August Update

It has been a while since my last post. A draft announcement for the completion was already ready. But the truth is – a major “f&$k up” occurred and it is my own fault. The already happened last month – it just took me a while to digest it all and make it “public” here.

While I completely underestimated the time required to get the finishing touches done – a lot of progress was made during my vacation back in July. Battling with the dashboard and Lucas indicator stalks, crafting covers for the Rutherford rear suspension, cleaning wire wheels – I crossed off one unpleasant task after the other from my ToDo list.

My goal was to take part in a regional Morgan Club Deutschland meeting in Oberpleis – 35km away from home on the last day of July. Before going there, the new Lucas indicator stalk caused me a bit of headache and a couple short circuits. I decided to go back to the old indicators stalk – which is in a pity state, but at least it works. Another item on my task list were the new covers I need for the Rutherford rear suspension. After bleeding the brakes another time, fixing the passenger door alignment, installing durable dots for the weather equipment, fiddling around with the Weber to reduced the idle revs – I was finally ready to go – 30 minutes before the meeting started.

And the engine sounded great. The first few kilometer driving through city traffic went flawless. To cross the river Rhine – I had to take the Autobahn A565. There was quite a bit of traffic and I drove carefully because I wanted everything to set it properly.

Just after crossing the North bridge – a loud, unexpected bang and blocking rear wheels led to an abrupt, unpleasant full stop on the middle of the Autobahn without a service lane. In hindsight, I was so lucky that nobody crashed into me. At first I could not get neutral engaged- so moving the car was impossible. It felt like an eternity until the police and the ADAC showed up.

The police blocked the traffic from behind- I was able to get the car into neutral and we pushed it to an emergency lane pieced a new hundred meters down the road. About an hour later the ADAC dropped me and the Morgan back at my garage. Initially I had the feeling that the gearbox caused the issue. But, the root caused was easily identified on the next day. And while it is embarrassing, stupid and painful – it is my fault that I did never investigated properly where the oil drops on my garage floor came from over the last couple month.

To my defense: The rented 25 square meter garage always had a pretty dirty floor with lots of oil stains on it. And over the last 8 month since I dropped the rear axle onto the chassis – the car moved around on the dolly to various spots – just as I needed the space. Looking back – I even remember to have cleaned up oil from the floor after moving the chassis for the first time – but I thought that I just spilled it while filling up the axle. After I drove the Morgan to the paint-shop they complained about oil under the car – but at that time I thought that this was engine oil due to the missing oil pressure gauge. My assumption is that on the first couple drives – the gearbox oil drain screw started leaking. It is entirely my carelessness that I never double checked it after getting it back from the UK.

Well – it doesn’t help. The loud noise was caused by the rear axle locking up. And this in turn was caused by loosing most of the gearbox oil through the lower drain plug over the last couple month which I did not double check. As mentioned: it is painful and embarrassing but I need to be true to myself – it is my own fault that I a) never thought of the rear axle oil and b) never checked the drain plug again after installing the axle on the chassis.

So – after my vacation I ended up doing the task I wanted to avoid: Removing the rear axle from the Morgan with the body on the chassis. Not that this task is impossible. As a matter of fact – it turned to be easier than I expected and only took me 6 hours in total. Nevertheless – it is something you clearly don’t want to do. The visual inspections after I go the axle on my bench is not as bad as I feared. Maybe I just killed the inner and outer pinion bearings. Well, I will drop of the Salisbury 7HA next month at JB Engineering and hopefully Billy can fix it.

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