Hello from north London!

Discuss anything Morris Minor related.

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Napoleon Boot
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Hello from north London!

Postby Napoleon Boot » Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:03 pm

Hi everyone,
I'm Seb and I've recently acquired a 1971 Traveller; I've been trawling this board for a while and learnt loads of important stuff that isn't covered in the books, but I know I still have a very long way to go.
My Traveller is quite unusual, if not unique; the previous owner (who I think is on here) rebuilt it with a three speed Toyota Starlet gearbox, paired with the original 1098 engine. Mechanically, it's fairly standard otherwise, but with servo rear brakes and halogen headlamps.
I drove it back to London from north Lancashire over a couple of days; no problems with the car, though the sat nav sent us over across the tops of several moors, which was challenging as Storm Diana was raging at the time! The steering and brakes were reassuringly responsive though; I felt completely confident despite the weather.

So here's the first of my newbie questions. The only major problem I have is that when starting away from the traffic lights after waiting for a while, or when climbing any kind of hill from a standing start, there doesn't seem to be any power and I struggle to move at more than walking pace, sometimes even slower. The revs go up, but there just doesn't seem to be any power. It doesn't make any difference if I select a low gear for the climb or not. On a clear road, the car will get up to around 60mph fairly rapidly, though it's a struggle to get any faster than this.
Is this just a by-product of the automatic conversion, or could it be related to the fuel mixture, or the timing?

Apologies for the stupid and possibly nonsensical beginner's question; I've only driven modern cars until now!
Seb
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ianmack
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Re: Hello from north London!

Postby ianmack » Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:19 pm

Hello and welcome. While we will happily give all sorts of advice on Minors fewer of us will have knowledge or experience of automatics. I have had a couple of them over the years and problems have mostly been involving low fluid if the box leaks a little. My first move would be to check the fluid level.

I have no further technical advice to give I’m afraid but if you are not familiar with old cars bear in mind that the 1098 engine develops 48 bhp which is not a lot of power to couple with an auto box. I believe there are a couple of Minors converted to automatic but these have used the Marina 1275 engine and autobox together.

irmscher
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Re: Hello from north London!

Postby irmscher » Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:06 am

Hi Seb and welcome .I think you may have a problem with your torque converter look on the starlet forum .

moggiethouable
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Re: Hello from north London!

Postby moggiethouable » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:30 am

Welcome Seb,
I cant help with the gearbox either, but a word in your shell like.
Do invest in a disklok, North London is prime stomping ground for stolen Minors.
Also you can etch the number plate digits on the windows, also a secret switch somewhere, or if let unattended for a while perhaps get in the habit of removing the rotor arm.
Anything to put them off your car.
Happy motoring.
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Napoleon Boot
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Re: Hello from north London!

Postby Napoleon Boot » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:11 pm

Hi all,
Thank you for the warm welcome and suggestions. I'll check out the transmission fluid level and keep my fingers crossed that it's as simple as that, rather than an issue with the torque converter.

Thanks for the warning Moggiethouable; I have a steering wheel lock on the car at the moment, but maybe I should invest in a Disklok, so they can't just saw through the steering wheel. I'll get into the habit of removing the rotor as well, as I'm not driving every day so it's no real hardship.

Seb

irmscher
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Re: Hello from north London!

Postby irmscher » Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:26 am

Just fit a cut off switch in a secret location

Nickol
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Re: Hello from north London!

Postby Nickol » Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:06 am

I fear that any respectable car thief would only be delayed by maximum 30 seconds with a "secret" cut off switch. :x
Gott schütze mich vorm Sturm und Wind und Autos, die aus England sind.
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moggiethouable
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Re: Hello from north London!

Postby moggiethouable » Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:44 pm

My feeling is a cut off switch is a great idea.
But I think he may have destroyed my drivers side door lock first to find it.
Visually a disklok says this aint going to be easy chum, and he will walk away, couple that with etched windows and the cars value to the tea leaf plummets,visual prevention coupled with anti theft switches is useful.
You could also fit battery cut off switches.

Of course if it were only legal, 240v to the door handle would be my preference.
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myoldjalopy
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Re: Hello from north London!

Postby myoldjalopy » Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:08 pm

" Of course if it were only legal, 240v to the door handle would be my preference." Or the door locks when the thief gets inside and shuts it and then the car is filled with poison gas...... but I guess that's not legal either! And either way, bad news if you forget to immobilise the system when you decide to go for a drive..... :o

Napoleon Boot
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Re: Hello from north London!

Postby Napoleon Boot » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:23 pm

Well, I've upgraded to a Disklok; quite a lot more expensive than I was hoping, but I suppose it's worth it for peace of mind. I've been reading up on secret switches and think I have a pretty good idea of what to do now.

I like the suggestion of wiring up the door handles. No need to fit poison gas canisters though, as my petrol tank seems to be filling the car with noxious fumes pretty efficiently already. It doesn't feel wet so I don't think it can be leaking; hopefully the hose clip just needs tightening up a bit...

palacebear
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Re: Hello from north London!

Postby palacebear » Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:47 pm

Petrol fumes could well be the rubber (or whatever it's made of) filler pipe between the fuel cap and the tank filler neck.
1956 4-door called Max

Napoleon Boot
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Re: Hello from north London!

Postby Napoleon Boot » Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:07 pm

Went for a pootle out to a country pub this afternoon, and checked out the petrol smell before we started. There was a puddle of petrol on top of the fuel sender, and the filler hose didn't feel wet or smell particularly, so I think I've found the culprit. I'm guessing from other threads here and elsewhere that petrol is sneaking up through the threads of the screws and the gasket, so my next job will be to replace it and use some Loctite 577 on the threads to hopefully keep the petrol where it belongs.

Generally the car behaved well, though it seems to take about twenty minutes for the engine to warm up; living in inner London means that it's all slow stop-start driving until we get to the suburbs, and until the car really gets to stretch its legs, there just doesn't seem to be a lot of power- pulling away from traffic lights is leisurely to say the least. Not so bad on the way home, after a good run at 50mph.

The best thing about driving a Traveller is the delight it seems to bring to other motorists and pedestrians- had a nice chat with a London cabbie as we crawled through Finsbury Park, and lots of waves and smiles all day. I'd like to think that it makes other drivers a little bit more considerate as well as lots of drivers were happy to let me go first- though we still had some numpties in Audis and BMWs who simply had to overtake, even in a 20mph zone.

Starting to get a bit obsessed with my funny old car - it really is motoring, not driving!

myoldjalopy
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Re: Hello from north London!

Postby myoldjalopy » Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:24 am

It should warm up quicker than 20 mins - if you turn the heater on at the very start of your journey, you will be able to tell when the engine has warmed enough to open the thermostat by when warm air starts issuing from the heater.
Chances are you do need a new sender gasket but it is worth just seeing if the screws can be nipped up a bit first. I had the same problem but all it needed was tightening the screws a bit.

ianmack
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Re: Hello from north London!

Postby ianmack » Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:22 pm

It sounds like time for a new thermostat. Some people will give complex advice on testing the old one by dunking it in hot water and measuring with a thermometer but at three quid a throw I just replace them.

Of course the previous owner might have removed it altogether during the heatwave. Heatwave.... aah remember that? :wink:

Napoleon Boot
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Re: Hello from north London!

Postby Napoleon Boot » Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:13 pm

Ah- thanks for the tip about the sender screws myoldjalopy, I'll give that a go first and keep my fingers crossed!

Hmm- I'll have a look at the thermostat Ian; assuming it's there. That said I'm starting to think that the lack of power may be down to low transmission fluid, as the gears don't always change when you'd expect, and sometimes the engine hunts when climbing hills. It's all good fun this detective work isn't it?

Ian46
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Re: Hello from north London!

Postby Ian46 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 6:10 pm

Hi Napoleon,

Car not warming up - check for thermostat as other have said. If there isn't one in the housing suspect the worse and flush the system thoroughly to see what comes out. That may be enough but I would have the radiator tested by a professional.

If you have a thermostat, put it in a pan of boiling water to see if it opens. If it doesn't replace with new gasket.

Lack of power - I have never heard of a lack of power being down to low transmission fluid! Unless your car is fitted with an automatic gearbox.

The Minor engine is not what you call powerful compared to the average modern hatchback but when in a good state of tune it should be able to keep up with the modern traffic generally. (I exclude motorways here).

Check the condition of the spark plugs, spark plug leads, ignition timing, rotor arm, distributor cap for hairline cracks, make sure tappet clearances are a per workshop manual, check air cleaner filter for dirt, carburetor operation and fuel/air mix and confirm the operation of the choke cable as well. Not just by pulling the knob from the driver's seat. The cable itself may be partially seized in the engine bay. If that is left on it literally 'chokes' the engine performance.

Gearbox - There are a number of mechanical connections under the car connecting your left foot to the gearbox/clutch. These can wear terribly over the years and if the wear is extreme then gear selection is literally hit and miss. You have little control of what happens. I suggest you investigate all the linkages and see what needs replacing. Check engine mounts and gearbox mounts to see if these are perished. If they are this could also affect the gear change as the gearbox casing is used as a pivot for the clutch operation.

Hope this helps?

Ian
Busy collecting parts for my '52 MM Convertible and 1949 Saloon restorations. :o

Myrtles Man
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Re: Hello from north London!

Postby Myrtles Man » Thu Dec 20, 2018 6:21 pm

"I have never heard of a lack of power being down to low transmission fluid! Unless your car is fitted with an automatic gearbox."

Er, I'm guessing that you haven't read the thread from the start. 8)

Napoleon Boot
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Re: Hello from north London!

Postby Napoleon Boot » Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:26 am

Thanks Ian,

Yes, it is an automatic- original 1098 engine paired with a three speed Toyota A40 automatic gearbox when the previous owner rebuilt it. What's making me wonder about the transmission fluid is that the engine chugs away happily, sounds healthy, and needs very little choke to start, but when I put my foot down, although the revs go up, the car doesn't seem to respond as I'd expect, the performance just doesn't match what I'm hearing. It also changes up and down gears erratically when being made to work hard, like on hills.
On the flat, on a nice clear road, the car is quite happy to bowl along at about 50mph but it takes a while to get there, you have to build up momentum. But when I've been sat waiting for a gap to pull onto a main road, there's just no power, sometimes it'll just crawl out at walking pace. This isn't making me very popular around the neighbourhood...

When I was talking about the car heating up, I think it was a red herring; I'd been thinking that maybe the engine was taking a while to get up to a decent temperature but the more I think about it, the more I think the lack of power is a transmission issue and the engine itself is fine. The heater certainly warmed the car up quickly enough from a cold start on Sunday.

Anyway, Christmas holidays coming up so a bit more time to hunt around for the transmission fluid dipstick - wherever it's been hidden! And gradually work my way round the rest of the car and learn what's going on.

Best wishes,
Seb

myoldjalopy
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Re: Hello from north London!

Postby myoldjalopy » Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:07 am

Sounds like your clutch is slipping.......

philthehill
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Re: Hello from north London!

Postby philthehill » Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:11 am

To find the filler just follow the pipe from the sump pan upwards.

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