long distance driving

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Murrayminor
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long distance driving

Postby Murrayminor » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:02 am

Good morning

I will hopefully be restoring my '65 2 door back to a strong shell this year and removing any rust, whilst its apart I will be tackling the transmission/running gear and maybe an engine refresh/rebuild.
I have a long standing yearning to take a classic car on a long distance tour, I want to drive to Nordkapp in Norway but I don't think my Morris Minor would be up to that journey (just yet) so I was planning on driving around the coast of the UK, that way I will still be close to any services and if it all goes wrong I will at least be in a position to have it trailered home.

I appreciate the car will have to be up to scratch in all departments and I hope to upgrade the seating and seat belts to make things a bit safer and comfortable.

Does anyone else use their Minors for long distance drives?
Proud owner of my first Morris Minor

philthehill
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Re: long distance driving

Postby philthehill » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:22 am

I went to the Nordkapp on my Honda XL250RE motorcycle in 1986.
casey and pops 3.JPG
casey and pops 3.JPG (1.64 MiB) Viewed 862 times
I went from Newcastle to Bergan and then up the centre of Norway to the Nordkapp. I came back via the Lofoten Islands and the west coat of Norway.
I spent a month on the journey and I did need all that time. I stayed in Youth Hostels and camped.
Your Minor will need to be in tip top condition and I would suggest that you fit the larger petrol tank as petrol stations are few and far between especially once your away from the towns.
Lots of high passes to climb over.

I used to my Ser 2 which was fitted with a 1098cc engine and latterly a modified 998cc for traveling backwards and forwards to the west coast of Cumbria from Hampshire every week for quite a while and that was over 750 miles per week.

The Ser 2 was more reliable than my nearly new Citroen BX.
Last edited by philthehill on Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:56 am, edited 2 times in total.


Murrayminor
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Re: long distance driving

Postby Murrayminor » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:33 am

I love the photograph.
Unfortunately I have stopped riding now due to a bad shoulder injury which really frustrates me.
I was thinking of maybe linking a smaller fuel tank sitting on the floor over the existing tank or just remove both a fit a larger tank I have not decided yet.
Mind you I could always put some jerry cans on a roof rack but all that weight would be top heavy.
I really want to take the Minor northwards so I may just concentrate on that.
By the time I'm ready to go I will have the luxury of no work ties for a few months so could take double your time.
Proud owner of my first Morris Minor

philthehill
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Re: long distance driving

Postby philthehill » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:58 am

When I went you could not have additional jerry cans or even empty ones on the ferry.


IslipMinor
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Re: long distance driving

Postby IslipMinor » Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:25 am

Since the Minor restoration was completed in 1998, we have been all over Western Europe, some of Eastern Europe, the southern half of Scandinavia and all of the island of Ireland in the Minor over the last 21 years. Often as part of an organised classic car tour, the 'Euroclssic'.

This year it was just us on holiday, and we started by going to Amsterdam, via the ferry to the Hague, down to Brussels, then down to near Toulouse, up the west coast of France and then to Brittany - a total of 2,300 miles in 3 weeks.

Did it miss a beat? Yes! Removing the Nodiz ignition system just before we left, because of intermittent problems, and refitting the distributor, coil etc., caused a problem on the way to the ferry in Harwich, and we had to be recovered from the M25. The hard shoulder on a Friday evening is no place to think clearly about what might be the cause of the complete ignition cut out. The solution of course was very simple, and nothing to do with either the refitted Lucas distributor or the Lucas Sports coil, so we just started our holiday 24 hours late!

After that no problems at all.

Long distances need a well prepared car, which for me means more than a standard engine can provide in terms of performance. On motorways we have an easy genuine 'cruising' capability of any European speed limit and more (France is 130kph or 81mph) and that makes 300 miles or more in a day really nothing to worry about (apart from needing to fill up with fuel every 2 hours or so, but that is a good discipline anyway). We look at the bigger tank, but it takes up the space for the spare wheel, so we still have the standard tank with just 6.5 gallons or 30 litres, which gives an maximum reliable range of 200 miles.

Next thing is reliable 'get-you-home' European insurance cover, and we have our insurance through Heritage Classic Car Insurance (Norton Insurance) and they provide total Europe-wide recovery, replacement car hire etc. We have had to use the recovery service a couple of times and it was superb. This time, as we were still in the UK, we used the AA and they took nearly 2 hours to get to us. IF there is a next time we will call Heritage.

Seats? Until 10 years ago, we had standard 1958 Minor seats, recovered in leather, and they were not the greatest for 100's of miles per day, day after day! Eventually I managed to persuade the Minor's owner, my wife, to agree to some better seats, and we fitted the Newton reclining 'Suffolk' seats, with a headrest, and again covered in leather (vinyl is not a good idea in a convertible, as it gets horribly hot in the sun).

An unplanned characteristic that makes driving long distances on any 'made-up' road surface very much easier for the driver, is increased caster angle on the front suspension geometry. I lowered the car in 1970, after fitting 'wide wheels and radial ply tyres', and at the same time spaced out the eye bolt to correct some of the camber angle that goes 'positive' as the suspension is lowered. Spacing out the eye bolt, and retaining the standard fixed length tie rod, increases the caster angle as the eyebolt moves out. Increased caster angle gives increased 'straight line' running stability, including in cross-winds, so very much less effort to drive. The slight downside is that the steering is heavier at parking speeds, i.e. virtually 0mph, but a very acceptable trade-off.
Last edited by IslipMinor on Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Richard



sid
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Re: long distance driving

Postby sid » Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:35 am

Murrayminor wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:33 am
I love the photograph.
Unfortunately I have stopped riding now due to a bad shoulder injury which really frustrates me.
I was thinking of maybe linking a smaller fuel tank sitting on the floor over the existing tank or just remove both a fit a larger tank I have not decided yet.
Mind you I could always put some jerry cans on a roof rack but all that weight would be top heavy.
I really want to take the Minor northwards so I may just concentrate on that.
By the time I'm ready to go I will have the luxury of no work ties for a few months so could take double your time.
sorry to hi-jack the thread..but how bad is your shoulder injury,Murrayminor? i have a shoulder injury too,and am putting off an Operation. it is too risky too ride my H-D,but i have an AJS sidecar combo that i intend to get on the road,to see if i can cope with that :)

Murrayminor
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Re: long distance driving

Postby Murrayminor » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:15 pm

IslipMinor wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:25 am
Since the Minor restoration was completed in 1998, we have been all over Western Europe, some of Eastern Europe, the southern half of Scandinavia and all of the island of Ireland in the Minor over the last 21 years. Often as part of an organised classic car tour, the 'Euroclssic'.

This year it was just us on holiday, and we started by going to Amsterdam, via the ferry to the Hague, down to Brussels, then down to near Toulouse, up the west coast of France and then to Brittany - a total of 2,300 miles in 3 weeks.

Did it miss a beat? Yes! Removing the Nodiz ignition system just before we left, because of intermittent problems, and refitting the distributor, coil etc., caused a problem on the way to the ferry in Harwich, and we had to be recovered from the M25. The hard shoulder on a Friday evening is no place to think clearly about what might be the cause of the complete ignition cut out. The solution of course was very simple, and nothing to so with either the refitted Lucas distributor or the Lucas Sports coil, so we just started our holiday 24 hours late!

After that no problems at all.

Long distances need a well prepared car, which for me means more than a standard engine can provide in terms of performance. On motorways we have an easy genuine 'cruising' capability of any European speed limit and more (France is 130kph or 81mph) and that makes 300 miles or more in a day really nothing to worry about (apart from needing to fill up with fuel every 2 hours or so, but that is a good discipline anyway). We look at the bigger tank, but it takes up the space for the spare wheel, so we still have the standard tank with just 6.5 gallons or 30 litres, which gives an maximum reliable range of 200 miles.

Next thing is reliable 'get-you-home' European insurance cover, and we have our insurance through Heritage Classic Car Insurance (Norton Insurance) and they provide total Europe-wide recovery, replacement car hire etc. We have had to use the recovery service a couple of times and it was superb. This time, as we were still in the UK, we used the AA and they took nearly 2 hours to get to us. IF there is a next time we will call Heritage.

Seats? Until 10 years ago, we had standard 1958 Minor seats, recovered in leather, and they were not the greatest for 100's of miles per day, day after day! Eventually I managed to persuade the Minor's owner, my wife, to agree to some better seats, and we fitted the Newton reclining 'Suffolk' seats, with a headrest, and again covered in leather (vinyl is not a good idea in a convertible, as it gets horribly hot in the sun).

An unplanned characteristic that makes driving long distances on any 'made-up' road surface very much easier for the driver, is increased caster angle on the front suspension geometry. I lowered the car in 1970, after fitting 'wide wheels and radial ply tyres', and at the same time spaced out the eye bolt to correct some of the camber angle that goes 'positive' as the suspension is lowered. Spacing out the eye bolt, and retaining the standard fixed length tie rod, increases the caster angle as the eyebolt moves out. Increased caster angle gives increased 'straight line' running and stability, including in cross-winds, so very much less effort to drive. The slight downside is that the steering is heavier at parking speeds, i.e. virtually 0mph, but a very acceptable trade-off.
Some great tips there thanks

I was contemplating carrying extra fuel but regulations mean that I cannot carry fuel on board a ferry as mentioned above,I could of course buy extra fuel cans in Europe and plan ahead for fuel stops.
With regard to engine I was hoping to use the existing 1098 engine/gearbox/final drive as I was hoping once in good running order it would suffice.

I have a saloon so was thinking along the lines of Ford Ka seats or similar rather than specific rally seats for a bit more comfort and safety.

With regards to suspension are you still using original shock absorbers front and rear?
The castor modification sounds like a good move as well.

More plans to add to the build.
Proud owner of my first Morris Minor

Murrayminor
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Re: long distance driving

Postby Murrayminor » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:21 pm

sid wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:35 am
Murrayminor wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:33 am
I love the photograph.
Unfortunately I have stopped riding now due to a bad shoulder injury which really frustrates me.
I was thinking of maybe linking a smaller fuel tank sitting on the floor over the existing tank or just remove both a fit a larger tank I have not decided yet.
Mind you I could always put some jerry cans on a roof rack but all that weight would be top heavy.
I really want to take the Minor northwards so I may just concentrate on that.
By the time I'm ready to go I will have the luxury of no work ties for a few months so could take double your time.
sorry to hi-jack the thread..but how bad is your shoulder injury,Murrayminor? i have a shoulder injury too,and am putting off an Operation. it is too risky too ride my H-D,but i have an AJS sidecar combo that i intend to get on the road,to see if i can cope with that :)
I fell from my DRZ400 whilst on a green lane while travelling at about 10mph and managed to fall onto my right hand side where there was a handy rock for my arm pit to land on, resulting in what the doctor described as a hand grenade going off under my shoulder.
Six months off work but no surgery as the shoulder was in so many bits it was too risky to operate.
I now cannot raise my right arm above my head without pain and have been told the shoulder will eventually seize up due to arthritis when that happens I will be given the option of having the joint replaced.
So for now I have kept away from motorcycles, although I long to ride again.
So in answer to your question once the time comes I will have the joint replaced to give me a bit more freedom.
Proud owner of my first Morris Minor

ManyMinors
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Re: long distance driving

Postby ManyMinors » Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:10 pm

There are many things owners can do to "improve" their Morris Minors but in reality, few of them - if any - are really necessary. My Minor is an almost completely standard 1098cc car and is used most days locally but also for long distance driving on holidays including several in Europe where I have driven up to 1800 miles in a week. Last year in holiday we drove 400 miles in one day without any trouble. I agree that the small fuel tank can mean a rather limited range but I have stuck with a standard tank and think ahead a bit. I tend to keep off the motorways and the foreign toll roads as much as possible.

Go for it! You'll have a lot of fun!

john newton
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Re: long distance driving

Postby john newton » Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:25 pm

thankyou islip for that info on caster angles,it answers a lot of my probs,especialy heavy steering at low speed,re john newton.

john newton
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Re: long distance driving

Postby john newton » Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:25 pm

thankyou islip for that info on caster angles,it answers a lot of my probs,especialy heavy steering at low speed,re john newton.

Beatroot52
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Re: long distance driving

Postby Beatroot52 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:49 pm

Sorry to hijack...

Islip, what went wrong with the nodiz?

Dan

IslipMinor
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Re: long distance driving

Postby IslipMinor » Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:27 pm

What went wrong with the Nodiz?
I don't actually know for sure!

I fitted it ~3 years ago and have been delighted with it, BUT very occasionally it would lose its synchronisation, and the engine would have to be switched off and restarted - a bit annoying on motorways! Also it had a slightly misfire on light throttle acceleration around 3000 rpm.

The 3000 rpm problem was recognised by Nodiz, so I returned the unit to them for a firmware update. All fine and engine started immediately and no 3000 rpm problem. I had to run a new camshaft in before moving the car, and that went perfectly, so after re-torquing the head studs after that, decided to load in my ignition map from before which proved a bit difficult as the Bluetooth dongle would only work with the laptop within a few inches of it. Good help from Nodiz though, so thought I would take it out for a short run to see what the new cam was like (Calver RE-13OT), but it stopped whilst moving out of the garage and would not start again!

I had left starting all this until 3 weeks before going away, and it was now only 2-3 days before we were due to catch the Harwich ferry, so decided to re-fit the Aldon 'Yellow' distributor and Sport coil as a reliable ignition source.

Nodiz have offered to replace the complete unit at a very fair price, and they now fit a serial port, which is more reliable than the Bluetooth dongle, so we might find out what was the root cause when that is fitted, IF it is either the crank sensor or the coil pack, and not the actual Nodiz unit itself.
Richard



Beatroot52
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Re: long distance driving

Postby Beatroot52 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:59 pm

That’ll learn you for tinkering :D

My Bluetooth has always been a bit hit and miss with the nodiz but no other problems ( touch wood )

Hope it stays ok when I fit the 8 port ....

Murrayminor
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Re: long distance driving

Postby Murrayminor » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:00 am

So having given my plan further thought here is my wish list for long distance touring Morris Minor:

Ensure the car is reliable, once the car is back together I will run it in for a while to make sure everything works as it should.
I have chosen to keep the engine/gearbox/rear axle standard for ease of fitment and again reliability.

I intend to carry out the following modifications/upgrades to aid comfort/reliability but the main aim is to keep the car reliable.
My to do list in no particular order:

Adjust caster to aid straight line stability
upgrade the seating (possibly ford Ka seats or similar)
ability to carry second spare wheel (not essential with puncture repair kit but a nice back up- but extra weight)
Inertia seat belts
Upgraded lights (possibly LED bulbs if possible)
12v sockets
extra lighting for daytime use (some countries require dipped beam at all times)
I intend to retain the standard shock absorbers but will replace with new items front and rear
possibly replace the rear springs (once the car is on the spit I will make that decision)
locate a set of torsion bars (mine have a groove in where they have been running on the worn mounting)
Engine refresh/rebuild
New clutch
Overhaul rear axle
Upgrade half shafts (will this cause strain on the original differential?)
Sump guard
Underbody protection/Fuel Tank/fuel lines/brake lines etc.
This is my to do list more than anything else so I will add to it as I go along but I'm open to suggestions for other modifications/upgrades.
Proud owner of my first Morris Minor

Murrayminor
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Re: long distance driving

Postby Murrayminor » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:16 am

As I'm waiting to go into a work meeting I'm obviously engrossed on the work subject matter......

I forgot to add upgrade the electrical system
Alternator to replace the dynamo
Replace the distributor but retain the points/condenser for ease of use (failed electronic ignition can leave me stranded)
More will follow..
Proud owner of my first Morris Minor

philthehill
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Re: long distance driving

Postby philthehill » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:38 am

You can read up on the Himalayan Minor and the Peking to Paris Minor if you want some further ideas on endurance driving.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/The-Himalaya ... SwWzddBHpa


Murrayminor
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Re: long distance driving

Postby Murrayminor » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:42 am

philthehill wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:38 am
You can read up on the Himalayan Minor and the Peking to Paris Minor if you want some further ideas on endurance driving.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/The-Himalaya ... SwWzddBHpa
Cheers
I have just bought a copy.
There has been a series of videos on you tube about the Peking to Paris endurance rally but very little about the red Morris Minor apart from a few fleeting glimpses.
I saw a small article in this months Minor Matters about the Minor but cant seem to find out any more about it.

Thanks again
Proud owner of my first Morris Minor

woodiesenfrance
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Re: long distance driving

Postby woodiesenfrance » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:26 am

For a story of two ladies taking a Minor on the North Coast 500 around Scotland last month see 'Driving Daisy Minor' on facebook.
I drive my Minor Traveller every day, and doing a long journey in it doesn't bother me or OH.
I wish we had more time to get away and travel but I have caring responsibilities which mean it takes a helluva lot of planning to leave home for even a couple of days.
Mary Hall
Driving a traveller every day come rain or shine!
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liammonty
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Re: long distance driving

Postby liammonty » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:41 pm

I've done no end of long journeys in each of my six Minors over the years - probably the longest in a short period was 1,300 miles in 2 days (Warwickshire to the Massif Central in France and back). At the time I was unphased (the folly of youth, perhaps?), but now realise I must have been mad to undertake a journey longer than the trip to the shops in a totally standard car!!!! I will be reassessing any future long journeys, as you've got me all worried now :lol:

On a serious note, I'm in agreement with ManyMinors on this - a well-maintained standard car is more than adequate to cover long distances. It just won't be as quiet or comfortable as in a more modern car - but that's part of the charm, right?


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