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Morgan (Rover V8 Engine)

Published: 7th Jun 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Morgan (Rover V8 Engine)
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To prevent unnecessary wear, it is essential that the engine is not revved hard or run at over 3000 rpm until this rattling ceases


Overhead valve V8. 3532cc, 190 bhp (DIN); 3950cc, 185 bhp DIN).

Valve Clearances

Hydraulic tappets are employed, which are effectively self-adjusting. Note that when the engine is started, the tappets may rattle for some time - perhaps even several minutes (due to oil having drained from them while the engine was stopped). To prevent unnecessary wear, it is essential that the engine is not revved hard or run at over 3000 rpm until this rattling ceases.


Firing order: (L= Left cylinder bank; R=Right cylinder bank)1L-8R-4R-3L-6R-5L-7L-2R Spark plugs: Unipart GSP151/Champion RN9YC or equivalent. Gap 0.9mm/0.035in. Check/clean plugs every 5000 miles (using a brass-bristled wire brush); renew the plugs regardless every 10,000 miles. Note that when re-fitting the plugs, they should be tightened no more than one quarter of a turn, once ‘handtight’. To prevent seizure in the cylinder heads, it is advisable to smear the plug threads with copper-based anti-seize compound. Every 6000 miles, scrutinise the high tension leads, distributor cap and rotor arm; carefully clean as required, using soft rag, and renew any components which look ‘doubtful’. Note that Lucas ‘Constant Energy’ breakerless electronic ignition is fitted, so there are no contact breakers to deal with. CAUTION: DO NOT work on the ignition system with the ignition switched on; high electrical charges generated by the system can cause severe electrical shocks - and can damage the componentry.

Fuel System

Every 10,000 miles - or more frequently in dusty conditions or if the car is used frequently for intown running - renew the air filter element (the injection system relies on an unrestricted flow of air into the engine, in order to correctly control the fuel supply). Release the four clips securing the lid of the housing, take out the old filter element, wipe clean the housing and install a new element. Check that all pipework connecting the filter housing with the engine is sound, and ensure lid of the housing is securely attached. Every 5000 miles/annually, examine all fuel system pipework. Renew at once any ailing pipes/securing clips. Every 20,000 miles (more frequently under extreme operating conditions), renew the fuel pump filter. The fuel pump and filter are found beneath the luggage compartment board. Be prepared for petrol spillage. If your Morgan has a catalytic converter, it is essential that the wiring and connections to theLambda sensor (heat sensor) are in good condition, also that the pipe joints around the catalyst are sound. Emissions levels should be checked at each service. CAUTION! The catalyst and exhaust become very hot in operation; DON’T TOUCH until they have cooled down.


Engine oil: Change the oil and renew the filter at least every 5000 miles or annually (whichever comes first); first take the car for a run to warm the oil (note that the engine’s cooling fan may cut in, even when the engine is switched off - KEEP CLEAR when working on the motor!). The drain plug is located on the right side of the sump; fit a new plug washer on re-fitting, if the original is damaged. The oil filter is located on the right side of the engine, at the front. When the old filter has been removed and excess oil drained away, wipe clean the filter mounting. On fitting a new oil filter, coat the seal with a little fresh engine oil. Always use a good quality lubricant; a viscosity rating of SAE 10W40 is recommended. On completion, ensure that the engine is leak-free. Please dispose of the old oil in an environmentally friendly manner - local councils provide waste oil collection points. Sump capacity (including filter): 3528cc: Approx. 9.7 pints (5.5 litres) 3950cc: Approx. 10.0 pints (5.7 litres)
Transmission lubrication: Every 2500 miles, with the vehicle horizontal, check the lubricant levels in the gearbox and the differential. Check for leaks and rectify at once.
Note: the gearbox filler plug (square-headed) is reached from inside the car; to gain access, lift the floor mat adjacent to the gearbox cover. The oil level should be up to the base of the threads in the filler plug aperture. At each service (at least every 5000 miles), after a long run (during which the lubricant will be warmed) drain the gearbox and final drive unit (drain plugs are provided), and re-fill with fresh lubricant. For the gearbox, use automatic transmission fluid (for example, BP Autran G, Shell Donax TF, Duckhams Q-Matic or equivalent). Greabox oil capacity: 2.8 pints (1.6 litres).
IMPORTANT NOTE:The rear axle incorporates a limited slip differential, and it is essential to use only special, purpose-designed lubricant in this (for example BP Limslip Gear Oil 90/1, Shell Spirax Super 90, Duckhams 90DL or equivalent). Differential lubricant capacity: 1.75 pints (1 litre).
Running gear lubrication: Before applying fresh lubricant, check all joints for excessive movement and renew if worn Morgan’s original recommendation was to activate the ‘one shot’ lubricator, which covers re-lubrication of the front suspension’s sliding pillars, for a few seconds daily, or every 200 miles (the plunger for this is located above the clutch pedal, on the scuttle). However, experience suggests that lubrication this often may result in excessive oiling (plus pools of oil on the wheels/floor!), and may be deferred a little (to perhaps every 1000 miles). However, regular lubrication is ESSENTIAL. It is advisable to carry out re-lubrication with the engine cool. (Note: If the sliding pillars are not regularly lubricated, a rusty film/ridges can form at their lower ends; this results in a ‘bouncy’ ride. To clear the rusty film/ridges (following re-lubrication), try driving over a rough road!).Note that the sliding axles are also provided with grease nipples which should be replenished (using multi-purpose, lithium-based grease) every 5000 miles. The grease helps to keep in place the oil from the ‘one shot’ lubricator system. Additionally, at least every 5000 miles, re-grease (using lithium-based, multi-purpose grease) the following points: The damper blades and shims: The steel damper blades are fitted between the stub axles and the chassis, and should be cleaned and re-greased at every service. Check that the blades can move in and out, but without any radial movement at the chassis end (this can cause ‘wheel’ vibrations); excessive movement can be eradicated by adjusting the shims, which are locked in place by two bolts which secure the flat steel clamps to the chassis. Examine the edges of the blades; if worn, new blades should be fitted. Note that for regular use in severe weather, the blades should additionally be checked/re-lubricated between scheduled services. In addition, at least every 5000 miles, re-grease (using lithium-based, multi-purpose grease) the following components: Stub axles (do not over-lubricate, or the brakes may be contaminated) Track rod and drag link nipples (where fitted); check all joints for wear/tightness Handbrake linkage At each service, check the lubricant level in the steering rack. If needed, replenish with Castrol Imperviatr Light 2626, BP Energrease or similar. At every service, apply a little engine oil to all brake linkage joints/pivots, as well as the clutch linkage pivots. Approximately every 5000 miles, check all hub bearings for wear/tightness, and sparingly re-grease as required (using grease specifically stated as being suitable for use in wheel bearings); take care not to over-fill. Note: Ensure bearings are not over-tightened. Tighten the hub nut until it is JUST tight, then slacken back to the first available split pin hole. Each time the wheels are removed, check the condition of the hub splines; replace if worn. If sound, apply a little copper-based anti-seize compound to the splines before re-fitting the wheels (to prevent seizure in future).


At every service: Scrutinise the master cylinder and reservoir for leaks (investigate at once if the fluid level is low), also check the level and condition of the fluid. Inspect all fixed and flexible brake fluid pipework; renew if damaged/corroded. Examine the front brake pads, discs and calipers; renew the pads if the friction material is badly worn. Replace the discs in axle sets if theiroperating surfaces are seriously worn/scored/corroded. Investigate reasons for uneven pad/disc wear. Remove the rear brake drums and check for lining wear and fluid leaks; renew worn linings and weeping cylinders (AT ONCE!) in axle sets. On re-assembly, re-adjust the lining to drum clearance (please consult manufacturer’s literature for fuller information). Ensure that the handbrake mechanism operates correctly and moves freely. Only re-adjust the handbrake cable if lever travel appears excessive after re-adjusting the brake shoe to drum clearances. At least every 24,000 miles/two years whichever comes first), renew the brake fluid.

Cooling System

Always use high quality anti-freeze mixture containing corrosion inhibitors; this should be maintained within the system all year round to protect against corrosion. Every 3000 miles/annually (whichever comes first), examine the radiator, the fan, and all hoses/connections. Check the operation of the electric fan; it should cut in when the engine temperature reaches 94 degrees C, and cut out when it drops to 86 degrees C. If the fan fails to operate, or runs all the time, investigate the problem and rectify it. At least every two years/20,000 miles (whichever comes first), drain the system, reverse-flush the cooling and heater systems, and re-fill with fresh anti-freeze solution (observe the dilution recommendations of the anti-freeze manufacturer). Capacity: Approx. 24 pints (42 litres).

Alternator Drive Belt

At every service, inspect the alternator drive belt and renew if worn or damaged. Check that there is deflection of approx. 1/2in (13mm) under firm hand pressure applied midway along the longest belt run.

Running Gear Components

Every 2500 miles/annually: Examine the front coil springs and the rear leaf springs, looking for sagging and for breakage/corrosion; renew in pairs. Check the condition/tightness of all mountings, U-bolts and spring shackles. Apply engine oil to the rear springs, especially at the tips of the leaves. Check all shock absorbers and their mountings for deterioration; replace in axle sets. Scrutinise all suspension/steering mounting bushes; renew if worn. Examine ball joint gaiters. Assess the steering system and ball joints for wear, and check for oil leaks from the steering rack.


Every 3000 miles or annually (whichever comes first): Check the propeller shaft joints/pinch bolts Re-lubricate all hinges and catches (wipe off excess lubricant afterwards). Assess the cleanliness and security of all electrical connections; inspect all wiring for damage. Check the condition, security and tightness of the road wheels; closely examine the tyres. Inspect the chassis; apply paint and/or wax/oilbased rust protection products as required. Check/re-tighten all ‘chassis’/underbody bolts/nuts. Examine the exhaust system. Assess seat belt condition. Check all fluid levels. Check/re-adjust headlamp beam alignment.

Thank you…s

For comprehensive assistance with this feature, grateful thanks to Berrybrook Morgan of Dawlish Road, Exminster, Devon, in particular Sean Anthony (Managing Director) and Martyn Walters (Service Manager). Berrybrook can assist with all aspects of Morgan ownership, including new and used vehicle sales, spares supply, servicing and repairs.Tel. (01392) 833301. E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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