1985 Dutton Phaeton Series 3 1300GT

1985 Dutton Phaeton Series 3 1300GT

Postby montythemole » Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:07 pm

New to the site, hope this is the correct place, mods feel free to move if I've dropped one!


After many years of trying I convinced my mates to go in on a track car together. After asking advice on retro rides we looked at MX5 and 205 etc since as bangs for bucks they are hard to beat. The two of them decided after seeing Westfield/Sevens that if we had a track car it had to be one of those.

So after looking around found even a Robin Hood or Locost was out of price range so like a lot of buyers ended up looking at Duttons, which no offence intended, is not most attractive of the sevenesque cars. Following some assistance from retro rides we went looking and eventually bought this:

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It was on ebay but local. Sadly due to work I never got to see it so Dan went to inspect with his many years experience of washing cars and driving them about a bit. An offer was made and we collected one evening and dropped for MOT the following day.

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Had an hour in the car park to do checks. Found that the flashers weren't and one indicator bulb out. Dash to Halfords for new flasher and fault tracing wiring and then had to leave the defective handbrake to be looked at by garage before the MOT.

On the plus side we thought they won't fail the brakes if they've just rebuilt.

Some discussion with MOT man on whether it needed door mirrors or not. Came with only a single mirror mounted on the dash in the middle. Conclusion was it needed a drivers side one so slung this on before the test, spare from my MGB. Screwed to the dash so I didn't have to mess up the bodywork. Will fit proper ones both sides once able.

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You can just see the ghetto switch labelling as well. Car doesn't have hazards or a reverse light but checked online that seems to be OK.

Initially thought car was based on Mk2 Escort, later found likely Mk1. Front suspension has Koni shocks, not sure what else the bits are off yet. Has had a recentish rebuild and spec is:
E 1300 GT engine, gearbox overhaled and new diff. Unleaded head by Burton Tune.
Black paintwork.
Tiny steering wheel
Really high clutch pedal (will need looking at)
Tiny pedals really close together on RH side of column. May live with it or may see what can be done about moving clutch across to LH side and fitting wider brake to enable left foot braking if I even learn it.
Steel wheels
Tiny boot
Two plastic seats bolted to floor (no adjustment)
Static 3-point belts (will want harnesses for track)
Old style bullet fuses (will look to upgrade)
Heater (wo-hoh)
Fairly sound car but electrics need looking at as with any old car.
Has doors and a new roof but no studs fitted yet.
Also one of those weird covers that goes over at dashboard level and unzips either side for the driver.

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Sadly first garage refused to test as was too low for the ramp (later leant they actually meant MOT tester too fat to fit).

Took around corner to another garage who failed it on handbrake, split gaiter on rack and headlight out.

We collected and spent a week sourcing parts. Initially ordered all Mk2 Escort parts but then once found likely Mk1 had to re-order a load more brake shoes and cables!

Evidence of Mk1 -
Front brakes are drum :( This is what happens when you send non-car person to inspect car for you!
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We replaced gaiter with universal one. Runs very tight to the frame at front.
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Also found it's dynamo rather than alternator. A first for me.
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Front hinge mechanism and bumper attachment. Most Dutton do away with any form of metal bumper, still undecided at moment. Also if Mk1 Escort presume worth selling before we bend it? Four bolts undo to release the nose cone at present may look to make easier.
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Example of the electrics, white tape by me to hold together for MOT, way too many loose crimps at present will look to redo into proper unpluggable multi plug to allow bonnet removal.
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Webber carb and original viscous fan. Keeps it simple but may look to go electric to release a horse or two.
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Original bullet fuses, don't like it in the engine bay where a falling fuse is lost for ever, will look to replace with blade fuse either with cover or relocated.
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Suspension arrangement and Koni shock.
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Dutton chassis number.
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Adjustable looking shock. Presume I turn the bottom section to drop another cm or up another. No tool came with it to adjust though.
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Also fitted a battery isolator from one of those broken jump start air compressor combos that litter the tips:
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Managed to borrow a sealed beam unit off the MGB to sort the headlight, so armed with a pile of shoes and cables I had a go at sorting.

Then attempted to sort handbrake. Managed to get the drums off - TIP - if removing tight drums make sure you leave a wheel bolt on so when it goes it doesn't fly off into you!

Sadly forgot to take photos but shoes were fine. So presumed cable was stretched. Mk2 Escort one arrived but was nothing like fitted so further evidence it's a Mk1. Sadly Mk1 hadn't arrived by this time so had a poke about.

Shot of rear axle and lowering blocks fitted by previous owner. Been pointed out these are below the leaf rather than over so not actually lowering? May be to allow for use of the struts which seem possibly too long and have spring cups so could be re-used front units?
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Checked the route of the cable and found the centre mount in front of the axle was via a split tube type holder. Over time this had opened and the sheath of the cable had forced it's way through hence slackening the cable (make sense?). So I removed the cable, smacked the tube closed,fed the cable back through then smack it tighter still to try and avoid a repeat. May stick a blob of weld on it if I even get my gasless mig out.

Finished result.
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Also found evidence of a previous stripe paintjob which someone painted over but ran out of paint or enthusiasm inside the car behind seats.

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Next job wasn't for MOT but for track use, my DIY tow strap.

Take one middle rear seatbelt I had from a Rover 25:
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Dismantle the buckle and cut off the metal links either end (carefully to avoid cutting belt), then clamp to rear frame with spare and good exhaust clamp.
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Cut hole in bumper to allow it to pass through et voila one free towing strap for track use.
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After all this took back for MOT and it flew through!

Was not the most obvious fun experience driving it without roof or drivers door (since mirror precludes door fitting, it's a choice of which to have!) in the rain for the MOT but was actually a grin a minute!

Having to wipe the inside of the windscreen is a new experience as well.

Noted on way back that tacho, speedo and fuel gauge work. Oil pressure is possibly a little low (30-40?), and volts and temp gauges all read zero so will need to do some digging.

Here's our best attempt at keeping rain out whilst parked:

DIY home brew frame:
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Over which we place the fabric roof held on with pegs.
Then an all-over cover over the top, finally a strap to hold in place:
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Although water pools it stays mostly dry inside until we sort permanent solution.

We do have the roof but no fixing points on body yet!

Found this online which has helped with parts:
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Re: 1985 Dutton Phaeton Series 3 1300GT

Postby Mr G » Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:37 pm

Welcome on board sir :)

With a bit of fettling you'll have something that will put a smile on your face :D

The procedure for dynamo to alternator conversion is well documented on the net (old school ford sites etc). When changing the front drums you might want to consider capri struts for cutting down and using as they will lower the front compared to the escort equivalents.

Keep us informed of your progress!

Cheers

G
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Re: 1985 Dutton Phaeton Series 3 1300GT

Postby snowy2 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:09 pm

welcome to the fold, your right about the looks and i have to say that the 3 or 4 you have bought are not the best proportioned (my opinion, you can disagree if you like) but they are possibly the best for interior room as a track car if your buying it as a joint car. duttons might be cheap and challenged in the looks department but they can be very competitive, and trust me it feels great to give more exotic machinery a good run for the money or even beat them, knowing your doing it for beer money and they have spent wedges. track cars are more about driver ability than budget, so don't worry about it. just enjoy the car...and upsetting the westy brigade.
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Re: 1985 Dutton Phaeton Series 3 1300GT

Postby Andy S » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:13 pm

I dont think the Westy brigade will be worrying too much Dave. A 1300 S3 with drum brakes is not going to worry grandad in a V70 Diesel Estate let alone anything else - as a track day weapon best put it back on ebay - and get a rough 2.0L Pinto S1 to work on.

The front shockers are motor cycle shocks and thats where they belong - The rears which should be Escort MK1 look like a front coil over type .

More bad news is that the front uprights cannot be converted to discs - you will need to fabricate new uprights from a Capri - If you use MK2 Escort then its a Change of rack as well

Fun car for sunny days round the lanes - on the track even that 1300 GT will cook those drums in quick order which will not be fun when at the next bend the pedal floors

Andrew

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Re: 1985 Dutton Phaeton Series 3 1300GT

Postby montythemole » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:24 am

Found a lot of track day noise test stickers on the windscreen so has evidently done a lot of track action in the past so will see how well we get on with it before dismissing it. The idea is to have fun and cooking the brakes is good learning if nothing else!

Have done one track day before in a Dolly Sprint so well aware of the limitations of older stuff but also the fun of embarrassing a Lotus Exige and Scooby!
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Re: 1985 Dutton Phaeton Series 3 1300GT

Postby snowy2 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:01 pm

Andy i never thought the 1300 would seriously challenge the westy brigade for podium honours but if you can keep up with them, in the mix as it were, you will be amazed how pissed off folks get. speaking from experience from my motor bike days, my bike was a Honda 400/4 my friends all had more modern 600-750cc bikes, it didn't matter where we went they never got there much before me if they managed it at all, and they were most upset that their 150 mph bikes couldn't make significant head way against an old 110mph bike. brute power and ultimate top speed was no good against an experienced rider who knew what his machine was capable of.
How are you Andy any way? me i am going stir crazy, and am desperate to start ripping the S1 to bits i now have all the parts (i hope) just need a working right hand. :-)
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Re: 1985 Dutton Phaeton Series 3 1300GT

Postby montythemole » Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:58 pm

Mini update:

Bought a new steering wheel off a forum as the other one was just way too small and slippery.

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Found the speedo is maxing out at 60 but wheels are way bigger than normal so need to get it adjusted. Having good fun with it, plenty fast enough for fun and brakes seem good so far.

Here's my mate going for the Mr Toad of Toad Hall look in it:
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Note that I ditched the front bumper as well. Looks better but also looks about 6 miles off the deck now. Need to look at lowering or fitting a front bib of some sort. Front number plate arrangement is temp at moment, will look at some other way. Tempted by letters on the bonnet?

Another view of steering wheel and controls.
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And the funny pedals. All one side of steering column. You get used to them but not a lot of room.
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Need to sort bonnet support as well as it goes all the way over and back onto the deck which is handy for access not so useful for just checking fluids.

Fitting roof properly is also on list. Thinking press studs for rear and caravan awning channel for the front as per a lot of locosts. Missing the roof bar off the roll bar as well but have now helpfully been shown what we're missing so will try and knock up something.
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Re: 1985 Dutton Phaeton Series 3 1300GT

Postby montythemole » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:41 pm

Especially for Andy S - 3 hours of solid driving. Car was faultless, handled brilliantly, the Porshes and Elises only got away on straight line speed.

We did up the PSI after the photo before anyone comments!
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Re: 1985 Dutton Phaeton Series 3 1300GT

Postby snowy2 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:34 pm

well done mate, i said it would be in the mix with the other track cars...it's all about ability, and the rapid learning curve your on now. your not likely to see too many podiums but you will give the money bag guys a scare and you will have a blast doing it. Winning isn't the most important thing it's taking part. and your doing it for peanuts, well done again, hope you stay on here with regular updates.
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Re: 1985 Dutton Phaeton Series 3 1300GT

Postby montythemole » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:09 am

part 1 of the weekend write up - First crash and repairs!

This weekend we prepped it for the first track day on Monday.

Saturday we checked it over and fitted two Escort Alloys on the front so we had a pair of spare wheels for it.
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Took it for a quick spin around 10pm after some dinner. Second roundabout we came to, both front wheels parted company with car and shot off into undergrowth!

We skidded along on the drums and sumps, mounted kerb and came to rest feeling lucky to be right way up and wondering what we would find when out of the car.
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Looked at the car and found the wheel nuts had been pulled straight through the alloys and wheels had flown off. Managed to get the spare steel on the drivers side, and run back home for the other spare. When we came to fit that we found two of the wheel studs were bent. Feck. Front arch also very damaged.

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Managed to hammer these straight and got the wheel on. Checked under car and although sump was looking scraped it was still sound. Started car up and all seemed good, so limped home at around 20mph with our other car providing cover from the rear.

Moral of the story - make sure you use the right nuts for the wheels.

Sunday we could look at the car and see if we could do anything for the track day on the Monday.

The studs, this is how straight they were after my hammer efforts on side of dual carraigeway. Couldn't get any replacements on a Sunday so I took both other, straightened in a vice and put one back in each side so if they were weakened by the bending I would have three perfect one's each side. Have painted them white so when I get new one's I know which to replace.
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This is a rubbed patch on the rear passenger arch caused by we think the front wheel bouncing back onto it. It's worryingly close to wear the passengers arm could have been. Small crack on wing is duct taped.Image

The front arch. I duct taped at side of road to hold it together to get home. It didn't look good and was held together by maybe 2" of fibreglass.
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Exhaust manifold we noted was cracked, could have been result of the accident but has always been noisy. So I broke out my MIG and had a go at filling with bird poo to pass noise test at track.Image

Check out the engine access:
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The front arch we cut a metal plate for the inside, covered in no more nails and clamped and rivetted it on. Worked well and with a coat of paint looked presentable(ish).
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Sump we checked and beside looking a little dented was sound and oil pressure still good. Oddly enough a sump guard was on the to do list.
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Also had time to fit the tonneau cover for the trip to the track and then took for a spin to check it over:
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Re: 1985 Dutton Phaeton Series 3 1300GT

Postby montythemole » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:11 am

Part 2 - The Track Day


Monday we had day off work to go to novice track day at Bedford Autodrome. Have done one here myself in a Dolly Sprint and liked the course and the massive run off. Was Dan's first track day so seemed a nice safe bet.

Loaded car up and set off. We were worried by the noise test (101dBA static) but passed. Helped by a tacho that was reading 2x so took test at actual 2000rpm.

Sad awaiting the briefing. Note the number of Porsches in the background.
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Last minute checks on carb as was smelling a little rich:
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Then we went out on the track and besides a brief running out of petrol incident (gauge only ever reads 1/2 full at best so you have half a tank in the red) we did a solid 3 hours on the track, one of only a few cars not to park up for a 'rest'.

We mixed it well with the Elises, Boxsters etc. Managed to 'do' an Evo, a Porsche 911, couple of BMWs etc but were outrun on the straights as we were maxing around 80mph as expected.

Through the bends we were very competitive and had a good serious of laps following a 1.6CVH Westfield that could not shake us despite pulling a gap on the straights and only being 1 up.

Car was a laugh and we had a great day. Sadly it was only after checking the photos towards the end we saw we were having too much sidewall flex and were running at 10PSI! Pumped up to 25PSI it ran even better but was a little more sudden on breakaway.

Would like a little more top speed in future and better seats but otherwise it is a great car for trackdays!

Photos show the lowest part of car is the exhaust downpipe and the sump. If we can redo the exhaust a bit and fit a sump guard will look to lower it. Also on lookout for Mondeo steels or similars to keep the rolling radius but with bigger wheels and less sidewall flex.

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Re: 1985 Dutton Phaeton Series 3 1300GT

Postby snowy2 » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:31 pm

you need "0" offset wheels and it is unlikely the Mondeo wheels will any good for you as front wheel drive cars run a lot of offset. you need rear wheel drive wheels not front wheel drive! they are very different.

I run 18 psi tyre pressure 25 will be a little high and sliding will be the result. ( my wheels are steel 14" 185/70 and 175/70)

you were lucky with the alloys, they weren't right for the car anyway, (front wheel drive) but it was a good job you were fairly slow.
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Re: 1985 Dutton Phaeton Series 3 1300GT

Postby montythemole » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:02 pm

To be honest we guessed at 25PSI as that's what the guy with a Westfield said he ran who we were stood next to at the time.

Out of interest why are you running different width tyres? Purely to keep steering light at the front? Will also make the front rolling radius slightly smaller?
We're running 185/80/R14 so a larger diameter than you have (and enough to make the speedo about 10mph under-read). Which is pretty massive sidewall. Plan was to get bigger diameter steels so we get skinny tyres and retain the rolling radius, at least on the rear.

Guess I'm going to struggle getting decent diameter steel in RWD offset for cheap, that's why I was hoping Mondeo might be the answer.
I've picked up a pair of Weller low offset wheels but despite ad listing as 14 they are 13 so either going to need massive rubber or go for something sensible and have smaller fronts wheels which would help lower the front.

Need to look at if I can raise the engine as the sump is very prone as is the exhaust. If I can raise and either sort the exhaust or go side exit I can lower the car and stiffen up the suspension.
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Re: 1985 Dutton Phaeton Series 3 1300GT

Postby snowy2 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:14 pm

the rolling radius is not a problem for me as i have an electronic speedo which is reprogrammable for varying wheel sizes, the sump pan will likely have to be chopped and shortened.
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Re: 1985 Dutton Phaeton Series 3 1300GT

Postby montythemole » Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:46 pm

2nd Trackday

Dan, Mark and I were booked in for another half day at Bedford. Woke up at 6am to freezing weather but Dan and I braved elements to get there in the Dutton whilst Mark who was due to travel in a normal car girled out and stayed at home.

Unbelievably cold but good session, only 6 cars on the track most of the time so we could properly go for it.

Few piccies. Snowed on the way home and eventually had a good covering in the car by the time we (just) managed to get it onto the drive. Has snowed solidly since and now looking at nearer a foot of snow.

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