April 3, 2010 at 3:26 am #232936
I purchased my Dutchess several years ago from a friend. It kept overheating on him and the DMV was being no help.after some quick fixes I put it on the road.
The Chevy Chevette engine was continually giving me trouble, broken distributor Drive shafts, electrical gremlins, oil pressure problems, transmission problems, and that funky steering column.after paying homage to the great god of darkness, LucasI got to lights working consistently (the builder did not understand Lucas’ wiring designs).
Even with all the problems the little Duchess became my daily driver. But the Chevette engine was worn out and the transmission not much better. Replacement with a 30-year-old engine considering all the problems I had getting parts for it seemed a bad idea. So I decided to do a frame up restoration.
I decided on a 2000 year Chevy S-10 2.2 L engine with a five speed stick. I was able to purchase a donor car for about two grand and was pleased to find that it would slip into the frame with very little modification. The original Chevette driveshaft only needed to be shortened to make it work.
Being that I was replacing a 62 hp engine with a 120 hp engine I decided I wanted something between my head and the asphalt more substantial than the aluminum windshield frame so I added a rollbar and seatbelts (the original builder had neglected to install any).
at this point all I have to do is reinstall the front K. section and debug the computer. I expect to be on the road this month. then all I have to do is find those spoke wheel adapters I need.
Court Wizard 40290.5237847222
No trees were injured in the making of this message, but some electrons were inconvenienced.April 3, 2010 at 9:16 am #240914Larry MurphyParticipant
WOW, Thats gonna be a fun ride.Thanks for sharing your story and the pictures.Good looking and well equiped shop as well. Is that a flying saucer in the background?April 3, 2010 at 1:35 pm #240915
as a matter of fact that it is a UFO it was captured in area 51 by the traveling space Museum.
Part time I build displays and interactive exhibits for the traveling space Museum.
the museum is totally mobile and travels to schools all over the United States trying to get kids interested in science and aerospace.
We use the UFO to open the subject of alien life in the cosmos.
No trees were injured in the making of this message, but some electrons were inconvenienced.April 6, 2010 at 4:44 pm #240916
Great idea to upgrade to the newer drivetrain…you’ll be really pleased with the end result I’m sure. Keep us posted and put some pics in the gallery.
BTW…ever think of starting a http://www.UFOreplica.com forum?April 6, 2010 at 8:31 pm #240917Dan RosaParticipant
I see little blue men carrying the Union Jack all the time!!!!!!!!!!!
, the car should be a strong runner too . DanApril 8, 2010 at 11:32 pm #240918
Got the front chassis wiring finished. and the dash like I want it.
I’ll be running a MegaSquirt EFI computer, I’m waiting for delivery when it gets here wiring should be straight forward.
No trees were injured in the making of this message, but some electrons were inconvenienced.April 13, 2010 at 12:26 am #240919
I got ready to hookup the front “K” section and realized that the moron who wired it up (that would be me ) used 18 Ga. wire on a 30 Amp. circuit! so rewire.
No trees were injured in the making of this message, but some electrons were inconvenienced.April 13, 2010 at 8:46 am #240920
Sounds like something I would do.April 13, 2010 at 12:35 pm #240921
Looks like progress…it’ll sure run sweet when it’s done too!April 22, 2010 at 12:32 pm #240922
Well my son and I got the front “K” section remounted and the electrical hooked up.
As soon as the bonnet latches are installed its off to the muffler shop for the new exhaust system.
No trees were injured in the making of this message, but some electrons were inconvenienced.April 22, 2010 at 6:42 pm #240923Scott A ChynowethParticipant
Wow,new engine and tranny.And now what looks like a 1 piece flip front end,cool.Better make a stop at the tire shop also,I gotta hunch tires aren’t going to last long.Keep up the good work.April 22, 2010 at 10:14 pm #240924Paul MossbergKeymaster
Keep up the good work. I love the one piece flip front end!
One concern. I know you had the roll bar done for the car (or maybe welded it up your self, I forget). But…
Are there triangulated supports we cannot see in the photos?
Or is it a simple hoop, with only the two ends welded to the chassis?
If the latter, you really haven’t protected yourself. A single hoop will simply collapse when you really need it.
Of course I’ve been driving my TD for over 25 years with no roll protection at all. So who am I to talk?
I just don’t want you to lull yourself into a false sense of security.
Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
2005 Intermeccanica Roadster
If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)April 22, 2010 at 10:21 pm #240925
That thing is looking kewl. What did you do to the steering column? Is that just a stripped Chevette column? Or is there more to it than that?April 24, 2010 at 5:59 pm #240926
I didn’t like the big clunky Chevrolet column. so I fabricated a tube to hold the bearings that looked more like the MG column. This meant I had to relocate the turn signal and ignition switch.
I went to Moss motors for an MG turn switch and found the price to be over $200.00 for the switch and module!!!
So I went to my favorite electronic junkyard and found a switch that looked good for $1.50 plus an hour of my time looking through the bins.
Ignition switch was moved to the center sort of like MG.
No trees were injured in the making of this message, but some electrons were inconvenienced.April 24, 2010 at 10:36 pm #240927Rob HaettichParticipant
I like what you did to your Dutchess, how did you make the hood and fenders hinge up like that? I want to do that to my hood and fenders but have not had the time or know how to make the pivot point or where to put it. Also I see you had to cut the fenders off at the fire wall, why? Again, smart idea to put that S 10- 2.2L and a 5 speed in your TD. Think about brakes!!!April 25, 2010 at 10:46 am #240928
Nice job on the column. Looks like it took some doing. I like the turn signal too–is that it on the dash, to the left of the wheel?April 26, 2010 at 2:30 am #240929
The tilt front end came about because I was fed up with trying to work on the engine down in the bottom of that box.
So when I started the engine swap I cut the “K” section off. Once removed I realized that the whole front made a single unit.
That’s when I decided to make the front end swing open as a unit.
A little checking reveled that the tail end of the fenders would scrape the side of the cockpit below the cowl.
So I cut the fenders at the firewall, created brackets to make the running board/ fender tail unit structural and mounted them to the car.
Then I welded tubing to the very front of the bumper mounts creating a hinge.
Two large tabs of steel attached the hinges to the “K” section with carriage bolts.
I had to cut away the two little tabs of fiberglass on the front at the bumper mounts to clear the swing as well as a little of the top corner of the bonnet at the firewall to clear the cowl.
To hold the tilt section up I installed a gas strut on the passenger side.
And to hold it closed I used inset latches installed into the fender.
I didn’t like the alignment of the driveshaft so I built another transmission mount. Got it installed today also.
I’ve included a close-up of the turn signal switch. It’s like a motorcycle you have to remember to turn it off.
No trees were injured in the making of this message, but some electrons were inconvenienced.April 26, 2010 at 9:12 am #240930Rob HaettichParticipant
How much fabricating did you have to do on the engine and trany mounts? You gave me some good ideas, I too hate working on the engine in the that “box”. It makes getting under the hood so much more easy.April 26, 2010 at 10:57 am #240931Dan RosaParticipant
Wow, to do all that— you must be the”court wizard “great ideas ,and great execution– of great ideas ,the tilt nose as is the column look I like the whole idea of it all
DanApril 26, 2010 at 7:58 pm #240932
I’m just building a car I can be happy with. I’ve always liked the TD look.
Ever since high school when I had a chance to buy one for $475.00 and
couldn’t come up with the money!
When I got the chance to get this one I jumped at it.
Sooo… I’m just fixing a few little problems….
To answer a couple of questions,
Roll-bar, There are a couple of small gussets where the bar attaches to the frame but most likely I’m only getting a couple of nano/sec protection.
Lets see…plastic sports car VS Hummer…
The motor and tranny mounts, I had to move the motor mounts forward about 1.5 to 2 inches and
the tranny mount I had to fabricate.
another question was about brakes, I’m running S-10 disk in front and the chevette drum in back.
When I was driving it before the ass-end was so light I could exceed the traction available with the drums so I saw no reason to change them.
80% of your breaking comes from the front anyway.
Tires,…I got a buddy who owns a tire-shop…
No trees were injured in the making of this message, but some electrons were inconvenienced.April 26, 2010 at 10:56 pm #240933Paul MossbergKeymaster
“plastic sports car VS Hummer”
Which is pretty much why I never even bothered with a roll bar!
Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
2005 Intermeccanica Roadster
If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)April 27, 2010 at 7:47 pm #240934Montie HendersonParticipant
I really never thought about a roll bar either. Only problem I’ve had was when a Buick Elec 225 tried to get in a Spitfire my brother and I were in. Thats sorta like a hummer vs a TD.. We survived but the Spitfire was history. Roll bar wouldn’t have helped, hit it in the side and almost tore it in half. WE were very lucky!!!April 29, 2010 at 10:34 am #240935
Your slip yoke looks like it should be father into the transmission. If it’s not in far enough (no comments please), it causes all kinds of problems. Maybe the driveshaft needs to be lengthened about 2″ or so.
Luckily, there’s a driveshaft repair & fabricator shop (Mr. Drivesahft) only 8 miles from me in Farmingdale, NJ (Howell Twp.).
For your rear brake situation, try using an adjustable proportioning valve and eliminate the “fixed” OEM style one.April 29, 2010 at 8:24 pm #240936
The slip yoke bothered me too. So I took it and a picture of it installed to the builder who made the D/S for me. The slip is in about halfway and Tim says it’s okay because the Chevette rear end doesn’t move in and out.
The Dutchess goes to the muffler shop at 9am tomorrow!
I just finished the insulation under the bonnet;
As for the braking, that’s some thing that will have to be adjusted AIOTR (After It’s on the Road).
Some more mods:
I added a trailer hitch to pull the teardrop trailer.
And of course I couldn’t let all that space where the VW would go be wasted. So a trunk.
Another little goodie I found when I was blowing up a Lexus, fits right in the back…
A tool kit!!!
When she (they’re always “shes” aren’t they?) gets back from the muffler shop I’ll have more pix.
No trees were injured in the making of this message, but some electrons were inconvenienced.April 29, 2010 at 9:57 pm #240937
Love the tool kit. Working on one for Bridget, but won’t be nearly as slick. Nice work on all of it, Court. Looks like you’re right on schedule too with the build. Very impressive.
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