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RichardSIA HalfDork
6/7/21 2:17 a.m.

Made the deal to buy a Morris Minor Convertible. Paid more for it than my Europa but this one is basically a turn-key car needing only the spare starter that comes with it installed. Or just spin the hand-crank!

Last time I owned/drove a Morris was about forty years ago. I recall them as slow, great on gas, and super easy to work on. Spent more than the PU I really wanted would have been, but the PU is a major project so decided the Convertible made more sense.

Someone did a fair amount of restoration a couple of decades ago, guess I get to be trendy now, it's not poor paint and worn seats, it's "Patina". wink

This will now be the DD for local driving, replacing a miserable EFI/computer infected 91 Buick Century with 3.3 that has left me stranded and infuriated too many times. If I can get rid of the Buick quickly enough I may still end up with the MM Pickup as well.

The MM is pretty much the same DNA as a Spridget with larger doors and more headroom, so I should be able to keep this one on the road in my sleep. 

Bought for well below common asking prices so should be a good investment, for my estate, as I'm done selling the simple classic cars I enjoy. Could have tossed one of my other cars together cheaper, but TIME was of the essence as it looks like gas is headed to record high prices and everything else I have running gets about 10 MPG!

It will be great to stop driving nothing but trucks or "Modern" junk. More pics once I get it home. Hopefully late this week.

MM Convert.

californiamilleghia SuperDork
6/7/21 9:12 a.m.

Glad it worked out :)

GoLucky Reader
6/7/21 9:33 a.m.

Looks good 

RichardSIA HalfDork
6/7/21 10:55 a.m.

"Twenty-footer". Cannot get bogged down in a major refurbish so only looking at ways to quickly liven it up a little.

Probably paint the wheels White or Blue, to match the two-tone or racing stripes I am thinking of doing. With an awesome 37 HP racing stripes might be confusing, but simpler than two-tone.

If this engine dies it would probably get a 1275 to be more practical for longer trips. But otherwise it stays as stock as possible to retain max value for when I can no longer drive. (Further comment censored/removed for fear of being "Political" and not PC)

It will be great to be back into an honest car that has no modern complications.

californiamilleghia SuperDork
6/7/21 12:18 p.m.

I had a 2CV a couple years ago and it was fun to drive but scary with all the A-holes  texting and driving 50mph in the city , 

It got old fast having people right on my tail or passing in the dirt on the right , 

Put some LED bulbs in it or some extra  rear lights.

frenchyd UltimaDork
6/7/21 12:20 p.m.

In reply to RichardSIA :

Still have the woodie?  

RichardSIA HalfDork
6/7/21 2:01 p.m.

The Woodie is still available as of this morning. When I go pick up the Convert I can examine and take pics if it does not sell first. 

RichardSIA HalfDork
6/7/21 2:12 p.m.
californiamilleghia said:

I had a 2CV a couple years ago and it was fun to drive but scary with all the A-holes  texting and driving 50mph in the city , 

It got old fast having people right on my tail or passing in the dirt on the right , 

Put some LED bulbs in it or some extra  rear lights.

Living sixty miles away from even the podunk towns does have some advantages. The local highway is simple to avoid from home to town. Trips to the City will still be done in the one-ton truck for now. Funny, that one is rarely cut-off.

I had enough funds for a wide variety of cars, could have had a 'Vette, MR2, Miata, etc. Chose the Morris for it's very basic simplicity and mileage. Of course an hour later a running Sunbeam Rapier convertible came up for less......crying 

Morris is probably better anyway as parts are so easy to get. I will find some period correct looking driving lights, ands maybe fit a "Get off my ZZZ" light to the rear. Car already has an alternator conversion so good lights are simple to do.

frenchyd UltimaDork
6/7/21 3:51 p.m.
RichardSIA said:

The Woodie is still available as of this morning. When I go pick up the Convert I can examine and take pics if it does not sell first. 

Thank you. 

RichardSIA Dork
7/25/21 10:45 p.m.

Naturally the Minor is not quite as restored as the seller made it out to be.
So now getting into the "minor" issues with the Minor.

Replaced the S.U. fuel pump with a German replacement.
The S.U. pump worked initially and was still running but the solenoid was heating up.
I will rebuild it when I have more time.

Fuel gauge does not work. I can live with a lot of petty inconvenience but a working gas gauge is pretty much a must for anything with more than two wheels.
Quickly determined that the Gauge Voltage Regulator is missing.
It's a small voltage drop device, 12v to 10v, usually mounted to the back of the speedometer.
This is a Neg. Earth car so hopefully this will not be hard to find.
It may be the same as MGB, Midget, ????

New wire harness, but has wires going nowhere and other wires added in!
So looks like I need to go over it all as if I were doing a new install.
One thing that will throw off the original schematic is the alternator conversion.
Probably a good thing though as it should allow me to run some driving lights.

Fitted new rear brake drums as even with what appear to be new shoes and wheel cylinders the old ones required full max on the adjusters to work at all.
No tool to measure them and the auto parts store had no tool that goes that small either.
So assumed they must have been turned beyond max size and bought new, but nothing changed except my wallet got lighter. 
Have to look into this some more.

8" front brake conversion is proving difficult to get parts for.
So may have to go with a more expensive Midget disc conversion instead.

Another priority has to be seating. Original bottoms are collapsed so have to stuff pillows under them or essentially sit on the floor.
Not sure what might upgrade, MGB?
Not going with Japanese or Chinese seats!

frenchyd UltimaDork
7/26/21 12:02 a.m.

If you go to disk brakes you must go with power assist. Drum brakes have a self serving effect that sort of wedges the shoes into the drum. 
Disk brakes lack that.  

RichardSIA Dork
7/26/21 12:35 a.m.

Ummm, Midgets got by without a servo.
Morris is almost a Midget with a sedan body.

RichardNZ GRM+ Memberand Reader
7/26/21 4:07 a.m.

You shouldn't need a servo as long as all the system is in good condition.  
Back in the day (70's) a close friend built one with 2000 cc Ford V4 rebuilt to Corsair standards - cam, Weber, head work and stuff, maybe 110 x 120 bhp. He used the correct close ratio Ford gearbox with a Cortina diff. Front suspension was Morris Marina to get the disc brakes but I think he found some bigger calipers. The other front mods were vertical - ish telescopic shocks from the lower arms to the body.  It was quite fast for the day and would crank up 80 or 90 mph with alacrity. I don't recall what it's actual top speed was but there wasn't a lot of acceleration in the top end.

Keep up the good work, I'm enjoying this smiley

TurnerX19 UltraDork
7/26/21 10:57 p.m.

The voltage "stabilizer" is the same part as MGB or Midget. You might have one in stock alreadysmiley I also echo New Zealand in that a booster is not a requirement for the disc brake conversion. Lots of light weight cars have run discs without boost. Hell my Fiat has no boost and disc on all 4 wheels. 

RichardSIA Dork
7/26/21 11:14 p.m.

I went ahead and ordered the $11.00 solid state update part rather than rely on a forty year old bi-metallic strip and contacts. I may be something of a purist at times, but not ALL the time.

Latest issue is finding wheels that run true. Should cure some front end shimmy and rear end wobble/bounce. 
After spending so much for tires to fit stock rims I'm looking for stock size wheels.
New OEM type are available but cost as much as mags!

RichardSIA Dork
7/28/21 12:45 a.m.

Am I daft or are Leather/Vinyl seats in a top-down convertible a bad idea in an area where temps often go over 100˚f?
I've never really found them all that comfortable in winter either.
But that is all that is offered for rebuilding MM seats.
Or pretty much any other Brit car I might take seats from. no
This leaves me with either poor fitting oversize commercial covers or learning to sew.
Research continues.

TurnerX19 UltraDork
7/28/21 12:40 p.m.

I tried one of the solid state stabilizers and found it to be poorly made. If it doesn't work you can fix it by installing a ground wire between the case and the negative side of the PC board. This requires uncrimping the case from the board.

The silver edges of the PC board are supposed to ground to the case by means of the crimp. If your new unit fails to function first try to tighten the crimp with some vise grips before you do the repair I did. That might work, I did not try it before I opened it up.

RichardSIA Dork
7/28/21 2:01 p.m.

Voltage stabilizer is to arrive in the morning.
Which leaves the dead speedometer as the remaining semi-major issue.
I can literally buy another car for what is being demanded for a used replacement speedo drive pinion.
So I'm going to see about finding a Midget with 1275 to use for parts.

Have to complete fabricating my portable winch set in order to drag more cars home.

RichardSIA Dork
8/5/21 9:22 p.m.

This is fun(ny), BL workshop manual I ordered finally arrived.
Great, says I, now I can get to a correct wiring schematic and pics of where things are supposed to be mounted.
Maybe not. Pics are drawings and a lot of what I wanted is apparently assumed to be already known so no illustration.
No pic of the voltage stabilizer in place, wire schematic does not even show that one is used.
But lots of discussion of them on other forums. 

Next immediate trick is trying to patch together the drivers seat using some nylon webbing I have.

TurnerX19 UltraDork
8/5/21 9:50 p.m.

On many other BMC cars the voltage stabilizer attaches to the back of the Speedometer, Mini in particular. Not sure about your car, but that is most likely given the lack of stuff in the back of the instrument panel.

RichardSIA Dork
8/5/21 10:30 p.m.

Mini and some MM use the same Speedo.
Surprised the wire schematic makes no mention of the voltage stabilizer.

Think I have temporary answer for the drivers seat. 
Polishing my red-neck credentials and screwing down some plywood to support the foam until I can get a real set of replacement upholstery.

May just relearn sewing since no one sells cloth seat covers.
I'm in Nevada, it's a convertible, I wear shorts in summer!

If I could find Gowdy plaid that would be perfect.

RichardSIA Dork
8/9/21 12:33 a.m.

Been annoyed that I could not get the fuel gauge to work.
Tracking down wiring and now find that two of three dark green +12v wires from the fuse block do not have continuity all the way to their next junction.

Cannot blame Lucas, this is a new replacement harness.
Not happy that I may have to cut the nice clean cloth cover to replace bad wires.

RichardSIA Dork
8/9/21 11:12 p.m.

Well I pulled this one out with further research.
Did not have to cut the loom once I found that one of the two "Dead" wires actually comes from the wiper motor.
Of the three wires the one that was being an issue was the one the DPO had left floating with a bit of electrical tape over the end!
So now I have a fuel gauge and working idiot lights.

Next big trick is getting the speedometer to work.

TurnerX19 UltraDork
8/10/21 12:29 p.m.

Making a Smiths speedo "work" is usually easy. Making it accurate is magiccheeky Make sure the instrument is not seized before applying any parts down stream! Unless you have long steep down grades you drive frequently a speedometer is not a need in a Minor, you won't be speeding.

RichardSIA Dork
8/14/21 11:23 p.m.

The Morris Minor is finally a driver.
All the lights work including turn signals.
Turn signal switch is some hack universal piece, to be replaced as soon as I have a "Spare" $200.00 laying around. Seems Lucas parts are no longer cheap now that six-figure cars use them. frown
Turns out this year model does not use the voltage stabilizer.
Mechanical clutch is a bit stiff, brakes are still a bit weaker than I remember but are mechanically sound.
Studying my options for a brake upgrade.

I have to say I did not get the car I bought.
Seller overstated some condition and forgot to mention that some important items are missing. Have to find a heater and defrost system before winter!

With all that it's still a great car for evening drives after the temps drop.
Been way too long since I've had a running convertible.

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