DuttonOwners

Dutton Kit Cars and their owners

For quite a while now I've been battling with my rear suspension and replacing the rear shocks (as well as holidays etc). I originally just wanted to replace what was required to test drive it to decide if I liked the car. If I did then the plan was to upgrade it to a 5 link system as many have suggested. (Keep this in mind for a sec).

However, cutting straight to the point; my Grandad has been diagnosed with terminal cancer in multiple places including the liver. The doctors don't know how long he's had it and therefore don't know how long he's got left. My family is already reeling from losing both my Mums parents a few months ago so its all systems go to make the most of his time left, but also I would like him to see my Dutton roadworthy as I literally wouldn't have been able to consider it if not for him.

However in an entirely practical sense, because my Dutton is being stored at my Grandads place, when he passes I lose my "workshop" and all the space available. There are options of where it can go afterwards however none of them have much real usable space. This realistically means that I potentially (but hopefully not) only have a few months to get all the big stuff done, like for example; a complete rear suspension overhaul.

My ultimate goal was the strip everything off the chassis and get it shot blasted, patched if needed, and then powder coated. Obviously before this happens everything that needs welding onto the chassis needs to be done first. This includes the suspension but also some other upgrades I'd like to make including a hand brake bracket and seat belt mounts but I'll talk about those ideas later.

Now I know Paul Sheridan has 5-linked his and I have read through his build so I shall be contacting him shortly to see how much info he is willing and able to share with me.

My real question to you guys; Is there anything I should be considering doing to the chassis and/or any other upgrades that should be considered at this stage?

The clock really is against me and I know I've loaded myself up with work but I'm pulling out all the stops and devoting an awful lot of time, effort and money on this. I want Grandad to be holding the camera as she rolls off the driveway to her first MOT.

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Comment by Toby Fitzgerald on June 28, 2018 at 9:28

I think you might be right :/

I'll see if Paul gets back to me with his designs but if not then I might give up on 5 link.

On that point, my old shocks are unusable (I had to cut the top off the studs to remove them from the old roll bar) and I'm having serious trouble trying to replace them.

They don't seem to be the Hillman Imp fronts that the DOC pages say they should be. They also seem to be longer than everything else I can find. They are 21" long when fully extended and 13.5" when fully compressed. Everything I can find as as potential replacement all seem to be 16" and 12". The current ones are Monroe but looking up the numbers on it (B7A79 and 8831) dont bring anything up.

I can only assume this is due to the nasty angle they need to be at to avoid the handbrake cables at the rear or the drum.

Any ideas?

Comment by James Doulton on June 28, 2018 at 9:09

I'm sorry to hear about your Grandfather. Because of the unknown time scale, I think that you might be better off giving it a polish and trying to get it an MOT as it is if you want your Grandad to see it back on the road. I think that would be achievement enough to show him that the car was now in safe hands.

You may have the time to do the full restoration later as it may be quite some time before the cancer takes him and it may be some time after that before his house is sold.

Comment by Toby Fitzgerald on June 27, 2018 at 22:37

Yeah that sounds good to me, I could use all the help I can get.

Drop me a link to the websites and facebook groups and I'll create accounts and such. Thanks

Comment by Adrian Southgate on June 27, 2018 at 20:47

Toby, have you got any objections if I share this with the facebook group and kitnet forums giving your approximate location. I'm pretty sure this is something both the Dutton specific community and the general kit car community would be able to help with. 

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