Morgan Family Four

Morgan Family Four


The Sports Family is a rare animal. You will be looking at the only one all of North America. Engine is a LTWZ sidevalve, so that should be 1100 cc and about 30 hp. It has a 3-speed + reverse gearbox and is probably the early type in which oil passages are rather small, so maintaining proper lubrication type and level are critical. Shift pattern is a "backwards" H, i.e.: reverse is forward and right, first directly back from reverse, second is left and forward, etc. No synchro in any gear, so you'll need to learn to double-clutch if you don't already know how (shift to neutral, let clutch out, rev engine up high if downshifting, then depress the clutch and drop it into gear). There is a big rpm gap between 2nd to 3rd, requiring the higher rpms than you'd expect before downshifting it into 2nd. There shouldn't be much need to downshift to 2nd if you're going over 30 mph. t don't recall whether he had fitted hydraulic brakes in front but if they are original cable brakes don't expect them to be very powerful. Unless it's been fitted with a foot throttle you'll have to get used to a thumb lever throttle. I can explain starting instructions if you need them. Hopefully the car has an electric starter since that engine won't be the easiest to hand crank. The best person to ask about this particular car is Dwight Kinzer, of Mt. Berry, GA who owned it for a while. If you can't find him in the directory send me a message.

I doubt that is will have seized. Use the crank handle to turn the engine with the ignition off. If it won't turn at all, you have a problem. If it's hard to turn at various points "around the clock" you have compression. If there is a valve lifter mechanism (a.k.a. "compression release") still in place the release handle should be behind the dash plank on the passenger side, and that should make it spin over easily if there's an electric starter although it won't start until you release the handle. A compression test will tell you if the rings are stuck or the valves are not sealing properly -- bring a compression tester (if you need instructions on using one, give a holler). I'm not aware of anything that needs pre-oiling on a side valve engine since you can't squirt oil upward into the valve guides. BUT -- drain the fuel system and add fresh gas. The old fuel will have deteriorated and the car may not run at all on that fuel. Be sure to open the oil tap (if there is one) before running. If there is no tap, open the crankshaft drain and let the oil out. This is a dry-sump system, so there is a 2-stage oil pump; one side draws oil from the tank and supplies it to the engine while the other side scavenges oil from the crankcase and returns it to the tank. If an engine has been sitting for a year with no closed valve in the oil line, oil has probably oozed past the pump and into the crankcase. It'll make a helluva mess when crankcase pressure builds and the engine expels the excess from the crankcase, all over the ground. Be sure the oil tank is within 1-1/2 to 2" from the top. If fuel and oil are OK, open the fuel tap, retard timing (not absolutely necessary if you're using the electric start but absolutely critical if hand-cranking), set throttle at slightly open, close air valve (acts like a choke -- it's a little squared-off sliding block that will partly obscure the opening of the carburetor, which you can feel [if you can't see it] only if the throttle is open wide enough for you to feel it hanging below the barrel-shaped throttle valve inside the carb throat), and "tickle" the carb. This involves holding down a spring-loaded button on the float chamber to flood the carburetor. 1-1/2 to 2 seconds is probably plenty and don't worry if you see a little fit of fuel oozing around the holes in the sides of the carburetor. Once it starts, you can immediately advance timing all the way and leave it there for 95% of driving. Unfortunately there are different configurations for the steering wheel levers so I don't know which direction you move the advance lever, but chances are, you need to work against a spring to advance it, so you'll feel that extra effort when you try to advance the lever.

Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case things go wrong with the startup and it backfires. However, keep the engine running to use up the fuel and shut off the fuel tap if you can still reach it. Try not to get dry chemical extinguishing agent into the carburetor! Contact Dwight Kinzer, former owner, if you can -- I might still have his contact info if you don't have it, but the late owner's wife will have it.

The choke lever is usually mounted over the throttle lever. If it was set up the same as the other cars I've seen, whenever the throttle is advanced past the position of the choke lever, the choke block is below the throttle valve and is therefore in play. It's pretty easy to overdo it when starting, so begin with full choke and no more than 1" movement of the throttle lever at the free end when the engine is cold. On most Morgans I've seen (but they're not all this way), if the throttle (the longest lever) is on the right, you push up to open the throttle and push up to remove choke, and likewise, you push up to advance the timing. In other words, just remember that if all the levers are pointing up, the engine is set for high speed running -- choke off, ignition advanced, and throttle wide open. If the throttle is on the left, as it is on my 1931 Super Aero, the "picture" of the levers is upside down. I forgot to mention that you should remove the cap on the oil reservoir and, after the engine starts, wait until you see oil returning to the reservoir before driving. This way you're sure the oil pump is working properly. There should be a return tube visible to one side just below the cap. The oil will pulse out if there is no oil filter, but if a filter is in place the oil will just sort of ooze out, and the return of oil to the tank is likely to take much longer. When my Super Sports (which had a perfectly good oil pump with nice tight clearances) sat for a long time it could easily take 5 minutes to see oil coming out of the return tube.

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The Morgan F-4 was introduced in 1933 at the Olympia Motor Cycle Show. The F-4 had a new pressed-steel chassis the four-cylinder Ford Sidevalve engine used in the Model Y, and a four seat body. The F-4 was supplemented by the two-seat F-2 in 1935 and the more sporting F Super, with cycle-type wings and louvred bonnet tops, in 1937. Production of the Ford-engined three-wheelers continued until 1952.
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