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1st Rootes factory LSD in a racing Harrington Le Mans?

Discussion in 'Harrington Alpine' started by jdoclogan, Mar 20, 2020.

  1. jdoclogan

    jdoclogan Platinum Level Sponsor

    When I acquired my USA Promotional Harrington Le Mans in 2003 it was claimed to be the most original HLM in the World. While delving into its history through contacting the original owner, Greg Veederoff, and working with Janne Iggbom, the guru of Harringtons, in Sweden I discovered many amazing facts about this, only one on the road, Promotional Harrington Le Mans (PHLM). Veederoff had acquired the PHLM in May of 1962 to race it as #195 for the '62 West Coast racing season. Veederoff purchased the PHLM through a Datsun dealership in Tacoma, Washington. Immediately Veederoff set forth to prep the PHLM for racing. With the June 1962 Rose Cup at Delta Raceway Park (now Portland International Raceway) quickly approaching.

    Veederoff said, "I ordered a limited slip differential from the factory" to complete the race prep. Indeed as I restored the PHLM I found it had a limited slip differential (LSD). During restoration the PHLM's LSD was disassembled to insure everything was in order. Close attention was paid to securing the pinion bolts. I removed the wire tying all bolts together and then the bolts. Returning each bolt to its original hole with loctite I torqued them down. While placing the connecting wire back through the bolts I wondered how unique is the LSD in an Alpine or HLM. Discussing the topic over the years with fellow Sunbeam enthusiasts I concluded that my PHLM's LSD must have been made by Doane Spencer from California. I have never found any written word about any Rootes LSD until yesterday. In the 2006, 17th issue of The Alpine Marque (http://sunbeamalpine.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/issue_7.pdf) I found an article written by Ian Spencer about the mystery of a Rootes factory LSD. Not only did it clarify that indeed the Rootes factory most likely made a LSD, but, it only seemed to be associated to a "prototype" made and sold in 1965. Ian Spencer closes the article with, "What do you think." Well, what I think is that Baugh's had the Alpine LSD available from the Rootes factory in 1965. My PHLM's LSD is exactly the same design as the Kimes' LSD and was obtained in the Spring of 1962. Whether my PHLM's LSD came from Baugh's, Baugh's source or was direct from the Rootes factory is not clear. Unfortunately, I can't find the photos I took during the restoration of my HLM's LSD. Fortunately, my memory is still intact and it deems the Kimes' LSD to be the same as my PHLM's LSD.

    My PHLM and Kimes LSDs aren't like the Dana type LSD that was acquired by a previous #41 Sebring Alpine owner and came with the #41 Sebring Alpine when I purchased it (note: I don't believe the Sebring Alpines used an LSD).

    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
    Harrington Jan and puff4 like this.
  2. Limey

    Limey Gold Level Sponsor

    Thanks JD,

    here's Grippers modern take Screenshot 2020-03-23 at 21.43.05.png
  3. alpine_64

    alpine_64 Donation Time

    Oliver, mike broome in the UK had a batch of LSD madr for the alpines that fitted the rootes axles and carrier... Touch base with him
  4. sunbeam74

    sunbeam74 Silver Level Sponsor

    There was an early batch of LSD's made by Doane for Rootes (around April of 62) but these were 10 spline Dana units which required 10 spline Axles.

  5. Limey

    Limey Gold Level Sponsor

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the steer - do you have any contact info for Mike Broome?

  6. Harrington Jan

    Harrington Jan Bronze Level Sponsor

    You find him at FB
  7. Limey

    Limey Gold Level Sponsor

    Ok - just received the 'Repro' diff. Looks good. Lovely machining, unused, 25 spline. the only marks are "RB" stamped in and 'ALPINE' in felt tip.

    Guess I'm going to have to pay for custom made hybrid axle shafts - SII dimensions but 25 spline inner ends?? I don't suppose later series 25 splines are interchangeable with early series? pardon my ignorance but late Series are a blind spot for me ( no fins...)


    IMG_2758.JPG IMG_2757.JPG IMG_2752.JPG IMG_2753.JPG IMG_2754.JPG
  8. bernd_st

    bernd_st Bronze Level Sponsor

    They should be interchangeable. Just made a quick comparison (Top is fine spline, bottom is coarse):


    SV's are different. If I'm not totally mistaken the bearing/ taper/hub is different on them...
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
  9. Mike Broome

    Mike Broome Silver Level Sponsor

    Hi Oliver,
    Just picked up your post. My S5 was developed over time for doing Hillclimbs and the occasional sprint. The rule I applied was to try and follow the modifications that were current at the time these cars were competing. Like you I researched fitting an LSD and had built up a relationship with the late Malcolm Pickering who's company supplied Alpine/Hunter back axle assemblies to Iran. The Hunter production tooling etc was sold to Iran. Malcolm was a keen historic rally competitor and he was also looking for a LSD. I have a procurement background, so I spoke to Gripper and with the support of Malcolm had a batch made. They are to my knowledge Gripper still sell them. If you do buy one, you will need to find a company to build it into your dif.
    Timed against the clock at Prescott and other hillclimbs I did not see any significant improvement in my times so I would question the benefit of fitting one. That said it probably needs more work on selecting the best ramp angles. There is another down side, on long drives the axle oil (correct LSD oil in axle) gets hot and the axle makes a fair amount of noise on roundabouts etc. I still run the LSD and it is reliable so no plans to remove it. Mike
  10. Mike Broome

    Mike Broome Silver Level Sponsor

    Hi Oliver,
    On axles, I run wire wheels and believe that these axles were stronger than steel wheel axles but I suspect it is unlikely they produced axles to different standards. I have around 140 bhp on tap and have not had any problem. - Mike
  11. Limey

    Limey Gold Level Sponsor

  12. bernd_st

    bernd_st Bronze Level Sponsor

  13. Limey

    Limey Gold Level Sponsor

  14. bernd_st

    bernd_st Bronze Level Sponsor

    Still wonder whether the "improvement" is worth it . Perhaps on a real racer, but in not in everyday's traffic ...
  15. Limey

    Limey Gold Level Sponsor

    Definitely NOT worth it! I wouldn't buy a gripper one for my uses but I now have one so will experiment with it just for the pleasure if fitting it and finding out more about a subject I was previously ignorant of. You know how it is...;)
  16. Limey

    Limey Gold Level Sponsor

    Hi Mike - Do I take it thats a 1725cc engine with Webers?
  17. bernd_st

    bernd_st Bronze Level Sponsor

    Oh yes,I know...

    One can't comment about things which haven't been tried. Keep us posted about the progress you make...
  18. Limey

    Limey Gold Level Sponsor

    Been a while. Sent it to Gripper diffs and it is indeed a Gripper Sunbeam Alpine LSD with 40/60 ramps. They overhauled it as a matter of course and changed the pins to a new type. Happy that I didn't by a 'pup'. Whether I'll fit it to a carI'm not sure but I will fit it to a diff carrier. Can anyone recommend a company that can fit it in the UK?

    Last edited: Jul 12, 2021
    Harrington Jan likes this.
  19. GlennB

    GlennB Silver Level Sponsor

    Hardy Engineering in Leatherhead, Surrey, UK. Axle specialists
  20. Limey

    Limey Gold Level Sponsor

    Thanks Glenn - I have sent them an email. Cheers.

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