I've only just come across this thread. I recently found that the heater on my (late 1098) Minor saloon was only giving out cold air - not what is required now that December is upon us! The heater hoses looked very perished and the coolant rather "brown" so I removed and flushed out both the heater matrix and the radiator and fitted new hoses. The heater then gave out SOME warmth but was not exactly hot. I then removed the heater valve, which is original as far as I know, and blew through it. Even when fully open it was restricted. To obtain a new one I telephoned Bull Motif spares who, to their credit, told me they don't have any in stock at present due to reliability issues and failures. I didn't think that taking my old valve apart and putting it back together would be advised so had a search through my box of "bits which might be useful one day" . There I found one of the simple brass taps as fitted to the earlier Minors. In 5 minutes it was fitted and I now have a constant flow of heat through my heater
. OK, I can't control it from inside the car, but in the unlikely event of becoming too hot inside, I'll just open a window!
It is however a sorry situation that a relatively simple component cannot be obtained easily for our cars and many owners will have had experience of purchasing new items which turned out to be of very poor quality. As time goes on, the frustration of this could make running a Morris Minor a less attractive proposition to some which is a bad thing for us all. For many years the Morris Minor Owners Club have talked about arranging the re-manufacture of some key parts but little seems to have been done. The club probably have a larger captive audience than most of the parts suppliers I would guess? On the face of it, it seems extraordinary that somebody has gone to the trouble of making these components to such a poor standard. Surely it can't be THAT difficult to do it right