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 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 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 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.

Comment by James Doulton on February 10, 2018 at 20:55

I had checked that there is enough room to widen the seat in the moulded tub, so I have started to remove the tub. Most of the fixings have come undone surprisingly easily. I think that I have about 20mm spare between the tunnel on the drivers side and the flange on the rear axle. I also have about 10mm between the driver's side and the trailing arms. The seat is currently 14.5" wide and I need about 15.5" (no dieting won't help, this is bone - from the top of one femur to the other). While removing the tub I discovered that there was a lot of filler (which was painted to look like the rest of the tub) and which was supported by foam. I also discovered that the handbrake is hydraulic - that was not what I expected.

Comment by James Doulton on February 10, 2018 at 20:44

I spent the afternoon getting to know the car - chasing the wiring, finding where the pipes go etc. I discovered quite a lot of interesting things. The engine breather doesn't go into the carb but into a catch tank. The rear axle has a plastic bottle in the boot that is connected up to the axle's breather with a pipe. There is a problem with the speedo drive - when I checked there was no inner cable, speedo is a push fit into the dash and it isn't connected to anything - no bulbs, no retainer and no speedo cable. Neat!

Comment by James Doulton on February 10, 2018 at 20:34

Today I finally got the Malaga B+ into  somewhere that I can work on it. Since the photo, I have jacked it up onto ramps, so that I can get under it more easily. It doesn't look like I have a lot of space in the photo but it is enough to get all around the car and to dive under it from any direction, once I tidied up a little. 

Comment by James Doulton on September 12, 2016 at 0:23

I still think it is a misprint, one site probably copied the other. 3.889 would be a 35 teeth crown wheel and a 9 tooth pinion, which gives 3.8888888... This is the same as the common Escort ratio, which is normally expressed as 3.89. It is only suitable for cars with a top speed of 90mph or so (90 would be 5300rpm). So my money is on it being an error. 

Comment by Big Vern on September 11, 2016 at 21:28

Interesting how much more power the Australians were getting from the engine vs here in Europe/Uk. If that really was the ratio they were using in Aus then that would have made for a tiring drive but would certainly been quick off the line :-)  Still prefer the South African version (they had 1.1l and a 5l V8 lol)

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