Dutton Kit Cars and their owners
After getting the Legerra home a few weeks ago, I have been using it as my daily commute. I have done a few things to it to 'improve' it:
1) I have removed the centre console because I could not take my foot off the clutch with it in place because I have to get my knee next to the steering wheel and my calf was hard against the edge of the console. I have still got to find a place for the dials and switches that were there. When removing the heater controls I found that the outer sheaths of the cables were not fixed, so moving the levers did nothing. I don't think that the heater control works at all. So that is another job on the to-do list before next winter.
2) I have moved the main instrument cluster up about 2 inches so that I can actually see the majority of the dial face of the speedo and the rev counter. The speedo is badly out of calibration - the mile-o-meter is currently registering about 3% low but the speedo is over 25% low. How can that be? It is a Czech dial, not the original Ford one so I guess that it must have always been wrong. I just have to remember that it is 900rpm per 20mph in fifth. Moving the instruments higher meant cutting the dashboard to clear the speedo drive. I now have a gap of about 2 inches below the instruments where I could site the dials and switches from the centre console.
3) I have removed the exhaust and welded up the holes where it seems to have leaked ever since it was fitted. I welded some patches made from bits of bike tube. It was quite difficult with my arc welder but I eventually managed to fill the holes that I made too. The exhaust is still loud and tiresome - it sounds really good when I rant it, but for the other 99% of the time it is an irritation. The local stainless exhaust place will make a bespoke system for £330.
4) I have replaced the original 13" cobra alloys that had 205/65 tyres with 15" wheels from a Ford Focus with 195/60 tyres. They only just fit in the rear arches and one touches the body occasionally over big bumps. The wheels were replaced because the old tyres had very poor grip in either the dry or the wet. The use of larger wheels increases the gearing about 11% and, more importantly, increases the ground clearance over local speed bumps - the exhaust used to touch before.
5) I have removed the radiator in order to cure a leak caused by the way that the electric fan was fitted using bolts through the radiator matrix. The fan had been moving up and down and wore a hole in the front of two of the cores. As a temporary bodge, I fixed it with Araldite. I'm going to weld up a frame to hold the fan in place and fix it on the radiator mounting bolts. I have bought a new in-line thermostatic switch for the top hose.
6) I had noticed that the car sometimes pulled to the left under breaking. I have now found the culprit - a leaking damper. It seems that the leaking fluid drips onto the disk when the car is parked and the brakes pull the first time that they are used. I will have to get the unit off the car to measure it to get a new pair. I don't know whether to change the springs too.
I still need to sort out the seat and I would like to move it back a couple of inches further but I think it is tight against the bodywork.
I also want to get or make a hard top or targa top - I can't be doing with struggling to get the soft top on and off all of the time, with all of those pesky poppers and the stiff locking pins at the front.
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