Magazine Cover - Classic Cars For Sale - 1000s of Classic Car Reviews, How To Service & Maintenance Guides

Morris Minor Traveller

Morris Minor Traveller Published: 27th Mar 2015 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Morris Minor Traveller
Morris Minor Traveller
Morris Minor Traveller
Morris Minor Traveller
Morris Minor Traveller
Morris Minor Traveller
Morris Minor Traveller
Morris Minor Traveller
Morris Minor Traveller
The latest issue of Classic Cars For Sale is on sale now - Pick up your copy from all good newsagents including WHSmith or click here to subscribe now

Subscribe to Classic Motoring Magazine and save over 20%

Subscribe NOW

Available at all good newsagents including WHSmith

Do you drive this great classic or are thinking of buying one? Here’s how to ensure that you get the best out of your car for years to come

Is there a more practical and pragmatic classic than the Morris Minor Traveller? It has evolved from a reliable new family runabout in the 1950s and ‘60s, to a cheap workhorse as well as a charming classic many are proud to own and even still run as a daily driver. And why not? Its sheer popularity ensures that there’s an army of specialists around to help you to maintain yours that’s also a DIY dream.

ENGINE OUTPUT

MOD

Everything from a Rover V8 to an Alfa twin-cam has been fitted although these days, sensible upgrades are the order of the day and most simply drop in a larger 1275cc A-Series, to replace the 1098cc unit, which doesn’t affect the insurance either. You don’t have to run on the Midget’s twin carb as stock Minor one can be retained (1.5in SU is better bet), along with the exhaust manifold if you wish to keep an original look although will suffer, as will using 1275 block with a 1098 ‘top end’.

MEND

If you are intending a rebuild it makes sense to fit an unleaded cylinder head and www. aseriesspares.co.uk sells a tuned stage 1 unleaded head, with new valves, guides and unleaded seats, for £367. You can also buy new carbs, from around £200 for a single HS2 HU, up to nearer £600 for the twin SUs, normally fitted to the Midget. Marina and Midget engines can be utilised with minor alterations but the former are rare finds now. Even if you are not upgrading the engine performance it’s still worth fitting a electronic ignition system.

BOTTOM END

MOD

It’s possible to bore a 1275 out to 1360cc or 1380cc using oversize pistons which gives usually more torque but it’s not a cheap overbore. The A-Series is an inherently strong unit so toughening up isn’t needed for most road tunes, even supercharging and turbocharging, but adapting a transverse block to in-line use isn’t practical.

MEND

Leaking at the crankshaft oil seal is a common problem; upgraded ones should be used, especially if you are fitting an upgraded crank. To get round this problem www. jlhmorrisminors.co.uk have devised a Maestro crank and breather conversion for any 1275cc unit. It’s a good idea to drop the sump and renew shells etc every 50,000 miles.

FRONT SUSPENSION

MOD

It’s possible to replace the original torsion bar system and www. jlhmorrisminors.co.uk sells a modern- style coil-over-shock-absorbers set up for £740, including a new cross member and wide-bottom A-arms, so it’s a fairly major job to fit. From http://www.morrisminor.org.uk (Charles Ware’s Morris Minor Centre) a new front suspension handling kit fitted costs £242, which includes telescopic shock absorbers. A front anti-roll bar from the same company costs £169. Polybush offers a bush kit for £116.

MEND

Spares are widely available for the original suspension components and you must keep the trunnions well lubricated preferably with EP oil rather than easier-to-use grease. If you need new dampers anyway (and some recon lever dampers aren’t very durable) why not uprate? £314 buys a Spax damper conversion kit from Morris Minor Spares, for example or try ESM Minors.

BRAKES

MOD

Most popular mod is to fit front disc brakes; initially by using Marina parts but now Ford Sierra bits are popular because they are more widely available. A complete front disc conversion kit from http://www.morrisminor.org. uk costs £650. Speak to a specialist first as some reckon the drum types (especially larger Riley 1.5 ones if you can find them) with good linings and a servo works well for many owners or discs but without servo assistance.

MEND

It’s surprising how stock brakes can be improved simply by overhauling the system and using quality linings aided by a servo. http://www.morrisminor. org.uk will supply and fit a servo for around £400. The brake master cylinder resides inside the chassis rail, and as a result it suffers from road muck and because it’s out of sight it’s also usually out of mind. Brake adjusters seize so keep them and handbrake system well lubricated.

TRANSMISSION

MOD

Many people elect for better gearing especially lower gear Travellers. You can buy a modified Ford Sierra five- speed gearbox from http://www.morrisminor.org. uk for £1425, which includes fitting or you can buy your own and a fitting kit. However, specialists advise that unless you use a 1275 engine, the lesser units don’t have the power to pull that ratio and argues that a higher axle ratio (plenty are available) is a better option in this case.

MEND

Always noisy, synchros are the first thing to go, especially second gear, but they soldier on for years like this. The only model that has reasonably good parts supply is the 1098cc; supply for the sidevalvers is poor. A Midget one is the same unit and there’s no shortage of these… Car stalls when clutch is depressed? It may be the crank’s thrust washers wearing allowing the clutch to slightly drag. Axles are durable but becoming noisy over time but again is rarely terminal.

BODY & CHASSIS

MOD

If you’re worried about future corrosion, or want to save a bit of money, you can opt for front and rear wings made from fibre-glass, for about half the price of steel versions, though these are hardly expensive, at around £90 for a pattern steel wing or £140 for an original so have a think on this as it will hurt originality and values.

MEND

All the panels that you need are easily available, and at good prices but it can get expensive on Travellers suffering with rotten wood. A complete kit costs in the region of £1000 depending upon quality and pro fitting is as much again, though you can buy the individual sides pre-assembled and it is a DIY doable. As it’s a well known MoT fail point; check for softening (including rear door hinge posts) annually and have it re-varnished every two years but not with old oil or creosote.

SERVICING TIPS

ENGINE OIL: (20W/50 or 60): 7pints

GEARBOX: Use engine oil 2.3pints

REAR AXLE: EP90 1.75pts

COOLING SYSTEM: 28.5 pints

SPARK PLUGS: N5, N9Y or equivalent gap 0.025in

C.B. POINTS: gap 0.014-0.016in

TIMING: 948cc 5 degrees BTDC 1098cc 3 degrees BTDC

VALVE CLEARANCES 0.012 in & ex recommended to set cold

INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR TRIM

MOD

A daily driver? Then given the design of the standard perches, you’ll probably want to upgrade to modern reclining seats for £330 each, trimmed in vinyl, from www. morrisminorspares.net – Midget ons will probably fit but are not really an improvement. Fitting modern inertia reel seatbelts (front and rear) is also a worthwhile safety option, with kits costing around £25.

MEND

Interior trim on the Minor was always fairly basic and there are many suppliers who will sell you original- style trim, at very keen prices; www. morrisminorspares.net will sell you a complete carpet kit for just £64.50, or an original-style blue vinyl front seat cover for £97. Five-speed conversions necessitate a modified transmission tunnel and it also robs much needed clutch foot space.

ROLLING STOCK

MOD

If you’ve upgraded the suspension, you may want to fit modern wheels and wider tyres to make the most of the mods. Prices start at around £60 with http://www.morrisminorspares. net selling a Minator 8 Spoke Alloy for £62.95. Marina/Spridget wheels will fit but being 13 inch lower the car’s height and gearing. Lower profile tyres affect it to so choose with care.

MEND

Replacement tyres are still easy to buy, with a premium 145 x 14 radial Bridgestone costing around £50. For an original steel wheel you’re probably best to look to specialist breakers and perhaps get an original set repainted. Van and pick up rims are slightly wider and allow a larger tyre yet retain original look.

REAR SUSPENSION

MOD

For the ultimat.jlhmorrisminors sells a Five-Link Rear kit for £1100 (fitted by the company as it is a complex job) doing away with the leaf springs. You can buy a suspension upgrade kit from http://www.morrismonor. org.uk for £592. This upgrades both rear and front suspensions and worth doing if they require overhauling anyway. Anti-tramp bars are worth considering if large power increases are envisaged.

MEND

Spring hanger repairs are complicated and labour intensive but it has to be done right if the rot has set in. Swapping over to telescopic dampers is a wise and relatively inexpensive mod; adjustable types such as Spax units allow you to tailor ride to suit or stiffen if heavy loads are to be carried in a trice. Some fit Marina axles for their better choice of ratios plus are tougher and cope with increased power.

AND ANOTHER THING…

It’s one of the few classics used as a daily driver although we fit an alternator conversion for £95, as well as halogen headlamps (£40) and electric screen washers (£40). Even if a complete rewire is needed (good idea on any oldie used as a daily), a new loom is under £100. Many cars on sale will have had some level of alteration and modding – it’s for you to decide on their worth. Specialists like the Minor Centre can sell or make you a ‘new’ car to your spec and becoming a member of the owners’ club is a must and there’s a thriving Young Members’ Register specifically to attract them as future classic car owners.

 



User Comments

This review has 0 comments - Be the first!

Leave a comment

Keep it polite and on topic. Your email address will not be published. Please do not advertise products, all posts of this nature will be removed. We do not stock or supply any of these products, we independently review these products.

Latest Issue Cover - Click here to subscribe

Subscribe to Classic Motoring Magazine and save over 25%

Subscribe