Dutton Kit Cars and their owners

Since getting the car on the road, a couple of years ago now, we've noticed some lack of steering feel. We measured the caster angle earlier in the year and noticed each side were not even the same and i cant remember what the actual measurement figure was but it could definitely be improved. Last weekends little project was to make some spare wishbones we had adjustable.

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Comment by Steve and Matt Pegrum on December 13, 2015 at 19:43

Appreciate the comments but since we had already made them we thought we might as well try them out. Here's some pictures of yesterdays work.

Comment by Steve and Matt Pegrum on November 23, 2015 at 10:07

Hmm I've been looking at Tension links


Not bad and I can see how it might even attach to a Dutton chassis. My Stylus doesn't have an antiroll bar at all although there are some racing types that have...

Does nothing for camber though....

Comment by Dave Adams on November 21, 2015 at 7:16

one useful way to go if the ARB is binned is either a compression strut (or tension) this is the set up on many oval track cars (BRISCA F2) and i have seen it on many "7" style cars.. 

Comment by rob saul on November 20, 2015 at 20:58

ARB is about double the thickness it needs to be for a Dutton, Caterham for example even on the 620r is only 10mm

Bottom wishbone is a good upgrade but would always run ARB

Guy on locust builders (I think) did a very good mod where he milled his ARB centre till it was a thin "blade" an worked very well

Comment by Steve and Matt Pegrum on November 20, 2015 at 20:15

nteresting point about the ARB mounts. It's a pity that the chassis slopes uphill so sharply where it's attached so some serious bracketry would be needed to reattach.

On the other hand I seriously wonder if an ARB is needed at all on a Phaeton or Melos as they're pretty low compared to an escort.

So how about fabricating adjustable *lower* wishbones instead? (and doing away with the ARB which is only likely to cause understeer anyway). Anyone tried that on these chassis? I suppose the Track control arm could be retained so it would be only half a wishbone...

Not sure but I might have seen something relevant to this at Burton Power....

Comment by Dave Adams on November 20, 2015 at 17:32

I have looked at this same problem on the later duttons.....i thought about your adjustable wishbone idea myself, but  it occurred to me that the problem and solution might lie elsewhere. it turns out that if you release the chassis mounts for the anti roll bar the front end will naturally want to align its self....the anti roll bar mounts will need moving (forward on the two cars i have modified) that pulls the TCA forward which corrects the lack of castor.

Comment by rob saul on November 20, 2015 at 17:27

I know the top mounts aren't wide enough to shim as standard but its very easy to move both pairs of brackets outwards to give 10mm of shimming either side of the bush

Comment by Steve and Matt Pegrum on November 20, 2015 at 15:03

We are only talking a few mm movement at most, at the end of the wishbone, to alter the caster angle so unlikely to distort the bush much since it's only a few degrees.

Good point about shims on the mountings  but unfortunately they wont allow that as they aren't wide enough

This way we can mod the angles a bit without doing anything the to the chassis. Also since they are spares the new ones can be swapped over for the original fixed ones in just a few minutes really

Comment by rob saul on November 20, 2015 at 11:51
How it is at the moment at anything other than its original length any adjustment will put strain on the rear suspension bush
Why not do what most other people do and make both pick up points for the top wishbones wider so you have to shim the wishbone when you fit it to the brackets ? That way you can move the whole top wishbone for/afr and get the caster perfect with no change to camber
If you can get hold of some you could get rod end bearings that you could fit to your top wishbone in place of your rubber bushes and retain the original chassis brackets and you should have enough "shimming" adjustment in-between the original brackets
This also gives the advantage of very fine camber adjustment
Comment by Steve and Matt Pegrum on November 20, 2015 at 10:51

this is true but we are hoping it was only take very small adjustments to improve the caster angle so shouldnt make too much difference to the camber. I think we will also make the left hand side of the wishbone adjustable,meaning that a turn or two in opposite directions will make all the difference.

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