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1952 Morris Minor Series MM saloon
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 19904
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:35 am    Post subject: 1952 Morris Minor Series MM saloon Reply with quote

Morning folks,

For some time I'd been pondering about getting a "regular user classic" that was presentable enough to not be embarrassing, but not so mint that it couldn't be used whenever the mood took me. Also it wouldn't have to be too pricey, and have a good spares backup.

The field was narrowed down to the 1950s, with cars such as OHV Minxes, Standards, and various BMC products all being on my radar.

I wasn't looking for a Minor in particular, but their (relative) ease of ownership was a major plus factor when considering a characterful car from the 1950s. A Series II split-screen, maybe with an engine upgrade, seemed to offer the ideal mix of age, spares support and usability. Plus dad's taken on the resurrection of a Moggy 1000, so having a pair of Minors in the fold would be fun.

This MM appeared in an online advertisement, one of the photos from it is shown below - benefiting from a "bucket of water prep job" immediately before taking the photos Smile



I hadn't really considered the MM version, but the (to me) more attractive interior, was a plus point, and this example being a four-door ticked the practicality box. I liked the dark blue colour, and the more I read about it, the more it appealed. It has had a conversion from the original sidevalve engine, to a 1098cc engine & gearbox from a late Moggy 1000. So not a car for the purist, but it should make it a lot more usable, even though the back axle ratio will be the original.

It was extensively restored in about 1990/1991, used for 12 months, then parked up in a dry garage where it remained. It was then sold, and the new owner proceeded to do nothing with it, just leaving it on his driveway. He then advertised it, which is when I got to hear of it.

It looked good in the photos (don't they all), so a visit was arranged to see it in the metal.




The bodywork is in the main very good, there are a couple of bubbles here and there, but very little really, and a few patches of paint reaction if you look closely. But overall its appearance, even with 12 months of grime on it from being parked in the open, was good.

If anything the underside is even better. A few localised repairs have been made underneath, presumably 25 years ago, and they still look fine, with unusually neat lines of weld - probably the tidiest welds I've seen. The common grot-spots, such as the floors, crossmember, spring hangers, sills, front "chassis" legs etc, are all A1. It just needs some oil or similar spraying around to keep it that way.

There are a few light scratches to the paintwork here and there - possibly as a result of cats using it as a ski slope - but a good polish will minimise their impact, and improve its appearance yet further.

The interior is very smart, having been re-trimmed to a good standard, with still-presentable seats, door trims, and a replaced wool cloth headlining. It just needs some detail cleaning and polishing.



Its A-Series engine seems to run well. The only negatives are the brakes, which are sticking on on two or three corners, due to standing. "Still, Minor parts are easy to find aren't they?" I told myself, so bought it - after a few negotiations.

The chrome screen surrounds are with it, but were removed before bringing it home, as they were a loose fit in the repro rubber seals.



The "to do" list on purchase included the following:

- free up the footbrake and adjust/renew parts as required
- drain and re-connect the fuel tank
- adjust handbrake
- attend to a couple of electrical jobs (eg charging)
- source tyres



Predictably enough, virtually all the wheel cylinders were stuck. It was at about this time that I began to appreciate that many MM parts are very different to the Series II and Minor 1000s, including the brakes. Replacement wheel cylinders are made from unobtainium, while the back axle - and the gubbins bolted to it - is also completely different.

I've sourced a pair of 7" front backplates from a later 948cc car, this will enable me to convert to cylinders from later Minors, which are ten-a-penny. A conversion kit is available, which incorporates new shoes, cylinders, pipes, and all the fiddly fittings required to do the swap, once backplates have been located - which was surprisingly difficult actually.

The rear drums are held on with a large, castellated, nut, on the end of the half-shaft. The wheels bolt to the drums, unlike later cars which have wheels held by nuts. The nearside castle nut wouldn't budge, despite hours spent with heat, hammers, long lengths of tube, and so on. The net result is that I need to find a replacement nut. Following on from the issue of sourcing wheel cylinders, I was again reminded that MM parts are much trickier to source than for later variants. Hmmmm - does anyone have a spare castle nut?

More to follow ....

RJ
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Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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peter scott



Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Rick,

It looks in nice condition. The dash on the MM is much nicer than that on the later cars.

I wonder if the brake cylinders are actually the same as those on a Wolseley 6/80 that I've just replaced?

I think the TR2 also uses these.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw=morris+minor+mm+brake+cylinder&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xwolseley+6%2F80+brake+cylinder.TRS0&_nkw=wolseley+6%2F80+brake+cylinder&_sacat=0

Peter
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ukdave2002



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
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Location: South Cheshire

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rear axle is very similar to the Z van:



Rear drums and halfshafts are rare, so avoid wheelspin starts!! the rear brakes are the same as the later Minors, however originally they had 7/8" rear cylinders; these changed to 3/4" on later cars. If you are changing the fronts to a later spec, it might be prudent to change the rear cylinders to the smaller diameter? I'm sure the MM experts will advise.

Dave
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Churchill Johnson



Joined: 11 Jan 2011
Posts: 325
Location: Rayleigh Essex

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need a 6 leg puller, that same idea was on some of the old vauxhall's which i think used 5.
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Keith D



Joined: 16 Oct 2008
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Location: Upper Swan, Western Australia

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick, Can't you get the wheel cylinders re-sleeved with stainless steel liners for a moderate price?

Keith
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Rick
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Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keith D wrote:
Rick, Can't you get the wheel cylinders re-sleeved with stainless steel liners for a moderate price?

Keith


Yes that was an option, I've not looked into the cost of re-sleeving but upgrading to the later backplates and cylinders, with the resulting ease of finding replacements if ever they're needed, swung me, plus the cost was minimal of doing this. I'll be able to retain the original drums, so everything will still look correct, it'll just be the internals that differ slightly.

A discussion on the MMOC forum has led to an interesting discovery. My factory manual for the MM suggests that the n/s/r hub/drum nut has a lefthand thread, whereas manuals belonging to other MM owners says that both sides have the usual righthand thread.

I need to find a replacement castellated nut, suitable for the MM version, if anyone can help?

RJ
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Rick (OCC Admin)
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Rick
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Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Box of goodies arrived this morning, just one more to come then I can get on with more spannering.

RJ
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PAUL BEAUMONT



Joined: 27 Nov 2007
Posts: 1265
Location: Barnsley S. Yorks

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know you have solved the problem Rick, but did you talk to Paul Hunt at Powertrack? I find he is pretty good with thing made of unobtainium! (No connection other than as a customer)
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Rick
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't pursue the idea of re-sleeving (which I had to do on the Dodge iirc), with later cylinders being so cheap it didn't seem worth it really.

Today saw the brake overhaul commence. I bought a pair of later backplates from a gent who's retiring from the Morris spares scene, and a conversion set (cylinders/shoes/pipes/flexis/fittings etc).

I made a start swapping over the n/s/f brakes, but came to a halt when I spotted that the supplied metal pipes (the ones that bridge across the two cylinders on each side) were a) a little short, and b) appear to have the incorrect unions on them. One end is correct, the other isn't, so I'll need to give them a bell on Monday.

It shouldn't slow me down, as I can dismantle and fit most of the other parts to the o/s/f tomorrow, plus I've new TREs to fit also.

RJ
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Last edited by Rick on Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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ukdave2002



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick wrote:
I didn't pursue the idea of re-sleeving (which I had to do on the Dodge iirc), with later cylinders being so cheap it didn't seem worth it really.

Today saw the brake overhaul commence. I bought a pair of later backplates from a gent who's retiring from the Morris spares scene, and a conversion set (cylinders/shoes/pipes/flexis/fittings etc).

I made a start swapping over the n/s/f brakes, but came to a halt when I spotted that the supplied metal pipes (the ones that bridge across the two cylinders on each side) were a) a little short, and b) appear to have the incorrect unions on them. One end is correct, the other isn't, so I'll need to give them a bell on Monday.

It shouldn't slow me down, as I can dismantle and fit most of the other parts to the o/s/f tomorrow, plus I've new TREs to fit also.

RJ
hi Rick, just mak sure you have the correct/ balanced cylinder dimensions.

Dave
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Rick
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will do.

Popped over to dad's today, in part to have a look at the layout of the pipework behind the front backplate on his car. While his Moggy 1000 - due to hit the road sometime soon - is on 8" rather than 7" front brakes, it was handy to see how the cross pipe between the two wheel cylinders is arranged.



Today I removed the o/s/f backplate and cylinders on mine, and replaced both track rod ends. I wish that whoever assembled it 25 years ago had heard of copper grease, it'd have made my life a whole lot easier. Every thread put up a fight.

RJ
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norustplease



Joined: 11 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like a nice buy, these little cars are a treat to drive given their age and in some respects, were years ahead of their time, compared to contemporary offerings. I am sure that you will enjoy using it.
I was going to warn you that the earlier versions have a lot of detail differences from the later 1000, and to be careful with part buying, but you have sussed that out already. Most of the specialist suppliers should be able to sort things out for you.

When I parted with my first car back in the early 1970's, a green 2 door 1000 saloon, I never thought that one day almost 40 odd years later, I would seek to cherish one of these little cars.

Volvo MOT on Tuesday, fingers crossed!
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norustplease



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Incidentally, isn't this a Series 11 rather than an MM?
I do have an original BMC workshop manual, so feel free to shout out if you have any queries
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goneps



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

norustplease wrote:
Incidentally, isn't this a Series 11 rather than an MM?

Yes. MM Minors had the side-valve USHM2 and USHM3 Morris engines, up to 1953 I believe. Often referred to as "low-light", a reference to the position of the headlamps
either side of the grille.

Possibly the confusion comes about because "MM" is a convenient abbreviation for "Morris Minor". And not to be confused with the pre-war OHC and SV cars of the same name,
of course.

Richard
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peter scott



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the MM desigation was used for all the post war side valve Minors regardless of headlamp position. The Series II cars all had the A series 803 cc engine.

Peter
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