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I drive my Saloon and Traveller all over the West Coast. Both have modified 1275's with Datsun 5-speed transmissions, disk brakes in the front and 3.9 rear ends. I installed Ford Focus bucket seats in the Saloon and they are so much more comfortable than the stock seats on long trips. They don't just install, you have to build mounts and the inside front mounts are the most difficult. I mounted the seats about 4 inches back and the leg room is greatly appreciated. I tried to do the same to the Traveller but did not like the way they looked so I returned to the stock seat. I have plans to build and install a Datsun A15 engine in the Saloon and hope to squeeze 100+ hp out of it. I know I'll need a new differential and am looking for options.
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Early on I noticed that the rear suspension was sagging to the extent that the right leaf spring was rubbing the frame. Upon closer inspection, it looks like a previous owner had welded in a small piece of steel bar on the frame just below where the shackle mounts. As such it reduced the clearance for the spring/shackle significantly. Generally, the reason for such a modification would be to reinforce the frame so I was not comfortable with removing it. Nonetheless, it was obvious that the rubber used throughout the rear was deformed significantly and therefor a full replacement would likely add a little clearance and likely tighten up the ride. Fast forward to October. I decided to dive in and begin the replacement of all rubber components in the rear. The strip down took the better part of two days due to frozen nuts and bolts. I tried to do my best to preserve as many parts as possible, but several required replacement including the pin that holds the front of the leaf spring on the left side along with its locating bracket, all four shackle plates and two shackle pins, and the drop links for the shocks. The left spring pin that goes thought the forward eyelet of the spring had its threads deformed in the process of removal despite leaving the nut threaded to the end to shield them from the blows of my hammer. I guess if you hit anything hard enough, there is a change of stretching/deforming the threads. In addition the pin was completely rusted to the loca...
We've brought one of two morris minors that we bought home so far, we should be getting the other this weekend. The previous owner passed away and had three of them, a 2-door, a 4-door and a convertible. The convertible was already sold and was in the most restored condition. The 2-door that we got first was the daily driver of the owner. It currently has a midget engine in it, we're still trying to figure out if the gear box or anything else has been changed or not. We've drained the gas that was in it, changed the air filters, and it starts but tends to stall out so we have yet to drive it. There are a few weird diy modifications on the engine so I'm looking forward to getting it tuned up and in better shape than it currently is. The current paint job has small rust spots all over, so will need to be redone at some point, we may try and match it and touch it up in the mean time. When looking at the inside of the boot lid you can see the original pale ivory color which is much more creamy/yellow than the white that it currently is. The interior is recently redone but has red velour on the seats, doors, and headliner. I'd like to change of it asap, it's quite ugly. I noticed it's missing the "parcel shelf" I believe it's called (the bar that forms a shelf under the dash). I think doing the interior in the original maroon would be nice. I can't wait to get the 4-door home to check it out some more but it has a lot farther to go. I'm excited to have the 2-door in mostly functio...
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I have owned a 1949 Morris minor since 1982 and it is now getting a complete restoration.
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Once I received the small accordion-style cooling system bypass hose back in June, I began disassembling the entire cooling system. In addition to that hose, I also purchased new upper and lower radiator hoses, heater hoses, thermostat, thermostat housing and a drain tap to replace the plug in the radiator. Due to the location of a small structure cross-member, there is no easy way to drain the cooling system without making a complete mess. Having the drain tap allowed me to connect a small 1/4 inch hose to facilitate draining the system without splashing anti-freeze everywhere. Overall the replacement of the hoses and thermostat were easy enough. I took the opportunity to run a cooling system flush through the system and clear out any gunk that has managed to accumulate over the years. The flush had a tendency to foam a little bit and I found that revving the engine would cause it to push past the pressure relief cap, even before full operating temperature had been reached. Turns out that the last time the cap was replaced, the correct one was not fitted. The radiator has a tall neck and requires a cap with a longer reach in order to seal the system. A new cap was ordered and we were back in business. No pics for this one. Pretty mundane stuff.
So the previous owner must've turned left a lot, or primarily signaled left because the lobe on the signal switch that holds it in place is completely worn flat for left indication. Some minor friction is all that allowed me to keep the switch up and any small vibration or bump would cancel the signal. In addition, contact was intermittent, even when in the correct position and my horn suffered from the same problem. So back in June I decided to have a go at trying to repair the switch. Once the steering wheel and switch shroud were removed it was obvious why contact might be intermittent. The entire switch was filthy. Unfortunately there wasn't much to be done for the lack of stability in the left turn position as building material back into the casting was not really possible. I used my rotary tool to basically create an additional indentation beyond where the lobe would normally hold and it was a slight improvement but I decided to keep my eyes open for a new switch if one came up at a better price than the $120 or so that was being quoted at most suppliers. A quick clean, sanding of contacts and a light application of lubrication made a noticeable difference in function in the meantime. I was able to snag a reproduction unit on eBay two weeks ago for around $40. It looks good enough and I'm sure all but the most die-hard enthusiasts will never notice.
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Since I bought the car in April, driving had been a challenge as there was no support from the seat bottom. It was like sitting in a five gallon bucket with no visibility of my wing mirrors. My temporary workaround was a blanket that had been folded several times to use as a booster. Inspection of the seats revealed that virtually none of the seats straps were still in place, and the ones that were still clinging to the frame were stretched, dried and brittle completely unable to perform their duty. Seat foam had been replaced at one point but bore no resemblance to its original shape. So I spent a couple of weeks in late May and early June working on the driver's seat. I was able to strip it down to the bare frame. In so doing, I discovered that the support toward the rear of the seat bottom that runs between the seat uprights had a broken weld and was able to move. A friend of mine was able to grind and re-weld the joint at which point the frame was sanded and painted. The wrap that surrounds the seat base looked to be some sort of burlap felt material. It was partially disintegrated into dust and made a real mess when I removed it. The seat back was only slightly better. The same material as the seat base surround was used to pad the frame of the seat back but instead of foam for the cushion, there was a worn and disintegrating piece of horse hair padding. I found a suitable replacement for both along with a 2" piece of high density seat foam cut to...
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The "Conclave" was rescheduled for last Sunday. I decided to test the LCV to see how it did climbing the 10,000 ft. mountain Passes of I-70. I was impressed! I left at 5:30am and got to Denver by 9:00am. 3.5 hrs to do about 170 miles. Doing the math works out to 48.5 MPH. That included a stop for gas. Going up was not really the chore I thought it was going to be. The little van managed 45mph even up the steepest parts. Quite surprised. I probably could have gone faster if I hadn't loaded the van down with half of my tool box. I guess it weighed in at over 150lbs. What was really cool was that I didn't need a single tool! What wasn't cool was that I didn't get a shot of the van with the other minors at the show. I will remember to take photos on next trip I go.
I bought the van. I just registered it polished off the old advertising. I thought it was a decal but it was painted on. A cut and buff got the most of it off. Still needs more detail work.
Well, I gave it a shot and had really nothing to lose. Hoping for just a sticking ring on piston #4 was a long shot. After soaking it for 10 days in some Marvel Mystery Oil then fumigating the neighborhood while the last of the oil residue burned off, I took the car for a nice drive to get the engine up to temp and hopefully release that stuck ring. The engine ran great but no change in the cylinder compression. The fix will involve removing the head and the sump to take the piston out. Given that everything is running well, I'm in no hurry and this may wait indefinitely. The upshot is I'm not noticing as much oil leaking out of the engine as I had before. I'm not sure what has changed, and yes I made sure there was still oil in the sump. Could be some of those old seals have started to swell again now that it is being driven but I doubt it. I'll continue to keep an eye on it. While inspecting for oil leaks, a new leak has developed in the cooling system. There is a small ribbed/accordion hose that connects from the cylinder head below the thermostat to the water pump for the thermostat bypass. It leaks fairly constantly while warming up but slows down when at temp. The crack down the seam of the hose is pretty obvious. New hose is on back-order at Moss, so I'll just start carrying more water/coolant than normal. A cursory inspection of the plugs and cylinders while testing compression revealed that things were pretty filthy. On the advice of several...
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I've been thinking of using a minor van for house calls with my auto repair business. Not sure if it is a wise decision but my thinking is that I get advertising and transportation all in one package. I am hoping that it will bring me much more vintage work. I also wonder if it will pull my Lotus Europa on it's small trailer. Hummm.
Currently I'm running a perfectly serviceable generic aftermarket solid state fuel pump (pic included). Based on the marking, it was installed in 2007 and I'm unlikely to have any trouble with it, at least not in the near term future. The thing is, with a car that has been kept so original, it seemed natural to seek out an original fuel pump for the car. You can buy new ones, but they are pricey. So I started the hunt for a used one. I put out the word to several Morris boards (including here) and email groups and was rewarded with a failed unit in Vancouver for the paltry sum of $20 plus shipping. The previous owner was unsure of all the problems but for $20, what did I have to lose? When the unit arrived the first thing I noticed was a cracked plastic points housing, likely from over-tightening the securing nut. Inside it became obvious that the external securing nut was the least of the issue. The pedestal that the points mount to was cracked and no longer providing a flat platform. Once again, this appeared to be tied to over-torquing of one of the screws that secures the pedestal. After disassembling the whole of the pump, I was left with a pedestal in three pieces. Perusing the Internet, I was surprised to see how few sites that offer Morris replacement parts offered the pedestal. And for those that did, I was looking at a a tidy sum of nearly double what I paid for the dead pump in the first place either for the part itself or because of the overseas...
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In the last few days I've managed a few small tasks. FIrst was the reinstallation of the driver's seat. Due to the complete lack of support from the seat base, it is like sitting in a bucket, not a bucket seat but an actual bucket. My wife saw me drive away and said I looked like a little kid. New Pirelli straps are on order from Bull Motif as I type this. I'll be stopping by the upholstery shop to pick up some seat foam as well later this week. Next was an oil and filter change. The spin-on filter was firmly stuck in place. After wrestling with it by hand, with a strap wrench and a pipe wrench, I finally resorted to the old pound-a-screwdriver-through-the-filter approach which allowed me to break the seal. Thereafter the pipe wrench was still required due to the limited space to rotate with the screwdriver in place. It may have been the longest oil change I've ever attempted. While bringing the engine up to temp and while running after the oil change to check for leaks, I noticed for the first time a small amount of smoking from the exhaust. This was followed by several items in and around the gearbox. I drained and replaced the gearbox oil. I adjusted the engine steady cable which had so much slack that it was buckled in compression (picture attached). I then spent some time addressing the vague shifting by replacing of the o-ring at the base of the shift lever, the anti-rattle plunger and spring, then cleaning and re-lubricating the end of the shift leve...
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Car came with some aftermarket continuous flow fuel pump, doesn't sound right. Miss the "tickticktick tick tick ...tick ......" after I switch it on, also can estimate fuel burn rate while rolling by listening to the pump. Changing it out to stock pump with points, etc.; just need to remember to brighten up the contacts every so often. Did same with electronic ignition, now back to points. Adjust gap every 10,000 mi. At 250 mi/yr, it will be a while.
So, the original owner of my Traveller must've been especially short of stature because there was a small bar welded to the rear "feet" of the driver's seat that effectively tilted the seat forward. In addition to the worn and stretched seat straps and the flattened and compressed foam it makes for a rather uncomfortable ride, especially for drives of more than 30 minutes. So yesterday I took out the angle grinder and removed this modification. A little sanding and some Rustoleum flat black and I'll be ready to put the seat back in later this week. A minor fix but one that should provide a little relief to my back and posterior.
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