DuttonOwners

Dutton Kit Cars and their owners

Today I bought another Dutton. This one has a 3.1 litre Essex V6. It's MOT has lapsed and it has a number of issues, the biggest one being that it has had a front end shunt which has upset the suspension geometry, and the bonnet fit, and the steering. The last 6 inches of the main rail is crumpled, moving the ARB. Finding a good reference to work from to restore the geometry looks to be an interesting puzzle. In this picture you can see that the nearside wheel has a different camber to the offside. It was the nearside that was hit.

I will do some investigation over the weekend and post some pictures of the damage. It was dark by the time I got home, and I was worn out. The journey was 400 miles in total, all but a handful were motorway : M5, M42, A42, M1. The car was about 15 miles south of Sheffield.

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Comment by James Doulton on February 18, 2018 at 11:20

The metalwork at the back of the cockpit steals about 20mm from the overall length. It is a bit annoying but I don't think I'm going to cut about the chassis to change that.

Comment by James Doulton on February 18, 2018 at 11:18

The trailing arms are directly below the top chassis rail all the way along, so they don't steal any space, apart from needing a little clearance. I did wonder about changing them to an oval profile or maybe a D shape, just to give them more clearance for axle movement. I can definitely get another 15mm just be modifying the tub, but I could do with 25.

The worst part is that there is 40mm more space on the passenger side because of the axle being asymmetric, with the propshaft being offset to the driver's side. I could do with 20mm or so.

Comment by Dave Adams on February 18, 2018 at 9:49

i had often considered making the trailing arms longer.....but could not see the overall benifit from doing it... for one it makes the seating area much narrower and since that is where your looking to gain space it would be well worth your time shortening them again to gain the seat space.

Comment by Dave Adams on February 18, 2018 at 9:47

that is a little like the mods i do to my cars....it does stiffen the rear a lot. Yours however is wasteful of the interior space, if you look at my rear chassis mods you can pinch a fair bit more interior space and make the seat back slope back a little more to vastly improve driving comfort.

Comment by Steve Kerswell on February 18, 2018 at 9:18

Dropped it Daryl. Forgot the combination, cannot open it :-))

Comment by Daryl Heasman on February 17, 2018 at 22:07

I hear Mr Kerswell has opened his wallet and caused an earthquake down West

Comment by Steve Kerswell on February 17, 2018 at 20:03

That is a lot of metal work James, someone has thought of it for the V6 I'd say. Wire brush and paint coming up :-)

Comment by James Doulton on February 17, 2018 at 14:11

I've managed to get the tub out after cutting off the return on the top of the seat which went under the bodywork. This has revealed the chassis, which looks different from what I had expected - the trailing arms are longer than I expected and the side rail is not all one piece. There is a lot of heavy gauge tubing under the seats and up the back. This also pushes the tub forward a little, so the overlap with the footwell was about 2". I am still wondering whether to just fit checker plate of to modify the glassfibre tub. Maybe I'll start with the glassfibre first and if I mess that up then I'll go for checker plate.

Comment by Daryl Heasman on February 11, 2018 at 18:05

James my Malaga is jointed across the tub in line with the gear lever , its overlapped  by about an inch

Comment by James Doulton on February 11, 2018 at 16:49

I have battled with the seat tub until my back hurts but I don't think that I can get it out in one piece. The front of it goes under the scuttle/dash at the sides and the floor part goes under the footwell and the gearbox covering - it is quite an overlap, and the seat back goes under the rear bodywork. To release the rear bodywork would mean removing the complicated roll bar and fuel tank, which sits on top of the boot floor. If I remove the rear section then I might as well strip the whole damn car. So I am going to think about it for a while - I think I am either going to modify it in situ or else I shall have to cut it into at least two pieces to get it out. Maybe that is why so many people end up making a cockpit out of checker plate or plywood.

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