MORGAN OVERRIDERS (the originals)
by Lorne Goldman and Garth Morgan
of older Morgans often inquire where they can source replacements for
over- riders, a popular Morgan option from the 1950s-1970s. These original
are very different from those used by the Company since 2002 when they
were reintroduced with the LeMans '62 series. Unlike these recent
overriders, the originals are not aluminum, they are chromed steel,
and contoured. Many owners of much later cars, retrofit these originals at the rear and
remove the bumper
(the original overriders fit without any modification to the
bumper brackets). The overriders (12 oz each) weigh considerably less
than the later stainless bumpers and have a pleasing aesthetic effect.
For many years, the accepted lore was that the overriders were
sourced form the later version of the Morris Minor. Sadly this is not true.
Sad.. because the Morris Minor is a well-beloved car still and there is
a constant supply of relatively inexpensive parts for it because of the
level of demand. The Morris Minor overriders are indeed shaped exactly like
those fitted to Morgans BUT the bracket welded in at their back is set
at the wrong angle for a Morgan. If the bracket is removed
and repositioned for a Morgan and re-welded. the process ruins the chrome finish.
If they are found in a state where they need to be chromed, then the welding
won't cause further damage.
few years ago, beginning with the dozens of their neo- "Specials" or
"Limited Editions" after 2002, the Morgan Company began fitting trads with a
different style of over-riders, representing a huge
saving for them over the then current full stainless steel bumpers
(1996-2003). The bumpers, which offered no more protection, became a
very expensive option rather than included as stock in the purchase
price. These newer overriders lend the car
a "walrus" look, (as many dealers privately call it) especially in the front, but, if you look at the cost
differential, their substitution increased Morgan per-car profit
margin by a substantial amount as model prices were not lowered, only raised. But Morgan bumpers/overriders, aside from the North American verisons attached to a airbag mechanism, offer no meaningful protection.
these large overriders to earlier cars looks decidedly odd as the
earlier cars are much slimmer than the new models. Owners of
models made between the two overrider eras normally choose to fit the
earlier overriders at the rear.
MORGAN BUMPERS & Overriders
by Lorne Goldman & John Worrall
A LEANING MORGAN? (sagging on one side at the rear)
Up to 1952/3
The earlier 4/4 Series 1 and Plus 4 Flat Rads never had any
bumpers except some of those made for the North American which were
fitted at the US/CDN dealers.
The cars had a chromed bumper of straight
profile rounded off with a starting handle hole in
the middle on the front and "shell" shaped overriders at the rear. Front
bumper was standard, optional extra at the rear.
In the early 60s through to October 1976 Cars were fit with used the Ford 100E chromed bumper as standard on the front with the Morris 1000/Standard 10 profile Overiders
(although the inside fitting bracket was reangled) ..these overriders
were standard at the rear and the rear bumper was an extra ($30 in 1974
!!..now they are $1000+).
1977 to the early 1990s saw
the alloy square profile bumpers fit on front & rear (produced in
Bromyard at a factory run by the well-known Jeremy Holden's father)
From the early 1990s to 1993. Morgan tried a similar bumper in chromed steel. These were poorly plated and the metal rusted badly
From 1993 Stainless steel bumpers with open ends identical to the earlier alloys
From 1998 The stainless bumpers had the ends closed.
In 2002 The current type of overiders were first fitted on the "Le Mans 62".
In 2003-2015 These overriders became standard on all Classic models from 2003 with full bumpers being a listed extra.
In 2016 Classics
from 2016 have no stock overiders or bumpers as standard.
Both bumpers and the newer overriders are now listed extras except for
some of the many "limited edition models". These
specifications are for Europe.
by Lorne Goldman
is an article that must be put in no less than three GoMoG
indexes, Electricity, Suspension and Exterior. Many owners suddenly notice that from the rear their Morgan is
lower on one side, leaning to the right or the left, depending on which
side the driver sits. If the car leans to the passenger side, get yourself a new wife and ignore this article. Read on.
There are two reasons for this,
1. your BUMPER is askew. Park on a level surface and measure the height of the car from the BODY to the ground, first on one side of the car rear and then the other. If they are equal measurements, go to # 2
Now measure the height of the bumper from the ground, first one side of
the bumper and then the other. If the bumper is askew, the entire car
will look like it is as well.
The cure is simple. Have someone pull up on the low side of the bumper
will you push down on the other (high) end of the bumper. Do forcibly
enough until the bumper is level with the body of the car or the ground. Problem cured!
2. one of your rear leaf springs has SAGGED more one side than the other.
The greater sagging will be on the driver's side...especially on a
couple's car. Males often drive alone and/or the wives are notably
lighter, therefore the driver's side will wear faster. The effect? The
effect is primarily aesthetic but it does reflect lopside balance and
prejudiced handling. Though the dampening rate of
leaf springs do not change as they sag..the ride height does. Yes. It
looks lousy but then, if you want to, you can use #1 in reverse to disguise it if you are so minded. ;) If you are like me, you can correct
the balance and with that, the handling. Of course, you must decide if
you are correcting for use with a passenger (and approximately
what weight) or when driving by yourself.
3. The PLACEMENT of the battery
This one-side's-leaf-spring-wearing-faster-than-the-other happens
sooner and more severely on LHD Morgans than with RHD Morgans.
The reason for this is esy to work out..and sad. Morgan,
with its UK models, places its battery on the left hand side,
behind the passenger. That makes eminent sense and is standard for a small RHD
car. By doing so, the battery's weight in this placement helps balance
the weight of the driver. And a good automobile battery is not a
neglible weight..most weigh 20+ kilos.
Happily, that is almost the difference between the
weight of my wife and I. I will let you guess who is heavier.
Additionally, if you cogitate a bit, you will realize that one must double
the weight of the battery to determine the effect of having it one side
rather than the other as moving it means you have not only added its weight to one
side but you have also removed it from the other! So we are now
talking a 40+ kilo effect on a car often weighing well 900 kilos. The GEMS cars must add another 18 kilos to this inbalance. Yes..this WILL and does alter
handling. 58 kilos! No wonder these cars sag on the driver's side!
does not change the placement of batteries (or much else) for LHD cars. They are
placed behind the driver, adding to the extra burden on that side.
Add that to the fact that later cars (post 1998 on Overseas cars and post 2000 on others) have evaporative emissions systems. To
fit the sollenoid valve on those systems, Morgan shortened the width of the fuel
reservoir on the RIGHT. The reservoir capacity went from 12.5 imperial
gallons to 12 US gallons or (appr. 52.5 liters to 44.75 liters) a
difference of the other 18 kilos or a total of 145 pounds. In other
words, to balance the car, you must find a life-partner of that weight.
(chortle!) Alternatively, you can move the battery to the right side
and the tank there as well. (sad sigh)
It is not a tough task to change the battery placement to the
correct side. I have done so on all my Morgans after the first. As a
consequence, my Morgan Plus 8s (3) have NOT sagged unequally and they handle better. Of course, the best idea is to have your wife (or someone who weighs the same)
enjoy your Morgan with you.
Happily for owners, this LHD battery placement oversight on the Factory's part, at least for
the last 20 years, has not been a design or supplier problem. As we
find in other production decisions, this is purely a Morgan
production manager problem, aka the boss's mistake. If you examine your
suspension hoop and the tabs (both sides) on your battery shelf, you
will find that there are provisions on the right for battery proper
placement for LHDs as well. They are merely unused!
As an additional enhancement to
balance and handling, I take my wife with me and place her on the right.. I have dubbed her SWATSW.
(she-who-adds-to-sprung-weight) and also because she hits me when I use that term.
BATTERY PLACEMENT RWDS (GEMS PLUS 8s)
Sorry for a late entry but I just noticed an even worse battery placement for later RWD Plus 8s. I am hoping this was restricted to RWD
GEMS cars (2000 to mid-2004). Pictures I see find the placement in the
engine bay on the bulkhead on the driver's side. For reasons given above. With a hyper-light
car, battery placement is key. As well the Works made the earlier
problem worse by placing the battery high up. I seem to remember that
they were told at the time by the the people they outsourced to design
GEMS V8 installation, wrongly told them that the problems they were
having with its running, could be that the battery back was "too
far away". Considering the scores of owners who have changed the
placement to something making common sense, their concern was absurd
and the problems have long since been discovered and eliminated.
Te placement should be in the traditional place, on the left (for
a RHD) in the axle compartment. The suspension hoop has already been
drilled on all cars for this placement and manuy suppliers sell a kit
if you choose not to make one yourself. You can see the earlier PROPER placement above.