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4/4 ownership 3 years in - build quality, mods etc #536661
10/10/18 03:37 PM
10/10/18 03:37 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 817
East Sussex, ENGLAND
andymot Offline OP
Talk Morgan Regular
andymot  Offline OP
Talk Morgan Regular

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 817
East Sussex, ENGLAND
Doesn't seem possible really - 3 years ago I collected my new 4/4 - the most expensive car by at least 20K I have ever bought. I thought I'd share my experiences/views after 3 years and 8000 miles.

Talk Morgan
The first thing I noticed was how helpful this forum is and all its members are. Lots of advice about which model to go for and that they are drive differently-dont' buy on spec etc. Truth be told I couldn't afford a Roadster or plus 4 as I was trading out of an 8 month old 3 wheeler, which had proved to be a love and hate purchase that had to go.
So it was a 4/4 or nothing really. TM was reassuring that the 4/4 was in fact a pure Morgan and not the "poverty spec intro" model. The help continued from TM members with all questions answered and help gladly offered. I have since met a number and what a great bunch of real enthusiasts we all are!

Build quality.
Personally I have no issues at with the build quality of my car. Nothing has broken or fallen off - there have been a few rattles that I have enjoyed finding and sorting over the miles. The leather has remained in fantastic condition. What impressed the first day, and continues today is the paint finish - its a credit to Morgans' paint-shop.

Mods.
Now I'm not usually into mods - I have always felt cars are best left standard. This remains true in most cases, but not Morgan. First mod was 1 week in when I couldn't get on with the door mirrors - swapped for round ones to give a better view. Then the BL parts bin Allegro black plastic interior mirror had to go-replaced by a nice stainless one far more in keeping. Slowly I started adding bits - protective edges to the leather rear side panels where the doors close. Then dash lamp bezels from Wolf performance because they look great. A chassis protection rub plate for er...protection.

That was about it for a while. The TM advice of the best upgrade was to drive it hard, this was partially done and as the miles grew the engine got livelier and the gearbox smoother. In fact the whole car started to bed in and come alive.

I had noticed the 1600 Sigma engine did go really well and was a joy to rev but felt it a bit breathless on motorway inclines - 5th just wouldn't pull as I felt it should. I then chatted to Cain of Wolf performance who had researched and developed a specific ECU re-map for the Sigma engine in its Morgan application. After an unforgettable ride out in his café racer 4/4 I opted to have this installed on my car. The transformation is incredible - the engine is so much happier - torque is increased and its produced lower in the rev band whilst power is upped as well and the engine revs with much more intent. It actually felt like a bigger engine and was the best thing I had done upto that point. Economy - a 4/4 marvel really - remained in the low 40s even when driven like a sports car should, so thumbs up for the re-map. Even insurance wasn't effected.

That was it I thought. Car sorted. Well I did bolt on some decent plug leads and some special spark plugs and devised a forced air feed to the air-box which found itself with a KnN filter installed. All little improvements that seemed to make it run that bit better, if not exactly faster.

One thing that really bothered me about the car was the banging and crashing from the front suspension. I assumed it was the 100 year old design, its a Morgan, they all do that sir....kind of thing. Just got to live with it.

Then Wolf launched PVC lower spring covers with little bearings to assist with steering smoothness. What a great idea - keep the grit and road debris away from the kingpins - so booked myself into have a set fitted. It was then chatting to Cain I mentioned the bang and crashing. All became clear - the racket from the front suspension and associated jarring of car and passengers - was infact the spring bottoming out and the rubber bump stop coming into contact. No they don't all do that and yes its easy to sort out. Brilliant I thought - book me in!
So I have had heavy duty front springs and custom bump stops installed together with AVO adjustable dampers ( because the std fit ones are not brilliant) front and rear. While it was being sorted I opted to have brake reaction bars and a Panard rod fitted as well as the steering gaitors/bearings. All this included a full geometry check ( tracking plus camber angles) and a clever tweak to the steering as well. Wow - its truly a different car now - its feels so planted on the road and is comfortable yet stiff and sporty at the same time. Its steers and handles far better than it did and is more akin to a Caterham now. No way does it feel wobbly or fragile, which in hindsight, I think it did.

Brake reaction bars - I was told they help stability when braking hard. I don't brake hard so didn't think I needed 'em. Wrong - they tighten the front end up and help the car feel more stable. A cheap addition and easy to fit.

Panard Rod - stops the axle moving sideways in hard cornering. Well I don't corner that hard so my axle doesn't do that. Wrong! An amazing upgrade that even your passenger will feel instantly - makes the car feel like its on rails. You'll feel the change on every single roundabout. Pulling away is smoother as well - don't know why exactly but i can feel improvement.

AVO dampers. The factory spax ones are not very good quality. Attach one end to a vise and you'll notice they offer far more resistance one way than the other. So an upgrade to dampers is a great idea - not too expensive and easy to install. Having them adjustable allows you to fine tune the suspension to your personal taste - great fun to do as well.

Heavy springs. I didn't want a rising rate spring mod because several people who had tried it said it made the front end a little soft on initial turn in. I was after the feel of a westfield/caterham type car more than that of a Merc SL so Cain recommended the firmer set up coupled with adjustable dampers - good choice. The car is more stable - much more so at motorway speeds where it is much more confidence inspiring. No banging on pot holes or rough roads at all - transformed. The re-bound spring bearings/camber tweaks and steering fettling has made it steer with upmost precision in corners.

To really set it all off I popped on a Librands sporty type A exhaust silencer which gives the car a lovely deep, mellow exhaust note with wonderfully addictive burble on over-run and a howl at high revs. Not over loud all the time but oh so tuneful... In truth an expensive bit of pipe work that doesn't do much for performance ( you need a decent manifold and sports cat for that) but still worth it for the lovely audio.

So to conclude - I have always been happy with my 4/4, however after these few mods I am totally smitten - I adore looking at it, polishing it, looking after it and now it seems can't stop wanting to drive it.

This is a long post and my apologies for waffling, however i hope it may encourage a few others to go down the route of minor modifications - you'll be so pleased you did. My sincere thanks to Cain @ Wolf performance for all his advice and work to enable my car to be as good as it is today.

Last edited by andymot; 10/10/18 06:46 PM.

2015 Morgan 4/4 (Wolf tuned engine, steering and suspension)
Mazda MX5+some preserved BL relics.

Re: 4/4 ownership 3 years in - build quality, mods etc [Re: andymot] #536664
10/10/18 03:43 PM
10/10/18 03:43 PM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,118
Yorkshire
CooperMan Offline
Has a lot to Say!
CooperMan  Offline
Has a lot to Say!

Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,118
Yorkshire
Andy, an excellent positive write-up on your 4/4


Jon M
Re: 4/4 ownership 3 years in - build quality, mods etc [Re: andymot] #536680
10/10/18 04:09 PM
10/10/18 04:09 PM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 4,668
East Anglia
madmax Offline
Part of the Furniture
madmax  Offline
Part of the Furniture

Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 4,668
East Anglia
Interesting about the suspension alterations , nice to know its possible to improve the ride and avoid crashing when hitting holes in road , wonder why Morgan don't fit those shocks in the first place ?


Geneva 2016 plus 8' The Green Godess' 4 side exits .


Re: 4/4 ownership 3 years in - build quality, mods etc [Re: andymot] #536685
10/10/18 04:36 PM
10/10/18 04:36 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 346
paulmog Offline
Learner Plates Off!
paulmog  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 346
Interesting to read. The re-map route is one I'll be taking once my 4/4 is out of warranty.


Paul
69 Red 4/4
70 Black +8
74 Blue 4/4
80 Ivory 4/4 4 str.
92 Black 4/4
13 White 4/4

17 Green 4/4
Re: 4/4 ownership 3 years in - build quality, mods etc [Re: andymot] #536690
10/10/18 05:10 PM
10/10/18 05:10 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,995
Cologne, Germany
Heinz Offline
Talk Morgan Addict
Heinz  Offline
Talk Morgan Addict

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,995
Cologne, Germany
In fact, we have made very similar improvements and upgrades, andymot. And funnily enough, your way of first questioning the upgrades is very similar to mine.
We differ currently only by the panhard rod in your car vs. manifold and metal cat in mine. Everything else went in in the same way over a comparable period of time. It is good to let all this stuff it‘s time as well as we ourselfes need the same amount of time to get used on it, to compare and to enjoy differences. The best thing is, that this improvements are not just noticed for a short while and then forgotten. The opposite is the case, the sum of this alterations makes it another car.

The enthusiasm and love that you describe for this model is exactly the same that I experience and enjoy.

Re: 4/4 ownership 3 years in - build quality, mods etc [Re: andymot] #536706
10/10/18 06:07 PM
10/10/18 06:07 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,649
YORK
KEVFITZ Offline
Talk Morgan Enthusiast
KEVFITZ  Offline
Talk Morgan Enthusiast

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,649
YORK
Excellent write up Andy..I did all of those things with my 2014 4/4 and I can only thanks Cain for all his advice/encouragement as well as tea and cake.

Such a dedicated guy with endless enthusiasm for our beloved cars.

I loved my modified 4/4 with a passion but my head was turned with the chance to get a Supersports.

Lucky Cain doesn't read this Forum...I would hate him to think I like him!!!!


HEAR THOSE THROTTLE BODIES ROAR ….UNEXPLODED BOMB !!!!
Re: 4/4 ownership 3 years in - build quality, mods etc [Re: KEVFITZ] #536733
10/10/18 07:32 PM
10/10/18 07:32 PM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 283
North Somerset, UK
D
Deejay Offline
Learner Plates Off!
Deejay  Offline
Learner Plates Off!
D

Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 283
North Somerset, UK
Re: the bit about testing of shock absorbers in the vice. Surely it is a natural phenomenon by design of shock absorbers to be stiffer in expansion where they are effectively controlling sprung weight than in compression which is controlling the relatively lighter load of unsprung weight. Don’t think i would dump my shockers on the basis of that alone!


Doug

2011 +4 in Rich Maroon
Re: 4/4 ownership 3 years in - build quality, mods etc [Re: andymot] #536736
10/10/18 08:14 PM
10/10/18 08:14 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 977
Oxon
Craig Jezz Offline
Talk Morgan Regular
Craig Jezz  Offline
Talk Morgan Regular

Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 977
Oxon
Great post Andy, I feel the same about my 4/4, great little car. I had my remap done at Wolf Performance and I purchased the skid plate too

Well done Cain


Craig Jezz

Morgan 4/4 Sports Sand (Williams & Wolf Tuned)
Re: 4/4 ownership 3 years in - build quality, mods etc [Re: andymot] #536798
11/10/18 07:22 AM
11/10/18 07:22 AM
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,104
Luton, Bedfordshire
Fox Terrier Offline
Has a lot to Say!
Fox Terrier  Offline
Has a lot to Say!

Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,104
Luton, Bedfordshire
Nice write up Andy. I still remember meeting up at the factory when yours had been built (if my memory is right) and mine was still on the production line. So mine is 3 years old now but I dont have a story of upgrades and modifications to tell like yours I’m afraid. The biggest change on mine was when I took it to Techniques for its first service and they re-routed the handbrake cable and did the “flash” ECU upgrade (or whatever it was - I wish I’d paid more attention). Went’ like a scalded cat after that. I do still sometimes hanker for the skinny tyres of the 4/4 but other than that I’m wholly satisfied with mine although in hindsight I wouldn’t have bothered with the radio.

Last edited by Fox Terrier; 11/10/18 07:24 AM.

Morgan Plus 4
Brompton M6L
Giant TCX Advanced
Re: 4/4 ownership 3 years in - build quality, mods etc [Re: Deejay] #536822
11/10/18 08:59 AM
11/10/18 08:59 AM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 289
South West France
C
CBY Offline
Learner Plates Off!
CBY  Offline
Learner Plates Off!
C

Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 289
South West France
Originally Posted By Deejay
Re: the bit about testing of shock absorbers in the vice. Surely it is a natural phenomenon by design of shock absorbers to be stiffer in expansion where they are effectively controlling sprung weight than in compression which is controlling the relatively lighter load of unsprung weight. Don’t think i would dump my shockers on the basis of that alone!


Exactly, for competition and offroad extension and compression have their own adjustable setting. Compression must absord a bump relatively quickly, but extension must not return quickly the absorbed energy of the spring avoiding a "racket shock".

The main improvement on my PLUS 4 for the front suspension is the SSL (ex Suplex) kit.

When changing the dampers with adjustable Spax included in the kit, I changed also the rear dampers with tuned adjustable Spax. A huge improvement. Rear original dampers were completly exhausted.


Regards
2005 PLUS 4
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