Morley's Workshop home page

By: David Morley, Unique cars magazine

Got a problem with your car? Want to know which one to buy? Just want to get something off your chest? Welcome to Morley's Workshop, we discuss, debate and diagnose.

Morley's Workshop home page
Morley's back and he's looking for trouble.

Get in touch

Unique Cars, 379 Docklands Drive, Docklands, Victoria 3008


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Teddy Bear tales, Starfire or misfire and mighty Mini Mokes

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A new addition to the MBC, tow pig debates and aviation antics on buckboards

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Somehow he missed the Celica, but gets into bent eights and backfire fours

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And which racetrack were you conceived at? Morley gets way too much information

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Alloy meets bluestone and ends badly. Haunting huntsmans and rego rorters

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Stop-start technology, missing transfer-cases, Chev V8s powering planes - all that and more

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Dave's on Cape York wearing a Les Hiddins hat and finding the tensile limits of a ute's steering rack

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Dave Morley likens running in an engine to a first date and turns green at removing mould from interiors..

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Luxo car bargains on a budget, future classic Mustangs and the tools needed for on-the-run repairs

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Dave reckons it's a waste to buy cheap gear and reveals a soft spot for the Valiant Pacer

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Morley has been dragging the chain on the Escort project but there's heaps going on about XJ40 Jags, a VH SS race-track refugee, XE Falcon durability, and yes, even the EJ/red motor question

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Morley advises on future Ford classics, Comrade Peter Brock's Russian escapades, stuffing an LS1 into a Torana and Bimmer DISA valves

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Having figured out last issue that the cylinder head gasket on the RS2000 was, indeed, toast, the next step was to see what other mayhem had occurred when the radiator dropped its guts on the freeway. The big danger was that the cylinder head was cracked and, from what I’ve learned by talking to folks who know their Pintos, it wouldn’t have come as any surprise to find that that was the case. The cast iron head is a bit famous for cracking across the exhaust-valve seat when it gets a bit hot, so I was kind of bracing for the worst.

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If you’ve been following my latest geek tragedy, you’ll know that the RS2000 disgraced itself a few weeks ago and arrived back at the Melbourne Bloke Centre on a banana-back. A quick look under the bonnet revealed that the El Cheapo radiator I fitted a handful of years ago had suffered a fundamental and terminal failure and by the time I could pull off the freeway, the engine had gone flat and wouldn’t idle.

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If you’ve been on the Unique Cars Facebook page lately, you’ll know that I had a slight mishap with the RS2000. Bombing along the freeway, all is right with the world until the temp needle suddenly goes berserk. Then I see a line of coolant dribbling up and over the bonnet towards me.

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As you would know, Holden is now gone as a local manufacturer. Yes, I know, we’ve had a couple of years to get used to it as Australia seems to be entering a post-industrial phase. (Did we learn nothing from Thatcher?)

Anyways, there are a lot of blokes and blokettes out there, squatting in corners, rocking back and forth, having lost their minds at the loss of Aussie cars. It’s really the thought of no more big-engined, rear-drive cars that is giving us the lie-awakes.

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Ignition leads. You probably don’t think much about them until the engine starts to miss, right? Exactly. But for all that, they’re one of the most common replacement parts when doing a tune-up or attempting to revive an engine that has sat for any length of time. You know the drill; plugs, leads, fresh fuel, points if it has `em and oil and a filter.

But let me ask you this: Have you ever tried to change the plug leads on an injected Holden five-litre?

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I had the pleasure of watching fellow UC contributor and serial VW-botherer Torrens in action spinning spanners recently. He’d done a deal to drag a mossy rock of a Commodore station-wagon out of a suburban backyard in Melbourne, and I organised to have it towed around to the Melbourne Bloke Centre so he could recommission it. Now this was a later Commo kid-hauler, so it was fitted – and this was the deal-maker for GT – with an LS1 V8. Only this one was more like an LS 0.75, because one cylinder head and all of the intake gear was sitting on the back seat.

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Dave Morley enjoys a bit of a rant about the evils of too much tech and coming to terms with Ford Model A engines actually flying. Oh, and he's heard the final word on GT500 fuel tanks 

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Morley's wrestling with headlight globe failure, expounding the merits of club permit schemes, analysing fuel consumption characteristics at idle, and there's yet another Commer Knocker yarn

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Morley reckons paddock bombs teach you plenty about driving and your ability, unravels the mystery behind the dual fuel tanks in GT500 Cortinas and waves the flag again for Commer Knockers

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Morley gets creeped by uppity machines, finds most new-tech nonsense and reminisces about Commer Knockers

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Tools, early Cortinas, project cars and more

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3D printed car parts, headers, tyres & more

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VG Valiant castor, plus the debate on two-stroke diesels rumbles on - and Morley ends up wondering if respect does always get respect

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Project costs, garage bodges, salt flat racing - and Centuras are still not going away

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A Centura naysayer fires a broadside, VL Commodore woes, EJ Holdens and Minis

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Morley's Omani fan club weighs in, he gets to diagnose Beetle and Barina woes and wonders whether cheats really do prosper

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Old car character, Kingswood engine swap, Chrysler Centura & more

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Our head shed-dweller gets stuck into family histories, gets antsy about barn finds, ponders the meaning of hot Commodores, investigates 8-banger Ford utes and demystifies rotary revs

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Morley drops the knowledge on fuel tanks, plumbs the depths of 70s British ineptitude and, despite his love of sixes, lists the reasons why a Monaro with a bent-eight is the go

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Dave argues Brock semantics, holds forth on Ro80s and offers his opinion on the best engine swap option for a Sonderklasse

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VW Kombi prices, Holden 186 motor, car storage & more

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Not the Brock, cheap muscle and more

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Escorts, Datsuns, Dinos and storing your car

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Shuddering turbos, Renault restos and cheap thrills

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Customlines, Webers, Fords and GTS Holdens

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Landaus, Holden protos and bugs

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Sleepers, red motors and Ford colours

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Holden Exports, Shaky Fords, the Great Red Motor Debate

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Red motors, Chargers and flying Volvos

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Morley battles the wayward history of the red motor, consults on tools and has a go at a few other mysteries.

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We're back on the old red motor EJ debate, Morley's VN is still giving grief, we've got a bloke wondering what to blow $50k lots more

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Morley tackles an XE Ford upgrade, the great red motor debate, SS conundrums and more

Morley's back - issue 374
Morley was in witness protection for a while there, but now he's back!

Get in touch

Unique Cars, 379 Docklands Drive, Docklands, Victoria 3008

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