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 Steve Kerswell on November 9, 2017 at 9:19

looking good Ade, mine in the Sierra was a bit far back, but I managed, just. If you need a slip joint for the prop, I have one here in very good order, surplus to my requirements now. Poor Elliot who bought my Sierra had to have new prop made and has damaged the gearbox due to prop bolt coming loose at the doughnut. That box was a good box with the Transit high 5th. gear mod. I did manage to use the escort gearbox mount after some faffing. And I used land rover engine mounts as they were small in height but very hard, almost to hard.

Comment by Adrian Southgate on November 9, 2017 at 1:02

More progress has now been made.

Engine and box are back together and sitting on trolleys between the chassis rails. Of course there are issues, how could there not be issues.

The MT75 is pot bellied, so of course it hit things. Had a play and now it doesn't hit anything but I do need to make some new bits to hold it in place.

Engine mounts need adapting from 45 degrees two bolt to horizontal one bolt so more bits need making.


The engine has been moved back in the chassis to avoid fouling on the alternator / suspension mounts at the front.


the gear shift on the MT75 now comes up roughly where my elbow should be. Options dwindled as I looked at the problem, wiggled stuff about and looked again. The only solution seemed to be to move the stick forward by about a foot (sigh)


I looked into alternative gear sticks for the MT75 and found one by Spyder engineering that seems to do what I need. It's bulky and made to withstand a nuclear attack on the gear stick ... sadly it's priced for the lotus elan it was designed to fit :( so I decided to make my own. This is the Spyder engineering one.

MT75 Linkage Centered showing CollarThis is the back end of the gearbox selector mechanism which needs to be moved in and out as well as rotated to select gears.


And this is my solution, still have a couple of bits to fettle in place, a link bar welded to the tube on the selector knob which will fit on the bottom of that clevis yoke and a brace between the two diagonals to prevent twisting.


I have removed the large metal 'flywheel' but retained the rubber donut to help keep things smooth. In the picture above you can see the blue bolt sticking out of the side of the gearbox. That's the old mounting bolt for the shifter extension. I may use that as a secondary gearbox stabiliser, there is one both sides. 

Parts list.

300mm M8 316 stainless threaded rod.

M8 clevis fork with clip

M8 bore spacer tubes X2

M12 male rose joint.

M12 sleeve nut

M12 half nut (locking nut)

M12 to M8 'top hat' reducers X2

M8 316 stainless sleev nuts X2

M8 Rubber washers X2

M6 'shoulder' bolt & M5 nut / washers

3mm flat stock for diagonals

old bush crush tube and 8mm flat stock to make the critical little bit that joints the shifter to the selector.

Before I put it all together on the box I'll do measurements, diagrams and costings should anyone wish to replicate it. I'm hoping it will give me a nice, accurate gear shift. I will need to make some sort of reverse lock out as the MT75 can be binned into reverse quite easily without it. The rose joint needs to be packed with grease, I've replaced the dodgy broken selector dust cover with a large ball joint dust boot. I'd like to find some sort of cover for the clevis joint too.

That's it for tonight, hope it helps those of you planning to use the MT75 to make it fit under the S3/4, Melos and Legerra.

Comment by Adrian Southgate on September 22, 2017 at 19:03

Been and done a bit this afternoon. Put all four wheels back on and rolled the beast outside to turn it round. IMAG0346 IMAG0345 IMAG0347

Once it was back in the dry I decided to try the front calipers so dropped the front ones off ... Oops. Calipers bolt on but the discs don't fit. Not enough offset on the disc to clear the caliper. Presume I bought the wrong discs (sigh) Need to go through all the different front disc options now to work out which ones I need.

After that little setback I decided to bolt the engine and box back together and chuck it in the big hole at the front to see if that fitted ... That MT75 is a proper pot bellied box of gears. Even with the engine so far forward that the crank pulley hits the front cross rail, that box isn't a good fit. It looks like I'll have to relocate at least one crossrail either lower under the main chassis (not especially desirable on a low car) or backwards like I did on the Legerra. I'll get some photo's added. Need to see if I still have a haynes manual for a Sierra I guess.

Comment by Dave Price on September 13, 2017 at 19:25
Ade, if you are thing of bike carbs, I can sort you out a good deal on some bike carbs. I have 3 or may be more sets that currently going spare. Send a message and we can discuss. Dave
Comment by Adrian Southgate on September 12, 2017 at 20:41

I have decided on tyres for the front rims but as I have a pair of cast off westlakes in the right size they have been fitted just for setting the chassis / engine height. I went for 205/50/15 on the rear and 195/50/15 on the front. It was tipping down so they have yet to be fitted. All four wheels have been tarted up but I wouldn't call them refurbished by any means. They are different, I've not seen many other kits using them. 

I moved the engine and box out of the underbench storage area ready to bolt back together so they can then be sized up for mounts, clearance on the sump and cam covers, think it's going to be a snug fit. The original plan was to use a DGAS however this will increase the chance of having to cut the bonnet, something I am trying to avoid. Bike carbs or twin side draughts seem to look a lot more sensible on the Phaeton body. This DOHC is new territory for me as it has an ECU :( Apparently everyone has these now so I suppose i'd better get with the program. 

This is the first time I've tried to make a car to fit the image in my head. I was working with more set parameters on the Legerras. This time I feel like I need to do something other than a standard S3/S4. I'll get some pictures of the restoration as it continues. Slow working on two at a time but swapping when you get stuck means no idle hands :)

Comment by Big Vern on August 11, 2017 at 10:27

Steve, as you may have already discovered the MX5 rear track is much wider then the b type, Not only would there be considerable body mods to cover the rear wheels but you would need to widen the front track as well to match. If you use the mx5 rear you then you might as well make new front bones to get the wider track. You will always have a compromise on steering geometry due to the different wheelbase but then that existed anyway, still think its a shame not to go down the restoration route on this one though.

Comment by Steve Kerswell on August 11, 2017 at 7:44

Mazda MX5 engine box and hybrid front suspension. Not to certain on the back end yet, I would like to try MX5 but this live axle is almost brand new, apart from sitting unused for 30 years. Work in progress :-)

Comment by Adrian Southgate on August 11, 2017 at 0:56

@ Steve - They are 7x15 rims with 205/50 and they still make the tyres evidently. I could do with a pair of 195's for the fronts but I have a collection of used 15's to chose from now.. The offset is unmeasured but the backs are a different offset to the fronts. Been round tonight slapping some proper paint stripper on the front ones. Both pretty corroded under the powdercoat but they'll spin up to look as good as the backs. I'm trying out a new brand of paint before we start selling it in the shop, that one is 'Bavarian Anthracite' and they do one darker, two lighter including a chrome effect. Waiting on them getting some clear to top it off.

Taking the driveshafts into work tomorrow to clean up and fit new boots after finishing off the brake master cylinder recon for the chap from Enwins motor channel and his Quantum. 

Whats the score with the DOHC Steve? full car or just the lump?

Comment by Big Vern on August 10, 2017 at 17:52

@SteveK ah the 70's, my dad told kme about them LOL

Comment by Big Vern on August 10, 2017 at 17:51

16v Dohc in bug eye Granada James though I thought they were 2.3L (I have a new one of those if you're interested Ade)

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