Okay, it's now the end of May 2007. I've been lazy over winter and I haven't really touched the car or the website. Until now that is!

This section / page is called 'Clean-up', but what's to say about cleaning really? You buy a few bottles of degreaser from Halfords, get a bucket & go to town on the donor parts. It's a dirty, boring, tedious task but it needs doing.

In order to alleviate the drudgery of the clean-up I decided that I'd clean the parts in sections and then build that section, ie. Clean the front running gear and then assemble, clean rear running gear and assemble, etc.

Cleaning tools of the trade

Anyway, the above having been said, this section will actually cover the building of the rolling chassis, rather than cleaning of the parts per se.

So back to the story of the build. My first job on the assembly was the replacement of a wheel bearing. What a pig of a job! The retaining ring wouldn't unscrew - it just wouldn't budge. I rang a 'local' 2CV place to see how much they'd charge to replace the bearing for me. They said that their method was to run a bead of weld around the ring and it just drops out and that the whole job (I was providing the parts, so the job was just labour) would be £50. Being a Yorkshireman I said that I'd be in touch.

So I got out my trusty drill and drilled the ring out. I drilled 2 holes one side of the ring about 20mm apart and 1 hole on the opposite side of the ring. Knocked the section between the 2 holes in towards the centre of the hub and the ring broke its back at the hole opposite. The retaining ring could then be unscrewed and the bearing removed. Once the bearing was out I got a friend to take the hub and bearing to work to press the bearing in. That was the first job on the build done.

Bearing retaining ring removal method

With the bearing now replaced I went into the house, sat by the fire - okay, the TV then - and waited for winters end.

Spring arrived, daffodils pushed their heads out above ground, birds started to sing once again, and I decided that I needed a kick up the arse and that the car wasn't going to build itself. So last weekend I started to clean the front running gearing with the aim of putting it all onto the chassis the following weekend. All has gone to plan and the front is now built (all bar hard tightening the bolts down, which I'll do later).

The first bit (front axle) goes on the chassis

I lied above, because I've just remembered that I cleaned up the front axle over winter as well. So maybe I hadn't been that lazy. No, okay I hear you, I'd still been lazy over winter. Anyway the front axle is the first part that gets attached to the chassis (I guess you could start with the rear running gear, but that'd just be weird! :o).

The next bits that got assembled were the front suspension arms. With the wheel bearings having been checked over and replaced as necessary, the king pins needed to be inserted. The old guides were drifted out of the arms, new ones pressed in and the king pins then knocked home - not forgetting the spacer washers and that the pins were the right way round. Cone bearings were also pressed into the other end of the arm, ie. the end that gets attached to the front axle.

Now I'd read quite a few tales of dread about removing and inserting king pins on 2CV's, but must say that the job proved to be pretty straight forward. You just need the correct size of sockets to drift the pins and guides in and out, along with a good ballpein hammer. Bish - bash - bosh and the jobs a good 'un. Maybe I've just been lucky!?!!?

The front suspension arms ready to go

Onto the next job, which was to cut the suspension springs out of the canisters and clean them up. All really straight forward and not as dirty as I'd thought the job was going to be.

Suspension springs removed from canisters

Now that all the front end components were ready it was assembly time. All went on really smoothly with no problems.

The front end is now built

Just stand back and look at what I've done in 2 weekends (and a couple of evenings in between). This'll be built in no time! I then come crashing down to earth with a bang realising that there's still loads to do.

Right where's that rear suspension arm and the degreaser?

The rear suspension arm requires 13mm to be cut from the outside edge of its pivot tube. This outside becomes the inside edge on the 3 wheeler, ie. instead of curving outwards from the axle it curves inwards so that the single rear wheel sits centrally in the chassis. Pictures later should make it all clear.

I cleaned the rear suspension arm off in preparation for the cutting. I measured 13mm in from the outside edge and marked this point by using a strip of masking tape around the pivot tube. I then used a hacksaw and cut to the line. After about 20 minutes (taking my time to get it right) the cut was made right through the tube. I then finished off using an angle grinder and a hand file.

The arm was then ready to attach to the rear stub axle in much the same way as the front arms were attached. Now that all the suspension arms were on I fitted the old, knackered wheels from the donor.

Yipee, it's 31st May 2007 and I now have my rolling chassis.

With the rolling chassis completed I can now move it out of my cramped, single garage onto the driveway whenever I want to work on the build. Loads of space!

Anyway, here's a couple of photo's of the rolling chassis.

My rolling chassis from the front

My rolling chassis from the rear. Note the rear suspension arm and how it curves from the axle into the centre of the car.

Er, that'sa, that'sa, that's all folks! Well for this clean-up / rolling chassis page anyway.