SOME MORGAN BRAKE HISTORY FROM 1955 (and options)
by Lorne Goldman

We are continually writing up this page as time and incoming information allows. More anon. We thank those who are assisting.

4/4s: Series V (1955-1968)
The Series V had discs front and drums rear. The hand brake became a fly-off used until the present but with the old spear-type actuator bracket on the axle. A single cylinder was fitted in October 1961. Part numbers can be found HERE.
 
 
Plus 4s: (1950-1969)

With drums at all wheels, the Plus 4 began with the 4/4s Girling  @LS with 9" drums,. The front brake shoes were 1.25" until mid-1956 and then 1.75" after. In May of 1959, 11" drums were offered as an option (with wire wheels). Later in the same year, disc brakes were offered, (also as an option). Front disc brakes became the Plus 4 standard the following year (1960) in September. Single cylinder master cylinder. Girling  For Part numbers, click HERE 

WATCHPOINT: FOR PLUS 8s: For the period from 1968 to 1981, four systems, described below, were installed on a Plus 8. If the dates are examined closely, the reader will realize that these system setups were available during certain periods simultaneously. By 1972, the Factory and dealers were recommending a retro fit of a tandem MC, which was very wise advice but has confused the Morgan brake history for some people.

Please read the section carefully, examine your car's braking system for numbers and consult the catalogues provided HERE. If there are additions, clarifications or corrections you feel will help, please contact the WEBMASTER. This immense work has been made possible by the helpful kindness of many people for many years. For more details, please consult the images of the original Girling catalogue we have provided in the PARTS section since April 2002. Always, consult the catalogues provided. Supplier sources are invariably more accurate on components than Morgan sources or the MMC Manuals the cars came with.

4/4s (1967-1985)

Plus 8s: (1968-1978)
Rear drums and front discs powered through a single line master cylinder  (1" bore) that was essentially the same as the previous Plus 4. Parts and numbers from the original Girling Parts Manual HERE
 
WATCHPOINT By 1972, tandem (twin circuit) master cylinders had become required by Law in most major markets throughout the world, (Germany, Switzerland, Canada, USA (with the rest following in the years soon after). Starting in 1972, the cars were delivered to these markets were equipped with tandem (twin circuit) master cylinders, often with a remote installed booster. However, the obsolete single circuit master cylinder lingered on in the UK and Downunder. Single circuit masters are inherently dangerous and UK Agents were soon replacing them as a matter of course. Anyone who finds their car still equipped in this fashion should upgrade at the earliest opportunity. There are a number of options available and the choice is important. We do not advise use of the master cylinder chosen by Morgan to replace the the single circuit unit. Click HERE

Plus 8: POWERSTOP Option 1 (1968-1978)
Single circuit master cylinders could be ordered with an option of a Girling POWERSTOP servo. Part numbers from the original Girling Parts Manual HERE.

Plus 8: (1972-1978)
Tandem Master cylinder having a .75" bore became standard to all cars. However, this was a different Girling unit than the one used post 1978. Part numbers from the original Girling Parts Manual HERE.  We have no information as yet what the proportioning was on this master cylinder. Considering the EFFECT of the proportioning on the later master cylinder (1978-1993) it would be wise to verify it the ratio. Please report when you do so.

Plus 8: POWERSTOP Option 2 (1972-1978)
Tandem (twin circuit) masters cylinder could be ordered with an option of a Girling POWERSTOP servo. Exported cars to the USA and some other countries were so equipped as standard, often at the behest of the ordering Agent. Part numbers from the original Girling Parts Manual HERE.

Plus 8s: 1978 TO 1993
 
reservoir Most part numbers for earlier Morgan brakes can be found in the GoMoG Workshop Manual Parts Section. After 1978, the tale is easy to tell. The Plus 8s used a Girling .7" bore Master Cylinder powering 2 pot calipers and Triumph rear shoes through Girling wheel cylinders. It is a tandem (dual circuit system). Caliper 1978-1993 Plus 8

PLUS 8 PADS 
4/4s and the Plus 4s  (when it returned in 1987)
used a thinner rotor and different pads up front. 
Plus 8 pads 1978-1993 Morgan Pre-1993 Brake Pads 4/4 +4

The wheel cylinders can still be sourced from Past Parts. However, as these cylinders have always been a relatively quick wear part, it is wiser to keep the old ones and have them resleeved in stainless steel and refurbished. See the GoMoG Parts and Services pages (under BRAKES) for companies that do this. The other parts are not difficult to source.

One exception, the Master Cylinder (.75"). These are no longer made and were VERY expensive when they were. They can be resleeved and refurbished. (We have also found a fine replacement, also in a .75" bore by Subaru for their 1979-1981 Brats. Click Here for more information.
PROPORTIONING WATCHPOINT (1978-1993) : Savvy owners have discovered that the original Girling MC (1978-1993) provides a 50-50 division of hydraulic of force to front and back brakes. This is very unusual for a front disk/rear drum set up and accounts for the tendency for the rears to lock first and swing the back of the car outr. I know of three cures and I am personally familiar with all three. 

A. One can use a proportioning valve, (fitting it at one of the rear junctions seems easiest) and adjust the proportion until the car is under complete control (57-60 % bias in favor of the front). 

B. One can use the later AP Caparo (originally Lockheed) 1993-on Master Cylinders which are proportioned correctly. However, these come with a booster which can make fitting difficult as the reservoir can abut the exhaust too closely requiring a remote reservoir. I have fit remote reservoirs a number of time..as a remote reservoir is also required when fitting branch manifolds to replace cast iron manifolds. As of this date, June 2011, I have yet to write up the booster retro-fit. Write me if you are interested and need the article earlier. lorne@gomog.com I did the retrofit with both the booster and 4 pot brakes. 

C. Fit the Subaru MC above which comes with proper proportioning.

The result is a happy one. The rear brakes stop locking first making the rear end of the car controllable under braking. Morgans of the era are infamous for losing the rear end. Take note, brakes are not area for mistakes. If you have any concerns, use the services of a professional.

BRAKES June 1993 to 2009

In June 1993, the Factory moved from the brake system above to a servo-assisted Master Cylinder (servo and MC are sold as one unit) powering 4 pot calipers (the first in Morgan hsitory) in front and self-adjusting shoes and wheel cylinders at the rear. After the closure of AP Lockheed, the manufacture was taken over by and India-owned multi-national named Caparo or in this division, known as AP Caparo. They operate from the immense and mostly abandoned former premises of Lockheed in Leamington Spa (worth seeing if you are in the area!). BEWARE. Newbies often assume the "AP" stands for Austin or Austin Princess. There is no connection.)

As of this date, these hydraulic parts are still available through the Morgan Motor Company. The older calipers (2 and 4 pot) have been discontinued (see below). The rear wheel cylinders last far longer than the previous generation's. The hydraulics (MC and servo) can be refurbished.


 
 

REAR BRAKES (1993 to 2012)

At the rear, the wheel cylinders became Caparo AP Braking CW 15953 which are matched by Delphi Lockheed LW 15953. (for a saving of 75% over the Morgan Factory pricing). The stock shoes can be matched by Ferodo FSB 385 R, originally fitted on 1989 Leyland DAF/Ford Transit.
 

BRAKES POST-2008 (updated July 2012)
by Lorne Goldman

In 2008,  the Morgan Motor Company moved to new 4-pot brake calipers, also supplied by Caparo. In 2011 I decided to upgrade one of my Plus 8s (a 1990) from the earlier 2 pot calipers (1978-1993) to these 4 pot calipers. I leap-frogged the calipers used from 1993-2008. The new calipers will fit, with some fiddling and a small washer/spacer. They also use the same pads as the 1993-2008s. WATCHPOINT: However, there is a watchpoint. The pads sit proud of the rotor. Over time, a thin lip is formed, getting ever deeper with usage. This caused concern to the Caparo engineers when they saw mine. They told me that they did never received any feedback from the Morgan Motor Company to correct in the years they have been supplying them.

However, we checked with the Factory on the spot. The Service Department told us they were aware of the issue and informed Production and Purchasing. As nothing happened, they fell into the habit of checking for the created edge at first service and chmafering the edges off. This task should be added to first service on all new cars after 2008. Chamfering pads (and shoes) is not a rare task on any car with a savvy owner. It reduces the possibility of a piece of breaking materiel cracking off the sharp edge and causing mischief  and noise. When I left Caparo, they hoped to receive instructions from Morgan to adjust the dimensions of the pads they provide and eliminate this problem but I have had no word since then (2011).

WATCHPOINT: For some time, one of the UK forums, TalkMorgan, has erroneously reported that the current Morgan brake supplier is a division of Brembo called AP Racing Ltd of Coventry. This is not correct. And though AP RACING LTD is a fine company by all accounts, they have never supplied Morgan classics. They asked us to place this advisory in hope of ending the confusion that has resulted and stopping the Morgan technical inquiries they have received. They asked us to point out that if calipers have AP RACING in large letters on them, they are made by AP Racing. If they have CAPARO written on them, they are made by Caparo. Brakes are the most important safety items on any vehicle. Be absolutely sure of the quality of your information source in this area.

It is impossible not to notice the difference between the boosted 4-pots and my earlier two pots. I do not suggest that the two pots were inadequate. Morgans are so light they do not need much braking. However, 4 pots are better than two and I must admit to liking the AP Caparo servo system. The booster still provides "feel" and it cures the poor proportioning of the Girling master cylinder. The cars stops evenly and on a dime. However, read on.

AFTERMARKET (updated December 2012

There are also some excellent aftermarket sources serving the Morgan trad community for calipers and rear disk brakes. In the main, they target the racing community braking which is not the subject of this article. However, I came across a Morgan-specific option that seems the best choice for an upgrader who wishes to go from 2 to 4 pots. Peter Mulberry (aka Mulfab) has searched out and has had a 4 pot caliper made for specifically him by HiSpec. It is a fraction of the size of the MMC Caparo, reducing unsprung weight significantly, yet it uses a markedly larger pad for greater stopping power. The larger friction surface means more braking. Any items needed for fitting are provided and the cost is the same as the MMC Caparo!!. In 2012, Morgan adopted these calipers for the uprated Baby Doll Plus 4s along with other Mulberry equipment for suspension handling and rear (disk) brakes.