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Author: Subject: Reliant Kitten Project
John Bonnett

posted on 2/8/19 at 07:24 PM Reply With Quote
Reliant Kitten Project

With the G15 BMW finished and sold it is time to think about the next project which this time is based on a Reliant Kitten. Compared with other Countries, France in particular where no mechanical modifications are allowed, we are really lucky to have the freedom that we have. My project will stay within the DVLA rules and qualify for the mandatory 8 points in order to retain the registration and identity of the original car.

My plan (which is subject to continuous change) is to indulge myself with the bodywork to satisfy my craving for metal shaping and mechanically to give it a modest 180bhp/tonne to ensure a reasonable performance on the road.

I have purchased the car which is a bit of a basket case and hasn't turned a wheel for a very long time. The body has to come off before the state of the chassis can be assessed and that's what is happening at present. I'm not a lover of working with rusty metal but all my projects start this way and as we know it does get better once parts are cleaned up and painted.

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rdodger

posted on 2/8/19 at 07:57 PM Reply With Quote
Excellent. Looking forward to another of your projects.
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John Bonnett

posted on 1/9/19 at 10:48 AM Reply With Quote
Right, a bit of progress. The body is now removed which has revealed a chassis that is quite rusty and dissolved away in a couple of areas. Once the chassis is stripped down I'll get it over to the blasters and once done I'll know what I'm up against.







I've had various ideas about powering the car from a turbocharged Reliant engine, Fiat 1108 and finally, the option I'm going for, 1.6 Ford Sigma, type 9 gearbox and MGB rear axle. This should be bullet proof and reliable. As the first stage I now have the bell housing to mate the engine to the gearbox.



[Edited on 1/9/19 by John Bonnett]

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Mike Wood

posted on 13/10/19 at 07:27 PM Reply With Quote
John

Looks good already. I expect another innovative and well executed build.

Are you sending updates to the Reliant Kitten Register as they are always interested in projects.

Did the Reliant engine and box go on to a good home - as might be of interest to 750 Trophy builders, as well as Kitten restorers.

Keep the updates coming!

Cheers
Mike

PS guess you have seen the V8 drag racing Kitten: http://beardmorebros.co.uk/website%20pages/reliant_kitten.htm
and a more recent Honda S2000 powered hillclimb Kitten:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRiyBjZWXN8&feature=youtu.be

https://www.s2ki.com/forums/s2000-gallery-12/reliant-kitten-s2000-hill-climb-car-1088989/

(apparently someone has put a ZZR bike engine in one, plus other bike conversions)

[Edited on 13/10/19 by Mike Wood]

[Edited on 13/10/19 by Mike Wood]

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big_wasa

posted on 13/10/19 at 07:51 PM Reply With Quote
A good candidate for Oem injection

http://www.locostbuilders.co.uk/viewthread.php?tid=199233

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John Bonnett

posted on 13/10/19 at 08:41 PM Reply With Quote
Thank you both for your replies and interest in my project. This is a great forum for bouncing ideas and receiving good advice.

I have trawled YouTube and google for modified Kittens and found quite a lot of really nicely done cars from bike engines, V8s, Duratec, Cosworth YB and the Honda engined car that you mentioned. There's also an MX5 one out there too.So there's plenty of food for thought and inspiration.

The Reliant engine that came with the car is excellent but it is the original and its number matches that on the chassis plate so I'm not that keen to part with it. I'd like to keep it with the car and if down the line someone wanted to restore it to original the engine would be there. Same with the gearbox and axle.

I am a member of the Kitten register and they are good people offering excellent support and good supplies of spare parts. However, I've no plans at the moment for writing the build up for their magazine. This may come later on when the car is finished.

I'm pretty well decided on fuel injection but will probably use an after market system rather than trying to get the Focus ecu to play ball. Funding is always a problem so I'll be starting with a standard engine rather than going for 140bhp straightaway. The type 9 is currently with 1st Motion having a close ratio gear set fitted; not a cheap option but it has to be done.

The chassis is back from the blasters and now ready for repair. Blasting revealed no unpleasant surprises and it's great to have lost the rust.
[img][/img]

[Edited on 13/10/19 by John Bonnett]

[Edited on 13/10/19 by John Bonnett]

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SJ

posted on 14/10/19 at 08:58 AM Reply With Quote
I've loved Reliant Kittens by association ever since I was a kid. The reason being that there was a bloke who lived up the road who drove a DeTomaso Pantera which was the coolest car by a mile.

The guy's daily driver was a Kitten!

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big_wasa

posted on 14/10/19 at 12:45 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by John Bonnett
I'm pretty well decided on fuel injection but will probably use an after market system rather than trying to get the Focus ecu to play ball. Funding is always a problem so I'll be starting with a standard engine rather than going for 140bhp straightaway.


It's really not much harder than any aftermarket stand alone ECU. It's cheap. You plug it in and drive it. When you have the car dialed in you have the options of tuning and upgrading still.

I did try to buy a local kitten a few years ago with no luck. I had three or four Regals and Reliant's before I was old enough to drive so I have a soft spot for them.

Back in the day my parents would be up front, my three brothers on the back seat and I traveled all over the country in the boot.

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John Bonnett

posted on 14/10/19 at 02:33 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by big_wasa
quote:
Originally posted by John Bonnett
I'm pretty well decided on fuel injection but will probably use an after market system rather than trying to get the Focus ecu to play ball. Funding is always a problem so I'll be starting with a standard engine rather than going for 140bhp straightaway.


It's really not much harder than any aftermarket stand alone ECU. It's cheap. You plug it in and drive it. When you have the car dialed in you have the options of tuning and upgrading still.

I did try to buy a local kitten a few years ago with no luck. I had three or four Regals and Reliant's before I was old enough to drive so I have a soft spot for them.

Back in the day my parents would be up front, my three brothers on the back seat and I traveled all over the country in the boot.


You have my interest

PM sent

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Oddified

posted on 14/10/19 at 09:50 PM Reply With Quote
Still got my kitten (supercharged cossy, water meth, nitrous, atlas axle, spc type 9 etc etc, the list is quite long! lol), unfortunately it is going to have to go (probably break it and sell all the parts) as i just don't have space to to keep two fun cars. I took it out for a final blast before the insurance ran out and it still put a big smile on my face! lol

I've had the car for over 20 years so i know every mm of the car, so if you need any ideas/suggestions just ask

Ian

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John Bonnett

posted on 2/11/19 at 11:29 AM Reply With Quote
Next step is to get the chassis up on to the table, jig it in position and start the repairs. Rather than messing about trying to repair the main chassis leg, I'm going to replace the whole thing back to the gearbox cross member. Our local steel fabricator has folded up piece for me. This is a top hat section with a separate closing panel. He has also done a U section length.


I've made up some up stands that will locate on the chassis out riggers to stand the chassis off the table and allow access all the way round.


[img]http://[/img]

[Edited on 2/11/19 by John Bonnett]

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John Bonnett

posted on 8/11/19 at 06:43 PM Reply With Quote
I've made up a fixture for locating the very front cross member and the chassis is now mounted on a jig and cutting can begin.




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John Bonnett

posted on 12/11/19 at 01:13 PM Reply With Quote
I was getting ahead of myself. One more fixture needed, now completed.




[Edited on 12/11/19 by John Bonnett]

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John Bonnett

posted on 13/11/19 at 04:32 PM Reply With Quote
I've cut out the two major members and the jig is holding the chassis firm so well worth taking a bit of time over making it. The suspension turret needs a bit of work but is basically sound. I have yet to cut off the very front cross member which is a job for another day.



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Sam_68

posted on 14/11/19 at 08:23 PM Reply With Quote
Are you planning to install a cage in this?

If not, it might be worth mentioning that, many years ago, I cut the bodyshell on one into sections with an angle grinder to dispose of it at my local municipal tip (rolling chassis was then turned into a Tempest).

The upper seatbelt mounts turned out to be 'attached' to some flakes of rust, which were all that was left of the steel reinforcement that had originally been laminated into the B-pillar...

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John Bonnett

posted on 16/11/19 at 08:55 AM Reply With Quote
I'm actually going to build a completely new Estate car body in aluminium underpinned by a cage fabricated in 40mm tube. It will still resemble a Kitten but with a nod to the Lancia HPE and Integrale. A way off but plans are afoot.

Meanwhile with some difficulty, I have managed to bore out the inch and a half round tube from the chassis cross members and have made a jig to ensure the front cross member fits back in exactly the right place. So work is progressing well and it will be nice to start repairing and building up the chassis.






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John Bonnett

posted on 16/11/19 at 05:43 PM Reply With Quote
It came as a huge relief that the cross member slipped on both tubes and the jig that I made earlier fitted perfectly.

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John Bonnett

posted on 20/11/19 at 08:30 AM Reply With Quote
All the rusty areas have been cut out and now it's time to be creative with CAD (cardboard aided design)





[Edited on 20/11/19 by John Bonnett]

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Oddified

posted on 20/11/19 at 09:01 PM Reply With Quote
Looking good, the chassis will probably be better than it's ever been in the last 20 years!.

Ian

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John Bonnett

posted on 20/11/19 at 09:50 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Oddified
Looking good, the chassis will probably be better than it's ever been in the last 20 years!.

Ian


Thank you Ian. I'm thoroughly enjoying the works on the chassis and taking my time to ensure that it is as good as I can possibly make it but for me the real work commences with the all-new aluminium estate car body that I am planning. Some way off yet but all there in my head.

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John Bonnett

posted on 24/11/19 at 11:29 AM Reply With Quote
Potentially the most difficult part of the chassis repair fitting the new chassis leg. But all went well and the fit not too shabby.

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John Bonnett

posted on 30/11/19 at 02:38 PM Reply With Quote
Chassis repairs now completed. Now I can start thinking about building a 5-link rear suspension. Here I'd be interested in your thoughts please. Rod ends both ends of the trailing arms and Panhard rod or bush at one end and rode end at the other. I believe a bush?rod end arrangement transmits less noise and vibration.





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Oddified

posted on 30/11/19 at 06:20 PM Reply With Quote
When i first built mine i had bushes both ends of the axle links, then after a few failed i swapped to one end bushed the other rod ends, then for the last few years rod ends both ends. There is a difference in noise/vibration but not huge, unless your planning on using the car for daily commutes with your mother on board i would just fit rod ends.

The other thing of note though is axle movement even if only slight in theory, there was a noticeable difference with less moving around especially under hard braking with rod ends all round.

Ian

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John Bonnett

posted on 30/11/19 at 06:29 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Oddified
When i first built mine i had bushes both ends of the axle links, then after a few failed i swapped to one end bushed the other rod ends, then for the last few years rod ends both ends. There is a difference in noise/vibration but not huge, unless your planning on using the car for daily commutes with your mother on board i would just fit rod ends.

The other thing of note though is axle movement even if only slight in theory, there was a noticeable difference with less moving around especially under hard braking with rod ends all round.

Ian




Ian, I was hoping you'd reply. Thank you. Good information. I was thinking of using 25.4mm x 2.64 wall CDS tubing for the trailing arms and Panhard rod and M12 x 1.25 rode ends from McGill Motorsport. Fitting rod ends all round makes things a whole lot easier than trying to find suitable tube I/D to suit whatever poly bushes I could come up with. It's not going to be a quiet car so a bit more noise won't make much difference.

By the way, although receive email notification box is ticked, they aren't coming through.

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Oddified

posted on 30/11/19 at 06:46 PM Reply With Quote
The links fitted at the moment on mine are 1" x 1/8" cds (so just slightly thicker wall than your thinking) with 1/2" unf rod ends but i always er on the thicker/stronger side than probably necessary....my motto is if in doubt go thicker/stronger! lol. Decent power and grip drag racing does test things.

Ian

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