Morris Marina - was it really that bad?

Morris Marina - was it really that bad?

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Discussion

Sticks.

6,738 posts

215 months

Sunday 24th November 2019
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I wasn't aware that this colour was a special edition. https://www.lancasterinsurance.co.uk/news/2019/sep...

And you can own one https://www.corgi.co.uk/morris-marina-1-8-tc-jubil...

And yes, that reg is accurate, and it still exists https://www.flickr.com/photos/leicester-vehicle-ph...

PH detail matters smile

coppice

6,583 posts

108 months

Sunday 24th November 2019
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Off the point I know , but mention of Triumph and Rover V8s reminds me of the MGC. I had always assumed it as effectively the same big six Austin as found in the Healey 3000 and Westminster, that is until I spoke to a nice guy racing his MGC last summer . You really coudln't make it up that with a ready made engine available engine on tap , MG chose something else , with Australian parentage ISTR >

lowdrag

11,315 posts

177 months

Sunday 24th November 2019
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Have you ever wondered what happened to the little 2.5 litre Daimler V8? I guess not, but you couldn't make the story up if you tried. Bill Heynes, who invented the XK engine, wasn't a fan of the Daimler engine and one day told his son Jonathan to take a Daimler Mk 2 and drive it to Stratford - in second gear. This he duly did and got back with the engine in one piece. So Bill then told him to do it again - this time in first gear! The engine did not survive, thus proving that the XK engine was better.

aeropilot

23,861 posts

191 months

Sunday 24th November 2019
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s m said:
aeropilot said:
The Lada was a licence built version of the Fiat 124, not the 125.

It was Polski-Fiat which was a licence built version of the Fiat 125.
Oh yes, that’s true - I always thought of the 125s as a LWB 124 .....but yes they became those FSOs

Was more into the homegrown stuff like Escorts to be honest. Can remember the odd one or two of us flirting with something Italian - but there were always plenty of Ford spares and upgrades and performance was uppermost in our minds back then
Oh yes, me too.

But, one of my uncles had a Fiat 2300 saloon when I was a kid, complete with white wall tyres which was incredibly exotic to me.....and Ford vs. Fiat battle on the rally stages in the late 70's between the Escort and the 131 Abarth means I always had a bit of a soft spot for the Italian Ford laugh

Dr Jekyll

21,237 posts

225 months

Sunday 24th November 2019
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Raygun said:
We have to remember the Stag engine all things being equal was more advanced than the Rover V8 giving the Stag that extra special status it needed in the USA as this new fantastic SL Merc competitor for half the price and if the sand from the foundry had been cleaned out of the waterways in the block before assembly it would of been a big success, it's as simple as that why it had overheating issues.
Not sure how true this is. But I was told that Saab looked at the Triumph V8 but decided against it, and this prompted them to Stick a turbo on the slant 4 instead and the rest is history.

Touring442

2,117 posts

173 months

Sunday 24th November 2019
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Raygun said:
We have to remember the Stag engine all things being equal was more advanced than the Rover V8 giving the Stag that extra special status it needed in the USA as this new fantastic SL Merc competitor for half the price and if the sand from the foundry had been cleaned out of the waterways in the block before assembly it would of been a big success, it's as simple as that why it had overheating issues.
The Stag's engine issues were far greater than that. The water pump was too high in relation to the radiator, the angled head studs gave unequal clamping forces, the timing chains were too long (nothing wrong with the quality of Reynolds chains) and the cheap and nasty distributor gave advance/retard problems. The big ends were a bit on the small side as well. Add the same care of assembly as an A Series and it was never going to be much good. For all that it's still a great engine when it works. Carefully built with a few inexpensive mods such as the Ford V6 water pump and Lumenition it's nice engine and it sounds superb.The Rover 3.5 ruins it.

Saab turned the pigs ear 1700/1850 engine into something very good indeed - a pity they couldn't re-engineer the V8.

aeropilot

23,861 posts

191 months

Sunday 24th November 2019
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Dr Jekyll said:
Not sure how true this is. But I was told that Saab looked at the Triumph V8 but decided against it, and this prompted them to Stick a turbo on the slant 4 instead and the rest is history.
Yes, that's true.

In fact, Saab fitted the Stag V8 in as many as 28 Saab 99's for evaluation and testing before eventually dropping the idea. I'm pretty sure at least one of them survived in the Saab Museum up until the factory closed down.

aeropilot

23,861 posts

191 months

Sunday 24th November 2019
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Touring442 said:
The Stag's engine issues were far greater than that........... the timing chains were too long
Blimey, how long were they then?
I can't imagine they were longer than the enormous length duplex chain Ford used in the 427 SOHC engine?



Touring442 said:
Saab turned the pigs ear 1700/1850 engine into something very good indeed - a pity they couldn't re-engineer the V8.
They did, in the early 90's - but again, they dropped the idea after building about 10 engines smile


2xChevrons

1,269 posts

44 months

Sunday 24th November 2019
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coppice said:
Off the point I know , but mention of Triumph and Rover V8s reminds me of the MGC. I had always assumed it as effectively the same big six Austin as found in the Healey 3000 and Westminster, that is until I spoke to a nice guy racing his MGC last summer . You really coudln't make it up that with a ready made engine available engine on tap , MG chose something else , with Australian parentage ISTR >
That chap was badly misinformed, or you're misremembering.

The MGC did use the C-Series, as used in the Austin Westminster/Wolseley 6-110 and Big Healey. What BMC did do, in their infinite wisdom, is pointlessly re-engineer the engine to 'modernise' it (seven main bearings instead of four) and reduce its physical size and weight while keeping the capacity and fundamental dimensions the same. This was done in anticipation of the MGC and the Austin 3-Litre. Part of the problems that the MGC had handling-wise were because MG (reluctantly) designed it to accept the redeveloped C-Series which was supposed to be 175lbs lighter than the old version when in fact the BMC powertrain people were only able to trim about 40lbs off, leaving the MGC with an engine that was not only much, much heavier than the B-Series that the car was designed for but dramatically heavier than intended even when the 'C was developed with bespoke front suspension etc. Further adding to the disaster, BMC then made absolutely no use of the 'new' engine's performance potential and offered it in virtually the same tune as the old four-bearing version, so it was still a very smooth, very torquey but slow-revving and inefficient lump of an engine.

Your source may have been thinking that the 'C had the 'Blue Streak' engine, which was a unique six-cylinder version of the B-Series developed by BMC Australia by adding two cylinders to the 1623cc version of the four-pot to create a 2.4-litre engine. This was fitted to the Austin Freeway/Wolseley 24/80 models in Australia, which were locally-built variants of the Farina-B design. The unique engine was needed because while in the UK cars of the Farina-B size were expected to have sub-two-litre four-pots, in Australia such cars were required to have 2.5-ish-litre straight-sixes and BMC had no engines of that sort to hand.

lowdrag said:
Have you ever wondered what happened to the little 2.5 litre Daimler V8? I guess not, but you couldn't make the story up if you tried. Bill Heynes, who invented the XK engine, wasn't a fan of the Daimler engine and one day told his son Jonathan to take a Daimler Mk 2 and drive it to Stratford - in second gear. This he duly did and got back with the engine in one piece. So Bill then told him to do it again - this time in first gear! The engine did not survive, thus proving that the XK engine was better.
The Daimler V8s (2.5 and 4.5) are absolute gems and were criminally underused by Jaguar thanks to the devotion to the good-for-its-time-but-quickly-dated XK6. The V8s offered more power cube-for-cube, were much smoother, much freer revving, much more suited to continual high speed driving, had infinitely more tuning potential and were much longer-lived in service. Had these things been decided purely on engineering merit then the V8s would have been used in preference to the XK.

Imagine a Series 1 XJ in Daimler Sovereign trim but with the 2.5 and 4.5 V8s instead of the unhappy 2.8 and charismatic-but-clunky 4.2 XKs? What a wonderful machine that would have been!

Sardonicus

17,779 posts

185 months

Sunday 24th November 2019
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aeropilot said:
They did, in the early 90's - but again, they dropped the idea after building about 10 engines smile

Lovely BB cammer lick

aeropilot

23,861 posts

191 months

Sunday 24th November 2019
quotequote all
2xChevrons said:
The Daimler V8s (2.5 and 4.5) are absolute gems and were criminally underused by Jaguar thanks to the devotion to the good-for-its-time-but-quickly-dated XK6. The V8s offered more power cube-for-cube, were much smoother, much freer revving, much more suited to continual high speed driving, had infinitely more tuning potential and were much longer-lived in service. Had these things been decided purely on engineering merit then the V8s would have been used in preference to the XK.

Imagine a Series 1 XJ in Daimler Sovereign trim but with the 2.5 and 4.5 V8s instead of the unhappy 2.8 and charismatic-but-clunky 4.2 XKs? What a wonderful machine that would have been!
yes


sideways man

952 posts

101 months

Sunday 24th November 2019
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For all you sad people who love a bit of British engineering, have a read of this thread.
There is an amazing amount of insight into why the British car industry turned out the way it did.
https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&...

anonymous-user

18 months

Sunday 24th November 2019
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Touring442 said:
Raygun said:
We have to remember the Stag engine all things being equal was more advanced than the Rover V8 giving the Stag that extra special status it needed in the USA as this new fantastic SL Merc competitor for half the price and if the sand from the foundry had been cleaned out of the waterways in the block before assembly it would of been a big success, it's as simple as that why it had overheating issues.
The Stag's engine issues were far greater than that. The water pump was too high in relation to the radiator, the angled head studs gave unequal clamping forces, the timing chains were too long (nothing wrong with the quality of Reynolds chains) and the cheap and nasty distributor gave advance/retard problems. The big ends were a bit on the small side as well. Add the same care of assembly as an A Series and it was never going to be much good. For all that it's still a great engine when it works. Carefully built with a few inexpensive mods such as the Ford V6 water pump and Lumenition it's nice engine and it sounds superb.The Rover 3.5 ruins it.

Saab turned the pigs ear 1700/1850 engine into something very good indeed - a pity they couldn't re-engineer the V8.
I'm afraid as someone who's owned four of them I've got to disagree.
My last Stag had no mods whatsoever and that includes still running two sets of points. A high water pump only comes an issue if you lose lots of coolant, timing chains lasted at lot longer than the recommended 25k due to regular oil changes. The head studs are not a problem until the day you need to remove them.
Believe it or not but the parts on the BL made Triumph Stag were far superior to a lot of the parts available today for them.

Mr Tidy

13,719 posts

91 months

Monday 25th November 2019
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s m said:
Here you go!

Road trip to Italy and yours for £7k

Me, I’ll save the cost of the flight, pay an extra grand and have this 1300GT Escort from Essex.

Couldn’t see any TCs for sale at the moment
Thanks sm. :thumbsup:

But mine was this colour (not my car though as mine was RHD).






£7K does seem a lot, but then it isn't any madder than £8K for an Escort GT!

I'm not surprised you couldn't find an Escort TC BTW - multiply the budget by at least 5 and you just might. eek

s m

20,629 posts

167 months

Monday 25th November 2019
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Mr Tidy said:
Thanks sm. :thumbsup:

But mine was this colour (not my car though as mine was RHD).






£7K does seem a lot, but then it isn't any madder than £8K for an Escort GT!

I'm not surprised you couldn't find an Escort TC BTW - multiply the budget by at least 5 and you just might. eek
Haha ! smile

No, I wouldn’t have expected a TC Escort for that budget!

The TC I meant was the Marina TC.

Mr Tidy

13,719 posts

91 months

Monday 25th November 2019
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s m said:
Haha ! smile

No, I wouldn’t have expected a TC Escort for that budget!

The TC I meant was the Marina TC.
Oh right, that makes more sense! laugh

Touring442

2,117 posts

173 months

Monday 25th November 2019
quotequote all
Raygun said:
I'm afraid as someone who's owned four of them I've got to disagree.
My last Stag had no mods whatsoever and that includes still running two sets of points. A high water pump only comes an issue if you lose lots of coolant, timing chains lasted at lot longer than the recommended 25k due to regular oil changes. The head studs are not a problem until the day you need to remove them.
Believe it or not but the parts on the BL made Triumph Stag were far superior to a lot of the parts available today for them.
A friend of mine also had three or four Stags and likewise, had little or no trouble. I suspect the 'good' ones were sorted years/decades ago. It's really a very simple engine without much to go wrong. But the poor reputation came from somewhere.....

BL parts were indeed good. The problem with running an old Mini, Minor etc is the shocking quality of the repro parts. Much of it is rubbish.

anonymous-user

18 months

Monday 25th November 2019
quotequote all
Touring442 said:
Raygun said:
I'm afraid as someone who's owned four of them I've got to disagree.
My last Stag had no mods whatsoever and that includes still running two sets of points. A high water pump only comes an issue if you lose lots of coolant, timing chains lasted at lot longer than the recommended 25k due to regular oil changes. The head studs are not a problem until the day you need to remove them.
Believe it or not but the parts on the BL made Triumph Stag were far superior to a lot of the parts available today for them.
A friend of mine also had three or four Stags and likewise, had little or no trouble. I suspect the 'good' ones were sorted years/decades ago. It's really a very simple engine without much to go wrong. But the poor reputation came from somewhere.....

BL parts were indeed good. The problem with running an old Mini, Minor etc is the shocking quality of the repro parts. Much of it is rubbish.
I can honestly say it was down to the sand left in the block from the foundry making an already marginal cooling system impossible. No matter how many times the head gasket was changed the problem just came back and took many years to find out this problem. There's never no shortage of stag engines(needing rebuilding) most replaced with Rover V8s due to cooking the original.

N111BJG

367 posts

27 months

Monday 25th November 2019
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Marinas & Itals haunted my 1980’s driving experience. My dad managed a small building firm & I worked for them on & off as I trained as a QS. Theirs was an all BL fleet including Marinas, Mini, Allegros, Rover SD1 & Sherpas. I drove them all from time to time.
I also worked as a surveyor for a series of building firms, they all had one make allegiances, but just had to be British. Ford were best, Vauxhall / Bedford next, worst BL (Land Rovers excepted).
The worst brand new car I ever had was a 1983 brand new Ital 1.3L, in 3 years & 60,000 ish miles, it had 2 replacement engines & 3 gearboxes.

Pericoloso

44,044 posts

127 months

Monday 25th November 2019
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aeropilot said:
Yes, that's true.

In fact, Saab fitted the Stag V8 in as many as 28 Saab 99's for evaluation and testing before eventually dropping the idea. I'm pretty sure at least one of them survived in the Saab Museum up until the factory closed down.
The museum is still open ,it was decided it had to be saved after the company closed.