[Healeys] engine identification

simon.lachlan at alexarevel.plus.com simon.lachlan at alexarevel.plus.com
Tue Dec 25 02:03:25 MST 2018

In my notes I have this:-


U…Gearchange found on centre of floor ie not on column. Basically, means floor change.”

I asked very much the same question as you about 3 months ago. My “notes” derive from Steve’s answer at that time. 

I guess BMC was trying to impose some sort of system(?) into their apparently haphazard production. And I suppose it’s a way of differentiating from the various cars that were shambling down the production line. Westminsters, for example, big saloons with +/- same engines as 3000s….they might have had column shift. I don’t recall. Nice cars and the Vanden Plas versions sell well today. To digress even further, Westminsters were ideal for “Banger Racing”….big, heavy and practically indestructible. Hence there are so few Westminster automatics around to donate their 3:54 diffs.

Happy Christmas,



From: Healeys <healeys-bounces at autox.team.net> On Behalf Of Bruce Steele
Sent: 25 December 2018 06:51
To: 'J. Scott Morris' <jstmorris at yahoo.com>; 'mitch' <dayton21 at comcast.net>; 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 <mailto:dayton21 at comcast.net> >; healeys at autox.team.net <mailto: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 <mailto: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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