Oz Marina 2010

'Something in the brain takes over and says this is what you want'

Tales from Yowee

Well to those who don't know I own a yellow 4 cylinder Leyland Marina. I thought this would be a good project car to replace the company car I once had, instead of driving the P76 into town every day.

The Marina seemed to be OK when I saw it. The interior was in very good order, low mileage, it has less cylinders than a V8 (so petrol consumption should be better), smaller, easier to park, know the car (I have had one before (silly me)) and like most people something in the brain takes over and says this is what you want.

When you buy a 29-year young car, even though it has low mileage (50,000 klms) you should think what needs doing. Simple!!!!

Rust: - Most of the Morris Marinas that I have destroyed lately with the 'Marina Man' have very little rust in the panels. You will find the rust in front floor pans, front pillars, a little around the front and rear windows and also in the boot wheel wells. The rust in the pillars is from the water entering through the door hinges, while the rust in the floor pans could come from the engine bay via the wiring harness. Jumps it in car and get someone to spray the car and check under the dash and also the carpets.

In my marina I had to replace rusted panels on the drivers side floor pan, also where the front pillar, mudguard and floor pan meet on the passenger side. Also check that the joins under the dash in the outer corners are sealed as well.

Another problem that became apparent when I got the car home and started to pull it apart was that the car had a front end smash, but had been restraightened. In doing this the mudguard on the drivers side had never been refitted properly (tack welded in a couple of spots).

On the passenger side the bulkhead had been heated and pulled straight,

leaving heat marks and dints were the hammers had been used.

The mudguard crease that runs down from the light to bottom of the guard had been filled in. The driver's side door was bogged up near the mirror

where it had been bent. After re-welding the guard I could not open or shut the front drivers door. Using a spring as a lever and some persuasion on the guard, the door was fitted. "Looks good as well". The paint used when the car was repaired from the crash was lifting off the original paint and had also been resprayed with a greener yellow than the 'Bold As Brass'. So when I went over my repairs with the 'Bold As Brass' yellow, I have more two-tone yellows patches. I also had to repair the stone guard running from the guard to the rear passenger door. That required the bog and rust being removed a new plate welded in.
The bumper bar at the front needed to be altered so as to make the bumper bar level.

Suspension: - Well if you haven't driven a Marina but are use to normal car then when you hop into a Marina with poor suspension you would never want to own one. The car rolls, rattles, slides and bounces around the road. I gave the car to 'Marina Man' to drive and he informed me that this is what Marinas are like until you fix the shocks.
Well, taking his advice I have added newer front shocks, after market front shock kit and front sway bar. The car is certainly different. I also did a quick alignment by adjusting the toe-in and toe out as the cars front wheels looked as though it was pigeon toed. I also removed a half-inch of packing from behind the right side front shock absorber. I thought that I had quite a lot of movement in the left-hand side top knuckle joint so when I replaced the shocks I pulled the joint apart. Another interesting job. (I will write a tech tip for that soon)

The rear end has new looking shocks. They maybe the wrong size so I have a stiff rear end. Dragging a trailer, (the hopping feel disappeared) the extra weight improved the feel of the car so I will look into getting extra spring leaf and lower the back a little and also get a sway bar too (another suggestion of the 'Marina Man').

As a worrier I have had thoughts that the problems I have encountered with the suspension may have been caused by the front end smash. I took the car for a wheel alignment and was told the alignment was nearly in specification. I still need to look into the steering rack, some movement there.
I would suggest to anyone who is looking to add the additional shocks on the front, have your suspension aligned before you add the after market kit. The reason is that you place the kit mounting plate over the original shock absorber and replace the bolts used by the original shock. When you try to shim the shock you have to pull off the kit. Remember to retain the original bolts.

Brakes: - The brakes were in good condition. I had new brake shoes on the back. They would keep jamming when you reversed, but this was due to the car not been driven for a long period. I have had to replace one brake slave cylinder on the back, easy job but remember to put the little H pattern steel shim back under the hand brake adjuster, or you will find you have no handbrake. In my case it was never there.

I also have some leakage from the master cylinder and trying to working out whether the power assist is working correctly too. The leak is coming from under the cap; the aluminium thread has been corroded away. I will need to take the power assist booster to the specialists for a service.

Clutch: - This has been the worse problem, caused the car to stay off the road, for, as you know if you can't drive it you can't take it to the repairer. The problems started when I tried to change a leaking slave unit.
I have been through 2 master cylinders and 3 slave units. I also found out that there are two different pins lengths and two models of slave units used with the 4-speed gearbox. There are no clutch adjustments.

The problem that caused all the grief has been the wear on the pivot pin of the clutch pedal and the elongation of the holes of the U section in the shaft going into the clutch master cylinder. General wear and tear.

Another problem that can cause you grief is the CER clip that holds the slave unit in the housing. Be sure to seat it correctly and rotate it after fitting. If you don't you will be driving along, thinking how good I am and you push the clutch in and POP!!!!! No clutch, no go, and trying to get it back going again as quickly as you can, you burn your upper arms on the manifold as you reach into the bowels of the engine bay.

Fix those and the car will work correctly. No crunching of the gears.

Motor:- Everything working well in that area, only that leaking oil seal at the back of the motor that requires you splitting the motor and gearbox and then pulling off the fly wheel, that is another day.

Radiator and Themostat housing: - Oh I forgot about the cleaning the radiator. You need to do this sometime, I have done this, an again problems.
Because the engine has a mixture of aluminium and steel you are bound to have trouble with bolts. When I removed the 3 bolts holding the thermostat housing, guess what happened, no more thread, striped out.
Trying to lift the cap off make sure you do it slowly and evenly as if you don't, say goodbye to your cap lugs. I also noticed that the aluminium offset of the thermostat housing has aged, possible leak appearing in the top of that.
Don't use hammers on the housings or in this area. They are rare so be careful.

I would like to say that my family is not keen to be with me in the car yet, although they are starting to get use to the car.

Notice the electrical leads penetrate the firewall, the grommet is useless.


After attemping to fix the cars steering and braking problems I decided that the car was to be wrecked.

I removed the main componets over a couple of weekends, and then had to cut up the body for disposal. I found the best method to cut the body was to us a small tommyhawk (baby axe) and a light weight hammer. A Heavy hammer becomes too heavy after prolonged use. Another reason for not using grinders and oxy was the dry weather high tempature and conditions made it unsafe.

I have sold the engine and gearbox. The componets of the car I have stored at my place, while the guards, pillars and back section are with the club parts.

The seats have been transferred to another Marina called "Dijamakit".

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Last updated
December, 2010
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