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Issue #2 INDEX 

MVW 816|||Toy Story|||Trike Tips|||Rebuilding Report 2|||Travelin' By Trike|||Clarrie's Corner|||F-Type Tweaks|||Ramblings|||"The Road Test"|||You Might Be a Trikester|||Competition Corner|||

GO TO North American Trike!


MVW 816

by Paul Massnick

The good editor invited me to write a little something about my Three-Wheeler. This I'm happy to do as the frost is on the pumpkins here in Minnesota and as we wait for the snow and the salt trucks, I consider writing about my machine sort of a warm extension of Morganing.

MVW 816 is a 1948 Morgan F4 brought to the U.S. from England by Vic Hyde, my father, sometime in the late sixties. He bought it from his pal Clarrie Coombes. My dad had at least three other Morgan Three-Wheelers when he picked this one up and this was the only one he kept. He gave me this F4 during a serious illness that he succumbed to in September of 1995. I guess he realized he wasn't going to be able to take the Morgan with him. If he had a choice I'm sure he'd rather have taken that final journey in his Messerschmitt anyhow.

This is not the way one wants to get a Morgan. However, I feel extremely fortunate to have this machine. Aside from being able to enjoy part of my father's legacy, this Morgan definitely has a magic to it like no other machine I've experienced. Maybe that's why my dad held on to this particular Morgan, or, maybe they're all like that. Granted, I make a routine effort to keep up my end of the job of adjusting and greasing, but, for all the running around I've done in it, the thing never lets me down. Every journey becomes a happening.

Being four-seated is a big plus because my sweetheart Loranda has two kids, Molly and Tyler, ages 9 and 11. Getting everyone to agree on doing something together can be difficult, but when itS time to go some-where in the Morgan there's this mutual tingle of excitement. Everybody has their favorite motoring duds on and is in the F4 before I've barely gotten it warmed up. It doesn't matter where, we're going in the Morgan and the adventure has begun!

We live on an island in the middle of the Mississippi in Minneapolis so no sooner then we've rolled across the bridge we can be on West River Road which winds through the Twin Cities as a parkway at speed limits of 25 to 50 mph with little stopping. Traffic is usually light but this parkway is well used by roller bladers, joggers and runners. The kids and Loranda like to make sure they're noticed and as the sight of us burbling down the road catches eyes and smiles, waves are exchanged. Cozy in the driver's seat with the steering wheel up to my shoulders, I couldn't be happier if I were driving an old Bentley. I just keep my stoic motorman stance as safe and efficient operation of the vehicle is maintained.

As always the flathead four runs smooth and strong and a deep pleas-ant tone from the exhaust is present. Not too loud and not too quiet. The coach work squeaks and creaks a little. The gearbox whines with purpose. One of my favorite sounds is the rollers of the chain coming around the sprockets and the slight smacking sound of the thick spray on chain lube as roller and sprocket tooth part ways. Frequently I hear noises indicating a stop at a Bruggers Bagels, Dairy Queen or a coffee shop is necessary.

Of course when a machine as different as this is parked in public view the curious must be obeyed. This Trike really is a sight! I think folks have a hard time believing their eyes. They need questions answered to help maintain mental stability. Of course they have to look under the rear. Maybe I'll hang a road-kill squirrel under there for an added attraction sometime. I've been asked if the Morgan is homemade a few times. When asked, where did I get it ? I'll usually lie and tell them itS been in the family since new. This is less complicated for everyone.

(Note: MVW 816 is the Morgan that Clarrie mentioned rolling over in NATrike #1. Clarrie was on the highway when the rear tyre blew. The Morgan veered toward an area that had just been repaved. This surface was a couple of inches higher and when the Morgan hit the lip over it went. John Thomas of Cornwall flew over from England and spent six weeks visiting my father and rebuilding the body-work. When John left, the project was discontinued, leaving the F4 in need of some final appointing. Things like lights, windscreen and as the bonnet doesn't fit right I'm driving without it for the time being.)

The farthest we've driven the Morgan was when Loranda and I went to an event called "Wings and Wheels" put on by the Classic Motorbooks folks at their warehouse in Osceola Wisconsin about seventy miles away. This was the only time I've had it on the freeway, at one point doing 65 mph, the engine running with power to spare. The front end needs tuning before I'd go any faster.

Every kind of vehicle is welcome at Wings and Wheels. A big tent is set up with thousands of books on sale at half price. Visitors are welcome to browse the huge warehouse where everything in stock is discounted. I bought Ken Hill's book Completely Morgan; Three Wheelers. ItS great! Lots of new info. I recommend it. End of book review.

Parked beside a Triking and along with six or so Morgan four wheelers, the F4 sucked in more then its fair share of the crowd. I felt a bit awkward as those other Morgans were beautifully finished cars and this bare looking Three-Wheeler was grandstanding them. It was a beautiful day and we left the show early so we could meander our way home. We put on over two hundred miles that day. All that was needed was to tighten the generator strap a bit. At 45 to 50 mpg the Three-Wheeler got better mileage than my 850 Norton.

At the time of registering the title I went to the courthouse down-town. I insisted that since it was three wheeled I should be able to get a motorcycle plate instead of the current registration as an auto. The clerks confided with each other and made phone calls concluding they would be happy to make it a car, but, to become a motorcycle I'd have take my case to the DOT at the capitol in St. Paul. This I did. Walking in with photo's and books. After stating my case to the clerk at the counter, her response was to grab the evidence and go to a room with legal clerks in front of computers. Five minutes later a couple of them came back to the counter and with a cheery smile explained that I was right, three wheels entitled MVW 816 to motorcycledom. The affair seemed to have provided them some needed entertainment. True to HFS's intention, the Trike would enjoy cheaper taxes and other advantages. As long as Minnesota doesn't reinstate the helmet law everything will be peachy.

Occasionally I've made the mistake of parking MVW 816 facing down hill. I'll return to find an embarrassing puddle of gear lube under the clutch housing. I've read this is common and so far the stuff hasn't gotten on the clutch plate. Up to this point I've been adding Valvoline 90w gear lube as itS so available. A friend who restores prewar Harleys has recommended Harley Davidson 90/140 which I'm going to try until a better idea comes along.

I made a couple of parts for the F4 this summer. A pair of aluminum headlamp brackets to use until I'm ready to put the nice lights on. The fuel petcock uses cork seals. Who knows how old they were, anyway, they didn't survive disassembly and cleaning of the petcock. Turning replacements in the lathe was a new one for me. I held a small cork in a collet and turned it at 1000 rpm. I clamped a razor blade to the tool post parallel to the spindle. Taking it easy on the feed, the new seals turned out nicely. Later, I learned that when cork is to be machined it should be soaked and kept wet.

I've shared stuff close to my heart here with you folks. I'm not known for being a prolific writer, but this was a fun experience. I'm looking forward to reading other peoples' Three-Wheeler stories. I want to support Colin in this undertaking and hope that others will also.

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Toy Story

by Alan Isselhard

In November 1995 I attended an antique toy show in the Rochester, NY area near where I live. The show was held at a large arena and billed as the second largest toy show of its kind in the USA. One of the first items I spotted after entering the show was a cast aluminum model of a Morgan Three-Wheeler Beetleback with air cooled engine. The unpainted model was small enough to fit into your shirt pocket and had a wind-up spring motor which drove the front wheels, unlike the real thing. The dealer indicated a price of $200 which I didn't care to pay.

In October 1998 I attended an automobilia auction at the Hotel Hershey in Hershey, Pa, during the fabulous Antique Automobile Club of America annual fall meet. The hotel overlooks this small city and is the place well-heeled auto buffs overnight for this fantastic event. This place is well beyond what I can afford (we stayed elsewhere) but the auction is interesting, well run, attracts very serious collectors, and usually has a large amount of early auto racing memorabilia which interests me even though there is little I can afford.

To my surprise, a model of the above mentioned Morgan Trike was on display in a case, as part of the auction venue. Needless to say I was somewhat excited. The Morgan eventually came up for bid and I bought it for $48 including tax and a 15% buyer's fee.

The following day we found out that another model of the same car was in the car parts field for sale at $300. The model car is polished cast aluminum with rubber tires. The manufacturer's name, "Caiety Toy, Beg #850428, A Castle Art Product, Birmingham, England" is cast into the bottom piece of the car. The car I bought was missing the wind-up spring motor which I didn't realize until after I paid for the item.

I hope a reader of this newsletter can advise me on the rarity of this item, when the item was manufactured, etc. and if I paid too much. Send replies to: Alan Isselhard, 16336 Church St., R.D. #1, Holley, NY 14470

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Trike Tips

by Fred Sisson

Editor's note: Fred Sisson of Norcross Georgia is a noted Morgan author who is currently involved in the creation of an F-Special, based on a 1936 F-type, certainly one of the most interesting Three-Wheeler projects going. I asked Fred to share some tips on converting an F-Type to a 100E engine with us.

(If you install a 100E engine) ...the original engine can be kept to re-install at some future date or you can spend time restoring the original engine to concours condition at your leisure and you can still enjoy driving the car in the mean time.

In fact, you might enjoy driving your car more, with just a bit more torque (helps with wide spaced three speeds), a water pump (traffic), and more RPMS (top speed).

No, it won't make the car a hot rod, but it does update it a bit to cope with today's streets rather than the country lanes that the car was driven on in its youth.

Just as American flathead Ford V8 engines evolved from the early thirties through 1953, the English Ford 4 cylinder experienced parallel development. The engine grew in displacement over the years, from 933 cc to l172 cc. The long evolution produced a wonderful little engine that was used in a gaggle of British cars, including the Ford Popular, Anglia and Prefect, Lotus Six, Elvas and Morgan 4/4's. A whole racing formula evolved around this little sidevalve engine, the "1172 Formula."

Earlier versions, the Ford 8 and Ford 10, were used in the Morgan F-Type Three-Wheelers. The 8 and 10 refer to "taxable horsepower." Actual horsepower is around thirty (not sure of the exact number). The 100E has around 36 horsepower, not 10.

While this engine never came in a Trike, it is a fairly common update for F-Types that are driven on a regular basis. I installed a Ford 100E engine in my 36 F type as the engine is allowed as a replacement under the British Three Wheel Club's racing formula for F-Types. It is close to a simple bolt-in installation and can be installed in place of the Ford 8 or 10 without modifying the original car. The 100E will bolt right onto the F's bellhousing as the bolt pattern did not change over the years.

For the front mount, the timing chain cover from the old engine must be used on the 100E to bolt up the Morgan front mount bar. A very slight bit of grinding must be done on the edge of the Ford 8-10 timing chain cover for it to clear the water pump on the 100E.

The engine and the front crossbar are designed as components of the Morgan chassis. They eliminate any flexing in the front part of the chassis, so don't think of "improving" the engine mounting by using the 100E mounts instead of the old crossbar.

However you could add extra mounts if you wish to take some of the stress off of the two thin bolts that hold the front of the engine to the crossbar. This was always a weak point in F-Trikes, so some extra help is welcome.

Also, I had to enlarge the hole in the bellhousing about 1/8 of an inch to clear the Bendix of the 100E starting motor.

My 100E had a bronze pilot (spigot) bearing. I replaced it with a new sealed ball bearing. The dike originally had a shielded ball bearing. There has been sixty years of bearing development since the original was installed, so an update can't hurt. The bearing has to support and collier a long heavy shaft in Trike application so good fit here is important.

The generator and starter used on the 100E are about the most common Lucas components in the world. They are common to Spridgets and a gaggle of other British cars. Don't waste time and money looking for 100E specific components. I purchased a generator, regulator, and control box (regulator) from a boneyard Sprite for about 20% of the price that I was quoted from a ENFO enthusiast for a "Ford" starter alone.

Same thing with distributors—change the drive dog (a pin through the shaft holds it on) and you will find that many Lucas distributors will bolt right in. I used a Mini distributor as tune-up components are available at the corner import parts store. If you need to update the original Solex carburetor- try one from a VW, it bolts right on and runs great.

100E ROD BEARING SHELL CONVERSION

It was common at one time to convert from babbit rod bearings to shell bearings. This was in lieu of rebabbiting the old rods or buying new rods with undersize babbit to fit the crank. Babbiting is still done, but is very expensive and is not always done well. The shell conversion is a nice alternative.

To fit shell bearings the rods have to be bored out to fit the shells. They should be bored to 1.780/1.785 inches (I looked for six months for those figures...).

Vandervell bearing shells were made to these dimensions. They were available in various undersizes for reground cranks, however it is very hard to find .010 undersize these days. Twenty to thirty thousandths undersize are not too hard to find. I have a crank that is ground to .010 undersize and if I do not locate bearings, I may be forced to have it ground again to .030. The lesson learned? Have bearings in hand before you grind a crank.

SOLID COPPER HEAD GASKET

Seems that my local parts house just laughed when I asked for a head gasket for an F-Type Morgan Trike with a Ford 100E and a Willment OHV bead... wonder why?

It is possible to have solid copper headgaskets made for any engine Accutronics Copper Gaskets will make anything from a pattern. Send them an old gasket or a cardboard pattern and they computerize it and can then furnish gaskets by a simple phone order. If you order a specific Morgan gasket, you might share the information with North American Trike so that others will not have to go through the pattern process. Accutronics will have it on file and others could just order that pattern.

I had gaskets made for the Willment OHV head for a 100E and if anyone wants gaskets, feel free to call Accutronics and order my design. (Is there another out there?)

Accutronics

17650 N, 25th Avenue

Phoenix, AZ 85023 USA

Ph: 602-993-2606

FAX 602-993-4901

THREE WHEELER CHAIN & SPROCKETS

I have yet to find a reference as to the size of three wheeler chain or a source other than a specialty three wheeler supplier (read "money"). Either everyone but me knows the size, or everyone thinks that the chain is unique to a Morgan Trike (not likely) or I'm not reading the right stuff.

MY 36 F type uses #62 British Metric or ISO 12B chain

It is available boxed in five meter lengths from Bearings and Drives. According to Clarrie Coombes, there are 78 links in a Trike chain. Five meters is long, but the cutting charge makes one chain cost almost as much as three. A five meter box comes with two master links. There are also half links available which might help you get just the right length for optimum adjustment.

Since I plan to have several sprockets for different race courses, I will probably need different length chains also—another reason to buy a box. I have also found other sources, now that I know the size, but I would advise you to check out prices as one source was three times the price!

The chain is also available in stainless steel It would be neat looking and just the ticket for show cars. A bit expensive for me though... about four times the price of regular chain. (The part number for the chain is AMC 62 Metric ISO #12B Chain. The eighteen tooth sprocket is AMC 62L- 62 A IS stock flare. The master link is AMC62CL.)

B&D also has the proper plate sprocket to modify and mount on the old transmission drive hub as shown in Clarrie Coombe's book. They are cheap and worth having around if for nothing else than to compare with your original sprocket. I thought that mine was OK until I saw the profile of the new one. I bought 18 (standard), 19 and 20 tooth sprockets. The chain gang version of a quick change rear end? B&D is a good resource, they helped me find a modem replacement seal for the input shaft on my Trike transmission. They also supplied new ball bearings and seals for my +4 Moss gearbox. Bearings and Drives, (770)449-6720.

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Rebuilding Report 2

by Bert Varady

Editor's note: This is the second article in a series in which Bert Varady of St. Louis, Missouri details the rebuilding of his 1936 MX2 Super Sports.

Back in 1991, I thought it was going to take a few years to locate a Three-Wheeler so I planned to rebuild it as a retirement project. A year later I had a Trike in the garage begging me to start. I remember trying to decide where to start when everything looked so bad. I didn't know a lot about Trikes yet (remember this was the first one I ever saw), so I began with what I knew best—the woodwork.

The body was sitting on the chassis and not connected to anything, so the first thing I did was to build a set of saw horses and raised it up to make working on it easier. Also, I put the chassis underneath and saved valuable garage space. I needed to learn how the body was constructed so the body panels were carefully removed, they must have been held on with a couple of hundred tiny screws. Long pieces of wood were attached to the backside of the lower sheet metal panels to keep them from bending and breaking where they were rusted and cracked.

With the panels off I got my first complete look at the actual condition of the wood and concluded a total rebuild was the only solution. Much of the original wood body had rotted or had large cracks. The front side pieces were replaced years ago with plywood and were now separating. The long pieces where the top and bottom panels joined at the belt line were not original and had the consistency of canned tuna. There were a few small patch pieces and one of the previous owners modified the way the seat bottoms fit, that wood had also rotted. There it sat for all the neighbors to see, orange, black, red, light blue, dark gray, and just a hint of the original green. Pretty ugly.

Plans? What plans? I didn't need plans. I would measure each old piece, duplicate it in new wood and assemble all the pieces like a jig saw puzzle. Sounded easy, too easy.

Before starting I took some pictures. Once everything was removed from the body I would probably forget how it all went back together a few years later. So out came the worthless wire harness, rusted fuel tank, and steering column. Off came everything else that could interfere with measuring the various wood pieces. Now I had a totally naked three-wheeler body. Without sheet metal to help hold it together, the liberal use of red (the only color I had) duct tape became essential.

With marker pen and ruler in hand I set out to create a one inch grid on each piece. That idea lasted for about three pieces. There were cracks almost a half inch wide and rotted sections that were missing. It wasn't as easy as I had first thought. I decided to just take overall dimensions, care-fully measure the cracks and missing areas and then add or subtract as necessary.

A set of cardboard patterns were made. After pricing ash, I thought I should get the measurements, fit, and construction technique down using something less expensive. Grade three pine looked like the answer. I traced the cardboard patterns onto the pine and began cutting out the first pieces.

The wood shop at the nearby Air Force Base had all the wood-working tools I would ever need. Soon I had 8-9 pieces cut out to my exact measurements and was ready to see how they fit together. Guess what, they didn't. Who would have thought a quarter inch here and there would have made such a difference? This was going to be more difficult than I thought. Practice body number one was picked up with the weekly trash a few days later and became land fill.

Next time I needed to be more careful with wood selection (warped boards aren't the easiest to work with), forget trying for exact measurements (cut the piece a little larger and sand to fit), and assemble the pieces as they are cut out rather than waiting.

New measurements were made, new wood bought, and new card-board templates cut out, but this time they were taped together to help visualize the fit. Things were looking up, more and more cardboard pieces were cut out and taped together. Time to try the pine again.

The sides and front sills were cut out with no problem. Next came the two pieces that attach to the back of the sill and lower part of the horse-shoe to create the barrelback shape. No go on the first try, too narrow; no go on the second, too loose; third time a charm. Pieces were actually fitting together! They were all attached with as few screws as possible since I was going to have to take the whole thing apart and use the wood pieces to make the final patterns for the ash.

The flat pieces went together quite well. However, I still hadn't figured out what to do about making new steam bent pieces, that would come later. For the practice body I used the original cowl piece, it was in pretty good condition. The new,long pieces running from cowl to tail on each side flexed sufficiently so they were attached under stress with long screws. To save time, plywood was used for the rear horseshoe and floor.

In August 1992 the practice pine body was completed, it only took 5 months. The woodshop charged $1.50 an hour rental fee, needless to say I was one of their best customers that Summer. It took me 93 hours and I still had the ash body to make. Turned out great, but in the process a lot of big pieces of pine became little pieces of pine. You can sure make mistakes a lot faster with fancy power tools.

As the practice wood body was progressing, my father was busy remaking the body brackets and fuel and oil tank out of stainless steel.

I needed a set of tires that held air and weren't rotted to the ground so I could push the chassis around. A fellow owner in New York came to my rescue and sent me his old tires and tubes. He said they were no good for driving on, but that didn't bother me, I wasn't going to be driving for years. When I found out the original color of RV 9178, the rusty wire wheels were painted a close match. I wanted to see what they would look like and decided almost immediately I didn't like green wire wheels.

With new stainless pieces attached to the body, round tires bolted to the hubs and heavily coated in Armor All, and the completed practice body set on a touched up black chassis, the old Trike sure looked good! You can only look at a derelict so long before it becomes depressing. A photo session marked the end of this phase of the rebuild. Time for a breather. I had worked on the wood body almost every weekend and near the end drove back and forth to the wood shop several times a day as I sanded to fit the pieces. Before starting on the real ash body I needed to get the chassis fixed. It too was in bad shape.

I was motivated and ready to start something else. This turned out to be a letter writing campaign to fellow Morgan owners and to the Morgan Three-Wheeler Club. I needed to learn more about rebuilding a Trike, parts availability and cost, how things went together, who could work on the engine, etc., etc.

By now I really needed to see another barrelback. I knew I had pieces missing, wrong pieces, modifications, and parts improperly installed. I wanted to see the differences and be able to compare. The small, fuzzy black and white pictures in the various Morgan books left too much to the imagination. I wanted something better. John Leavens, in California, has a nice 39 Super Sports barrelback and after I explained to him my dilemma, he agreed to photograph his car from every conceivable angle. He took seventy-two color pictures, starting in the daylight and ending in the dark. I now could compare what I had to a Morgan in very close to original condition.

Let the games begin!

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Travelin' by Trike

by John H. Sheally, II

Editor's note: In addition to being a champion at speed events in his four wheeled Morgans, John Sheally is a real pro at distance events in his Trike. I asked John to give the rest of us some pointers on taking our Trikes trekking... Bearing in mind that few, if any, of us would care to emulate his cross continent run of a few years back, how would John suggest that we prepare for a weekend's outing to cover a couple of hundred miles? Here's what Sheally had to say...

So you want to travel in your Trike? What to carry and how to pack...

...First comes the tools in the very limited space behind the seat. I carry my tools in a black canvas bag which also includes two spare spark plugs and several light bulbs in plastic 35 mm film containers for breakage protection. Included also are several feet of electrical wire, a spare coil, and spare rotor button, condenser and points. These things are all in the 1' X 6" X 10" bag.

The bag shares the passenger side behind the seat and beside the battery which sits in a hand made wooden box (with cover) in the center back. Behind my back side of the seat I carry two cameras, lenses, and film rolled up in a cotton jacket in the summer and a leather jacket in the winter. In the two small compartments on the lower side, behind the seat, I carry the hand crank and a fire extinguisher on my side and two quarts of Castrol "R" Bean Oil with two terry cloth towels on the passenger side. Well, you do have to take care of the car's necessities just to keep it going on the day trip, week trip, or a trip for several weeks.

OK! We are ready to travel in the Three-Wheeler. What? You haven't thought about clothes for the trip? You need to think minimum and dark clothes as dark clothes do not show grease, dirt, and stains that come with operating a Trike. The clothes you pack should consist of jeans and garments that do well when rolled up in a canvas bag so you won't have to worry about too many wrinkles. This works well, and two can travel on trips with a fair set of clothes.

I only travel with one set of shoes (always boots) which are the ones on my feet. If my trip will include a bit of dress up I hang my dress pants and coat on hangers in the bathroom while taking a shower and by the time I am ready to go the steam from the shower (I keep the bath-room door closed) will take the wrinkles out of the "dress clothes" for the evening out.

If your trip is solo, then there is no trouble because the bag of clothes simply goes in the passenger floorboard. However, if you travel with a friend, that space is taken. I have solved that problem by using twin round canvas bags thrown over the rear (in my case, barrelback) body like a pair of saddlebags on a horse. I clip the handles of each bag together with snaps or Velcro and I run a flat strap from the rear tonneau fittings with clips to the bag handles to keep the bags from sliding off the rear. I also use Velcro under the bags so that the wind won't lift the twin bags up at speed.

Yes, you still have room for grooming items. I like to take a shaving kit for items including a razor, shaving cream and shaving lotion, toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, wash cloth, etc., all of which are small travel sizes. I do not take the large family sizes due to the fact that you must think small and compact during Trike travel as space is limited.

A very fine time can be had in Three-Wheeler travel. Think small, travel light and have fun!

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Clarrie's Corner

by C. Coombes

Editor's note: we had a recent letter from Clarrie in which he explained why we had been unable to get his telephone number from the International Operator and discussed his spares making operation. The drawings mentioned are, by the way, wonderful!

...At the recent "Spares Fair" at Malvern, I sold a large part of my stock of Morgan bits and I am now working hard and long making replacements. Perhaps you don't know that I spend my life making mechanical parts for Morgans. When I retired from my job as a production engineer at Marconi Telegraph Company here in Chelmsford some 16 Years ago, I had to decide what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I had always made parts for myself, so the decision came easily. I bought some more equipment and started making things for sale.

I don't make parts to order, I simply make batches of things I think may be needed and take them to Club meetings where they are displayed and offered for sale. I have a list of about 200 items but at no time do I have all of them in stock at the same time. I do not advertise because I don't engage in Mail Order and although I work seven days a week I can't make enough to meet the demand. I don't make a fortune, but I "keep the wolf from the door."

If you find anything in the booklets that is worth copying into the "TRIKE," by all means do so.

When I retired, for thirty years there had been three phones on my desk, so I said "No More Phones."  That is why you could not find a number for me. All the equipment and cables are here and when my son, John, comes from Australia, he has it connected. He is deeply into computers and runs a "Bulletin Board" in Melbourne, and when he comes here he uses a modem. I am not very computer literate, I have a 386 PC and an Amstrad PCW which I use for most of my needs. This uses the CAM operating system and is not compatible with MS Dos. But I do have a conversion program which enables me to convert a CAM disc to Dos. I rarely use it but my son does when he is here

I have a drawing Program for the PCW which I use for making manufacturing drawings of Morgan parts and the Club Library has copies of these which they copy again for members. If you require any mechanical drawings I would be happy to provide them and will include a couple to give you an idea of the quality...

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F-Type Tweaks

by John Benton

Editor's note: As many of you know, your editor is currently agonizing over whether or not to upgrade the 8 hp engine in his F2 to a 10 hp unit. Or should he just install his Aquaplane aluminum head? In terms of roadworthiness, how does he get the most out of what he has? Your editor wrote to John Benton for advice and information and herewith shares the response with you.

I can readily sympathize with you and your engine concerns for your F2. I agonized over the same thing for three years. There's a fellow down in Vista, which is just north of San Diego, named Dean Kirchner, who has a home-based shop called "Anglia Obsolete."  He stocks old English Ford bits and pieces, and was of great help to me. I got an E93A block, an 8 hp head, valves, valve springs, a set of Belcher adjustable tappets, an "export," or higher output, fuel pump, an external water pump, and a distributor from him.

Next, I had the bottom of the engine done by Egge Engineering, an outfit in Santa Fe springs that have been doing old Fords for years. I lucked out in that I didn't need new pistons, although I believe Dean Kirchner can get them. The external water pump drops right in: there are two holes on the driver's side of the front engine mount that can be used for an oil filter, but also fit the water pump precisely. Indeed, it takes the place of the brass tubing between the two rubber sections of the lower radiator hose.

The innards of the pump are the same as the ones in the two water pumps on a 1934 Ford V8. You will of course, have to get a longer fan belt to handle the extra pulley. My car runs quite cool, even in heavy stop-and-go traffic, in spite of having no fan.

The cam was touched up a bit by Iskendarian (I have the specs), mainly for torque. It isn't so much speed you get from all this, itS torque. And does it ever make a difference! You can drive the car like a motorcycle engined device: once you're in high gear, you can drive it that way pretty much all day. The car should pull well from 10-15 mph in high gear. Saves gear box wear and tear!

Another trick is to pick up the type of sensor (they are readily available in auto parts stores that deal in VW parts) that was used in older Volkswagens for the oil pressure idiot light. It should plug right into the hole below and to the front of the Ford engine's valve chamber cover that otherwise can be used for an oil filter. Then, wire it to the "bull's eye" ignition warning light on the instrument panel, which you really don't need since you have an ammeter. This gives you a sort of oil pressure gauge: it will illuminate during idling and below about 30 psi.

A word about the valve tappets. I doubt that many of us have the patience to adjust the valves the way they originally did it, by carefully grinding metal off the heel of the valve until the clearance was just right. If you over-do it, the only recourse is to grind the head of the valve deeper down into the seat. The Belcher adjustable tappets make it all a lot easier.

The radiator was rotting, and I could not find anyone who could effectively deal with the problems of soldering up the chrome-plated tank. I've since been told by John Leavens that I was too hasty, since he knows of such a worthy in, I believe, Signal Hill. However, the approach I adopted, while not wholly original, has worked out very well. It also solved the problem of those vertical metal strakes on the front of the radiator always coming loose.

The solution was worked out by Mike Goodman, an old friend who runs an MG oriented shop in Encino. He's the guy that rebuilt the two Ken Miles specials. To describe it all briefly—and it is, in execution, quite straightforward—he mounted a properly sized radiator solidly in the existing bolt holes, with a longer filler neck and with the stub pipes for the hoses mounted in the same places as originally. The chrome-plated shell of the original radiator was far gone and needed a lot of copper plating before it could be rechromed.

A separate structure includes a plate that duplicates the front of the original top tank, and, with a cross piece at the bottom, the vertical strakes are solidly attached, top and bottom, and the front of the radiator looks perfectly stock. This assembly is then set in place up against the front of the new radiator, then the horseshoe-shaped chromium plated shell is slipped down over the radiator to also hold the "grill" assembly in place. The neck of the new radiator extends up into the old filler neck, the space being sealed with silicone. The overflow pipe is in the radiator filler neck. The shell is then fastened down in the same way it was originally. The radiator is so securely mounted that a stay from the wooden "firewall" bulkhead is not needed. The Whole thing looks quite original and does seem to work better.

As you know, you can use two of the original type downdraft Zenith carburetors, but it is hard to know where you might find a manifold for them, or even a second carburetter, at least anywhere this side of the September Beaulieu auto jumble in England. I opted for two smallish HS 2 SU's. A combination intake-exhaust manifold, that would accept the two small SU's as well as having four branches for the exhaust, was obtained in a trade with John Leavens for a set of the Belcher valve liners. Here, I lucked out again. The assembly just clears the bonnet, no holes being necessary.

Believe it or not, the above is actually no more than a very brief run-down of what was done to the car. John Willburn did the job of putting it all together.

Now, the bad news. Never notable in its 8 hp form, my F now has prop shaft vibration starting in at 60-65 mph. The problem is how to replace the one-piece prop shaft with a U-jointed two-piece arrangement utilizing a centrally mounted bearing. This problem is well known to the folks in the UK, and I'm sure you have seen some of the articles on the matter in the Bulletin. I haven't been able to find anyone around here that wants to tackle the job. Recently, I have received two very informative letters from the UK, one from Laurie Weeks, and another from Clarrie Coombes including machine drawings. (The two letters are actually complementary and could provide the basis for the best article I have yet seen on the matter.)

The moral of the above is: when you've got the engine out, itS time to also do something about the prop shaft. Now, I know it...

Early on, I collected some excellent letters about all this from various of the Ones Knowledgeable in England. I even have a letter signed by Peter Morgan, attesting to the period-appropriateness of modifications such as we are discussing. I would be happy to share them with you.

Finally, E93A versus 100E. Let's face it, I do not consider myself to be much of an expert. Having said that, itS fair to say that the latter engine, while it is basically the same and looks a lot like the former, has an integral water pump, and is undoubtedly an improvement on the E93A in other ways. However, it is a later engine, and was never used in Morgans. The availability of the external water pumps—a period-proper accessory, as noted above—makes the choice less clear-cut. I opted for authenticity.

Then again, Clarrie runs that Ford 1500 cc GT engine in his F2.

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Ramblings

by Spence Young

Editor's note: Longtime Trike owner and racer, Spence Young recently sold his MX4. He offered some pointers to new Trike owner Scott Morrison, some of which we share below...

Lubrication: Keep the gear box level between 2 and 2 1/2 inches. Closer to 2 inches will yield less seepage from the shifter rods and output shaft. Do not use modern gear lube unless you can be sure it does not contain sulfur. The final drive in the box is a steel worm driving a bronze worm wheel. Sulfur will attack bronze and eat the wheel. I have used only PMO 140, i., pure mineral oil 140 weight—the recommended weight.

I have always used Valvoline 50 weight "Racing" oil in the engine. This engine is old, tired and worn. Hopefully, the 50W helps fill the gaps. Hi! Also, I always change the oil after any major event such as a racing weekend or a long rally. It only takes about 2 1/2 quarts and oil is cheap— engine rework is expensive. To change the oil you must open the oil valve and remove the oil line at the input to the oil pump. Then go off and do something else for a while as it dribbles out into a pan. You could make an adapter and apply mild air pressure to the oil tank through the oil cap opening to accelerate the gravity draining process. I tried this but didn't think it worth the effort. Also, remember to drain the sump.

When putting fresh oil in the tank, leave the line off the oil pump until fresh oil starts to flow out, then fasten it back to the pump. Messy, but this will ensure you have oil at the pump when you start the engine. Also it will take some time for the fresh oil to circulate, drain down into the sump, and get pumped back to the oil tank and out the stand pipe. Don't race the engine until the return line is full and oil is bubbling out.

There are 9 lubrication (grease) points; 2 front sliders, steering box under dash, drive shaft center bearing, 2 swing arms under the battery, rear wheel hub and 2 rear spring slippers.

Starting Procedure: Cold start, open both fuel valves and the oil valve. Prime one of the float chambers for about 5 seconds. Do not over prime until fuel comes out the vent holes or runs out the back of the venturi. Crack the throttle. Set the starting handle so you can get a good pull from the bottom up and bring a charge into the cylinders. Make sure the spark is fully retarded and the mixture control (choke) is full rich, i.e., both control levers down. Turn the key ON, reset the handle for a good pull from the bottom up (keep you thumb to the side, not around the handle) and give a good sharp pull. If you can't get it started on about 3 good pulls, use the starter. Also, if it should backfire on one of the pulls, it will take about 3 more pulls to clear the engine and start. I do recommend hand cranking as much as possible to save the teeth on the starter plate, or as we would say, ring gear.

If the engine is warm, restarts are usually quite easy with no (or very little) prime, depending on how long the engine has been shut off. Leave the mixture full lean and, of course, spark full retarded.

Driving hints: Always retard the spark when stopped or with the engine at idle. Mixture control is usually full lean once the engine is warmed up. Do not leave the mixture control half way up, i.e., midway between full rich and full lean as it could interfere with throttle movement and hold the throttle wide open should you have reason to use that much throttle. If this ever happens, and it has to me twice—both times when accelerating through 4000 RPM in second gear—just turn off the key and coast to a stop. It is easy to free up but you must get out of the car and take the top off the carburetor where the cables go in. No big deal, believe me. By the way there is no reason to run this old beast over 3000 RPM for all normal driving. Even on the race course I seldom get over 3200 before the next braking point.

The shift pattern is a standard 'H' configuration, albeit with a very narrow gate. Reverse is to the right and forward. Try to perfect smooth, gentle, crunch-free up shifts and save the fancy double clutch down shifts until you are really comfortable with the hand throttle, crash box and heavy steering. Don't hurry the shifts—there is no synchromesh. Down shifts can be every bit as smooth as the up shifts once you get the hang of things. You should keep your thumb on the throttle at all times as it will tend to creep back due to the return spring in the carburetor.

While the brakes are quite adequate, you will only be using the front two wheels for braking with the brake pedal. These wheels are very narrow so leave a nice cushion of air between you and the car ahead.

Clutch Toggles: Remember to put a little oil on the clutch toggle pivot points. Don't over oil to where you might get oil on the clutch plate.

Brakes: Recommend pulling the front brake drums from time to time to make sure wheel bearing grease is not bleeding onto the brake lining. There are no grease seals behind the inner wheel bearing retainer. You will need some kind of puller as the bearings are not tapered and fit quite snugly on the spindle, or stub axle. I just clean the lining with a commercial brake cleaner, blow dry and rough a bit with coarse sandpaper. When reinstalling the drum assembly, pull up on the wheel nut quite tightly and, if necessary, back off a little to align the split pin or cotter key. There should be no bearing end play. I use the rear brake for parking and the occasional panic stop.

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"The Road Test"

by Sandy Atkinson

Editor's note: Sandy Atkinson, recently appointed Editor of the Morgan Three-Wheeler Club Bulletin, submitted this article to North American Trike from his home in Billersley, England.

When I was a young man I was a member of a team of development engineers employed by the Ford Motor Company at Dagenham, in the county of Essex. One skill at which I excelled was report-writing, and nobody was really surprised when I left to become a technical journalist. A colleague named Ted was equally good with exhaust systems, and nobody was really surprised when he left to become the product performance manager of a firm that manufactured silencers (all right, "mufflers").

Years later, after we had both retired, I asked Ted for his advice when my 1934 F-type rotted its old silencer and needed a new one. He not only recommended the make and type, but offered to collect it from the factory, come to my house, fit the thing and accompany me on a test run.

He arrived at 8 am, ate a hearty breakfast, put his overalls on, fitted the silencer, and said, "Start her up."  The sound was delightful: slightly on the blare side of neighbour-friendliness. Ted removed his overalls, climbed into the passenger seat and navigated me through the country lanes and rolling Essex farmland to a quiet road thirty miles away, which in his younger days he had used for road-testing exhaust systems before they went into production.

Just beyond a small, picturesque village we stopped at the beginning of a straight stretch of deserted road. On one side, about halfway along, was a thatched cottage, and on the other side was a high brick wall several hundred yards long, which was evidently the garden boundary of a large country house. "Believe it or not," said Ted, "this wall is the perfect sound-reflector." Acting on his instructions I drove along the stretch of road at 20 mph while Ted listened intently to the noises bouncing from the wall. Then I did a 360 turn in the gravelled entrance to the driveway of the big house, drove back to my starting point at 30 mph, and turned about at the entrance to a narrow lane, ready to do another run. During the next half-hour, while we went through a program of runs at various speeds and at various levels of acceleration and deceleration, I remained silent rather than disturb Ted's deep concentration. Finally he said, "Well, I reckon you've got a good silencer here, my lad."

On the way home something was worrying me, and I could not keep it to myself. "Ted,"  I said, "While we were driving up and down I noticed that sometimes you had your head turned to the left, and sometimes to the right. You used to do that in the old days. Now, I can understand that if you were in an enclosed car you would swing your head around in order to make a subjective aural assessment of the directional effects of the sound waves and reverberations within the passenger compartment. But surely there would be no point in doing that in an open car, especially with the wind rushing in your ears."

"Quite right," he said. "Did you notice that thatched cottage back there?"

I nodded.

"Well," he said, "in the front bedroom there was a girl trying on bathing costumes."

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You Might Be a Trikester

by  C. Cobb

...if your friends shake their heads and solemnly refer to you as being "one wheel short of a set," and you don't care!

...if your wife proudly introduces you to the new Preacher saying, "Yes, Reverend, he's a member of the Chain Gang!" and you nod your head and chuckle, "Fer sure, fer sure!"

...if you reckon Teddy Roosevelt didn't have the foggiest idea of what really Rough Riding was.

...if you wrote your Congressman and demanded that Clarrie Combes be immortalized on the Three-cent stamp and you changed your party affiliation when you didn't hear back from the Congressman in a reasonable time.

...if you insist that your daughter and son-in-law rename your three grandkids "Peter, Charles, and Beetleback" and you rewrite your will when your daughter refuses to make the name changes offering the flimsy excuse that her children are all girls.

...if you become incensed and cancel your newspaper subscription when the local newspaper writes a laudatory article about your years of community service but, despite your very specific instructions, fails to refer to you as a "sliding pillar of the community."

...if you are an American who is not a clergyman but you can still correctly use the word "Prebendary" in a sentence.

...if when you want to go for a drive instead of saying you will "get in" the car you describe the process as "putting on" the car.

...if, in reference to your car, you can say "doors are for girls" convincingly but without sneering.

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Competition Corner

by J. Dale Barry

The VARA races at Willow Springs over the 11th and 12th of October (1996) weekend were not the best for the Morgan club racer group. The only Three-Wheeler able to finish the race weekend was my 1934 Morgan Sports Racer, #88.

Larry Ayers' 1930 Morgan Super Aero rolled in turn 9, the result of a freak failure of 65 year old mechanical components. Apparently, a piston froze in the cylinder just as Larry was turning left off the track to enter the pit area at the end of the practice session on Saturday. The engine essentially stopped, causing the rear wheel to lock up which caused the rear of the car to slide around the front in a counter clock wise rotation. The car then proceeded to slide off the track, drop a few inches into the dirt and roll at about 30 mph. Larry was not hurt although we all had a few bad moments. Red has two bent fenders, a flattened wind deflector on the left side, numerous scratches over the body and some possible damage to the front end. Truly, not one of our best weekends.

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