Original sports front axle

Information from David Howe and the Friends forum has confirmed the Austin factory produced the Sports front axle from a standard forging; hence they have 1A numbers forged on them; they ‘stretched’ them in the re-forging process so that they are the same length as the standard axle. The axles were then stamped with  9C numbers for Ulsters and 9E for later Nippy.  The cross tube levers and steering arm have 9C numbers forged in on Ulsters and the cranked down cross tube levers are keyed into the stub axles to prevent twisting.

On the Ulster the springs were produced outside the factory and stamped with 9C numbers on both S/C and un-S/C Ulsters.  Parts common to the S/C cars and un-S/C cars always had 9C numbers, parts for the un-S/C car, like the cylinder head, had 9E numbers, as per the Nippy after them.

Would be grateful if owners check their axles for possible chassis stamp markings on the axle beam too. Happened on earlier cars, but no information on 65/Nippies!

thanks to Rob Martin, R. Dunford and Henry Harris for images from the Friends thread – drawn here for those searching on Nippies.

check for 9E stamp here
9C mark visible on Sports cross tube levers
note 9E stamping on spring
note no chamfer on the rear of the radius arm hole, as the lower radius arms were bolted differently
original 1A stamping prior to the forging process to drop the axle
9C 135 and 9C 136 sports cross tube levers


While you are all on lockdown perhaps someone might like to write something on restoration or on car’s early history for the site. Don’t all rush at once though. Just email with a few images, if you feel it might help or inform others.

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