by Lorne Goldman

1. PHOSPHER BRONZE (1909 to 2002)

2. PHOSPER BRONZE II (2006 - to date)

3. DEVOL (2001 to 2006)

4. VESCONITE (Non-Morgan Factory)

1. PHOSPHOR BRONZE I (1909 to 2002)

Morgan has only used two bush materials in its long production history.  Phosphor bronze bushes are the original and current bush material, so we have over 100 years of experience with it. It is an alloy of copper with 3.5 to 10% of tin and a significant phosphorus content of up to 1%. The phosphorus plays the role of a deoxidizing agent during melting. The product is known for its strength and its, low coefficient of friction. It is also used for springs, bolts and various other items where resistanceto fatigue, wear and chemical corrosion are required. It is, of course, a dated materiel in the current world of amazing polymers. 

In the days of mild steel kingpins, (1909 to 2006)  it resisted the wear caused by the quickly rusted surfaces these kingpins..with a strength that turned out to be much durable than the later experiments with softer, more modern materiels when used with mild steel kingpins (up to 30,000 miles versus as little as 3000 miles with polymer bushes like DEVOL). With non-rusting hard-chromed kingpins, used by cogniescenti for the last few decades,  these bushes will achieve lift times of 100,000 miles. However, read this note

2. PHOSPHOR BRONZE II (2006 to date)

These are the same as the Phospher Bronze I, save that they have a spiral groove carved in their interior along with a little "ring" of metal at one end. The latter feature began with the DEVOL Morgans.  This little ridge was hoped to act as A. a barrier to external grit entering and B. to keep the grease in. Of course when reamed or honed, the effect is prejudiced. 

3. The DEVOL MORGANS (2001-2006)
by Lorne Goldman (6 updates since 2002)

At the end of 2001, after a transition period of a few variations on the theme, the Works removed the one-shot oiler system first installed in the early 1950s and began using a new kingpin bush materiel rather than the traditional phosphor bronze bushes used for almost a century. Many have refer to them as plastic" or "neoprene" or "nylon" but, in fact, they are not. They are Factory machined from a polyethylene plastic called Devlon S made in Scotland by a company called Devol. They were brought in to extend the notoriously short Morgan bush life AND to make the task of bush installation easy rather than the involved task it is now. Sadly, a number of factors and teething problems intervened, giving these bushes an undeserved bad reputation. After approximately 2500 "Devol Morgans", the MMC abandoned the idea and returned to bronze bushes. Subsequently, the MMC stopped supplying Devols and the Devol cars must use oversize non-resultant fit bronze bushes, or make their own out of Devol material.

The primary cause of premature bush wear was never the bushes or the materiel used for them..it was the use of mild steel kingpins. These will quickly rust at the bottom bush when the car is stored for anything but a short time. The exterior surface of the kingpins quickly becomes as rough and acts like a rasp to grind through any materiel, especially the new space-age materiels. Many moggers, myself included, had avoided this by using  hardchromed kingpins.

In 2002, right after the first cars were fit with Devol, Bill Beck, a fine fellow and (the last) full mechanical Morgan-familiar designer at the Factory left their employ. By the 2003, reports were coming in from everywhere that the bushes were lasting as little 3000 miles! A quick examination showed the cause...rusting kingpins. They looked for a solution. 

I was contacted by the Factory by the director then in charge, Mark Aston. He wanted input on hardchromes. They had reasoned out that any surface that does not rust should solve the problem. We went back and forth for a month or so. Sadly, for reasons explained here, in early 2004, the Company moved from mild steel to stainless steel kingpins.  This is an ususual materiel to use in this application and there was no track record for it.

Sadly, by 2006, some owners were discovering that the kingpins were wearing faster than the Devol! But by then Mark Aston had ceased working for the company as well. I have been told by experts in the metal that the wear would occur if the stainless bar stock chosen was of insufficent quality. Hopefull this isue has been addressed since.


One super aspect of these bushes is that were made to be a "resultant fit" meaning that the bushes will automatically adapt to the correct ID once pressed into the stub axles without the need for reaming or honing. They also can be removed and inserted without the need for a multi-ton hydraulic press. To make this possible, the Factory reamed the stub axle tube to a standard ID.  You when Morgan welds the kingpin tube onto the cast stub axles, the ID varies from stub axle to stub axle as the high heat from thes welding often distorts the tube.

Accordingly, the specially machined and aligned tubes are found on all Devol cars. They were a massively smart move, multiplying Morgan front end longevity and making the dreaded front end job something any owner could perform on his driveway. However, Morgan had problems. The DEVOL (or any modern material is not as resistant as bronze (though bronze doesn't last very long either). The older bushes method was invented long before the charms of resultant fit was discovered.

OBSERVATION: Yes, even bronze can be made to be resultant fit if stub axle tubes are precisely machined. This would be a smart move for all Miorgans as it would not change the car's character, it would merely make it far more owner friendly. It would also go a long way to help the orphaned Devol car owners. 

Without precision consistent stub axle tubes, each bush must be individually fitted to each and every kingpin, which has always caused a long series of woes to this day for all Morgan owners, new and old. Read on McDuff.   

WATCHPOINT: These bushes also have a tiny ridge on the ends. This ridge acts as a barrier to grit and holds grease in. If reamed, this useful ridge is removed. However, after Bill Beck left, some of the cars began appearing with the bushes pressed in backwards with the little ridge inside the tube.


Most importantly, the Factory had an inconsistent experience with the Devol bushes in the UK. This was self-caused but they did not understand that at the time and, by that time, Bill Beck, the former cheif designer had also left the company. The reaming of the stub axle tube, and the bushes made by the factory from materiel supplied to them, were both not made in a consistent size, id or od. At the time, the Factory did not have the necessary machinery that could gurrantee precision. They later bought a guided honer but this was well after the Devol age.  Also, after Bill Beck left, the production department changed the amount they were reaming the stub axle tubes or bushes and that changed the resultant clearance. Bill Beck originally called for an ID of 1.24, the factory reduced to this to 1.2340 inches after his departure..

So some Devol cars began seizing the kingpins when new. The Factory blamed this on the Devol "swelling". Devol, a large interntional company, responded to this writer that this was scientifically impossible considering the the thicknesses and necessary clearances involved. In any event, the MMC abandoned Devol and returned to bushes made of the old phosphor bronze.  The company will no longer supply Devols bushes. If you want to keep them you must contact your local Devol dealer in your country, get the bush material and have them locally machined (any shop with a lathe). Or you must buy oversize bronze bushes (because of their precisely machined, their kingpin tubes are larger). Oversize bushes can be made at a local machine shop or purchased from Mulfab.

WATCHPOINT aka Why so many new and rebuilt front ends seize: It is interesting to note that some new cars have continued to have their front ends seize, right from the Factory to this day (2016). They express this with heavy steering, and/or steering that will not self-center easily. And a very bumpy front end with an alarming amount of steering wheel feedback where there should be none. This was exactly the characteristics of the sadder Devol cars. New owners most often do not know what they are experiencing, are most often too shy to investigate further as current Morgan forums have conditioned them to believe that "all-Morgans-do-that" and to do nothing. Should we now assume that bronze "swells" as well!!

But a practised Morgan person could diagnose what has happened to these cars with only these facts and with high probability. The adage in such cases is a simple one. If you have problem common to more than one car, eliminate anything they have that is different from suspicion for your first analysis. (duh!)  Devol or their Devlon material has nothing in common with phosphor bronze. What they do have in common here is that they are being used on the same car and machined by the same persons. If the clearance machined is insufficient, the front ends will seize whatever the material or the expertise of the operator. In fact, these problems are more common to the most experienced Morgan people, who have been doing this job so long they don't both measuring any more.

The fact is that many practised machinists will machine Morgan bushes insufficiently. They not illogically feel that creating too much clearance is effectively prematurely aging the front end. They provide just enough clearance to allow the kingpins to slip through the two, hopefully aligned bushes..often only 001-002" clearance. However, in doing so, they have unwittingly provided no margin for the effect of the flexing Morgan chassis
the degree of which varies from Morgan to Morgan, as it is effected by scores of factors. With only minimal clearance, some cars, new or those with a rebuilt front end, must seize. Some will not, which makes the culprit hard to finger.

If these symptoms appear with a new car or one that has a newly rebuilt front, you must remove the front axles and increase the bush/kingpin clearance to .004-005". The deceiving element about these seized cars is that if you jack them and remove the weight from the front stub axles, they will most often seem perfect with no detectable problem in steering or up-and-down movement! The reason for this is simple. You have removed the effect of chassis flex.


Vesconite and Vesconite Hilube are two bush materials developed in South Africa. They are advertised as designed to operate with little or no greasing. At the recommendation of a veteran and respected Morganeer, they have been used by some moggers and replacements for phospher bronze and suggested to the Factory, at one time, as a replacement for the DEVOLs.

They have been tested and show less wear than bronze. But, with the use of hardchrome kingpins, both will last beyond last a very long time. They do not swell and they can even be used under water. They are ideal for dirty or poorly lubriacted conditions. VESCONITE has high dimensional stability and does not swell in water, in contrast to most synthetic materials which swell in water. For example nylon absorbs up to 9% water by weight with consequent swell and softening. They are ideal for resultant fit axles.

I have used the regular Vesconite and had seizing issues. But I have been assured the Hilube is a problem-free choice by people I trust. I now suspect the clearance on installation was insufficient even though it was done by a famous Morgan professional. It is also hard to find and expensive.

But from all accounts but mine, it is an excellent trustworthy product.  
However, the Factory is past the stage where this type of practical technology is of interest.