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Morris Minor Ratrod - Big Rusty Holes


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Day off yesterday. So went shopping.

Removed the brake shoes, smashing my finger in the process as they sprung back.

Removed this banjo bolt union. Not seen this done like this before. Usually the bleed screw is part of the cylinder.

Incidentally the copper pipes have printed text on them. To me this says they're not that old, probably this side of the millennium. Not sure if 08.23 means 2008 week 23?

Removing the cylinder was a bit fiddly. It helped undoing the half shaft and a lot of wiggling.

Again new cylinder required the same amount of fiddling.

Then the fight of the springs to get the shoes back in place.

Replaced the crush washer on the banjo.

Pulled out the half shaft and replaced the paper gasket. Old gasket had gone completely hard.

This bearing felt graunchy, so I may end up having to pull this again to replace this. Also one of the wheel studs is damaged and stripping the threads on the nut.

Half shaft back in, tightened all back up for now.

I'll film the other side as I need to make an effort with my YouTube channel.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This engine is the one listed on the V5.

This lump has the markings of 8G on the tag. Having a brief look on the internet, it mentioned this is a 848cc engine.

Except it's not.

I was having a bit deeper search today as I was curious. The tag actually says 8G9 R. The R being the important bit. Internet says that this means it's actually a 948cc goldseal unit. Presumably R means reconditioned? Just funky BMC numbering going on where I guess one department made up different rules to another.

Src: http://www.austina30a35ownersclub.co.uk/Engines.aspx

This makes sense as why would you put a 848cc engine in a car that isn't exactly known for being over powered. Also the lump has a big sticker on it saying BMC GOLD SEAL with flaking gold paint.

No idea how well it runs though. I might lob one of the spare carbs on sometime soon and fire it up. Also stick an oil pressure gauge into the side as well and see it's health.

With a bit of luck it's a nice runner that could make bring another Morris (or A35) with a sick engine back to life. Just need to find another cheap Moggie now.

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Gold Seal was a big ‘brand’ for remanufacturing in the late 60’s through to the 80’s.

 I’m not 100% sure exactly when the brand was launched but if you rocked up to some secondhand chariot and it had been fitted with a Gold Seal engine it was much desirable.  

But back then, engines could get well worn very easily, especially if Nurse Gladys Emanuel had been running round town on full choke with lots of short journeys.

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On 7/18/2021 at 10:56 PM, SiC said:

What's this box? Not googled it, but I guess possibly a alternator regulator? Seems to have too many terminals for that though.


It says Lucas on it. 😬

I would burn it now before it decides to self-sacrifice itself later at a most inoportune moment. 

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19 hours ago, Mally said:

Gold Seal engine was factory reconditioned by BMC.

My dad bought one from Ratcliffes  for £55, back in the day.    Google 'Harry Ratcliffe mini racer'.

But went on to be a brand in the Unipart portfolio, also joined by Silver Seal

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7 minutes ago, Isaac Hunt said:

But went on to be a brand in the Unipart portfolio, also joined by Silver Seal

Similarly to Ever Ready, their old red "Silver Seal" batteries. Guaranteed to be rather mediocre performance and leak badly.


Rather like BL's efforts of the same name.

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3 hours ago, Isaac Hunt said:

But went on to be a brand in the Unipart portfolio, also joined by Silver Seal

Yes, and annoyingly I can't remember the distinction, but Silver was to a lower spec than gold. (I'd have known back then, have Unipart prizes including a...wait for it...FOUNTAIN PEN!)

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28 minutes ago, High Jetter said:

Yes, and annoyingly I can't remember the distinction, but Silver was to a lower spec than gold. 

Correct, presumably a smaller qty of new parts.  I can’t ever recall any published specification that detailed exactly what was replaced.  

I bought a crashed Marina 1.8TC Coupe once because it had a Gold Seal engine in it.  The lad had ‘had an off’ and hit a tree which didn’t do the Marina any good.  I broke it up, flogged a load of stuff and got my money back, so ended up with a free engine.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've been doing the brakes on this recently still. Just done the handbrake cable and both sides of rear cylinders. I intend to make this as a video, so I'll put that up once I've finished the fronts and master too.

However I noticed a large chunk of underseal. Pulled it off.


Took the interior out to have a look on the other side.

Took the wing off for a closer look.

Rained ferrous oxide

It's bad but at least there is some good metal there.

Panels are readily available but still going to be a hundred quid or so for them. As the bottom is already full of patches and this is a tatty car anyway, I think I might be naughty and just weld a new panel straight over the top instead of butt welding. I'll cut off most of the dead metal first but welding over the top will be a lot quicker.

It's not as bad as some cars as you can readily get to the other side of the panel. So I can put copious amounts of paint and rust proofer between them. Or cut back once attached. That's my excuse anyway as I don't want this to take too long for getting back onto the road. Plus welding over the top is an order of magnitude better than the fibreglass repair it had.
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  • SiC changed the title to Morris Minor Ratrod - Big Rusty Holes

See, I can't weld.  I have absolutely no ambition to learn.  Like some have absolutely no desire to learn to play three manuals of a pipe organ, we require those who can to give us the enjoyment.  You can weld.  I'm not saying you owe it to the rest of us, but a fudge is most uncharacteristic of your approach to all things cars.  

Ultimately, it's yours to do what you wish with.  I wouldn't blame anyone for taking the shortcut when life's short enough as it is.  But just be sure it won't reduce the enjoyment you get from the car, always knowing it's there.  Niggling away at you.  

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Used to be a Gold seal place opposite Cadbury in Brum....Loads of old Technical drawings in the window along with a Cutaway A series...

Probably a Kebab shop now though, last went passed in 1999

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1 hour ago, BorniteIdentity said:

See, I can't weld.  I have absolutely no ambition to learn.  Like some have absolutely no desire to learn to play three manuals of a pipe organ, we require those who can to give us the enjoyment.  You can weld.  I'm not saying you owe it to the rest of us, but a fudge is most uncharacteristic of your approach to all things cars.  

Ultimately, it's yours to do what you wish with.  I wouldn't blame anyone for taking the shortcut when life's short enough as it is.  But just be sure it won't reduce the enjoyment you get from the car, always knowing it's there.  Niggling away at you.  

One mans bodge is another mans repair! It's no different to an MOT patch that many have done either really. Also a world of difference between welding a patch vs slapping some filler in a hole in a structural sill (that I've seen done on here). 

It'll be strong and rigid, which is all that really matters.

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I went to Moss today for a gander on their panels. They don't have the right hand side in but they had the left. At £135 (after their current 20% discount) I won't be buying from them either. 

I was hoping I could get away with this, but this doesn't have the top section that I most need. Probably why it's a lot cheaper as less fabrication was needed. 


Their full panel was identical to this. I think this is what I'll need.



I'll also probably need this for the lip:


So it might actually be easier to rip all the patches off the bottom and weld that complete panel in. That's if it fits properly...

Welds on those patches actually seem pretty nicely done, so may put up a fight to get those patches off. Or I'll cut it right back and use them as a base to weld to. Too removal might lead to nothing to weld onto. 

The rear panel is UK made and should be ok. That arch lip is Sri Lanka made and are a bit notoriously hit or miss on accuracy.

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I’ve been thinking about using those Minor inner wing panels to replace the totally rotten rear inner wings on my Hampshire. I’m never going to find the correct panels for it.

The profile looks similar, but I’ve no idea on sizing etc. If you do buy one, do you think you could measure overall length and height for me so I can see if it will be anywhere near?

Please and thank you!

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I’ve been thinking about using those Minor inner wing panels to replace the totally rotten rear inner wings on my Hampshire. I’m never going to find the correct panels for it.
The profile looks similar, but I’ve no idea on sizing etc. If you do buy one, do you think you could measure overall length and height for me so I can see if it will be anywhere near?
Please and thank you!
I've ordered an inner arch and repair lips yesterday. Not had the delivery confirmation but it should either arrive tomorrow or Friday.
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As (i assume) you don't have seat belts fitted a lot of this rot isn't a concern for a Mot so fibreglass patches while not ideal will get you on the road quicker than a marathon weld fest.

Actually thinking aloud technically it doesn't require a mot so you can do as you please to get it on the road and give it a good shake down to see if it floats your boat and decide if you want to continue sinking time/money into it or move it on.

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Apart from panels arriving today, but also a replacement wheel bearing set for the rear nearside axle and a stud+nut.

The arch panel fits really well. So much so, I'm pondering about removing all the patches and putting that whole panel straight on. Not sure of the structural strength if I do that?

Arch lip repair isn't such a good fit - that's a Sri Lanka panel and they are reportedly never are. However it's not far off and I do wonder what I can get away with given a outer arch panel will be going on anyway. There are some pitted sections where the panel doesn't cover, so I may have to get some patches in small areas still.

The metal on the Moggie is very thick though. Not sure of the thickness but much more than I've seen on other cars previously. Possibly a good 1mm/20 gauge or even thicker? I guess this is why these cars have often lasted so long. Should hopefully make welding new panels on less of a pain.

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