Removing and Repairing the scuttle

Figure 1

Morgan Scuttle

Removing the dashboard

Figure 2

Making the triangular fillet plate


REMOVE THE DASHBOARD. Before removing the dashboard, undo and remove the 'one shot lubrication pipe') on the rear of the oil pressure gauge, then remove the speedometer and mileometer cables from the rear of the speedometer (see Figure 2). Disconnect the wires to the switches, warning lights and instruments at the rear of the dashboard. If you are not familiar with the wiring of your Morgan, the 'Introduction to Wiring' page will hopefully be of use. It is wise to tape a label on each wire, noting the switch or instrument to which it was attached. Under 'Electrical system' on the main menu is a sub menu named 'Dashboard wiring', showing how the various components are wired to the main loom. A relevant circuit diagram should be contained in the handbook that was supplied with your car.

When you are sure that everything has been disconnected, undo the screws either end of the dashboard and remove it.






Removing the Scuttle


The threshold plates will have to be removed to gain access to the scuttle fixings on the base of the hinge post and along the top of the door rocker. On a 1972 Morgan, the originally threshold plates were made of aluminium and nailed in place with steel pins. The aluminium corroded around the pin heads, because steel is a more noble metal than aluminium. Apart from looking untidy the threshold plates had lifted in places. If yours are the same, lever them off and discard them. I replaced mine with stainless steel ones, which are held in place with stainless screws. I obtained them from Melvyn Rutter. They look as good today as they did when fitted over 20 years ago.

Figure 3

Preparing to remove the scuttle

It is usually easier to release the hinges from the hinge posts. The door hinges are fixed to the hinge posts by 6mm countersunk bolts. The post is sandwiched between the hinges and a steel plate as illustrated in Figure 3. When removing the door, check the hinge post is free of rot. Any movement in the post will require urgent attention. To gain access to the nuts securing the hinges to the post, remove the Check strap and trim forward of the door in the footwell.

Figure 4

Preparing to remove the scuttle

The doors hinges are also fixed to the door frame by 6mm countersunk bolts. To release the hinges from the door frame, the inner door panels have to be removed. This requires removing the inner door panel cup & screw fastners, domed door latch nuts and check strap (see Figure 4). It is wise to remove the door panel and inspect the ash frame on the inside of the door. Any rot found here should be replaced. At first sight, Morgan doors may look flimsy, but they apparently prove strong in side impact tests.

Figure 5

Removing the scuttle

It is not necessary to remove the bulkhead when removing the scuttle. However, if the bulkhead and scuttle are removed, fix stabiliser boards to prevent the frame distorting.

The scuttle is screwed and nailed to the door rocker, scuttle post and scuttle top rail. After removing the screws and nails it simply lifts off. The bottom edge has flanges folded over the door rocker. The scuttle overlaps a tongue on the quarter panel, as illustrated in Figure 5. This area on the scuttle is prone to rust. The photograph in Figure 1 shows a new length of steel, which has been welded in to replace old rusty metal on my own car. In the photo, it can clearly be seen that the metal had yet to be folded over the door rocker. Before accomplishing this, I cut a piece of wood the same profile as the door rocker and clamped it alongside, using the same technique as illustrated in "Repairing the Quarter Panels". The edges are then gently tapped into place with a polished panel beating hammer, then nailed and screwed to the door rocker. To prevent rust developing in the future, use a good waterproof sealant between the wood and the steel.

The Wired Edge

The top edge of the scuttle has a wired edge, which increases the panels rigidity. Usually this area of the panel does not rust, unless water has managed to get under the crash padding. However, if new metal is welded in along the top of the panel, the wire edge must be maintained. To produce this, a length of 4mm (8 S.W.G.) diameter wire is clamped into a 90 degree flange formed along the top edge of the panel. The depth of this flange should be two and a half diameters of the wire.

The wire is trapped by beating the flange over it. This is achieved by moving backwards and forwards, not stopping in one position too long.

When the wire has been satisfactorily trapped, a polished dolly or panel beating hammer can be used to completely enclose it. If done carefully, the steel panel should not be scratched. If it does, the scratches can be polished out with fine sandpaper on an orbital sander.

Figure 6

Making a wired edge

The Weather Bead

Surrounding the front end of the door, a length of wire is soldered to the scuttle. (see Figure 1). This is the "weather bead", which helps deflect water from the front edge of the door. It is precisely placed and its position should be carefully observed when reskinning the door. Be careful to keep the area reasonably cool when welding on the scuttle. If you do replace it, make sure to use good quality body solder with an appropriate flux. After fitting new weather beading, use a recommended acid to remove all traces of flux and thoroughly wash with water. If any rust develops, treat it with a good quality rust remover. They often contain phosphoric acid which turns steel blue, but this is good.

The Fish Tail Panel

A triangular panel called the Fish tail fills the area beneath the door rocker and the sill board at the front of the frame. Tucked in under the front wing, it takes the full force of water and dirt thrown from the front wheels. It is another panel prone to rust if it is not maintained. The fish plates are the easiest panel to make. They require no welding and it would be wise to make them from stainless steel. I must admit that I made new ones with mild steel, although they are still in good condition, because I have kept the underseal maintained.

The dimensions of the panel removed from my car are shown below. If you are rebuilding a body frame and do not have the panels I hope the diagram is of some use. However, measuring the frame and making cardboard templates, before cutting out new steel, is the best option.

Figure 7

Making the triangular fillet plate

The above photograph of the fish plate from my own car is typical of older Morgans which have not been restored.