I am finally posting about my oil leak experience after ‘upgrading’ to the Centa for my 2013 M3W. I’ve delayed relating this story in an effort for Morgan to do the right thing and make a Centa journal with a proper oil sealing surface in-line with crank seal manufactures specifications; a machine-ground finish.
After ~180 miles on my new Centa a significant amount of oil began leaking from the lower bell-housing hole; more than the typical oil weeping many M3W owners tolerate. The rear main crank seal was determined to have failed with the surface of the Centa journal blamed. This is a pic of the Centa journal clearly showing jaw marks from the manufacturing metal lathe and a machine turned finish…
Morgan’s initial reaction was it’s my mechanic’s fault but then added that all their current Cetna parts look like this and their assembly crew just scotch-pads them before installation (a practice specifically discouraged by oil seal companies). Morgan continued to say that there is no other way of making these parts without the lathe jaw marks to which an instructional YouTube video of Soft Jaw Metal Lathe Technique was forwarded. This slowly progressed to Morgan saying they were going to meet with their Centa suppliers and admitting that the Centa journal surface was not previously specified as oil-sealing to its maker. During this time Morgan was reminded that the Centa journal surface should be a ‘ground finish’ for oil crank-shaft sealing success and longevity, not their machine turned finish.
After a couple months an unannounced Centa part arrived in October; no lathe jaw marks but still the machine turned finish. After questioning this ‘better but still not proper surface’ I was informed that new Centa parts will come in December, no January, no February 2019.
To my disappointment the last Centa journal received at the end of February 2019 still had a machine turned surface and my last attempt to communicate with Morgan’s leadership resulted in an email bluntly stating that while Morgan had talked about a ground finish they never formally promised a ground finish on the Centa part; because Morgan owners have not complained about leaking oil so this is not an issue (only for me).
I am now having my Centa journal modified to a ground finish before final reassembly. This will hone ~2/1000” off the OD in the process about 20% of the material that could be removed and still be within the seal manufacturer’s OD specs.
The first Centa part with lathe jaw marks was received in February 2018, the first replacement Centa part, with no jaw marks and a turned finish, was received October 2018. My expectation is that Morgan was using these questionable parts when making new M3Ws and in their Centa ‘upgrade’ kits during this timeframe.
I’ll add that for my experience Morgan is crediting $800 US; compensation that will almost cover my transportation cost to and from the repair shop. Specifically, Morgan adds this credit to the dealer’s account who then has to front the money to the customer (me) until they owe Morgan something in the future.
I guess the moral to this story is if your M3W leaks oil SAY SOMETHING and maybe, just maybe, Morgan will eventually do the right thing…