"There have been a number of reports on possible problems with Morgan axles when used in racing or hard driving. Have any of you had or heard of experiences along these lines and are there any  improvements that can be made to the different Morgan axles?"



Bill Fink


I have been racing the SLR and prototype Plus 8 with standard, albeit limited slip rear axles for over 20 years without a failure.

Yet rear axles and diffs do fail, and there are two scenarios that come readily to mind. The first is failure caused by the rear springs "winding up" under acceleration, particularly on an uneven service, causing the road wheel(s) to "hop" and applying violent, intermittent loads to the half shafts and differential. The second failure could be caused by racing on very restricted courses, such as slaloms, where high loads are applied in very tight corners,where the differential is under stress to compensate for the different speeds of the inside and outside rear wheels.

Some years ago we designed and manufactured a limited number of anti-tramp bars which are very light yet prevent the rear springs from "winding up" between the axle and the front spring eye, thus giving precise control of wheelspin under acceleration and wheel hop during braking. We use these on the prototype Plus 8.

They might be worth a try for someone concerned with axle failure under high load conditions.

End of commercial.


John Sheally II

Dear Craig,

The answer to the question on Morgan rear axles is not complex as their is no problem with the units other than lack of attention by owners. I have raced Plus-4s/- Four/Fours and eights very hard over the years and have never lost one or rebuilt one. They are very strong and require attention to lubricant change and good seals. It's that good with these units be they stock,limited slip or welded spyder gear units. Quit worrying and go fast,Craig

Sincerely John H. Sheally II

For road Michelin makes the longest wearing highest quality tire on the road today in a 165x15. Their are other lesser names in that size by smaller company brands. For general road use in that hard to find size go for the MICHELIN.

Sincerely,John H. Sheally II

Greg Solow

I had a right rear axle break entering turn two at Thunderhill at the beginning of last season. The wheel came off and went into the boonies along with its brake drum and hub.  Fortunately, the wheel and hub rolled out from under the car toward the rear, damaging the rear fender and rear bodywork. The car did a 360 degree spin faster than I could blink my eyes and did not roll over.

The axle broke near the large end of the taper, exactly where the inner end of the hub stopped contacting it.  The hub obviously reinforces the axle by being forced around it by the axle nut.  All of the bending forces from cornering appear to have concentrated at this point of sudden section change where the hub contact ends.  This makes perfect sense. The breakage was definitely not caused by the key or its groove.  The axle was a "high tuff" axle made by Henry's Machine works some 25 years or so ago.  They had never been magnafluxed since installation.

I have seen two axles that broke in Jim Belardi's '53 Morgan that races on narrow tires. They both broke at the same spot. His axles were O.E. pieces that could have been 45 years old.  I have not heard of axle breakage being a problem in England with +8s. They have used  axles with the same size taper up until
recent production.

For right now I am planning on Magnafluxing my axles at the beginning of each season. Full floating axles like an early MG B has  are certainly the hot tip as far as something being "bullet proof" as far as a wheel coming off because of axle breakage.  In this kind of design, the axle drives the car but carries no weight or cornering loads.

It might be possible to make special axle shafts that have a larger diameter taper.  The later MGB  Salisbury axles do not use a taper to secure the hub, but are splined  where the hub goes onto them.  The Axle carries the weight of the car as it does in a Morgan or a solid axle TR-3 or TR-4.  I don't remember that rear axle breakage was a problem with TR-3 and solid axle TR-4 race cars during the 1960s.  .


Greg Solow