Dax Rush Kit Car - Chris Bradshaw
2.0L Injection twin cam modified engine with supercharger.
I have just enjoyed twelve months motoring in a kit car that has taken me almost six years to build. As I prepare the car for the coming summer, which hopefully will be a dry one, it’s a chance to reflect on the experience of building and driving the Dax Rush.
Having spent most of my working life as an engineer in what remains of the British motor industry, to build a car from a basic frame was an exciting project that I underestimated.
The Rush is a challenging car to build. Roughly based on the Lotus 7, it is supplied as a very basic kit from Dax and requires a considerable amount of input and fabrication.
The car will accommodate several different engines. I chose a 2.0L injection engine from a low millage Sierra that I rebuilt and modified to improve the performance.
Working in a small home workshop the build became almost a way of life. It is impossible to estimate the time spent on the build other than it took six years that included several months when there was little work done on the car. Kit car builders have excellent web sites and clubs where ideas can be exchanged.
Getting your wife or partner involved seems to be universal advice to ease the time spent in the garage. Pam my wife designed the interior and insisted on a large heater.
Slowly the build progressed, each stage was fascinating. A major problem was adapting the electronic engine management system to suit the Rush. As a mechanical engineer I found it difficult and spent almost twelve months understanding and adapting the system.
I was joined on Saturday mornings by Adam Woodford of Cadole then aged fifteen. Adam has an interest in engineering and performance cars.
Starting the engine first time was a milestone. It is a challenge to start it at the first attempt, the Rush did not. A review of the electronic wiring revealed a simple problem that was soon rectified and allowed the engine to burst into life.
I was determined that the car would be fully complete before registering the vehicle for the Department of Transport Single Vehicle Assessment, SVA, to put the vehicle on the road. This is a 4 hour test at a specialised vehicle testing station at Oldham. The registration and paperwork was difficult requiring me to pay for the services of a retired Civil Servant with experience in the Department of Transport.
Eventually when the car was completed it was tested. The test was very detailed and fair with the test officers interested in the vehicle and allowing minor modifications as the test progressed.
The final section of the test was when the test officer drove the car around a track at a very high speed with me as a passenger. The Rush failed the test on engine emission at tick over despite several attempts resolve the problem at the test station. Back home after again reviewing the detailed wiring diagrams for the electronic system, a simple twist of a screw reduced the emission and allowed the car to pass the following week.
The final hurdle in getting the car on the road required David Hanson (MP) to challenge and change the contradicting and duplicate procedures within the Department of Transport that kit car builders are subject to. Finally after months of red tape the vehicle was given a tax disc.
Driving the Rush is a white knuckle experience requiring continual restraint. The light weight and low profile of the vehicle allows exceptional performance and cornering. Track days at Oulton Park is the only place where the true design and performance of the car can be appreciated, brilliant!
Page Last Updated - 02/04/2011
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