Morris Minor

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Is service satisfactory? 65.8% of Morris Minor owners expressed satisfaction with the service offered, 11.7% are not satisfied and 11.2% carry out their own servicing. 11.3% did not reply to this question.

If car is modified give brief details: The most popular modification to the Minor is the fitting of twin S.U. carburetters, carried out by 6.2%. Next in popularity comes raising of the compression-ratio, carried out by 4.3% while a straight-through exhaust system has been fitted by 3.8%. Polished ports and combustion chambers is a feature of 2.8% of the Survey cars. A variety of proprietary silencers have been fitted by 6.2% the Servais being most popular. Different valve springs have been fitted by 2.6%, high-compression pistons by 0.7%, superchargers by 10.4% and a 1,100-c.c. Coventry-Climax engine by one reader! A number of readers have fitted proprietary conversions ranging from mild stages of tune to full F.J. specification, while a variety of braking and suspension modifications have also been carried out.

ENGINE No engine trouble has been suffered by 58.6%. This percentage does not of course include those who have fitted a reconditioned engine. These have been fitted by 13% at mileages varying from 11,000 to 105,000, with an overall average of 44,500 miles. A noticeable practice amongst Minor owners is to fit oil control rings together with new big-end bearing shells, then fitting a reconditioned engine at a later date. 10.2% fitted new rings and big-ends at an average mileage of 38,300. Replacement valves have been required by 10.4%, new pistons by 3.3%, new water pump by 3.4%, cylinder-head gaskets by 2.3%, exhaust system by 3.6%, oil seals by 3.3%„ new radiators by 1.0% and timing chains by 2.2%. Broken crankshafts have been suffered by 1.2%, seized pistons by 0.7%, and broken engine tie rods by 0.6%.

CLUTCH No clutch trouble has been experienced by 68.9%. Complete replacement clutch units have been fitted by 8.8%, plates replaced by 4.6%, the carbon thrust bearing by 2.5%, clutch springs by 1.7%, new linings by 1.7%. The clutch shaft spring required replacement on 2.3%, while of general complaints 5.1% mention squeal on engagement, 1.4% report clutch slip, and 2% suffer from judder.

GEARBOX No gearbox trouble has been encountered by 64.2%. Of the total, 8.4% have required replacement gearboxes at an average mileage of 40,000 due to general wear, but actual failures have been few. Various bearings have been replaced in 1.3%, pinions have stripped in 0.6%, and oil seals have failed in 1.3%. Weak or worn synchromesh is reported by 3.9%, while 7.8% mention the perennial difficulty with B.M.C. gearboxes of engaging first gear. A further 7% report that their gearbox is too noisy.

BRAKES No brake troubles have been experienced by 49.1%. Relining of brakes has been carried out by 25.8% at an average mileage of 31,000. Master cylinders have been changed on 3.2%, wheel cylinders on 2.3%, axle oil seals on 1.6%, new drums on 1.1%, while 0.9% mention brake judder. Comments that the brakes were poor, requiring too frequent adjustment, were made by 3.9%.

STEERING The Morris Minor rack-and-pinion steering is obviously extremely trouble-free as well as being pleasant to use. 91.2% have had no trouble at all and many readers made remarks like “perfect” and “wonderful to use.” Complaints on rattles from the steering gear were made by 1.9%, while a further 1.5% commented on wheel wobble and judder due to wheels being out of balance. Actual failures were very few indeed, looseness of the wheel locking nut being encountered by 0.7% and a leaking oil seal by 0.6%.

SUSPENSION Also virtually trouble-free is the Minor suspension, with 75.4% of satisfied owners. Shock-absorber replacements are the main source of irritation, 5.9% replacing this item at fairly low mileages. Rubber suspension bushes have been replaced by 2.3%, springs have failed on 1.2%, wheel bearings have been changed on 1.3%, and torsion bars on 0.6%. Of miscellaneous and unidentifiable troubles, 4.5% mention squeaking and looseness of shock-absorbers, 1.3% mention the hard ride given by the suspension, and 4.8% complain of axle tramp..

INSTRUMENTS No instrument trouble has been experienced by 53.8%. Speedometer trouble is, as usual, the most prolific problem, no less than 34.1% having trouble with the speedometer head, although not all of these have been replaced. New speedometer cables have been fitted by 10.6%. Fuel contents gauges have been replaced by 9.4% and the oil pressure warning switch by 1.3%. Many complaints were voiced about the inadequacy of the instrumentation.

ELECTRICAL No electrical trouble has been experienced by 60.4%. The largest number of replacements have been made to batteries, which have been changed by 10.6%, the S.U. petrol pump has been changed by 8.5%, trafficator trouble has affected 6.5%, the trafficator switch being changed on 2.3%. The dynamo has been changed on 5.5%, the automatic voltage control on 3.6%, windscreen wiper motor on 2.2%, courtesy light switch on 2.2%, distributor on 1.2%, horn on 1.6%, and miscellaneous wiring faults on 1.6%.

REAR AXLE No rear axle trouble has been experienced by 60.8%. Few actual mechanical troubles have afflicted Morris Minor owners but no less than 24.5% complain of excessive rear axle noise. Replacement axles or differential units have been acquired by 9% in an effort to reduce the noise level. Replacement half-shaft oil seals have been fitted to 6.5% of the Survey cars. Other replacements are limited to replacement of prop-shaft universal joints by 0,7% and rear wheel bearings by 0.9%.

BODYWORK No bodywork trouble has been encountered by 36%. Poor quality chrome work is reported by 16.5%, water leaks into the interior by poor quality paintwork by 12.9%, rust on paintwork by 6.7%, water leaks through the windscreen by 9.4%, water leaks through other windows by 4.5%, water leaks through doors by 1.9%, water leaks through quarter-lights by 2.9%, draughts in the interior by 6.1%, and various body rattles by 4.6%. Complaints of doors dropping and poorly fitting doors were made by 4.5%, broken door locks by 4.3%, poor quality varnish on the Traveller model by 2.8%, water leaks through the boot lid by 2.3%, cracked welding by 2.2%, broken glove box lids by 1.0%, door sealing strips by 2.5%, and jammed windows by 1.2%.

OTHER SERIOUS DEFECTS The defect most frequently reported under this heading is broken driver’s seats mentioned by 2.3%, followed by broken exhaust systems reported by 2%. 1.3% mention the poor quality of the heater, 0.7% reported a split radiator and 1% feel that the driving position is bad.

TYRES Dunlop tyres are fitted to 63.6% of the Survey cars, Michelin to 10.4%, Firestone to 3%, Goodyear to 2%, Avon to1.3%, Regent remoulds to 1%, and Wyresoles or Tyresole remoulds to 0.6%.

Would you buy this car again? Yes, 79.6%. No, 20.4%. Of those who said they would not buy the Morris Minor again the following cars were named:

VW 8.1%

Autin Mini 4.8%

Triumph Herald 1.7%

Ford (various) 2.5%

Vauxhall 1.3%

Saab 1.3%

Riley 1.2%

Hillman 1.0%

Austin Healey 1.0%

Sunbeam 0.9%

Wolseley 0.7%

M.G. 0.6%

Jaguar 0.6%

Austin 0.4%

Rover 0.4%