43. The Bricklayers Lament


First off – list of things done:

May 2019 x Move rear number plate light if rear bumper does not help - 
           rounded so maybe not necessary - ignoring
May 2019 x Re stick wires under wheel arches
May 2019 x No holes in spokes of steering wheel!! - check grommets and 
           full seals - ignored
May 2019 x Stick edging around exhaust end - see how hot it gets
May 2019 x Check if existing exhaust pipe end is curved back on itself and 
           less than 150mm projection
May 2019 x Check on 30deg cone for exhaust pipe and cut end appropriately 
           or rear bumper?
May 2019 x Check headrest requirements carefully - check height now of 
           drivers - can it be made to set at 50mm or be removed to fit a collar
May 2019 x Fit cable cover around mirror
May 2019 x Call to get seats recovered by Garry - collected
May 2019 x Engrave new VIN number

I am clearing most of the remaining tasks, but the major issue these last few days has been to pop in a new crossbox, following the MOT fail.

So ask me about the crossbox…..don’t ask!  Four long days, so far!!

Taking the old one off was not too difficult.  Undid the unions and slackened the bolts on the gearbox, and with some wiggling, it disconnected and down it came!

Then I had to put the new one on.    Nothing lined up easily, and the box kept falling through the space.  The gearbox lugs are designed to be inaccessible, and open such that the box does not sit on the bolts happily, using gravity!  I needed to be on top to hold and guide it, and simultaneously down below to do up the connections

In the end – with the help of the jack, several unsafe bits of wood, plastic ties, a hammer, removing the exhaust pipe, and ordering longer bolts, I am part of the way there … I will never change a 2cv crossbox again!

That however was just the start of it.  In order to be able to get the car high enough for me to get underneath I had used the big scissor jack that sits right under the car.   Not trusting it – with the weight of the engine tilting the car forward, I used axle stands front and rear.

When it came to letting the car down the balance was all wrong and whatever I did the rear stayed on the axle stands. So I raised the car still further and managed to wedge the open bonnet under the roof truss!

This was now getting like Gerard Hoffnung.    (

Lowering the car again to ease the bonnet down, I wedged the rear axle stand. So I pushed down at the front to raise the rear and in so doing re wedged the axle stand directly under the petrol tank – as the car came down, so the stand went up into the tank!  ( I think it might be ok – will check for leaks tomorrow.)

In the end two pieces of wood, one on edge, on the jack, was high enough for me to retrieve the rear axle stand, and lower the jack just as the wood toppled……

I sat down and rested.

Does anyone sell M7 bolts over the counter – Screwfix, Halfords, B and Q?  No chance.  So longer bolts ordered on the web which should come Wednesday, at which point I hope I can pull the two remaining connections together!

Thank you for asking  🙂

Too exhausted to write any more.  Will finish the box later in the week and then it is merely the speedo and the headlights and tightening bolts and checking over the car

42. Ready for the IVA


IVA booked for June 6th!

Work successfully done to date:

May 2019 x Block measuring 53mm high & 136mm wide on the car seat 
           the upper forward corner of the block is then referred 
           to as the reference point the anchorage must be 
           at least 450mm above this point and top of headrest 
           700mm above after <25mm between seat and headrest
May 2019 x Look for tonneau covers fasteners Check if tonneau cover 
           has clips? all Received
May 2018 x Gungum tape on exhaust - no - new exhaust ordered
May 2019 x Finalise fitting bumper - access for bonnet release 
           and fit spacers and nuts under first bracket (maybe with 
           spacers above bumper?
Apr 2019 x Check if 2cv bumper works
Apr 2019 x Seat re upholstery with Garry - call him Monday for 
Apr 2019 x Bumpers for front to cover somehow the tow eyes at the 
           front sides of the chassis
Apr 2019 x Boot wiring needs tidying
Apr 2019 x Refit regulator
Apr 2019 x Adjust height ch 9.1. [OK - now 16 and 12]
Apr 2019 x Go to Bridges in Pease Pottage for head rests and 
           2cv front bumper
Apr 2019 x Check height 13.0cms front 16,5cms rear - see ch 9.1 
           Burton manual - needs to be jacked up all round for 
Apr 2019 x Stick trim around cockpit o/s
Apr 2019 x Arrange MOT
Apr 2019 x Arrange IVA
Apr 2019 x Cover hole in blower pipe
Apr 2019 x Fit seats 
Apr 2019 x Circlip for choke on carb
Apr 2019 x Rerun red and black wires from battery to connection 
           point behind dashboard - are these necessary now?
Apr 2019 x Secure gear lever - loctite?
Apr 2019 x evidence required of seat belt mounting bolts – 
           take pictures to show them clearly in situ, one each 
           bolt – padding to the seatbelt upper anchorages, 
Apr 2019 x Re run choke cable away from ? handbrake
Apr 2019 x WASHERS - check fuse for power - nothing arriving at 
           push switch
Apr 2019 x BLOWER - check connections to blower unit
Apr 2019 x Undo bolts on front and push them in level with the 
           vertical body - Didn't work
Apr 2019 x Test and tidy up wires in footwell
Apr 2019 x secure immobiliser box on vertical panel behind 
Apr 2019 x Secure bracket for new cable conduit
Apr 2019 x Adjust accelerator
Apr 2019 x Rubber grommet where main cable enters footwell
Apr 2019 x Check IVA manual if repeater lights are necesary NO!!
Apr 2019 x Check if handbrake fouls steering rods
Apr 2019 x speak to Gary / Classic FX (call beginning of April)

Final list of things to do.  IVA manual read yet again; dificult to interpret everything.  Are side repeaters necessary? (pair purchased in case).  How to resolve the seat/head restraint issue – seat squab removed and replaced with hardboard, to be recovered by Garry in the thinnest of materials to keep below the 700mm requirement.

Solved – problem with the 30 degree cone and the front of the car.  New 2cv bumper purchased and fitted – inverted – see photos; not too bad looking.  Got the interest of both Burton and the Burton Owners Club (now written up on their web page and see below)  Result.

Suspension raised to Burton manual levels, which should improve handling.

Taken for MOT.  Great to drive the car legitimally to and from the test centre.  Failed!  But brakes and steering are all ok, which was my main concern.  Other issues flagged up were screen washers pointing in the wrong direction – easily fixed; headlights out of alignment – knew that and will set them nearer the test; two holes in the first soundbox – thought it sounded good!  New (rhd) soundbox ordered from der Franzose as neither Burton nor ECAS had any.   Emission test all positive – even for a more modern engine standard!

Very kind offer from Graham Horder of the Wimbledon Carriage Company to use his facilities, which include a proper car lift, and help the replacement of the soundbox – thank you Graham!  Will be taking him up on the offer as soon as the soundbox arrives.

Main outstanding items relate to points in the IVA manual that seem to be contradictory or generally unclear. For example side repeaters may or may not be necessary; rear of car may fail 30 degree cone test because of the exhaust – do I take an angle grinder to it and risk being right under the fuel tank, or do I wait for that as a fail for clarity!

Only other items are edging the internal mirror with a cable cover to provide cushioning; checking the speedo and calibrating it accurately. When going to the MOT centre it was showing 100mph!! (Shurely not).  Finally (I think) re engraving the VIN number so it is clearer and in a more accessible position.

I am collating paperwork with photos of the build, copy bills and correspondence with the DVLA (I want an age related plate if possible rather than a Q plate).  I think I might need these at the actual test.  I am also taking a copy of the IVA manual to demonstrate that I knew (?) what the required standards are.

June 6th is coming closer 🙂

article for the Burton Owners Club – click here