New Restoration Projects Section

Let us all know what you are up to with your current restoration project. Get that Minor on the road!

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Splittyman
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Crispy Split Screen, 1953 (except parts of the front!)

Postby Splittyman » Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:34 pm

Hello everybody,

This will probably be the biggest first post I've ever written on a forum! I've bitten off quite a lot, as you will see from the photos, in the form of a 1953 Northern Irish Morris Minor. It came minus gearbox and with the engine in the boot. It was last on the road in 1984, and somewhere along the line the front and rear screens, seats and interior trim were removed. I have most of it (came in a box with the car) ... maybe an abandoned resto? The front hubs are seized solid.

A more eagle - eyed friend spotted the wrong wings and bonnet, plus a fair bit of filler. The latter doesn't surprise me too much on a 66 year old car. The bonnet side badges say 'Morris Minor' instead of '1000', so I guess that's pretty early though not correct. All 4 doors are mounted with plastic ties, and from what I've seen the engine bay and boot areas are pretty good. What's inbetween, clearly, is not. The floor is completely shot.

I love a rescue but I'm beginning to wonder if this is for me, despite my initial enthusiasm. My idea was, strip it of doors / front and rear wings / bonnet lid / boot lid and send it for repair with new floor panels to be welded in. The reality of course, is that it isn't as easy as it sounds. First off I'm paying for storage - outside - monthly. To cut a long story short, I think my only hope is to do all the stripping I intended and get the thing sideways for the welding.

I guess my first question would revolve around the latter. I've seen lots of pics on Google of Minor shells on their side, and not with anything higher tech than the thing pushed on it's side with appropriate 'buffering' between the side and the ground. Is it not a risk to do this and then cut out the old floor, in terms of the geometric integrity of the shell? Having looked at the repair panels available they seem reasonably priced, but I'm gathering that both the floor and sills are made up of several pieces? Are there any panels to avoid in terms of quality?

The plan would be to put a 1000 engine / gearbox in. Does that mean ordering a 1000 floorpan instead of the 1953 one? (ie: gearstick location?) Similarly the front seats are probably best replaced as the mounting frames are gone and the backs are not locking in place.

The car looks about as bad as a car can look, with the various maladies and 'paintwork', but I can see a nice (if never concours) result if I can get over the body rot end of things. I'm looking to do this on a budget, but not stupidly cutting corners. At the moment, as I see it, we essentially have a rusty box. Once that's sorted the rest shouldn't be too much of a worry. Despite everything, it oozes charm.

I don't mind things like the wrong bonnet / wings ... I can get fussy in years to come and replace if I feel like it, it's just a case of getting over the first hurdle in an economically viable fashion in order to get to that, what currently seems, fickle stuff!

Any advice on this - major or minor (no pun intended!) - would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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geoberni
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Re: New Restoration Projects Section

Postby geoberni » Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:03 pm

Hi
Well one thing I can put you right on is ...
The bonnet side badges say 'Morris Minor' instead of '1000', so I guess that's pretty early though not correct.
That's the right badges, so probably the original bonnet. It wasn't a Minor 1000 until the one piece windscreen in 1956.

I think your 'eagle-eyed friend isn't so smart. From what I can see, at the angle of your photo, the wings are correct for the model. As is the cheese grater grill.

What you have there is one of the early Series II (52-56), looking quite original, with the correct rear wings (bigger clearance around the wheel) and hasn't got extra indicators fitted.

Search around the forum for Series II restorations.
Basil the 1955 series II

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ianmack
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Re: New Restoration Projects Section

Postby ianmack » Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:34 pm

Hello and welcome, that looks like quite a project. I’m doing a ‘54 myself but it’s not so rusty. I’ll address your points in their order.

The Morris Minor bonnet badge is correct for a ‘53 car. The Minor became known as Minor 1000 when the 948cc engine came in for the ‘57 model year.

If you fit a 1000 engine and box in a ‘53 car you need the later type of gearbox cover plate for the remote gear lever. A small piece of the transmission tunnel needs to be cut away but looking at your photos this already appears to have been done on yours so I guess it has had a box change before. If you fit new floor pans these do not include the transmission tunnel as these seldom require replacement and leaving the tunnel in place helps the strength and alignment of the shell as rusty sections are cut away.

Maintaining the alignment is crucial when removing rusty parts. As you say the doors are held on with just cable ties I would start by removing these and welding bracing bars between each door aperture and also across the car between the b posts.

Turning the car over makes welding a lot more pleasant, not to mention safer. There are threads on here covering various methods for doing this, popular options being a cradle, a spit, or sometimes just tyres and mattresses.

Don’t worry about the seats, Minor ones are plentiful or you can fit modern ones if you prefer.

ianmack
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Re: New Restoration Projects Section

Postby ianmack » Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:52 pm

Looking again at your photos I’m not sure that the tunnel has been cut to take a later gearbox. If you get a late gearbox cover panel it will show the shape you need.

Splittyman
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Re: New Restoration Projects Section

Postby Splittyman » Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:53 pm

Thanks a lot for the warm welcome and info / suggestions :D

I always associated the '1000' with very late Minors, but then again they were when I was ten and I'm now ... a bit over 21 :oops: As long as the shape is no different that's fine. I can't see why anyone would have replaced them to be fair, as the engine bay is good and straight so it's obviously not had any prangs.

I've certainly given myself a job of work here :o Then again I asked myself "If all the bits were fitted right now and the car didn't look like it had chickenpox on the outside, would it look reasonably good?" and the answer I came up with was "Yes". I need to get decent at welding (I bought a cheap one in Lidl) and I'm thinking I'll start with the door bottoms. I'm very interested in both fashioning metal panel work and welding, but understand that neither are a stroll in the park.

I find this guy good, I've watched a load of his tutorials, obviously knows his stuff:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB8HF8 ... 7DFqX9lf_g

I've no doubt that this is going to be a long, long road ... but again I can't really think of many nicer cars to get right. They just have so much character 8)

Dryad
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Re: New Restoration Projects Section

Postby Dryad » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:35 pm

I think you might have a very difficult time on your hands if you're going to attempt to weld panels with an arc welder - it would take a very skilled welder indeed to make a decent job of that. Best to pick up a MIG welder (don't buy a SIP Turbo MIG - it will let you down again and again!), something like a Clarke from Machine Mart. See https://www.machinemart.co.uk/categorie ... mig+welder It might seem like a bit of an expensive outlay but it will pay for itself very quickly indeed!


ianmack
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Re: New Restoration Projects Section

Postby ianmack » Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:05 am

I’d second Dryad’s comment. Having tried both mig welding is much better and easier than arc for work on thin sheet metal such as car bodies.

DAVIDMCCULLOUGH
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Re: New Restoration Projects Section

Postby DAVIDMCCULLOUGH » Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:30 pm

Welcome Splittyman!

Have you any paperwork for the car? The number plate is Southern Irish so would not be a simple job to register it unless you have old documents. Id suggest you will probably end up with an age related number plate the Irish version of DVLA no longer let old Irish number be used.

All minor projects are viable, just depends on your pocket and timescale! Here is a resto I bought and sold on to a friend of a very similar car, it might give you some inspiration.

viewtopic.php?f=28&t=40334&hilit=1954+s ... estoration

Good luck :D


Too many Minors so little time.....

geoberni
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Re: New Restoration Projects Section

Postby geoberni » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:34 pm

Good spot David. :)
I hadn't paid any attention to the Reg, accepting the description of Splittyman as it being from the North.

But according to Wiki, the Reg is from County Cork,... ZT 1 to ZT 9999 (May 1953 – Dec 1955) Looks like it's going to be another 'age related' Scottish number getting allocated by DVLA.
There's many around, including my Basil.
Basil the 1955 series II

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Splittyman
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Re: New Restoration Projects Section

Postby Splittyman » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:29 pm

Wow, that thread certainly was an inspiration! Talk about back from the dead :o

Regarding the welder, it's the flux core 100 quid jobbie (https://www.lidl.co.uk/en/MiddleofLidl. ... leId=23778), some describe that as arc, other mig. I'm confused :oops: I am scheduled to take a welding course starting August, which as someone who's in no way sporting, is probably not a bad idea (it's not cheap!)

As for the Reg., I contradicted a friend who suggested it wasn't from Cork. I checked it out, and it tallied. Southern Irish. Then I looked at the NIDVLA(?) book that came with it (chassis plate matches) and it is down as Belfast, 1953. I did find 'TZ' for Belfast but not 'ZT', but as the book says it I'm going to have to go with it.

Given that I live in the South I can either look forward to 'ZV' generic vintage plates with too many numbers after it, or '53 WW 120000000000014'. Bright idea on the part of our Civil service that one! :roll:

I'm not going to try and do this on the cheap, but I'm certainly on a budget. Time isn't a massive issue, but in another way it is: I've discovered aplenty that relaxing into that mindset results in nothing happening for unnecessarily extended periods! My biggest worry, having spent all day out where the car is being stored, is that I'll find enough sound metal to actually weld to when it comes to the floor.

I'm thinking of easing myself into this by starting with the doors, or specifically, the door bottoms (which are non existent) by fashioning / welding bottoms onto them.

Regards,

Tony

Splittyman
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Re: New Restoration Projects Section

Postby Splittyman » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:33 pm

Well today was fun :-?

I got the front bumper off easily enough, just 2 large bolts that had been loosened at some stage previously. Then came the nearside rear wing. Yikes. A couple of bolts came off when I eventually discovered a ratchet fitting that would fit. A 17/32. Unfortunately the one I have is made of cheese so will buy a proper one tomorrow.

Two bolts came off easy enough, two just went 'crunch crunch'. Of these two I managed to get one off with a vise grip and adjustable wrench (having bent it out so I could access the captive nut side) One is just seized solid, and another - the nearest to the rear bumper - is a bloody nightmare to access. The breaker bar is great but you need space in order to use it :cry:

Am I right in thinking, despite the nagging voice in my head, that this isn't bad for a 66 year old? I can imagine my 2002 Micra will be like this in 5 years :lol:

myoldjalopy
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Re: New Restoration Projects Section

Postby myoldjalopy » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:17 am

It sounds fairly typical, especially for a car that has been neglected for a long time, as yours appears to have been. Give all bolts a good soaking in 'Plusgas' for a few days and they may be easier.......
I also don't think the floor has been chopped to take a later engine. Have you got the gearbox coverplate anywhere, as that seems to be missing from the photo.
Don't forget that it is possible to avoid chopping the floor to fit the later remote gearbox tunnel. You can mate the 948 and 803 gearboxes to have a 948 gearbox without the remote shifter. That way you can have the additional power but retain the 803 gearlever and keep the inside of the car original. 8)

jaekl
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Re: New Restoration Projects Section

Postby jaekl » Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:01 pm

When you were undoing the rear most bolts, did you first remove the nuts that hold the bumper bracket?

ianmack
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Re: New Restoration Projects Section

Postby ianmack » Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:59 pm

Those wing bolts are 5/16 BSF, or should be if it still has the originals. At the top of the tech section there is a table of bolts and spanners required. Basically the engine gearbox and axle have UNF threads needing AF spanners while the body suspension and steering have BSF threads and need Whitworth/BSF spanners. This mixture arose from the merger of Morris (BSF) and Austin (UNF) in 1952.

The right spanner can make all the difference with ancient bolts rather than one which just about fits.

Splittyman
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Re: New Restoration Projects Section

Postby Splittyman » Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:01 am

Many thanks folks.

Now that I've got over the euphoria ("I've got a Minor!") some sober prodding with a screwdriver took place. I've certainly got a job of work, not least of which, since I last posted, has been tempered by not having the right sockets. Even my local Halfords (which is probably the biggest one in Ireland) have ceased stocking Imperial. Que a rummage about in the attic, which yielded one of my late father's 1/4 Whitworth spanners that had slipped a couple of thousand times :D

My problem with the wing bolts is that some of them aren't original size: they've degraded that much I presume. I've bought a 30 piece Whitworth set (Draper) on Ebay so that should get me out of dodge. I had a go at the front bumper in my garden yesterday (I got it off the car and took it home from where it's stored) and it took all day to get half the bolts off.

Hindsight is a great thing: I should have just ground the heads from the start. I thought I was doing great with the breaker bar but of course the captive side was turning. Not wanting to destroy the chrome insert, I then taped around each one and went at it with my Aldi grinder, or tried to. It was dead. Replaced the fuse and it still wouldn't work. Que a trip to the attic to get the Hitachi. I managed to flat some of the heads before it rained.

Then I took to drilling, but couldn't find the chuck for the electric drill and the battery one wasn't up to it. Eventually found the chuck and all my drill bits were useless so I went out and bought some. Came home and was just about to go at it when it rained again :roll: Between a mix of grinding and drilling I got half of them off anyway. By 8 the folk next door put the baby to bed so I knocked it off and spent until dark sipping coffee and looking out the kitchen window at the bumper on the (wet) garden bench.

I'd forgotten how much fun old cars are :lol:

+1 on the comment about the correct size tools. There simply is no substitute. In response to the query about the back bumper, no, I haven't removed it yet. The business of the reg. number isn't complete yet, the archives office in Cork are on it! I have a feeling that it may have gone from a Northern to Southern reg. at some stage, or been exported with it's southern reg. to the North perhaps (that was, apparently, possible in the old days) Missing paperwork is a problem over here, we're not as fastidious about keeping everything as the British!

myoldjalopy
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Re: New Restoration Projects Section

Postby myoldjalopy » Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:00 pm

Those little bumper bolts can be a right pain! Sometimes it pays to just tighten them until they snap.......


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