Dutton Kit Cars and their owners
Actually managed to wangle a few spare hours to work on the Dutton yesterday. Which, given present commitments, is a minor miracle in itself. So, you may recall from previous blog posts that I've got a pile of fancy bits to fit, stuff to fix, things to modify/improve, etc.
So, I decided to have a decent loo at my front suspension which has always been a bit of a bugbear of mine. The car is phenomenally understeery, even taking the locking diff into account. I've got adjustable bottom arms which need bottom shock mounts welding on before I can fit, however, looking at the front struts it appears I've got the cheapo motorcycle shocks. I've always suspected my car is way too high at the front, and it needs to come down a fail old bit. Anyone know if you can change the springs on these crappy old struts? If not, it doesn't make sense to fab up brackets for the new arms to suit these if I'm going to have to go down the coilover route. So, this job was successfully f**ked off for now.
Next, I pulled off the dash and steering wheel for a look at what's under there for fitting the Corsa PAS column. Oh, wait, sorry, I skipped a stage. I was trimming all the old Corsa switchgear off and managed to completely butcher the top bearing in the process. So, that's that fooked. I guess this column will only get to serve as a dummy for test fitting! Anyway, removing the dash revealed not-as-bad-as-feared wiring, but a complete abortion of an arrangement holding the steering column into the car. As per the photo, there's a bit of angle iron bolted loosely through the tub running vertically. Then, loosely "bolted" to this, a horizontal piece hung from a broken part of the tub, from which the column hangs. Horrendous. Needless to say, this is all coming out.
Current plan is to run a bit of tube across the car behind the dash. This will pick up two backing plates to sit behind where the screen bolts onto. This should hopefully cure the tub flexing that's cracking my windscreens. This will be bracketed down to the chassis. Hopefully I can position this so it's not a total nightmare to hang the rear steering column mounts from. Will see if I can retain the collapsibility of the column with this arrangement. Not had a look at the front column mounts yet but suffice to say they look fairly poxy. Might need another cross-tube.
Bloody thing will weight a tonne by the time I'm finished.
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