What did Morris get wrong originally?

Discuss anything Morris Minor related.

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myoldjalopy
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Re: What did Morris get wrong originally?

Postby myoldjalopy » Sat May 11, 2019 1:03 am

pde2000 wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 7:23 pm
Anyway this car has survived better than others i have had, without any special care.
One of the lucky ones..... So many others that also had no 'special care' are long since gone from us now.....

ianmack
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Re: What did Morris get wrong originally?

Postby ianmack » Sun May 12, 2019 8:52 am

A couple of posts here mention difficulty of gearbox removal. I can’t claim to have removed a great many gearboxes but the mog seems fairly straightforward and at least we have the removable floor panel to help access. I’ve only done A series boxes though, is the MM more problematic?

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Edward1949
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Re: What did Morris get wrong originally?

Postby Edward1949 » Mon May 13, 2019 1:49 pm

RobThomas wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 6:54 pm

Triangulated top suspension links.
Interesting comment. On paper this does look like a design weakness, but I've always been impressed at how the single arm from the Armstrong damper seems to cope OK with fore & aft stresses. Also, it's very unusual to come across significant wear in the lever arm bearings, even after decades of use.

Keith 66
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Re: What did Morris get wrong originally?

Postby Keith 66 » Mon May 13, 2019 6:36 pm

It would have saved a lot of grief for future owners if they had stuck to one spec type of nut & bolt!

Blaketon
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Re: What did Morris get wrong originally?

Postby Blaketon » Mon May 13, 2019 6:41 pm

If you read many of the reports, from 1948, it would appear that Issigonis got most of it right. No doubt the sidevalve engine was available, with no further development needed. It’s a pity that the OHV, Wolseley version hadn’t been fitted or made available as an option.

The brake master cylinder would need to be mounted low, due to the pedal design. I know VW had the same type of pedals but I’m not sure where the master cylinders are on those; presumably under the floor.

Rust prevention? My late grandfather said that pre war cars rusted but since they were built of heavier gauge steel, they didn’t go into holes so quickly as some of the 1960s/70s stuff and you could generally rub it down and touch up the affected area. My impression is that the Minor has a bit in reserve; more so than the Mini. My father has told me, many times, that Nuffield cars were better made than those of BMC, which were in turn better than those of BL (He refers particularly to MG models). No doubt there have been improvements in anti rust treatments and the Minor is quite a simple structure, where you can find a way into just about every part, for Waxoyl type products. The Mini was much the same and I think, even with BL’s poor rust treatment, the Mini was less rust prone than the Metro, simply because the shell had fewer rust traps. This applies when comparing the MG Midget with the MGB.

In my own case, what have I changed? The previous owner fitted a 1275 engine. It’s a pity BMC didn’t do this. Had they done so, when my father wanted a slightly larger car, than his Mini 850 Countryman, he might well have bought a Minor 1300. Instead he bought what he still regards as the worst car he ever owned, a Ford Escort 1300 estate. That was such a fragile, rust prone heap, that when he sold it, he went over to a VW Type 3 Variant (Estate). I don’t think he would have found the Minor anything like the Escort (Until he fitted better than OE plug leads, it broke down if it rained, it was prone to low oil pressure and in two years the wings were bubbling – this from a garaged car) and it might have delayed or prevented his buying of foreign cars.

Beyond the engine, the previous owner fitted an anti roll bar, electric screen wash, radius arms (This was a weakness, though maybe not with the 27bhp of the Series 1) and the Newton Commercial front seat. I have added a 5 speed box , disc brakes, better lights, heated rear screens and a limited slip diff (I like the traction they give in bad weather). All these things post date the world of the Series 1 Minor (Electric screen wash was probably found only on luxury cars; I’m not sure when LSDs were invented but again these were found on expensive cars). I have a new set of van wheels to fit, which give me the option of 165 tyres. In essence I think my car is only a development of the original car, not a complete change and it shows that the original design was a sound one, that could take such development. Afterall, the first cars had 27bhp and the first Travellers 30; my Traveller has 77bhp. It’s still a fairly basic car, as are all my cars and I wouldn’t swap it for a mobile circuit board!!

Perhaps we should consider what things were like after 1945. Britain had won the war but virtually gone bankrupt in doing so. This was the world of export or die and since Britain hadn’t suffered invasion, we still had factories in tact (Albeit strained), to turn out the exports (I think this situation led to a degree of complacency). My late grandfather owned cars before WW2 but only because he was a fitter and able to work on them himself. For most of the war his Morris 8 was up on blocks, in the garage, as there was no petrol. Soon after the war ended, he ordered his first brand new car, an Austin 10. His brother in law offered to buy the Morris 8, so my grandfather sold it, without realising that the Austin would take three years to arrive. When it finally arrived, it was an Austin A40 Devon. It had a 1200cc engine and about 40bhp, with a top speed of just about 70mph. It had no heater. Despite this, my grandfather seemed pleased with it and my father recalls that it seemed faster than most other (Mostly pre war) cars. Today, where vanity is the world’s most popular hobby, it would be scoffed at but then it was something just to have a car and a new one was something else. I am sure this applied equally to the Minor, which may not have been quite so fast as the A40 but would have run rings round it on corners.

moggiethouable
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Re: What did Morris get wrong originally?

Postby moggiethouable » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:09 pm

In my opinion they didnt really get too much wrong, given the conditions they were asked to work in.
The government of the day however have a lot to answer for.
To instruct Austin, led by Leonard "ill tear that bloody place apart brick by brick" Lord, who hated Morris with a passion, to merge fully with Morris Motors was a mistake of supreme idiocy.
Had they simply shared parts and designs as VW/Audi/Seat/Skoda do now, the results could have been very different.
Then a big mistake was selling Minis at a loss, upping the specs and creating more value for money, would have generated more cash for future models.
Then we had a modern, 80s government who blamed the shop floor while the Japanese dumped, I know as I was that poacher turned gamekeeper that worked for them and saw it happen first hand.
Remember that Austin were instructed to aid and abet the japanese manufacturers, particularly Datsun, aka Nissan, after the war in conjunction with the Marshall plan as we needed an ally in the pacific to counter the Soviet threat.
Machine tools, unique at the time, designed and built here were shipped to Japan to help.
Talk about hung by ones own petard.
For a really interesting look at this lot try among other books, brick by brick, a book by Martyn Nutland

https://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/Sear ... &kn=&isbn=
Where angels fear to tread

Blaketon
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Re: What did Morris get wrong originally?

Postby Blaketon » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:48 pm

moggiethouable wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:09 pm
Had they simply shared parts and designs as VW/Audi/Seat/Skoda do now, the results could have been very different.
I know that Seat was once Spanish Fiat. I know that VW own Audi; I understood that they owned Seat and Skoda but is this not so? I know a friend of mine has a (Presently troublesome) Seat Alhambra and some of the bits he needs have had to come from Germany (He lives in France). I know that the Ford Galaxy people carrier was once a VW re badged (So I gather the Ford Ka is a Fiat 500 or is it the other way round?). I know that shared engines aren't new - Ford, then Triumph and Saab or Volvo, Peugeot and Renault.

The BMC range certainly was a tad amorphous but by the time badge engineering arrived, it was starting to be a bit more rational, if still confusing (There were still Nuffield and Austin dealerships competing in the same towns). The, to add insult to injury, came British Leyland. Triumph competed with all the BMH models, from the small Austin and Morris models to MG and Rover. Only Jaguar seemed above it all, though the MGB GT V8 was given a low compression (Range Rover spec) V8, so that it wouldn't be too close to the E Type (I also suspect they knew the gearbox and axle, derived from the MGC, were more than marginal).

Then, when it was obvious that BL needed help, it got a lethal injection and it's a wonder it struggled on as long as it did.

moggiethouable
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Re: What did Morris get wrong originally?

Postby moggiethouable » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:41 am

Indeed, the first huge marketing clanger was to call it Leyland in the first place.
Leyland were truck builders, very good truck builders, but thats not an epithet you want attached to your shiny new saloon is it ?
With reference to cost cutting through standardisation, Lucas begged all the British manufacturers to standardise on bought in parts, to no avail in most cases.
Nowadays if you look at something as simple as a rear wiper on a Chinese built MG, it is identical to the unit fitted to a modern German motor.
Regarding VW yes they own all those marques, when you buy an Audi you are buying parts fitted to all the other models, including engines.
But as I mentioned, personalities played a part, Issigonis was a genius, but should never have been interviewed on national TV, as he was back in the day, he was a reporters dream dropping gaffs left right and centre.
Engineers do not necessarily make good salesmen and vise versa.
But Morris and Austin was a marriage made in hell, imagine BMW and Mercedes merging, or Ford and GM.
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ianmack
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Re: What did Morris get wrong originally?

Postby ianmack » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:11 pm

Standardisation never came easily to UK manufacturers. By the time of the merger Morris was already making four different medium sized engines, the XPAG unit in MGs and Morris tens, the sidevalve 1476cc engine used in vans and MO Oxfords, the high cam Riley RM and the Wolseley 4/50 overhead cam engine. This last is a bit of a mystery to me, I was a keen car spotter as a boy and I cannot recall ever seeing one. They must have sold in tiny numbers and probably most went to people who would have been just as happy with a mainstream engine.

The acquisition of Wolseley in the twenties probably made good sense as they had a high tech engine plant from World War 1, hence the overhead cams. I read that Morris bought Riley not for commercial reasons but rather because he was a personal friend of Victor Riley and took on the ailing company from sympathy.

Rationalising use of the BMC a, b and c series engines across a range of models must have been sensible but even BMC was a small fish by global standards. Austin had taken forty years to reach its millionth car, Ford in the US did this in eight years.

BrianHawley
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Re: What did Morris get wrong originally?

Postby BrianHawley » Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:12 am

A Cooper S version of the later cars would have been fun.
Brian

Image "Jodie". '67 Traveller, 1275, discs, suspension mods etc.

Chipper
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Re: What did Morris get wrong originally?

Postby Chipper » Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:33 pm

Indeed, it's quite strange that BMC didn't offer a 'performance' version of this once very popular/best-selling car, as they went on to do with Minis, Austin 1300s, etc.

You'd they could have at least fitted the 12G295 cylinder head and twin SUs to the 1098cc to bring it up to a whopping 55 bhp, to create a more sporting version...
Maurice, E. Kent
(1970 Traveller)

Blaketon
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Re: What did Morris get wrong originally?

Postby Blaketon » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:40 am

I remember being told that the big hole, behind the central speedometer, was to allow for the spit, on which the car was dipped, to pass through the car. I know that on my '71 Traveller, if you look inside the chassis rails (When the floor panel is lifted), you can see blue paint under the Waxoyl. That paint wasn't put in there with a spray gun.

ManyMinors
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Re: What did Morris get wrong originally?

Postby ManyMinors » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:04 pm

The paint dipping process used was to coat the whole bodyshell in primer only. Undercoats and colour coats were applied with a spraygun. That is the only way that the body colour - blue in your case - can get anywhere. The bodyshells were completely bare, primed shells when colour sprayed, so a certain coverage of overspray would enter the visible areas inside the chassis legs etc. That is what you can see :wink:

ianmack
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Re: What did Morris get wrong originally?

Postby ianmack » Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:59 pm

And another thing...... Getting back on topic, bonnet and boot hinges made from that bl.... mazac or monkey metal. Not strong, not durable. Wretched stuff.

Blaketon
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Re: What did Morris get wrong originally?

Postby Blaketon » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:44 pm

My father has mentioned the A40 Devon/Dorset many times, in connection with the use of mazac in the door handles/latches. Every time you see one, the door handles sag, no matter how tidy the car. I know Mini saloon boot locks could be forced open, even when locked. Some bar steward stole my jack and because they shut the boot, I didn't know straight away, that the boot had been forced. The barrel just split. The original Mini door handles could be walloped down and would also break. You want something better than toy car material!!

ManyMinors
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Re: What did Morris get wrong originally?

Postby ManyMinors » Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:58 am

I think you're forgetting that these cars when new, were an inexpensive "entry level" car and costs had to be carefully kept in check.
Of course better materials could have been used in some cases but then the cars would have been more expensive and not appealed to the mass market. The fact that Morris Minors have survived in reasonable numbers shows that they were a fairly well built machine but you do have to bear in mind the initial cost. The Morris Minor was a cheap car. In all the years I have owned and driven them I have never suffered a broken hinge or door lock :wink:

ianmack
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Re: What did Morris get wrong originally?

Postby ianmack » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:50 am

I wrote about the mazac after a frustrating session trying to sort a pair of boot hinges with some chrome and intact threads. Even for a modestly priced car I still think they are unfit for purpose, and steel hinges are pretty cheap.

Even when the cars were still fairly modern there were instances of the bonnet disappearing over the roof while travelling at speed. It happened to a friend of mine.

As for keeping costs in check surely BMC not being very good this was one of their big problems.

BrianHawley
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Re: What did Morris get wrong originally?

Postby BrianHawley » Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:55 am

Blaketon wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:44 pm
My father has mentioned the A40 Devon/Dorset many times, in connection with the use of mazac in the door handles/latches. Every time you see one, the door handles sag, no matter how tidy the car. I know Mini saloon boot locks could be forced open, even when locked. Some bar steward stole my jack and because they shut the boot, I didn't know straight away, that the boot had been forced. The barrel just split. The original Mini door handles could be walloped down and would also break. You want something better than toy car material!!
The original Zamac alloy, of which there were several different mixes for different purposes, was fit for purpose. It used high purity zinc in the mix.
When Morris Ashby acquired a licence to make it, they only had access to lower purity zinc. The alloy they made was named Mazac, from the initials M A. It was a bit weaker, but it was cheap and did the job on an economy car. And to be fair, the designers probably did not expect it would need to last over half a century.
Brian

Image "Jodie". '67 Traveller, 1275, discs, suspension mods etc.

Chipper
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Re: What did Morris get wrong originally?

Postby Chipper » Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:35 pm

Admittedly, the bolts that hold the bonnet hinges on are a bit on the thin side, and easily strip the threads. :o I once had to replace a replacement aftermarket (Sri-Lankan made) hinge that had seized after only a few years, and the chrome had pitted badly as well.
Maurice, E. Kent
(1970 Traveller)

minijojo
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Re: What did Morris get wrong originally?

Postby minijojo » Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:21 am

i got something they did right first. It is the access to the bake adjuster, witch was easy without removing the tire because there was a hole in the rim. No idea why they removed this hole in later rims


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