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Morgan Plus 8

Morgan Plus 8 Published: 26th Jul 2019 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Morgan Plus 8
Morgan Plus 8
Morgan Plus 8
Morgan Plus 8
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A retro supercar that’s as thrilling today as when launched in 1968 but the Morgan Plus 8 requires as much owner dedication to own as it does to drive. Although an antique design, no Morgan is especially DIY friendly – although, as experienced owners will testify, doable – but there’s always great specialist and club support ensuring that the more involved maintenance work is easily catered for

Body

Post-’86 survive best as wood was treated and wings were painted before fitting. Earlier cars are more likely to have a rotten frame, as moisture gets into the seams. Key thing is good winter storage

Front suspension

Sliding pillar design works well but kingpins last no more than 25,000 miles; chromed ones cost double but last a lot longer. Expect play in the steering, but more than a couple of inches means it’s shot

Engine

Early Buick engines had 18 retaining bolts for each head, whereas on ‘SD1’ motors, the outer row of four is’t used and so naturally this creates uneven stress.Head gaskets are prone to fail as are exhaust manifolds

Bottom end

Early blocks had rope oil seals that were apt to ‘float’ and knock out bearings. Rover took until ’82 to debug most of the woes, later units have stiffer alloy block. Parts can be an issue especially pre ’76 stuff

Chassis

Simple but pretty durable. Until ’86 only painted – galvanising was optional and standard from ’97. Cross members are most prone areas, the back mainly – replacement means full dismantling

Transmission

Parts supply affects original Moss gearbox by far the worst. SD1 ’boxes were used on Jags and Triumphs so are the easiest to find. Noise, jumping out of gear are main worries, clutches usually are ok

Engine servicing

Generally long lived but old oil can gum up hydraulic lifter tappets and lead to camshaft failure. Sluggish starting can be caused by the battery’s earthing strap rusting compounded by the long lead run

Wheels

If wire wheels are fitted, check for worn splines and broken or damaged spokes. Jack car up and get an aid press the footbrake. Try to turn the wheels to and fro – if any movement the splines need renewing

Rear end

Rear leaf springs liable to sag and break. All cars featured a Salisbury back axle, with limited slip. Parts are hard to find but specialists can rebuild the existing unit for you. If bad, you need to convert to BTR axle

Buying a project?

Despite being such an old design, restorations remain difficult and specialist. Major dismantling is costly. New body tubs are available – they come as an ash frame that’s panelled and includes doors so bonnet, rear panel and wings are extra, but everything will be new and the cost is around £4200 minimum, which may be cheaper than paying for localised repairs. New front wings are nearly £900 each. Rear items exceed £400 a piece. Also, major panels are supplied for an approximate fit – getting them to line up properly often requires a lot of labour charges, preferably by a Morgan expert



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