Archive for Morgan

Old World Wool Seal Making

Wool felt front wheel seal

Wool felt front wheel seal

Today Peter created new bearing seals for the 1934 Lagonda M45 Rapide. The seals of the day did much the same job as today’s plastic over steel equivalent. The main sealing surface is wool felt that, soaked in oil, does a good job holding most of the oil and grease in place. The tools of the trade are pretty simple ones: a spoon, a ball-peen hammer, scissors and a razor blade. The thick wool felt is traced and cut via razor blade.

To make the wool a bit “proud” – to stick out like the chin of a duke – paper gasket material can be cut and built up behind the wool. A spoon and a ball-peen hammer are all that is needed to make an imprint to cut out.

This twenties automotive seal technology was used in agricultural equipment for decades such as wheel seals on an Oliver or Cockshut tractor.

Using the ball-peen hammer to trace the inner lip on the gasket

Using the ball-peen hammer to trace the inner lip on the gasket

A spoon has a nice radius for tracing the outer edge of the seal

A spoon has a nice radius for tracing the outer edge of the seal

Lagonda M45 Rapide front brake shoes and axle with hub removed

Lagonda M45 Rapide front brake shoes and axle with hub removed

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Morgan Wiper Motor

The Morgan required some new parts to make the windshield wipers work well again. We removed and overhauled the old regulator and replaced the worn out bits with new ones that we made. Here’s Steve on the lathe turning out the new piece from solid aluminum rod stock. The overhauled wiper motor assembly will take the play out of the worn original unit that looked like it’d never had a squirt of grease since the Morgan rolled out of the coachworks.

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Drop Head Madness

As spring weather flirts with us, the shop flirts right back. Currently, not including open top race cars, we have five roadsters in progress (4 Healey, 1 Morgan), each one’s mecca being fun in the sun.

Austin Healey, Ferrari 308, a Morgan, and two more Healeys all the way in the back, and one out of view to the left.

Cream Austin Healey 3000 Mk III with B.A.R.C. badge

Hey Pig. Yellow, Cream, Green, and Silver all on tap

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Morgan Windshield Hinge Hardware

Karl installing headlight buckets on the Morgan.

Karl installing headlight buckets on the Morgan.

After 8 years of sitting, the 1954 Morgan +4 (a four passenger) is beginning to look like a car again. Maybe it’s been on the back burner, and perhaps many of the parts had been sent out to be refinished like the gauges and dashboard, but now it seems to be coming back together in a hurry. Karl has been with the Morgan throughout its stay here, and with the car is shaping up beautifully, we’re excited to see how nice the car is when complete.

In addition to mechanicals, body, and floor work, the Morgan received a new windshield made of a cut piece of tempered glass carefully inserted in the original frame, as well as new brackets to hold and fold the windshield. The windshield bracketry is exceptionally simple on this car. It is made of polished stainless steel and laser cut – admittedly a departure from old world techniques.  Surprisingly, the windshield hinge brackets are available new from Morgan. Their operation is simple, and what look like thumbscrews are actually nuts, held captive by small screws threaded into end of a larger threaded post. The feel is solid – an excellent example of a functional yet beautiful part, with simplicity not found on modern cars.

Laser cut stainless windshield hinge brackets

Laser cut stainless windshield hinge brackets

Notice the threaded stud, large diameter nut, and keeper screw

Notice the threaded stud, large diameter nut, and keeper screw

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Morgan Dashboard

Karl is restoring a Morgan for a customer and with the involvement of 3 different shops to restore the dash, here is the final product! The wood was sent off to a shop for re-finishing, the gauges were sent off for screen printing, rebuilding, and detailing, and the wrinkle finish and assembly was done by us.

I am not sure the exact details of the original buttery yellow paint, but over the years of exposure to the sun, it cracked and modeled like crazy, it looked very cool. Now everything is “perfect”, boring!

Morgan 4+4 dash panel

Morgan 4+4 dash panel

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