When we restored Humpty in 2005, Kevin Vernon and Tudor Motors suggested we create some additional storage capacity. Considering how much mogging we do each year, any extra space is a blessing. Kevin had fashioned aluminum containers he had dropped into his Morgan's rear compartment lid (aka the parcel shelf). We decided to do the same with my car.
The size, spacing asnd number of these drop in containers depends on the year and suspension set up. Cars with the suspension hoop (eliptical bracket holding the shocks on the post 1991 cars) have less space. Cars with a Salisbury axle have more space than the later BTR axled cars as the BTR is larger. Each car should be measured to get the right depth and size. (REMEMBER the axle goes up and down. in relation to the lid.) The containers should be made to tightly slot in and I added rubber at the bottom of the container flanges to stop noise. The carpet covers them undetectably,
With Humpty, (a 1990 Plus 8 with a suspension hoop), we got in 4 boxes, 2 larger ones to the rear and two smaller ones forward of the suspension hoop. With the Phoenix, (BTR axle) I was able to fit two larger containers at the rear. The extra space carries tools and many parts, for which I have had occasions to feel vitally grateful for..brake switch, starter relay, cap and rotor..the list is long of what you can fit.
In both cars, we used aluminum. Light and easy to work with and less chance of cutting yourself as the edges are blunt. In both case, the flanges left on all sides do the trick. I can take them out individually (Kevin felt lined the containers and gave them straps for easy lifting), or you can simply lift the whole deck up with them still in. (Lifting one of them gives you access to your battery!)
Kevin took advantage of every square inch with his four boxes..even shaping the left on to the differential. He also felt-lined the boxes. My work was less polished but as effective. No felt and only two identical boxes..though each is bigger than any of Kevin's 4.
Excuse the dimensions..I used a US tape measure that was handy
Flange = 1 inch on all sides (use some material on the flanges' undersides to cushion the contact between the flange and the deck)
Width = 10"
Depth = 8"
height to flange" 4"
4.5" from the rear of the rear bulkhead to the front flanges.
1 7/8 " from the wheel well to the outboard flanges.
|THE FACTORY'S REAR STORAGE
by Lorne Goldman
A few year's ago, the Factory began equipping each Morgan Classic with a storage tray over the rear. At first, the idea seemed excellent and overdue. Changes to engine management and the repositioning of certain components (like the fuseboxes) had eliminated the space tradiaionally used for a toolbox on the bulkhead in the engine bay years. The tray would make up for this lost space AND replace the tough plywood lid of yesteryear. The tray did not take as much advantage of the available space as the solutions above, but it was a step in the right direction.
Sadly, like other things, their execution has proven to
be less than ideal. The tray is made of plastic. The first rule of Morgan
body materials (which I think of as the PLUS 4 PLUS SYNDROME is to recognise
that the Morgan Classic chassis flexes. Anything is susceptible
to its effect must be capable of flexing as well. Plastic cannot endure
flexing. If the cars are used, the trays crack in a 1-3 years.
That leaves the rear compartment vulnerable. There are two options. Or
pay the Company substantially for another plastic tray that will crack
or slip in a wood ply cover as the earlier cars have and try and find a
place for your tools. The best solution, at the moment, (which also
has the advantage of being proven and less costly) is to create the system
above. WATCH THIS SPACE, THERE ARE MORE SOLUTIONS IN THE OFFING.
We’ve all had to deal with the very limited storage space in our Morgans, and the fact that there is no way to secure things. We have wanted to take along tools, some spare parts, and other assorted bits, especially on longer trips. But when we have stopped for the night we don’t want to have to carry all that stuff into the hotel room. Nor do we want to leave it in the car and risk having it stolen. Well, here are a couple of solutions; a tool tray that mounts to the underside of the plywood package shelf behind the seats and a small storage box that mounts on the extended floor boards opposite the battery. They are inexpensive and easy to build and will allow you to carry along a fair amount of things. They don’t take up any of the precious space needed for your luggage, a couple of bottles of wine, etc. And, because nobody unfamiliar with Morgans would ever think to look there, they are reasonably secure.
The Tool Tray
The tool tray is constructed from plywood and lumber, and is glued and screwed together. It has hinges and latches to secure it. The tools needed to build the tray are:
· A table saw or radial arm saw (making it with
hand tools would be much tougher)
· A drill and bits
· A tape measure
· A screwdriver
· A paint brush
· An x-acto knife or similar tool
The materials list is:
· A piece of ¼” marine plywood or Okoume
12” x 32”
· A piece of ash (or other hardwood) 1” x 7” x 36” (nominal measurements – actual thickness is more like ¾” and actual width is at least 6 ½”)
· #8 x ¾” flat head stainless screws (I used 42, you may use fewer)
· Six #8 x 1 ½” flat head stainless screws
· Six 6-32 x ½” flat head stainless machine screws
· Six 6-32 stainless nuts
· Six 6-32 stainless flat washers
· Six 6-32 stainless lock washers
· Wood glue
· Wood preservative
· A piece of 1” thick foam rubber 24” x 36” (sold by the yard in fabric stores)
· Adhesive backed foam weather-stripping
Your car should be able to take a tray this size, but make your own measurements and alter things as needed. To determine the possible depth, I made a small cardboard box 2 ½” deep and taped it to the underside of the package shelf directly over the highest point on the differential. My wife and I then bounced on the rear end of the car to attempt to bottom it. The box had been touched by the diff, but just a bit. I made another box 2 ¼” deep and repeated the experiment. This time there was no contact. Once you have verified the dimensions proceed as follows.
Rip a 2” wide piece from the hardwood and trim it to 32” long. Dado the ends to a depth and width half their thickness. Rip another 2” wide piece from the hardwood. Cut two pieces each 11 ¼” long. Dado the ends to a depth and width half their thickness. Rip a 1 ¼” wide piece from the hardwood and trim it to 32” long. Dado the ends as with the prior pieces. These for pieces should now fit together to form a frame 12” x 32”. Trim the scrap left over from the second 2” wide piece to a length of 10 ½”. This piece should fit into the center of the frame as a divider and strengthener. Rip a final ¾” wide piece from the hardwood and dado the ends as above. This piece will attach to the underside of the plywood package shelf in your car. You may have to adjust the length of the three short pieces based on the actual thickness of your piece of hardwood.
You will note that there is a piece of wood about 2” wide that runs most of the length of the plywood package shelf (see arrow) on the underside as a strengthener. This piece may NOT be square to the edges of the plywood – mine wasn’t quite. The tool tray will mount to the package shelf 2” from the rear edge. Mark the underside of the package shelf to show where the tray will mount. My shelf was 36 1/16” wide, so I measured in 2” from one end and 2 1/16” from the other end. Measure from the rear edge of the plywood shelf to the edge of the piece of wood attached to it at each spot just marked and in the center. Also measure the width of the piece of wood and its depth. You will use these measurements to cut notches in the end and center pieces of the tool tray frame so that the frame will fit snugly against the underside of the shelf. Cut the notches just a bit wide to allow them to clear when hinged.
As you are assembling the frame and tray bottom, note where the hinges and latch pieces will be attached. Ensure that the screws that secure the tray bottom to the frame are not placed where screws that secure the hinges and latch pieces will be. Scribe lines 3/8” in from each edge of the new piece of plywood that will be the bottom of the tray. Drill and countersink holes for the screws that will secure the bottom to the tray frame. Be sure to drill pilot holes in the tray frame as you are doing this. Run a bead of glue along the edge of the 2” x 32” piece of the frame and secure it to the plywood with screws. Do the same with each of the end pieces, also putting glue where they mate to the long piece. Be sure to have the 1 ¼” piece loosely in place to verify that the ends are properly positioned. Now glue and screw the 1 ¼” piece to the plywood. Mark the center of the long pieces and drill, countersink, glue and screw the center strengthener to the plywood, making sure the notch lines up with the notches in the ends. Secure the long pieces to the ends and center piece with the longer screws, using one at each corner and one at each end of the center piece. As you can see, I used a lot of screws just to be on the safe side.
Turn the package shelf upside down and lay the tray on it. Mark the edge and end locations for the ¾” x 32” piece. Scribe a line 3/8” in from the edge line and drill holes 1 ¼” from each end. Turn the shelf right side up and scribe a line for the remaining screw holes. Drill and countersink the holes and glue and screw the ¾” wide piece to the shelf. Make sure you drill pilot holes in that piece of wood and ensure it is facing the right direction to mate with the tray frame.
Turn the package shelf upside down and lay the tray on it. Place the hinges along the back edge of the tray so that one is in the center and the others are about 2” in from each end of the tray. Note the hinge locations in the finished tray. Mark the locations for the holes in the package shelf. Do not mark the locations for the screws in the tray frame at this time as there will be weather-stripping on the upper edge of the frame. Drill the holes in the shelf, turn it over and countersink the holes. Put the machine screws through from the top and secure the hinges with flat washers, lock washers and nuts. You should have little or no machine screw extending beyond the nut if the screws were properly countersunk.
Give the entire tray, inside and out, a thorough treatment with the wood preservative and allow it to dry. Once it is dry, attach weather-stripping to the top edges of the frame, including the notches in the end pieces.
Turn the package shelf upside down and lay the tray on it. Flip the hinges up against the tray frame. Push down above each hinge to compress the weather-stripping and mark the locations for the screws that will attach the hinges to the frame. Drill pilot holes in the frame and screw the hinges to the frame. Position the lower parts of the latches against the 1 ¼” wide piece of the tray frame similar to the locations of the hinges. Drill pilot holes in the frame and attach the latch parts to the frame. With those latch parts in the closed position, slide a top latch piece into place with the center latch. Push down on the shelf to compress the weather-stripping while holding the top latch piece up in tension against the bottom latch piece. Mark the holes for the top latch piece and drill them and secure the top latch piece. Latch the tray closed and repeat the process for the latches at each end of the tray.
Open the tray and attach small pieces of weather-stripping to the outside of the frame at the edges of the notches in the end pieces and at the ends of those pieces where they mate with the piece attached to the shelf. These small pieces should overlap edges just a bit to help keep water out.
Cut two pieces of the foam rubber to fit each compartment of the tray. Place one piece in each compartment and lay out your tools as you want them. Be careful to avoid putting anything really thick (like a grease gun or cartridge) in the area that lines up with the notches in the end and center pieces. Note from the picture that I learned this the hard way. My tray still closes, but it is rather tight. Mark around each tool with a pen and cut out a shallow piece of foam so that the tool will sit in place. Cut a strip out of the top pieces of foam where the board attached to the shelf will come down. These strips should be about ½” deep at most. If you have thick items as noted, cut a bit out of the underside of the top pieces of foam so they fit better. You can find those spots by placing the top piece of foam in place and cutting all the way through at the ends of the thick items. Then turn the top piece over, locate the cuts you made and remove a bit of foam.
My entire tray weighs 21 pounds with the tools in it. The tools account for half of this weight, so the tray adds relatively little weight to the car. My tray holds:
· SAE sockets from 3/16” to ¾”
· Metric sockets from 4mm to 19mm
· Ratchet and two extensions, and 3/8” to ¼” drive adapter
· Spark plug socket
· Pliers/wire cutters, needle nose pliers and channel locks
· Two sizes of crescent wrench
· Assorted open end, box end and combination wrenches
· A slot and Phillips screwdriver
· A grease gun, spare cartridge and flexible hose
· A box of spare fuses
· A set of windshield wiper blades
by Tom Henderson
Like the tool tray, the storage box is constructed from plywood and small pieces of wood, and is glued and screwed together. The required tools and materials will be similar. This project assumes your car has the floor boards extended behind the passenger area. In our car they extend back about 6” and the battery is mounted on them. It was behind the driver’s seat, but I moved it to the passenger’s side for better weight distribution when driving alone. Because the brake line and the emergency brake cable are on the passenger’s side in our car, the space available was just enough for the battery. The storage box could have been a bit bigger than I made it, but I used the Okoume left over from the tool tray project.
The part of the storage box that is against the plywood panel behind the seats can be built at an angle to match that panel and provide just a bit morespace. In our car, that panel is at a 15 degree angle from the floor boards. There is a piece of wood that runs the width of the car at the bottom of the plywood panel. That piece is 5/8” thick in our car. Rather than notch the box, I cut another piece of wood 5/8” thick by about 1 ¼” wide and the length of the box. That piece sits on the floor boards right up against the angle iron. The box then sits level on those two pieces of wood. There are 1 ¼” screws that go through the bottom of the box and through the new piece of wood and screw into the floor boards. There is a shorter screw that goes through the ‘back’ of the box and into the plywood panel behind the seats. Ignore the pieces of wood in the upper left of the photo. They were a discarded idea.
The box was made using scrap pieces of wood about ½” square. This wood was cut to fit inside each place where two pieces of the box mated. The plywood was glued and screwed to these pieces of wood. The ‘front’ of the box was made in two pieces. The lower piece was glued and screwed in place. The upper piece was hinged to the lower piece and fits inside the edges of the sides and the top. The front piece is secured by a small hasp that is screwed to the top and laps over the upper edge of the front.
TOOLS SUPPLIED BY MORGAN IN 1982
by John Worrall
|WATCHPOINT: For those of you with the "easy up" hood system, do your best. These hoods and the longer side-screens for the Long Door cars, severely limit storage for the occupants' personal usage and make distance mogging less convenient or pretty. For the cogniescenti, the bunched up hood (when down) prejudices the iconic lines of the Morgan side view eveidence of after=thought design. These changes should have been better thought out but at the time, Charles was more interested in securing Steve Simmonds famous business and creating a longer door. Village thinking. Ergo enter the Deadly Morgan Domino Effect. The saddest fact is that by the time these changes appeared, the MMC had finally mastered a leakless traditional hood and leakwise, the new hoods retrogressed leaking 60 years and made the new cars look sloppily designed. Mine (2002) was the last traditional hood systemmade for many years but they are again an option. It is inexplicibly expensive, when logic suggests it would be much cheaper. However, I recommend it as an option to insist upon.|