Wanted early 203 diff in good condition

Wilko

New member
Looks good. That's an early model diff so ok. Semaphores are side blinker arms. Yes, I know the wreck.
No that’s the 203 worm wheel with all the noise and pitting, fitted to the car. The worm wheel out of the wreck is a lot better with no pitting. Do you want another full photo of the 403 diff?
 

Wilko

New member
No that’s the 203 worm wheel with all the noise and pitting, fitted to the car. The worm wheel out of the wreck is a lot better with no pitting. Do you want another full photo of the 403 diff?
Sorry for the confusion I hadn’t intended sending the pics of the worm wheel - they somehow got selected.
 
No that’s the 203 worm wheel with all the noise and pitting, fitted to the car. The worm wheel out of the wreck is a lot better with no pitting. Do you want another full photo of the 403 diff?
That's not bad for an early diff - mine is much worse. I've run diffs like that for years. My 403 did 100,00 miles on a diff like that. Most have pitting. That shouldn't be making a lot of noise. They sing a bit at speed. Diffs without pitting are the exception. My spare 203 diff isn't pitted and was from a high mileage wreck. Which makes me think it was a reco. There are new wheels around.
 

Wilko

New member
That's not bad for an early diff - mine is much worse. I've run diffs like that for years. My 403 did 100,00 miles on a diff like that. Most have pitting. That shouldn't be making a lot of noise. They sing a bit at speed. Diffs without pitting are the exception. My spare 203 diff isn't pitted and was from a high mileage wreck. Which makes me think it was a reco. There are new wheels around.
Well that’s my quandry. This 203 has only around 63000 miles and Basil Moran owned it after sitting in a garage for around 25 years with a blown up engine. He did the motor up and sold it eventually.
I have all the car’s history, so it hasn’t done a lot miles. The unusual wear is a raised edge while this in itself may not be contributing to noise, it could be caused by a collapsed bearing that may be the source of the noise. There is certainly no audible singing detectable. This is why it needs attention and because worm wheels have to be matched to the existing
worm and possibly unattainable, maybe my only option is to fit a hopefully serviceable replacement.
 
Have you got the blue 1951? I know a lot about it if you do. In this case it's easier to replace the diff rather than deal with a complex problem. New wheels can be stuffed by bad fitting. There aren't the experts about. From memory I always thought it the diff wasn't right. The strange thing was this - that is a 1951, mine a 1949 but the gearing is very different. The other thing is it had poured big end bearings and neither they nor the mains were replaced when the motor was done up. But it was a good original car. My 203 only has around 88,000 miles and the diff wheel was pitted when I got it. When oil changes are ignored it doesn't do them much good. Replacement will be cheapest and quickest to get it back on the road. Replace the oil seal that leads to the torque tube but the plate that holds it in is brittle so be careful. Paul Watson has the seals.
 

Wilko

New member
Well that’s my quandry. This 203 has only around 63000 miles and Basil Moran owned it after sitting in a garage for around 25 years with a blown up engine. He did the motor up and sold it eventually.
I have all the car’s history, so it hasn’t done a lot miles. The unusual wear is a raised edge while this in itself may not be contributing to noise, it could be caused by a collapsed bearing that may be the source of the noise. There is certainly no audible singing detectable. This is why it needs attention and because worm wheels have to be matched to the existing
worm and possibly unattainable, maybe my only option is to fit a hopefully serviceable replacement.
Yes it is the blue one. I really like the car and the engine apart from a few oil leaks is quite a good one. Not sure which car you are referring to re the poured bearings. The car is in quite good condition with the hood lining having been replaced with the rest of the interior very nice as well. I have been going through general maintenance including steerIng bushes tie rod ends and shock absorber bushes as well as the flexible steering coupling. I thought the transmission noise was the gearbox but Malcolm Goodwin only drove it up the road and quite adamantly said it was the diff. Setting up a diff with a new worm wheel is a specialist area and If I went down that road I would want someone who is expert in that field to do it and if in fact I could find the right part!
So that leaves me with the 403 diff which I must find the later 203 axle tubes with the correct integral spring mountings.
Know anyone who might have such items?
 
I don't have a 203C wreck. I hate to say it because he's not someone I recommend but Basil Moran had a rusty 1956 model 203 that would be suitable if he hasn't junked it. I was referring to the blue car with poured bearings, but someone else may have done them by now. You need an axle tube for a car after no. 1700000. There must be a 203C wreck closer to you.
 

GRAHAM WALLIS

1000+ Posts
Thanks for your help - I think the later C2 gearbox wont fit a 1951 model as the floor pan is too small unless you take to it with a ballpein hammer! If this 403 diff is a 1955 model then I would just need the later axle tubes then.
C2 box is longer than a C1, your car has a longer torque tube to make up the difference. Rear gearbox mount is different as well. I have a piece of 403 floor you could weld in if you want to use a C2 box and associated torque tube. 403 diff will be OK if it is out of a semaphore car, would be very early. You just need to find the later 203 axle tubes.
 

GRAHAM WALLIS

1000+ Posts
Trevor , as Graham says - late 403 diff has fine spline axles ( better but not absolutely essential ) and has different diff ratio , so that if you go that way - change to a later gear box - if that is possible!( Graham will have a better idea as to later gear box into 1951 203 - different gear box mounting!) You need to check whether the 403 diff you have is fine spline or early - if an early - diff ratio is ok but no fine spline. Then you will need axle tubes from a late 203 - they bolt onto the 403 diff centre. You can fit fine spline axles to the early 403 diff if you change the drive gear in the diff centre - last if using the fine spline axle in the later 203 axle tube - you need to change the seal in the outer part of the axle tube about 6 inches in from the end - a fairly easy drive in/out with a suitable length of pipe.
wilko
The 1960 403 diff has the early 5.7 ratio but fine splines, so an in between model. It uses the C2 box. What would be ideal is to get one of these diffs along with the axles and a pair of 203c axle tubes.
 

GRAHAM WALLIS

1000+ Posts
My advice would be pull the diff that's in it and have a competent person give an opinion. It may be the easiest path.
Yes, it doesn't look all that bad, if the bearings are replaced, along with the internal bakelite shims and a new seal is fitted you shouldn't have any trouble.
 

Wilko

New member
C2 box is longer than a C1, your car has a longer torque tube to make up the difference. Rear gearbox mount is different as well. I have a piece of 403 floor you could weld in if you want to use a C2 box and associated torque tube. 403 diff will be OK if it is out of a semaphore car, would be very early. You just need to find the later 203 axle tubes.
Thanks Graham
 
A good original car. Glad to see it has found a home.
I was always taken by the difference in gearing to mine. That car pulled exceptionally well.
 

GRAHAM WALLIS

1000+ Posts
A good original car. Glad to see it has found a home.
I was always taken by the difference in gearing to mine. That car pulled exceptionally well.
If that is the car Peter Dobe ran in the 3013 Redex Rerun I would agree about its performance, pulling strongly in second gear at the top of the run up Mount Gladstone near Cooma.
 

Wilko

New member
I have managed to get my hands on a early 403 diff with the right ratio and looks in reasonable condition to replace my 203 problem child. Does anyone out there have a pair of later 203 trumpet axle housings that they are willing to part with- suitably remunerated of course?
 

Wilko

New member
Have you got the blue 1951? I know a lot about it if you do. In this case it's easier to replace the diff rather than deal with a complex problem. New wheels can be stuffed by bad fitting. There aren't the experts about. From memory I always thought it the diff wasn't right. The strange thing was this - that is a 1951, mine a 1949 but the gearing is very different. The other thing is it had poured big end bearings and neither they nor the mains were replaced when the motor was done up. But it was a good original car. My 203 only has around 88,000 miles and the diff wheel was pitted when I got it. When oil changes are ignored it doesn't do them much good. Replacement will be cheapest and quickest to get it back on the road. Replace the oil seal that leads to the torque tube but the plate that holds it in is brittle so be careful. Paul Watson has the seals.
Hi Russell re my 1951 203 ( ex Basil Moran’s blue one ), you mentioned that you were well acquainted with it. Were you involved with rebuilding the engine after it had suffered damage to the pistons and sat idle for 20 odd years? I’m interested to know what actually was done to restore it to running order. I’ve had the car since June last year and have done a fair bit of mechanical repairs in this time ( including the diff. The engine runs quite nicely but I’m looking at possibly increasing its capacity with 403 sleeves and piston. Not sure if that’s possible but it would be good if you could advise.
Cheers Wilko
 
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