[Healeys] engine identification

BJ8Healeys sbyers at ec.rr.com
Tue Dec 25 03:29:30 MST 2018

The "U" code applies to all of BMC cars, not just Healeys.  Some of those cars have a gearshift on the steering column, some on the floor.  "Center shift" as applied to the "U" means a floor shift, not the position of the gear lever on the floor.


Steve Byers


BJ8 Registry

AHCA Delegate at Large

Havelock, NC  



From: Healeys [mailto:healeys-bounces at autox.team.net] On Behalf Of Bruce Steele
Sent: Tuesday, December 25, 2018 1:51 AM
To: 'J. Scott Morris'; 'mitch'; healeys at autox.team.net
Subject: Re: [Healeys] engine identification


I’m perplexed by the references to the “U” in the engine number in the documents which Scott attached.  The first attachment states that 3000 Mk I commenced with engine number 29D-U-H101 and ended with 29D-U-H26212.  The second document states that “U” indicated a center shift gear box.  We know that all Mark I Healeys were side shift; the center shift was not introduced until near the end of the Mark II BN7/BT7 run in November, 1961 at engine number 29E/2246, chassis number BT7/15881 and BN7/16039, per Clausager’s book.  Hence, the 2 documents conflict and my confusion over the statement that the “U” refers to a center shift box.  


Clausager states: “However, the engine prefix was later changed, possibly coinciding with the introduction of the six-port engine in 1957.  These engines had the prefix 26D, followed by U on non-overdrive cars, and R (or RU) on overdrive cars, finishing with the letter H for High compression” (Original Austin Healey, Clausager, 1990, pg. 87).


Case in point, my BN7, produced 26-28 September, 1960 is chassis number 12656 and engine number 29D-U-H/22855 (my car was originally a non-OD car), verified by the BMIHT certificate.  The gearbox is a correct side shift unit.  This is in agreement with Clausager’s description.


So, the assertion that U denotes center shift is quite confusing.  Anyone else able to weigh in?


Bruce Steele

Brea, CA

1960 BN7


From: Healeys [mailto:healeys-bounces at autox.team.net] On Behalf Of J. Scott Morris
Sent: Monday, December 24, 2018 8:18 AM
To: mitch <dayton21 at comcast.net>; healeys at autox.team.net
Subject: Re: [Healeys] engine identification


Hello Mitch and Seasons Greetings.  

The attached files may help a little but the casting numbers are not related to sequential engine production. 

--Scott Morris; Simcoe, Ontario, Canada           - Keep Smiling, Murphy Lives


On Monday, December 24, 2018 7:39 AM, mitch <dayton21 at comcast.net> wrote:




How do you ID an engine block/or head……that does not have an ID tag?

Do the engine block casting numbers mean anything?




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