©By: John T. Blair (WA4OHZ)
Last update: 03/27/97
Rebuilding the front end of a Morgan is some trouble but not impossible. Before you start, be sure you have the required parts on hand:
(Note: Numbers preceded by a "#" refer to numbered items in the exploded view diagram.)
Several of the Morgan parts suppliers can provide the bronze bushings. The estimate I got (in May 1989) for them was $20 each ($80 for all 4). They are 2.250" long, 1" inside diameter (ID), and approximately 1.230" outside diameter (OD). I found a commercial bushing available for $6.50 each. These are 2.5" long by 1" ID by 1.250" OD from American Bearing - (Part # CB-1630-22.
These bushings are supposed to be a force fit into the axle assembly - #1, and will have to be machined to fit. Once these bushings are pressed into position, they will have to be line bored to fit you kingpins. You will have to find a machine shop to do this work for you.
I checked with one supplier for the neoprene bushings but they didn't have any. This brought about a search of hose and rubber suppliers in my area. One distributor had some 1-7/16" OD hose. The rubber bushings are 1-1/2" long. I suggest purchasing at least 1 foot. This allows for several mistakes.
Before up you start to disassemble the front suspension, get a
2 foot length of 1/4" threaded rod and 6 nuts. Cut the rod into two
lengths about 1 foot long. This will be used to "jack" down the lower
king pin plate - #18, and relieve the energy stored in the springs.
Lets get started
Jack up the front of the car and place jackstands under each side of the car. Remove the front wheels. Working on one side of the car at a time, remove the bolts holding the damper blade - #22 and the blade block - #24 to the chassis. Remove the bolt on the king pin plate that attaches to the strut - #29, and loosen the bolt that attaches the strut to the chassis. Now the strut can be swung out of the way. Replace one of the king pin plate bolts with one of the pieces of threaded rod. Screw 2 nuts on the top of the rod and jam them together. Screw another nut on from the bottom of the rod, until it just touches the lower plate - #18. Repeat this process with the other bolt and nut on the lower plate. Now remove the king pin oil line from the upper king pin bolt - #16.
Back off the king pin bolt -#16, but do not remove it completely. Alternating between each of the 2 nuts (on the bottom of the king pin plate), unscrew each nut a couple of turns. Repeat this until the king pin bolt can be lifted out. However, don't remove the king pin bolt as it will help prevent the king pin assembly from slipping and shooting the main spring out. Continue unscrewing the 2 lower bolts until the king pin assembly is basically free. When you are ready to pull the upper spring, remove the king pin bolt. After the king pin is lowered, there is still some energy stored in the springs. I suggest placing a pillow on top of the upper spring just before pulling it off. This will limit any damage if the spring gets away from you.
To remove the old bushings from the stub axle will require a puller. For some of them I was able to us a hook on a slide hammer. Some may have to be pressed out, others may have to be cut out. (I had to use all three methods).
Once the old bushings are removed, the diameter of the tube should be measured. I machined the new bushings to the inside diameter (of the tube) plus 2/1000 of an inch to make the bushings a "force fit" and installed each one.
After all the bushings are installed, they must be reamed to mate with the respective king pins.
If you are going to replace the rubber dust cover, ensure
the bottom of the metal dust cover (top hat) - #17 is round. Place
it on a mandrel and tap it gently with a hammer. Next remove
the "rubber" (neoprene) bushings and clean the inside of the
tube with sand paper. Insert the bushing into the tube, and
cut the inside to fit on the king pins. Remove the bushing
and coat the inside of the tube with Vaseline or oil. Insert the
"rubber" bushing from the bottom of the tube until the bottom
of the bushing is about 1/4" into the tube. Now coat the inside
of the "rubber" bushing with Vaseline or oil to allow the king
pin to slide in easily.
What happens if either the upper or lower suspension tube were to break while you were driving the car? Here's an idea that I heard of after I finished rebuilding my front end.
While the King Pins are out, place a new (smaller) pipe inside both the upper and lower horizontal tubes of the front subframe. If the outer tube were to break, the inner should hold the suspension together until you get stopped. The inner tubes can be held in place to keep it from rattling around, in a couple of ways.
Tighten the upper kingpin bolt, reattach the king pin oil line, the install the blade dampener guides on the chassis, drag link, and shock absorber.
Enjoy your Morgan
Exploded view of the front end
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