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Morris Minor Chat

Front and rear suspension dampers

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John in Eugene Avatar
John in Eugene Platinum Member John Quilter
Eugene, OR, USA   USA
I've always had good luck with properly rebuilt lever dampers on both my Minors and my MGTD. I've used International Auto Parts in Madison Wisconsin for the rebuild services. Google them.

John F. Quilter
Eugene, Oregon USA

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AndersF Avatar
AndersF Anders Falkman
Trosa, Sweden   SWE
In reply to # 8034 by Wee MG 1963 Hi Ben - the oil should be visible in the shock - but not overflowing the filler plug. I am looking at a MM 1000 owner's manual right as I type, and it says to fill to the bottom of the plug hole.

I am an American living in Melbourne, and since you are in Australia, you are probably aware of Penrite. They make a specific shock oil (which I have used while rebuilding the front and rears of my Wolseley 1500 - which uses the same shocks as the Minor) for vintage cars. Bursons usually have it on the shelf or can get it for you in a day or two.

If yours have been dry for a long time, you may experience leaking around the arms (where the seals are) after you have filled them, but in my experience with Penrite's shock oil, given enough time and keeping your eye on the fluid level to top up as necessary, the fluid will help expand the seals and slow or stop the leaking.

This is yet another reason NOT to use motor oil (besides it being too thick) in these shocks, as it is not formulated to help swell the seals and help with the really high internal pressures generated by these devices. The internal valve holes are far too small to use anything like motor oil for them to be effective. It was an old "trick" years (o.k., decades) ago to use motor oil to "stiffen" the shocks for competition use on MGs and such, but in reality it makes them so hard that they aren't functioning for their intended purpose.

At the rear, because of their location, the shocks are difficult to fill in situ. The manual says to remove them to fill (yeah, right). You will find if you clean the top of the shock off and use a 7/16 flare nut wrench to undo the plug, you can use a small clear plastic tube on a turkey-baster (or your mouth - Penrite tastes great! Ask me how I know!) to siphon it out of the bottle, and blow it (slowly, no bubbles please) into the opening of the rear shocks, and then reinstall the plug once full. It's easy to overfill the rears since you really can't see what you're doing, but go slow, keep using your pinky to test the fluid level, and all will be fine.

While you're under the rear, check all the link rubbers to make sure they haven't disintegrated. If the links are worn and the rubber is perished, the rear axle will move quite a bit before the rear shocks will have any chance of doing their job.

Scott's Old Car Rubber does a great job here in Victoria of re-rubbering your links, there is no need to buy new (and the new ones are usually crap quality - just like most re-pop parts).

Hope this helps.

Cheers from rainy Melbourne!

Tom
Hi!
I notice, that you state, that the shocks for the rear of a Wolseley 1500 are the same as those on a Morris Minor. Ie, the Minor´s should fit straight onto the Wolseley.
Is that 100 % correct? If so, I´d be much relieved, since I´m currently finishing restoration of a " 1500" and have, as yet, been unable to find new rear dampers for the car. However, new dampers for the Minor are easy to aquire! What´s the truth? Regards, Anders, Sweden

0123 Mike D
Biddulph, Staffs, UK   GBR
I daresay this lot'll tell you Anders
https://www.wolseleyownersclub.com/

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0123 Mike D
Biddulph, Staffs, UK   GBR
In reply to # 8034 by Wee MG 1963 Hi Ben - the oil should be visible in the shock - but not overflowing the filler plug. I am looking at a MM 1000 owner's manual right as I type, and it says to fill to the bottom of the plug hole.

I am an American living in Melbourne, and since you are in Australia, you are probably aware of Penrite. They make a specific shock oil (which I have used while rebuilding the front and rears of my Wolseley 1500 - which uses the same shocks as the Minor) for vintage cars. Bursons usually have it on the shelf or can get it for you in a day or two.

If yours have been dry for a long time, you may experience leaking around the arms (where the seals are) after you have filled them, but in my experience with Penrite's shock oil, given enough time and keeping your eye on the fluid level to top up as necessary, the fluid will help expand the seals and slow or stop the leaking.

This is yet another reason NOT to use motor oil (besides it being too thick) in these shocks, as it is not formulated to help swell the seals and help with the really high internal pressures generated by these devices. The internal valve holes are far too small to use anything like motor oil for them to be effective. It was an old "trick" years (o.k., decades) ago to use motor oil to "stiffen" the shocks for competition use on MGs and such, but in reality it makes them so hard that they aren't functioning for their intended purpose.

At the rear, because of their location, the shocks are difficult to fill in situ. The manual says to remove them to fill (yeah, right). You will find if you clean the top of the shock off and use a 7/16 flare nut wrench to undo the plug, you can use a small clear plastic tube on a turkey-baster
Hypodermic syringe sans needle

(or your mouth - Penrite tastes great! Ask me how I know!) to siphon it out of the bottle, and blow it (slowly, no bubbles please) into the opening of the rear shocks, and then reinstall the plug once full. It's easy to overfill the rears since you really can't see what you're doing, but go slow, keep using your pinky to test the fluid level, and all will be fine.

While you're under the rear, check all the link rubbers to make sure they haven't disintegrated. If the links are worn and the rubber is perished, the rear axle will move quite a bit before the rear shocks will have any chance of doing their job.

Scott's Old Car Rubber does a great job here in Victoria of re-rubbering your links, there is no need to buy new (and the new ones are usually crap quality - just like most re-pop parts).

Hope this helps.

Cheers from rainy Melbourne!

Tom

Wee MG 1963 Avatar
Wee MG 1963 Gold Member Thomas W
Crystal Lake, Flat, boring Midwest, USA   USA
1957 Morris Minor 1000 "Sadie"
1973 MG Midget MkIII "Sunflower"
Hi Anders!

The rear shockers and arms are the same. The difference is in the bracketry that holds them onto the axle, and the links/brackets to the body/brackets. If those are in good order on your car, you should be able to remove them and refinish them, and take careful note of how they attach, and be able to use them with Minor shocks. The minor and the Wolsey (and Riley) use the same BMC light duty axle ("A"winking smiley, but the handbrake bracketry on my Wolseley was different (although it could probably be easily modified to function).

At the front, while the shocks themselves are the same, the shock arms that are splined onto them are angled differently (and appear to be of a thicker cross-section) and so Wolseley shock arms would not exit the control arm holes in the inner fenders correctly for my minor.

I still have my rear shock set-up for the Wolseley and the complete, rebuild, re-bushed front suspension for my Wolseley that I brought home with me. The even look pretty (painted and clear-coated). I would love to find a good home for them, and I would be willing to sell them, but I fear the cost of shipping would be prohibitive to Sweden (they are HEAVY). I am using the larger Wolseley front drum brakes (which bolt right onto the minor), but the rest I really have no use for.

Cheers,

Tom

AndersF Avatar
AndersF Anders Falkman
Trosa, Sweden   SWE
Hi Tom!

Thanks for your quick answer, wich leads me to believe, that the 1500 you obviously scrapped, was an early example, with the shockers attached onto the rar axle, Minor-wise, right?

Alas, this arrangement was used ( says the wolseleyclub in UK ) for a very short time 1957 ( probably on Australian built cars ) and therafter the shockers were mounted onto the chassis, the levers connected to the axle via links. Topping up the fluid in the shockers is quite easy, through holes under the rear seat.

So, the question still remains: will regular Minor-dampers fit in the new position ( as in my car ), or will the levers have to be repositioned into a different angle, like?

Perhaps a kit with telescopics for the Minor can be easily used? Reconditioned or new original shockers seem to be no longer obtainable.......

Still confused,

Anders

Wee MG 1963 Avatar
Wee MG 1963 Gold Member Thomas W
Crystal Lake, Flat, boring Midwest, USA   USA
1957 Morris Minor 1000 "Sadie"
1973 MG Midget MkIII "Sunflower"
Anders, I still believe they are the same, and only dependent on the correct bracketry to provide the right angle and attachment. I am reminded by your comment that the rears did in fact attach to the body, and via links to the axle, rather than the other way 'round.

I am in the middle of trying to organize my garage (again) but we have had quite a bit of snow and it has slowed my progress - or I would dig them out and photograph them for you. They function perfectly and have nicely painted black arms and links, with cleared over the cleaned aluminum bodies.

Incidentally, the car was not scrapped. I was feverishly trying to complete it's restoration (or at least get it rolling with the drivetrain in it so I could transport it) before our employment contract in Melbourne ended - and I just bit off more than I could chew, I'm afraid. I had gotten the bare shell nearly finished (not yet rolling), and had to donate it to the Wolseley Club in Victoria. It has been purchased by a club member and will see the road again. I came home with the various components from the Wolseley only because they had been restored and I knew at least some of them would fit the Morris - horns, generator, wiper motor, front and rear brakes assemblies, shocks, axle housing, rear springs, etc.

I'm afraid I really "ended up" with a Minor (not that I am unhappy about it!) - only because I was desperate to come back to the 'States with something actually built in Australia (and both the Wolseley and the Morris were built in Sydney at the Zetland Nuffield factory). The Morris was for sale less than two KM from our home in Mont Albert, Vic and a good friend of mine from the Wolseley Club went with me to inspect her, and once deemed solid enough and running well enough, I bought her on the spot. Since she was purchased before our departure (only just) and registered in Victoria, she came home as personal property and therefore avoided customs duty and tax (not that it was a great deal of money).

Again, I have the front suspension and rear shocks and links/brackets - they are ready to bolt on and admire - but I think shipping would be insane due to the weight.

Hope this clarifies?

Tom

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AndersF Avatar
AndersF Anders Falkman
Trosa, Sweden   SWE
In reply to # 28653 by Wee MG 1963 Anders, I still believe they are the same, and only dependent on the correct bracketry to provide the right angle and attachment. I am reminded by your comment that the rears did in fact attach to the body, and via links to the axle, rather than the other way 'round.

I am in the middle of trying to organize my garage (again) but we have had quite a bit of snow and it has slowed my progress - or I would dig them out and photograph them for you. They function perfectly and have nicely painted black arms and links, with cleared over the cleaned aluminum bodies.

Incidentally, the car was not scrapped. I was feverishly trying to complete it's restoration (or at least get it rolling with the drivetrain in it so I could transport it) before our employment contract in Melbourne ended - and I just bit off more than I could chew, I'm afraid. I had gotten the bare shell nearly finished (not yet rolling), and had to donate it to the Wolseley Club in Victoria. It has been purchased by a club member and will see the road again. I came home with the various components from the Wolseley only because they had been restored and I knew at least some of them would fit the Morris - horns, generator, wiper motor, front and rear brakes assemblies, shocks, axle housing, rear springs, etc.

I'm afraid I really "ended up" with a Minor (not that I am unhappy about it!) - only because I was desperate to come back to the 'States with something actually built in Australia (and both the Wolseley and the Morris were built in Sydney at the Zetland Nuffield factory). The Morris was for sale less than two KM from our home in Mont Albert, Vic and a good friend of mine from the Wolseley Club went with me to inspect her, and once deemed solid enough and running well enough, I bought her on the spot. Since she was purchased before our departure (only just) and registered in Victoria, she came home as personal property and therefore avoided customs duty and tax (not that it was a great deal of money).

Again, I have the front suspension and rear shocks and links/brackets - they are ready to bolt on and admire - but I think shipping would be insane due to the weight.

Hope this clarifies?

Tom
Hi Tom, I dropped you an answer recently, but perhaps it didn´t reach you. I´m interested in the rear shocks and since the pair weighs in at 4,1 kg, I dont think the freightcosts will be too high. Maybe you could contact me per email at: a.falkman@gmail.com ? Regards, Anders

Wee MG 1963 Avatar
Wee MG 1963 Gold Member Thomas W
Crystal Lake, Flat, boring Midwest, USA   USA
1957 Morris Minor 1000 "Sadie"
1973 MG Midget MkIII "Sunflower"
Just sent you a P.M, Anders. Take care, Tom

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