from Robin King's Column June 1973 FORMAT,
the newsletter of  the Morgan Plus 4 Club

Normal operating temperature for your engine is about 75 C. If you are running colder, you are losing efficiency, and if it is appreciably hotter, you can get into trouble.

If your engine runs too hot consistently and overheats or boils on a slight grade or on a hot day, there are several possible causes. The first things to check are the most obvious and the easiest. First be sure there is an unobstructed flow of the air to the radiator. The central location of the fog light, as furnished on most Morgans, is a major contribution to overheating in this area.  Bc sure your radiator passages are not full of bugs and dirt.  Clean then out with a hose from the back. From this, go to your water system. Start by checking the condition ot the water in your cooling system. If it is full of rust and dirt, drain and flush the system until you are sure it is clean. If it is excessively dirty, it is a good idea to have the radiator back flushed to be sure. Next, look for leaks around and under the radiator, at various hose connections and around the water pump and petcock on the engine block. When checking the hoses, be sure they are not soft when you squeeze them. A hose may look O.K. on the outside but can have a loose flap or blister on the inside restricting the water passage.

If everything is OK so far, check the fan belt to be sure it is in good condition and not slipping. The next step is to check the water pump and thermostat. Remove the radiator pressure cap and rev up the engine. If the water pump is working properly and the thermostat is not stuck closed, you will see a turbulent condition on the surface of water. If  the water remains still, it is usually a bad thermostat since pump failures are relatively rare.. Remove the thermostat and repeat this test to check the pump itself.

If your engine still won't run cool., start checking the fuel mixture and check for leaks around the induction system. If your carburetors are set too lean, or are excessively dirty, they will cause hot running. Check all the joints in the manifold (intake system) by smearing a little engine oil on the joints (one at a time) and rev up the engine. If your exhaust shows blue smoke, you have a leak and should tighten the joint, or replace the gasket.

Another common cause of overheating is retarded ignition.  This can be due to poor timing or sticking of the automatic advance/retard mechanism at the base of the distributor. The vacuum advance can cause this by a leak in the diaphragm too.  I have found that this retarded ignition is quite a common situation. Many mechanics will set an engine slightly retarded if the customer complains of pinging.  Usually it is caused by lugging the engine at too low revs.

Another contribution to a  hot engine can be an oil which does not have enough viscosity index or will foam, and lose its conductivity accordingly. If you do a lot of stop and go driving, it pays to use a premium quality multi-grade oil. If you have been using a 20 wt., use a 10-30, if you have been using a 30 wt., go to a 20-40.

If you have done all  the proceeding and still have a hot running engine, start looking for burned valves warped head, and other major problems.

by Lorne Goldman 

1. Reducing Engine Bay Temperatures:  If you lower the engine bay temperatures, that will help both you and the engine. This can done by reducing the engine and exhaust heat. The engine can be done by assuring yourself it is tuned properly (see other articles on this subject and your model) 

2. Reduce the Heat from Exhaust. The latter can be done by ceramic coating the manifolds. Please read the articles in this Manual's Exhaust section.

WATCHPOINT: In the newer Morgans, the gearbox covers are badly designed but well heat-insulatedI added to this protection by having the Factory make my gearbox and propshaft foam one size thicker. I also made sure there was an foolproof air blockage around the gear lever.) However, even in these newer Morgans there is still heat radiating from the gear lever, the propshaft (adjacent to the passengers) and the radiant heat from the heater matrix over the foot compartment! No wonder Morgan owners of Morgans made in the last 15-20 years want AC these days.  It is sad that to think that earlier Morgan inhouse designers could figure out what current designers cannot.  

3. Gearbox Cover Much of the heat in the cabin comes from the gearbox, propshaft and gear lever and the firewall, in this orderl. The easiest (and most expensive way) of curing the gearbox cover heat is to have a new cover made and have it lined with 1/2 inch of foam rather than the horsehair of 1/4 inch foam used by the Factory. Another method is to remove the metal gearbox cover, and insulate them from the inside if there is sufficient space to do so. This is what the Works has done since the late-1990s. 

4. Propshaft Cover. Insulate from the inside. 


An excerpt from Robin King's Column
June 1972 FORMAT, the newsletter of  the Morgan Plus 4 Club

Ventilation: Ah ha! you ask does a Morgan need more ventilation? Yes, most assuredly, at least in hot weather. Have you forgotten your feet? On a hot day, with a hot engine (perhaps even overheated) don't you feel like you are feet-first in the Witches oven?

My remedy...foot air vents, and the really do make a difference. I had a devil of a time locating a place to put holes without seeking engine heat or chopping up the exterior. After several inspections, voila!, there is a spot about 2 inches from the firewall and 6 inches off the floor. Perfect! It comes out above the Z section into the fender flashing and on the outside, hidden from view under the fender.

Fresh air flows alongside the frame and into the vent and onto your feet. The hole I made in mine is about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. For cooler weather, I have made a sliding gate that closes the opening. There now, for you creatures that desire small measures of comfort, try some of these ideas. Every little bit helps.

by Lorne Goldman

One of the most basic problems encountered by prospective purchasers, new owners and even old ones is how to enter and exit Classic Morgan (aka a "trad")  without cracking the dash, breaking a leg or losing a knee cap.  No levity intended. So often, this simple task prejudices the first impression of the car..or becomes increasingly difficult for the less agile, the aged or the longer limbed. Of course, the Morgan trad is not ideal for an obese person (tho plump is ok)...but these souls now have the Aero range (Series II and later) which are friendlier for very heavy moggers.
N.B. The long door versions (a Charles Morgan initiative) help a bit but not because the doors are longer (longer doors do not change the length of seats and the entry space the seats block). The long door cars crated more space between the steering wheel and the seat. Do do so Charles sacrificed the leather sill under the windscreen and pushed the steering wheel forward. However, this post-1996 was not worth the effort. It began a sad domino effect which only the besotted can't see.

1. without the sill, there is an important padded gripping spot that acted as aid to drivers and passengers entering and exiting.

2. without the sill, there is no space for demister vents. Without demister vents, Morgan had to resort to odd Morgan-only heated windscreens, at a cost of £1000 more (versus 50£ of easily findable school bus glass (See Replacing Morgan Windscreens) As flat glass is fragile and pits quickly, Morgan windscreens should be a regular replacement item so this a big problem area, or a vacation-killer when travelling. Many owners  have taken to foregoing the newer demisting system when replacement is required. 

Entering a Classic CAN be done gracefully. There is a trick to it. There IS also a list of DO NOTS!


1. Do not enter the car as you would others, by bending your inboard knee. It will encounter the dash (passenger's side) or steering wheel and inevitably crack or snap them. As well, the regular pressures of entering that way commonly destroys the collapsible column bush which leaves the steering wheel with fore and aft movement which is unacceptable and unsafe. Unless you have the skill to replace that bush, (Replacing the Steering Column Bush)  you will require a new column assembly and for many cars, that new columns are NOT an easy retro-fit and a bill can run into 1000s.

2. Do not hold the dash when exiting the car, you will eventually crack it.

3. Do not hold the windscreen frame when exiting. Maurice Owen (Morgan's chief designer for many years and a large man) was infamous for doing that and requiring a number of windscreen replacements each year.



1. Open the door (duh!)

2. Place your outboard hand on the close end of the leather dash bumper and your inboard hand on the top outboard corner of the seat.

3. Extend you inboard leg into the foot well under the dash while moving your rump, in response,. inward over the seat.

Essentially. you will purposely unbalance yourself and fall gracefully into the seat without damaging steering wheel or dash.


This requires strength in your outboard leg.

1. Open the door. (If it falls closed and that stops you from an easy exit, you can try tightening the hinges or (carefully) respace the hinge spacers to correct that. Librands also sells doors checks that cure the issue. ) Click Librands

2. Grasp the same end area of the dash bumper.

3. Place your outboard leg outside of the car on the ground and use it to lever yourself out of the car.

by Lorne Goldman November 2011

For the first few years of Morgan ownership, my sidescreens kept me frustrated, especially in the rain. The screens would tilt outboard, leaving a space between their leading edge rubber molding and the draught excluders (the items attached to the ends of windscreen side pillars that are supposed to block the wind and rain from getting past the sidescreens). But with any space between the leading edge and the excluders, the rain and the wind enter the cabin at speed, making driving unpleasant. I tried a number of solutions, even bending the sidescreen supports in an effort to have them cant inboard at the front and top. N.B. Don't bother trying this. It simply arcs the supports and does not address the problem and can make it worse.

After a couple of years of mogging, I found there is a simple trick that solves the problem. Like most solved problems, it become second nature and I didn't think of it again until I read of other solutions on Morgan internet forums involving bungee cords, towels, wider rubber moldings and/or special brackets. It is those errors that precipitated this article.

You see, the two sidescreen fasteners are on a single plane. That means that there is a large amount of variance to how the sidescreen can be angled. Very often, the wrong angle will leave a large open space for unwanted rain and wind. To get an angle that will have the rubber molding hugging behind the protection of the draught excluders, simply pull the top of the sidescreen inward as you tighten the fasteners. Then, when you have the angle you want, tightened the fasteners with a tommybar. That is what the little holes in the fasteners are for. You will find the tommy bars are more than a little item from yesteryear, they are a basic Morgan tool. Buy one that slips onto your Morgan key fob. Drive dry. I do.