I have owned for the past four
years a low mileage unrestored and original 1936
Morris 12/4 fixed head coupe. I am only the third
owner. This car is frequently admired at rallies
but my comments have invariably been "It's
a devil to drive, I am never quite sure which
direction it is going in next".
The first clue to the trouble
was when Peter Bowen kindly sent me an extract
from from a 1933 'Motor' magazine describing the
function of the Wilmot Stabilising bumper , previously
I found difficult to believe that a bumper could
have anything to do with the steering.
the bumper assembly I discovered that an important
packing piece between a chassis bolt and flat
spring had been replaced by a crudely shaped
ineffective piece of wood , thereby causing
the flat spring to serve no useful purpose,
also the nuts holding the lead weights to the
end of the springs were loose, canceling any
benefit from the bumper bar. All this has been
rectified with an almost unbelievable improvement
in steering and handling.
After reading Peter Jupes letter
I checked the Morris, the thick ends of the wedges
were to the front. I double checked on a complete
spare front suspension and steering assembly that
I have, again the thick ends were to the front.
Finally I found a description
of Castor Angle in an early volume of Arthur W
Judge's "The Modern Motor Engineer"
and sure enough it confirms that the thin end
should be at the front, i.e. The action is different
to what I had believed, the wheels are pushed
into line and not dragged as they are on furniture.
The wedges have now been reversed with an even
greater improvement in steering, so much so that
I can enjoy the fantastic Welsh scenery instead
of battling with a lively monster. One cannot
help wondering if someone on the original assembly
line also thought on my lines.
Sheldon- Llandysul, Dyfed
seems that most people know how to correctly fit
a new flywheel ring gear, but many have trouble
removing the old gear. The easiest method is to
hacksaw from the base of one gear tooth as far
as possible, without actually cutting into the
flywheel, then, with a chisel in the sawcut, split
the ring gear open. These gears should never be
the article on spring problems quite interesting
, as in almost every case that I have heard of
where Denzo tape has been used to bind up the
springs, when it has finally been removed there
has been a broken leaf or leaves. I am not qualified
to explain, but have always wondered if they have
been bound to hide the breaks in the first place!
Recently I changed the rear springs
on my own very hard working Series I saloon, which
have been on since 1984 and have done about 90,000
miles, expecting to have to have them reconditioned.
I was surprised to find that they were in exceptionally
good condition, with only one eye showing signs
of wear, and that not sufficient to warrant any
attention. They have now been fitted to a car
that is being rebuilt.
Maintenance during this time
has been more or less regular greasing of the
shackles and the very occasional clean with an
oily rag, usually before the Club's International
Rally. In all this time I have never had a spring
break, despite the car often being very heavily
laden. Crown wheel and pinion, yes, springs, no.