12. Christmas Crackers


Not much to show for in the period leading up to Christmas and the New Year.  That is not to say that nothing has been done, but very slow progress.  As ever, two steps forward and one step back.

Brake lines in, but we removed the nearside again as the locating lug on the pipe was still not locating in its hole in the rear axle.  An hour or so later we put it back as it was, having been unable to do it properly.  However, our consensus view is that the pipe is so well fixed that it will not be able to move and therefore strain unnecessarily. The substantial rubber gasket where the pipe comes out to the three way connector is very important!

More scraping done on the front axle cleaning it up, ready for a bit more dismantling of the steering track arms and the hubs.

New 44mm socket bought from ECAS as a special tool is needed to give access to the rear drum brakes and the wheel bearing.  Old one going back to Amazon!  I note from the ECAS website that to remove the bearing will need a pneumatic air tool (and compressor) so that job may wait for a while.

Meanwhile Ed has been dismantling the cowling around the engine/gearbox, particularly to allow the gearbox to be removed and fitted to the chassis and to allow work on the front calipers and discs more easily. The gearbox will need some considerable cleaning up before it is installed.

….then I get a phone call from Ed to help him pick up a mobility scooter to see if it might be brought back to life ready for a neighbour of his.  After some dismantling and connection to fully charged batteries, it seemed that the motor was probably unserviceable. Sadly, we took it to the dump for its final resting place.

Emails to and back from the Chinese manufacturers and the UK controller importers confirmed the age of the bike as being too great for them to have retained any technical information that might have helped.  It did occur to me to do a Google search on racing mobility scooters and discovered that they are indeed raced and achieve speeds in excess of 100 mph using a 125cc scooter motor.

I emailed Ed and he replied “Nay, nay, and thrice times nay!  But for those who do not think it might be a Crackers idea have a quick look here!


11. Is that the end in sight….


… or is it a mirage.

A fair amount of detailed work now being done.  Scraping off, and painting of the old items. Replacement where necessary (shock absorbers); and refitting the brake lines.

A “doh” moment with swapping the brackets on the old rear axle brake lines. In the kit were nuts and bolts. for some reason I could not make the connection between them and where they might be fitted.  Could they be for fixings – no, I had plastic brackets.  I spent a long time replacing the drilled out rivets with nuts and bolts of my own, sawing them down to fit inside the axles tube,  and spending literally hours trying to get everything located correctly; only for it to dawn on me – they were there to refix the bracket rivets, the correct size, and easy to fit. The LHS took hours, the RHS with the correct fixings took less than 10 minutes!

Along the way I managed to lose an important bolt into the chassis again.  It is a habit of mine now having lost several before. Much thanks to Ed for having retrieved the previous ones and this time supplying a magnetic grab with which the the problem was solved.  A new one is now on order from Amazon which will be £3:95 well spent!

Running the brake lines is slightly more difficult in a right hand drive car. The master cylinder to be mounted on the RHS dictates that the pipe goes down the right hand of the chassis, turns into the centre of the axle – and then finds the connection on the wrong side.  I sent a photo to Burton who responded incredibly quickly demonstrating that the pipe needs to be bent back on itself to fit.


Next job is to look at the rear drum brakes.  Another “doh” moment as I attempted to remove the drum by undoing the nuts at the back, quickly realising that these nuts are there to adjust the shoes.  I have a similar problem with the front hubs, how to exert enough force (252 to 295 lb/ft) to undo the centre bolt.  I have seen a specialist tool used for the fronts as the hub turns independently of the drive shaft. I am thinking it will not be so bad for the rears as the hub is fixed to the axle. Nevertheless, I am going to need something and might try to hire the tool or see if there is a friendly Citroen dealer who can lend one to me. Alternatively, there is the Forge is Cobham which might make something up for me.  Given the torque values my trusty scaffold pole will certainly be useful again.

I had some new visitors today – a little boy and his dad who wanted to know what I was doing. Showed the photo of the completed car and said it might be done by May next year!!  I am not sure I believe it, but I am so enjoying every bit of working through to that end!