Article Index
Austin Ten-Four Handbook (1935 Litchfield)
The New Car
Periodical Attentions
The Fuel System
The Carburetter
The Sports Model
The Ignition System
The Cooling System

THE correct lubrication of any piece of machinery is of the utmost importance, but for the modern highspeed automobile engine, which operates at sustained high temperatures and speeds it is absolutely essential that only oils of the highest quality and correct grade be used. inferior oils, or unsuitable oils, will almost inevitably cause excessive wear in an unduly short time.


Modern cars use comparatively little oil, so that the cost of using a good lubricant is negligible compared with the cost of using inferior oil. Good lubricating oil ensures that you always get out of your car the best performance that it can give ; it reduces carbon deposit, making frequent decarbonising unnecessary; it makes starting easier, thereby avoiding deterioration of the battery ; it reduces engine wear and eliminates avoidable causes of mechanical breakdown with possible heavy repair bills.

Lubricants represent the smallest proportion of your expenditure on the upkeep of a car, so that it is obviously false economy to use other than the best.

But even the best oil becomes contaminated with certain impurities during use. In the engine, these may be unburnt fuel, carbon, metallic particles, moisture, etc., and although the oil itself does not deteriorate, the presence of these impurities must reduce its efficiency as a lubricant, and in time cause avoidable wear. Oils of the best quality resist contamination, and consequent wear, to the greatest extent, nevertheless it is imperative that the crankcase be drained periodically to remove foreign matter, and subsequently refilled with fresh clean oil.

Drain the crankcase immediately after a run when the oil is warm, and therefore fluid and thoroughly agitated. It will then carry away as much of the contamination as possible. Never flush the crankcase with paraffin—some will remain in the sump to contaminate the fresh oil, and in addition, it may loosen, but not entirely remove, certain deposits which are best left undisturbed until the engine is overhauled.

Rinse gauze filters in petrol and allow to drain before refitting. Do not wipe with fluffy rags.

Oil in the gearbox and back axle becomes contaminated with metallic particles from the gear teeth and these will cause unnecessary wear of the bearings unless removed. These units should also be drained periodically and may be flushed with a thin oil. This should be allowed to drain thoroughly, after which the unit should be filled to the correct level with fresh oil.

Choice of Lubricants:

Some lubricants are lighter in colour and appear thinner than others. However, the colour of an oil or its appearance at atmospheric temperatures give no indication as to its efficiency under operating conditions and temperatures. Therefore, oil should never be judged by colour or apparent consistency.

The following are the lubricants we officially recommend, each of them having the high grade standard of quality required by our Research Department, and all of them having proved entirely satisfactory in extended service. Further, they all have adequate distribution at garages and filling stations.


(Summer). Patent Castrol XL, Mobiloil " BB," Triple Shell, Essolube 50, Motorine C or Duckham's Aero N.P.3.

(Winter). Patent Castrol " AA," Mobiloil "A" Double She!!, Essolube 40, Motorine M or Duckham's Aero N.P.3. (Extreme cold N.P.2.).

(Sports Model) (Summer). Patent Castrol XXL, Mobiloil " D," Aero Shell, Essolube Racer, Motorine B de Luxe or Duckham's Aero N.P.3.

(Winter). Patent Castrol XL, Mobiloil " BB," Double Shell, Essolube 50, Motorine C de Luxe or Duckham's Aero N.P.3. (Extreme cold N.P.2.).

Gear Box.

Patent Castrol XL, Mobiloil " BB," Triple Shell, Essolube 50, Motorine C or Duckham's Aero N.P.3. (Sports Model) Patent Castrol XXL, Mobiloil " D," Aero Shell, Essolube Racer, Motorine B de Luxe or Duckham's Aero N.P.3,

Rear Axle and Steering Box.

Castrol D, Mobiloil " C," Shell Spirax or Jaba Oil C.

Wheel Hubs and Grease Gun.

Castrolease Heavy, Mobilgrease No. 4, Shell R. B. Grease. Esso Grease, Belmoline C or Duckhams H.B.B. Grease.

Distributor, Dynamo and Hand Oilcan.

(Oil). Wakefield Oilit, Gargoyle Velocjte Oil D, Shell Household Oil, Essolube 30, Price's Cycle Lubricating Oil or Duckham's Aero N.P. 0.

Upper Cylinder Lubrication.

Wakefield Castrollo, Gargoyle Upper Cylinder Lubricant, Shell Upper Cylinder Lubricant, Petmix, Motorine U.C.L.

Springs, Rusted Parts or Squeaks.

Castrol Penetrating Oil, Voco Penetrating Oil, Shell Penetrating Oil, Essolube 30, Price's Penetrating Oil or Duckham's Easing Oil.

The Engine.

The recommended lubricants are of the correct quality and viscosity for our units. The matter of the proper grade of oil is very important both in relation to the pump used to circulate the oil, and the gauge to register the pressure ; if a very thick oil were used on a cold day, the pump might be strained or the gauge broken. It is partly for this reason that the oil gauge will register 40 lbs. pressure whereas normally 20 lbs. is sufficient at ordinary speeds, or 20-30 lbs. when the car is new or the engine first started. After the first 500-800 miles' running, drain the original oil from the reservoir by removing the plug in the bottom, while the engine is hot, and refill with new oil.

On this occasion remove the cylindrical gauze strainer by unfastening the six nuts which hold the strainer-cover to the base of the oil reservoir Take care that this work is not done where dust or other foreign matter is likely to be blown-into the crankcase. Clean the strainer with paraffin, afterwards washing it with petrol ; replace the strainer and fill up the crankcase with oil to the maximum level indicated on the "dip stick," approximately 6 pints will be required. After the first change of oil in the crankcase, it should be changed after every 2,000 miles' running. Under no circumstances should petrol or paraffin be poured through the oil filler to clean out the engine.

After refilling with fresh oil to the correct level, run the engine for a few moments to check that the oil is circulating and that the oil pressure gauge reading is correct. The oil level should not be allowed to go below 1/4in. on the bottom of the dipper rod. It is advisable to wipe the dipper rod before taking the reading of the level, and the reading should only be taken when the engine is not running and the car is on the level ground.

Upper Cylinder Lubrication.

The use of an upper cylinder lubricant has been found to be beneficial to the running of the engine. It is used either by adding to the fuel when refilling the tank, or by fitting one of the special devices available, whereby the oil is sucked via the induction pipe into the engine, where it mingles with the explosive charge. Mixing with the fuel, however, is satisfactory and saves the trouble and expense of an extra fitment. When adding the upper cylinder lubricant to the fuel, do so according to the instructions given with
the various brands of oil.

The Oil Pressure Gauge.

The oil pressure gauge on the instrument board gives at all times an indication as to whether the oiling system is working properly, and should therefore be looked at frequently while the engine is running.

Should the gauge fail to register a normal pressure, It may be due to lack of oil in the crankcase ; if not, verify the adjustment of the relief valve, to be found at the rear end of the crankcase (near side), and see that the ball seats properly. Should the gauge register no pressure, stop the engine immediately and look for a broken pipe, or other cause of no pressure. When the engine is started on a chilly morning, the pressure may rise to 35 lbs. or more (the gauge is strong enough to allow for this), but after the oil has circulated for a while and becomes warm the pressure should gradually drop to 20-30 Ibs., the low figure when running at moderate speeds, increasing to the high with acceleration of engine. It should be noted that when the car is standing and the engine is running slowly, pressure will probably drop very low.

Oil Pressure Regulation.

If for any reason the pressure in the system should require regulation (which is made by varying the spring pressure on the relief valve) it should not be made until after the engine has run for say twenty minutes, in order that the oil may have reached its normal consistency. Also, while making the adjustment it is advisable to have the engine running at a speed sufficient to drive the car at about 25 m.p.h. on top gear. This relief valve should, however, only be adjusted for some special reason, as the original setting is very carefully made, and should be marked, if any alteration is intended, so that, if it is found subsequently that it is desirable to revert to the original setting, this can be done accurately. To increase the pressure of the oil, loosen the lock nut and tighten up the regulating screw ; to reduce, slacken off the screw. Great care should afterwards be taken to ensure that the lock nut is securely tightened. As the position of this regulating screw is close to the exhaust pipe, which will be hot when the adjustment is being made, care should be exercised by the operator not to burn his hands.


The same grade of oil as is used for the engine is most suitable for the gearbox. Do not use thick gear oil otherwise seizure of bearings may result.

To replenish the gearbox, first remove the screws holding down the rubber cover to the top of the gearbox. This permits the floor board to be raised, and the plug of the oil hole is accessible. Remove the plug and fill up to the bottom of the plug hole. This is the correct level.

The gearbox should be drained, flushed with thin oil and refilled to the correct level after the first 1,000 miles and every 5,000 miles subsequently. Quantity approximately 2 pints. Allow time for all the thin oil to drain away before refilling with new oil.

Rear Axle.

Keep the oil level up to the plug hole on the nearside of the front of the casing, and just below the centre. This is the filling orifice. Use the special adaptor on the grease gun for replenishing every 1,500 miles. An outlet for excess lubricant is provided in the dust shield over the brake drums.

The total contents are approximately 1 pint. Do not exceed correct oil level when replenishing.

Drain the rear axle every 5,000 miles, flush out with thin oil (drain thoroughly) and replenish to the correct level.

On the saloon model there is a wooden platform under the seat. Remove the upholstered seat which is secured in position by two studs which engage with iugs—one near each door—then unscrew the six screws which fasten to clinch nuts. There is one screw at each side, and two each at the front and back of the platform. Lift the platform out. it is then easy to step down to the ground and there is ready and comfortable access to the rear axle, shock absorbers and springs.

On the cabriolet attentions to the back axle, etc., must be made from underneath the car.

Brake and Pedal Gear.

Some of the moving parts are not provided with grease nipples because they have zinc bushes, but if for any reason they are dismantled the rubbing surfaces should be smeared with grease before reassembling.

A grease nipple is provided for each of the front brake cables. It is situated just above the rear anchorage  of the front springs Lubrication should be given weekly.

Propeller Shaft.

There is a circular hole on the near side of the " tunnel," just behind the gearbox and covered by the floor carpet. Through this hole the grease gun is inserted and grease forced through the nipple on the propeller shaft to lubricate the splines. As the nipple revolves with the shaft, it may be necessary to move the car a little before the nipple is properly located.

This point does not require lubrication more often than every 1,000 miles.


Only the front wheel hub caps require filling with grease once a month. Do not overload them. The rear hub bearings obtain their lubricant from the axle. All hub caps have right hand threads.

Ignition and Electrical Equipment.

For lubrication of the distributor, see page 25. For dynamo lubrication, see page 39.

Other Points.

Other points requiring lubrication are steering box, swivel axle pins, steering cross tube, steering side tube and engine control joints. These are included with the above items under " Periodical Attentions."

To ensure the best results it is essential that the road springs should be lubricated, the same oil as is used in the engine will be suitable.

Springs, rusty or squeaky parts can be lubricated with one of the penetrating oils mentioned previously.

Spring Shackles and Bushes.

For all cars not fitted with Silentbloc non-lubricated shackles the lubrication of the shackle pins and bushes on the springs is by means of grease nipples.

At the forward end of both front springs the nipple faces squarely outward. At the rear end of the offside front spring the upper nipple faces obliquely downward, and the bottom nipple in the same direction.

The nipple on the front end of the rear spring faces obliquely downward, and those at the rear end of the rear spring face directly downward.

On the nearside the upper nipple, which is lubricated from inside the bonnet, faces upward, the lower nipple is reached from under the car and faces downward. The nipple on the front end of the nearside rear spring faces outward, and the two nipples at the rear face downward. All are reached without much difficulty.


THE grease gun supplied with the tool kit of all Austin cars is known as the Enots " Autolub " gun, and incorporates features by which the chassis lubrication of the car is greatly simplified.

Once the gun is charged, all that is necessary is to keep pushing the ram of the gun against the nipple until the contents are exhausted.


The ram is automatically returned to its extended position by a spring. This action creates a vacuum in the gun by means of a valve, and thus refills the high pressure chamber contained in the ram.

The ram is used for forcing grease through nipples.

To use the grease gun as an oiler first replace the screw-on cover of the ram, then remove the end cap from the barrel of the gun, pull out the cork plunger by means of the chain, and charge the gun to about three quarters of its capacity. Put the cap of the adaptor on the open end of the gun, and after removing the plug from the back axle, place the end of the adaptor into the lubricating hole, and grasping the barrel, push. This will inject a large quantity of lubricant quickly.