RichardSIA HalfDork
6/21/21 11:27 p.m.

Seems almost strange to buy a car that is not a complete project.

Decent twenty-footer but needs some attention. Lots of good work done, body almost strait, engine appears rebuilt, new wire loom, alternator conversion, new top, crap-tastic paint and interior. 

Once I got it home I noticed a couple of missing or wrong items, minor hardware bits, Heater!, bumper over-riders, and probably a little more as I get into it.

Got parked up as the starter "Got Stuck, again". Hmm, been a long time, but as I recall there should be a ground from the engine to chassis. Usually connected from the upper starter mounting bolt to chassis and from there to the battery. Alternator conversion and Coil moved to the fender, seems wrong, poor Coil ground so expect weak ignition.

So yes it will need some work, and electrical is my least favorite. But it is so refreshing to have easy access to a simple engine!

Battery is dead and being trickle charged in hope of reviving it. I will be draining any fuel to replace with fresh. Tires are too fat Toyo 185's. Proper tires are either not available or silly expensive but I should be able to get closer than these.

Hope to have it running and driving in the next couple of days. Then I can dump the last 90's vehicle and have a simpler life.

New to me MM.

TurnerX19 UltraDork
6/22/21 12:05 p.m.

In reply to RichardSIA :

Coils ground through the spark plugs and the points, the coil body does not need to be grounded at all. Moving it to the fender reduces the vibrations it sees, so probably prolongs it's life. besides, it can't mount to the generator now that it is gone. Main chassis/engine ground is a real requirement, but might not keep a tired starter from jamming. That is why an original Lucas starter has a square end on the shaft, so you can un-jam it.

RichardSIA HalfDork
6/22/21 12:13 p.m.

Making progress. Starter works fine with a fully charged battery, tightening the fan belt may help keep it that way. Have to run into town for anti-freeze and oil change supplies.

I've had it started briefly on fuel prime, so once I get fresh gas in it should run. I will be adding an engine to chassis ground. Then I may begin sorting the electrics. New harness but some wires still dangling.

Thought the guy I bought it from knew these cars well, somewhat surprised at the oversights.

RichardSIA HalfDork
6/22/21 6:53 p.m.

Happiness is a British car! Pre-BMC is even better.

Had some minor issues (No pun) of the sort the haters would blame on Lucas. Fuel pump not working until I primed a bit of fuel into it and cinched up the loose fittings. Fiber washers can dry out, I intend to replace them with copper or aluminum.

Starter working fine now that it has some use and a full battery. Drove around the block. All the gears and clutch work, not a speed-shift car. Brakes a bit low, not sure how long it has sat but bleed and adjust will be simple.

More annoying are the non-functioning speedometer and fuel gauge. Both should be simple to fix and are easy to get to.

Current tires are new but too fat. Correct 5.00-14 are not readily available. I will put more effort into tires once the other fiddly issues are done.

A little slower than I remember them being but I am at 4,000' altitude so probably need to adjust the single SU carb while I am doing a tune-up. Most trips for this car are only twelve miles each way going into town and back.

rattfink81 Reader
6/22/21 11:06 p.m.

We need some pictures please. I've been interested in classic British cars but have never taken the plunge having only owned classic American and German stuff.

RichardSIA HalfDork
6/23/21 12:07 a.m.

Have the dash apart trying to get the Speedo and gas gauge to work.

New wire loom but modified for the Alternator conversion and non-original turn signal switch. Runs fine but need to bleed the brakes. Trying to locate a good wiring schematic.

Put insurance on it today. Hoping to get it registered tomorrow. Have to put the dash back together first. Pics once its  legal. Car is actually all over the net from the seller listing it on several venues.

RichardSIA HalfDork
6/23/21 12:59 a.m.

Another example of terrible Lucas quality, floor mounted dimmer switch failed after only sixty years of use! wink

TurnerX19 UltraDork
6/23/21 1:44 p.m.

In reply to RichardSIA :

Try hard to find an original Lucas one, not one of the reproduction ones available new now. All of the repro electric stuff  I have used is junk, unlike the originals. Especially back when this car was made the Lucas parts were damn good, the quality didn't plummet until the late '60s.

914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/23/21 3:09 p.m.

Richard, for the Google illiterate, could you show what a 61 MM is please?

My world says 2.4015748 inches.


APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/23/21 3:11 p.m.

OK.  I give up.  What the heck is an MM?  Morris Minor?

Mezzanine Dork
6/23/21 4:14 p.m.

My mind went first to the Mille Miglia, but yeah... he means Morris Minor. 


RichardSIA HalfDork
6/25/21 7:44 p.m.

Well, it looks like this one is more "Project" than represented by the seller. sad

Was going to register it today. As an out of state titled vehicle a VIN# inspection is required so I need to drive it to DMV.

Found a low rear tire, pumped up the compressor, and found a bad valve stem. Mumble a few salty words, get out the floor jack, remove the wheel and tire. More salty words but louder, the "brand new" tires are rotted! Obvious split in the rubber around the entire diameter. If one is rotten they are all rotten.

The solution is four new Pirelli Cinturato 145HR14 CA67's at $476.00 delivered. Rather expensive but these will at least be a proper fit. The 185R14's were way too wide for the original rims. I will order one more new tire for proper rotation next month. With the light weight of an MM the tires should age-out again before wearing out.

Still have some electrics to sort and cannot locate the MM service manual I thought I have. Brit car wiring tends to use all the same colors so my manual for Mini should work well enough.

Brakes are there but low, flush and bleed ASAP. Battery that came with the car looks showroom fresh but is DOA.

But this little gem is so simple to work on that none of this is seriously annoying me. laugh


RichardSIA HalfDork
6/26/21 12:35 a.m.

Not too happy that the MM has no gauges beyond the Speedo and fuel level. Do not want to cut the dash.

Looking for a working SMITHS mechanical dual oil / water gauge BHA4737 to hide in one of the glove boxes.

New US sourced are pretty expensive. Need to look at my MGB project cars, might be able to take one from them. Also used in Spridgets and Land Rover so should not be terribly hard to find.

RichardSIA HalfDork
6/26/21 9:16 a.m.

Need to confirm weather or not I may safely run the new radial tires tubeless.

If I have to also buy new tubes that will delay my getting on the road.

TurnerX19 UltraDork
6/26/21 10:42 a.m.

In reply to RichardSIA :

I can't remember if the Morris wheels have the centers riveted to the rims or if they are welded. If riveted I would run tubes. The rim beads are not the JJ style safety beads, but that "problem" is not really cured with tubes.

RichardSIA HalfDork
6/28/21 1:02 a.m.

Happy coincidence!
Decided that I want to add oil pressure and water temp gauges to the Morris Minor without cutting the dash. 
Lots of room for one gauge in either glove-box.
Thought I might find one of the old Smiths/Jaeger combo gauges in one of my MGB's.
Turns out the MGB's use a single function square temp gauge.
But, instead I found FOUR of the correct gauges lying loose in one of the passenger seats!
All of the temp senders look to be good, three of the gauges just need a bit of cleaning.
At the prices being asked for these I think I will send them all out for refurbishment.
One for the Morris and probably another for my Seven build, double win.  yes

TurnerX19 UltraDork
6/28/21 9:14 p.m.

In reply to RichardSIA :

If the they work, don't spend the money for a re-furb. The rims and lenses come of easily, and a clean & paint job is an hour at most. Just be careful not to paint the needle onto the zero pin.

RichardSIA HalfDork
7/15/21 11:38 p.m.

Not really happy with the brakes, but todays efforts at least have them "Good enough" for the trip to register the car.
I've never run out of adjustment before, even with worn shoes.
So I suspect the rear drums have been turned past their limit since even the new shoes will not tighten up properly.

Also adjusted the carb and timing, much more peppy now.
Still not finished, need to locate my Colortune tool and dwell/tach.

Certainly not a Sprite despite the engine and trans being essentially the same.
Cushy wallowing ride that will take getting used to. 

RichardSIA HalfDork
7/16/21 2:40 p.m.

OK, mostly "Legal" to drive.
A little shimmy in the front, vibration in the rear at speed, speedo and gas gauges still not working."
Good thing I bought a "Ready to drive" car instead of another project! wink

OH, and I'm wondering why the fuel pump runs so hot?

RichardSIA Dork
7/22/21 11:45 p.m.

New mystery brake drums (Originally SHIPPED from U.K., but nothing states where they were actually made!) arrived today as well as a replacement fuel pump.
If the drums work as hoped the reduced diameter will allow me proper adjustment and more brake pedal.
So hopefully the Minor gets back on the road this weekend.

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