Citroen 2cv van restoration

  1. KemppiFrog Member

    Messages:
    3,005
    Location:
    Aquitaine
    Wow! Just read the whole thread. Hat off to you. I owned two 2CVs, a'58 and a '72 Van, both LHD. Never had to do other than minor repairs on the bodies, so I find your efforts remarkable.
    A week ago I passed by a local farmer's barn and noticed two saloons under loads of carp. Getting itchy fingers now....
    A guy on the Il de Re specializes in Mahari restorations, a really good one goes for €15,000.

    There is a firm called CiPeRe, that supplies everything from new galv chassis to chrome bits and badges. www.cipere.fr worth a look, english french and german spoken (but not Swedish....)
    KF
     
  2. Gas mark 5

    Gas mark 5 Member

    Messages:
    215
    Location:
    Leeds / Harwell, UK
    Cor, thank you! They look like they've got all the little chromy bits for finishing it off I haven't seen elsewhere. Can't wait to be at that stage!

    And Sean, you're right, as ever. That section was a b*gger to curve.

    DSCF3330-copy.jpg

    I thought it simply curved in the plane of the red line, so one could cut through all of the section except the blue line, clamp it to something flat along the red flangy bit, curve it however much you wanted, then weld it up again. That's what I did for the last one. Unfortunately, either I got it wrong, or this curves slightly inwards, as well as down. Anyway, paul, I think I ended up using your technique. Long story short, I hit it lots and now it does fit. :laughing:

    DSCF3354.jpg

    That end bit was nice. It takes time to file / grind all the pieces so that they fit perfectly, but when you put the effort in I think it saves time overall, so much easier to weld, and then if you weld it well it means less grinding down again afterwards.

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    All stuck in, door fits nicely. Then it's just for the gutter section / roof. As you can see, I got a little cross with the roof. Originally separating it from the door pillar wasn't too bad, but then there was no access for welding / grinding so it got a bit bent at the edges.

    Managed to patch it up and stick it in in the end. It's fairly close to the original shape, still needs a few rounds of welding / grinding down again though (Those flap discs are wonderful!).

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    Still untidy, I don't think I'll ever get it perfectly smooth just by welding / grinding. I'm very rude about filler, because here it's been plastered on way too thick in order to cover up rusty holes, but perhaps in this instance a thin skim prior to painting might be permissible?

    Anyway, a tiny little section of door pillar to replace, small patch on the windscreen surround, cut some holes in the bulkhead and stick the heater tube things on, and I think that's about it for the front end!

    :drunk:

    I've just discovered I've got another week off at half term due to my school being a boarding school, even though I don't board. So I'm really hoping to have the whole front end done and tidied up, and covered in red oxide or something, ready for blasting by the end of the holiday. Fingers crossed - feel free to poke me if I'm not working fast enough ;)

    George
     
  3. KemppiFrog Member

    Messages:
    3,005
    Location:
    Aquitaine
    Hi George,
    Glad the site helped. Re the sand blasting: Elsewhere here there are warnings about commercial blasters using too much pressure and distorting panels. And as for hot dip galv., a client insisted on his stuff being fabricated then dipped. 1mm steel looked like a rough sea after that. Lots of "I told you so" followed by a rebuild with pregalved sheet.
    Up the thread there is a recommendation for 'Tractol' paint. This is (or was) the stuff used by the agricultoral mob as a straight onto steel finish. Comes in predictable colours. Ford blue, JCB yellow, Massey Fergusson red etc. We used to use it on trailers, but hardly a car finish, esp after all your work. An etching epoxy primer sounds best to start. For my van's top coat, I used a polyeurathane with hardener, called Express Finish, but from a CIN, a co in Portugal. (Cheap, compared with the stuff I just bought for the wife's Twingo) . Easy to spray, but needs the usual safety stuff. I made an air blown mask from a decent 3M filter, with air from outside the workshop supplied by a fan from my dentist's old suction system and flex pipes from old vac cleaners. Sprayed at the end of the day and exited when done. By the next day, everything had settled down and 'gone off' so no hazard. Your neighbour's barn could fit that scene.
    KF

    Also, filler on your welds. As a fairing agent, fine. Not so good to hide bodges. I spent some time in the light aircraft world. Grinding was not ok on welds, interfered with the stress lines. Cars are less critical, esp as you are replacing spots, which are much less effective.
     
  4. madkayaker

    madkayaker Pro sparkey Pro Welder

    Messages:
    13,695
    Cumbria
    i know this is an old thread but hows it going?
     
  5. Chippychap

    Chippychap Metal spoiling fuse blower

    Messages:
    4
    Todmorden
    I had a 2CV in '79 and it rusted through withing a year, even though I bought it new.
    Now, after 33 years of getting over it I am on the lookout for one.
    Which is why I saw this thread.
    You are an absolute magician mate.
    Bit late now but you could have "leaded" the dips although it was quite normal for a skim of filler even on old motors.
    I wonder wheter you could bolt the floor sections onto the chassis so you could remove 'em and check the underfloor bits, top of chassis etc.
    You have got a large part of the forum rootin' for you.
    May even see you at the ICCCR
     
  6. Gas mark 5

    Gas mark 5 Member

    Messages:
    215
    Location:
    Leeds / Harwell, UK
    Dear me, it's been ages! :ashamed::ashamed:

    Annoyingly, I just about scraped through my A levels, and have got into university. I've brought a small diesel engine with me to rebuild, and a Honda bike frame to fit it to, but I just couldn't manage to fit the van in my room. :(

    Rest assured, it will be completed - I have put far too much effort in to stop now. It will have to wait until holidays for any work on it though.

    I did go to the ICCCR, and persuaded a few friends to join me. However, on the way back (In dad's 2cv) we drove 240 miles successfully through the night, about 10 miles from home the front near side tyre blew. If there had been a little more space I probably would have been able to control it, but there was a large ditch immediately to our left which we just went straight down... Vertical for the first metre or so, then a large steep bank which we traversed mostly on out side or roof, and ended up upside down in a field full of cows...

    Quite amazingly neither me or my friends were seriously hurt, just a few cuts and bruises, we walked out of it. The car survived surprisingly well, despite being a cat B write off the main bodyshell remained roughly the same shape, if a bit crumpled around the edges.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We bought the car back off the insurers, I do intend, eventually, to get some of the car back on the road in some form or another, though there's not much left thats useable. My van takes precedence though, I won't start work on it until my van is finished. Don't know when that will be, I have 4 months of holiday this year, I think. A large chunk of Christmas will be spent sorting this out, registering it and doing my full bike test;

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    However, I will make some time for the van - by the end of the summer hols (2013) I want to have a finished bodyshell, all painted (or at least primed sufficiently not to rust). Then I can start fixing / painting all the individual panels, then it's just one big jigsaw puzzle!

    I will get there in the end, honest - and I will keep this updated, just it won't be that frequent, sorry! :ashamed:
     
  7. jpmillermatic

    jpmillermatic Member

    Messages:
    806
    USA-NY
    been following this one for a while...awesome work. Im surprised just how far the rot climbed up the vehicle....you have done an amazing job so far...

    JP
     
  8. Gas mark 5

    Gas mark 5 Member

    Messages:
    215
    Location:
    Leeds / Harwell, UK
    Well, I'm back again for another instalment, I said I would see this through. However, I have changed my mind slightly - originally I wanted to do this all perfectly, have it exactly as I wanted it and to be able to call it a finished project when it rolled out of the MOT centre. Ha! I'm finally admitting I may have been a little naive, I now realise that it will never be 'finished' as such, there'll always be things I want to do change or improve. Also, I can't keep on taking up this much space in the barn forever, I really need transport for uni, and I just haven't got the money to paint it properly. All things considered, I have decided the best thing to do is just to get it on the road, stuff like reupholstering the seats and renewing the wiring loom can all be done whilst on the road, when I have a few spare hours at a weekend. Then a couple of years down the line, I can tear it down again and give it a proper paint job, but without having the massive amounts of rot to deal with.
    Anyway, that is the current plan, well see how it goes. Enough of my waffling, I've finally gotten around to fitting those wheel arches I made yonks ago.

    It's been so long they're starting to look rather brown, but it does just brush straight off with a wire brush fortunately. First of all I had to spend a day bashing them, to get the ends of the ripples nicely rounded and to sharpen the bends.

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    The first trial fit went surprisingly well, with only a few adjustments necessary

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    After a little more bashing I offered them up again, and they fitted so perfectly I promptly welding them in place. In hindsight, it would have made more sense, I think, to add the bump stops, dividers, brackets and so on whilst it was on the bench rather than in situ, but this method seemed to work.

    DSC_0030.jpg

    I then made a start on a new panel for the front of the arch. There have been so many repairs stacked on top of each other here that is was very hard to work out how the original was fitted! I don't know if the solution I arrived at resembles the original in any way, but it seems to work, and I think will look all right when cleaned up.

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    Another few hours was spent making up the pieces of metal for the corner and welding them in, along with the bracket for the fuel tank mount which I managed to salvage from the old arch.

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    2CVs are certainly good cars for practising welding thin metal! I think when finished and all cleaned up these new arches will look good. It's a nice feeling, sticking large sheets of metal into the van, rather than cutting out for a change.

    Having got this far I couldn't help but put a seat in there and make racing car noises (well, gurgling flat twin noises) :p

    DSC_0086.jpg

    I have been making the most of the last week, parents in France, friends in Spain, girlfriend in Canterbury, so for the last few days I have been working on the van from 7am to 7pm - The only downside of which is I really didn't feel like writing about it when I got back in the evenings, so apologies if the updates lag a little way behind the progress on the van.
    Distractions are now arriving thick and fast, but I'm determined to get this van on the road at least in time for the start of term. We shall see... :whistle:
     
  9. octo0072000

    octo0072000 Member

    Messages:
    5,245
    Location:
    south yorks
    keep it up you will get there in the end but looking good what happened to the bike ?
     
  10. Gas mark 5

    Gas mark 5 Member

    Messages:
    215
    Location:
    Leeds / Harwell, UK
    Thanks for the encouragement! The bike took a while to get registered in the UK, but is now forming my daily transport. I love it to bits! I don't really want to leave it outside on the streets of a city when I go back to university though, hence the sudden rush to complete the van.

    DSC_0032.jpg

    I think an umbrella is slightly more appropriate in this country than a rifle :laughing:

    Back to the van - The next day my friend Tom came over, so I promptly set him to work on the other wheel arch. The entire of the top join was so rusty we didn't have to cut it out! :o

    DSC_0064.jpg

    With that out, I set to fitting the new one the same was as I did the first.

    DSC_0073.jpg

    Then I set about fitting all the other brackets and gubbins to them. As I said before, it would have made sense to do all that before fitting the arches, but ho hum. First up was the bump stops, I didn't have a great deal to go on. One side was completely missing, the other side looked like this;

    DSC_0092.jpg

    Anyhow, I made up some new ones using the same sort of design, only with some slightly thicker metal.

    DSC_0098.jpg

    I made an end cap for them as well, but it's not fitted yet as I am waiting for the actual rubber bump stops to arrive. As you can see there, the spare wheel mount is also fitted. Next to do was the divider between the rear wings and the tank / wheel covers.

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    Then I ran out of gas, and didn't fancy trying to get a 20kg bottle refilled on the bike 50 miles away... I moved on to something I could do without a welder. In fact, I have been pondering and plotting this for quite some time, no doubt it will upset people, but it makes sense to me...

    DSC_0131.jpg

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    I searched high and low for some corrugated sheet I could use for the floor, to no avail. 9mm ply ticks all the right boxes though, plenty strong enough to walk on, hardly any difference in weight to the original. It is going to be a working van, so it doesn't matter if it gets scratched or knocked. I also have a theory it might be slightly warmer if I need to sleep inside, but I don't hold out much hope on that account!

    Anyhow, it feels as though I'm getting somewhere now, it was rather disheartening to see such large holes in my van.

    Until the next instalment!

    George
     
  11. Gas mark 5

    Gas mark 5 Member

    Messages:
    215
    Location:
    Leeds / Harwell, UK
    Next I decided to weld the rear wings in place. Eventually, I want to have them hinged to provide access to all the space behind there, as the rear wheel only takes up a little of the room, and I don't like the way it flings mud from the road all over the rear light connections and rust can hide there unnoticed. However, I understand the wing actually provides quite a bit of strength to the rear body, so I want to modify it in such a way that retains that strength, but that will have to wait for a later date

    For now I have just welded the wings in place as per original, but that will change eventually.

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    I think I might also relegate the spare wheel to under the bonnet, freeing up that space for more interesting things, but again that can wait.

    Now one of the reasons for getting the van back on the road in such a haste, is that I have somehow become president of the gliding club at university, and it would be extremely useful to have some means of transporting members from campus to the airfield. So you can imagine my excitement when I saw a picture of a van with rear seats fitted!

    I had a rear seat from a normal 2cv, which is just a fraction too wide to fit between the wheel arches. That problem was easily solved by loping off a couple of centimetres from each side of the centre. Of course, it does mean the seats are now even saggier than they were before, but perhaps if I have the rubbers going diagonally, crossing over each other that can be alleviated to some extend. I chose to stick with the original car mounting system of three holes in the front, and two brackets at the back for it to slot into.

    DSC_0160.jpg

    It's not fitted there, but you can see how it is going to work. Wherever I invent my own stuff like this, I tend to copy Citroën's original designs, with the only changes being thicker metal and stronger welding. I fully accept they know far more about design than me, but I would hazard a guess I am slightly more concerned about corrosion and thin metal than they were when this was originally built? :whistle:

    The space between the front two cross members can be used as a foot well, or storage space when the seats aren't fitted. In fact, the space between all the cross members will eventually be utilised as storage space, but again, that is something I will work on later.

    With the rear seat and seat belt mounts (copying Citroën's design again) all fitted and welded, I decided it was time to get the body off one last time, so I could get all the painting underneath done, and also give me some room to manoeuvre whilst servicing all the steering and suspension components. Following absolutely textbook safe lifting practices, I somehow managed to lift the body off on my own.

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    That will have to do for this post, it is definitely getting somewhere now though! Pretty much all of the bodywork is done, I just need to grind down some welds and give it some paint. One of the knife edge pins needs replacing, but otherwise I think everything just needs a good grease. Then will come the interesting part of the jigsaw puzzle, seeing how many pieces I have mislaid over the years. :rolleyes:
     
  12. Wedg1e

    Wedg1e They call me Mr. Bodge-angles

    Messages:
    5,936
    Location:
    Teesside, England
  13. Gas mark 5

    Gas mark 5 Member

    Messages:
    215
    Location:
    Leeds / Harwell, UK
    DSC_0190.jpg

    There's not much to say for this stage, I've accepted it's going to look like a shed for a few years longer than anticipated, so this paint is purely for temporary rust prevention. I had a few litres of etch primer I got cheap because it was a couple of months out of date, so all bare metal got a coat of that. Any rust prone seams were sealed. The underside got several coats of 'chassis black', the rest got covered in tractor paint that I managed to scrounge off a farmer.

    DSC_0206.jpg

    There's a shot of how the floor / rear seat is going to work. The cover for the footwell will fold under seat when the seat is fitted, when it is just in use as a van the footwell area can be an extra storage space.

    I gave the rolling chassis a quick once-over, but it didn't need anything much. Someone had obviously tried hammering out a knife edge without removing the clip at some point, so I had to replace that. Apart from that, I just cleaned and greased everything, and fitted bump stops. Painting the axles and arms can wait until the next rebuild!

    DSC_0202.jpg

    Enlisting some help this time, we lifted the body back onto the chassis, which you may notice also has an engine now.

    It took very little persuasion to get running, I know it was running after I finished my work on it, but that must have been about three years ago, I expected it to have somehow broken in the mean time. There's a video here of the first start up - missing exhausts, sparking from dodgy connections, drinking petrol from a beer bottle and started with a coat hanger... Don't judge me, I just wanted to hear it run! :ashamed:

    The accelerator pump isn't doing anything at the moment, I might just swap the carbs over from dad's celeste for the time being. Otherwise I think it is fine.

    Having got that far I couldn't resist just putting the wings and bonnet back on to see how it looked, morale is a very important part of any restoration. :whistle:

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    Oh yeah :cool:

    I've spent all of today on it, but unusually for me forgot my camera. Freya lent a hand and we fitted the wiring loom, starting on the key now. Fortunately not too many puzzles, however I do seem to have a surplus of terminals on both the alternator and flasher unit, and a deficit of terminals around the rear lights of the van. I'm sure I'll work that out soon enough though. We also connected up the brake pipes and bled the system, still a little squishy though so I might have to have another go when I've brought some more LHM.

    So I think I just need to finish off the rest of the wiring, fit the seat belts and windows... Maybe put some sort of cover on the rear seat. Fit the last piece of the exhaust. Set the ride height (none of this silly lowering nonsense :laughing:). I'm sure I'll find loads more that I've forgotten though.

    Off again for a couple of days now, but it's definitely getting there - on track for the start of term I think. :D

    Thanks,

    George
     
  14. Gas mark 5

    Gas mark 5 Member

    Messages:
    215
    Location:
    Leeds / Harwell, UK
    There's not a great deal to say about this stage, I'm just fitting the jigsaw puzzle back together. The electrics took a little bit of figuring out, the original Citroën wiring I'm sure I could have coped with, but someone has fiddled about with it at some point in the car's past. There was an indicator warning light on the dashboard that had been wired up to only the N/S set of indicators, and the brake light switch (the actual switch, not the fluid level) was connected to another light on the dashboard for some bizarre reason? I liberated the brake warning light and used it as a full beam warning light. I know 2CV's don't technically need one, but I don't want to cause unnecessary hassle at the MOT.

    DSC_0296.jpg

    Everything on the dashboard working, even the fuel gauge!

    The rest of the wiring didn't put up too much of a fight, I fitted 55/60w headlights, and relays for them. The rear lights were still terribly intermittent despite my repeated fiddling, so for now I have just fitted land rover rear lights, which are very similar really. I think I'll persevere with the originals and get them back on there eventually, but it's just too much faff - I want to drive again!

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    Had a bit of a panic when I found it nearly impossible to fit myself in, I have cleverly moved the light switch in between the washer pump and the wiper switch, and moved the indicator switch up, but it's still quite a tight fit.

    DSC_0271.jpg

    DSC_0270.jpg

    On a normal car you can just take the pin out of the runners and move the seat back as far as you like, whereas the cross member prevents the seat from moving very far back at all in the van. I'm not particularly tall, but I don't think it's going to be very comfortable driving for any distance like this. I think I'll have to look at modifying the seat, but it'll have to do for now.

    Other than that, I spent the day greasing everything that could be greased, and finishing off the engine bay, which I think is mostly done now;

    DSC_0288-1.jpg

    The breather didn't seem to be having the slightest effect on the air going through it, so I fitted a CPD valve, now getting close to 30cm difference on the manometer, which I assume is plenty. There's still lots I want to change, but for now getting it on the road is the priority and I can do everything else then.

    Tomorrow I think I'll fit the glass back in, and maybe try fitting the cover back on the shortened rear seat. Then it just needs the ride height setting, brakes bleeding again... A few other bits fiddling with no doubt, but I don't think it's far off an MOT!

    More to follow...

    George
     
  15. octo0072000

    octo0072000 Member

    Messages:
    5,245
    Location:
    south yorks
    if you are using landy lamps you will need some reflectors on the back to make it legal for a test but looking good
    i could not drive it like that with the seat i hate having knees under the wheel
     
  16. Gas mark 5

    Gas mark 5 Member

    Messages:
    215
    Location:
    Leeds / Harwell, UK
    Thanks for that, I had completely forgotten! It would be frustrating to fail on something silly like that. :doh:

    I've got a pair lurking somewhere, I'll make sure to fit them tomorrow before I forget.
     
  17. Fergus Member

    Messages:
    452
    Location:
    Devon
    Excellent to see it coming together!
     
  18. octo0072000

    octo0072000 Member

    Messages:
    5,245
    Location:
    south yorks
    with today's traffic i would add some rear fog lamps
    or another couple of landy lamps under the side lights as fog lamps remember you need a tell tale light in the cab as well
    other point is high beam lamp should be blue not sure if any colour can be used or not
     
  19. Gas mark 5

    Gas mark 5 Member

    Messages:
    215
    Location:
    Leeds / Harwell, UK
    I'm going to add a rear fog light and reversing light, but they can wait until after the MOT - less to go wrong!

    I couldn't find any mention in the MOT requirements that the tell-tale had to be blue, but I can't find the full list anywhere. I believe 2CV's that had a tell-tale fitted as standard had the same red light, so I assume I should be fine, but I'll have a look and see if I have a blue lens just to be on the safe side.

    With all the electrics behaving correctly, I decided to put the rear seat back together. It was missing several rubber bands, and of course it's now slightly shorter so the seats even saggier. Having seen the price of more rubbers ( :o ) I decided to cheat;

    [​IMG]

    It'll do for now, the cover is also shot but the drivers seat is quite nice, so the state of the rear seat doesn't overly bother me. :laughing:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I then fitted all the glass back in, without too much hassle, although the windscreen put up a bit of a fight.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And with that, it was ready for it's first test drive since I got it! :D

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    [​IMG]

    Whoop whoop! :cool:

    Got up to third gear and 30mph without anything falling off. It was a gravel surface, but the brakes were quite happy to lock all wheels up so hopefully there shouldn't be any issues there for the MOT. It felt so good to drive again...

    I still need to bring the rear ride height up a little, and fit the rear shocks back on again. Dump tubes, rear reflectors. However, I really think that is about all it needs now.

    Here's a quick video of the drive, truly awful quality but I don't care, I'm just happy it's all working. ;)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKYIjVq47i0

    I am working all of next week, but I'm tentatively hoping to book an MOT for early the week after that. Now accepting bets on the number of fails / advisories... :whistle:

    [​IMG]

    (Might also give it a wash at some point :whistle: )
     
  20. Sean Another 602 fan

    Messages:
    1,113
    Edinburgh
    bad habit to start - youll be "detailling" before you know it - wipe over with oily rag is more in keeping.

    good job BTW:clapping:
     
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