Hangar works #8 – Under the bonnet storage

When we ordered our 3-Wheeler, among the options we chose was the under-bonnet storage locker offered by Morgan. It’s a nice black beautiful box, fixed with four bolts under the bonnet, in the empty space in front of the co-pilot seat.

The idea of having a storage under the bonnet, key-lockable, seemed really nice. We could safely store in it documents, cameras, electronics and other valuable items.

Morgan’s under Bonnet storage locker.

But, despite one person can easily remove the bonnet to access the storage locker, we soon realized this is not so practical. Yes, in our honest opinion the bonnet can be removed easily. But we must admit that the maneuver is quite cumbersome, and generally impractical. The bonnet is voluminous, and you’ll have to leave it on the floor aside the car, with the risk of scratching it’s corners on the floor or damaging the paint. I don’t see any of us looking for something from the locker and have to do all this scandalous operation of removing the hood by lifting it up in the air, look for a safe place to leave it without damaging it, and then put it back. We soon realized we will never use this under bonnet storage locker, or, in fact, anything stored under the bonnet.

Meanwhile, we had in the boot four bags full of tools and spares, occupying almost half of its volume. Not the best scenario in a small car with very limited storage capacity. So, the most intelligent thing to do would be to remove the nice under bonnet storage locker and put the tools & spares bags in its place, since tools and spares are hardly ever used.

Our Four tools & spares bags.

We opened a thread in the Talk Morgan forum, to share ideas and see how other pilots have arranged this under bonnet space. The ideas are many, all of them really wise.

Many options. All really wise.

But taking into account that we already had our tools & spares bags purchased, and that therefore we preferred not to buy anything new but to find the best solution to fix ours under the bonnet, the idea of making a custom compartment seemed to us the best option, and it would optimize the storage space.

With our minds set on this solution, we designed an aluminum-framed bin, with a tall aluminum mesh side to avoid anything stored in it to fall over. It’s a fact that under the bonnet we have the battery, the steering column, the hydraulics of the braking system and the oil tank – that can get really hot – among other things. Our design with this tall mesh side wouldn’t allow anything to fall over and move freely under the bonnet if the fixing straps get loose.

Here below you’ll see the pictures of what we’ve built, before installing it under the bonnet. In order to solve the step caused by the footwell access plate, we built it with two base thicknesses. So, the whole rests evenly along the base. And both the base and the side that goes against the vertical side have adhesive plush to avoid scratches on the paint and to absorb vibrations and any metal clinking.

The bottom and vertical plates are covered with plush.

As you can see in the pictures below, it’s made out of two pieces. Originally the base was a single piece made out of a 1 m length L-shaped profile. But when we worked on the front outer corner to reduce its height – it was too tall, so it touched the inside of the bonnet – we unfortunately had no choice but cut it in two pieces.

Different views.

The top is covered by a PVC profile, to give a smooth finish and avoid scratches from the sharp metallic parts.

The whole is fixed by screws. You have a total of seven fixing screws. Six for the base, of which four are screws already existing. And one for the vertical part, against the back of the dashboard. So, we had to drill two new holes in the base, and one on the vertical panel that goes against the back of the dashboard.

The whole is fixed by seven screws.

In RED are the new screws, so we had to drill new holes for these. They have washers and a lock thread nut on the other side, inside the footwell. If we think about an improvement, we would have done the drills but put threaded rivet nuts in those, instead of a washer and nut. Because at least the deepest one, at the very end of the footwell (the red one on the far-right side of the picture) was really difficult to find from the inside of the footwell and tight! I was lucky to have my father helping me again with these works!

The BLUE ones are existing screws, used to fix the footwell access plate or the locker we just removed. And they have threaded rivet nuts to be fixed in, but the one for the locker. So easy ones.

The YELLOW one is different. We drilled the aluminum vertical panel and only, being very careful not to drill beyond the metal, because behind there’s wood. Then, this screw is a wood type, about 30 mm long.

This is the final result, from different angles.

The storage space is now optimized.
The tall side with the aluminum mesh avoids anything to fall on the other side.
Our Four bags fit in perfect!
And there is still room for another long bag or two small ones.

The smaller piece that goes against the outer side, is drilled with 7 holes, that will help us to fix the metallic hooks of the elastic ropes that will maintain all the bags tight.

With the elastic ropes on, everything is safely fixed.

As you see, there is still room for more bags if necessary. We’re really happy with the result!

I hope you enjoyed this technical post!

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