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10. Work in Progress

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Since bringing the body back home (!) we have been hard at work.  The old chassis has now been cut up ready for disposal, and the workshop rearranged to accommodate the body (still wrapped up) and access to the new chassis on trestles.

Roy had been hard at work cleaning up the rear axle and painting it and it was ready for attachment again.  Having the odd hour I thought I would pop the axle on by myself in the hope that, in my imagination at least, the project would start looking like a car again. With that in mind, I set up a hoist from the roof truss and dangled the axle over the approximate position.  Not a hope – other constructors please take note this is a two man operation 🙂

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A week or so later and Ed and I were able (eventually), to get the rear axle fitted back on to the chassis.  Very difficult, not least of all because it was necessary to wait for Roys advice, in absentia, that the studs for the front and rear were different in length, and we were trying to use a shorter one by mistake!!

A week or so before Roy, Ed and I had spent some time trying to get the eyes off the end of one of the spring boxes (nothing to do with the South African rugby team!)  With much grunting and differential heating the inevitable happened – the rod snapped off.

A search on the web and ebay found Martyn Wilson of 2CV Classics who offered me a refurbished spring box which I went up to collect.  He has a a load of second hand 2CV equipment and must be a place to call for other bits if necessary.

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Back in the workshop we were able to get the spring boxes fitted and with Eds efforts, after cleaning the threads had all the eye bolts screwing well.  In the meantime I spent some time cleaning the “bridge” and the main shaft of the front axle and subsequently painting them.  I want to get the front axle mounted as soon as possible and then complete the cleaning and painting so that we get closer to a rolling chassis when we want it – and also to get some leverage on the drive shafts, if it is necessary to remove them.

On cleaning the shock absorbers have been found to be no good – rusted through in parts, so I am ordering four new ones from ECAS. They are cheaper than I expected and will certainly be a major part of any SVA testing, so they need to need to be good.

I have freed the petrol sender and checked the filter inside, which looks ok.  I will get the tank cleaned out – maybe steam cleaned – ready for fitting.

Next heavy lifting is to get some new polythene sheeting under the chassis and to protect the floor. At the same time the muscle power can be utilised to lift the front axle into place as well,  giving a lot more circulation room and easier working on the front axle and steering

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I am anxious to make a start on the engine preparation, but sensibly, Roy and Ed are holding me back to get at least to a working rolling chassis.  Realistically we are probably not going to have much time for work in the garage as Christmas approaches, so the next blog entry may well be in the new year.

Merry Christmas to all our readers!!  🙂

9. Double Dutch

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The factory confirmed the body was ready so arrangements were made to get there and pick it up.  Small problem reported by Burton – the body shell, by mistake, was supplied to them for a LHD chassis and running gear.  Instructions for drilling new holes and some small negotiation later and a slightly smaller sum was transferred to them.

So on Tuesday, Ed and I went to Holland.

We hired a long wheel base van, courtesy of Badshot Lea Van rental, and drove to Dover.  After boarding the DFDS ferry to Dunkirk and arriving in France, we set off to Zutphen in Holland where the Burton Car Company lives.

Long, long journey because of bad traffic around Antwerp, and then again Eindhoven (home match for them just at the wrong time for us!!) meant a very late arrival in the town. Just time for dinner and then bed.  8:00 am start and 9:00 pm finish meant 12 hours travelling – that wasn’t meant to be…..

Wednesday morning, up early and off to the factory.  Met by Mark Overbeek of Burton Cars who very efficiently loaded the box containing the car body together with other bits, into the van.  This much to my amazement as I had become convinced that my initial measurements were wrong; we were after all putting a car inside the van! In the event all was ok.

Off we drove.  Much better drive back and having left Burton Cars at around 10:30am we were able to have lunch in Belgium, before getting the ferry (in France) at Dunkirk, just making the 4:00pm ferry.  Only slightly delayed by the UK Border Agency guy asking what was in the back. “A body and some booze” didn’t faze him – but he checked anyway.  Frankly we were more concerned about having immigrant bodies in the back, but we managed to avoid that problem.

Ed sensibly arranged for his son Toby to meet us at the garage when we got back to Surrey and having determined that the van did fit under the archway to the garage, the three of us unloaded the “body” into the garage where it now sits.

All in all a successful trip and we now have more or less all the components for the car and just (huh!) needs the cleaning, replacing where necessary and rebuilding, ready for the assembly.

I realise there have been no photos!  We were too tired to think about adding to the colllection, so the best I can do is show the box taking pride of place in the garage.  Some rearrangements necessary together with the acquisition of some castor wheels to move stuff around (on their way from Amazon, where else!)

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