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Locost Bryan's 1972 Morris Marina TC Coupe

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Here's what needs doing to the interior.  The seats and door cards need a little work, as would be expected after 40 years in our sunlight.


The vinyl on the door cards has got stained, and the clear plastic coating on the "chrome" trim is peeling off.  Have to decide whether to stay with the original "parchment" beige trim, or change it to black to better match the yellow paint.  Also have to decide whether to stick with vinyl on the seats, or upgrade to cloth.  Vinyl was standard in '72, but the "posh" models were upgraded to cloth from '73.  Have an image from the brochure that shows the later cloth seats, should be able to get something to match the pattern/texture.  Will then get a set of moulded carpets from the Auckland crowd who advertise on TradeMe, in a colour to suit the seats.

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The steering wheel needs replacing, as the spokes are separating from the wooden rim.  I have a good Nardi wooden wheel, but with the "wrong" spoke style and no boss kit. A three spoke leather wheel was an option, so a 15" Motolita or Mountney should be ok.

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Unfortunately the headlining has been ripped where it is perforated over one of the air outlets on the "C" pillar.  Will have to see what the auto-upholsterers can do about that.

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  • 5 years later...

After stripping the engine, WAER found the cast iron manifold had been badly repaired in the past and was beyond salvation. Thankfully there was a spare in my stash of parts, so that saved the day.

Fortunately the worn ring gear was easily replaced.


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As with most projects that have been through several owners while dismantled, a few odd things went missing and required a global search to find replacements.

The rubber seal for the front passenger's quarterlight window had gone AWOL, I eventually found a NOS one in Arkansas, from a guy who had acquired the parts stock from a mid-west MG and Austin dealer.

A set of new TC wheel covers came from another NOS parts collection in Australia.

The engine was fitted with the wrong oil filler cap, a tall vented Mini one, rather than the correct short non-vented one. A Facebook search eventually sourced one from an Austin 1500 owner in Aus.

A replacement for the worn oil pump drive was sourced from the UK, fortunately one of the few Maxi parts that Leyland Australia had used and retained the original part number. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Still waiting to get the Marina back (not that I'm concerned, sat long enough like most old school projects lol).

Last update the engine had been started up, after fitting a new battery.  Old one had died, strangely it was dated from the noughties but I'd bought it less than 5 years ago. Not something I'd thought to check when buying from Ripco or Supercheap.

Had a little drama when they tried to move it, and the brakes had locked on.  Traced to a seized caliper.  More fun and games as it is fitted with Australian Girlock calipers, instead of the Girling LF14 calipers fitted to virtually every small British car in the 60s and 70s.  None of the suppliers had details for them, so while I suspected the Girlocks should be identical to the Girlings, no-one could be certain, so they got sent off to a Hamilton outfit who specialise in overhauling the Aussie stuff.

Ordered new elements for the factory-fitted Ramflo filters, took two weeks to cross the ditch.


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  • 3 months later...

After delivering the filter elements just before Christmas, discovered the base plates were missing, and had to order those too.  So another months delay, but what the heck, it's been a while already. 

Delivered the base plates, and the engine guys were finally able to run the engine safely, without worrying it would suck in a lose bolt or some such.

Due to the time it had been there, they had been having to move it around a bit, which wasn't doing the engine any favours, so was recommended to run it under load on the dyno to bed in the rings.  Getting it to run properly turned into a bit of a drama, when carbs were set correctly at idle it ran very rich higher up the rev range.  The temporary solution was to wind the jets down to lean out the mixture. The permanent solution will be new jets and needles. Might get some leaner BBR needles from the Maxi HL, to compare to the Marina's BAD.

Finally got it home today. Nice to hear it running, and to reverse it off the tow truck and drive it into the garage. Clutch working well, no trouble engaging first or reverse. A couple of things will need attention, lots of travel in the brake pedal, despite the calipers being overhauled, no doubt the rear cylinders will need looking at. Rev counter not working, supposed to be ok with the Powerspark distributor, will need to check the wiring.

Pulled out the back seat, which is a brown cloth one from a later car, since I want to keep the original vinyl seats for authenticity, and the matching cloth front seats have completely different mounts anyway. Underneath I found two of the quarterlight rubber hinge blocks that I'd spent a year scouting the world for, and had finally found in a paddock near Invercargill. Wonder where the other two ended up.

Anyhow, here are a couple of videos of the engine running.  OCD will require turning the filter mesh and clips to line up properly. :)


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