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The Swan, Rowberrow – March Noggin 18th March 2015

A bright, crisp evening tempted ten Morgans and thirty two members out for Mendip’s March Noggin at ‘The Swan, at Rowberrow’.  As usual we were not disappointed by excellent service and fayre. 

It was good to catch up with several of the members who were sporting healthy suntans, having returned from their global adventures!!

Appetites at the ready!

Appetites at the ready!


Web Admin

MSCC Mendip Centre News – Number 129 March 2015



Another Christmas has come and gone and for the benefit of those who couldn’t make it (and for those of us who have forgotten already!!) this issue includes reports on the Christmas Dinner at The George and also the Christmas Noggin at The Natterjack.

Several of our members no doubt spent New Year’s Day ‘recovering from the night before’ not least the dozen or so of those who attended and had a great time at Mike & Angela’s New Year’s Eve party at their home in Leigh Woods.


On January 1st, Margaret & I decided to venture out at the last minute and found that New Year’s Day was a bit muggy up on the Mendips. Nevertheless, following a very tasty breakfast of American pancakes lashed with bits of bacon, prunes and maple syrup at Hartley’s, we ventured on to The Strode at Cranmore. Arriving at 11am, the doors were shut and only one tin-top in sight, whereas in the past it would have been buzzing with VSCC members and MOGs alike. Mike Pa ventured out there at 1pm with again, little to stay for. I hear though from a friend in our village (Triumph Gentry), that there was a big meet of classic vehicles at Bridgwater on the new cattle market/Robert Wiseman Dairies site.

The last Newsletter was handed out at the AGM, and this one contains on page 19 , a précis of the minutes of that meeting. Our normal practice is to make those minutes available to everyone at least 4 weeks prior to the next AGM but if anyone would like a copy at any time, please ask Centre Secretaries, Nick or Sue.


A warm welcome to new members Richard & Jill Adams who hail from the Warminster area, with their 2005 Roadster finished in Jaguar Blue. Talking to Richard, (who also has motorcycle interests) it appears that this car has had lots of t.l.c. and enhancements from Mulberry Fab in the past. Have a look underneath at the suspension when you have the opportunity!


We are also hoping to welcome yet another new member, Peter who lives at Evercreech. He was taking delivery of a 4/4 from Williams in February. He also has a lifelong interest in motor bikes with currently a Velo Venom in the stable. Add to this with new MOGs arriving fresh from the factory, our vital statistics are changing slightly, as you will see from the information box on page 18.

We now look forward to an exciting year of MOG events not least the MOG15 at Llangollen where I know several have signed up. Keep your eye on the events section of the website as Paul & Jane continue to add more detail as time passes.

Also time to start to think about the annual photo competition details of which have been emailed out and also a reminder on page 18.


Finally, we are pleased to present your new committee.







Mendip Christmas Party at The George, Nunney

A super ‘do’ once more as 43 members accompanied by 5 MOGs met up for the annual Christmas bash at one of our favourite haunts. Once more, impeccable organisation from Paul & Jane ensured that the evening went like clockwork with a pre-defined seating plan and table mats complete with menu choices and even a F1 quiz to fill the time and promote the banter. (sadly missed by many, too busy chatting!)


We were delighted to welcome for the first time to a Christmas ‘do’, our newest members namely Richard A. (so as not to be confused with Lyne’s other half, henceforth to be Richard H) and also Edward & Lindsey. Also attending was a friend of Adrian & Gay, namely Jaroslav, a very pleasant guy, and an organ builder who hails from Czechoslovakia.


The meal was excellent but with such generous portions several hounds ended up with a treat the next morning as we saw several doggie bags being prepared after the meal. Here we see our Terry with…is it a DOGgie bag or MOGgie bag? After all, it has been hand fashioned from aluminium and has recognisably flowing lines, though may be better on water than roads!


Gay once again donned the red suit and whiskers and, with able assistance from Nick & Sue soon distributed the ‘Secret Santa’ gifts to all who attended.


It wouldn’t be a proper MOGGY Christmas without one of Henry’s quizzes and he duly obliged with one based on local place names, which soon got the grey matter churning. The winners of each question of course, receiving the traditional farmer’s handful of Quality Street.


Several people stayed over, either at The George or at other local venues. Despite the night before, we all still managed somehow to sink a Full English just a few short hours later!



Another beauty is born

It all started last summer on the south coast at the entrance to the caves at Beer. It was here that we both agreed that the Morgan in front of us was the colour we wanted. If two people cannot agree on the colour of the car there seems no point in starting the specification process. With over 40,000 colours to choose from we think we started at the correct place. The ladder frame chassis is from the nineteen thirties design, so is well proven. The heart of a sports car is its engine but this is usually a compromise between power and economy. If the standard most popular Plus 4 power unit is not sufficiently powerful for our over 8,000 miles a year then it can always be tweaked. To those who know it can be tweaked to an eye watering twice its normal output, although that all important reliability may suffer. Morgan MA 11 MOG is a product of all your advice, overheard comments and our deliberations. Look closely and you may find the bit of the car that you made a comment about. Feel free to criticize, it will help us to choose our next Morgan. Thank you once again.

Angela and Mike


To Fit or not to fit…that is the question

A radio that is. One comment when we asked was you must be raving, barking mad, as you cannot hear a radio in a properly driven sports car. Well it may be news to other Morgan drivers but my speed is usually below 120 m.p.h. My pistons do not make bumps in the bonnet and my brakes and tyres are still very legal after 4 years. The decision made by the navigator and driver was to fit. It was made at speeds below 20 m.p.h. the maximum in some towns and then confirmed on the motorway at zero speed for an hour in a traffic jam. You must agree that after 49 years there is a limit to the wittering that passes for conversation between a navigator and a driver. We had no help from any of the sales people at the main agents. They all wanted to pass the buck back to us regarding radios. All had heard the news and comments and did not want to get involved in a no win situation. The recommended Halfords were of no help as the only remote controlled radio they could supply had a display about the size of a car park. We finally chose an Alpine radio as they seem only to produce radios and not toasters and TVs that we definitely did not want in a sports car. Almost all Alpine radios come with a remote hand control which is bought separately, an absolute necessity if your left arm is not 2 foot longer than your right. Further details if required.  Contact  Mike J.


You will be amazed to know that the Morgan factory at Pickersleigh Road Malvern has renewed it’s efforts to give out handbooks, one with each new car sold. For those of you too young to remember a hand book is usually of some 300 to 350 pages long and consists of vital information of how to drive and generally maintain your Morgan car. My handbook now contains information previously once only privy to the man who built the car. This includes the fuse selection and how to test the horn. I dipped into this mammoth work of intelligence and thought you may be interested in the following comparison with the previous hand book and engine.


The many minor changes to the bodywork remain almost unnoticed compared to the almost explosion of technology in the last few years in the engineering department. Mazda have breathed on the Ford engine and it’s CO2 emissions reducing them and allowing the following: Power:106kw to 115kw; Torque:187nm to 201nm; Fuel consumption: Urban 27.7 mpg to 29 mpg; Extra 50.5 mpg to 51 mpg; Combined 38.7 mpg to 40 mpg. The oil capacities in the engine, gearbox and the rear axle have all been reduced as have the fuel tank size and the cooling system. The tighter faster non-notchy Mazda gearbox allows a more comfortable leg position when sitting in the new sports seats. Another amazing fact is that all the now electronic dash board instruments work. That is… from Newport to the first noggin!

Mike J



Christmas Noggin at The Natterjack, Evercreech

 I suppose wet and foggy weather is enough to deter most people  from venturing  out in their MOG, but not stalwarts like Mike & Angela!


To cap it all, this was their maiden voyage to a Noggin in their brand new (not yet a week old) Plus4. To say the paint was still wet would be an understatement! Very nice it looked too, though we really need the daylight to appreciate the finer features. They wouldn’t have been alone with a MOG of course, if Henry & Joy had made it along but alas, Henry was stricken down with the dreaded winter lurgy.

With plenty of room for all 32 of us to be seated together, we were soon tucking into some very tasty fare, the gourmet curry being particularly popular and flavoursome.

With Henry missing and hence our traditional entertainment subdued, we put together a last minute Christmas quiz with Margaret rewarding winners with handfuls of Celebration sweeties. I also did a spoof presentation for Mike & Angela on their new car basically by “finding” a pair of gloves (matching the MOG, in Royal Ivory trimmed in green) under the seat for the co-driver to use when pushing the vehicle every now and again, to maintain new improved fuel consumption figures!

Banter over dinner included Terry P explaining how he was caught out at the Wessex annual awards. He was nominated for the OBE (Oh Bl**dy ‘Ell) award which was actually to recognise all the issues that he had overcome last year, in rebuilding his engine. However, in his words of thanks, he mistakenly thought that it was for something else, that he thought he hadn’t told anyone about. Apparently, in his rather crowded workshop at the time, he had let the lawnmower drop onto the bonnet of his MOG! The cat was now out of the bag at last!

Finally, as you are all aware, Margaret collects used postage stamps for ‘Energ-Eyes’ charity and this night, she was justly rewarded with 20,000 stamps from David, seen here right. If he doesn’t talk to you for a while, he’s probably stuck for words!


Altogether, a fitting end to a great year for Mendip and we are all looking forward to more fun MOG-moments in the coming year.



Sunday Lunch at Wedmore Golf Club 4th January 2015

We kicked off in fine style with our first event of the year at Wedmore Golf Club. Thankfully, the weather was dry enough to encourage 8 MOGs, a couple of JAGs and an assortment of 9 tin-tops to transport 40 people for a bountiful Sunday lunch. This number included Terry & Janet’s daughter Alison who was on a visit home for the New Year period.

This occasion was a first on a couple of fronts:

The first being, to see Mike & Angela’s new MOG in daylight at last and it was certainly worth the wait. They’ve gone to town with extra goodies including leather covered door handles, steering cowl, and side screens. The new sports seats with inflatable lumber cushions and beefier headrests looked very comfortable indeed. Lovely upholstery in a lighter green than we were expecting, works a treat especially matched against the co-ordinated carpets. The dark wooden dash matches the off-set steering wheel extremely well and it was easy to see that they are well pleased with their purchase, and who wouldn’t be.


One thing we can be sure about is that IT WILL GET USED, come rain or shine! The other first on this occasion was our delight to meet for the first time, Jill, wife of recent new member Richard. We certainly look forward to seeing more of them both at future events. As we already have a Richard, in the form of Lyne’s husband, I shall henceforth refer to him as Richard H and to this Richard as Richard A.. (In case you wonder, I don’t like to publish full names as copy of this Newsletter goes onto our website, for all the world to read!)

The meal and accompaniments were as always, generous to say the least. Having eaten our fill of a wide selection of vegetables, alas ..some had to return to the kitchen. It didn’t seem to deter a few puddings being released though!  A good start to hopefully a good year!


Noggin at The Thatched Cottage: 21st  January 2015

A bit of a muggy evening but still 30 members attended with 4 MOGs two of which only left the factory in recent weeks!

A fine oak panelled room with a square table set-up looked inviting until we tried to be seated when it was found that we were a few chairs short. However, with a bit of furniture re-arrangement, we soon got an extra table set up in the middle of the square and proceeded to tuck into some extremely good & well presented fare.

Henry supplied the entertainment with not one but two quick-fire quizzes. The first based on answers related to old (some might say, real )money. The second one to do with collective nouns for all types of Fowl! It got the brains searching and a right gaggle of giggles!

We were delighted to meet a potential new member in the form of Peter who happened along after seeing our report on events in Miscellany. He has just purchased a 1990’s 4/4 from Williams and is hoping to collect in February. With his interest also in motorbikes, he won’t be alone in the company of Richard A, myself & no doubt others of a similar leaning. (or is it ‘banking’…pun intended!).



PURPLE HAZE is in my mind…


It probably all began on a day when we both agreed that you are only here once and for but a short time. The existing Morgan had been getting a little hot and bothered at inconvenient times and Clive had decided that it was time to take life a little easier and to stop and smell the flowers more.


Once the decision was made we set about jointly choosing our ‘dream

car’. The process was fairly straightforward and certainly without any of the angst that we have experienced in the decision making on our new kitchen extension!


Brands Hatch Morgans held our hands wonderfully throughout the process and since we visited Malvern several times on our ‘journey’ we even got onto first name terms with the workmen, which made it even more personal. In conversation with a member of the team over a soup lunch we were told that we could sign the interior of the car if we asked. We duly did this and know that we do indeed have the correct car .


Initially we chose the Ferrari Thistle Purple with Stone leather until Nick Upton asked about the colour and when we said ‘purple’ he straight away said ‘so you’ll have grey leather then?’ We then scuttled off to Malvern to reconsider and Nick’s throwaway comment led us to a grey interior. Judge for yourselves but we think he was so right and we were a little wrong. We are thrilled with the outcome. Thank you Nick!


Brands Hatch contacted us to say they had received notification that the car was a ‘rolling chassis’ and did we want to go and see it? Clive thought we’d wait until it was dressed but Nat thought it would be a nice idea and in fact on this, our first visit to see the car, it had most of its body panels on! This trip turned out to be a BOG-OFF for not only did we see and sign our car but we were also delighted to find Mike and Angela’s new Morgan in the finishing bay looking resplendent. We took some time to admire their lovely car and to take them a few photos.


On the second occasion we journeyed to Malvern assured that the car would be in the trim shop we were keen to see how the colour looked on the car. On arrival we couldn’t find the car anywhere until we ran into the paint shop manager Martin who took us to see it. We were a few hours too soon would you believe? Proof, if any were needed, that whilst production at the factory has speeded up dramatically in this century, communication continues to reside in the last! Not all was lost as we did manage to see the paint being stirred in its pot which was somehow equally exciting, albeit so quaint!!


The third trip, Clive took a pal of his to see the car and it was indeed painted but still not assembled. He panicked about the trim colour until the trim shop manager Steve took him out into daylight with some of the trim and a piece of the car – all was well in natural light!


Our final trip to the factory found the car just about to go out on its test drive. Clive wanted to go with it but insurance issues overruled that idea! We waved it off and awaited it’s safe return before having a good photo session and examination of the car. We had to quell our excitement having seen the car so obviously complete when we learned it would spend Christmas in the PDI bay so all was put on hold over the Christmas period.


After what felt like forever we finally had a delivery date and journeyed to Kent to take delivery of purple beauty from Brands Hatch Morgans. We left taking advantage of the sunshine with the roof down flies getting stuck to our teeth owing to the enormous smiles that covered our faces.  We are looking forward immensely to many adventures this year with our glorious new addition.


Clive & Nat


Sunday Lunch at Mendip Spring Golf Club 1st Febuary 2014

This new venue for Sunday lunch drew 35 members and with the weather being nice and sunny, no less than 8 MOGs.

The club house was very spacious and we were fortunate to have allocated a dedicated area with 4 large tables. We all ate our fill at a very reasonable price leaving plenty of time for the usual chats afterwards.

Particularly pleasing on this occasion to welcome Richard & Lyne back with us and in extremely fine fettle after Richard’s intensive treatment . I hear that their MOG has also been in dry dock and has emerged with a fresh winter coat and some new leather but, being currently minus a steering wheel, could not put in an appearance today. We look forward to the next opportunity to show it off.

Several of our ladies have been in the wars. Commiserations and best wishes for speedy recoveries go out to Mo who bravely came along with a broken metacarpal in her foot and also to Kim, down at Sidmouth, who is sadly nursing a broken leg and Di who has to don a hefty space-man’s boot as a result of a broken bone in her foot.

Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones…


Is your house in order?

With another year gone by, don’t forget to check if your longer term documentation is still in date; your passport, E111 European Medical Insurance card, and photo-card driving licence all have expiry dates!


Noggin at The Castle of Comfort: 18th February

Not too bad a night weatherwise yet only 4 MOGs made it along with 27 members. Terry & Babs almost brought theirs but the dipped lights failed and Ron & Kim also turned back with suspect lighting issues on their new machine.

A jolly gathering nevertheless catching up with the escapades of some of our wiser members who had decided to abandon the bleak Mendip Hills in February and explore more exotic parts. Ron & Kim had just flown in from Florida the night before; Clive & Nat recently returned from a safari in Tanzania and Gerald & Chris back from their usual ski-ing trip to Austria. We also missed Mike & Angela who were somewhere in North America.

Simple pub fare was the order of the day though slightly marred by the emergence of a tough bit of bull, an experience found here on a previous visit a year or more back. Lots of apologies from the proprietor who did her best to make amends.

Recent footage captured on camera:


Just what does one wear on a cold February night in the middle of the Mendips? One of these is not what one might expect? (Hey, the plane has landed, Kim)


Sunday Lunch at Hartley’s Kitchen 1st March 2015

Meteorologically, the first day of March is I understand, the beginning of Spring even though celestially that’s 20 or so days early. Not surprising then that the weather couldn’t quite make up its mind!

Paul & Jane were planning for a short scenic run in the morning to work up the appetite, but regretfully called it off the night before (with some relief I might add, as the forecast was pretty dismal at that time). Come the day though, and despite warnings of afternoon showers, it appeared bright and clear, though Nick & Sue had encountered a hail shower in Bath.

Though Hartley’s is a very successful and well liked venue for us, surprisingly we only managed 27 for lunch, accompanied by a total of 8 MOGs. Mike & Angela were abroad, Mike & Julia had only just returned and maybe a few others were troubled by the latest attack of the sniffles and rough throats that seems to be doing the rounds. This was the first time that many had been able to admire Clive & Nat’s new purple Plus 4 in daylight and it certainly attracted plenty of attention.


Inside, we sat in comfort with the dining room to ourselves and enjoyed a super lunch served with the usual care and attention to detail, that Hartley’s are so good at.


As middle afternoon approached, the skies started to darken on cue and we all just about managed to escape under the hoods as the heavens opened. Pictured left: a rare sight as Mike Pa dons hood and sidescreens.


Any old iron…?

Did you know that our website now has a “For Sale” page where Mendip members can offer for sale any Morgan related items (including the MOG itself). The service is free of charge to Mendip members (apart from a voluntary donation if successful) with a small fee for other centre members.

Go in on as usual and from the “Home” page, click on the [Sales] Tab and then click on [Autojumble] from the drop-down list which appears. Full guidance is shown as to how to proceed. Many thanks to the web wizardry of Paul and Mark for useful features such as this and indeed for generally continuing to maintain and build the site into a quality and useful tool.

Thinks…Now, is the Missus a MOG related item , I wonder…??



Have you got 2 mugs in your car?

That is thermal mugs that will contain 300 ml of liquid and comply with safety standard EN12546-1:2000. They are useless in a microwave and they are not dishwasher safe, but have stood up to heavy cornering and stupendous acceleration in the back of our car for over a year. The trade name is Lifeventure and can be obtained from most good outdoor shops and on line at £11 each and downwards. We have found them easy to clean, and importantly do not leak. They have the advantage of not needing to have a cup to drink from or a handle to get in the way. Drinks can be made to individual taste at the beginning of the day and keep very hot for 4 to 5 hours. You do not need to wrestle with problems such as which car park to use, or which cafe is best and will pay for themselves within a few trips.

Mike J


Thanks to Mike & Angela who sent this pic. of a Cadillac photographed at Mortagne sur Gironde in France. “Hey, what does she do to the gallon Mister?” “Oh. I’d guess about 15, judging by the oil cans I’ve kept, As for petrol; well, that’s a different matter ...”

Thanks to Mike & Angela who sent this pic. of a Cadillac photographed at Mortagne sur Gironde in France.
“Hey, what does she do to the gallon Mister?”
“Oh. I’d guess about 15, judging by the oil cans I’ve kept, As for petrol; well, that’s a different matter …”


Photo Competition 2015

The annual photo completion was launched on 1st March 2015 and everyone should have received an email from Margaret with full details. In case you’ve missed it, it’s on the same basis as last year. Category A: a ‘line-up’ of 2 or more Morgans; Category B: A single Morgan; Category C: an unusual or amusing picture featuring a Morgan or a part of one.

Margaret will accept entries up until Thursday 30th April and they will be shown on the website, [Gallery] tab, as they are received. The names of entrants will only be known to Margaret and only the winners’ names will eventually be released.

Voting will take place by email from 1st May until 17th May with prizes being awarded at the Noggin on 20th May.

Please remember that each member (spouses/partners individually) can make only one entry per category and must have taken the photo themselves. Please annotate as to whose photo it is and into which category it is to be entered and supply a suitable title

I look forward to your participation and would ask that you please try to avoid last minute entries so that I can spread the workload.



Information on the photo completion can be found here!

Membership Statistics as at  Jan. 2015


Paid memberships: 34 (32)  this year (last year)

Numbers of : +8s = 12 (13) ; Roadsters =  4 (2) ; +4s =10 (9) ;  4/4s = 7 (7) ;

OST (other soft top) = 1 xTR5.

Average year of Registration.: 2001.75 (1999.45)

3 most popular colours: Greens 8 (10). Reds 9 (8). Blues 7 (7)


A.G.M. 19th November 2014

  • Almost a record of 41 people attended the AGM held at one of the original haunts of our centre, The Mendip Inn. Weather was a little on the mucky side but it didn’t deter 4 MOGs from showing their noses.
  • Salient points included:
  • Finances: though slightly depleted from last year still healthy; subs to remain at £10 p/a & £5 part year; £150 sent to D & S Air Ambulance.
  • Events: detailed review of an extensive list of successful events in the past year & thanks to all those who had assisted; still need more replies to events questionnaire.
  • Regalia: review of extremely successful regalia initiatives & innovations over the past 3 years; logo can now be attached to  clothing purchased elsewhere.
  • Editorial: 4 newsletters as usual costing 38% of members subs; 39% of members receive electronic copies only; website hits increased from 11,870 to 19,140 in past year much of which must be down to webmaster Mark enhancing the site during his association; Margaret increased Flickr photos from 850 to 1263 in past year, spread over 48 albums.
  • Secretarial: Sue thanked all committee for their work & especially retiring members Lyne & Gay; and also for ‘behind the scenes’ work of  Nick for monthly Miscellany notes & Mark for website/blog.
  • Remainder of old committee to continue for another year and new committee members Angela (Treasurer) and Clive & Nat (Regalia) were duly nominated and elected.
  • Sue outlined a way in which we continue to raise money for the Air Ambulance by donating a small amount when a specific event is run, rather than by further depleting funds. This can be achieved with the added benefit of ‘gift aid’ tax relief if it is done on a sponsorship form and was agreed by a majority vote.
  • Thanks by virtue of a bottle of ‘Morgon’ wine for organising special events were delivered to Ted & Jamie, Henry & Joy, Nigel & Viv and also to Mike Ph. for once again examining the annual accounts.


Committee Bits ‘n’ Bobs

The first meeting of your new committee took place on Monday 19th January and we were pleased to welcome new committee members Angela (Treasurer) and Clive & Natalie (Regalia). Handovers from the previous incumbents has all been completed efficiently and everyone is up and running.

Salient points included:

  • Finances healthy but when compared to subscription income, we actually overspent per household last year. This was essentially ‘bathing in the profits’ of the badge project, and included such things as the provision of complementary drinks at special events for example, but we will need to rein in expenditure in the future, as we do not wish to raise subs.
  • All Regalia merchandise and information has been handed over. Clive & Nat to review and will forward some new ideas in due course.
  • Detailed discussions on future events following feedback from membership, for which we are all grateful and which will all be followed up. Discussions and ideas on this year’s birthday party birthday party.
  • At the AGM it was agreed that we would have a sponsored run during the year to raise gift aided funds for our air ambulance charity. Following discussion it was agreed that it would be applied to just one event at £10 per household and that this year, it would be Doug’s TRUSTy Trip in April. Sponsorship/donation can still take place even if members cannot attend the actual event.
  • Photographic competition to run on same lines as last year.
  • Miscellany reports are to change format with less in the existing centre reports pages and more separate articles following up Centres’ events that have taken place.
  • Preferred travel arrangers for MSCC are now Scenic & Continental Car Tours (contact: Bob Cole 01732 879153)
  • Mendip’s Web pages being altered to provide a ‘SALES’ page where members will be able to advertise their Morgans/ spares for sale. The ‘SALES’ tab will also provide access to our regalia page via a drop down list.
  • The MSCC Morgan stand at the Bristol Classic Car Show on 13th/14th June to be run by Mendip this year. Help will be needed and canvassing will begin later in the season.



We shall be more active about regalia as the weather improves and with all of these new cars about we are sure that people will need that little something to co-ordinate with their new pride and joy or indeed a treat for the car itself. In the meantime, have a look at the ‘Regalia’ spot on the website for a list of items in stock.

Do contact us if you have any ideas for regalia that you would like to see made available and please remember that provided the material is suitable, Centre badges and logos may be applied to garments etc that individual members have purchased elsewhere.

Clive & Nat


Recycling for Charity

Margaret thanks everyone for continuing to collect plastic milk bottle tops. We now have a new collection point and all proceeds go to Cancer Research. Please note that only milk bottle tops are likely to meet the HDPE type of plastic required denoted by a number 2 in a little triangle stamped somewhere on it.



GDI engines? The new Plus 4 has a ‘Gasoline Direct Injection’ engine, a type first tried by Mercedes in the 1955 300SL but which has only been more widely utilised by other manufacturers in the past 15 years or so. As the name suggests, the petrol is injected under very high pressure directly into the combustion chamber. Contrast this with conventional fuel injection which squirts fuel into the induction port, allowing it to mix with air before it is passed through the inlet valves and into the combustion chamber. GDI provides for better economy, reduced cold start emissions and more power & torque.

So are there any issues? Well…the injectors are high precision components working at very high pressures in a tortuous environment. Fuel pumps and fuel lines have a hard task & can fail after time. Poor quality fuel and especially ethanol, which is corrosive to many metals can cause problems. So play safe & use good quality fuel & ensure filters etc are correctly maintained.

Carbon build up is another hazard that may show itself after 50k miles or so. In any modern engine, in order to minimise emissions, crankcase breathers are normally directed into the inlet air stream to be burned up in the combustion process. With some designs, there is also exhaust gas recirculation as well. All of this can contain particles of soot or carbon which have to pass down the inlet port, through the inlet valves.

With conventional fuel injection, these soot deposits are largely washed off the backs of the inlet valves by the constant bombardment of the fuel/air mix. However, with the GDI, there is no petrol in the induction side and hence neither on the back-side of the inlet valves.

The danger is that this soot can bake on and eventually break away and damage things like turbos and cats. Manufacturers usually incorporate some type of device to trap these but nothing is perfect!

Best advice seems to be use ‘good quality’ fuel, maintain filters, avoid too many short journeys and give it a real good blast every month to get heat into the engine to burn up the deposits. Oh, and don’t burn your fingers after a run like this…as the cat lives under the bonnet rather than under the wing, the heat generated can cause the bonnet catches to be too hot to handle!

All this must be true ‘cos I read it on the ‘net, but it certainly wouldn’t put me off a GDI given half a chance!         – Doug

Beware Falling Bonnet Stays: If you have hinged bonnet stays, slip a rubber grommet over, close to the free ends, to protect paintwork should you (or the mechanic) let it slip. I used the type that comes with a hole in and a groove round the circumference which is normally used to protect electrical wiring passing through a metal panel. – Doug

Petrol-heads: Nothing better to do on a wet afternoon? Have a browse at It’s a fast growing website devoted to cars including discussion groups, tuning, pictures, stories etc. – Mike J



Disclaimer: All information was correct at time of print. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information in our publications is accurate, msccmendip cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracy in any of our publications.


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