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24. Three score years and ten

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So that’s it – I have my biblical allotment of time and anything else I do is obviously now on borrowed time!  Actually, that is not the case and, I feel pretty fit and well; get a bit bemused when the guy in Budgens takes the change from my hand and counts out the correct money, and when young women offer me their seat on the Tube,  but they obviously and sadly have poor eyesight.

The reason for me raising this is that I have spent quite a lot of time celebrating my birthday and not quite so much time on the car.  Furthermore, the latest jobs have involved me in going head first into the footwell and fiddling around, and I realise that I am not quite as flexible as I thought.  That, and the quizzical look and enquiry from Ed – ” are you ok – would you like me to do it?

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So, the work done since my last blog has included obtaining and fitting new hoses, air filter (new brackets because the Dyane locates the air filter in a different place), fiddle-arsing around with the heater cables and still not satisfactorily being able to get the control wire to work, and bits of tidying up in the engine compartment.  It is getting crowded in there now and I haven’t fitted the heater hoses yet.,

I have also tidied up the garage as I was beginning to lose tools and would spend many minutes walking round looking for them.  Sadly, the garage tidiness has deteriorated again – but it will be done this week!

But the big news is that among my presents were a flying helmet from Roy and a set of open end and ratchet ring spanners from Ed. Both very welcome for their specific purposes.

Actually the really big news is that the clutch cable has been connected and seems to disengage the clutch!  I have to admit to it being several clutch cables later.  I was conscious that I was fixing a RHD clutch cable/pedal to a non standard Burton body.  I measured my original Dyane cable and then the supplied Burton cable.  80 and 72 cms length respectively. Trying to fit it on my own (raising the body on the lift, crawling under to access the fork, lowering the body to crawl in to the footwell to try to connect the cable, crawling out again and raising the body again….  (repeat do..next loop ad infinitum) …I emailed Callum.

He said use the original Dyane cable, but I found it was too long. After much puzzling about the mechanics of outer and inner Bowden cables I decided to get it shortened to 76cms.  A week later I got the cable back from clutch specialists in Dorking,  duly shortened with a new terminal end fitted.  Too short!!

At that point Ed was able to spend time with me and we tried again with the shorter Burton cable and for some reason it fitted perfectly.  Success – some adjustment still needed at the point where the cable comes out from the pedal – but a result, and in a fraction of the time I had previously spent;   thank you Ed!

As I want to be able to test the clutch and the engine and sit inside the car to be able to move it, I needed the accelerator cable to be fitted.  The Burton supplied one was seriously too short; it is designed for a LHD body and a very direct line from the pedal to the carb., although it also has a non standard (and easier) fitting at the pedal end. However, the original Dyane cable was the one that looked more sensible, but how to make the connection through the bulkhead.

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Callum supplied the answer for that both in correspondence, and in one of the 2CV Special bulletin board messages http://www.citroenspecialsclub.org/forum/ and my large packet of mudguard washers and Dremel came in handy.  After much experimentation I found the best way was to drill a hole in the bulkhead to coincide with the (modified position of the ) pedal and then cover it with a washer drilled to take bolts; and then fit a further washer with a gap created by nuts and drilled to take the “push in” 2cv type spring loaded holder.  After some considerable fiddling to get the correct dimensions, I fitted it.  Result – except the cable was too tight and the pedal wedged at the top of the footwell.  After some reduction of the outer cable and refitting at the carb end, it all seems to work and the accelerator pedal now seems to be at the correct height.

I still have no hydraulics for the brakes and that will be the next job, after I have proved all my efforts by moving the car under its own steam.  I still need to be certain that the oil leaks have now been fixed and that the fan spins well in the housing and, of course that the clutch and accelerator settings are correct.  The brakes will determine whether or not I need to replace the master cylinder, and if so it will need a monumental effort in the footwell again!  Defibrillator will be close by and available in case of problems 🙂

Only then can I consider bolting down the body permanently with the seat frame and adjust the steering column to ensure that the slight movements do not cause it to bind on the body.  (If it does, I need to move the dashboard hole along slightly and for this reason the column has not yet been bolted to the dashboard).

But these jobs are for a later date.  First off, all my work to date needs to be proved. Only then can I consider the remainder of the body work.

Finished by Christmas?  I don’t think so!