That Was Lucky...
... because, despite my doubting it was a big end - it didn't sound like one and I was hoping for something simpler to deal with - it was. Well, it was and it wasn't because the shells are completely intact around the crankshaft journal, it's just the flanges that have disintegrated. So it's only part of No.4 big end that's gone.
This was the sight that greeted me. I remember that when the engine was assembled there was what seemed to be an excessive side to side movement on one of the conrods; which one it was I haven't the foggiest now. We pressed on as the good book said expect at least a 1/16th. There's a very, very slight bluing of the journal on one side but if you didn't look carefully, you wouldn't see it.
I've checked that all the oil ways are clear and that the oil squirty thing is squirting at the right bit on the crank so I can't see why, after only 2100 miles, the shell's fallen apart. The broken flanges may point to a problem with too much side play on the conrod? Fortunately, I've a chum who knows a thing or two about Austins - he's bound to have an opinion.
Of course, all this palaver is a distraction from the main event and I had promised myself that whilst Learned Counsel was out of the country and lazing about in Spain for a week, I would go full chat at finishing off the Hillman chassis. I've lost a day already.
Nothing from the chap with the Austin 16 steering box as yet; I could be getting on with that as well.
Anyway, by the end of the weekend, the new radiator mount must be ready to take down to the blacksmith for riveting, so there'll be no sliding off to the pub, no chocolate and don't put the kettle in the fridge.