34. End of the build


Well here I am at midnight on the night of 31st March 2017.   I gave us until midnight today to complete the build……….and sadly, we didn’t quite make it.

The photo shows the car in its best light and I could make the claim that it was all done – but I know what is missing.   Still the self imposed timing certainly added impetus to our work.

The mudguards took longer than expected, the simple act of fitting the headlights and wiring them up (loom for a LHD car, in a RHD car!) and the sheer detail of all the little things that were set aside to get the body sorted properly.  If I look at my list of work done in March this year alone, it seems comparable to work that was taking months in the previous years.  A lot of drilling holes in the body, that has always been my main concern in getting them wrong!  In fact, apart from a few minor “moments”, it seems to been ok.

What is left to do, amounts to some wiring (and tracing the wiring for non functioning instruments); setting up the side lights as indicators and obtaining amber lenses for them, because the British and Dutch requirements are dissimilar (and as an aside, the EC has not made my life easier by not having a common approach to vehicle construction and use).  I need to do the tracking, as warned by Callum, it would be out when the suspension was dropped; and I need to fit the seatbelts and the seats.  In the event not much, but time consuming.   I am mentally calling these items “service and maintenance” rather than “construction”, but I fear I am only kidding myself.

Finally, will come the big test – the IVA.  Before then I will get the car to an MOT test centre to check basics such as brakes, steering and lights, and once that is clear will set about trying to negotiate with the DVLA about the type of test and whether I can keep the original registration.

Thank you all for staying with me on this blog.   To all of you who have visited and commented, or just chatted about the project, thank you; that interest has helped me maintain my enthusiasm right the way through.

I am amazed how time has gone by, how my knowledge and experience has expanded, and how great it was to be able to rely on Roy and Ed to help get it all done – Thank you  both again.

I have always said that the building of the car was a journey and to be enjoyed as that; what the arrival will be remains to be seen.

To Burton

                                                                  From Dyane


33. Start of the finishing touches….


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”    🙂

31 On the home straight……


Body off!   All that hard work in drilling the holes to hold the body and then crawling inside to tighten them up..  all undone again to enable Ed and I to test the engine, run it up and make sure there are no more leaks and to test the comfort of the clutch the efficacy of the brakes and the amount of play in the steering.

Prudently we pushed the car halfway out of the garage.  We put some fuel in the carb and I sat in the cockpit.  Much pulling on the choke, and pressing and releasing the accelerator and eventually the engine fired.  It ran very lumpily for a bit and then died. More fuel in the carb and start again………. why could I see a flame burning in the carb?

I now know it is possible to get out of the car very very quickly!!   I was out,  literally in a second, and found a cloth that I used to smother the flame.  All out and panic over.  Do we tell anyone, we asked ourselves?  No, lets keep it a secret – so please, dear reader, please, keep it to yourself.   Amazon account immediately utilised for an extinguisher and fire blanket which will be kept very near by.

Called it a day after that.

Next visit I was on my own.  Having found that the speedo needed a cable different to the Dyane original, it was duly ordered and delivered from Burton.   Let me say at this point to aspiring builders – if you know what instruments you are having and are still building the engine and gearbox – now is the time to change the cable.  Not when everything around is fully assembled!   I have had a very difficult time in removing the old cable from its inaccessible position.  Eventually, I was able to undo the securing bolt and pulled on the cable…..too hard as it turned out, half the gearbox came out with it!  Well an exaggeration a bit, but the assembly including the drive gear all came out and distributed itself on the floor.  After some time, grazed knuckles, and a lot of unseemly words, I have reassembled it.  Whether it works is another matter, time will tell when I can do a road test.

I was determined to get on with stuff under the dash.  Out came the seat again and in I went upside down.  The short story is that the windscreen washer, the blower, the horn, the fog and reversing lights all now work.  I must unusually criticise Burton and their wiring.  After a lot of mucking around with the test meter and connecting and reconnecting wires, it was apparent that they had wired the connection plug from the wipers incorrectly.  Spotting it and redoing it solved the problem in time.

The next effort involved getting the car out of the garage without bursting into flames. Doesn’t look that different from the previous video but there are of course lots of new bits completed..   Shame about the gearlever becoming detached; a little modification, on the go, and it should all be ok now.

Watch here:-

Just got to finish the body and do a bit of servicing and adjusting and we are nearly there.