Dutton Kit Cars and their owners

So finally the 1st of the month arrived so i could tax my new S4 and be legal to drive on the road, feels like ages since collecting it in mid March and having it stored it at my brothers.

The first real drive was great fun and my girlfriend loves it! We did about 25 miles with no real issues.

Unfortunately we did not take a photo of our first outing in it - wished we did!

I will do my best to go out in it whenever the opportunity allows and have more fun! We had so many looks and waves, sure loads of people were wishing they had a fun car seeing us smiling from ear to ear rather than being sat in another boring production car!

Anyway, i would like to continue to tell the story of my S4 following on from Jason and Pete who previously owned it and both did a great job of providing write ups of the jobs they were attending to. I hope i can match their efforts and keep things interesting.

So the first job was to look at fitting the digital dash i had with the car from Jason, found a wiring diagram Pete posted and one from the Acewell website i went to work, with my girlfriend giving me a hand, have not finished it yet but made a good start! Hopefully be able to spend a couple of hours on it tomorrow after putting our daughter to bed!

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Great, get the girlfriend involved, that way anything goes wrong it's her fault. Love it, good thinking that man, just be careful if she asks to drive it !!

A Dutton is an emotional car - it can be soul destroying when it won't go but the joy of driving it when it is on song is worth all of the effort. After a good blast then you can't stop yourself from smiling, we call it the "Dutton Grin".

Managed to spend a couple of hours out in the garage this evening, and wanted to look at the oil leak from the diff as its started to make a little puddle!

I stripped the paint/ covering from the casing and looked for any signs of holes of further damage, unfortunately i could find neither. I suspect i will need to top the oil back up and have another look in a few days - perhaps a little hole is now above the level of oil left in the diff.

I also wanted to check the knock/ scrapping noise from the back end almost sounds like the fiber glass is about be ripped off when going over bumps! I could not find anything wrong with the wheel clearances in the arches and shacking the car i could just about hear a knock. On looking at the diff earlier i noticed a clean scratched surface on the panard rod above the diff casing and putting 2 and 2 together I suspect it is hitting and scrapping on the diff when the suspension travel is large enough. I removed the panard rod and found the mounting ends have been welded off center. Maybe someone in its long past has removed the panard rod and fitted it the wrong way around reducing the clearance between it and the diff housing. The rod is now pretty straight but does have some suggestion it was once formed into a shape, looking at the nearside axle fixing I could see a possiblility of some slight movement outwards as the old rusty paint/mud has formed a lip not next to the U bolt, This I suspect has moved outwards as a result of the panard rod being straighten and therefore lengthened during the knocking noises of the suspension operation. I put a bit of a kink in the rod and tried to adjust the axle mounting so both sides are the same. I jacked up the suspension and the clearance is now good. Gave it a big shake with it back on the ground and no more knocks! Hopefully that is sorted but will have to give it a test on the road, will let you guys know! If anyone has any experience with the panard rod or rear suspension set up please respond, also the new rear shocks have been fitted by the previous owner and the handbrake linkage seems to rubbing on the lower body of the shocks - I'm a little concerned this may result in an MOT failure - any thoughts? Thanks 

On my Legerra, I get a noise that matches your description. Eventually, I traced this to the input flange at the front of the diff which hits my transmission tunnel. So in my case it is actually grating of fibreglass. The simple solution, which I haven't done, would be to put a small bulge in the tunnel. I'd need to remove the seats to get at it so I haven't bothered. I was worried that it was something serious but now I know that it isn't then I'm in no hurry to sort it.

The diff leak could be from the seal on the input shaft.

Pretty sure my diff leak is from the rear aspect of the diff casing as the diff itself is pretty dry! thanks for the thought tho, i'm pleased its not from the front aspect of the diff as i would not like to have set the preload up on the pinion bearing much after changing the seal!

This is where my one was leaking from, and repaired with a couple of blobs of braze :-

Thats what i was hoping to find when i removed all the paint and muck, no such luck!

neat job!

I have a MIG welder and was planning on turning it right down and doing a few little tacks - need to find the leak first tho was not expecting it to be so difficult going from the puddle of oil under the diff!

The one I sorted before was literally a pin prick hole just big enough I could wedge a paper clip in it so I didn't lose it whilst I was getting stuff ready to repair it. Best bet clean it all up and hopefully you will see a dot of oil where it starts to seep.

It has been suggested that a leak from the front normally means that the bearing is ruined too. This is based on the idea that the seal failure is caused by the bearing failure. I can believe that the bearing could take out the seal but I would have thought that some seals would just go on their own with age.

The handbrake fouling issue is common on most of the '5 link' duttons. The lower plates are actually on backwards as on the original escort the shock mount points forward. 

If you increase the length of the handbrake actuator (the bit that sticks out of the back plate) it alters the amount of leverage applied to the brakes by the hand brake lever. Something I thought about trying out as my handbrake is always 'adequate' at MOT time but hard work to cause a lock up when moving. Making it longer requires more travel to produce the same braking force but lengthening the lever means it would require less effort... (I think)

lengthen the lever you will need more effort......lots more.

Noooo the longer the lever the less the effort you have to apply but the longer the distance is thats needs to be travelled.


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