Morris Minor Re-Restoration 2012

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Morris Minor Re-Restoration 2012

Post by Whyperion » 02 Mar 2012, 01:35

Not finding a car repairs section yet , here seems reasonable for what might turn into a running blog on the Re-Restoration of one of the Morris Minors (Post War) that I am responsible for.

The objective is to create a reasonably original , bright and shiny , warm , draught free , comfortable to ride in and suitable for 2012 car for a bit of local pottering around and the ability to tour at moderate speed by mid 2014.

With only 400 of Clipper Blue 1960 (1959 constructed ) 948cc 4 Door Saloons made , this runner ( well thats to come ), manages to have some bits that are a crossover from Lord Nuffield's Oxford Establishment parts bins that are a quaint mix of the earlier high headlight , split screen styles and the later into 1962 uprated 1098cc engines. Of course the 948cc engine and gearbox are the Austin design and I think production sent down to Oxford from the Midlands as the car was produced after the merger of the two.

As from the title this had previously been improved and kept as a runner during the 1980s, seeing my wife and I around Scotland on Honeymoon from our Doncaster start back down to East London, but heavy commuting and travels in the later 1980s took there toil , and the original speedo around 100000 recorded miles. Subsequent running repairs kept it going through the 1990s but around 2004 it came off the road with faults that I still had not corrected really in the initial rebuild and refurbishment , so now with a (very) little time , megre facilities and miniscule budget its time to get into running order ready for my Son's planned honeymoon and trip to Switzerland planned for 2014.

First the starting problem.

This has always been a difficulty ( three engines , 10 sets of points , 5 condensers , 6 sets of spark plugs 4 starter motors 6 batteries one chewed up starting handle [ it has covered 40k with me over the years ] ) have caused me to think that a problem with the ignition switch and starter switch might just have something to do with it ( I will also refurbish the Carb when the electrics are done ), decide to make the required changes.

So remove debris from garage - done at weekend by Son , and lighten the load in the car for easier rolling by removing junk ( spare dynamos, starters etc from Boot ) , add air to tyres. Easy so far. Find in boot replacement starter switch bought 10 years ago , free off movement in starter switch where seized , find out that operating bar appears slightly bent , decide not too bad. Battery previously disconnected and one of choice of 4 on garage floor put on charge ( totally dead - arrange safe disposal off , selected one from choice of 3 [ last used for lighting on old motor caravan ] - charging up nicely ).

Find out that removal of Starter switch not straighforward , need to remove heater tubing ( which was a pain to fit 30 years ago ) equally pain to remove, decide to replace tubing as the garden hose we used is fractionally too large , this will be first bit of expenditure tomorrow. (Things like glove boxes and lids I never refitted so nice and easy access ( except of course the jubilee clip holding one hose on wont undo - again work for tommorrow after looking for the short handled screwdriver ). Check internet for tips , internet says removal of starter switch a pain , nice comfort there !) Also check internet for removal of speedo , after old one always fell out , new one fitted by 'experts' wont shift at all. Either its glued in, or again in morning will use stiff spatuals from kitchen to ease forward through rubber seal , this should give access to the ignition switch ( next £10 bit of expenditure in afternoon ). Remaining removal work , front parcel shelf ( for prospective daughter in law to refurbish - it has combination curves to be made out of millboard with a rubber crush tube all connecting to metal bar brace finally covered in a light rexine material painted grey ( was white but grey looks better ). Remove Smiths heater and give it a clean through and check electrical rotary pot control as sure draws more amps than the national grid. Aim to get heater pipes and grommets renewed and refitted along with starter switch and ignition switch by tea time tomorrow , get a bit of fresh fuel in the carb float chamber and see if fires up ( only ran on easy start back in December so think existing fuel has no active ingredients left as plugs look OK ).

Update to follow , hopefully with solutions, but once running need to turn attention to currently non existent brakes.

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Re: Morris Minor Re-Restoration 2012

Post by Pluggy » 02 Mar 2012, 08:48

Does having bits from a later model affect its value ?. A friend of mine had a Triumph Stag, he was telling me that many old Stags had had the Triumph 3.0 litre V8 engine changed for the superior Rover 3.5 litre V8 when they were commonplace, nowadays when they are pretty rare, ones with the original Triumph engine are more valuable.
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Re: Morris Minor Re-Restoration 2012

Post by Bodger » 02 Mar 2012, 09:53

Pluggy, nice topic, i had a series E for a few years, the one with a top hinged windscreen, swapped it for a 1949 beetle back Standard Vanguard, bench seat in the front, great passion waggon

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Re: Morris Minor Re-Restoration 2012

Post by Whyperion » 03 Mar 2012, 01:04

Only reduction in value might be if I swapped out the 948cc engine ( smoother but runs hotter ) for the larger 1098 engine , which also needs larger front brakes. This crossover vehicle (its a de-lux too - chrome round the glovebox lids extra padding in the internal door covers and fluted leather seats and overriders as standard seem to be the spec differences. Its worth about £400 in present condition and £2k to £4k after the planned repaint and get running which wont change much with either power unit.

Its more little things that Morris themselves changed and the official chassis numbers dont match up with how this one has been made. Mostly oddments like internal sun visors , positioning of stickers on the rocker box cover , water pump diameter pulley size on dynamo , size of header tank on radiator, etc ( which all could be replacements over years but not all ).

Went shopping - no suitable 1/2in rubber hose in stock , promised for next week 1in to 3/4in grommets also out of stock and I want to source a new or good s/h ignititon switch- have found a couple of internet sites suitable so far. Speedo out , but one heater hose still stuck firm - my large screwdriver has gone missing , will need to find another. Difficult to know if I should replace Jubilee clips with the mildly superior Terry Clips ( hex head as well as slot for next time I need to dismantle) Might as well paint the dashboard now , will re-paint the heater and demist outlets while its all out, so that is Saturday much accounted for.


I need to change the brake master cylinder , the original sized Lockheed is still avalible as nos, but I could get the slightly larger one and there is a replacement in style with minor external shape changes which is 50% cheaper , or I could get bored out a s/h one I have on the shelf. Still undecided as to best course of progress. Checked my stock of brake wheel cylinders - most are stuck and the little re-rubbering kits I dont think are avalilble any more , have a couple of new ones - need to check sizes as could be for the 1972 Traveller ( ex Cyprus MOD thats awaiting a mechanical in the other garage ( need to move the bits infront of it before can even think of doing that , and the rebuilt 1098 cylinder head for the 2-door on the driveway is still not on after I found that the valve stem seals and springs were a different type on the original to the p/ex I got about 10 years ago. ( none of the cars are actually mine , being owned by differing family members and have not been a priority for last few years but need to get them all back into reasonable or better condition as rest of family now grows up and finds them interesting.)

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Re: Morris Minor Re-Restoration 2012

Post by Tizer » 14 Mar 2012, 10:28

How's the work on the Moggie going Whippy? I had several old ones myself at various times in the 1960s/70s, including a split screen model. Do you remember this Morris Minor book, first published in 1960, and this the 4th edition in 1969? The pictures are from the front pages of the book.

273 274 275 276 277

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Re: Morris Minor Re-Restoration 2012

Post by Moh » 14 Mar 2012, 11:12

We had a black morris minor with a soft top. PNC 121. It used more oil than petrol!! We also had a black saloon model.
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Re: Morris Minor Re-Restoration 2012

Post by Whyperion » 14 Mar 2012, 22:57

Yes , the starter switch is now out and I will post a piccie of the ignition switch which is not covered in detail in any book or manual published at the time of production - including the BMC service manual which I have. The attempts to remove the heater pipework have temp stalled , but should start again at the weekend , but I have again trapped the car in the garage with a load of interesting stuff that needs shifting to its final destination on tuesday so I am not making life straightforward.

Practical Classics Guide to Morris Minor Restoration is probably the most useful book although some bodywork problems are not fully featured , particulary interiors as I would like some original spec light blue carpets ( Woolies and others have sold polypropelyne replacements but I dont find them as nice as the dis-integrated ones I had.

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Re: Morris Minor Re-Restoration 2012

Post by Tizer » 15 Mar 2012, 12:45

Remember the Morris Minor Million in that lilac colour? A friend of ours bought an old one in the 1980s and restored it. There's a restoration story here too:
http://www.morrisminorwheels.com/morris ... storation/

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Re: Morris Minor Re-Restoration 2012

Post by Wendyf » 16 Mar 2012, 08:15

We had a Traveller in "rose taupe" in the late seventies. Loved it dearly.

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Re: Morris Minor Re-Restoration 2012

Post by Whyperion » 16 Mar 2012, 12:57

Is that the colour more better defined as muddy brown ( have one of those stored awaiting engine/ gearbox bolting in and a bit of fiddling , a long weekend should do it IF i can get the tight garage cleared enough of bicylcles / camper van items etc ).

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Re: Morris Minor Re-Restoration 2012

Post by Tizer » 17 Mar 2012, 12:14


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Re: Morris Minor Re-Restoration 2012

Post by Wendyf » 17 Mar 2012, 16:07

That's the one Tiz.
When we bought our little wooden cottage in Scotland in 1979 we didn't put in the highest bid, but the lady who was selling it liked the fact we were driving a Morris Traveller. (The wooden cottage had a wooden garage and a row of wooden sheds, all with shelves stacked with tobacco tins full of nuts and bolts and other bits and pieces.)
Hubby now has dreams of finding a van to do up, but I have put my little foot down and pointed out the 3 rotting IH tractors, the flat bed trailer and various bits of agricultural machinery all purchased as projects for the future....

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Re: Morris Minor Re-Restoration 2012

Post by Whyperion » 17 Mar 2012, 23:37

http://www.vehicle-dismantler.co.uk/page/golden_oldies

Nice breakers whom are prepared to set aside vehicles of special interest.

No van there yet , but its just down the road and they will look out for you for oldies needing a new home ( for a price ... )

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Re: Morris Minor Re-Restoration 2012

Post by Whyperion » 07 Oct 2012, 21:01

Just in case you have been missing this , dont forget both the club site ( mmoc.org.uk ) and the slightly more anarchic site ( morrisminorowners.co.uk ) have some restoration forums for public viewing , theres one on the joys of Van restoration - plus my requests and helps for others with problems.

Meanwhile the difficulties continue , along with the constant to I attempt to repair every broken part ? replace like for like with new or good old ? or update some bits with modern materials ? With son doing most of the removal work the brake master cylinder to rear brakes came out today , any idea that the attempt to turn the relevant fixing nuts at cylinder end quickly resulted in rusty steel pipe separating in his hands , with the rear nut only finally becoming undone with a triumphant 'Yes' from under the car like a cricketer catching the ball, for some reason dad's entire stock of open ended 12mm spanners appears to have disappeared which did not help the operation. There is enough pipe left to try out a pipe cutter if I can find a good working one , to make up some front wheel brake pipes as spares. I have some copper brake pipe sets ( lots of good reasons not to use copper but I think for the cylinder to rear union there should be no movement leading to fracturing issues.

A small hole noted in the A Post ( the bit the front door hinges attach to , has got bigger thanks to wiggling a screwdriver , the hole is above the previous repair panel , so now the wing is nearly off ( looks like last time we decided to rivet the wing to the front panel - probably because the thread and nuts mountings were not tightening up , so I will get a drill out and take the rivets out ). Maybe there was a reason why every nut holding the wing on was a different head size , I will find out and the traling lower edge bolt plate always rusts away and this once again is no exception. The reason for the rusting was the same as the corrosion on the brake pipe , its the little rubber seal under the windscreen wiper boss which is perished allowing water into the interior , which has found its way into gaps in the welded joints and along the chassis leg where the master cylinder sits.

Changing the rubber seal is one of the really awkward tasks on a morris minor , but it will have to be done as son says he does not want to do any more than normal servicing for the next 40 years that this work should take the car to. Also to be done is the clutch pedal removal , which might require a heat source , which we dont have, the whole brake and clutch set up confused at least three local garages , but I will try my Sri Lakan run local one ( its actually behind the garage the car is located in , but due to one way roads the distance to cover is over half a mile to get to see them )

And the fun removing headlights (currently sealed beam but should be prefocus ones to be original to year ) , from the only slightly rusted metal bucket container , theres a spring holding the light to the bucket , quite how its meant to be fittable back in I have done , but If I can do without skinning knuckles is another matter.

Changing a rear stop/tail light on prospective daugher-in-laws Mk1 Clio took about a minute. I will try to get hold of another spare bulbs container for her car for the future, I keep one set in the wifes car but cannot remember where I put the spare little box.

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Re: Morris Minor Re-Restoration 2012

Post by Whyperion » 08 Aug 2013, 21:19

I have been sourcing from the spares pile warning tri-angle and yellow hi-viz for son' s planned trip to the south of france , when they tell me what car they are using I will make up a set of spare light bulbs in preparation for their summer holiday to south of france. (7 days there and back ). Son's shifts mean that the 4-door is not getting much attention. O/S doors are off , everthing (just) out of the car and loads of holes found in outer sills - allegedly repaired some 30 years ago and after the non-drying black stuff in the boot removed from the inner wing replacement panels we find work done 17 years ago was basically cover all the rusty stuff in black sealant , so thats been coming off , my welder chappie has had nervous breakdown ( unrelated to the car ) and did not quite weld as I thought I had instructed the inner front wing , its covered up but needs the plates in place for the fitting of the outer wing , which I remember I have to source as the originals rusted to not a lot.

The 2 door I think I have done the cylinder head OK , a later 1100 BMC FWD manual showed that the head I have the oil seals are pushed over the valve stems to sit just above the valve guides , which is where I have not put them ( like they are omitted , does not seem yet to affect oil consumption ). After garage , which I instructed to take for MOT (for it to fail I was going to do the expected non -body work repairs ) , decided to get it a proper MOT and do the work accordingly I had an unexpected bill , which fortunately each of the family members chipped in to cover it for me , with a promise that when ( I didn't say when ) , the car is sold they should get there money back + maybe a bit extra. 2 doors are pretty impractical as trying to get anything out of the rear - even with one seat removed - is more of a pain that I really like to consider doing long term. High Fuel consumption ( well either the guage or sender not working at present ) with rough running was experienced, so I concluded mixture of fuel/air was a bit rich. A SU carburetor with a single adjustable needle is fairly straightforward to amend this by reducing the height of the needle end by turning a nut , I noticed that the choke operation was not returning the needle to its zero position , possibly due to wear or lack of lubrication, a bit of pushing seems to have freed it up for now with much better idling, though acceleration not great - not helped by a slipping clutch. It needs some more carb adjustment - I'll find the spare in the garage and do that first and fit new accelerator and choke cables as one is too long and the other too short , will make sure cables are lubricated in their sleeves as well on fitting.

Overall the 2 door is my local run around mostly shifting parts for the 4 door for cleaning up at the blasters its next task.

Painting small items has not gone as well as I had hoped, with bubbling as cellulose reacted with enamel I had used before , so will have to strip by blasting and re-do the air filter assemblies and rub down the gear stick and re-gloss. Seat frames are next as I find I seem to have lost a pair of front seats , probably at the parents-in-law house at a guess.

Will have to do a bit of swapping stuff around between garages to give space for the painting pre-preparation , still need to get the clutch pedal out then hopefully the re-building can commence once the small oddments of welding completed.

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Re: Morris Minor Re-Restoration 2012

Post by Whyperion » 15 Sep 2015, 19:34

The four door is still not wholly done, interior and bits of door frame and other little tidying up, and I now need to fix the stop light switch - which involves brake bleeding again and the garage floor has mysteriously grown more debris despite a further clear out and an attempt to find the spare if it cannot be fixed.. I did manage to get out to one South of England show earlier in the Summer. I wanted to miss the rain and avoid fast roads and too many hills so went a little long way round. Car seemed to like the journey. I met the chap who fixed the front window in for us there with his mini countryman and his friend's mini traveller.

Actually we have paid out for the rear seats to be recovered - I thing I could have bought 3 s/h recentish Jags for the labour and materials cost. Still the fronts to do, which will involve using the old seat covers from the rears mostly.
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Re: Morris Minor Re-Restoration 2012

Post by Whyperion » 30 Nov 2016, 23:28

The stop light switch did not need brake bleeding, but the new wiring just seems to break too easily from the screw terminals. the flasher unit gave up and I lost a nut and bolt being careless in outside the main garage in the cold , into the autumn leaves they went. As car is now negative earth ftted an electronic flasher unit. As said the screw terminals on the wires were too large to fit the tag holes, which I had to drill out, then the cannister was too short for the new mounting clip to fit in the same place on the inner wing (? why did the new loom have the flasher exit there ?) So lashed up bit bits of insulation tape. Sucess. For one day, then the rear stop/indicator bulb gave up, and I couldn't find my spares. A £2 pair of 'Bluecol' badged ones in Sainsburys, followed by attempting to fit in a freezing car park got full rear illumination back again. No doubt the extra bulb will end up in the unfindable pile the next time I need some.
Still maybe its all worth it. After pulling the car out of the 'running shed' garage (the one closest to mum's flat. someone who I had not seen before said ' Is that a new one ?' I explained that many bits were but the rest was paint , she thought they had started making these again. Reading while flat sitting for my son this afternoon looks like I can get the couple of bits of chromework to complete the boot and drivers door to my satisfaction. Next on the list, a new clutch. Being 1960 its a changeover year and on its nth engine, one of two types of cover plate could be fitted, not that it should need cover plate, its only done 30000 miles on the old one, but road humps take their toll in the constant slowing to get to them, and in this car, speeding up as the little gradient is quite steep.

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Re: Morris Minor Re-Restoration 2012

Post by Big Kev » 09 Dec 2016, 22:33

It looks lovely, I can remember my dad having one, it was left hand drive and he converted it to the right.
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Re: Morris Minor Re-Restoration 2012

Post by Whyperion » 11 Dec 2016, 21:29

I bumped it a bit, need to get new rear bumper iron and another fibreglass valence (someone stuck a bollard in a roadway !)
The replacement flasher unit (-ve earth only) works, but is taped up as its shorter than the original (which last about two years), I also dropped the unit and bolt (about 2BA I should have spares, as the holes were too small and I drilled them out, but tricky to fit in the cold. I'll have to run a choc block extension on the stop light wiring as the new wires just are not holding - the old loom ones lasted 40 years without breaking. Still awaiting part of the interior - a seat frame has gone off to be repainted as a start, then search for the right foam depth.

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