Dutton Kit Cars and their owners

For those days when your parts just can't arrive quick enough, for sunny days when the transit just isn't 'fun'...

Project X...

Coming soon to a shed near me.

1997 DOHC, weber TC, MT75 box and Sierra fixed 3.72 diff in a Phaeton 3/4 hybrid.

I did some playing on gear calc and the theoretical stats look like this.

Gear   Mph per 1000 RPM  Mph @4000 RPM Mph @6000 RPM
1 4.91 20 29
2 9.17 37 55
3 14.24 57 85
4 19.08 76 114
5 23.27 93 (buttock clench) 140 (new pants)

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Comment by Adrian Southgate on November 20, 2017 at 23:28

Here goes, photo's for your perusal.

So this was the mark 1, partial success (providing you only needed third and fourth)


and... this is the mark 2, quite stiff to select gears whilst there is no clutch depression, the lever is short and there is a 

polybush on the knob end as a temporary safety feature.



The change of position on the pivot made all the difference, it now works in all 6 gear positions. I will have to cap the selector tube and extend it down the bar below then grind back. If I fit this cap with a grease nipple then it can be lubricated without disassembly. The excessive M12 bolt sticking forward from the pivot mount is to double lock the rose joint and will be replaced with a grub screw when they arrive.

At the suggestion of Mr Sheridan I attempted to shoot a video of it in operation... once again a tech fail as I forgot the camera mount so had to operate the shift while holding the camera with the other hand.  I don't know if this will work as it's on flickr not you tube. Starting by selecting fifth and banging down the gears it shifts well, short throw and very precise. I do think it's going to need more metal in the pivot mounting bracket, possibly using the blue bolt on the picture above (there is one both sides) which is the original mounting point for the old shift lever extension. 


I have now created gearbox mounts as the original Sierra one was cracked and fell into two pieces when removed. These are BMW transmission mounts from a 3 series, apparently made from sponge rubber and very soft. probably make the BMW very quiet but not ideal for this application. Might as well have used mini exhaust bobbins, probably stiffer. Seen from above they are mounted on the diagonal box section which is the only new bit I had to add (so far!) its 20 x 40 mm box left over from a previous project, drilled so the nut is hidden from below and can be concealed with a 20mm grommet. A 13mm 1/4 drive socket fits just right, i'll get a picture from underneath when I lift the chassis to finish the welding.


So there you go, half the mounts in, gear shift sorted. Got to cut and shut the prop next then take it to North West propshafts to be welded properly and balanced. As it's fixed i'm going to be able to get away with a very small prop catcher and tunnel  but I will be keeping a UJ on the diff end and the rubber donut on the front just in case the engine and box ever shift suddenly, don't want that bit getting stressed. The finished prop will have to be millimetre perfect as I have no adjustment on those transmission mounts.

Waiting for the next batch of bits to arrive so I can get the steering rack mounted. Why does the steering ALWAYS want to interfere with the engine mounts. More on that little issue next time.

Comment by Steve Kerswell on November 16, 2017 at 8:59

I have just found a remote that may give an idea or improvement, will post pictures when this thing lets me :-)

Comment by Adrian Southgate on November 15, 2017 at 23:45

Bit more done tonight but like a womble I forgot my phone so no pics.

MK2 gear stick now functions in all six gear positions but there is a little play in the selector / 'made up bit' joint that needs a thin rubber or polyurethane sleeve just to help keep the rattles at bay. Its adjustable both at the pivot rose joint and the bottom clevis fork which is good because a 1 mm washer makes all the difference between being able to select gears and not. I think 2 or 3 may end up being used in the end. 

The inner rod is only M8 threaded 316 stainless so really needs the outer tube to be one bit and also threaded on to help add rigidity. If I can find the right spacer bushes then I may go for a mk3 using M10 and dispense with the misalignment bushes currently being used. A lathe would make things so much simpler but as I don't currently own one, welded bits will have to suffice. The bracket will need bracing and may also need the two lower mountings adding to stop flex. All in all i'm quite pleased that it now functions, but still got to finish the rest of engine and gearbox mounts before I can test it from a seated position so not really in a position to declare it a complete success. It would be handy to create that reverse lockout too but that may have to be incorporated into the shift gate.

Comment by Adrian Southgate on November 12, 2017 at 20:32

Well that didn't pan out quite the way I wanted.

'Bit' made and fitted, everything nipped up and third - fourth is perfect... sadly all the other gears are out of range.

The pivot point for the stick is too high so as you try to move it sideways in neutral the mechanism binds on itself. I have started on the mk2 but may need another M12 tube nut as the first one is welded into the bracket and it's going to be awkward to remove and re-use it. I may be able to rotate the bracket through 180 degrees and reweld the mounting points though, that will get the existing M12 tube nut to about 30-40 degrees from horizontal and allow the pivot point to be moved down and back, more in line with the centre of rotation. I have already made a new 'link bit' which is totally different, but it needs to be ground to shape. The new link bit is a different diameter of tube which may need a cap welding on and a rubber sleeve between it and the selector knob to help stop vibration. 

I can't work out how the spyder engineering one works now, thought I had it sussed but it didn't work.

Spyder shift 01

I Don't see how that assembly can rotate the selector as the pivot point is out of line.

Comment by Adrian Southgate on November 12, 2017 at 10:38

The 'workshop' is primarily for doing those little fiddly jobs that we currently undertake in the street outside, bulbs, wipers, batteries etc, awful jobs to do when it's raining. Having the space to work on a toy is just a bonus. I spend most of my time processing stock anyway so it's not like i'm front of house unless someone is on a day off. Once that stock has been processed, moved or moved on i'll have a bit of time.

Comment by Daryl Heasman on November 12, 2017 at 10:26

Bad move Ade ,take your eye off the ball and things go wrong , work and play don't mix

Comment by Adrian Southgate on November 12, 2017 at 10:18

Things will accelerate shortly as the car will be the first occupant of our new 'workshop' in the basement of the shop. Means I can spend time during the day working on the car rather than moving old brake pads from one place to another :( Speaking of which, if anyone out there runs a late 80's or 90's car then let me know. I will be 'job lot' selling some old redundant stock for which I will get peanuts per item. If a few find their way to good homes during the process that i'll be happy with a deal + cost of postage. I may be able to upload a list at some point in the near future to make life easier. I'm off to the unit to make that last fiddly bit in a while, quite excited to see if my theories work in practice.

Comment by James Doulton on November 11, 2017 at 22:42

Getting there, Ade.

Comment by Big Vern on November 9, 2017 at 19:56

MX5 doesn't have a gearbox mount as the gearbox connects directly to the PPF. I have seen many fabricated brackets that mount to the bottom of the box and match up to the Ford gearbox mount - it goes where the small stiffener bracket connects between the box and the PPF I have some pictures on my computor at work I'll did them out tomoz

Comment by Steve Kerswell on November 9, 2017 at 12:58

Thanks Dave, I'll hold off throwing a tantrum then :-)

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