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Angle Drive

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Angle Drive
  This topic is about my 1967 Austin-Healey 3000 BJ8
Hawkwell Man Avatar
Hawkwell Man Frank Rush
Hockley, Essex, UK   GBR
I have been having problems with the Angle Drive on my BJ8 Mk 111. I have replaced it three times and each time its OK for ashort time. Each getting shorter. the last one lasted for just 6 miles. It ends up with the small part of cable which fits into the overdrive pinion unit, (Which I have also replaced) being twisted into a mess of wire. Copper washer is in place and I was wondering should I double this up.

I look forward to any sugestions.

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SimsBJ8 Bob Simmen
Raleigh, NC, USA   USA
I had a similar situation on my BJ8. It sat for 25 years in my garage until this past year when I made a commitment to get it going.

When I first replaced the angle drive I found the same twisted mesh of wires. I thoroughly cleaned the speedometer cable, replaced the angle drive, and it worked for about 25 miles. Then the same twisted mess of wires inside the angle drive. The speculating was that the mess of twisted wires was the result of the cable untwisting, which would happen only when I put the car in reverse. If the speedometer was free enough to turn going forward (the twisted speedometer cable and angle drive cable would tighten and provide enough torque), but not free enough to turn when in reverse (either the speedometer cable or the angle drive would untwist), then the speedometer needed work.

Fortunately, I was able to free up the speedometer without a costly repair. The hub at the back of the speedometer where the speedometer cable attaches was thick with dried grease. A little bit of tender cleaning worked wonders!

Hope you are as lucky as I was.


Rob Glasgow Avatar
Lompoc, CA, USA   USA
I agree with Bob's assessment of the problem. I experienced the same issues you have and after going through 3 angle drives, which broke exactly where yours did, I realized the speedometer drive was not turning freely. The
drag caused the cable to twist off at the drive. I took the speedometer out and sprayed the internals with silicone lubricant including the area where the cable inserts into the speedo. That was 15 years ago and no problems since.

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sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, CA, USA   USA

When I was reassembling my Healey during restoration I noted my angle drive was non-functional, back then(1990, no internet, etc.) replacements were hard to come by. So while waiting to obtain a replacement I connected the cable direct to the tranny and angled the cable as gently as possible to the speedo, it worked! That was 28 years ago and I still haven't gotten around to getting that angle drive.

Hawkwell Man Avatar
Hawkwell Man Frank Rush
Hockley, Essex, UK   GBR
Thank you Bob. I will be getting onto removing the speedo next week as I have a busy schedule till then

NaDaDawgRacer John Jones
Waxhaw, NC, USA   USA
You might want to check the condition of the cable as well. I have a BJ8 I am working on right now with the same frayed right angel drive. I found that the cable has a kink in it causing it to not turn free. I guess I need to check the action of the speedo as well before I put everything back together.

Montview Silver Member Ronald Keysor
Fleming Island, FL, USA   USA
When I acquired by BN7 with a Toyota 5-speed, I was advised to get the angle drive for that gear box by a fellow Healey owner. But I was put off by the price--more than $100--and reports of angle drive failures. I don't know how similar the Toyota angle drives are to the Healey units. I chose to buy an extra-long speedo cable from Moss that allowed me to make a very gentle bend into the gear box. The big challenge was fitting the bit that goes on the tranny-end of the cable to fit the Toyota box. I have been driving the car with this arrangement for four or five years without problems.

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RichBN6 Richard Wetjen
Federal Way, WA, USA   USA
If it's fraying, something is binding and there are only three bits to bind the angle drive, speedo cable and speedo itself. My bet would be the cable especially since it's chewing up angle drives more frequently. Just because it turns doesn't mean it's turning freely at speed.

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