Rear Lights

Discuss Bodywork problems here.

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geoberni
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Rear Lights

Postby geoberni » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:08 am

Hi All
So, we've just brought a 55 Splitie (our first Moggie), which is basically 'sound' but had a number of bodged aspects.

For example, the wiper motor is supported by a block of high density seat foam instead of being fitted with the correct bracket!!! :o
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However, the reason I'm posting this topic under 'Bodywork' is the rear lights structure.

My limited knowledge of Minors has grown 1,000 fold in the past week or so, and from what I can tell (looking at 100s of photos and the main Parts suppliers websites), the rear lights between '54 and '63 were actually slightly different bodies with the same lens.
Between '54-'56 the lamp body was a little thinner but had an 'spacer/packer' behind it.

If anyone doesn't understand what I'm referring to, it's this: http://www.simoncars.co.uk/morris/slide ... plight.jpg

I can find no mention of this bit of body anywhere on parts websites.

Our car is fitted with the correct lamps, but using the latter latter version lamp body as this 'spacer' which is a bit weird looking. :-?
They're actually chrome fitting sprayed black!
I can only imagine the wings have been replaced in the last few decades and they didn't transfer over the original supports for some reason.
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Does anyone have the history of the body spacers, or know if any supplies them?

Would it be reasonable to ditch the bodged spacers and just secure the lights direct to the rear wing; it would change the angle slightly, but I estimate only by about 5 degrees of so.

Thanks.
Basil the 1955 series II

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palacebear
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Re: Rear Lights

Postby palacebear » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:26 am

The spacers you refer to should be aluminium (?) plinths for the lamps, painted body colour and were only fitted to 'facelift' Series 2 cars between Oct 1954 and Sep 1956. They are no longer available (not even as pattern/repro parts) hence the specialist suppliers don't list them. You may have to search long and hard for used ones.

The plinths shown on your car appear to be from a Minor 1000 dating from Oct 1956 to Oct 1962 and would indeed originally have been chromed. At first glance the difference appears to be barely noticeable. I wouldn't bother changing them unless there are any issues with fit/matching the wing contour, or unless you're aiming for a concours finish.The purists will no doubt spot that they're 'wrong' but at least it'll be a talking point! :)

For comparison, here are three pics of the off-side tail lamp on my 1956 split-screen (same spec as your 1955) with painted aluminium plinth.
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Regarding the wiper motor; as you've been able to take a pic of it, I assume it's in the engine compartment, which immediately explains the 'bodge'. Split-screen cars had their wiper motors located inside the car behind the speedo, making access to them a bit difficult (to say the least!)
1956 4-door called Max

DAVIDMCCULLOUGH
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Re: Rear Lights

Postby DAVIDMCCULLOUGH » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:14 am

The plinths can be very hard to find, as mentioned by palacbear, the bases are aluminum and the bolts steel so they often are heavily corroded. I found a pair for mine in poor condition and Ive never got around to drilling them out and fitting new bolts yet! There was a pair on ebay not so long ago, I think it was Carlo who also posts here. Im sure he would probably also have the wiper motor bracket as well. The rubber mount is still available

http://www.morrisminorspares.com/body-i ... gn-p829099

The last splitscreen I bought had a 1000 motor squeezed in below the dash and was held in place by explanding foam....... Thankfully it didnt work as Im sure there may have been flames!!


Too many Minors so little time.....

geoberni
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Re: Rear Lights

Postby geoberni » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:39 am

Thanks for those replies guys.
I'll leave the 'plinths' as they are then :)
They are indeed the later '54-'56 light bases and it's only in the side view that the difference is noticeable.
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I guess it must be fairly common to see them like this if people have stayed with the plinth principle.
I shall have to keep an eye out for other late Splities at events and see what other people have done.

Palacebear - the wiper motor is behind the drivers glovebox, I took them both out as they weren't fitted correctly, being held in with double sided sticky pads and not a screw to be seen on the front edge. That's when I discovered the loose motor.
This morning I've taken delivery of the required bracket and rubber mount (coincidentally from the site you linked to) and also the fixing clips for the gloveboxes. It's all for this weekends work list.
The access isn't too great a problem.
I'm retired RAF aircraft engineer and used to working in stupidly small spaces behind cockpit instrument panels; this actually has a lot of space compared to some equipment replacements I've done in decades past!
And if I get really stuck, my other half has smaller hands and always says she wants to be involved. :wink:
Basil the 1955 series II

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palacebear
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Re: Rear Lights

Postby palacebear » Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:43 pm

Apologies for misunderstanding the location of the wiper motor! Didn't expect it to be that photogenic behind the dash! :lol:

I think you're pretty safe with the look of the lights. The same bulb-holder/lens (with integral reflector) was used on numerous 1950s cars. Jaguar, Triumph, MG and Morgan spring to mind. A cheap 'parts bin' item, they complied with new (1954) legislation requiring cars to have two rear reflectors. Their advantage was in their ability to be fitted without a plinth to flat bodywork or with a plinth, which could be easily produced, for fitting to contoured bodywork.
1956 4-door called Max

geoberni
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Re: Rear Lights

Postby geoberni » Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:45 pm

Hi All
I'm resurrecting this topic as I have managed to obtain a pair of 'face lift' plinths.

Before I spend too much time cleaning them up, I thought I'd check one for fit.

I know the early rear wings had a larger space around the wheel, but was the wing profile around the rear light mount different between SII and 1000?

I suspect this whole thing of fitting the larger chrome bases, painted body colour, might have been initiated by using latter wings in his rebuild... :roll:
This is the LH rear plinth held in place with the outer flush to the wing, but on the inner surface there's a gap that goes top to bottom, with a max of around 5mm in the centre. I've put a couple of arrows on the photo to show it up as the black body makes it difficult.
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Looks like I'll have to use body putty to re-profile the plinths.... :roll:
Basil the 1955 series II

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myoldjalopy
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Re: Rear Lights

Postby myoldjalopy » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:34 pm

Well, I'm rather puzzled by this as my '55 SII has had the later 1000 wings fitted, but with the original aluminium plinths - and they fit perfectly......

geoberni
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Re: Rear Lights

Postby geoberni » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:45 pm

myoldjalopy wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:34 pm
Well, I'm rather puzzled by this as my '55 SII has had the later 1000 wings fitted, but with the original aluminium plinths - and they fit perfectly......
This is why I asked... it was a hell of a surprise when I discovered it....the lamp units fit the plinths, I'm wondering if they were mis-sold and are for a different vintage motor, but I've no idea what! :o

I think tomorrow I'll try the other side for fit and check it's the same!
Basil the 1955 series II

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firedrake1942
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Re: Rear Lights

Postby firedrake1942 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:39 am

The lenses were used on various cars and I think with different plinths. I have seen them on MGA and Triumphs I think so the lenses fit the plinths but the plinths may be different according to make/ model.

See the attached e bay advert

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lucas-type-L ... 0889.m5204

geoberni
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Re: Rear Lights

Postby geoberni » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:54 am

Hi firedrake
It's certainly a puzzle. :-? They were sold as being Series II Moggie and were one of each, Black and Pale Green, looking very Moggie colours. Comparing to the photos that Palacebear put up of his car, earlier in this thread, they certainly look 'right'.

On measuring the side height at it's smallest, it's only about 1/4 inch, so I recon they must be from another car.... :x
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On the MGA there was no small separate plinth, I saw one of those last weekend and actually posted a photo in 'Spotted Today' download/file.php?id=9522 and the Triumph Spitfire was direct to the wing as far as I recall, but hey ho, these little things are sent to try us.... :)

I'm going to investigate further later today.....

I think my Milliput Putty supply will be used more than I thought, just to change to profile. :)
Basil the 1955 series II

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palacebear
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Re: Rear Lights

Postby palacebear » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:28 am

Don't know if the following is of any use:

In Ray Newell's book 'Original Morris Minor', the chapter covering the Minor 1000 (1956-62) mentions, on page 56, that, as well as smaller wheel-arch openings, the rear wings have a 'fuller shape'. I interpret this to mean that they are slightly more curvy in profile than S-MM/S-II wings.

Just a thought....
1956 4-door called Max

myoldjalopy
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Re: Rear Lights

Postby myoldjalopy » Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:10 am

I take the reference to a 'fuller shape' to mean that the cutaway part was smaller, leaving a bigger wing, rather than altered curves.
Newell says "Their fuller shape (with a smaller wheelarch cut-out) served to conceal more of the inner wheelarch." As I said earlier, I have the SII rear light plinths on the later 1000 wings and they fit perfectly........

geoberni
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Re: Rear Lights

Postby geoberni » Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:48 pm

Well this afternoon I tried the RH, black painted, one and that has the same profile issue.

I'm sure the seller sold them as Minor parts in good faith, they've sold several other random Minor parts over the past year. They are quite a rare item and I certainly thought they were the right part.
They are clearly for some other vintage motor of the era, but then I got the pair for £16 inc shipping.
I'll soon have them into shape with some 2 part putty.... :lol:

Thanks for everyone's feedback.
Basil the 1955 series II

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championdungspreader
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Re: Rear Lights

Postby championdungspreader » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:09 pm

After reading this post,I checked my not-yet-fitted series 2 aluminium light bases. I bought mine from a Minor dealer and I’m sure they are Minor.
However, they do have an identical gap to yours!
I’ll either be filling the gap or hoping that with the rubber base/gasket, it’ll lose some of the gap.

championdungspreader
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Re: Rear Lights

Postby championdungspreader » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:09 pm

After reading this post,I checked my not-yet-fitted series 2 aluminium light bases. I bought mine from a Minor dealer and I’m sure they are Minor.
However, they do have an identical gap to yours!
I’ll either be filling the gap or hoping that with the rubber base/gasket, it’ll lose some of the gap.

ManyMinors
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Re: Rear Lights

Postby ManyMinors » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:53 pm

If you're fitting these light bases to replacement wings without drilling fixing holes in the correct places (ie, you're relying on the holes already in the wings) You are probably trying to fit the lights in the wrong position. Since about 1964 when the large chrome plated rear lamps were introduced, all rear wings have been made to suit these later lights. You can fit the earlier lights using these holes but the lights will be positioned higher up the wing where the profile is slightly different. If you want the lights to fit correctly and be in their original position, you need to ignore the holes and bring the lights down the wing a little when you'll probably find that they DO fit :o Then, you can drill new holes and you'll probably have to weld up the incorrect ones. It is only yourself who can decide whether you wish to go to this trouble....

Take a look at completely original Series11 cars and early Minor 1000s with the smaller lights. The bottom of the rear light is almost covered by the rear bumper. This is not the case on cars which have received later replacement wings. Sometimes you see cars which have received just ONE replacement wing and the rear lights occupy different positions if you look at the car square from behind!

geoberni
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Re: Rear Lights

Postby geoberni » Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:21 pm

We got it.jpg
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Ah Ha!

After rushing out to the garage and removing a rear light, I can confirm the words of wisdom of the great ManyMinors.

There is a position much lower down and further inboard where the profile is correct.

It's also just possible to fit the base and cover all 3 holes in the wing, with a slight gap of perhaps 1/2 mm (just enough to detect a slight rocking of the base) at one point; which should be easily accounted for by a decent rubber seal.

If only this forum's features were a bit more up to date, I'd click on the 'Thanks' Button. :wink:
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Basil the 1955 series II

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ManyMinors
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Re: Rear Lights

Postby ManyMinors » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:33 am

Glad you've made sense of it. It was just something I noticed many years ago and had to find a way round.
You naturally assume that the holes in the wing are in the "right place" but they are not if you are trying to fit the earlier lights :wink:

myoldjalopy
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Re: Rear Lights

Postby myoldjalopy » Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:31 pm

Late Series II rear lamp on a later 1000 wing - presumably just as 'ManyMinors' has described.....
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