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Addendum to the Brooklands build manual

All of the following may seem obvious once it has been pointed out, in which case, pardon my redundancy. However, I would have found it helpful during my build.

When assembling the spring units, the short rods, short springs and short shock absorbers go to the front. (Check shocks by compressing fully). Do not expect the angle of the suspension arms to be similar to the 2CV, as the geometry has been modified. At rest the arms will lie almost horizontally.(?)

Before fitting the floor panels, install brake and fuel lines and make provision for the rear part of the wiring loom. The wiring must be kept away from fuel lines.

When working on the floor panels, there are four critical dimension checks to be made prior to fitting the two floor panels. On each panel, ensure that the dimensions between upright tubes for the lower floor, and between rear tubes for the upper floor match the pattern and the cut panel The floor must be 'sprung' in order to install and so the floor front has no flange.

Take particular care a this point to set the level of the floor. The steering column junction falls at this line and you should determine the full closure of the hole. If you are lucky and have an undamaged grommet you should try ALL components in the area before you fix the floor position.

Footwells These have flanges folded to all four sides and in forming them leave one of the inner edge flanges unfolded. One footwell has three flanges at floor level and the fourth inner edge flange is 1 mm lower as it sits on a frame member. Temporarily fit the one with the unfolded flange and then mark the fold line from the frame tube and fold to allow for this drop in level.

Lower bulkhead The bends across this panel will once again need straight .... etc. Therefore all the flanges once again need curved former support....etc.

Rear Bulkhead Floor This panel is, together with the floor, one of the two most important of the build. It will determine how tidy and smooth the line of the rear body will be. Time spent getting this right will pay off later on. Make a card template for this.

Be sure to check the width at the folds in the floor before installing, as at these points the folded flanges should not be “outboard” of the swing arm cover cap at the front, and only just outboard of the rear top tube. These points are critical in forming a smooth curve to the rear side panel. The cut-outs for the rear top tubes may be longer than indicated on the pattern. When the side panels are fitted later on, the rear floor needs to be lifted to meet with the arch in the panel. This can be done by raising the floor at the rearmost point by extending these cut-outs. The high point of the arch in the side panel falls at approx. 440 back from the rear cockpit upright and will sit 115mm below the top of the top tube. At this point it will help to have made a card template from the paper pattern to avoid flop.

Side panel fitting (later on) is fairly straightforward if you have followed these rear floor instructions carefully.

To install the floor try this procedure but remember it is a one shot installation which will be difficult to undo: Protect the contact points with tape as the edges tend to scratch the plastic coating. Feed the panel in from the side. Stand looking toward the rear. You will need to hook the forward floor flange under the seat belt mount and pull the panel forwards with the panel angled upward toward the top centre line of the car. You can then slide the rear edge up and in, while trying to avoid distorting it as it passes through the 'gate' between the two rear tubes. The forward edge must be pushed backwards to clear the square rear uprights and seat support. It will go if you have checked that the lateral dimensions match between the front edge cut-outs and square uprights and the rear cut-outs at the rear tubes.

To fit the bump stops you will need to drill (8mm.) the bump stop brackets to fit to the chassis plates. Then drill two 5mm holes through the floor bit of the bump stop brackets (on the side away from the weld) and the cups, offsetting the cups 6mm (ish) so that they sit inboard of the rear floor flange. Then fit the brackets to the frame and drill 5mm through the rear floor and using two 5 * 15 rivets, rivet through the floor and bracket. The almost flush heads will not interfere with the rubber stops when refitting.

Front bulkhead: Don't forget to check the width at the floor/flange join. Do not fold the side flanges past 75 degrees as these should follow the line of the side panel. See later.

Fitting the pedal cluster and master cylinder should be carried out simultaneously with the fitting of the front bulkhead as the positions of these affect each other. The upright (?) frame tube which carries the master cyl. and pedals sits at about 7 * off the vertical which throws the master cyl. off at a strange angle in relation to the side rail tube. Inside the cockpit the brake pedal was in such a position that it fouled the steering column and I had to put an offset in this pedal. This can be done, without dismantling the cluster, using a vice with soft jaws and a large adjustable spanner set to the thickness of the pedal material. Forward of the bulkhead the reservoir fouled the side rail tube, tilting the reservoir off from a good fit position. Using a hot-air paint stripper I gently warmed the reservoir on the obtrusive corner and carefully pressed a groove to clear the tube with a piece of slightly larger diameter tube

Bulkhead top……as this is riveted to the front bulkhead along the top edge it may be easier to drill the holes in the bulkhead top and de-burr them before clamping back in place to drill the front bulkhead. Remove again and de-burr these holes too

Glove box top and front panel .... check dimension of vertical end panel against the pattern and cut panel before making the 90* fold. A little past (say 92*) gives a neater blend into the curve on mine, check against your end panel Glove box upper curved face goes under the hoop. It may be obvious, but…..

Battery tray. My donor tray was a bit past it and so I made a new one using a piece of aluminium chequer-plate which came from our local scrap-metal dealer. It's a bit difficult to fold without a bender but a stout vice and some angle iron clamping pieces together with a big hammer and timber knocking stick should allow you to make a strong tray to carry the battery and incorporate the restraint device from the donor car. Fit the tray before you run the fuel line to avoid interference at this point and remember that the handbrake mechanism is also crammed into the narrow gap available. I used cap nuts for the fixing bolts on the inside of the passenger footwell Be aware of the finished position of the restraint device as it needs to come up between the top rail and the battery. I re-made my restraints to allow me to put the battery well over to the near-side and leave more space for hand brake etc.

For the fuel line I used 6m copper tube. I also bought some 6mm rubber fuel line to use as a bending aid and protective sleeve. Cut a couple of 200mm (ish) lengths and slit them longitudinally with a Stanley knife. You can then slip the rubber over the tube and form quite tight bends around a 17 or 19mm socket. Larger radius bends formed around a jam-jar or W.H.Y. The rubber sleeve helps to prevent tight spots and kinks and then can be used with a P-clip to hold the line in place as it goes round the chassis member. At this point I wish that I could weld and repair powder-coating as I would love to have a couple of tubes welded into each of the cross members to provide a conduit for the fuel/brake lines on one side and the wiring harness on the other. I mentioned this to Phil and he agreed that it could be a good idea, but, in 100,000 miles in his cars he has never had any problem with either fuel/brake lines or harness grounding so maybe I'm being paranoid. Still, all those years of playing with VW campers and beetles where they put in conduits for things like this tend to spoil you...

Rear Side panels should be fairly straightforward if your preparation with the floor was good. I spent quite some time with a hardwood punch shaped like a hatchet blade pushing the fold lines of the flanges into such a position that no filler was needed to 'take up the slack'. I think that while in some areas it may be unavoidable, filler which sets rock hard is asking to be rattled out. Am I being too pedantic here?

My laser-cut panels were not a good fit as the outrigger on the near-side was out of square. This meant that the floor flange was not covered by the panel and the front one fell in such a position as to make it impossible to rivet. Phil assured me that this disparity would make no difference and supplied new oversize laser cut panels. I think that if I had opted for cutting the panels myself I would not have noticed the 7mm difference between one side and the other, unless of course I used one panel to mark the other

Gear shift penetration of the dash gave me a project to sort. I don't like the idea of an oversize hole which is gives unblocked access to the road dirt coming in with the draughts. I cut an oblong slot and used one of the discs cut from the dash with a hole to match the shift tube and put it behind the dash with a couple of the foam washers from a spindle of a pack of CDs as a draught proofer. As the shift goes up and down the disc behind travels with it and keeps the hole sealed and looking tidy.

The rear panels start at the top tubes and work around and under. You should fit the spare wheel at this point and form the rear panel to fit the curve of the wheel. This may mean cutting both the central seam and the rear profile to suit.

The petrol filler poses a few problems. Do you want to use the original tube and filler cap or go to town and fit a Monza cap? The route suggested in the manual takes the cap to a point somewhere down from the centre line of the rear top. If you want a central filler a little forward of the spare wheel you will have to do a custom build job. I used the elbow from the air-filter to go to a short length cut from the bent tube supplied by Phil and put in a further double bend from a Dyane air-filter to another straight piece which gave a vertical run to the rear top aft hoop. There is not enough room to put a Monza in between the hoop and the spare tyre unless it sits sideways, across the line of the car. I got round this by cutting a piece of 35 * 3mm strip and curving it to match the hoop. Then it was welded to the hoop for about 40mm at each end and I then cut out a chunk of the original hoop to allow the Monza cap to fit into the space forward of the spare wheel. The real bulkhead was then cut into two and a new piece added to take the rear firewall around the filler tube. The rubber link from original filler to plastic tank should take the tube to whatever you hand out of the bottom of the filler cap. An escutcheon cut from 3mm aluminium could finish it off on top.

For the front panels I found that there was a huge gap between the top rail and the panel for about 80mm forward of the dash hoop. Using a large hammer I knocked the "side" bit of the hoop inwards and with a flap disc on the grinder, cut the crown away to give a fair line to avoid a large chunk of filler. I also found that I had folded the upper front bulkhead side to 90 degrees and had to pull this flange out to about 75 degrees to meet the side panel without pulling it out of line.

Having as many clecoes as you can afford or lay your hands on is absolutely invaluable! I found that I fitted and de-mounted the front sides so often that the holes I was using to fit them by were becoming oversize so have a few to go at. The first hole I drilled through panel and tube (using a 2.5mm drill) was a scarey moment . I did the one above the rear cockpit pillar, then to the base of the dash hoop. The balance point for the front panels is approximately under the corner of the scuttle front edge and a hole in this area will help when handling the panel. Having got the panel into the correct place I used a long straight edge to mark the centre-line of the top tube from rear to dash hoop, and then from there to the front. There may be a disparity along the panel if you try to do it all in one line due to the curvature. I wanted to avoid using filler and so I spent some time fitting the panel to the chassis and grinding or filing away any high spots. Fortunately I had no low spots to deal with.

Forming the scuttle is a bit tricky as you have to hold it with an inward pull while trying to see where the line falls against the hoop. With a piece of timber or ply having a 15-20 mm deep cut in the end (decide how much you want to overlap the hoop now) you can form a flange at the base of the hoop line. Then pull the scuttle into place and clamp. I used small cramps, drilled a pilot 2.5mm and then checked, drilled 1/8th. and clekoed before moving to the next centre. If you have done your dashboard remember to put it into place to be sure of clearance. I left mine a little oversize as it is always easier to cut a bit off

This is where I modified the driver's side scuttle. Stiff card is wonderful if you want to do this. If you are cutting out your own panels, a larger sweep to the driver's side can be incorporated in the piece and so avoid the join line that I had to make in my laser cut panel. I used a swage machine but a Rotastep Joggler would give a neat flush curved join. I think Frosts in Rochdale do them. (a very useful piece of kit anyway for about £30.00 I think)

Think hard about the seat belt reel mountings and make sure that all fits in neatly. Mine ended up at rear floor-level as they would not go at the lower point provided. You may need to add a piece of U channel or a couple of plates on the upright to take the reels. Some test stations insist on captive nuts in chassis members for the mounts. You may get away with a riveted captor. The seat hinge brackets may interfere with the seat belt stalk mountings. Measure up before you make the hinge.

Fitting the exhausts to my BMW engine and getting them to round clear of the body was a bit of a problem. I had pipes which did not match, one having a greater curve than the other. I ended up cutting about 40mm off each manifold which brings the "bow" of the pipe forward and so clears the body at the forward upright. I also cut the bend out of the balance pipe and replaced it with a 300mm length of flexible exhaust tube from Whitehouse Flexible Tube in Redditch. They will cut to length and, most importantly, seal each end with a spot-weld to stop it unravelling!

I would recommend the gaz shocks as I found that my front-end just bounced away to itself after a test push down on the engine. I also fitted spring assisters from Towequipe. Boil them in water and fight for 1/2 an hour each side. A thin,blunt scraper and a large rubber mallet were invaluable. Although I cleaned the threads on the suspension rods thoroughly with a thread file (buy one now if you haven't already got one!) I could not achieve a good ride height. Perhaps my knife-edge eyes were a bit worn. I fitted 2 100mm dia. washers to each spring which added about 8mm and I could then adjust the ride height to about 180mm at the cross member.

Duncan Grimmond


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