The Morini Witch

The dark side of my Morini

On this pages I'm reporting some troubles apart from the regular maintenance I had with my Morini 3½. It's not intended for preventing somebody from buying himself a Morini. What would life be without any surprise!?


  • 26-06-99 One stud of the front cylinder broke.
  • 31-07-99 Left side cover got lost.
  • 16-10-99 Chroming of left silencer partially removed due to a boiling battery.
  • ... to be continued.

    26-06-99: The broken stud

    To illustrate the subject I placed here the the initial and final message I posted to the Morini mailing list regarding this problem:

    29-06-99: The bug report

    Buona sera Friends,

    I've got some bad news - at least for me:

    Last saturday I decided to fix the leaking gaskets of the front cylinder. Already during the strip down I noticed, that one of the four nuts keeping everything together was fairly loose - but didn't care about it and proceeded. The foot/base (?) gasket (paper) was damaged - as I expected. Cleaning and polishing all the surfaces thoroughly took quite a long time and ellbow grease. Additionally I checked the valves by pouring petrol in the ports of the head - and they are perfectly tight. Although the piston is still the original diameter, there' no excessive wear. The bearings of the connecting rod show no noticeable radial play. So far the good news.

    The holes of the new gaskets (aluminium) needed slight machining with a knife to make them fit perfectly. I assembled base gasket, cylinder, head gasket and put on the head, managed not to forget the washers while attaching the four nuts, grabbed the small wrench to screw them down until they're seated properly and .......... FUCK! What's that? One nut just tumbled between the valves - together with a piece of thread! It took me a few moments to realize, what has happened: The stud died - although I haven't applied any noteworthy force. I haven't even looked at the torque wrench.

    The stud must have been badly damaged already beforehand, which also explains the loose nut from the beginning. Maybe crappy steel. Maybe a previous owner tried to fix the leakage by torquing a little bit.

    I call myself lucky, that this didn't happen on the road at 6000 revs!

    Now some problems arise:
    1) Finding a replacement. Haven't tried yet.
    2) I'm not shure whether trusting the remaining seven studs is a good idea or not. I tend to 'not'.
    3) Will it be easy to remove the rotten one. Haven't tried yet, 'cause I was so frustrated and just closed the engine provisorily and left the garage.

    So far - so bad.

    Ciao Sebastian

    12-07-99: The solution

    Ciao ragazzi/e,

    friday afternoon I went to Luzzi and got the stud. He asked 18.000 Lit. for one, which is about 18 Mark, 9 US$ or quasi 9 Euro. According to him it's sufficient to replace only the broken one - of course after checking the others. I bought two, so I have one in spare for future use.

    I reassembled the whole stuff on saturday and had a hard time waiting for the silicone to cure. Yesterday evening we had the first test-ride and after approx. 100 km the engine is still tight. Looks good!

    I also saw studs for the 500 - they look very weird (compared to the 3 1/2 ones) with thin and thick sections - but are cheaper for one reason: There are much more left.

    Ciao Sebastian

    02-08-99: Remark

    The extraction of the rotten stud using a small pipe-wrench was quite easy because I didn't mind further damage. I mounted the new one with the 'two nut on the upper thread' trick. Somebody from the list also mentioned a proper tool called 'stud remover' - but I was too impatient to look for it.

    Even after almost thousand kilometers the gaskets are still tight, so I'm assuming that the repair was successful.


    31-07-99: The lost cover

    Here the message I posted to the Morini mailing list about the lost side cover:

    Buona sera,

    my Morini seems not to like me very much - but from the beginning:

    last saturday I finally got new tyres (Pirelli MT65, front 3.25-18 and rear 100/90). The rear one is quite slim but the 4.10 or 110/90 is no longer in production as a S-type - according to the guy in the shop. My first impression was very good - no wonder, they replaced 10 year old tyres.

    In the late afternoon I started for a nice trip and returned back to Perugia in the dusk, moved the bike in the parking lot, unmounted and immediately noticed that something has changed - the left side cover is missing! Obviously the -BEEP- fixing screw became loose due to vibrations, fell off and the whole cover with it.

    It could have happened only during the last 40 km (It definately sat at its right place at the last cigarette brake), unfortunately most of them are 4-lane motorway.

    I immediately checked the streets I took in the city, but it was already too dark to search in the countryside, especially with the not-so-bright Morini headlight. So I got up quite early on sunday (dawn). Fortunately there was almost no traffic on the roads and nobody cared about me driving very slowly - looking left and right and hoping to spot the missing baby. Damned, you couldn't imagine how many red things are lying beside the streets: Coke cans, cigarette boxes, smashed tail lights, ....... but not the cover. I arrived home frustrated, went to bed and slept until 11 o'clock. I'll try it once again today after work - but I'm not very confident though.

    So, watch the screws and tight them firmly!

    BTW, has anybody a surplus left hand side cover she/he would trade/sell? New (angular shaped) version, preferably plain red with a white '3 1/2' badge as seen on the picture on my website.

    So long,

    Ciao Sebastian

    P.S.: After 400 kilometers I'm still convinced of the new tyres.

    10-11-99: Remark

    Thanks to a very kind reader of this pages who offered me exactly the cover I've lost the Morini is complete again. Grazie tante Nicola!


    16-10-99: The etched exhaust

    After a quite long tour I noticed, that a remarkable amount of acid was spilled through the venting hose of the battery and reached the left silencer, where the chrome felt a little bit uncomfortable and thus decided to leave its innate place. Definately not a feast for the eyes, apart from the missing protection against rust. Really a shame - the silencer was just half a year old. Fortunately there are no damages to any other parts like the frame.

    01-11-99: Remark

    Now I'm quite shure that only the very old (>10 years) battery was faulty. I replaced it with a new one, checked the regulator and alternator assembly and after 300 kilometers the acid stays were it is supposed to: inside the battery.