The current situation has left many of us with a bit more time on our hands. But beyond checking the fluids and polishing your Morgan to perfection, how can you keep it in fine fettle while it sits unused, and prepare it for hitting the road – be that a summer evening blast on the local lanes or a cross-continental adventure – when the time comes? We speak to Morgan Works Malvern Service Manager, Mark Baldwin, who gives his top tips for lockdown Morgan maintenance. A Morgan is designed to be simple to maintain, so no vehicle lift or specialist tools are required.
Oil the wing and cowl beading
“Just run a little thin oil over the beading and allow to soak in,” says Mark. “This can be done with both the standard and covered beading.”
Protect the chromework
“If the car is already polished, take a soft lint free cloth and soak in WD40. Wipe all the chrome surfaces with the cloth, covering all chrome completely.”
Lubricate the side screen knobs
“Remove the side screens from the car to allow access to the side screen knobs. With a screwdriver check all the fixing screws to ensure they are tight. Then, unscrew the side screen knob to fully open and apply some light oil to the threads. Work the screen knob backwards and forwards to allow the threads to be coated in the oil or lubricant. Once that’s done, wipe any excess oil off the threads, as oil residue can stain the materials of the side screen.”
Mark adds: “Remember to secure your side screens with the tommy bar supplied, as if this is not done, the fixing screws can work loose, and the side screen will not be secured correctly.”
Check and lubricate door mirror fixings
“Pull the arm of the mirror towards the rear of the vehicle to expose the spring, spray a little lubricant into the recess and allow the spring to retract. Again, wipe off the excess to prevent staining of the side screen material.”
Check and lubricate door hinges
“With the door open, check the door hinge fixings for tightness, both the hinge to the door as well as the hinge to the body. Once checked, apply a little oil or lubricant on the hinges and work the doors to allow the lubricant to penetrate. Wipe off the excess.”
Check and lubricate door locks
“Clean the old grease from the door lock and the striking plate on the quarter panel post. Lubricate the internal mechanism of the door lock through the plastic cover where the internal lock knob and the internal door handle is.
“Then, lubricate the moving latch. Using some grease or preferably petroleum jelly (Vaseline) apply a small amount to the internal part of the latch and some to the top and bottom part of the lock that enters the latching post on the quarter panel. Open and shut the doors several times to lubricate both fixing parts. Wipe off the excess.”
Check and lubricate bonnet
“Open the bonnet clean off any old grease from the scuttle and cowl tapes. Apply fresh grease or petroleum jelly. Apply a small amount of light oil to the bonnet hinges, then open and close the bonnet several times and wipe off the excess. Do not over lubricant the hinge as when driving at speed excess can spray across the windscreen!
“Next, check the security of all bonnet knob fixings including the fixing screws of the sliders. Lubricant the sliders by pulling the bonnet knobs fully down and then applying light oil to the tracks of the sliders. Lightly lubricate the slider spring, and wipe all excess off. Grease the underside of the fixing hook and the mating bonnet catches fixed to the body of the vehicle. Once this is completed, wipe over the impregnated beading to ensure all lubricant is cleaned off the external side of the vehicle.”
Fit a battery conditioner
As well as Mark’s Morgan-specific advice, there are some general tips for keeping your car in full health – whether it’s a Morgan or any other marque – while it’s laid up. The first, if the car isn’t being run for more than a few weeks, is to connect the car to a battery conditioner. This will ensure it starts at the first turn of the key, and there is no degradation to the battery itself.
Inflate your tyres
If you’re not able to move the car on its tyres for more than a month or so, inflate the tyres to above their normal pressure, to reduce the risk of developing flat spots. Of course, don’t inflate them above their maximum possible pressure, which should be written on the sidewall, and remember to put them back to road pressures before driving the car again. To be safe, leave a note in the windscreen to remind yourself to check tyre pressures before driving again.
And when you drive it again…
…remember to test your brakes. Though lack of use, it’s possible that brake discs may have developed surface corrosion. After some normal use, through the friction of the brake pad against the disc, this will clean itself off.