33. Start of the finishing touches….

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Trying to put the front mudguards has proven to be a bit of a chore.  Careful measurement and placement of the mudguards onto the front body resulted in a realisation that the wheels would foul them when on alternative locks.  Cue reviewing thousands (well tens!) of photos of Burtons to see if we were actually placing them in the correct position.

In fact, the thought dawned that a) the suspension needed to be lowered to the heights in the Burton manual and b) there are “bars” to push and support the mudguard by bolting the mudguard and body together at a low level.  The build manual also shows that holes need to be cut in the sides of the front to allow the heat to escape from the heat exchangers.   Enormous care needed to get these holes in the correct position as it seems very easy for the mudguard not to cover them when fitted.  Decided to delay the holes pending final measurement and fitting.

Wiring and instruments are proceeding apace.  After much concern I decided on the dashboard layout for the dials and switches.  I had already fitted the ignition switch, choke and light switch; I now added the two remaining dials, and switches for the wipers and blower on one side, and on the other switches for the hazards, fog and reversing lights.  I think it works quite well and the important dials and switches are easily to hand.

Cometh the day for lowering the suspension. Instructions are to raise the body and allow the swing arms to drop to allow the tie bars into the coil springs to be loosened and the body to drop.  The effect of changing one end can change the setting on the others so it has been (and will continue to be)….

jack up car to free all wheels, undo the tie bars, drop the car to remeasure

jack up car to free all wheels, undo the tie bars, drop the car to remeasure

jack up car to free all wheels, undo the tie bars, drop the car to remeasure

…..repeat as necessary.

Ooops!  Undoing the nearside front tie bar resulted in the bar coming undone completely.  Burton do a longer version which will now be ordered to replace the existing and allow the suspension height to be reduced safely (15mm minimum tiebar inside the eye.      However this has all resulted in a lop sided car!  Still need to work out why, but I think the tiebars still need further careful attention.  [update – longer tiebars have arrived and will be fitted “shortly”!]

In the meantime, the mudguards are now being fitted.  Roy and I measured up and drilled the holes and the rubber fillet is being glued to both sides.  We also very carefully measured where the heat exhaust holes from the heat exchangers, go and with my heart in my mouth, drilled out a 15 cm hole.  Fortunately, currently only on the offside, it fits!

More wiring.  Why does the reversing light dim when I switch it on with the builtin LED? A look at the pinouts for the switch shows that it needs a direct line to earth; that works. However, in the meantime, I have purchased an inductive proximity device which should read the gearlever in reverse and trip a relay to switch on the reversing light, switching it off when the gear is disengaged;  it will be fun testing this out!

I have needed a feed to the charging socket fitted on the dash so there is now a convenient point to pick up both permanent positive and negative feeds behind the dash.  I will need these for the extra fog light latching unit as well as the indicator and hazard units and the immobiliser unit.

Headlamp holder fitted after much fiddling to move the air filter to allow it go across the engine space.  This required more drilling to the front body, and will require a commensurate amount out of the bonnet.  Checked out the headlamps…..nothing to secure them to the bar; not sure if the nuts should have been supplied but they are now ordered.  But!.  I believe the headlamp lenses are for left hand drive cars…..  looking at the ECAS site they emphasise the problem and in fact only have LHD in stock.  I think a call to Martyn at Classic 2cv Recycling may help in some way.  I do have the original Dyane lamps which would not fit – even if they were in a fit state!…..

…..£28 now sent to Martyn and RHD lenses on their way.  Martyns notes make the point that ones wife should not be allowed to know the process for removing the lenses as it requires the use of the oven!  Jane – please do not read this!

I have Roy and Edward round on Tuesday and I hope that we will finalise the mudguards and fit the bonnet and lights sufficient to claim the end of the build – and done by the end of March!!  Champagne all round.

Only one other brief item of interest – the car has been entered into the ballot for the Shere Hill Climb, a regular event to be held later this year.  As a team we have no experience of hill climbs – and certainly I do not know of any 2CV or derivative doing well in one of these events. However, it is another challenge to look forward to; if we win the ballot!

Then it is back the following week to deal with all other outstanding items as “service issues”    🙂

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