Charles Ware's Morris Minor Centre
Home Services FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions:

What tyre size should I use on my Morris Minor?

What tyre pressures are recommended for my Morris Minor?

How do I go about getting insurance for my Morris Minor?

Do I get free road tax on my Morris Minor? How does that work?

Will my Morris Minor run on unleaded fuel?

What oils and fluids are recommended for my Morris Minor?

What is recommended for my Morris Minor when it needs servicing?

I have a paint code for my Morris Minor. What does it mean?

What does the chassis number indcate on my Morris Minor?

Can I have my Morris Minor converted to lefthand drive?

Can I have my Morris Minor Saloon converted to a Convertible?

Can my Morris Minor have an automatic gearbox fitted?


Tyre size: 155 x 14 or 145 x 14. 155 tyres will only stow in the spare wheel bay on the Traveller so the saloons and Convertible are more suited to 145 tyres. 

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Tyre pressure: 28 psi all round for radial tyres unless fully laden in which case 28psi at the front and 30psi at the rear. Crossplys should be 22psi all round unless fully laden in which case 22psi at the front and 24psi at the rear.

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Insurance Companies:
Though we don't offer insurance ourselves we can give you a list of insurers who deal with classic cars. Please call us on 0117 3003 754 more details.

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Road Tax:
The Morris Minor, like all cars built before 1972, is classed as "historic" for road tax purposes and as such one doesn't pay tax. However one must still register it as tax exempt by going to the post office or filling in the details online. You can find more details here DVLA, Historic Vehicles Information

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Converting to unleaded fuel: 
The generally accepted way to convert a vehicle to run on unleaded fuel is to change the valve seats and the valves and we carry out this type of improvement regularly.

This costs approximately £330.00 for parts and labour.

Although this is the accepted way forward, it can be troublesome; an example of this is, an engine that is running perfectly and doesn't lose any oil, is then converted to run on unleaded fuel by changing the valve seats and valves, within one or two thousand miles of driving, the vehicle starts to burn oil. This is because some of the exhaust gases that would have naturally escaped through an average cylinder head are trapped perfectly by the new cylinder head and pressure is put down into the pistons. The additional oil used manifests itself as excessive oil consumption, visible smoke through the exhaust system and also because of the hotter running temperatures of unleaded fuel, the oil in the upper cylinder is burnt on to the valves and as the exhaust gases escape past the valves, a hot spot is created, which then burns the valve out prematurely. So a well meaning attempt to convert a vehicle to unleaded fuel, results in some major engine work to be carried out maybe 5000 miles later.

So our recommendation would be to fit a catalyst on the fuel system, this is a cigar shaped gizmo, which is fitted on the fuel line, and as the fuel passes over the tiny pellets enclosed, microscopic amounts of tin are collected by the fuel and the tin becomes the lead replacement. The catalyst lasts for up to 100,000 miles. We have been using these for approximately 10 years and have nothing but good reports about them.

In the future, when the engine needs to be rebuilt through general fair wear and tear, then the engine will at this point be converted to run on unleaded fuel by changing the valves and the valve seats. When the engine is reconditioned all the potential problems of fitting a new head to an older engine are overcome.

The cost to convert the vehicle to run on unleaded fuel on the catalyst system would be £89.50.

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Oils and Fluids:

Engine oil - 20W/50 oil

Gearbox - 20W/50 oil

Rear axle - Hypoid 90 oil

Steering rack - Hypoid 90 oil

Water pump - Multi-purpose grease

Shock absorbers - 20W/20 oil

General Greasing - Multi-purpose grease

Brake fluid - Lockhead Super Heavy Duty or any conforming to SAE 70 R3

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Oil/Lubrication Charts:
These charts give the position and type of oil/grease to use on MM, Series II and Morris 1000

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Paint Codes: 
Click here for a pdf list of original colour and paint codes

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Some Chassis Numbers Explained:

From 1952-62: 1st letter; F= Morris, 2nd letter; A= 4 door, B= 2 door, C= convertible, E= van, L= Traveller, 3rd letter= colour (eg A= black). 1st number is  class; 1=R.H.D. home market, 2= R.H.D. export. 2nd number is paint type; 1=synthetic, 2= Synobel, 3= Cellulose

From 1962 - M= Morris, A= A series engine, S= 4 door saloon, 2S= 2 door saloon, W= dual purpose, T= tourer

so :

MAS stands for 4 door saloon: MA2S is a 2 door

MAT stands for Tourer/convertible 

MAV stands for Vans

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Left Hand Drive Conversions: 
We regularly do this for our customers overseas. The Morris Minor was built with export in mind and therefore the chassis panels involved have holes already cut to do this job. Visit our Conversions and Preservation options page for prices

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Convertible Conversions:
Also Known as Replica or Post Production convertibles. We take a 2-Door Saloon and change it into a "Tourer"/Convertible by removing the roof and strengthening the Chassis. With over 30 years experience one can hardly tell the difference.

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Automatic Gearboxes: 
Basically, fitting an automatic gearbox into a Morris Minor is not an easy operation, as the only box that fits sensibly is the Marina, but these are no longer available. The best solution would be to buy a Marina automatic saloon, which is very rusty, but has a good engine and good automatic gearbox. The engine and gearbox would need to be removed from the Marina and fitted into the Morris Minor, but this is a much larger task than it would first appear. Also, because an automatic does not have engine braking, you would need to increase the power to the brakes.

Stage one therefore would be to decide on the quality of traveller you require. Please see our website to get a general idea of the price of a decent Traveller; this will give you some indication on prices, but of course, these vehicles are not automatics.

Therefore, taking into account the points mentioned above, the likely costs to deal with this conversion would run as follows:-

> Purchase price of vehicle, which will obviously depend on the quality of vehicle you decide to buy, but probably not less than five or six thousand pounds

> Credit on the existing working 1100 engine and gearbox, say (£350.00)

> Probable purchase price of the donor Marina automatic saloon - say £1,000-£1,500

> Recondition the existing engine and gearbox – allow £1900.00

> Labour to fit and modify 1300 engine and gearbox – allow £1350.00

> Sundries and consumables – allow £450.00

> Supply/fit disc brake kit £650.00

> Supply/fit servo kit £395.00

Therefore, the likely cost of the modification, bearing in mind the credit, it would be sensible to allow £5969.00 plus of course the cost of the traveller itself.

Please note that while the cost of the vehicle itself would include VAT, whereas VAT would need to be added to the cost of any repairs/modifications.

Please also bear in mind that it could take in the order of 8 – 16 weeks or perhaps even more to obtain a donor Marina automatic vehicle.

As you can see, it’s not straightforward and it can be expensive. I’ve said eight to sixteen weeks to obtain a donor Marina automatic vehicle but this could be longer, and it would probably take another six weeks to deal with the job. You also need to be aware that vehicles with a small engine – ie: 1300 – the automatic operation is a little bit sluggish and not like a modern automatic, but this would need to be discussed.

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