Helloo, and looking for a Minor!

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Helloo, and looking for a Minor!

Postby Davey » Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:57 pm

Well hello!

I'm Davey from darkest North Devon, and as the subject says, I'm looking for a Minor!

I used to drive them all the time, my first car was a tired 1970 2 door, bought when I was 17, which stayed with me for 17 years. I had a couple of others along the way too. Now what I'm looking for is a good solid car, ideally but not essentially pre 1960 so I'm not tied to an MOT timetable (and because I like the older ones). It's got to be useable, ready to go, and as rust free as I can find it. My budget is £4k but I'd be happier spending a little bit less if I could. So, what do you think - have I underestimated values and overestimated what I can find for my money?

I've had a look at a couple of them above £3k, both pretty from a couple of steps away, one had it's floor welded up... to the sill edge finisher! The other had also been welded up (plates above and below the original floor), a chunk of it's cross member had been removed and not replaced, which worried me a bit.

I'm not worried about welded cars, just it has to have been done safely and in a way that won't promote rust.

So, what do you think? Am I in the right ball park financially? If not, what can I expect for my hard earned pennies?

Oh, and my claim to fame, albeit a flimsy one - I designed and built the original Morris Minor Hubcap Guitar, played by Seasick Steve. If you like blues music, check him out!

All the best, and thanks in advance, davey.
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Welcome,

Alan,
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Re: Helloo, and looking for a Minor!

Postby BrianHawley » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:31 pm

Hello and welcome from sunny Saudi Arabia!

Sounds like you are in the ballpark if you don't mind doing a fair bit of welding.


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Re: Helloo, and looking for a Minor!

Postby Plin » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:51 pm

:D Welcome to our friendly forum Davey - hope you find a suitable Minor soon, sorry can't help with an idea of what price is ok for a reasonable saloon.

Very interesting claim to fame, how did you get that commission for Seasick Steve's guuitar?
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Welcome,
You can get an excellent minor requiring nothing doing to the body for that sort of money, I sold one recently that was as solid as can be and struggled to find a buyer even in your suggested price range.
Admittedly I was selling in the dead of winter, now is the time to buy so keep looking.

Shame you weren't around 6 weeks ago.

Al
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Re: Helloo, and looking for a Minor!

Postby DaveS » Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:13 pm

Welcome Davey
Seasick Steve I watched on new years eve .(how old is he? ;) ;)
He played that instrument on top gear I recall.
Welcome to the forum.
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Re: Helloo, and looking for a Minor!

Postby plastic orange » Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:06 pm

Hi and welcome.

PO
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Re: Helloo, and looking for a Minor!

Postby Davey » Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:41 pm

Wow, thanks for the welcomes! I've missed Minor motoring and meeting like minded people so much.

Glad I'm in the right ball park money wise, thanks for the tips! I'm looking at a S2 4dr at the weekend, sounds like it's had lots done by it's enthusiast owner, and apparently it's had not much welding. Apparently it has a little bit of 'surface' rust on a couple of doors and '5p sized rust holes' on the wheel arches seen on the rear door shuts (I think they call those 'C' posts?). Will be interested to see, but I must be careful not to be carried away if I could reasonably get a car with less corrosion for similar money.

Seasick's hubcap guitar wasn't a commission - he's a friend and I've made several of his instruments just for fun (we're like minded in our love for home made guitars). Yes - he did play his MM guitar on Top Gear a few years ago, and n Jools' show a while back too. I still have my original 'prototype' of that guitar, along with the backup I made for Steve, both hanging by my fireplace. I'm sorry but I can't tell you how old Steve is - I think I know, but Steve doesn't share it so neither will I :-) I can tell you that the hubcaps on his guitar came from my old 1970 2 door saloon in trafalgar blue, her name is Cynthia and she left the factory 9 days before the last saloon :-)

All the best,

davey.
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Re: Helloo, and looking for a Minor!

Postby Panky » Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:59 pm

Hi Davey and welcome :D Ever thought about making a bass from a boot lid :)
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Re: Helloo, and looking for a Minor!

Postby Davey » Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:28 pm

Panky wrote:Hi Davey and welcome :D Ever thought about making a bass from a boot lid :)

Nice idea! I'll ponder it while I finish off building a long case clock from the centre section of a 1000 dash and an A series cylinder head! ;-)
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Re: Helloo, and looking for a Minor!

Postby Plin » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:34 pm

Well that's a very interesting friend to have Davey. I presume you also enjoy playing the instruments you make?

Hope you do find a sensible priced Minor soon. As you say you do need to be careful not to be swayed by the rose tinted specs we seem to acquire when looking at our lovely cars!!
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Re: Helloo, and looking for a Minor!

Postby Davey » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:52 pm

Hello again, time for an update!

We looked at 3 cars in all, all claimed to be restored and very good, all between £3k and £4k. First one was rejected, mainly because of inexpert welding (floor repaired by welding plates to the bolt on inverted 'U' shape sill finisher!). Second one rejected as it only had half a cross member, and similar strange welded repairs.

Then came No. 3. Viewing was a heavy investment, around 400 mile round trip, and with limited time to view. A very pretty 1954 S2 2dr with the old style dash and cheese grater grill. I'd spoken to the seller at length, who told me the only issue was some corrosion at a spring hanger which 'may be an MOT advise in a couple of years'. The car looked very very pretty. Getting around underneath (in the rain), one side looked very good, the other looked okay at front, but a few failing 2nd rate plate repairs further back. The spring hanger was well beyond what was described, with plenty of daylight to be seen!

All else seemed okay, a few niggles (needed a couple of tyres, light switch failed, no horn... the sort of little things that can be sorted out pretty quick and at easily estimated cost). I wasn't sure of it, but we took a gamble, negotiated a sizeable drop in price, and bought the thing for £3.5k including low loader delivery.

Since it arrived, I've sorted lots of little bits out. Good discovery is that having had it checked out by a local specialist, my bodywork assessment seems to have been pretty accurate, it's booked in to have the bad area of floor including the worst plates cut out and new metal butt welded in. A little more expensive than I'd hoped for, but within our budget.

Bad discovery is that at speed (about 35 to max speed of 45!), the engine sounds tired - those scary bearings down low are knocking. I'm hoping the later 948cc it's running will hold out until next year for replacement. I missed the problem on test drive - I think in part as the test drive was narrow lanes so slow, and it was desperate for a service so running generally roughly.

Other jobs to do - it's got 4 new wings that look lovely but haven't been painted inside. Similar for the boot lid which is already showing a little rust on the inside lower edge where it's not been treated. So, it needs some thorough cleaning, treating / painting / injecting. Carpets and sill finishers are already off but the remaining interior trim will come out for more thorough inspection and preventative treatment.

I have a feeling it's got the wrong diff. The axle looks correct, but the speedo reads 1.5 x over (approx), and 1st gear is entirely redundant. The chap doing the welding will have a look at the digits on the diff while he's underneath and, if I'm right, we can plan for a replacement.

In short, perfection wasn't found for my budget but all things considered I don't think it was a bad buy... not great, but not bad. We're enjoying tinkering and relearning servicing and fixes. I think it'll be a keeper, but if not, I reckon that once the floor's sorted I should make back my investment selling honestly.

One question for now, when I last ran Minors I could buy exactly the lubricants listed in the manual... but things seem to have moved on. I'm happy with 20/50 for engine and gearbox, dot 4 for rad, and I've got a big tub of LM still in the cellar. In understand that Castrol EP90 is a good alternative to the Hypoid 90 I used to use (may even be the same stuff), but can anyone tell me if the same Castrol EP90 is okay for the steering too? I know I could use grease, but for now I'd like to work to the book if I can. Thanks.

Have a nice weekend,

davey.

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Re: Helloo, and looking for a Minor!

Postby BrianHawley » Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:41 pm

Congratulations! Very nice year and model. Sounds as if you are well on the road to making it perfect.
Brian

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Re: Helloo, and looking for a Minor!

Postby Custard » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:02 pm

Welcome,

Grease does not run out like oil.

Landrover changed their front hubs from oil to grease. The greeny Molybdenum stuff used in a lot of CV joints.

My Morris lubrication chart actually states that Castrol Hypoy was an Extreme Pressure gear oil which is what the EP stands for in EP90, and it shows the same stuff in both diff and steering gear.

It also states no more than 10 strokes, and warns against overfilling. Because a liquid is not compressible too much will force its way through or worse still split some pattern part bellows on the rack. Admittedly grease will do the same if overfilled, but that is less likely.

Sean.
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Re: Helloo, and looking for a Minor!

Postby Plin » Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:41 pm

:D Looks like a little beauty. Hope the repair jobs don't take too long or empty the purse too much so you can enjoy driving it.
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