is meant to be used as a car. A building is meant to be used as a building.

It's clear your passionate about buildings which is great. But as you wish to compare everything to buildings then what's the fundamental difference between an old historic building being updated with modern insulation, wiring, plumbing, heating to make it more habitable or useable?

What your arguing is the equivalent of saying that every historic building should be kept exactly as constructed. Which is impossible. They'd all crumble and die as no one would want to live in or use them or afford their upkeep.

How many old classics are rotting away in barns and garages around the world I wonder? So for someone to take one and rebuild and use it should be applauded, not picked apart by the purist. That's what concours competitions are for.

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Sam_68

posted on 16/11/19 at 01:27 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sdh2903
But as you wish to compare everything to buildings then what's the fundamental difference between an old historic building being updated with modern insulation, wiring, plumbing, heating to make it more habitable or useable?


None whatsoever - which is my point exactly.

There are measures in place (the requirement for Listed Building Consent) which prevent or limit such updates, where they are assessed by an expert (a Conservation Officer) as having unacceptable impact on the historic character or fabric of the building.

With buildings - despite their continued practical use being far more critical to supporting their continued existence than it is for a vintage car - there is an acceptance that substantial compromise is required to their performance and convenience, as the price to be paid for preserving their historic character.

quote:
Originally posted by sdh2903
What your arguing is the equivalent of saying that every historic building should be kept exactly as constructed. Which is impossible.


Not nearly as impossible as you think it is. As I sit here today, we're actually in the process of converting a Grade II* Listed medieval church in Wales into a dwelling. We won't be touching the fabric of the building at all. We even have exemptions from Building Regulations (at the Conservation Officer's insistence) for safety-critical items like the fire sprinkler system, because the installation was considered too invasive.

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sdh2903

posted on 16/11/19 at 01:38 PM Reply With Quote
Well then sam I really have no idea what your objecting to then! But if your proposing a similar style committee to discuss changing the steering rack then your bonkers.

And good look not touching those medieval electrics

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Sam_68

posted on 16/11/19 at 02:02 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sdh2903
But if your proposing a similar style committee to discuss changing the steering rack then your bonkers.


Am I? It's not done by committee, by the way, but if it helps preserve our engineering heritage, I'm certainly not against the idea of imposing some control - perhaps as a condition of the 'Historic Vehicle' exemption on road tax.

I think it's a sad state of affairs that even the most historically significant pieces of engineering (don't get me going on the clown who currently holds Donald Campbell's Bluebird K7...) are not offered even the slightest statutory protection.

Many countries already have regulations that regulate non-type approved modifications to vehicles, and it wouldn't be difficult to extend that to non-authentic modification of historic vehicles.

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sdh2903

posted on 16/11/19 at 02:23 PM Reply With Quote
And there are some countries that dont allow you to build your own car, In your own garage, have it tested, and drive it on the road. Doesn't always mean we should follow suit.
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Sam_68

posted on 16/11/19 at 02:31 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sdh2903Doesn't always mean we should follow suit.

Doesn't always mean that we shouldn't, either.

Just because someone's views don't accord with yours doesn't mean that they are 'bonkers'.... you may need to face the possibility that it is your own view that's wrong.

Out of interest: If I had sufficient money to go out and buy, let's say, all the remaining examples of Concorde, and then melt them down and make trinkets from the metal, to sell on ebay... do you think that it would be a good thing that I should have complete freedom to do so?

Unless your answer is an unequivocal 'yes', then all we're debating is the degree of control that should be imposed.

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