Category Archives: Morgan Three Wheeler Stage 1

King Harry & Morgan Three Wheeler

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Narrow Streets and Cobblestones

M3W Sea

Normally we will drive miles out of our way to avoid paying a ferry or navigate tiny Cornish streets. In the Morgan, not so much. Its another thing you can do in a Morgan without people minding too much. (Even with the Stage 1 soundtrack) This is the King Harry Ferry near St Mawes.

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More Lost Parts

I found the large grommet fitted to the compensator housing (detailed earlier in the blog) has vanished. Maybe it is just as well. I won’t be refitting it.

 

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The Missing Stage 1 Video

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Aero Racing Stage 1 – Battle of Britain Simulator

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The sound of the factory Aero Racing Stage 1 is of secondary importance. Opinions offered on the subject are often so diametrically opposed that you are left wondering if they are even talking about the same thing.

Of course we all perceive sound differently but paying good money to drive around in a car that sounds like a bag of spanners would have been a disaster. Luckily, it sounds like 1940.

(Turn the volume up.)


Visitors

Two Stage 1 Morgan’s in Crackington Haven this bank holiday weekend caused quite a stir. Its always nice to have visitors and it was nice to meet up with Tim, all the way from St Albans.

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Widemouth Bay Cornwall

By the time we had finished lunch a crowd had gathered to watch our departure. A photo opportunity at Widemouth and then along the Atlantic Highway to Bideford where we said our goodbyes before leaving for home in opposite directions.

Tim

Tim’s fan club


GoPro Audio

The MMC Stage 1 overloads the GoPro external mic input when mounted in the usual position but I am working on a fix.

The Garage 56 Stage 1 sounds more civilised than the factory version. It is beautifully engineered even down to the G56 logos cut into its MAC truck heat shields. But you can buy a lot of earplugs with the extra £600 needed to buy it. (£1500).

High Noon Speed Shop Stage 1

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Magnaflow Stage 1

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I would like to think my fitting guide and notes about the MMC AR Stage 1 may have helped just a little with Todd’s Magnaflow version.

But my only real contribution besides editing the video was to suggest mounting the GoPro in the middle for best effect (although not the design of the mount pictured above). It makes me smile everytime I see it and it sounds fantastic. Americans, mad as a box of frogs.

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Stage 1 Shakedown

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Morgan M4L louder than Stage 1

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Autosol  Blue Remover

After an extended shakedown to give the ECU time to adjust itself the Morgan seems to have settled down. Slower discolouration of the headers confirms things are running cooler. (I knew there was a reason I re-polished them.) No resemblance to handrails dredged up from the Titanic here, (Autosol Blue Remover)

 

The exhaust note has changed slightly. The raised voice of the Stage 1 is still not noticeable at speed but below 20mph it sounds similar to a taxiing light aircraft. The bark during acceleration will activate perimeter car alarms but isn’t unpleasant and seems to please the grinning wavers.

The new dedicated sound meter proved the iPad to be as accurate as a Woolworths compass and an unmodified dachshund to be twice as loud as a Stage 1. Shame it didn’t arrive earlier.

Morgan 3 Wheeler

Morgan 3 Wheeler

All good so far then….


S&S Outerwear Pre-Filter

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Rain sock

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As I hadn’t been able to locate a rain sock for the S&S filter in the UK I was hoping that the 2017 forecast for Devon and Cornwall would be less wet that normal. In this part of rural England a high percentage of farmers vehicles are fitted with snorkels so a drought is unlikely.

Then an unexpected and very generous goodie box arrived from the US containing, among other things, the allusive sock. (It rained during installation)

Nice people often own a Morgan.

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Blog Traffic

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The number of views this blog gets has doubled each year and often visitors come from the most unlikely places. For some unknown reason the Rolling Thunder Tour video still gets over 200 views a week on YouTube. Ok, not as many as the poodle on a unicycle but then the Morgan is pretty niche.

It is strange that there is so much interest in this very British quirky car. Thanks for all the emails, I hope the replies made sense. The maintenance item below covers a lot of them

StGiles

April 2017


March 2015-2017 M3W Maintenance summary 

Warranty items

  • S&S Timing pulley repair kit (370-0015) This is now standard on cars mid 2015 onwards.
  • 2 oil tank gaskets, now modified with larger retaining washer on all new cars.
  • 2 fwd crankshaft seals
  • 1 rear sprocket. (Steel) This is now standard on cars mid 2015 onwards

Consumables

  • 1 set of tyres, @7000mls/75% worn – Blockley front/Dunlop rear

For the period March 2015 to March 2017


MMC Stage 1 – Skittles for the Inner Child

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Morgan MMC AR Stage 1 Road Test & Conclusion

Stage 1 rightPower

Horsepower and torque curves are a placebo for the gullible so it’s just as well that Morgan doesn’t publish any. Real world performance gains appear to be negligible at normal engine speeds.  (Below 4000rpm)

Noise

The Stage 1 is noisy and regulars at the pub will be aware of your arrival long before you enter the bar. Dusty panda face and goggles perched on your head, stare back, look surprised, palms up and say………   ‘Wot….?’.

Cold starting is almost certainly noisier but there is only a marginal increase over the slash cuts at speed. Coming to a halt is now accompanied by a pronounced rumble with potato potato overtones not unlike a big Harley.

Stage 1 Audio Demo

Vibration

That feeling of being propelled along the road by a series of explosions has been replaced  by a much smoother, rounder experience with less accompanying vibration from exhaust pulses hitting the baffles on acceleration, a definite improvement.

Pinking

Pinking has never been an issue on this particular car. The big lazy American V twin is never going to spin up like a Fireblade so it may be possible to induce pinking at low revs if given gobs of throttle even with the Stage 1 fitted. There is no substitute for mechanical sympathy.

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Drivability 

Being in the right gear in an awkward driving situation is now less critical and low speed driving is transformed. Manoeuvring at low speed without compensator accompaniment is also an unexpected revelation. The Morgan is generally more forgiving and easier to drive. It will pull smoothly at far lower engine speeds and in much higher gear than previously without complaint.

The improvements of the MMC Stage 1 are far more useful than any wishful performance chart. Even though it is not claimed, it’s fair to assume that the Stage 1 car does provide a power boost but even if it were 15-20hp@4-5000rpm would anyone really notice?

Power increases aside, the car runs sweeter. The real world improvements are profound and will please anyone who has spent time behind the wheel of the Morgan.

Verdict 

As long as you don’t mind the extra noise the Stage 1 is without doubt, the ‘dogs danglies’ and  for a better all round driving experience from your Morgan it is recommended without hesitation. For a seasoned owner the overall improvement is likely to be as dramatic as their pub entrance and won’t  disappoint.

Unlike other available Stage 1 options the changes are aesthetically pleasing and won’t upset the  purists as it remains ‘all Morgan’. If I were ordering a new car it would be top of my list.

**Update May 2017. The Stage  is no longer an option on a new EU M3W but is still available  through dealers to retrofit. 

Summary

The MMC AR Stage 1 feeds the inner child with a few more sugary Skittles. What’s not to like?

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MMC AR Stage 1

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MMC Aero Racing M3W Stage 1 

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Legality and Insurance 

UK law requires that vehicle exhausts must not be altered or replaced in a manner which increases the noise above that emitted by the type approved exhaust fitted by the manufacturer.

One advantage of the MMC Aero Racing Stage 1 is that it is an OEM factory option fitted to cars on the production line and in theory at least, covered by the M3W type approval.

Being able to say with hand on heart, “this is how they leave the factory..” was a major purchasing consideration. The factory connection also meant there were no issues with insurance and more importantly, no additional premium.

MMC Aero Racing Stage 1 for Morgan Three Wheeler

MMC Aero Racing Stage 1 for Morgan Three Wheeler

Construction 

The kit is similar in quality to the original, constructed from stainless steel and weighs about the same. The pipes are shorter than the classic slash cut versions and terminate in a squared off tail pipe with rolled edge.

The shorter pipes give the car a slightly more aggressive stance but would likely go unnoticed to a casual observer. Although they are well made both of my examples leaked at the manufacturers bolted flange. (See below)

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Fitting overview

Fitting is straight forward but alignment is critical to maintain heat shield clearance and avoid early bobbin and/or exhaust failure through pre loading. With care the larger silencers do fit inside the heat shields without modification. A blog entry detailing these issues ended up too long to be included here but I am happy to email a copy (Seven page PDF) on request.

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Cost

On top of the cost of the Stage 1 expect to pay an estimated 3hrs (£225) labour to have it fitted. A pre 2014 car will require new brackets and heat shields (£375) and specifying a Stage 1 on a new vehicle will add £1200 to the build inc tax (April 2016 price list).


S&S Stealth

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S&S Stealth air filter

Included in the MMC Aero Racing Stage 1 kit is a £260 S&S Stealth air filter. S&S make bold performance claims for their filter but how much of it can be attributed to filter design and how much to the removal of a restricted system is anyone’s guess.

The muscle cover is an odd design but well made, easy to fit and looks good.

Initial impressions

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Noise is subjective. Passengers taking their first ride in an M3W with classic slash cut pipes will often comment on how noisy the Morgan is, the Stage 1 is no quieter.

The thin sound of the classic slash cuts has been replaced by a deep rumble that thankfully mellows as the engine warms up. It’s a unique sound that is hard to describe. At the risk of sounding stupid, a twin cylinder V8 seems to cover it. (checkout the video above)

In spite of the jungle sounding intro the video was not filmed in the Amazon. The Sony HD camera has limitations due to its built in AGC automatically adjusting Devon wildlife and the Stage 1 exhaust to the same level. (but at least sound reproduction is accurate.)

MMC Aero Racing Stage 1 images

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Stage 1 M3W