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Morris Minor Ratrod - Back to Bearings and Brakes


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Less is more when it comes to filler, just like building up layers of paint really.  Skim, sand, skim, sand, until you're totally bored of it and then do a bit more and the end result is almost good.  When filler is really thick, you can sometimes get a heatgun on it and dig large chunks out with a screwdriver or similar to cut down on the ridiculous amounts of dust it otherwise makes.  Hopefully you can deal with the aligment there by adjusting the door rather than anything more serious.

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A rare day yesterday where it wasn't throwing it down. So got sanding the filler and throwing some paint on the rear.

The side is getting there. Ran out of filler though. Pretty sure it's had a scrape along this panel in its long distant past. Its repair being a new section welded in, warped (gas welded?) and then plenty of filler.

Right now with the weather turning, my key aim is to get it the best as I can and lob paint on. It was already going below 10c last night and marginal for the paint. I've got another window to get this side done on Friday where it's sunny and warmer.

For now, I've duct tape the plastic sheet back on to keep the weather off the bare steel.

Then I need to get the brakes done sharp-ish and back on the road. It can then hide away undercover in storage until Spring next year.

I must full steam ahead on the Dolomite and just get that body done now. I've been pondering about getting a pro welder in and just finishing that side off. Then I can focus on the other side - hopefully with less work needed.

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Changed to a different filler this evening. Last time I used bigboy ultra fine and this time bigboy lightweight. Also got some P38 to try on the Dolomite.

The lightweight filler was a lot more runnier and I found easier to work with. Spread much smoother and easier to put less on.

I'd like to have a few more filler, sand cycles but I was fast running out of time. The next couple of days the weather is turning even wetter and colder. So I had to get paint on this evening no matter what.

So I threw on some paper and tape to roughly mask off the window. The seals are knackered on this car so I wasn't too bothered if there was some over spray on them. Next summer I will take the glass out and properly paint the car. Right now it's protecting the bare metal from the elements.

Sprayed a high build filler in the hope to hide some of the blemishes. I used Simonz brand spray paint and to be honest I don't get on with their nozzles. End up putting far too much on and causing run marks. I've had their zinc primer and red oxide primer - both same problems. Think might try finding another brand. Annoying as the paint itself is pretty decent and the cans aren't ridiculously priced.
I used some thick paper as a rough smoother to reduce them.

Then a quick coat of cellulose paint after leaving it a good half hour to dry. It's 10c out there and just about warm enough for it to dry properly.

The finishing of this side is certainly not my best work, but as ever my aim is always to leave it in a better state than it was previously.

Previously the filler work was pretty bad and chipping off anyway. Rough finish and chunks that had come off were rusted underneath.

Only picture I can find of before and pre-cleaned, but gives a good idea.

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  • SiC changed the title to Morris Minor Ratrod - (Badly) Painting the arch

I know MM parts aren't exactly scarce, but is this lot of any interest to you? I would have thought an electronic ignition kit and carpet set would be worth most of the asking price, but who knows. Does look like a few shed's worth of bits tbh but possibly useful to cherry-pick and then sell the rest?

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4 hours ago, barrett said:

I know MM parts aren't exactly scarce, but is this lot of any interest to you? I would have thought an electronic ignition kit and carpet set would be worth most of the asking price, but who knows. Does look like a few shed's worth of bits tbh but possibly useful to cherry-pick and then sell the rest?

I got two estate boot loads of Moggie and A-Series parts with mine that I have no idea what I'm going to do with. As tempting as it is, being a massive hoarder, I think I'd be doubling/triplicate on a lot of stuff. Thanks for the thought and finding it though. Maybe useful to @Joey spud

While I've got your attention and I know you're pretty clued up on really old stuff, do you have any idea what this Bosch horn and what it could be off? It was in the stash of parts that came with my Moggie.

Markings say Bosch HO/ESA6B16.




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  • 3 weeks later...

Today was another rare day that I had a bit of free time to work on cars. Except I slept to nearly mid day...

Anyhow the tank is painted.

Then set onto changing the rear nearside wheel bearing and damaged stud. This entails removing the hub from the back axle.

Stud thread was damaged and busted the wheel nuts. I probably could have recut the thread but a new stud is cheap and the bearing was grounchy anyway.

Drum back off. Half shaft out.

I didn't have a socket big enough to undo this nut. However someone else previously has removed it with a chisel. So I felt less guilty doing that myself. I marked up too where it was currently set at, so I knew how far to retighten.

Next I had to pull off the hub. There is a special service tool that fits in the middle that your puller can press against. I didn't have said tool and decided instead of buying one, I'll use a socket instead. Two old sockets are used here, one to press against the axle and the other for the puller centre to press against.

Worked a treat. Decent impact is really handy here.


I did try with my little Milwaukee stubby but it just didn't have the strength. The bigger impact actually is easier in cases like this. As each impact bang is much higher, you can run it much slower and more controlled.

Hub off

No damage to the axle insides.

I bought this press off red5 a while ago and, despite something infrequently used, it's incredibly useful for things like this. Out comes the bearing.

I used an old brake drum to support the hub while pressing out the stud. It let go with a satisfying but also unnerving crack.

Removed the old seal. This left behind a metal insert.

I don't think this is needed on the new seal so I removed it. You can see the old seal (right) is smaller than the new (left).

Seal in

New bearing pushed in carefully.

Then tapped the hub back on with the shaft lightly lubed with oil. A mix of big sockets is incredibly handy here.

Nut back on with a new tab washer bent over.

Went slightly further than it was originally. I don't think this is supposed to be mega tight anyway?

Drum back on

Then wheel back on. I've put on one of the white Wellers that also came with the car. I think they look quite good! The Dunlop Remoulds will definitely need replacing though.

I also changed the other side.

Now the diff oil needed replacing. This was very low, most likely from the slight leak it's had for years.

Then dropped the back end to allow the remainder to drain.

As I had the fuel tank out, it makes refilling far easier.

Took a full 1 litre bottle of oil to pretty much fill to the top. Close enough that there isn't any point to open another bottle and make it overflow out.

Back end just needs the tank back in, arch back on and bumper iron reattaching. All of which can be done with the car on the ground.

Now I need to crack on with the front. Calipers/pads freeing up, flexis replacing, master replacing and remote reservoir fitting. Then bleeding all around the car and hoping I can get pressure!

Wheel off. Does anyone know if these are actually Marina brakes as I've been assuming?

Tie rod boot is knackered. No play though, so I think I'll just try getting a new boot.

Flexis I think are date coded 1986?

I also painted the boot with some acrylic Navy Blue paint that I hoped would be sort of the right colour. Turned out absolutely awful coverage. Might just rough it all up and spray it black instead!
Or stick on some carpet and pretty up the boot.


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  • SiC changed the title to Morris Minor Ratrod - Back to Bearings and Brakes

Set to work on the front end this evening.

First off was replacing the completely knackered TRE boot

First time I've used this tool. Need to get a few different types really. I think I picked it up at FoD when someone bought a big box of old tools they were giving away.

Also removed the Flexi

Then the caliper

Pads had rusted into the caliper

Gave the discs a quick whizz over with the wire wheel to remove surface rust.

More problematic on the caliper are the pistons completely seized in. I was hoping to replace the seals and pistons myself but now I'll either have to rebuild these or find a replacement pair.

Presumably the brand new Marina calipers are a straight swap? Also presumably this is definitely a marina caliper. Not sure how you tell?

Removed the caliper on the other side and that was seized too. TRE boot was in good condition though, so I didn't replace that.

Greased up. The G.Coupler attachment is definitely a massive improvement over the original included one on the grease gun.

Finally removed the hydraulic fittings from the master cylinder before calling it a night.

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Just spunked a bunch of cash at ESM again and bought new. If they don't fit, I'll get these refurbed.

Bigg Red were £140 for refurb plus cost and time to ship them. ESM were £160 for a set of new shipped next day. Also ordered fresh pads+fitting kit for good measure.

Just added up what I've spent so far ... I need to sell the engines and diffs to make some money back soon.

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Issigonis folly.

These two bolts hold in the brake master cylinder. Problem is that they are blocked by the torsion bar used for the suspension.

After a lot of prying on one of the bolt heads, I managed to get it bent down enough to move one. Once I did that, I stuck a socket on that bolt head to keep the bar down. Then moved the other bolt out enough.

It was easy to lever here but there wasn't quite enough movement to get it bent down enough for the head to come out. But enough to allow the shaft to.

The master cylinder was still a fight to remove. That brake pushrod was stopping it easily being removed. A lot of wiggling later it came out.

Didn't look in promising condition looking at the end. I envisioned this and already have a brand new cylinder to hand.

Stripping it down showed the bore to be buggered too.

These are all the pieces that make up the hydraulic portion. The very left piece I need remove on the new master. It holds a slight pressure on the brake circuit to stop the wheel cylinders retracting. But as it has front discs, you don't want that happening. Otherwise it'll drag the brakes leading to overheating and excessive wear.

Replacement calipers haven't arrived yet. Parcelforce was supposed to pick up the delivery from ESM yesterday but appear to only have done so today.

No matter as it gave me a chance to drain down the cooling circuit. It's now refilled with antifreeze rather than the water+flushing agent that was in there. As there is no fuel tank, I couldn't start the engine. Instead I squirted some easy start down the carb and got it running for brief periods. Hopefully enough shaking and agitation to mix the two together. Getting nearly to freezing overnight around here now.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fitted the calipers yesterday. Quite a pleasurable job.

Bolted on and matched up perfectly.

A slight different install compared to the last setup. The Flexi is in a different position on the Moggies compared to the Marina and you are supposed to have a hard line from the caliper to Flexi first. If you look at the previous photos of the old caliper, you'll see the hose was quite stretched when at full lock.
The hose from ESM has a small plate from which the hard-line attaches.

If you look at mercrockers installation photo, his is this side. But I wouldn't be able to get the hard-line installed like this.

So I went the otherside.

The hard-line then needs bending to shape. I hate trying to bend brake line. Need to buy a proper flaring tool, pipe and fittings. That way it's not a one shot deal if I mess up.

Thankfully this ended out reasonably neat and tidy.

Pads in. Chose to use some new pads instead of reusing the old ones. Old ones were rusty on the backing plate, so potential for binding and new ones are cheap enough.


Otherside was the same except it was evening and I did it in the dark.

Tried to decide where to put the remote reservoir container. At the moment I've fitted it where the old dynamo regulator control box lived. It doesn't hit the bonnet but it's close.

Not sure it's the best place for it being brake fluid is flammable and right next to the fuse box. Might move it to somewhere on the wing. Possibly on the strengthening plate where the loom runs behind.

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Scrolling back, that horn looks almost identical in casting to the Delco horns I've got on my Pontiac.

An A/B pair sound good, a deep, oboe sounding parp from each at a slight discord is enough to wake most people out of their driving slumber.

Requires a relay

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