27. Garage Partying at Xmas


I have been sneaking trips off to the workshop for an hour or so to try to make some more progress.  While the video in Ch 25 shows that the car is vaguely drive-able, the effort in doing so without a foot-brake, accelerator pedal set too high, choke not controllable, and the starter and ignition on a board just out of reach of the cockpit, meant that more jobs need to be completed.

I started with the brakes.  Having discovered that Roy had done an amazing job in cleaning out the old master cylinder reservoir, I was able to jam it back into the cylinder and fill it up with brake fluid – LHM of course – and then found the “one man” bleeding kit I had purchased some many months before for this very purpose.

Following the instructions, I connected it all up to the front tyre as it is intended to pressurise the system in this manner.  Result, brake fluid everywhere as it forced itself out of the top of the reservoir.  Off I trotted to the back brake to release the bleed valve and tried again; still leaking.  I then read somewhere that this system was not necessarily suitable for the 2cv brakes.  So I resorted to the “one man” method of poking the brake pedal with a long bit of wood; this was perfected when we were bleeding the Pembleton brakes (Chapter 1 if you haven’t read about the first 2cv encounter).  Amazingly, I had some pressure in the pedal and going round the car bleeding the system seems to have pressurised it enough that the pedal does not need to be pumped. Not sure of the theory here but the proof will be when I take the car out to test the brakes.

Next to be done was the accelerator cable because the old, cut down, cable was now too short!  So I have reverted to the idea of using a Shimano brake cable which is now installed and other than needing a bit more trimming looks like it will work; the improved “slipperiness” inside the Bowden cable means that the cable can run round sharper corners without sticking.   I have also purchased direct from Burton a choke cable which is installed at the carb end.  I am still thinking about  where the knob should go – Burton style on the dash, or Callum style on the gear lever support.


This photo shows the present mess of wiring and cables from which very shortly order will come from the chaos.

Next the wiring loom.  I spent a long time reviewing photos I took when I went to Burton to see how much of the loom has to come through to the engine compartment, and drilled through the body to allow it to come through in the correct part of the engine compartment.  Being a LHD loom in a RHD tub gives a few more problems – lights and indicators will no doubt be reversed, and I needed to remove the fan to rerun the 123 wiring out to the side where the loom now runs.  I will now fix the loom inside the dash and make whatever connections I can make and then test the electrics.  I miss not having a wiring diagram and therefore hope that I will have made the correct connections and not run the risk of burning everything out.

If everything checks out we will need to consider the layout of the instruments before drilling all the holes.  I favour one of the Burton layouts as in the pictures.


Still to come – petrol does not seem to be getting through from the tank to the pump and the engine only starts with a direct injection into the carb. To be investigated.

Also, looking at the video the tub is still pretty ugly and needs the rear wings to be fitted and then the front ones.  I can then complete the wiring in the engine compartment.

Work done 2016 to date:

Mar 2016 x fill both front drive shafts with grease

Apr 2016 x Cobra Seats re head restraints
Apr 2016 x fit chassis/body lugs
Apr 2016 x fit body adhesive strip (initially to body only
Apr 2016 x Fit Burton exhaust - look for s/s strips in Burton bags
Apr 2016 x Fix wiring loom in body and follow manual for finalising body

Sep 2016 x Fire up engine
Sep 2016 x cowling off to investigate oil leak
Sep 2016 x how does fan belt connect 

Nov 2016 x find battery securing bar and drill hole for bolt (fits at the base of battery)
Nov 2016 x fit new gaiter to o/s middle of drive shaft
Nov 2016 x Connect clutch - but after body fitted
Nov 2016 x look for Burton loom separate bit.
Nov 2016 x check what hoses I have/need for heating and ventilation
Nov 2016 x Torque bolts for: gearbox mounts
Nov 2016 x fit gear lever bracket to body 
Nov 2016 x fit steering column and articulated joint
Nov 2016 x fix gearlever support to floor of chassis
Nov 2016 x investigate 12v socket to fit in n/s ex steering hole on dashboard
Nov 2016 x Put 2cv battery on charge in garage
Nov 2016 x look at filter for carburettor and see if it adapts to match burton photo - with power tube
Nov 2016 x refit rear 123 covering
Nov 2016 x replace fan cowling eventually to take powertube
Nov 2016 x fit new reflinard

Dec 2016 x master cylinder - front connection to rear brakes, middle connection to other side of gearbox caliper
Dec 2016 x white wire attached to battery negative to connect to screwed battery holder
Dec 2016 x Clean master cylinder 
Dec 2016 x Fit Master cylinder reservoir
Dec 2016 x buy burton choke cable
Dec 2016 x work out how steering lock works
Dec 2016 x change rocker cover gaskets
Dec 2016 x Locate engine compartment on wiring loom and connect relevant bits
Dec 2016 x Tidy up fuel supply to pump and onto carburetor
Dec 2016 x Find heater control for inside car
Dec 2016 x check if new oil leak (onto chassis!) - new rocker cover gaskets need fitting
Dec 2016 x drill body to connect accelerator
Dec 2016 x Fit connecting pipe between calipers
Dec 2016 x Fix air filter 
Dec 2016 x Fit runners for seats
Dec 2016 x fitted heater control
Dec 2016 x fitted temp connection to ignition switch
Dec 2016 x fitted temporary connection to x6 in engine compartment
Dec 2016 x drill hole to brace battery tray
Dec 2016 x connect cable to oil sensor (behind) fuel pump - Block 6 wire 87
Dec 2016 x two more body to chassis bolts in the boot!
Dec 2016 x run 123 wires up and to rhs (maybe!! - check rest of wiring loom for connection) - no LHS
Dec 2016 x look at bulkhead end of existing acc cable and determine fixing
Dec 2016 x fit remainder of handbrake bolts
Dec 2016 x replace oil feeds from block to heads

26. Onwards….


Just to list the latest problems, solutions, and consequences as a result of driving the car under its own steam.

Accelerator pedal.  Outer cable has now been shortened to allow for the pedal to drop to the correct and usable height on the pedal assembly, with fine adjustment now available at the carb end.  A consequence of the reworked pedal and its location in a RHD tub is that the pedal has a tendency to lift up too high and needs fancy footwork to drop back to a correct level.  Maybe some retaining spring might solve that – to be considered later.

Clutch cable. Still needs adjustment as the biting point is too low – as demonstrated  to me, when the car was driven.

Seats.  After fitting the triangulated frame into the car to provide runners for the seats and support for the seat belts, we fitted the drivers seat in, slid it back to a comfortable (?) position – and there it stuck, immovable.  Some swearing, frame out and seat dislodged on the runners to provide access to the bolts and it was obvious that the lever to adjust the seat was fouling on a cross rail; phone calls to Cobra Seats produced some spacers which raise the front of the seat sufficiently to allow the lever to work properly.  Reassembly of the frame – most of the clips through which the body is screwed to the chassis, popped out and distributed themselves on the floor.   Much hard work in getting them and the frame bolted back.

Steering column.  I had speed read the manual again and just remembered the single line that read “Put the top part of the column through the dashboard from the outside”.   Ah! I had previously inserted it from the inside.  Seat frame out again, body separated from the chassis to allow it to move backwards and release the steering column.  Refit the frame and body to the chassis!  Attempt to insert column and realise that the steering lock welded to the steering column cannot go through the hole in the dash from the outside!   Head scratching and a telephone call to Sander at Burton obtained the answer “put it in from behind the dashboard”.   Streams of tears as I realised the body would have to come off again.  Ed says “Lets try to force it in by relying on the flexibility of the dash board”.  Back into the footwell I go upside down, undo the universal joint and in pulling it down realise that the inner rod of the column, not only turns but also goes up and down.  Problem solved!  No need to remove body again; quick tap on the end of the column returns the inner rod to fit back into the UJ, and Uncle Robert returns to the family!  I assume that there is a ball race in the column that, either deliberately or not, provides the longitudinal flexibility!

Space in cockpit.  Having put the seat in and with the steering wheel back on I manoeuvre myself into a driving position.  Tight!  Awkward with the pedal arrangement and I may need (despite being nearly 6 foot) to bring the pedals back by using the adjustment on the assembly; we will see.   Other problems to present themselves before being sent away for being insolent – how does one get into the car with the hood up; how does one put the hood up from within the car?  To be solved at a later date!

Associated with this problem of space – a  removable steering wheel would be a great asset.  It is an option that Burton offer but they say it is not suitable for the UK test.  I think it would be a great advantage and might also do away with the need for a steering lock which would allow the correct steering column assembly.  The internet is full of comment about this topic but none of it particularly helpful.  Certainly, the removal or disconnection of an airbag to facilitate the mounting of a new steering wheel makes it illegal – although obviously a 1980 Dyane didn’t have that as original equipment. An email to Mota Lita, the suppliers of the Burton steering wheel,  has not helped, and so I am waiting on a reply from the DVSA for the definitive response.

Brake line connections to the master cylinder next, and to see whether the original is working properly.  I will then be able to drive out of the garage and not have to rely on the handbrake to stop!

Oil leak noticed from the nearside pot where the pushrods go through to the block. Needs more investigation – I knew I should have stripped and rebuilt the engine before installation onto the body – another “we will see”…

Oh, and Father Christmas?  I appeared at Janes RDA group and handed out the presents – the look on the kids faces was fantastic  🙂


Merry Christmas to all my readers  and a happy New Year.   See you next year.


25. It’s taken a long time to get here…..


I think, this time, just the video!!

Another time for pictures of me as Father Christmas; of the day that Ed and I spent in dismantling the body from the chassis in order to put the steering column in according to the manual – and reassembling and realising it didn’t work; of my numerous phone calls to identify whether a detachable steering wheel is both legal and qualifies as an immobilisation device……

Just enjoy our moment  🙂