Hangar works #14 – The video camera

A few weeks after buying the Morgan 3-Wheeler, we just had our first action camera: a really nice and compact GoPro Hero 7 Black.

Our GoPro Hero 7 Black

We bought it because we thought it was a nice idea to finally have one, so we can take videos on our mountain bikes, while diving, and of course while driving the new 3-Wheeler.

We premiered it for the first time on our Christmas holidays diving in Roatan – Honduras, and we were surprised by the quality that such small cameras have today.

Diving in Roatan – Honduras

The first thing we noticed is that the GoPro is way better doing videos than just taking pictures. I guess they’re designed that way and we’re ok with it.

Video taken diving with our GoPro – Roatan – Honduras

Once back home in Madrid, and with the Morgan finally delivered and safely parked in our garage, the first idea was to use the GoPro with a stick and be used by the co-pilot to take video during our drives together.

Having it fixed to the 3-Wheeler was not the original idea then, but looking at many videos on the Internet, taken with the camera fixed to the roll hoop or with a suction cup, showed that the GoPro could be of better use if fixed. And also, it could be used by the pilot during a solitaire drive.

Our only doubt was about the result of our GoPro Hero 7 Black recording with the tremendous vibrations provoked by the massive X-Wedge S&S V-Twin engine. Would the stabilization software of the GoPro counterbalance it properly? According to what we could see from other users in the Internet, it should! So, we gave it a chance and ordered the GoPro suction cup.

The GoPro suction cup set and its bag

The GoPro suction cup comes in a very nice bag, with plenty of accessories that allow you to fix the GoPro almost anywhere around the car. And the characteristics announced by GoPro declare that it can be used up to speeds of 150mph / 240 km/h, well above what the 3-Wheeler is capable of.

The position we like the most for the camera is just over the dashboard, between the two small windshields.

We choose to locate the camera between the two small windshields

This position gives you a nice sensation in the video like being just at driver’s position with a nice look at the bonnet and the two tires under the fenders, which we really like. The frame is, in our honest opinion, the very best.

Nice panoramic camera vision from this position

Some other 3-Wheler drivers prefer to fix the video camera to the roll hoop, in a center position. It’s a nice option too, giving you an upper vision of the road and the front of the car, including the dashboard and part of the steering wheel. And I say part, because depending on your size, this camera position between the roll hoops implies that part of the vision is hidden by the driver’s and copilot’s shoulders and heads, and in some cases a lot.

Fixing the camera to a roll hoop is another common position, but not our choice

Being as I am a relatively tall man (I’m 1,82 m / 5ft11in), and with wide shoulders, and also considering that we chose to use helmets while we drive on open roads and motorways, a roll hoop camera stand is definitely not the best option for us.

So, we keep the chosen camera’s position between the windshields as the best for now.

The camera positioned there is at hand for both the driver and the copilot

Another advantage of having the camera there, is that both the driver and the copilot can manage the device. Pushing the record button is really easy, and at the same time you’re looking at it, so you know it’s there and it can’t fall off the car without noticing it.

The camera is always at sight of the passengers

But still, despite the GoPro declares its suction cup is good for speeds up to 150 mph / 240 km/h, the 3-Wheeler is no ordinary car, and its vibrations are a concern. Not only because the stabilized video image, but more because of the reliability of the suction cup when subjected to so much vibration.

For this reason, we looked for a safety solution, just in case the suction cup fails. Again, there are different solutions taken by other drivers, most of them consisting of a rope attached to the camera and knotted somewhere to the car. And ours is not much different, but we looked for something as simple as the rope concept, but without having a rope or long lanyard hanging around in front of the dashboard and flapping with the wind.

Thinking about the possible solutions, I realized that the male Lift-The-Dot fastener just between the two windshields was there, asking to be used for more than just attaching the tonneau cover when the car is parked. It’s clearly the best possible anchor point for this purpose.

This male Lift-The-Dot fastener between the windshields will be useful!

So, we came up with a simple solution.

We first attached a classic nylon cord lanyard with a female small plastic side-release buckle to the GoPro frame.

The GoPro Frame with its Nylon cord and the female side-release plastic buckle part

And then me made a short lanyard with a Lift-The-Dot fastener at one end, and the male small plastic side-release buckle for the Nylon cord of the GoPro frame on the other one.

Here’s a view of the short lanyard set

We made this short lanyard using the scraps of the dark brown leather that our upholsterer used to handcraft our luggage set, the back cushion for AM and the steering wheel bag.

For the link between the Nylon cord and the lanyard, we chose to use a side-release small plastic buckle. We believe it’s a better choice than a metallic carabiner or something similar, as it’s lighter, safe enough, and will not cause any metallic clinking.

Classic side-release small plastic buckle

So, the lanyard is made out of the same leather we have in the 3-Wheeler trim and upholstery. A perfect match. And it elegantly clips on the Lift-The-Dot fastener between the two windshields, securing the camera in case the suction cup fails.

Image of the camera in position with the lanyard anchored to the Lift-The-Dot fastener

Regarding the suction cup, we use the base – logically – and the shortest device allowing the camera to look upfront. The result is quite a compact set, and not too high that does not disturb our road visibility.

The GoPro suction cup with its shortest and simplest device

As you can see in the above pictures, we put on our GoPro a foam windslayer. A very simple accessorize that can be bought in Amazon for very little money, being the best quality (high foam density and good cut) less than 15 €.

The windslayer for the GoPro

It is amazing what such a simple accessorize can make to cancel the wind noise! Check out the wind noise difference between these two next videos!

Video without the windslayer
Video with the windslayer

The only negative point of the foam windslayer is that you need to remove it every time you have to replace the GoPro battery. And you need to do it with love to avoid tearing the foam.

Regarding the settings we use for the GoPro video, we set it to 4K / 60 fps resolution, wide view and of course the stabilization ON, as main parameters. It’s a personal choice and some others may use different settings. But those work perfect for us and they give us pretty nice stable videos, as long as there is enough light, because the stabilization software of the GoPro is quite terrible with low light and at night. Which seems logical, as the camera is a very compact one with a small lens and sensor.

Hope you enjoyed this post!

Hangar works #13 – Lift-The-Dot lanyards

The tonneau cover of the Morgan 3-Wheeler is fixed to the body using with Lift-The Dot fasteners.

The tonneau cover is fixed with Lift-The-Dot fasteners

Once the cover is removed, you have all around the tonneau a total of 12 Lift-The-Dot male fasteners. Or 5 if you keep half of the tonneau cover on. And we normally don’t think about them for any other use than fixing the tonneau cover.

There are 12 around the tonneau

Thinking about how to secure the video camera – a GoPro mounted on its suction cup between the two little windshields – I could see the central Lift-The-Dot male fastener really close to it, and consequently the best option for a safety anchor system.

The idea of a short fabric lanyard, with a Lift-The-Dot fastener at one end and a small carabiner for the Nylon cord fixed to the GoPro frame at the other, seemed the best option. With such a solution, we wouldn’t have any long cord hanging around inside the cockpit and in front of the instruments.

Here is the drawing of this simple idea:

A very simple lanyard

So, we ordered a little bag of ten Lift-The-Dot socket with backplate fasteners (Part No: 07 at www.woolies-trim.co.uk for just £7.00).

Lift-The-Dot socket with backplate

For the carabiners, we just looked into our drawers for those old and never re-used lanyards they give you in every conferences and fairs. And we cut them to retrieve their small carabiners.

The small carabiners are taken from old lanyards

For the fabric, in our case, we still have some scraps of the dark brown leather that our upholsterer used to handcraft our luggage set, the back cushion for AM and the steering wheel bag. So, we decided to use those.

As the leather is thicker than, for example, a Nylon strap, we did not overlap the whole lanyard, leaving the end where the Lift-The-Dot fastener will be fixed to with a single leather layer. Otherwise it would have be very difficult, maybe impossible, to fix the fastener. We made three of them, one specifically with a plastic fastener instead of a carabiner for the video camera lanyard (we’ll explain why in our next post).

The three lanyards we made

Here with more details, you can see that the Lift-The-Dot fasteners are on a single leather layer.

The end with the Lift-The-Dot fastener is just one layer of leather

The leather strap is glued and sewed. To fix the Lift-The-Dot fastener, I used a couple of very simple tools: a sharp knife and a hole puncher. Using the hole puncher to cut the hole for the male part of the fastener, the one that’s screwed on the edge of the 3-Wheeler tonneau, and the sharp knife to do the small cuts in the leather for the Lift-The-Dot socket tongues that will grab the backplate, and also finishing the leather around the fastener.

A simple sharp knife and a hola puncher is what you need

The result is an elegant, flexible, and really resistant lanyard you can fix in any of the 12 Lift-The-Dot fasteners available around the tonneau. And on the top of that it’s the same leather than the trim of our 3-Wheeler!

These very simple and easy to make lanyards are useful for very simple things, increasing somehow – it depends on the point of view – the storage capacity of our 3-Wheeler.

We can use them for just a momentary use, such as keeping on hand the garage door remote.

Or the case of your camera…

In our case to secure the GoPro too…

Sunglasses case, your cap, and anything else you can imagine that needs to be on hand while you’re driving or just for a moment.

A simple, easy to make and use and practical solution!

Hangar works #12 – Bonnet locks

As explained in the previous post (Hangar works #11 – Boot lock), we were genuinely concerned that neither the boot nor the hood of the Morgan 3-Wheeler had a lock.

Now it was time to solve the bonnet safety. And I have to say that, again, I’m very satisfied of how I’ve solved it!

After analyzing the bonnet structure in detail, how it sits on the main body, I had a clear idea of where and how secure the bonnet against the stealing baboons.

As it happened with the boot lock, the solution I came for does not intend to be the safest and the strongest, but a preventive locking system to protect against thefts by opportunists.

So, let’s go with the description and explanations!

The bonnet of the 3-Wheeler has its Dzus fasteners along its bottom line, two on each side. Looking in detail where these Dzus fasteners are fixed, so where their lock springs are situated, we can see that the closest one is situated in a large plated area just in front and below the rearview mirror.

The best area is in front and below the reaview mirrors.

The bonnet overlaps generously over this area, so it looks like the best zone to find a solution. But what’s beneath this area? Having a look from the inside, we can see the back support and lock spring for the Dzus fastener, and that a relatively large area of this body plate is free. It’s bordered by a couple of chassis’ steel tubes, and the ash wood arch behind the dashboard. The major concern can be the wires fixed to the vertical steel tube. I’ll have to be careful not to damage those while drilling.

The area – pilot side – looking from the inside.
Same picture with some description.

Now that we know we have a nice area where the bonnet overlaps the main body, and that allows us to work on, what’s the idea?

I normally focus my solution’s research in the automotive industry. And when nothing shows up there, I investigate the nautical world where you can find a huge amount of wise solutions to specific needs, and with high quality materials. And this was the case here! With inventiveness and a little bit of imagination, I came up with the simplest possible solution, using a hatch cover pull.

A nice nautical accessorize

The hatch cover pull I chose is made of 304 stainless steel, and its dimensions are shown in this drawing below.

Combined with a spring, some washers, and a luggage key lock, this is the solution I got.

The items shown in the drawing above are:

1 – Luggage key lock or lock pin. As we’re looking for protection against thieves, I’ll use the luggage key lock instead of the lock pin. It has to be a standard one, with 3,2 mm thin shackle so it can get through the modified drill of the hatch cover lock. The key locks are a pair, so both sides pilot and co-pilot key locks open with the same key. Combination locks are not recommended at all for this application, as you can’t see them underneath the dashboard! So, getting the right number combination can be a really funny task.

2 – A stainless-steel washer, with 7 mm diameter hole – then sold as for 6 mm screws -, and especially large outer diameter of 18 mm to increase the area for the spring contact. I have drilled a 1,5 mm hole into the washer, to pass through the nylon cord.

3 – Stainless steel compression spring. This is a 10 mm outer diameter compression spring, 9,9 mm inner diameter, with 3 kg strength, and 70 mm long. I have cut the spring to 45 mm length, to get the best compromise between strength and easiness to compress and putting the lock.

4 – Nylon cord. Very thin one. About 1mm diameter but very resistant. Why this cord? Easy to understand: if the washers and the spring are all loose pieces, you can drop any of them to the 3-Wheeler floor, in the footwell. This can happen very easy if you consider you’ll be trying to slide the shackle of a small lock through a very narrow drill in the hatch cover pull’s stem, in a place you don’t see, so “at touch”, and while maintaining the whole with a compressed spring. It’s not easy to do and having everything flying off will happen for sure. Then, looking inside the deep, dark and narrow footwell of the Morgan 3-Wheeler for a washer or a spring, can be really difficult, if not ridiculous, unless you’re a hyper-flexible acrobat of Le Cirque Du Soleil. The nylon cord keeps the washers and the spring all together as a “unit”, much easier to handle with, and avoids the flying off of any part. The cord passes through the 1,5 mm drill of the washers (including the plush no#6 glued to the washer no#5) and then a simple overhand knot keeps it secured to each washer.

5 – Another stainless-steel washer, with 7 mm diameter hole – then sold as for 6 mm screws -, and especially large outer diameter of 18 mm to increase the area for the spring contact. I have drilled a 1,5 mm hole into the washer, to pass through the nylon cord. So identical to no#2.

6 – Plush sticker. Normally put under the feet of furniture to avoid scratching the floor when moving the furniture. Cut and drilled to the no#5 washer size and holes. This plush will be in contact with the internal aluminum wall of the cockpit and avoids the metal-to-metal contact eliminating scratches on the paint and possible metallic clinks.

7 – This is a tailor-made decal. I made it with my home printer, using adhesive paper, and covered it with a transparent adhesive film. So, I can choose any shape, words, and colors. It will be glued around the hole of the bonnet where the stem of the hatch cover pull enters, so visible from the outside when this last one is not in place. This decal is multipurpose. First, it protects the bonnet paint around the hole from scratches and friction marks. Second, it reminds you to put the locking system. And finally, it’s pure decorative. I have printed many, so when the first ones I glued on the bonnet will wear out, I can replace them right away and even change the design and color if I want to print new different ones. When in place, the head of the hatch cover pull hides completely this decal.

8 – This is the hatch cover pull. It must be slightly modified as follows: its standard hole for the ring pin is only 3 mm in diameter. Using a very high-quality bit – remember we’re working on high quality and hard 304SS – and using a powerful drill at its lowest possible RPMs, I increased the diameter to 3,5 mm so the 3,2 mm shackle of the lock fits in. It’s very important to have everything properly secured and positioned before drilling, as the stem of the hatch cover pull is just 6,2 mm, so there is very little room for error! If the bit deviates from the axle while drilling, you can destroy the stem making it totally useless for its purpose.

9 – Sticker decal 3D resin domed. With an outer diameter of 30 mm matching the 32 mm flat heat of the hatch cover pull perfectly! It’s a high-quality decal, outdoor resistant to sun (UV), heat, washing, rain, etc. Purely decorative. I could have left the hatch cover pull as it is, with a flat polished stainless-steel head. But I find it bland, so putting this high-quality sticker on it with the Spanish Air Force cockade is much more decorative. On the co-pilot side I put the Guatemalan Air Force cockade, in honor to AM, the best possible co-pilot! The source of these decals is a local company in Madrid, and they can do almost any design you want! Choose yours!

Once everything is placed, the locking system is reduced to three pieces. The truth is that they’re five, but I say three because the washers and the spring are tied together with the nylon cord.

And finally closed, the scheme is very simple.

The following video, with a terrible Spanish accent (sorry for that) explains the philosophy of the locking system and shows how it works.

After building on the locking system, now it’s time to install it on the Morgan 3-Wheeler!

I took detailed measures before deciding where exactly I should drill the holes.

Since the beginning I know and accept I won’t have a direct view on the locking system inside the cockpit while placing the key lock. With this negative part in mind, I chose a place to drill in the reduced available area, more based in aesthetics and being sure I won’t damage anything while drilling.

First thing was to remove the bonnet.

NOTE: If you plan to do this in your M3W, you may choose other position for the holes. However, you should take into consideration the following comments. If you drill higher, then the bonnet shape is curvier so the flat head of the cover hatch pull may not seat completely flat. And the access to the system in higher position makes it more difficult while closing the system with the washers, spring, and key lock. And if you drill lower, you’ll be too close to the Dzus fastener. You may gain a little bit of “comfort” while closing the system from the inside, but still won’t be much better. At last, it’s your choice, and you may differ from mine!

Then I marked the dot with a simple chalk marker.

The spot to drill marked with chalk.

Obviously, I marked the exact same spot on both sides. The location chosen is 70 mm up the Dzus hole, on the line parallel to the crease of the body plate where the edge of the bonnet will fit. This line runs 90 mm from the crease of the body plate.

Exact measures shown in this picture.

After marking the place to drill, the drilling process was as follows. Always using a high-quality bit (in my case I used Titanium ones made by Black & Decker) and setting the drill at its lowest possible RPMs. This process is done on both sides, of course…

  1. The black synthetic protection of the area is thick enough to assure that your drill will work on the right marked spot. So, we do the first drill from the outside with a small bit of only 2 mm size.
  2. Clean carefully any aluminum burrs left on the inside of the hole.
  3. Put the bonnet back on and fix it with the Dzus fasteners making sure it’s in normal position.
  4. Now from the inside of the cockpit, place the bit through the drilled hole. Once you passed the bit thought the hole, make sure you position the drill totally perpendicular to the bonnet plate. Then drill very slow and careful with very little pressure, until the bit comes out the bonnet.
  5. Change the bit to 3,5 mm size. And, always from the inside and very carefully, drill over the 2 mm hole to make it 3,5 mm with the new bit.
  6. Change again the bit to 5 mm size. And, always from the inside and very carefully, drill over the 3,5 mm hole to make it 5 mm with the new bit.
  7. Last change of bit to 6 mm. And, always from the inside and very carefully, drill over the 5 mm hole to make it 6 mm with the new bit.
  8. Finally, with a lot of kindness, play with the drill and the 6mm bit to increase very little the holes’ diameters, so the 6,2 mm stem of the hatch cover pull passes through both of them tight but without too much friction.

Note that finding the hole from the inside of the cockpit won’t be easy, as the hole done is originally very small (just 2 mm), and you don’t have direct view of the area. Be careful not to scratch the inside paint with the bit looking for the hole!

During the whole process, after each drill clean carefully blowing the aluminum burrs away. Careful if you do it with a cloth or your hand! The aluminum burrs can scratch the paint!

Now all holes are done!

From the outside, it’s just a 6,2 mm diameter hole.

To finish the job I stick the home-made decals outside the hole of the bonnet.

The decal protects the paint from scratches and friction marks.

The stem of the hatch cover pull shall enter tight but without too much friction.

The hole shall be large enough to insert the stem tight but without too much friction.
Inserting the pilot side hatch cover pull.
Co-pilot side.

The most difficult part now is placing all the internals, so the washers and spring and slide the lock shackle into the stem’s hole.

View from the inside.

With the hatch cover pull in place, the first washer with the plush is easy to enter. And the spring after is easy too.

With the first washer (with plush) inserted. The nylon cord keeps all together.

But then compressing the spring and enter the end washer, and maintain it all compressed while you slide the lock’s shackle, just by touch, because you can not see anything in the area unless you are a spectacular contortionist, it is the most difficult. Although with a little practice you end up getting the hang of it.

Putting the key lock is not easy. But once done, it’s secured and neat. No friction noises nor metallic clinks.

Finally with the whole in place, you’re not supposed to remove the bonnet frequently, so in my honest opinion this locking system is worthy and a very simple and elegant solution.

Pilot side with the Spanish Air Force cockade
Co-pilot side with the Guatemalan Air Force cockade

From the outside, you don’t realize this is a lock system. And the force of the spring is strong enough to avoid pulling it out unless you have steel claws instead of nails.

And unless you know it’s there, you can’t notice that you have a key lock on each side of the cockpit just below the dashboard. In fact it’s invisible unless you dive into the footwell heads first.

Enjoy these result pictures!

Larger pilot side View.
Larger co-pilot side View.
With some distance, the heads of the lock system with the cockades look nice.

I hope you liked this solution and enjoyed this post!

Hangar works #11 – Boot lock

The Morgan 3-Wheeler is a kind of vehicle that may not be designed for a daily use. Its cockpit is fully open, and the engine is totally accessible. So, it’s not the kind of car we’re used to. Not a cocoon which interior can’t be accessed when closed. We can agree on that, but a simple lock for the boot and the bonnet are something that would be highly appreciated, as most of us drivers keep expensive tools and other stuff under the bonnet or in the boot.

Both the bonnet and the boot lid of the Morgan 3-Wheeler are secured by Dzus fasteners. Once you learn how to use them, and how to push the bonnet sides to make them grab their steel pin, they are quite easy to use.

Dzus fastener

There is another option for the bonnet: the vintage bonnet catches. Apart the aesthetic difference, most of the owners who have them in their machines declare they are easier to use than the Dzus fasteners. There are some pros and cons about the vintage bonnet catches, but they are not the subject of this post.

Vintage bonnet catches

This post is focused on the boot. To secure the boot lid, you have two Dzus fasteners, one on each side of the body. Fast and easy. But there is no lock.

So, it is an undeniable fact that the boot can be freely open by anyone who knows how to. We can discuss about if a regular pedestrian sniffing around the striking 3-Wheeler would know how to. But the reality, and our concern, is that there is no lock, so no security against any opportunistic stealing baboon. If any specimen of this sub-human specie discovers how to open your boot, anything that is stored in there is at risk.

Then, AM and I have decided to install a lock, so we can stop on the road to have a coffee with peace of mind.

But, which kind of lock? And how? And where? The boot lid of the 3-Wheeler has this special shape, so you don’t have many choices. What we are looking for is a preventive lock, to protect against thefts by opportunists. So, there is no need to install a huge, armored lock. And the best option I came up with is a simple key lock, like the one used for mailboxes or cabinets.

A simple key lock, as the ones used for mailboxes or cabinets.

This kind of lock is very simple and easy to install. And you have plenty of choices with different qualities, colours, shapes, lengths, etc. But I’ll need to drill a hole in the boot lid and that is the scary part of the job!

The idea is to install it, so its lever gets under the body plate at the front of the boot, just behind the right-side safety roll hoop. We chose the right side as this one is clear. On the left side there is a vent tube from the fuel tank.

The following drawing shows how is the profile of this area, where the boot lid drops on the body plate behind the roll hoops.

The idea is to put the lock in the boot lid close enough so its rotating blade gets beneath the body plate, so you can’t lift the boot lid. A U-shaped aluminum profile will be fixed to the body plate to avoid the lock’s rotating blade to rotate directly over the rubber gasket, as the rubber-to-metal rubbing would disturb the usual closing and opening and will end up damaging the gasket.

With a clear idea of how it should be, and detailed measures taken, it’s time to start the job! It may look simple, but it’s important to take very precise measures before doing the job, or it can end up in a true carnage! The lock I bought is a 16 mm body-length, made out of chrome brass. Looking at the dimensional drawing below, its measures are: X = 25 mm; Y = 16 mm; B = 40 mm

The U-shaped aluminum profile I chose is anodized and has the following dimensions, in millimeters (mm).

First thing is to cut a 40 mm length piece out of the U-shaped aluminum profile. Note that with the installation done in our 3-Wheeler, the 20 mm face is cut to reduce its 20 mm to 15 mm for a proper lock rotation. Once cut, I used a file to smooth the edges.

Then I proceed to drill two holes on it, as I’ll fix it with a couple of rivets to the edge of the body plate. I drilled all through both faces of the profile and made the bottom holes larger so the rivet can be put without any interference. And I put some double-sided mounting tape too, as it will help me during the installation.

Then I removed the rubber seal to leave the body plate naked, and chose the best location, according to my own criteria (if you do it yourself, you may chose a different one), to fix the U-shaped profile piece. I chose it quite upwards, as close as possible to the top of the edge. And then I made the two drills for the rivets. I use 3,2 mm diameter rivets, as this piece won’t suffer any force. So good enough!

This is how it looks like when riveted.

And then with the rubber seal back in place, it’s almost invisible to the eye. The rubber gets back in place without any problem, and it hides the U-shaped profile pretty good.

Now it’s time to calculate the correct position of the lock. The technique I used is quite simple: with a chalk marker I stained the upper part of the rubber seal, all along the exact location where the U-shaped profile is.

With the zone marked, I closed the boot lid before the chalk liquid gets dry, and when I open again the boot lid, this one is perfectly marked, as you can see in this next picture.

With the blade of the lock, which is removable in this type of locks or it would not be possible to install them, I mark the exact spot where the center line of the lock should be, this is the spot marking the rotation center of the blade. You need to leave enough room, so the lock body doesn’t get too close to the rubber seal, but not too far so the blade doesn’t land properly on the U-shaped profile.

And now starts the scary part of all this job: drilling the boot lid! Oh my God I’m really afraid… If something goes wrong, I’ll have to deal with a hole in the boot lid! If you are thinking about copying this installation, I suggest you do as me: when you’re at this stage of the process, make sure, not twice but five times or more, that you’re marking the correct spot where you will place your drill bit!

Obviously, I’m drilling from the inside side of the boot lid. I do it the lowest RPM my drill allows, and with a very sharp high-quality bit. You can’t play with wrong speed and / or bit’s quality here, as the paint of the car is affected! The hole is done. There is no way back now!

Left: inside View. Right Outside View.

Now I use the lock body’s template to mark the exact area to be removed. The body of the lock is not totally round. It has two flat sides, so if you put it in a hole this same shape and size, the body will stay and not turn while tightening it with the counter locknut.

To do it, I use my brand new Dremel 3000 tool. What a fantastic machine! The head used is a very small cylindrical steel head, that showed to be the best choice.

With a lot of patience and making sure that the exact size and shape of the lock’s body is respected, I finished the drilling job. Always working from the inside side of the boot lid! Be careful not to do it the other way round, as if the drilling head “escapes” you would damage the visible outer paint! You can see a very small scratch in the inner side (left side of next picture); I wouldn’t forget myself if this happened on the outer side, on the visible paint! Always keep working from the inside!

Left: inside View. Right Outside View.

The result is really good. I’m proud I made it perfect and with patience, so the hole matches perfect to the lock’s body.

Now the moment of truth has come. I fix the lock body to the boot lid. Shown in the below picture you have:

  • 1 – The lock body.
  • 2 – The outer washer, that will protect against water ingression.
  • 3 – The first inner washer: the one shown in the picture is a large soft one of big diameter that I’ll use first to test if everything is OK, as it protects the paint from scratches of the wrench. The final one is also a white semi-soft one that will adapt to the inner surface, but with the correct diameter.
  • 4 – The clear washer that came with the lock, that is quite rigid and will be the one in contact with the locknut.
  • 5 – The locknut.

The lock is really discreet. And its size does not disturb the aesthetics of the back. Or at least not dramatically.

The following video shows how it works from the inside.

It trully works very nice! The boot lid can’t be lifted if the lock is on. Not a single milimeter! It’s a nice, clean and simple solution. Of course, not perfect, but a really nice one!

Now that I know it works, and really well, I might consider using a lock protector on the outside. There is a Harley Davidson one that attired my attention.

Maybe it’s a next improvement? I believe it will be better looking than just the lock, and it has the advantage of hiding it, and protects the lock from direct rain and dust.

Hope you liked the post!

Hangar works #10 – Luggage set

The 3-Wheeler is a fantastic car to drive. It’s all about sensations. Like going back in time to pure driving experience. You are sitting so low that you can touch the tarmac if you want. The steering is direct, no assistance at all, and you can see the exact path the front tyres go to.

You may think that the 3-Wheeler is quite an uncomfortable car to drive, and that after some kilometers behind the wheel you’ll have all your body in pain. But that’s not exactly true. To be fair, the 3-Wheeler is far away from the comfort of a modern car, but it’s not such a torture rack. In fact, it’s surprisingly comfortable for the concept and characteristics of the vehicle.

So, despite most of its owners use it just for daily drives, AM and I plan to make longer getaways, whether it’s a weekend or even a week or more.

But for this kind of “long range campaigns” as we like to call these longer trips, the 3-Wheeler shows one of its obvious weaknesses: a very limited space for luggage.

Rear view – without the luggage rack

You only have a molded plastic boot inner tray over the back wheel. And this space accepts a couple of small size soft bags. Maybe a third if you find the correct bags combination.

The boot space is a weakness of the 3-Wheeler

There is a nice option that we bought when we ordered the little rocket: the luggage rack. This option allows you to add extra luggage up to 22-25 kg on top of the boot. It is a chromed stainless steel rack, and the fixings of the last version that we have are frankly well resolved. The system may not be perfect, as to open the boot you must remove the rack completely, releasing it from its front fixings that are mounted on the roll hoops. If these bindings had a simple hinge system, allowing the grill to pivot to vertical position and open the boot without inference, it would be almost perfect.

Rear view – With the luggage rack

You can put on this luggage rack anything you want with a weight limit of 22 – 25 kg. The bag or trolley you’ll put on it will be fully exposed to driving and weather conditions, and it will obviously affect aesthetically the look of the 3-Wheeler.

Some different solutions

We looked at different bags options that could result elegant and practical at the same time. We admit we had nice laughs looking at some weird pictures of luggage solutions in the internet, obviously taken just for fashion purposes…

But we thought that, being the 3-Wheeler a unique kind of vehicle, it doesn’t deserve a bag that breaks its aesthetics. So, we ended up ordering a tailor-made luggage set, trying to maintain the elegant look, but optimizing the trapezoidal shape of the luggage rack.

We designed the bags and discussed with our fantastic upholsterer the way to make them elegant, practical, and easy to fix on the rack. We chose the same weatherproof dark brown leather than the interior, which is also the same we used for AM’s back cushion (see our post “Hangar works #3 – The back cushion for AM“) and the steering wheel bag (see our post “Hangar works #1 – The steering wheel“).

Our beautiful tailor-made high Quality bags

The upholsterer made a couple of beautiful pieces of art, with quilted exterior, green piping matching with the Morgan Sports Green color of the body, and nice and smooth cotton fabric interior.

The quilted exterior and green piping look perfect on our 3-Wheeler

The large bag is larger than a regular cabin-sized trolley. And the small one is half the size of a cabin-sized trolley. A good combination.

Adjustable shoulder straps, removable thanks to 360º rotating carabiners and double metallic lockable zipper.

Detailed picture of the design

In the above picture you can see the green piping detail, and the leather belt clips to secure the bag to the rack with a luggage strap.

This is how they look on the luggage rack.

Rear view with the bags on the luggage rack
Side view with the bags on the luggage rack
Closer side view with the bags on the luggage rack
Front view with the bags on the luggage rack

The bags are not too wide, so they don’t result too tall while put on the luggage rack.

We got a couple of leather luggage straps. Passing them through the side leather clips of each bag, they fix them securely to the rack.

Side view with the luggage straps
Closer side view with the luggage straps

In the above pictures the luggage straps are not really tightened, but with these, we may not need any extra fixing to be sure the bags won’t move!

They perfectly match with the steering wheel bag.

We really love the result! And they match in perfection with the car interior and the steering wheel bag.

We hope you like the result too!