1983 Reliant Fox

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Mattcortes
Posts: 149
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:01 am

1983 Reliant Fox

#1 Post by Mattcortes » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:27 am

Hi,

We have been out buying quite a bit over the last couple of weeks but my favourite has to be this little gem.

Stored in a barn for 10 years and complete with no damage to the body or chassis it looks like it just needs some recommisioning and obviously an improvement on the fading brushed black paint.

The chassis is in excellent condition due to the galvanising from new. It will however need a complete brake overhaul. Just wondered if the parts were interchangeable with anything else. I imagine they are the same as a Kitten.

Engine is the standard 850cc Reliant so that should be simple enough.

Are the suspension components used on anything else?

I'm thinking its going to be the ideal support vehicle for my race karts and should be okay with a lightweight trailer.

More pics will follow but this is it yesterday on our truck.
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1983 Reliant Fox
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Matt
1962 Triumph Herald 1200 Coupe
1970 Triumph Herald 1360 Convertible
1978 Reliant Scimitar SS1
1986 Mini City
1990 Mini Equinox
1969 Hillman Imp
1969 Morris Minor 1000
Scarab Formula Vee race car
5x racing karts, Rotax, pro, 100cc and gearbox.

User avatar
JPB
Posts: 9856
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:24 pm

Re: 1983 Reliant Fox

#2 Post by JPB » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:17 am

:drool:

Fox chassis can and do rot spectacularly because they were poorly pickled and the zinc can act as a sacrificial anode which then leaves untreated steel to fend for itself so even if it looks sound, check inside the bottom of each front suspension turret where the main chassis rails run through them. Do this visually if you have the means. Many of them do survive well but I've seen a few written off by chassis rot.
The kitten chassis is similar but not identical as the front drag links on the Fox use Dolomite ARB bushes at the front crossmember where the kitten uses weaker bushes that pivot in the same plane as the wishbones but otherwise the only real differences are easy enough to adapt between the two types.
Front suspension coilover units are unique to the Fox as they were originally slightly heavier than kitten ones but the register supplies AVO adjustables which can cater for either and are available with spring seat and/or damping rate adjustment. These are proving popular as they're pretty much a fit & forget. Ball joints are available only through the register these days and the latest ones we've had made have used Metro style joints in bespoke female threaded fittings to match the splines at the upper wishbone. Lower joints can be refurbished in the same way but the stumbling block we have there is that core is becoming scarce, especially as many MOT testers don't realise that these joints aren't supposed to be totally free of play and they have a spring in the cup that allows room for fresh grease. Reliant engines are tough things as long as the original oil pressure relief valve has been pulled and replaced by the later cassette type which screws in and seals in the tube with an O ring rather than relying on the seat being glued into the aluminium block to allow for the different expansion rate of the iron [seat].
850s aren't quite as strong as 750s because the longer stroke means that the piston skirt can pick up on and shatter the liners' lower edges if driven hard but when built properly and balanced they're still good for around 8,000rpm and an easy 60bhp. There’s also a kit to fit the FIRE directly to a Reliant gearbox and that works particularly well in the heavier fox.
Subscribing to the kitten register is a good move, not least because we're the only source of many of these parts nowadays and we even have a website at long last though I recommend ringing Brian in the first instance as there's not yet an online form for membership.
JB I didn't go looking for the current fleet, they just sort of followed me home and now they won't leave without an extradition order from the Japanese government..
:|

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JPB
Posts: 9856
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:24 pm

Re: 1983 Reliant Fox

#3 Post by JPB » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:23 pm

Forgot to mention that all wheel cylinders are mini. Order them for a 1976 mini as the later, smaller ones used on Foxes and late kittens struggle to provide a solid pedal with the dual circuit (Marina) master cylinder. Shoes are also mini, front adjuster kits are from Moprod and the register sometimes finds stock, but new backplates are the best bet as the mini specialists keep them and using these will allow you to fit mini drums, whereas Fox drums are unique to the car and mini drums' lip is usually** in the wrong place for the original backplates. If you get the rear drums off and find single-ended, sliding cylinders then someone fitted a Robin axle.

**- This is Reliant we're on about, so sometimes, you'll find that mini drums will just go straight on, remember to remove the collar that Reliant put on one stud on each hub though, as o/e drums had one larger stud hole, reason? They balanced the hubs complete and on the car, so it was important that they couldn't mistakenly be put back up in the wrong orientation. ;)
JB I didn't go looking for the current fleet, they just sort of followed me home and now they won't leave without an extradition order from the Japanese government..
:|

Mattcortes
Posts: 149
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:01 am

Re: 1983 Reliant Fox

#4 Post by Mattcortes » Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:17 pm

Thanks so much for all the advice so far.

The reliant forum I used to go on has now appeared to be down. I have managed to give the Fox a good wash so that now I can actually work on it without the Hay/Grass/Farminess affecting my allergy! Also loads of the black paint is coming off back to the original green.

I will keep you posted how its going.
Matt
1962 Triumph Herald 1200 Coupe
1970 Triumph Herald 1360 Convertible
1978 Reliant Scimitar SS1
1986 Mini City
1990 Mini Equinox
1969 Hillman Imp
1969 Morris Minor 1000
Scarab Formula Vee race car
5x racing karts, Rotax, pro, 100cc and gearbox.

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