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The Build in the Bog

Well not as much progress as I hoped for! This is exactly what I said last time! What excuses do I have this time? Our first and only granddaughter came to stay in August, trips here there and everywhere and the time flew past.

I cut and bent the glove box without too much difficulty. As I had run out of cardboard to make big templates I made the glovebox in three parts; the vertical side panel, the curved top and the front vertical panel. Having read Metal Fabricator's Handbook by Ron Fournier I decided to flange the curved top edge of the front glovebox panel without cutting notches as suggested by Phil. Using a soft faced hammer on an MDF former I was able to shrink the excess metal successfully. I didn't bother to anneal beforehand and I am pleased with the results.

I dithered over whether to have a full dash panel or a half panel - if I went for the full would I have a lid for the glovebox or not? I finally decided to go for a full width dash with open access to the glovebox because I felt a lid is an invitation for a crim to lever it open and cause damage.

I experimented with DIY engine turning for the dash. I bought some felt discs in B+Q which are used to stop furniture scratching wooden floors. These are self adhesive and stick to the little arbour I turned from a bit of scrap plastic. Pop it into an el cheapo press drill, a touch of grinding paste and away we go. I've made a test panel and I'm happy enough with the look. My grandfather was into building motorbikes and he also built a sidecar. My fathers cousin remembers engine turning the sidecar panels with emery cloth, a penny and a thumb to do the work. It must have been hard graft because she remembered it fifty years later! She also remembered the problem getting it out of an upstairs bedroom when it was finished!

I could have done this earlier but I got round to installing the fuel and brake pipes under the floor. I still need to make some sort of protection for these where they cross under the rear chassis cross member. The Facit type pump is also now in place on a bracket welded to the chassis

I dismantled the disc calipers and couldn't get the pistons to move. I tapped out M6 one of the scrap male brake pipe nuts to take a grease nipple, clamped a bit of inner tube rubber over the linking hole witha G clamp and using my ancient but excellent Wanner grease gun filled with gear oil pumped and out popped the piston - easy peasy. All four pistons were out, calipers cleaned, new sealed fitted and assembled in double quick time.

I had previously de-rusted and painted the drive shafts and so I asssembled them - the mess was awful with Moly grease squeezing out everywhere! The new gaiters were supplied with metal securing bands quite unlike the original Citroen(?) band and there was no way I could see how I could use 'em so with advice from the forum I used plastic cable ties. I'm not too happy with these because I can rotate the gaiter on the CVJ no matter how tight I pull 'em. Duncan Grimmond mentioned that they also twisted on his Silver Surfer. Is it worse to get your gaiters or your knickers in a twist? I will contact 2CV City (my local 2CV shop) for advice.

The drive train and brakes were mounted on the car and the next step was getting the brakes to work. I have memories of my wife and I spending ages trying to bleed the brakes on my Mini and wasn't looking forwards to this job. Having read John Wards build diary I borrowed an EeziBleed kit from a friend - it was a doddle - I'd left the bleed screws open until gravity pushed LHM through and left a little puddle on the floor (about 30mins). I set up the EeziBleed and two minutes later the brakes were working. Why did it take you so long? I hear you say. I forgot to depressurise the system and the wheels wouldn't turn which gave me a fright. I can't recommend the kit too highly - brilliant!

I fitted the clutch cable but it was very stiff. Being mean I tried grease then oil it to free it up- no luck - by using a few pipe fittings and a grease nipple I made a greaser and pumped moly grease down the cable - job done - again got very dirty hands.

I've bought a 1960s era Smiths speedo and matching triple gauge set from ebay so I now need to sort out a panel layout. The speedo obviously has the wrong revs per mile so I could get it recalibrated but that cost money and if I change the final drive at a later stage then thats more expense. I've had an interest in electronics for years so I'm building an electronic variable ratio gearbox! Sounds impressive buts its just a stepper motor driven from a black box (home made) which gets its timing from a pick-up on the gearbox.

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The effect I wanted for my build was the used car look. Leather seats were desirable so I bought leather rear seats on ebay. The came from a BMW and were a bit scuffed - apart from the colour - putty is the best description - they were ideal for the job. I asked around (in Ireland) for someone to cut 'n sew them and the recommended guy who lives quite local didn't want the job. We have a sewing machine so I decided to have a go. It wasn't as difficult as I thought - the main problem was I couldn't use the original foam cushions so I had to buy (gloom) new foam. I went for comfort so the cushion is a bit too thick to satisfy the seat belt requirement of MSVA but I plan fit an ash edge to the rear of the cockpit which should give the extra height required.

Reading the above account I seem to have managed more than I thought! Roll on next spring when I will complete the bodywork, electrickery and hopefully install the engine. I have to build a trailer from the remains of an existing flat bed trailer to tow the beast either to Northern Ireland for MSVA or over to Leeds for MSVA and registration.

David Tocher #189 LWB Super Sport

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