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Air suspension for fourseater Morgan Plus 4 #235294
20/11/14 06:58 PM
20/11/14 06:58 PM
3 Images
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 590
Norway
S
Soleng Offline OP
Talk Morgan Regular
Air suspension for fourseater Morgan Plus 4

Today I picked up our 2008 Morgan Plus 4 fourseater from Bråthen Bil where Trond Bråthen had fittet a set of two additional dampers with built-in air springs and an on-board compressor. The compresssor is controlled by switches hidden under the dashboard.

Air springs are inherently progressive. Since it snowed today, I have not had the opportunity to test the car with passengers, but the first drive was impressive. The comfort level was far beyond my wildest expectations, and at the same time the car felt more stable and planted. Speed humps can now be traversed at normal speed. All in all, this seems to be a very good upgrade.

Harald

P.S. Photos by Trond Bråthen
Last edited by Soleng; 20/11/14 07:11 PM.
20 Comments
Re: Air suspension for fourseater Morgan Plus 4 [Re: Soleng] #235298
20/11/14 07:39 PM
20/11/14 07:39 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 517
Cotswolds
Andrew255 Offline
Talk Morgan Regular
Andrew255  Offline
Talk Morgan Regular

Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 517
Cotswolds
What a brilliant idea. I would love to be able to keep the current ride height on my car on the road but be able to raise the ride height when needed, not just speed humps but getting it into the garage without scraping the underneath of the car.


Andrew
'Margot' 2014 GDI Plus 4. Royal Ivory, Ocean Green Leather
Re: Air suspension for fourseater Morgan Plus 4 [Re: Soleng] #235300
20/11/14 07:46 PM
20/11/14 07:46 PM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 3,370
Solihull
Spanner Juggler Offline
Talk Morgan Addict
Spanner Juggler  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 3,370
Solihull
Having had air suspension on a couple of motorbikes I can fully understand the improvement, it was superb and made a heavily laden motorbike handle really well and the possibility to 'trim' whilst riding along was a very nice feature, nice and stable on autoroutes and yet more 'flickable' (relative statement) on the twisting.


BR Colin
Who used to be a Spanner Juggler
Re: Air suspension for fourseater Morgan Plus 4 [Re: Soleng] #235301
20/11/14 07:47 PM
20/11/14 07:47 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 27,070
Cheltenham, Glos. UK
Graham, G4FUJ Offline
Salty Sea Dog
Graham, G4FUJ  Offline
Salty Sea Dog
Member of the Inner Circle

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 27,070
Cheltenham, Glos. UK
That wiring wants a bit of a tidy up... smile


Graham (G4FUJ)

D8921 L44FOR '93 4/4 Giallo Fly 2 seat smile
'90 LR 90 SW
'09 Alfa Romeo MiTo
Re: Air suspension for fourseater Morgan Plus 4 [Re: Soleng] #235302
20/11/14 07:49 PM
20/11/14 07:49 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 5,594
Taunton
deano Offline
Charter Member
deano  Offline
Charter Member

Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 5,594
Taunton
I think you may have the first application of air suspension on a Morgan.


Martin (Deano)
Re: Air suspension for fourseater Morgan Plus 4 [Re: deano] #235308
20/11/14 08:14 PM
20/11/14 08:14 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 590
Norway
S
Soleng Offline OP
Talk Morgan Regular
Soleng  Offline OP
Talk Morgan Regular
S

Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 590
Norway
Originally Posted By deano
I think you may have the first application of air suspension on a Morgan.

No, it is not the first. Trond Bråthen made a similar conversion on a four-seater Roadster some years ago.

Harald


+4 4-seater 2008 Squadron Blue

Re: Air suspension for fourseater Morgan Plus 4 [Re: Graham, G4FUJ] #235312
20/11/14 08:34 PM
20/11/14 08:34 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 590
Norway
S
Soleng Offline OP
Talk Morgan Regular
Soleng  Offline OP
Talk Morgan Regular
S

Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 590
Norway
Originally Posted By Graham, G4FUJ
That wiring wants a bit of a tidy up... smile
Yes, but the photo was taken before the compressor had been connected. smile
Harald


+4 4-seater 2008 Squadron Blue

Re: Air suspension for fourseater Morgan Plus 4 [Re: Soleng] #235413
21/11/14 01:23 PM
21/11/14 01:23 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,242
Kent, France, Sweden
TRMAN Offline
Has a lot to Say!
TRMAN  Offline
Has a lot to Say!

Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,242
Kent, France, Sweden
Well pimp my ride laugh2


Graham

Waking up is a good start to the day !!
Re: Air suspension for fourseater Morgan Plus 4 [Re: Soleng] #235425
21/11/14 02:17 PM
21/11/14 02:17 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 8,559
Llanelli
sospan Offline
Needs to Get Out More!
sospan  Offline
Needs to Get Out More!

Joined: May 2010
Posts: 8,559
Llanelli
Interesting. I have seen car modification shows on TV where air suspension has been used as a " pimping " option.
Could this system be a mod for Morgans and make Suplex redundant?
There appears to have been a lot of developments to Morgan suspension around the basic sliding pillar system - Mulfab/Suplex etc.
Peter Mulberry developed an I dependant front syste.
Air system looks like a break away from a standard thought line of spring changes etc with a new approach.
Be interesting to see how it stands up to extended use and development to offer variable set up as per the present damper adjustment options.


Red Plus8
Re: Air suspension for fourseater Morgan Plus 4 [Re: Soleng] #235448
21/11/14 03:22 PM
21/11/14 03:22 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1
B
Bjørn Schage Offline
New to Talk Morgan
Bjørn Schage  Offline
New to Talk Morgan
B

Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1

I'm very happy that Harald decided to go for this rear end conversion, which Trond Bråthen at Bråthen Bil (www.bbil.no) in Norway and myself designed 3 years back.
I took delivery of the first production Roadster 4-seater (which really is a contradiction in terms) in august -06. This really is what I would call a "Thinking Mans Morgan". Very quick and very practical. The only problem being that the factory really didn't get it right the first time!
Having bought some cars new from the factory, I use to say that a new Morgan is a good starting point. I used more than £ 15.000 to make my LeMans +8 as I wanted it (seats, engine management, hood, suspension), and I had hoped that this would not be the case with the Roadster. Oh boy, was I wrong!

Before I start let me just say that I love the engine. So quick and easy to live with. (btw, I really envy the guys who has the Cyclone. must be even better) The first thing I noticed right away was the handling, or rather lack of handling. Very unstable in a straight line, very unstable during long sweeping bends, very low, very soft (we're talking front end here) and generally very bad. I drive a 1934 3 wheeler SuperSport that is much better handling, all concidering. The rear end was also very soft, and every time I did a brisk acceleration, the axle would rotate so that the drive shaft would hit the tunnel making a terrible noise. Didn't take long before the U bolts broke as well.

Then there is the tank filler. The first time I (tried) filling her up, I lost a gallon of fuel on the ground ( and on my trousers). If I were to get the fuel in, I probably would have to use 20 minutes on the job. Being less than patient, I never tried... (The guys at the factory never acknowledged this as a problem, but on newer 4-seaters you will see that they have changed the design of the filling system)

Having had Morgans for 20 years, I have had much business with Trond Bråthen, the most experienced Morgan mechanic in Norway. We have spent many hours contemplating improvements to my cars, my Roadster having been most time consuming.

We started with the filler-problem as this was most acute. After having made 2-3 attempts with larger diameter tubes, better breathing etc, we have finally found a system that works reasonably well, as long as I turn the filler-grip 70 deg and fill it with some care. If you recognize this problem, feel free to contact me as I won't do any details here.

Then for the suspension. Trond is doing quite some business with Peter Mulberry at Mulfab, and we decided to try his new front suspension (http://www.mulfab.co.uk/our-products/48/steering-suspension/front-wishbone-conversion )
It works wonderfully! The only problem is that it gets a bit heavier on the steering wheel at low speed as the tires are so much better in contact with the ground. My next project is to install an electrically assisted steering column. This is virtually bolt on, and should be relatively easy to install.

Then there was the rear end. We tried to address 3 issues: Ride height, suspension action and rear axle stability.

On the early roadster 4-seaters there really isn't much room to play around in so we decided to try and catch several birds with one stone. As you have seen, we landed on the solution of using an additional set of dampers, and using pneumatic ones to address the very different loads there are with and without passengers and luggage.

As Harald stated, the result is magnificent. The extra set of pneumatic dampers not only stiffens up the rear suspension and makes the car more stable, but it works as a reaction rod keeping the axle from rotating under acceleration. As for the ride height, this is mostly a problem in the front, and pumping the car up at the rear really doesn't help much. Trond and I have other plans how to deal with this problem...

Having tossed around ideas on how to make my Morgans behave better while trying not to "de-mog" them, I've found that there
is really little help to get from abroad. Mulfab is a very good place to start, but otherwise my experience is that we do very well here in Norway. Trond Bråthen has a wealth of experience, and he an I have done quite a lot of things that are a first in the Morgan Community, pneumatic dampers being just a small part.

Regards
Bjørn Schage
1934 Matchless SS
1960 +4 4-seater
2002 +8 LeMans
2006 Roadster 4-seater
2014 M3W
and some other non-Mogs



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