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Morgan +4 Forum

1956 Plus 4 brakes and wire wheels

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SHAWRY Chris Shaw
Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia   AUS
I recently purchased a 1956 Plus 4 that has been in storage since the mid 90's. The guards (fenders), bonnet and doors were removed with the intent of prep. for paint. Floor boards were replaced, albeit incorrectly and some poor quality mechanical work was performed.
As part of the restoration project I wish to fit wire wheels to the car. However the brakes are drum all round with the narrow style shoes and four stud wheels. The front wheel bearings are the ball type, not the conventional opposed taper roller. The question I have is if I make a change to disc brakes can I replace the front wheel drum/hubs with the wire wheel style or do I also have to purchase two new stub axles?

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ahaugland Avatar
ahaugland Silver Member Alex Haugland
Eugene, Oregon, USA   USA
Looking at it, you should be fine getting the correct wire wheel hubs and mounting them to you your existing stub axle. I don't have personal experience with doing this on a Morgan Plus 4 (Mine already had wire wheels when I bought it), but on other British cars I've worked on, that's generally the way it works. To help verify that, checking some of the Morgan parts suppliers, they list the same part numbers for the bearings and spacer for both the wire wheel hub and the steel wheel hub. I'm looking at those with ball bearings instead of taper bearings so it should apply to your car. That all said, the drums also appear to be different between the steel wheel and wire wheel hubs, so you'll need more than just the hubs to do the conversion.

--Alex Haugland
Eugene, Oregon
USA

SHAWRY Chris Shaw
Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia   AUS
Thanks for your response Alex.
I have found what I believe to be the easiest and most cost effective solution. I have secured four Triumph TR flanged wire wheel hubs that mount on four studs with a 4-½'' pcd. Using a 25mm thick aluminium spacer I can convert the Morgan 5-¼" pcd to the TR pattern, with a minimal increase in track width. The big bonus is that I have the benefit of reverting to the disc wheels simply by removing the spacers.

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ahaugland Avatar
ahaugland Silver Member Alex Haugland
Eugene, Oregon, USA   USA
That can certainly be a workable solution assuming that the increase in track width is acceptable to you. Just make sure that after the first couple hundred miles, you remove the wheels and retorque the bolts holding the hubs to ensure that they're not working loose and remain seated properly, Also, by moving things out you're also putting a bit of a greater load on your stub axles and bearings, which will likely wear faster as well.

--Alex Haugland
Eugene, Oregon
USA

MMckee Mike Mckee
Alta Loma, California, USA   USA
I have a 1966 +4. I just went with chrome wires so I now have 5 extra trued & in good shape wire wheels/tubes/tires. I'm in CA so i don't know what shipping will cost, but I'll let you steal (make me a offer) if you want them. If interested I can send you photos.

wfs5101 Bill Sirine
Valrico, Florida, USA   USA
1957 Morgan Plus 4 (+4) "Speechless"
Are your wheels/tubes&tires still available? I am in the process of converting from steel wheels to wire wheels on my 1957. Hopefully yours are 15 " wheels & that they are still available . Thanks in advance , Bill Sirine ( Valrico , Fl )

MMckee Mike Mckee
Alta Loma, California, USA   USA
yes and yes. See the Buy/Sell/Trade Forum for photos and my number. Call, if you're interested.

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Cwoodr01 Connie W
Charlotte, NC, USA   USA
This is for Bill. If you are converting to wire wheels, would you be willing to sell one of your steel hubs? My husband and I need one for the back of our 1957 Plus 4 in the spare position.

Thanks,
Connie

wfs5101 Bill Sirine
Valrico, Florida, USA   USA
1957 Morgan Plus 4 (+4) "Speechless"
Hi Connie, As of this date I have not converted over to wire wheels and I may not even though I have 5 wire wheels with good rubber siting in my garage . The cost of converting would be about $ 2500 , not including the wheels and tires. If you are looking for a single steel wheel you may want to contact Morgan Motors of New England. Sorry I could not help. Bill. PS yours are probably 16" rims ,which may not be readily available, however the15" ones maybe easier to find and since it wil be only a spare it should suffice in an emergency.

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Cwoodr01 Connie W
Charlotte, NC, USA   USA
Thank you so much for the info. I will check into it. Have a great 4th!

Connie

Morgan2 Barbara L
Sherwood, OR, USA   USA
Hello Connie,

You might also try Mike Anthony in CA. Phone 831-917-6999. His business is used parts, Non-Op Morgan Motorist. We got a spare (non-wire) from him to go with our wires on our 56 +4.
I just talked to him, he has used wheels for approx. $25. plus shipping.


Hope this helps

Barbara

PS: he does not have a website

Cwoodr01 Connie W
Charlotte, NC, USA   USA
Hi Barbara,
Thank you so much!! This is wonderful news.

Connie

Cwoodr01 Connie W
Charlotte, NC, USA   USA
Hi again Barbara,
Mike did indeed have a 16" steel wheel. Not exactly like ours, but so close it is negligible. We have looked hi and low, so are very happy about this! A company in Great Britain told me it is like looking for hen's teeth. It was $100 plus S&H, but worth it.

Thanks,
Connie

DuncanCharlton Avatar
DuncanCharlton Duncan Charlton
Elgin, Texas, USA   USA
1931 Morgan 3 Wheeler "Gwenda (Sold)"
1967 Morgan 4/4 "Toly's Car"
1967 Unknown Unknown
1970 Mini Countryman    & more
Chris --

As I recall the Morgan splines are the same as the AC splines but not the same as MG or Triumph. Drum brake stub axles are slightly different from disc brake hubs -- the threads on the end of the axle are finer on the disc brake models, presumably to allow finer adjustment of the tapered roller bearings (with ball bearings the nut is cinched down tight). That should not present a serious problem but you may need to drill a second hole through the end of the axle to allow proper adjustment of the new roller bearings.

SHAWRY Chris Shaw
Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia   AUS
Thanks for the response Duncan. I will be using Triumph TR 15" wire wheels to match the hubs I have bolted to my Morgan hubs. I accept that it is not a conventional arrangement but there again wire wheels were not fitted to the mid 50's Morgan anyway.

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