Morgan Suspension Upgrades

Morgan Suplex suspension

If you're thinking about improving the suspension on your 'classic' Morgan, be it for better handling or improved comfort, this article will provide a few pointers.

Many owners of ‘classic’ Morgans love their car to bits, and think the way it handles and drives is just fine and nothing needs to change.  Indeed, with a suspension system that’s proved its worth over many decades, why change?

But for others, the rather old design of suspension is the rationale for making changes…

What’s proposed here is intended for normal road use, ‘fast road’ use, or occasional track days.

So if you’re looking to improve your Morgan’s suspension, it’s worth thinking about:

Adjustable shock absorbers

These are worth fitting if you are looking for better handling but are unlikely to give a noticeably softer ride.  There are a number of quality makes on the market, but make sure you choose a set that are easily adjustable when on the car, e.g. Spax or AVO.

Telescopic shock absorber conversion kit

The earlier Morgans (up to 1992) are fitted with lever arm shock absorbers at the rear.  Fitting a conversion kit to replace these shock absorbers with telescopic shocks will give improvements in ride comfort and handling.

Panhard rod

This helps provide lateral location of the rear axle and reduces the tendency for the axle to move sideways under spirited cornering.

Anti-tramp bars

Normally fitted in pairs to the rear axle, and on the higher powered Morgans keep the axle in place and stops it trying to twist around its axis under hard acceleration which gives ‘tramping’

So what is tramping?  When power is applied suddenly, e.g. from a standing start, the rear leaf springs tend to wind up into an 'S' shape, and then revert to normal in a series of hops.  This is 'tramping'.  Anti tramp bars restrict flexing of the front half of the leaf spring under extreme loadings, and so deprived of its natural twisting motion the axle can no longer 'tramp'.

Tramping sounds horrible and reduces the ability of the rear wheels to effectively put down the power.

Unlikely to be needed on standard 4/4s and +4s, but recommended for tuned cars and the larger engined Morgans (+4 Supersports and Roadster come fitted with them as standard).

Brake reaction stays

Stop the front chassis crossframe distorting under heavy braking which in turn can cause steering judder.

Steering bearing conversion kit

This uses roller bearings between the bottoms of the front springs and the front hubs, to give lighter and smoother steering on the cars built before 2008.

Suplex suspension

The Suplex front suspension kit makes a real difference to the ride comfort.
 
One of the key advantages of the kit is its progressive or 'rising rate' springing.  This means soft spring rates to smooth out the little bumps and ripples in the road surface, with the spring rates becoming progressively stiffer as suspension travel increases over larger bumps.

This variable springing combined with the kit's uprated Bilstein shock absorbers, ensures better ride quality and improved handling.

The kit also includes roller bearings for the front hubs which can help make the steering lighter.

Negative camber plates and uprated springs

We’re now starting to get into specialist areas which are arguably more applicable to cars doing serious track days or racing.  As an owner you’ll need to know what you want in terms of handling and fine tuning of suspension.  These upgrades are more bespoke to an individual driver and their car, and are not as ‘generic’ as the other suggestions above.

In conclusion

When it comes to steering and suspension, different Morgans and their owners will be looking for, or needing, different results.  Not all of the above will be needed on every car, nor does all upgrade work need to be done at once.

We’re always happy to talk through options, offer advice, and provide estimates on costs.  So if you’d like some help or discuss options further, then please call on 01234 750205 or email john@allonwhite.co.uk