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Morris Grill

18 May 2018

Have been slowly working on getting a Morris grill for my Austin van just to show the difference and to be able to confuse those at any shows attended when I swap the grill at mid day!

Progress to date 

Grill ...bought an old grill from MTR , repaired and primed ready for final paint job.
Going to be same colour crimson as van and gloss black inside chrome strip?

Front battered Morris badge from Harvey.. carefully reshaped letters as brass was easy to work, sent away to be chrome plated and then hand painted infill.
After reshape

plated and painted.

Centre chrome old one from Roland..cleaned, repaired,  primed, sanded to fine finish and then covered in stretchable vinyl chrome sheet, as repair was not metal but reinforced filler and therefore unsuitable for plating.
Did try various cans of  'chrome' spray paints but none were even close to the finish on the spray can caps!
Finish is pretty good, looks like chrome from a couple of feet away, but not quite as good as chrome plate. Cost less than £5 to cover in vinyl but make sure you get the stretchable version.

Chrome strip surrounds...bought new from Harvey...made 16 own fastenings from brass sheet, 1.2mm thick, and soldered in 4mm countersunk brass screws. Note:- due to the corners of the strip being closed in needed to force 4 fastenings, each half, round corners. Made the plates 0.650 inches wide and chamfered both front edges. Used small screwdriver with blade placed at base of screw and light hammer to tap past corners. Other fastenings I did not chamfer, made same 0.65 width.  Most screws were more central in plate than pictures below!

Fit in strip

1.2mm brass plate, countersunk and soldered brass screw

chamfered leading edges for forcing round corner sections.

and finally Rear Badge...managed to get a rare rear MORRIS badge from Oliver...cleaned painted and fitted a false back plate so it will attach to the existing narrower hole pitch that  the AUSTIN badge fits. Not sure about colour...but matches front badge!

Morris J Ice Cream Van

Feb 2018
Bought a newly made 1/12th scale J type model tin model ice cream van off ebay. Looks more like a decorators piece than a proper toy model. Wheels do go round!
Repainted in lighter ivory colour plus added some 'ice cream' themed decals.
Not sure of it is an improvement on the original, but it is unique!


                             More yellow than cream with a painted effect rusty theme.


Approx 11 inch long by 5 inch wide by 7 inch tall

Long lost 'family'

December 2017

As Christmas is a time for families to get together here is a list of George's family...well all known previous owners...nine including me.

You may also want to wish him a Happy Birthday...on the 22nd December..he will be 58 years old!



Boys Toys!

26 November 2017

Here are a few new pictures of my model J/JB Type vans, one hundred in total. The larger ones are 1:43 & 1:50 scale and the smaller ones are 1:76 scale. New ones are difficult to come by or very expensive right now.
Just two Austin 101 vans amongst them! Can you spot them?
If you have photos of others I will be happy to add them.

On a slightly different subject I am after a Morris grill so I can give my full size Austin 101 a dual identity. I know I have approached some of you out there already but if you have a grill and/or a Morris/Morris Commercial grill badge you are willing to part with please get in touch. Thanks
Email address is ''

All 1:76

Axle Pinion Oil Seal Replacement.

Nov 13th 2017
Just a note, in case it helps others, on replacing the axle pinion oil seal.

Only done a few short trips, to gain confidence in the van's reliability and to help me get to grips with it, when I realised that oil was seeping from the back axle quite quickly, seemed to be dripping from the drain plug. Upon closer inspection it was getting past the pinion seal and dripping off the drain plug.

So back in the garage.

To replace the rear axle pinion oil seal. (My version)

1. Without jacking the van up, undo the 4 nuts holding the prop shaft universal to the axle flange and remove the bolts. Roll the van a few feet to turn the axle to get at all of the 4 nuts.

2. Slide the prop shaft  a little towards the gearbox sufficient to separate the joint and drop the rear of the prop shaft to the ground. (I removed the prop shaft from the gearbox also as I wanted to inspect the universal joints but there is no need to do this if just changing the pinion seal. If you do remove the prop shaft prepare to catch lots of gearbox oil, or drain the gearbox first.

3. Mark the position of shaft to flange with a centre pop on each and mark the position of the nut to flange with paint..

4. Undo the pinion nut and remove it and the washer. I used 2 spare bolts in the flange holes and a bar extension in contact with the garage floor to prevent the flange from turning. Needed an extending car jack handle on socket to effect release and all my 70+ years of muscle!

5. Pull the flange off the pinion shaft to expose the seal. Mine came away by hand force only. 

6. Remove seal from axle casing. I used a large screwdriver to do this.. Seal was very hard and brittle! Don't be surprised if the pinion seems loose at this stage as it sits in a tapered bearing and as this separates the pinion is very sloppy!

7. Get a new seal. Got mine from  'oilsealman' on ebay. Seal number NA319 C520. This is 2.75 inch OD and suits 1.50 inch shaft. It has a metal outer casing on one half.

8  Fit the new oil seal. Tapped mine in with a nylon mallet until flush and then used a small bolt, hex head against the seal, to tap the seal approximately 3 mm below the flush position. Why? The flanges 1.5 inch diameter shaft sealing surface had about 0.010 inch wear caused by the old seal so by positioning the new seal differently I am hoping it will contact an unmarked part of the shaft. 

9. Re-assembled everything and topped up back axle oil.

Flange showing wear.

Seal removed exposing tapered bearing

New seal installed

Position of brace -nut tightening position

Seal NA319 C520

  • Austin A90, A95, A105 Westminster (1956-59)
  • Austin A99, A110 Mk1, 2 Westminster (1959 on)
  • Austin Princess Mk1, 2 (1960-64)
  • Morris Six, Series MS (1949-54)
  • Morris Isis Series I, II (1955-58)
  • Morris Series J Van (1948-57)
  • BMC JU Van
  • OD = 2.754 in
  • ID = 1.5 in
  • Width = 0.375 in

British Railways -JB Type van -1959

5th November 2017
That's all for a while.....see you out and about at next year's shows!