Help/advice needed rebuilding a 1937 Series One

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Colin Bray
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Help/advice needed rebuilding a 1937 Series One

Post by Colin Bray »

I bought a 1937 Series One in July which needs completely rebuilding and was hoping some members may be able to give advice. Originally the car was registered BNP 986 but was brought over to Toronto in 1971 I think. It was never registered as a running car in Ontario as far as I know. The car was sold to a fellow member of the Morgan Sports Car Club of Canada a couple of years ago and I bought it from him. There are photos of the car in one of the Morgan books as it was at the first MSCC meeting in England in the mid 50s.

Something must have happened to the original engine because it was replaced with a Ford E93A engine, however, it came with an original Morgan Coventry Climax engine which the owner intended to put in the car. This is engine number MA687 which came from car 4/4 546 according to the engine plate. The engine had been completely dismantled about ten years ago with a view to having it rebuilt but a hairline crack was found in the centre camshaft journal which I am told requires a sleeve to be made and the journal to be welded to add strength. I've no idea where and if I can get this done in Ontario. I've also no idea how the engine goes back together, some of it is not obvious.

Recently I managed to purchase another Morgan Coventry Climax engine in California but when it arrived discovered the engine plate was missing and the area had been covered with a slightly larger aluminium cover bolted onto the block. When this was removed we found the block was cracked, probably from coolant being allowed to freeze. I've found a place that may be able to cut the area out and weld a new piece in. the big issue is whether either block will take a weld, apparently it is hit or miss on engine castings of this age. The good thing is this engine is all together so I can take it apart and see what goes where.

I visited the great Series One guru George Proudfoot not long after I bought the car and he strongly suggests I replace the white metal Babbitt main bearings with modern shells, however I'm not sure how to go about this. It will have to be done by an expert engine machinist but would appreciate some advice on what to ask for. For example, does anyone know what shells from what car may be suitable?

The body is off and the front and rear suspension off, chassis repaired and back from the sandblaster this weekend. I noticed one of the rear brakes was covered in oil so the rear oil seal needs to be replaced. I'd like to replace them both sides and maybe the bearings too. Can anyone tell me the size for both and what else it may have come from?

The car is largely complete although I am looking for a few small items which I will ultimately need.

I can tell members a lot more about the car if interested.

Colin Bray (Toronto)

Robert Sandford
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Re: Help/advice needed rebuilding a 1937 Series One

Post by Robert Sandford »

Hi again Colin, 're the rebuild of your Coventry Climax, you could convert to shell bearings by using the services of Pheonix of Slough, they would provide a new hardened crankshaft and new rods obviously this would be fairly expensive.
When I rebuilt my own climax I entrusted the work to Formall vintage Racing of Fordingbridge Hampshire.
Terry uses a white metal called Hoyt for his bearings and offers a life of the engine written guarantee that the bearings will not fail, they also carried out some machining work on my engine , I have been very pleased with the work .
I Realise that you are looking to get the work carried out in Canada, cannot help you there but hopefully someone on this forum can.
All the best

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