BMC REPLACES J2 VANS WITH AUSTIN/MORRIS 250JU
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By A. J. P. Wilding
ALTHOUGH retaining the basic engine the transmission units used in the J2 model, the 250 JU features a new body, axles, steering and braking system and represents a considerable improvement on the J2 in a number of respects.
The new model is not identified for payload which represents a departure by BMC but the 250 in the model type indicates the maximum gross weight for which the chassis is designed-2.5 tons.
In addition to the standard van body, a pick-up version is produced and both are available in de luxe specifications. There is also a 13-seat version built to p.s.v. regulations and this also has the de luxe specification.
One of the most important differences between the standard and de luxe is in respect of tyres which also affects the gross weight permitted. Both have 6.70-13 but the standard fitting is 6-ply and 8-ply on the de luxe van, pick-up and coach. The 2.5 ton gross limit applies with 8-ply tyres, the maximum with the lighter-duty tyres being 2 tons 8 cwt.
Axle position differs With a kerb weight of about 25 cwt. this allows for a maximum payload of about 24 cwt. with the driver only or 22.5 cwt. with driver and one passenger. The 250JU will be plated to conform to the latest Construction and Use Regulations and the maximum weight for the front and rear axles will be 2,600 lb. and 3,200 lb. respectively.
It is in respect of axle position that the new design differs most from the old 72. The front axle is moved forward 2 ft. making the wheelbase 9 ft. 6 in. and instead of access to the cab being ahead of the front wheels, steps for the driver and passenger are behind them.
Access to the seats and to the load has received a lot of attention from BMC designers. The floor of the model is virtually flat over the whole area from front to rear and this has been made possible by tilting the power unit at 45° so that it requires a cowl which is only 3 in. deep.
There is no bulkhead between the driver's area and the load space as there was with the J2 which means that by tipping the seats forward the driver can get to the load through the cab doors as well as from the rear end.
Hinged or sliding doors are available and a oneor two-man passenger seat can be supplied. In the case of a singlepassenger seat the driver can reach the load area directly from the driving position (over the engine cowl) and across-cab access is not unduly impaired by the handbrake or gear change levers.
Same internal capacity Internal capacity of the 250JU remains the same as the J2 at 200 Cu. ft. and a single rear loading door gives an opening of 3 ft. 6 in. wide by 3 ft. 11 in. high. Double sideloading doors are optional. The new design has a deeper windscreen than the J2—the top is raised 2 in.—and bottom-mounted dual electric windscreen wipers are employed. Foot-operated windscreen washers are standard.
As already stated the engine and transmission are basically unchanged from the unit used in the J2. The BMC B-Series 1,622 c.c. petrol engine is standard and the option is the 1,489 c.c. diesel. Maximum net outputs are 49 b.h.p. and 40 b.h.p. respectively at 4,000 r.p.m. in both cases. The standard gearbox is a four-speed synchromesh and as with the J2 Borg-Warner fully automatic transmission is available as an option.
As well as the increased wheelbase, the front and rear axles have a wider track. The increase at the rear is 4 in. while at the front there is a 10 in. increase which in conjunction with smaller wheels and tyres allows a better angle of lock and a turning circle similar to that of the J2 in spite of the extended wheelbase.
Suspension altered Suspension has also been changed with the use of wider springs, those at the front having considerable asymmetry—the short front end providing for good control with the longer rear portions giving a good ride. Lighter steering than the J2 will be a feature of the new design due to the use of a steering box with a 17 to 1 ratio instead of 13 to 1.
Brake sizes have been increased for the 250JU, the dimensions being 10 in. by 2.25 in. all round as against 10 in. by 1.75 in. which represents an increase in lining area of 20 per cent and automatic adjustment is now incorporated. The hydraulic brake system employs a tandem master cylinder which is used to give independent circuits to the front and rear axles.
Access to the seats and to the body have been given an important place in the design of the 250JU and the same can be said of access to the engine. In spite of the unit being located under the floor there should be no difficulty in this respect from the maintenance angle and most of the cowl is detachable so that the unit can be removed upwards when required. If it is more desirable to remove the engine from underneath, a cross member has been made readily detachable for this purpose.
Prices of the 250JU with petrol engine are: Standard van and pick-up in primer, £655; de luxe van and pick-up in primer, £699; 13-seat coach, £869; 13-seat p.s.v., £899. Specification of the optional diesel engine adds £85 to the prices.
O.UEEN'S AWARD—TWICE FOR THE second successive year CAV . Ltd. (a group member of the Lucas Organization) has won the Queen's Award to Industry. On Monday the second year's award was presented by H.M. Lieutenant of Greater London, Field-Marshal Sir Gerald Templer, for technological innovation in diesel engine components. Last year's award was for export achievement.
Yeovil Bodybuilder: In an advertisement on page 30 of our June 2 issue the name of a bodybuilder was incorrectly stated. This should have read: Yeovil Sheet Metal Co. Ltd.