Upgrading Morgan Brakes

Although most Morgan owners are very happy with the standard brakes on their cars, we do receive a lot of questions about what upgrades might be worth considering.

So this Blog article briefly takes a look at some of the options available and what's worth doing.

Basically, there are 3 factors that affect how well brakes perform:

Read on for some of our thoughts on how these factors can be influenced on Morgans.  The prices shown are guide ones (as of January ’14), include VAT and are for parts only.  Please contact us for prices to supply and fit and more information on what’s included in the upgrade kits.

In an attempt to keep this article readable we haven’t gone into huge amounts of detail – be it about the physics of braking or the options for Morgans.  But if you want to discuss further and test out our knowledge(!) just call 01234 750205 or email john@allonwhite.co.uk

The cheapest upgrade is just to change brake pads.  This can give a better feel or ‘bite’ when applying brakes and upgraded pad materials can also be more resistant to brake fade.  From £45

Fitting braided brake hoses to replace the standard rubber hoses, is beneficial in terms of giving a firmer pedal feel under hard braking.  Price £75

Brake fluid should be changed on a regular basis – preferably every couple of years or more frequently if doing track days or ‘serious’ driving.

Under hard braking, the front cross frame of classic Morgans can flex and cause steering judder – unpleasant and it can upset handling.  Fitting ‘brake reaction stays’ helps prevent this and is essential if fitting uprated front brakes.  Price £45

Morgans are very light cars, and this coupled with weight transfer under braking means it’s the front brakes that do most of the work.  There’s no need therefore to upgrade the rear brakes (unless doing serious racing!) even if they’re the rather unfashionable drums fitted to all ‘classic’ Morgans.

Morgans built prior to 1992 don’t normally have servos and this means the pedal pressure needed to stop the car quickly can be very high.  Although servos can be fitted, this is time-consuming and tricky (and hence expensive) as there’s not much room to retro fit a servo.

For pre 1992 Morgans, replacing the 2 pot (i.e. 2 piston) front brake calipers with 4 pot calipers allows brake pads with significantly increased surface area and this gives much improved braking for less pedal pressure (and is an easier and arguably more effective route to go than trying to fit a servo). Price £435

From 1992, larger diameter vented 300mm front discs can be fitted (normal diameter is 280mm) to classic Morgans and this increase in diameter allows greater braking force.  The venting aids cooling and so reduces brake fade.  Price £575

For the later classic Morgans (typically from 2007) new 4 pot calipers have to be fitted with the 300mm discs as the standard calipers won’t fit.  These new calipers can also be worth fitting to the cars from 1992 onwards as the original calipers will be getting rather long in the tooth and so at the very least needing reconditioning.

The 300mm discs and new 4 pot callipers provide front brakes to the same specification as used by Morgan on the ‘Baby Doll’ racers.  Price £935

Front brake discs can be cross drilled or grooved which can help keep the discs clean of brake dust and reduce the build up of hot gases between pad and disc (which gives brake fade).  Price £50

For Series 1 Aero 8s, 335mm diameter vented discs are available (normal diameter 330mm) and these are combined with 6 pot calipers that give 30% greater brake pad area than the 4 pot calipers fitted as standard.  This upgrade which provides a most useful improvement in performance, results in a brake specification similar to that used on the rather special Aero GTNs.  Price £1,650