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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My next project is a full-on custom build. I have a 61 Morris Minor. Being a foreign car, the current steering is on the right side of the car. Easily changed, as the Morris Minor was available as either left or right hand steering and the car has holes set up on both sides for the steering column. Simply unbolt the column from the steering box and the dash, then move it to the left side.

I am taking on the task of constructing my own full chassis for the car. The rear of the car will have a Checkered Racing 2X4 4-link back half kit, joined to 2X4 rails leading towards the front. I have considered also buying the 2X4 pro-street front end kit, but it is a very pricey investment. I would love to do a Mustang II style front suspension on this car, but the track width on the Morris is very tiny, at 50.6 inches. The standard track width for most "universal" kits are either 56.5 or 60.5 inches, way too wide for my Minor. A person could shorten or get shorter control arms, but then you start changing the geometry and ride quality. So, with that being said, what are my options?

#1 Save up a sizeable chunk of cash and have Checkered Racing build me a custom width pro-street front end kit
#2 Try to modify a universal Mustang II kit to fit
#3 Find a car that has a comparable width front end and splice it on
#4 Use a different style of suspension like a strut style
#5 Other???

Any suggestions or leads would be greatly appreciated.
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Crazy-cool car.

I don't think you'd get an MII or any a-arm front narrowed down enough to work, if there's to be a V8 between the rails, although I'm sure someone who's done a V6 or V8 MG would disagree (tough parts to find). Struts could probably be sourced that would package in but you'd have the complication of the upper mount structure. I've seen such narrow chassis that went the simple route and just used a straight-axle although drivability probably suffered a little.

If you were going to cage it, then the strut mounting gets simpler...might be my first choice.
 

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If you do decide to look on British rodding forums I would suggest " rodsnsods.co.uk ", " retro-rides.org " there is also the " nsra.org.uk ". The NSRA is restricted with regard to picture etc unless you are a paid up member. If I can help you anymore just let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm not planning on caging the car, but there will be a small block V-8 in it. I have a mildly built 302 that is going to have a Weiand 177 supercharger topped off with the combo shown below. The first picture is of my engine before I decided to go with the blower setup.

The top was chopped by the previous owner and he fabbed up a rough set of wheel skirts. Hoping to make it into a car that looks like an old tail-dragger custom, but with a little venom under the hood. Just gotta figure out this front suspension deal.
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Frame fabrication is not that difficult if you can MIG weld and have tools to cut and fit the parts together. Mine is mostly 2X4" tubing with 2X3" tubing over the rear axle and to the rear of the frame. The first thing I did was build a flat level wooden pad on my garage floor as a reference. I narrowed a Mustang II Rack and Pinion and the Crossmember 8 3/8". A lot easier than I ever thought. See Pics. I added an X member that meets at the trans mount (not shown in pic). Mine is under a 1948 Austin A40 which is as small as your Morris Minor. The 3rd picture is about as narrow as you can go (this was done on an all out drag car). All the work is done on the Passenger side of the Rack. You'll need a 9/16" fine thread tap to rethread the end of the rack after cutting. If you don't have a lathe a machine shop can easily do it for you. The chrome plated tube between the aluminum housings of the R&P will be removed from the passenger side housing, shortened and pressed back into the housing. In my case. the rack itself, chrome tube, and cross member are shortened exactly 8 3/8". No change to the steering geometry takes place so no bump steer issues. Also I suggest setting up your front end with 4 or 5 degrees of caster so the system has good return to center manners after making a turn and it will drive more effortlessly in a straight line.
 

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Here's the finished car. Ground clearance is 6.5". The original wheel base was 92.5". I lengthened the nose 6.5" and moved the rear axle back 4.5", totaling 103.5". I did this to get in the LS1 engine, Radiator, AC condenser and maintain interior room. This car is a pleasure to drive and very comfortable. It weighs 2400 pounds with 17 gallons of fuel and has 1225 pounds on front and 1175 pounds on the rear wheels (very close to 50/50). Triangulated four link in rear with front and rear sway bars make it handle with almost zero body roll. That 400 HP worked LS1 moves it along very well also. I started with MII 325 # springs shortened 1 1/3 coils up front which were way too stiff. I now have 275# springs shortened 1 1/4 coils and they work and ride great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Frame fabrication is not that difficult if you can MIG weld and have tools to cut and fit the parts together. Mine is mostly 2X4" tubing with 2X3" tubing over the rear axle and to the rear of the frame. The first thing I did was build a flat level wooden pad on my garage floor as a reference. I narrowed a Mustang II Rack and Pinion and the Crossmember 8 3/8". A lot easier than I ever thought. See Pics. I added an X member that meets at the trans mount (not shown in pic). Mine is under a 1948 Austin A40 which is as small as your Morris Minor. The 3rd picture is about as narrow as you can go (this was done on an all out drag car). All the work is done on the Passenger side of the Rack. You'll need a 9/16" fine thread tap to rethread the end of the rack after cutting. If you don't have a lathe a machine shop can easily do it for you. The chrome plated tube between the aluminum housings of the R&P will be removed from the passenger side housing, shortened and pressed back into the housing. In my case. the rack itself, chrome tube, and cross member are shortened exactly 8 3/8". No change to the steering geometry takes place so no bump steer issues. Also I suggest setting up your front end with 4 or 5 degrees of caster so the system has good return to center manners after making a turn and it will drive more effortlessly in a straight line.
The 4-5 degrees of caster, is that positive or negative? And I'm guessing that the Mustang II setup was just a universal kit? Thanks for the replies.
 

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4-5 degrees caster is positive (upper ball joint is behind lower ball joint. My MII set up is a Helix aftermarket unit. The aftermarket units are far better than original Mustang II, Pinto, Bobcat, etc. Better brakes, anti dive geometry, stronger, better engineered, better looking, easily available, coil over options, etc.
 

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Note my car has an all aluminum LS1 engine, bell housing, and 5 speed transmission. Very light. Your set up may end up heavier and require 300 or 325# front springs which I have and would be willing to sell to you if your interested.
 

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My next project is a full-on custom build. I have a 61 Morris Minor. Being a foreign car, the current steering is on the right side of the car. Easily changed, as the Morris Minor was available as either left or right hand steering and the car has holes set up on both sides for the steering column. Simply unbolt the column from the steering box and the dash, then move it to the left side.

I am taking on the task of constructing my own full chassis for the car. The rear of the car will have a Checkered Racing 2X4 4-link back half kit, joined to 2X4 rails leading towards the front. I have considered also buying the 2X4 pro-street front end kit, but it is a very pricey investment. I would love to do a Mustang II style front suspension on this car, but the track width on the Morris is very tiny, at 50.6 inches. The standard track width for most "universal" kits are either 56.5 or 60.5 inches, way too wide for my Minor. A person could shorten or get shorter control arms, but then you start changing the geometry and ride quality. So, with that being said, what are my options?

#1 Save up a sizeable chunk of cash and have Checkered Racing build me a custom width pro-street front end kit
#2 Try to modify a universal Mustang II kit to fit
#3 Find a car that has a comparable width front end and splice it on
#4 Use a different style of suspension like a strut style
#5 Other???

Any suggestions or leads would be greatly appreciated.
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