Dutton Sierra
I thought I'd get outbid for sure...

What a lack of updates, I have MOT and its all good. Much drving around, even got it sideways on a damp road tonight! A few teething issues, Timing kept retarding itself all tightened and ok, fuel leak fixed on the hose to the carb, tracking adjusted as was on the guage but a few degrees out, fuel tank vent pipe moved outside of the body as the fumes were being drawn back into the cab, rebuilt the passenger window regulator to actually hold the window up, Fixed the spare wheel to the bulkhead, replaced the repair washers on the exhaust mounts with slightly smaller ones as they were catching on the exhaust and making heck of a racket and lastly today replaced the crackshaft oil seal and fan belt after a oil and shredded belt got sprayed everywhere!

Engine and gearbox is back in and connected up. The radiator developed a leak when I filled it up today, must have got knocked? Managed to solder it up, think I might get some radweld in stock as my soldering is not that great. NWPS supplied the prop with the wrong flange! but no worries as they posted down the right one before the weekend. Swapped them over and fitted it. Made up a cover for the hole I made in the tunnel and cut a gasket for it. Fitted a collar so the gator has something to attach on to.

Got it started and had a little test drive up and down the drive. Put the front end back on and connected all the wires back up. As far as I can tell Im ready for the MOT. So that makes it just under 12 months since I started. I thought my autumn and then christmas deadlines were a little optimistic! More pictures:

More weeks go by. But knowledge has been gained, you can fit a type 9 box in a sierra but the centre of the chassis has got to move back about 4 inches. Im not moving it after all the work I've done, so yesterday I picked up a replacement type 2 box. Found one locally! The new prop shaft www.northwestpropshafts.com has arrived. Circlipped bearings with grease nipples, so hopefully I might get some more miles out of this one. Put the box on the engine after checking the clutch plate this afternoon, too hot to try and get it back in today. I have found a new gear stick gator and something to go inside to seal it to the floor.

Id like to report great progress but I cant. Running it up on jack to get the speedo working, the rear prop uj broke and broke the back of the gearbox off and bent the main shaft. The prop uj is no longer round either. So spent today getting the box out, which means engine out and front panel off. All I need now is a new box and prop shaft. Besides that Im ready for the MOT!

It might look like Ive not been busy. As of today the doors are on, drivers door has the window in and lock working. Tomorrow I hope to get the passenger door finished and new door cards made. The door apertures need modifying as the rubbers dont meet the doors. I had to make new rollers for the end of the regulators, old ones seized and split. The bits they run in on the base of the glass were also beyond repair and I have made new ones of them to. Had to free up all the lock mechanisms, replace the pins in the door hinges. Everything I touch on these doors was in a terrible state. Tailgate is finished, numberplates are on, I have compounded and polished the body its nice and shiny now.

Although Ive had a whole week Ive only managed to make the tailgate, get the rear bumper done and weld up the doors. The doors were worse than I expected, but luckily they have the fibreglass skins so only the frame needs any serious work. The tailgate is on and hinging, I need to fit catches to hold it shut and attach the numberplate and light. Then find a way to hold the inside on and get it fitting / sealing properly. I only have pictures of some of the work done on the doors. You can see from the first picture that they have seen better days, later pictures show what Ive done so far. I need to attach the fibreglass doorskins and get them painted.

I also wasted ages trying to get it to start, the petrol in the tank has turned into safety petrol. If you poured some on the ground you have to touch it with a naked flame in order to get it to catch. So its now been drained, syphoned and saved for parts washing!

Drove the car out of the garage and had a bloody good tidy up today. Timed the engine, fitted another throttle return spring, swapped the wires around so the rev counter works and tightend a weaping brake fitting. Check out the bits Ive replaced:

Obviously I had put the seats in to drive the car around. Before that I had put the carpets in, this was far harder than I imagined. The old carpets are knackered, they've got burn holes, moss growing and rather curly around the edges. So I cut some new ones and they fit ok, Im sure a carpet fitter would not be very impressed.

While moving it around the water pump started pissing water out all over the place. So when I thought it had 'repaired itself' it had just bunged up. Not a problem as I have a new water pump, but then this happened:

Rest of the afternoon spent trying to get the broken off bit of bolt out. It resisted all reasonable attempts to extract it and had to be drilled out. New water pump is in and run up. Now there is the slight oil leak on the main engine oil seal, really noisy altenator bearings, air somewhere in the brakes, a talegate that currently does not exist, number plate light thats not fitted and a couple of doors that Im frightend to look at! :)

Well to make up for a lack of updates lately I have taken some pictures. It doesnt look like Ive done much but there has been some hours put in lately!. This is the bracket I made this morning for the Coil when it turns up.

This is the state of the engine bay. The second one shows the air ducting for the heater. Apart from the fitting the coil and some gap covering its done!

Now the interior, its ready for carpets now. Once there done the seats need a good hoover and can be bolted down. You can see the wiring is finished, I need to fit the new flasher unit when it arrives, 3 wire one works with just the dash warning light. Not very helpful the 4 wire one should solve that problem nicely. I couldnt make my mind up what to do with the hold in the rear bulkhead so it got some hinges and a catch. Not quite sure what use a flap there will be, but might be handy?

Last is the rear amazing what a coat of paint does, dont look too close there may be runs!

After a ebay buying frenzy good progress has been made with the wiring. Flasher relay is in tested as indicators and hazards. Need to get the nearside rear lamp in a run earths for the front indicators, cant do much with the headlights until the bowls turn up. Lots of other bits done and still plenty to do.
Got a locking petrol cap (NB van estate ones differ from saloon) amd it was too big to fit in the hole in the body work. Put it in the lathe to turn the outside off and it picked up and nearly wrecked it! It just about survived it certainly taken a few years off its life. In the end sawed of the outside and trued it up on the sander, it came out quite well.
All being well I should have the wiring done soon and can start on the doors! Must get some pictures done.

Have actually made a start on the wiring, I think Ive got all the wires feeding the fusebox. Noticed I forgot the foglight switch, and on testing found that the start position on the ignition switch doesnt work, that could of explained some of the problems we had when originally trying to start it. I need no further excuse for a start button and even have a hole the right size ready to go! Thats one less to blank off.
I have eventually got hold of some plastic sheeting, as soon as I cut it I realised it wasnt quite what I wanted. But its close enough so today I made the inner wings. Didnt go too badly, I was limited on what I could really do. I think they will last ok and should keep most of the dirty thrown up by the wheels out of the engine bay.

Man, even the seatbelts in this thing are rusted out. Ive scrapped the ones that were in the car and fitted some left over from a Mini. Made a cover for the top of the heater motor out o the side of a plastic barrel. It was my dads idea, plastic is easy to shape with a heat gun. Trimmed to size and painted it doesnt look too bad. Going to need to buy new headlights as I dont have enough spares to repair the current ones. 13/02/2012:
The seats are in, 1.25hrs for the drivers side 1/4hr for the passenger side! How does that work?
Well the drivers side has an inch less width to fit the seat so its got to be in just the right place. Have shortened the seat adjusters and put them back on as well. Thats all of that scrap ali bar used up!

Getting dangerously close to making a proper start on the wiring. Wired the starter solinoid to the battery, starter and alternator. This weekend I have made cover plates to mount the indicators on and fitted them. Removed both seat boxes, made plates out of 20gauge steel and welded on mounts for the seats, painted them (badly!) and riveted them to the floor. All thats left is to drill the holes for the seat runners.

A month and no updates! well I have been busy. Front panel, bonnet and washer bottle have been fitted. Have made and fitted some bonnet pins:
This is the piece of rod I found to make them out of.
First turn the ends down to the diameter of width of the holes in the bonnet.
The Mill flats onto them.
And to finish, threaded to M20, shape and polish. Cut and face a couple of M20 nuts to make them nice and thin.

Picture of the engine bay from last week. I have since, polished the bulhead to remove the rust stains, mounted the starter solinoid and fitted a new washer bottle. Needless to say the old one, while not rustly, had become very brittle and was just falling to pieces!

The filler neck is in, although now the filler cap doesnt fit properly anymore! Have fitted the centre console and drilled out the panel that will go on front. It turns out that this rather nicely holds the dash in, I have compounded the dirt and rust stains off the dash and polished it. It looks so much better that the picture down the bottom of the page! which doesnt show the massive rust stain in the pocket which to ages to get out.

One of the bigger problems has been that of trying to fit the seats. The ones that came with the car fitted poorly and were not secure. That and I couldnt sit in the car without being too close to the steering wheel and my head squashed against the roof. Looked into re mounting them and it was clear they were never going to fit well. Fortunately I heard of a chap braking a corsa, the seats are in good condition and much narrower than the current ones. They are still to high, I have nearly finished fitting the very low runners from the old seats to the corsa ones. Even with these lower runners, still too close to the roof! I have been thinking about it for a while and my only solution is to remove the seat boxes. I have taken the drivers side one out, I need to tidy the hole in the floor and cover it with something and then see how the seat fits. Fingers crossed for this one!

Wow 2012, christmas time means more time to work on the car! Have done a few bits since last update. Heater is in and connected to the engine, had to make some bends out of water pipe to connect everything up. The hole in the bulk head needed a plate making as it was huge and in the wrong place. Fitted another return spring to the carb as it needed it. Rebuilt the windscreen wipers as they turned out to be seized up solid and the magnets had come loose in the motor. Made a battery carrier and clamps to mount the battery above the altenator. Made brackets to support the wings and fitted an antisyphone bit to the filler neck. Removed the rear lights and what was left of the wiring loom,part of it had been fibre glassed into the floor?! Decided to make a new centre console to hold all the switches from a bit of old mmi from work, it fits the dash well. Made a front panel and brackets to support the back. Lots of work still to do, Im not looking forward to making all the holes for the switches! There must have been more but I forget!

Day off today and actually got some stuff done, connected up brake reservoir, fitted and connected hand brake. Fitted Roll Hoop, had to take it out fiddle around shimming the back up so it cleared the rear bulkhead and put it back in again. Made a new bar to go across under the dash board to hold the steering column, still needs painting though. Started fitting the heater until but need a hand and fitted the air cleaner. Looked at the head lining again and most of it peeled of in my hands so might just have to live without one!

And another couple of weeks go by. I must have taken the peddle box in and out about 4 times now, still got to get the accelerator peddle out and bend it to get full throttle travel. Clutch cable is on and I can bleed the brakes once Ive connected the reservoir to the master cylinder. Dad made a 7/16unf hose tail for the master cylinder after trying al sorts to find something that would fit.
Have bolted down the body in the passenger compartment, had to drill and tap 4 holes I'd forgotten everything about. Steering column is in, had stripped if down and painted it a while ago. At the time I broke the top roller bearing in the column and made a nylon replacement. Came to fit it and its suddenly the wrong size, had quite a job to get it to fit, needless to say its now a split bush.
Want to remake the bar that holds up the steering column and dash board, the old one looks about half an inch too short. I think thats mostly the cause of rust reducing the amount of metal and the old one was bolted through the carpet. The new one will be a bit longer.

The body is back on, thought Id goofed up rebuilding the front suspension when the body didnt line up with the strut tops. Bolted the peddle box in and give it all a shake and all the chassis bolt holes line up. Have stripped out the inside ready to start re assembly. I would like to get it to a driveable state so its a bit easier to move around, then I can get working on the doors. Some pictures of the chassis waiting to put the bpdy on.

More weeks have gone by I think Im losing some enthusiasm. That aside the head is back and engine run up with no problems, cooled torqued down and tapets re adjusted. Did have a problem with the exhaust manifold, the centre section wouldnt seal on the head as its out of line of the outer 2 ports. After some head scratching it was decided the best be would be to grind the centre down until it was parallel with the head and make a spacer plate. Which wasnt too bad a process and looks ok. Heater has been painted and put back together, just stuck ali foil tape over the holes as remaking the plate was very complicated and the holes didnt affect the strength at all. Cleaned up the rollbar and rust treated ready for a coat of paint. I think its pretty much ready for the body to go back on...

Time for a story, fixed the alternator the following night. Before I ran it again dipped the oil and thought it looked a little milky, wiped the stick tried again and think odd but looks ok now. Fired it up and running lovely within a minute or so the oil had gone white, not lost any water and the exhaust has no vapor in it. Ran for a little while longer and it blue a load of water out of the radiator. Turned it off and gave up for the night.
After some head scratching decided it must be something stupid like the wrong head gasket or on the wrong way around, removed the head and everything ok. Back to square one again, sent the head off to be pressure tested. Have wondered if some water got held up in the cam / timing chain area and it got out and mixed with the oil. So while thinking that this could be the case Im waiting on the head. Have got a new head gasket set(go ebay) have drilled/tapped the body mounting holes in the chassis M10. Today started cleaning up the heater unit, its go some rust holes and the motor is a little stiff. So thats something to do until the head comes back.

Got the engine running tonight! With help from Dad to get it timed right, not sure what I did but had got something wrong when I static timed the engine. Ran well, sounded ok but didnt get chance to warm up as the alternator wasnt connected and didnt want to damage it. ran a bit of wire for it and will try again tomorrow, also fixed a small petrol leak on the carb, for some reason it was coming out of a screw connected with the accelerator pump?

Finished off some engine bits disssy roughly timed, tappets adjusted, breather and dipstick in, exhaust finished and mounted properly, all the little bits you forget about etc. Assembled the inlet manifold, had to make some gaskets but it went together well. Washed the ignition leads but lost an end down the back of the Rayburn so need to find a replacement, they cleaned up well interesting to see if they work. Not sure what to do about accelerator and choke cables yet. Filled everything up with oil and water today, the water pump has started leaking when it was ok when the engine came out. New clutch and handbrake cables fitted. Put the gear selector back in, went in easy this time couldnt get it to go at all last time I tried. Going to get some petrol Tuesday and hopefully try to start it wednesday night.

Feels like I long time since Ive done anything, but have made some progress this week. Heads on and a few other bits have been fitted on the engine. Dad braised the broken exchaust manifold, yet to tighten it up to see how it goes. Made the exhaust system today, still need to properly attach the mounts and finish off the end of the pipe, bonus points to anyone who can spot the old bit of filler neck I used as a bend!

Had to refit the tank after cutting the filler neck, the new tank is taller than the old one and I had to space it down an inch to clear the butt floor. Pictures poor but you can make out the spacer on the right of the photo.

Have also made an adapter plate for the carb and manifold. Ended up drilling/taping the manifold, but it seems to fit quite well. Have made up some gaskets to hold it all together.

Put the alloy wheels on took it off the axle stands. Sump is back on the short engine and thats in along with the gearbox and propshaft. I need to take some pictures as its starting to look half assembled. The head is back from Bunt's with the hardened valve seats, ground the valves in and put new valve stem seals and refitted the springs. So when I can borrow a torque wrench I'll bolt the head back on and start fitting the manifolds.
Dad was helping me to find info on the Nikki carburettor and ended up ringing the manufacturer Japan, he can dial abroad cheap on his work phone.. After being passed around he spoke to the old chap who was around when they were making these for the Escorts, Capris etc. He said they only had a few sizes of jet as most the adjustment is done on the mixture screws. They had jets for the following engine sizes: 1-1.5L, 1.5-1.9L and 1.9->2.5L. Now I assume these jets would be for normal level power output engines so the one I have was on a BMC manifold so should be jetted correctly.

Fuel tank is in, but need to cut the filler neck as it wont clear the chassis. Apparently the valve seats are done so should get that back this week. Took the sump off and welded up the holes, the wire brush found a few more holes.

A busy weekend but change a uj(diff end), clean and painted the propshaft. Engine sump turns out to have a rust hole in it. Have put the sender in the tank and have started giving it a really god coat of paint, trying to get in around all the seams. Started trying to fit the carb to the manifold, but the holes are too far apart to make fit and too close together to redrill. I need a good idea or a tig to sort this bit out.

Have assembled the front suspension, turned out to be harder than I was expecting. Get the sequence right and its not too bad(tca to arb, tca to crossmember , arb to front mounts, tcas to stuts). Changing the rubber arb bush in the tca is a real pain, had to put it in boiling water to get it supple enough to go through the hole.
All the brake fittings are unf apart from the front callipers that are metric. Made brackets for the front hoses where they meet the chassis and have run all the brake pipes.
Have started on the engine and have got the head ready for hardened valve seats, I have ported the inlets a little to get a better fit in the manifold and had a little clean up around the exhausts as well. First picture is the before and after on a couple of the inlet ports, I havent opened them up much but the diameters match the inlet manifold much better. Second one is the clean up inside the inlet manifold. 3rd one shows a minor problem with the exhaust manifold which Im sure I can sort out later. As for the rest of the exhaust Im going to leave it until the engine is in, to get a better idea of the run as it used to foul the chassis quite badly.

Pressure washed the block and gearbox off, not going to do much to the bottom end. Not much point stripping it if its ok. Gearbox looks ok as does the clutch. The fuel tank sender turned out far worse than expected (see first picture) anything brown has holes in. that includes the pick up pipe and ring that holds it all in the tank. Fortunately I managed to get a new old stock one from ebay, a bargain at 12quid. Its not quite the same as its for mk1 escort not a mk2. but the sender has the same resistance range so all should be good.

Lots of pictures this time, I just added the ones to the previous update. First off is a picture of the new top mounts and cups compared to the old ones. I think what Ive done is right but I have a funny feeling I might need to revisit this setup at some point, part number is just a reference for me.

Here we have whats left of the old ARB brackets compared to the ones I got of ebay.

I got the pedal box cleaned up and painted, made an adapter to fit the .750 master cylinder, had to re drill the holes to mount the cylinder after welding up the old ones. Assembled and fitted the front struts and ARB, waiting on new dust covers from ebay so I can paint up and fit the track control arms. Steering rack is on with new ball joints and gaters. Made a start on the brake pipes but I apear to have a couple of different types of threads, need to work out whats going on.
Have taken the head off the engine and its definetly a 1300, hoping for a 1600 but glad its not a 1100. I dont know whether its hi or lo compression or a sport engine, but if it makes about 50BHP it should be ok for such a light vehicle. Bore seems ok will grind the valves in and look at hardened exhaust valve seats. I remembered I have a Nikki carb I bought for the mini, Im guessing the jetting should be about right and I have a crossflow twin choke manifold just lying around..

Well that took longer than expected, but the axle is now finished and on the chassis. There was a lot of cleaning and painting to get done but all thats left is to run the brake lines.

The petrol tank turned out to be rotten as well, but I managed to get a new one and get the sender out of the old one. A bit of work is required on the sender as its got rusty on the block that holds the sender coil and the float arm was rusted in position!
Have painted up and fitted the gearbox mount and front cross member. Had to get another cross member as the original was beyond repair, as it was the replacement one had a few bends and gas axle holes that needed repairing.

Started work on the front suspension and found the antiroll bar to heavily corroded where it passes through the TCA on both sides. I thought the tca would be ok but once I got the wire brush on them the cup that holds a spring againest the ball joint has holes in, so more spares required. You might be able to see, against the new ones, the amount of rust and the act the ball is rusted into the seat. ARB shown against new one.

The struts seem to be usable, I needed to do some minor repairs to the lower spring seats/cups but the top cups are no good and one actually came apart when I was trying to get the top mount off and gave me bit of a scare. Fortunately the spring came off in a reasonably controlled manor. I havent been able to find any new top mounts but have got hold of some from a later escort so will make some bushes up when the replacement top cups arrive.

I had no luck trying to free off the callipers so Ive got some recon ones on the way as they are only 35 each, makes no sense to muck around with the old ones. Also getting kitted up to run new brake and fuel lines but want to wait until its more complete before deciding where to run the lines.

The work on the axle took longer than expected. The welding is finished on the axle casing and its ready for paint. Just need to clean and paint the brake backplates, rebuild the brakes, fit a new pinion oil seal and paint the diff casing.

I thought Id clean the axle off and give it some paint before fitting and found some more rust. I have made up new spring seat plates, you can see the work in progress below.

Amazing what a week of work can do for the state of your chassis, its all ready to go now. It took rather a lot of welding, you can see the left over pieces on the left of the second photo.

That was a week ago and now the body is off and I'm ready to weld up the holes in the chassis. The worrying bit is that taking it apart is the easy bit and Ive had a struggle of 2 already. This is the state of things so far.

After some getting carried away with ebay I bought a Dutton Sierra that has been off the road for about 8 years. I was convinced I could get it on the road in no time and had at it as soon as I got it home. These are the ebay pictures, in my eagerness I forgot to take pitures before I started.

A day later and I still couldn't get it to start, its got everything it needs except compression. So I started looking at the chassis.

Created By: Anthony Godden
Created On: 18-June-2011
Last Updated: 05-January-2002