31 Oct

Morgan to Reinvent Itself with High-Performance Sports Car (www.autocar.co.uk)

30 October 2018

[This article seems to have a few more specifics that help clarify the reported new offering.  Things I picked out include (1) coupé and roadster, with gasoline or electric drive, (2) in house design (3) bonded aluminum chassis, similar to Aero 8, (4) standard front engine, rear drive, (5) forced induction (turbo or supercharged?) and manual or automatic transmission, (6) traditional bodied application this coming soon (2019) (a new I-6 turbo Roadster perhaps?) and (7) chassis looks to be long enough to handle an inline 6 cylinder engine.  See picture.  Cheers, Mark] 

All-new two-seat coupé and roadster are under way to take Morgan into the future

Jon Wells (left) is leading the design team on the new car

Morgan is working on an all-new high-performance sports car flagship that will both reinforce its reputation for classic design and move it on a couple of decades, notionally into the Jaguar E-Type era.

The new car, which will be made in both coupé and roadster forms , follows several years of research into what a traditionally minded 109-year-old car company should do next, without threatening its successful classic model range.  It is being created in-house by design and engineering teams that now total around 30 people as a result of recent, well-targeted investment.

The new hand-made flagship’s first iteration is understood to be a two-door, two-seat coupé that should appear in the mid-2020s, estimated to be priced near the level of an Aston Martin V8 Vantage.  It will use a new architecture with the classic Morgan front-engine, rear-drive layout and continue the marque’s tradition for compact dimensions and light weight, while utilising the latest in chassis and powertrain engineering.

Morgan bosses are coy about revealing the new car’s performance and power, not least because it will have several different powertrains, including electrified variants, over its life.  Early versions are likely to use a downsized, forced-induction six-cylinder petrol engine producing 350bhp-plus, driving through either a manual six-speed or paddle-shift automatic gearbox .

Performance is likely to be close to Plus 8 levels, which means a top speed of 150mph-plus and 0-60mph acceleration in the 4.5sec bracket.

The new car’s key structural element will be its new-era bonded and riveted box-section chassis in aluminium , created specifically for versatility in multiple applications.

This chassis, under final development now in Morgan’s workshops, will have its first production application next year in a model that uses the brand’s current classic architecture , to be launched as part of Morgan’s forthcoming 110th-anniversary celebrations.

Previous premium-level Morgans also used a bespoke aluminium chassis, but that design was created in 2000 and has been much modified since to meet current legislation. Morgan believes the new design can provide the right basis for its pricier models for the next decade, and probably beyond.

Morgan managing director Steve Morris said the new flagship shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for the Aero or Plus 8 models, recently discontinued after Morgan’s supply contract for normally aspirated 4.8-litre BMW V8s ended.  Rather, it is an early result of several years’ study into how the company should shape its future.

The new chassis is the first tangible sign of this, said Morris. It is very similar in weight and dimensions to the Aero’s outgoing structure but twice as stiff. It can also provide comfortable driving for both bigger and smaller people than existing Morgans, hence its internal description as “the wide-bodied car”.

It can also cope with the predicted demands of electrification, which might, for example, require the car to carry sizeable traction batteries and provide space in its centre-rear chassis for electric drive motors.

Design head Jon Wells said shaping the new Morgan requires integrating traditional Morgan values into a new look that moves forward in era.

One model in Morgan’s design history that faced a similar challenge is the Plus 4 Plus of 1962, a coupé that set out to modernise Morgan and is widely admired today for its beauty.  Only 26 copies were sold, mainly because the company’s marketing people (at the time dealing with enormous demand for their roadsters) unrealistically priced it alongside the then-new Jaguar E-Type.

The Plus 4 Plus was “neither classic nor modern”, said Wells, but made the bold move of ditching Morgan’s tradition for running boards.

Wells believes Morgan’s design palette is wider than most people think, aided by elements of the Plus 4 Plus, the Aero and Aeromax, and the recently revitalised 3 Wheeler.

Among desirable Morgan design traits, he lists a short front overhang, a longer rear overhang with a low rear deck [this seems backwards, shouldn’t we see a long front with short back?] , round headlights, the driver located behind the car’s centre line, a rounded ‘mouth’, elegant front wings whose highest point is over the car’s front wheels and, above all, a look of coachbuilt authenticity, enhanced by great care with surfacing and positioning of shutlines.

“Our task is to take the charm of classic motoring and make it relevant,” Wells said, “so that it can be respected and desired as a good piece of modern design.”

Morgan has great timing: 

Morgan’s decision to take time over launching a new range of flagship models looks extremely wise, given that it has just had its best car-selling year in 109 years.

In today’s uncertain conditions, it must be reassuring to be selling models whose appeal is a given, and which face no head-to-head rivals. If it keeps making the classics, the Malvern company is almost bound to stay healthy. This is also a nice moment for a new flagship. The outgoing Aero leaves a gap ready to be filled by something different. Design head Jon Wells knows the brand and its customers well and is at the height of his powers. Those of us who know and love Morgan have often wondered how this unique brand can progress. Over the next few years, we’re going to find out.

30 Oct

Morgan Working on All-New Model (www.pistonheads.com)

October 30, 2018

Electric-ready aluminium architecture and 150mph-plus performance set to characterise new era for Morgan.

Morgan may have recently announced that development of its electric three-wheel EV3, has been indefinitely halted, but the manufacturer does have more up its sleeve than special editions and bicycles.  That’s if reports in Autocar are to be believed, at any rate, the publication claiming that a 30 strong design and engineering team is currently working on an all-new model.

Touted to be released in the mid-2020s, the hand-made two-door, two-seater is predicted to initially be powered by a turbocharged six-cylinder motor producing 350hp-plus. Additional body styles – including a convertible – and powertrains – including electrified variants – are expected to follow, though all will be based on the same new front-engined, rear-wheel drive platform currently being developed.

We won’t have to wait quite as long to see that platform as we will to get a glimpse of the rest of the car, though; the chassis is set for its debut in a more recognisable Morgan next year as part of the marque’s 110th anniversary celebrations.

Despite its historic grounding and traditional techniques Morgan, like any manufacturer, will need to take steps to future-proof itself in the face of a rapidly changing industry. The incredible success of the Aero GT and 50th Anniversary V8 has seen revenue has rise by 19 per cent to £36 million in the past year, leaving the company in as strong a position as ever to take the significant step of creating a brand-new base upon which future models can be constructed.

The lightweight aluminium architecture in question will be comparable to the Aero’s in terms of weight and dimensions, but is said to be twice as stiff.  This will not only provide additional flexibility in terms of accommodating occupants more comfortably within the vehicle, but also when it comes to housing the hybrid gubbins associated with the expected electrified iterations of the car.

Obviously, the chassis and powertrain aren’t the only considerations for the Malvern-based manufacturer, with styling also vital to the success of the brand.  To that end, Head of Design Jon Wells states that his task is, “to take the charm of classic motoring and make it relevant, so that it can be respected and desired as a good piece of modern design.”  To do so he’ll draw on elements of the Plus 4 Plus, Aero and Aeromax, as well as the 3 Wheeler, stating that a short front overhang, round headlights and a driver located behind the car’s centre line are among his priorities.

Despite Managing Director Steve Morris’s claim that the new flagship shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for the recently discontinued Aero, its retirement from the range undoubtedly leaves room for a successor.  With a 4.5-second 0-60 time and a top speed in excess of 150mph projected, and pricing expected to be similar to that of Aston Martin’s latest Vantage, we’re certainly excited to see what form that car takes.

 

 

30 Oct

Morgan EV3 Development Halted (www.pistonheads.com)

Oct 10, 2018

British firm wants to “bolster” its EV team before integrating electric technology into the 3 Wheeler.

Development of the all-electric Morgan EV3 has been halted due to contractual disagreements with powertrain supplier, Frazer Nash. Morgan said that although it “remains committed to an electric future,” it has shelved the EV3 project until it gains “more EV know-how inside [its] Malvern headquarters”, suggesting more of the development could be brought in-house.

You’ll remember that the British firm’s first electric model was previewed in a concept back in 2015 before being evolved to prototype level the following year, along with a promise that a run of 19 cars would be produced in late 2018. But the company had expected Frazer Nash’s supply of hardware to be simply integrated and quickly turned moved to “turn key” level.

Managing director Steve Morris told Autocar that “our current EV powertrain supplier is no longer able to fulfil the project within the terms of the contract”, but no further explanation has been provided for the decision.

Meanwhile Frazer-Nash Energy Systems’ managing director, Noamaan Siddiqui, agreed that the deal had failed “for a number of contractual reasons”, but said that prototypes his company had built were “very promising”.  Part of the firm was recently liquidated, but, according to Companies House, it continues to operate with several new projects.

We therefore live in hope that a little more work will bring this cool open-air electric experience to market. Due with an expected 120-mile range, the EV3 mixes the latest electric technology with retro design and details. Until the project picks up pace again and sales eventually begin, though, we’ll just have to make do with the pulsing, loud and oh-so-characterful V-twin motor version.  Poor us…

 

 

25 Oct

Morgan Motor Company Announces ‘110 ANNIVERSARY’ Models

Morgan Motor Company introduces a range of ‘110 Anniversary’ models ahead of their 110th anniversary in 2019.

Each ‘110 Anniversary’ model will carry unique celebratory badging, signifying its importance as a 110 edition vehicle 2019 marks 110 years of the Morgan Motor Company, a landmark milestone for the Malvern based company, which remains privately owned by the Morgan family.

The ‘110 Anniversary’ models have been introduced in preparation for the anniversary year. Each edition will be available with a specially selected range of options, included at no extra cost to the customer.

The current Morgan range includes the 4/4, Plus 4, Roadster and 3 Wheeler.

The Morgan Motor Company is excited to announce the first in a number of celebrations for its 110th anniversary year in 2019, which will see a series of ‘110 Anniversary’ models added to the line-up.

Each of the ‘110 Anniversary’ models benefit from unique badging,  denoting their significance as 110th year models, as well as an extensive list of specially selected performance and styling options included at no extra cost.

In addition to performance and styling options, a new range of standard colours has also been introduced. In addition to the ‘Sport Range’ of colours, there is now a ‘Classic Range’ and ‘Metallic Range’, which includes a selection of colours chosen by Morgan Design.  These colours reflect some of the most popular Morgan colours throughout the company’s history, as well as some personal favourites hand-picked by Morgan’s design team.

A mix of performance and visual enhancements are also offered with each ‘110 Anniversary’ model. A front valance, rear exit sports exhaust and leather bonnet strap stand out as the more purposeful and race inspired options for Plus 4 and Roadster.

Interior trim and detail enhancements include a leather or wood rimmed Moto-Lita steering wheel, performance seats, a mohair hood pack and any choice of Yarwood leather, also available across Plus 4 and Roadster. In addition, customers will also have the option to have the ‘110 Anniversary’ logo embroidered on their headrest in matching or contrasting stitch-work, further signifying the special nature of their new Morgan. All of these options are available at no extra cost.

As well as the Plus 4 and Roadster, the 3 Wheeler also receives a selection of interior and exterior ‘110 Anniversary’ options at no extra cost. For the interior, quilted leather stitching, centre split seats, storage pockets and a mohair tonneau cover are now all included.

Stand out exterior options for the 3 Wheeler comprise any solid colour from the newly introduced colour ranges, black roll hoops, black exhaust heat shields and a body coloured engine cowl.

The announcement of the ‘110 Anniversary’ model changes for 2019 is the first in a series of announcements Morgan will make in their 110th year, their most significant milestone since the 2009 centenary.

“It is an immense pleasure and an honour to lead the Morgan Motor Company as we approach such a significant milestone in our history. We are delighted to be thriving as a privately owned, British, family owned automotive manufacturer, and in our 110th year of business are stronger than ever. Milestones such as a 110th anniversary offer everyone associated with the brand an opportunity for reflection, as well as an opportunity for us to offer even more to our customers. The ‘110 Edition’ vehicles are the beginning of our celebrations, and we look forward to making further exciting announcements throughout 2019.”

Steve Morris, Managing Director, Morgan Motor Company

110 ANNIVERSARY NO COST OPTIONS FOR 3 WHEELER INCLUDE:

  • 110 Anniversary Bonnet Badges
  • Any colour from the Morgan Sport or Classic Range
  • Body Coloured Engine Cowl
  • Mohair Tonneau
  • Black Roll Hoops
  • Black Exhaust Heat Shields
  • Quilted Leather Stitching
  • Leather Storage Pockets
  • Centre Split Leather Seats
  • 110 Anniversary Bonnet Badges
  • Any colour from the Morgan Sport or Classic Range
  • Front Valance – Babydoll Style
  • Mohair Hood Pack
  • Choice of any Yarwood Leather
  • Contrasting Stitching
  • Embroidered Headrests – Morgan or 110 Anniversary logo
  • Coloured piping – Seats and carpets
  • Aero Racing: Chrome Interior Mirror
  • Aero Racing: Leather Bonnet Strap With Chrome Buckle
  • Aero Racing: Choice of Two Moto-Lita Steering Wheels
  • Aero Racing: Rear Exit Sports Exhaust System (Cat Back)
  • 110 Anniversary Bonnet Badges
  • Any colour from the Morgan Sport or Classic Range
  • Front Valance – Babydoll Style
  • Mohair Hood Pack
  • Choice of any Yarwood Leather
  • Performance Seats
  • Contrasting Stitching
  • Embroidered Headrests – Morgan or 110 Anniversary logo
  • Coloured piping – Seats and carpets
  • Aero Racing: Chrome Interior Mirror
  • Aero Racing: Leather Bonnet Strap With Chrome Buckle
  • Aero Racing: Choice of Two Moto-Lita Steering Wheels
  • Aero Racing: Rear Exit Sports Exhaust System
27 Sep

Analog adrenaline: taking the Morgan Plus 4 for a drive (https://news.abs-cbn.com/ancx/drive – 9/27/18)

Driving aids are overrated, so we take the vintage-inspired Morgan Plus 4 for an exciting drive, free of computer control.

[With all the fervor about the new ‘component’ cars being brought in by dealers it is hard not to loose sight of the other way to get a newer Morgan into the US legally, the 25 Year Old car law.  We already have two Plus 8s (1990 and 1989) and one  Plus 4 (1994) registered right here in Florida.  I am being challenged by new power trains and new technologies every day.  What is that they say about ‘old dogs and new tricks’??  Cheers, Mark]

Real driving excitement is endangered. Many modern vehicles prohibit reckless abandon with the help of safety systems like motor-driven power steering, traction control, stability control, and ABS. In sportier vehicles, features like launch control, corner brake control, and torque vectoring compensate for all the fun that’s been taken away by safety imperatives—though always under the watchful eyes of the on-board computer.

Yet, this illusion of control is no substitute for the connectedness and dash of unpredictability that old cars, bereft of modern safety systems, used to provide. Pure, unadulterated driving fun may be harder to find these days, but it’s far from extinct. One vehicle where it resides quite comfortably in is the Morgan Plus 4.

The Morgan Motor Company, Ltd. was founded by Henry Frederick Stanley “HFS” Morgan in 1909. The railway worker left his job and designed and built a car for his own use. That very company continues to operate to this day, closely adhering to the founder’s ideals. Far from typical automotive companies that produced vehicles to reach production targets, Morgan pursued craftsmanship and performance in creating his vehicles.

As a result, his first vehicle, a three-wheeler powered by a V-twin engine, offered little more than personal mobility and lower road tax, since it was classified as a motorcycle. In spite of competition from small cars like the Austin 7 and the original Morris Minor, the company soldiered on, eventually introducing the Plus 4, a four-cylinder, four-wheeled vehicle in 1952. Morgan took its time introducing variants and new models in the years that followed, launching the retro-futuristic Aero in 2000 and the reincarnation of the Three-Wheeler in 2011. Nevertheless, the low production numbers allowed the company to focus on quality, craftsmanship, and excitement that the vehicles continue to be known for today.

The beauty about Morgans is they’re built only after a customer has placed an order. This includes choosing from 40,000 possible colors and a dizzying array of upholstery and other options. Only then is the Morgan built, not by assembly line, but part by part. Wooden forms are stenciled, sawed, shaped, and joined to make parts of the car. Aluminum sheets are not stamped but hammered and molded over the wooden frames. Chassis are not moved by conveyor belt but rolled along on dollies. Vehicles are spray-painted by hand, not by a robot. Each component is fitted by hand, inspected and fixed if necessary. Finally, each vehicle is individually road tested to ensure they are worthy of being called a Morgan. In essence, Morgans are still constructed in the same way vehicles were built at the turn of the century.

That fully manual process manifests itself in several parts of the car: the way the leather belt over the hood is frayed along its length, the beautiful welding marks along the windshield frame that are flattened but not erased, the imperfection in the stitching of the seats, letting you know it passed through caring hands.

As for the drive, the Morgan is not perfect either, but it’s also uncensored. No traction control, ABS, or stability to save you from mistakes. This vehicle is not for the uninitiated. The throttle response is instant, with its precious burble resonated, not muted, by the muffler. The steering is slow, taking some turns to conquer a 90-degree turn. Yet it’s also this effort that helps you appreciate how hard cornering is. Or you can always let the back end come out and do more of the work for you. The transmission is short and crisp. After all, it’s sourced from a Mazda Miata. The ride is harsh, but nonetheless planted, giving better feedback on how slippery or sticky the road surface is. And, of course, there will be a lot of wind coming into the cabin, just to let you know how fast you’re going.

All told, the Morgan is uncomfortable, twitchy, and a little bit scary. It’s clearly not an everyday car. But the few days you take it out, preferably on a twisty mountain road, will be the most exhilarating drives of your life. Driving excitement may be endangered but, quite appropriately, it takes a dinosaur like the Morgan Plus 4 to remind us why this freedom has become such a rare and exclusive treasure.

20 Sep

1990 4/4 4 Passenger Morgan for Sale !! (As of 20 Sep 2018)

Hello, it is with great regret that Jill and I are selling our 1990 4/4 4 passenger Morgan.

  • A recent Brit import with Alabama title in hand, RHD.
  • Powered by a 1600cc Ford escort SOHC motor, 100 hp. Transmission is a Ford T9 5 speed with overdrive 5th, Cruises easily at 75 on freeway.
  • Color is BRG w/ bone interior. have top, side curtains, tonneau, and boot cover.
  • Chrome wire wheels w/new Avon tires. Has sst luggage rack and wind wings as well. Only 48130 miles from new.
  • No rust w/ Aluminum body
  • Car is in excellent condition, looks good, drive anywhere. Located in NE Alabama near Gadsden. Asking $30,000.

Skip Nunnally

256-413-1928, or 256-390-2817

04 Sep

Fettling with the 2005 Roadster Air Conditioner

It’s hot in Florida and most Morgan outings are top down.  But when it rains, and it does that daily, you have to put the top up.   Being in a Morgan with the top up, in Florida, is hot, very hot and humid.  But, I have air conditioning in the Roadster.  Yeah, right!

Well, the Roadster air conditioner is the subject of many jokes, and none of them are good.  If Morgan didn’t provide air conditioning, we would have suffered on, as we had before, but since the car supposedly came with ‘Air Conditioning’ we thought we were saved.   Not so.  It doesn’t work and if it does, it doesn’t work very well.

Turning On the 2005 Roadster Air Conditioning

The actual air conditioner lines are high pressure lines and are metal.

They go into an air condition assembly box on the car’s firewall.  This assembly box also houses the car’s heater core (sort of looks like a small radiator) and the heater / air conditioning fan.  The assembly box is covered with some sort of temperature insulating material that is silver-ish.

There is a knob about the size of a nickel near the upper right corner of the air condition assembly box (labeled as Condenser Knob, above, and shown as a red dot.)  This knob is supposed to be fully rotated clockwise.  This insures the air conditioning ‘compressor’ is not turned OFF.  It is rumored that some cars simply had this knob set somewhat counter-clockwise and the air conditioning didn’t work.

Also, inside the car, there is large rotating knob under the dash on the passenger side (LHD) that goes from Hot (Marked in RED) to Cold (Marked in BLUE).  There is also a switch under the dash on the drivers’ side (LHD) labeled with a snow flake (for air conditioning).  One side of the switch shows a vertical bar ‘|’ for ON and the other an ‘O’ for OFF.

  • Rotate the ‘compressor’ knob (the small knob on the outside of the air conditioner assembly box.) fully clockwise.
  • Rotate the large knob (inside the car, under the dash) to the BLUE side
  • Turn the air conditioning switch (inside the car, under the dash) to the ON position (e.g. with the vertical bar ‘|’ for ON).
  • Turn on the fan switch, which is inside the car, on the dash, to low or high.  (It is a two position switch.)

When I do all this, I get semi-cool air blowing into the cockpit.  Certainly, insufficient for the Florida heat and humidity.  It is not new car cold air, more like really old car cool air (someone said tepid).

So What Now?

I tried starting the air conditioning a few times, hoping for a different outcome each time.  Nope the same each time, nadda, still tepid air.

I studied the schematics and stared at the car.  I found a few things I thought I could do.  There are two coolant hoses taking hot coolant from the engine, running it through the heater core (little radiator) to provide the heat for the heater.  (They are shown in purple in the schematic above.)

The fan (switch to turn the fan on and off is located on the dash) blows air through this hot heater core into the car’s cockpit.  The air blown by the fan comes from the hot engine air leaving the forward bonnet louvers and then goes back into the engine bay via the rearward (near the windshield) louvers on the bonnet.  This air then goes into the top of the air conditioning assembly box.

This is the air that is used by the heater / air conditioning systems.  Hot air is fine for the heater but isn’t too good for the air conditioner.

Also, having these hot coolant lines and this hot heater core in the air condition assembly box cannot be good for getting cold air into the cockpit either.

Fixing the air flow looks to be somewhat arduous, at least in my simple mind, however eliminating the hot coolant hoses feeding the heater core looks doable.  So that is what I did.

Tools Needed

All this is really just to loosen and tighten hose clamps.  Your car may have different hose clamps and require different tools.  Well, the pry bar gave me some leverage with sticky hoses.

  • 1/4 inch drive ratchet
  • 6 inch extension for 1/4 inch drive ratchet
  • 7mm Socket (1/4 inch drive)
  • 8mm Socket (1/4 inch drive)
  • Slotted Screw Driver
  • Philips Head Screw Driver
  • Pry Bar
  • 90 degree ¾ inch (outside diameter) brass hose coupling (~$3 at Lowes)

Steps

The hardest part of this task is getting access to the heater core supply and return coolant hoses where they connect into the air conditioner assembly box.  Once you have access it is simply the matter of removing the two hose clamps that hold the hoses on the air conditioning assembly box and then joining the two hoses together with a 3/4 inch coupling.

  • Remove the two small overflow tank hoses. Remove the hose clamps using slotted screwdriver.  See picture of overflow tank with hoses removed, below.

  • Relocate electrical relays attached via an attached Velcro patch. Simply pull Velcro away.  See picture of velcro on electrical relays and on air conditioner assembly box, below.

  • Remove the large Air Flow hose. Again, remove the hose clamps and pull.  The hose is fairly pliable.  See picture of the void left when the  the large air flow hose is removed, below.

  • Now you can access the two hoses going into the air conditioning assembly box that carry the hot coolant water.  Note: When you pull these away, you will have some spillage of coolant as the heater core is most likely full.  It isn’t very much however.
  • Simply connect the two hoses together using the metal coupling (I tried it with a straight coupling and it was too difficult to get the hoses in the correct position, so I opted for a 90° angled coupler. This was much easier.) I found the coupling at the local home improvement store.  I suspect they are everywhere.  This removes  the flow of hot coolant from the heater core and of course, disables the heater. Now just put everything back.
  • Put the large Air Flow hose back on. Again, use the hose clamps on each end and push and pull to get it set on each end.  Then tighten the hose clamps.
  • Put the electrical relays back onto their Velcro patch.
  • Finally, reconnect the two overflow tank hoses.
  • Re inspect to make sure everything is reconnected and tightened up.
  • Take the car for a test drive.

The Result 

I think this simple modification greatly improved the performance of my air conditioning.  It is still not extremely cold, but it is quite a bit cooler than before.  Now, I suspect everyone’s car is different (these are Morgans, of course) so your results may vary.  I also think that reworking the air flow, as discussed above, will improve the air conditioning some more.

I believe a more elegant solution that addresses not only the hot coolant hoses, but also the hot air flow issues and a solution that doesn’t disable the heater, is in the works.  I will probably opt for that solution when it is here and tested, however until then, this is about ‘as good as it gets’.

Cheers,  Mark

01 Sep

New Orleans Permanent Canal Closures and Pumps (PCCP) Project & Patterson Pump facility in Toccoa GA

This message may be of interest to the club members that followed the story in the newsletter (Volume 6/14) highlighting the MOGSouth visit in June 2014 to the Patterson Pump facility in Toccoa GA where our huge New Orleans flood control pumps were manufactured.

This photo, from the MOGSouth newsletter, shows our tour group standing in half of the suction tube of one of the pumps.

I just received notification that the New Orleans Permanent Canal Closures and Pumps (PCCP) Project involving our monster pumps will be featured on the History Channel September 1st at noon (ET).

Briefly, the PCCP project is the last and largest of the post-Katrina flood protection improvement projects.

The 10 largest of the 17 pumps are the largest pumps in the U.S. hurricane protection system, capable of pushing 800,000 to 1.2 million gallons per minute EACH over the flood protection walls and into Lake Pontchartrain.

These pumps and the 7 “small” pumps that are capable of half these flow rates produce a combined flow rate equivalent to that of the Ohio River.

The pumps are 5 to 7 stories high.

It took 150 special flatbed tractor trailers to transport the 17 pumps to New Orleans. They were shipped in components (photo attached) and assembled on site while the pump stations were built around them.

Regards,

Jack Claxton

 

30 Aug

WHITWHAT? THE WHITWORTH SYSTEM (Moss Motors)

[It happens to me all the time.  The wrench won’t fit, it’s too small, so I get the next larger one and it won’t fit either, it’s too large.  Nothing in between?  What now, darn, it’s probably ‘Whitworth’.  If you play with old British cars, you have most likely run into this situation.  An interesting read with the morning coffee.  Unless you abhor auto parts??  Mark]

Most of us think of car parts in terms of carburetors, engines, transmissions, brakes, and so on. The most common part in any car isn’t really noticed at all until you take one apart. Even then you don’t think much about it until it comes time to put the car back together again and, suddenly, you discover that you don’t have quite as many as you should. I’m talking about the nuts and bolts that hold a car together.

To make matters more interesting, a good many of the cars we deal with don’t use nuts and bolts that can be purchased from the corner hardware store. Much maligned and misunderstood, the Whitworth hardware used on older British cars has an interesting history.

Threaded fasteners go back a long way. In 1568, the first practical screw cutting machine was invented by a French mathematician named Jacques Besson. After that, things took off…after a fashion. By 1611 the idea had caught on in England well enough for it to be mentioned in a book, the significant point being that the companion piece to any screw—the nut—was mentioned as well. While the concept was basically sound, in practice there were a few bugs to be worked out. In general, a screw is a threaded fastener that is turned into a threaded hole; a bolt passes through the hole and is secured with a nut on the other side. In the 1600’s putting something together was a real chore. Once you found a bolt you liked, you had to find a nut, and that was a matter of chance [Still is, in my garage . . . . Mark] since nobody had any idea of making the treads the same. Once you found a nut that fit, (well, sort of) the nut and bolt were tied together with string. Since the threads on any one fastener were unique, taking something apart and putting it back together again could be a lifetime occupation. Just be thankful that the car had not yet been invented.

This happy chaos continued until well into the industrial revolution, when Henry Maudslay perfected a lathe that made it possible to adjust the thread pitch of a screw. This made it possible to make large numbers of identical screws. The idea of making the bolts for one machine all the same seems to have caught on. at least with the folks who had to put them together.

Making threaded fasteners on a lathe is time consuming, and therefore expensive. In 1850 a man from New York named William Ward perfected a system for forming the threads on a bolt by heating it to 1600 degrees Fahrenheit, and then rolling it between two grooved dies. The grooves on the flat dies were forced into the bolt, and the threads were formed as the bolt rolled between the fixed and the moving die.

This same basic system is used today, the only difference being that the bolts are not heated before being rolled. “Cold” forming produces much more uniform threads, allowing closer tolerances, and because the bolts are not heated, they are stronger.

Even today, the development of this technology would not really matter if there were no national or international standards for threads on screws and bolts. We would still be buying nuts and bolts as matched pairs. The man responsible for the development of the first standards for the production of threaded fasteners Is none other than Joseph Whitworth. [Who knew?? Mark] In 1841, his paper, “A Uniform System of Screw Threads”, set forth a concept that was to revolutionize manufacturing.

His idea was simple:

  1. Each diameter of bolt or screw will have its own number of threads per inch (TPI)
  2. The angle between the side of one thread and the adjacent thread should be 55°.
  3. Both the crest and root of each thread should be rounded.
  4. The relationship of the pitch to the radius of the rounded portion of the thread is defined by a ratio of l/6th; in other words, the radius r = (1/6) x (pitch).

Finally, there was a system. If adopted, that would allow the fasteners used on one type of machine to be replaced with another “standard” fastener. The logic was hard to beat, and England adopted the system to the extent that by 1881 it was the effectively the British standard.

The Whitworth System was used as proposed for bolts and screws from 1/8″ to 4 1/4″ in shank diameter up to 1908, when an additional thread form was proposed—British Standard Fine (BSF). Presented by the British Engineering Standards Association, BSF was identical to the original Whitworth form except that the pitch was finer—meaning more threads per inch. Now a bolt with a diameter of 1/4 inch could have either 20 threads per inch (BSW) or 26 (BSF). The advantage of the finer thread pitch is two fold. A fine thread bolt is about 10% stronger than a coarse thread bolt of the same size and material.  [I knew this but I didn’t know why I knew this.  Mark]  Fine threaded fasteners also have greater resistance to vibration. Those of you who have worked on cars with Whitworth hardware will have noticed that almost all the hardware is BSF for these reasons. Why use any coarse threaded bolts at all? Coarse thread fasteners are well suited for use in tapped holes in material softer than the bolt (such as studs in aluminum cylinder heads), and they are easier to assemble. It’s almost impossible to cross thread a coarse threaded fastener by hand.

For sizes smaller than 1/8″, the British adopted a Swiss Standard thread form for small screws and called it British Association Thread (BA). This thread form was adopted in 1903. Like the Whitworth form, it has rounded crests and roots, but the angle between adjacent faces of the screw’s threads Is 47 1/2°. Instead of being sized by fractions of an inch, they are numbered OBA, 1BA, 2BA and so on up to 22BA. For some reason, the larger the number, the smaller the screw. Other than that, the system is analogous to our “machine screw” system where numbers are used (e.g. #6, #8, #10).

A question often asked (well, once in a while anyway) is why didn’t the US adopt the Whitworth System? As it turns out, we did. By 1860, most of Europe and the US were using the system. In 1864, however, the move to establish a “National” thread system was under way. William Sellers was instrumental in persuading the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia to set up a committee whose prime goal would be to set up national (meaning American) standards. Sellers, who made machine tools, was dissatisfied with the Whitworth System on several points: The 55° angle was hard to gauge and the rounded threads caused an uncertain fit between the nut and bolt. He also argued that the rounded threads were weaker than a system he proposed where the angle between the opposing faces was 60° (not Whitworth’s 55°), and the crests and roots were flattened. The Franklin Institute adopted Seller’s system, and by 1900 it was in use throughout the US and much of Europe. The American system had both line and coarse threads called, logically enough, American National Fine (ANF) and American National Coarse (ANC).

The Whitworth system is further complicated by its tool size designations. American tools (and European for that matter) are sized by the head of the bolt or the size of the nut. A 1/2″ wrench fits a bolt with a head 1/2″ across. A Whitworth wrench is sized according to the diameter of the shank of the bolt, not the head. A 1/4 W (Whitworth) wrench is actually a bit larger than a 1/2″ American wrench—0.525″ to 0.500″. As if that wasn’t enough, in 1924 it was decided that the heads of the Whitworth bolts were too large, so they were down-sized.

The “new” bolts and nuts were made so that the old tools could still be used, but on different bolts. The old 3/8W wrench now fit the 7/16″ bolt. To enable the tools to be used easily, they are marked with both sizes. The old size, which stands for the diameter of the bolt’s shank, is marked with a “W”. The new size is marked with a “BS”, which stands for the bolt size and consequently the new wrench size. For example, the old 3/8W wrench also fits the “new” 7/16″ bolt and is therefore also marked “7/16 BS”. The head of the bolt it fits is 0.600″ across the flats, larger than 19/32″ but smaller than 5/8″.  [I am so glad there isn’t a test at the end!  Mark]

Because the wrenches are unique, there are no American counterparts. Use of the closest American wrench will often result in the rounding of corners and the springing of the wrench jaws.

The Whitworth System, with its associated BS thread system, was in use by British automobile manufactures until 1948, when Canada, the US, and the United Kingdom adopted a “Unified Thread System” that incorporated features of Seller’s and Whitworth’s systems. Actually, the push to standardize an international thread system was initiated during the First World War. The necessity for a system that both American and English manufactures could use was a direct result of the war effort. The fact that the allies shared much of the same machinery and equipment made interchangeable parts essential. The issue was the subject of various international conferences from 1918 to 1948, with the 2nd World War playing the role of catalyst for the adoption of the Unified system. The Unified System was adopted by the British automobile industry on a large scale in 1956, when most of the common fasteners on the cars built that year were of the Unified Thread System. The fact that the major market for these cars was in the US was no doubt a major factor in the decision. The Unified System is basically the same as the American system in use—the two thread systems were American National Coarse (ANC) and American National Fine (ANF). They became the Unified coarse and fine. A few related industries, notably SU, did not make the switch, and used Whitworth and BS hardware until they ceased production.

The Unified System was not destined to last. Having seen that everyone could change over from one system to another, the International Standards Organization launched a campaign to replace the Unified system with a version of the metric system that originated in Europe. It has been slow going. Since 1966 there has only been a partial changeover to the ISO metric system in the American and British automotive industries.

The Whitworth system should not be viewed as a stumbling block invented by the English to keep us from putting their cars back together again once we’ve managed to take them apart. I don’t believe it has anything to do with our minor disagreement back in 1776 either. The Whitworth system made it possible to manufacture complex machinery on a large scale, and it made it possible to work on that machinery without having a full-time clerk keeping track of the different nuts and bolts. Each system takes some special wrenches and sockets, and you might have to think for a minute or two about which wrench to use, but heck, if it were easy, anybody could work on these cars.