Burton Build Diary

This page attempts to document the build of a Burton sportscar and problems encountered.

CURRENT STATUS: Car is on the road. 7000 miles and no problems

19.Sep 2007
18.Jun 2007
17.May 2007
16.Jan 2007
15.Aug 2006
14.May 2006
13.Apr 2006
12.Mar 2006
11.Feb 2006
10.Jan 2006
9..Dec 2005
8..Nov 2005
7..Oct 2005
6..Aug 2005
5..Apr 2005
4..Mar 2005
3..Feb 2005
2..Jan 2005
1..Dec 2004
0..Nov 2004


November 2004
15th Nov 2004
Had a look at a possible donor car, and found the bodywork to be fair good condition, but the car is totally undriveable. More importantly, it's a low mileage car and shouldn't need too much work. It's a 1988 E-reg Dolly, two owners and less than 21,000 miles. Comes with a full service history and all MOTs. It failed its last MOT on worn track-rod ends and king pins. We agreed a price and I started to look for a method of getting it the three miles to my garage.

I've got a week to tidy my garage and find room to store everything which once filled it full!

25th Nov 2004

Picked up a couple of spare wheels from a local 2CVGB member (thanks Jon) and went to 'sort' out my donor car to make it moveable. Had to replace a couple of wheels as the tyres were completely rotten and flat. The owner had just run the engine for 30 mins and checked that the brakes were all free.

Checked through list of parts and accessories to find original wooden wheel choc still there. Sorted paperwork and finances and arranged for car to be collected by local breakdown firm next afternoon.

26th Nov 2004

The car has been delivered and luckily fits in the garage - just. I've run through as much as I can regarding checking of the electrics and functions of the car. The fuel sender works, and the lights all work, but as the battery is almost dead, I can't turn over the engine. Still, it turns over on the starting handle but there's not enough spark to make it fire. I'm not bothered about this as it was running only last night.

I've stripped out the interior and stored all big components in the shed. Had a bit of trouble getting the offside front wing off - the stud next to the A-post started rotating with the nut. I had to drill the centre of the stud out, which freed the nut up. All major components are stripped from the body. I've got two boxes for bits. One box for bits that will be re-used in the Burton, and another for bits that might be re-used. If I don't re-use them, I'll flog them on eBay. I've followed some instructions which I found on the web for re-chassising a car (see links). Easy to follow and give a structured plan of what to do.

28th Nov 2004

Fully labelled and removed the wiring loom. I probably won't use it, but it will be handy to refer to when building a new one. The rear loom is apparently re-usable in the Burton - I'll hang on to it for the time being.

I have an unidentified component which was clipped to the front of the chassis. It has three wires going to it and is badly corroded. It may be a headlamp dipped-beam resistor or a hazard-warning light flasher - time will tell. The speedo was held into the console by a large elastic band. I thought that the elastic band was only used in the engine :-)

I had to leave the ignition switch in place, as I would have to destroy the clamp to get if off, as it's got security nuts holding it on. So after only having the keys to my car for a few days, They're destined to go with the rest of the body to its new home.

Removed the master cylinder and pedal bracket assembly. This took me a while as I couldn't see how the master cylinder reservoir came off. Turns out that it's a push-fit, and pushing it over to one side allows it to pop out of its housing. The pedal bracket can be removed without dis-assembling the pedals. The pedal brace is left on the bodyshell - it's not needed

31st Nov 2004

Eventually unbolted the body shell from the chassis. Only had to drill one of the front self-tapping screws out. All other bolts undid easily. I'm now ready to lift the shell off the chassis. The shell is going to a local 2CVGB member to replace a rotten one on a galvanised chassis. Took a little bit of time to undo the petrol tank from the filling pipe - but eventually got it free. Don't forget to remove the heater duct grommets than go through the front inner wings. I also removed the lower front windows, as these are re-used on the Burton hard-top.

December 2004
11th Dec 2004
Transplant Day. The car is wheeled out onto the drive and the body lifted by three people. Despite still having the rear doors and bootlid attached - it's not too heavy. It's tied down onto a flatbed tipper (thanks Rich) for a 6-mile journey to Jons house (80mph along the M4 - fastest the Dolly's ever been?). Got rid of the other body panels and bumpers at the same time, freeing up some more room. The remaining rolling chassis looks a bit naked.
11th Dec 2004

Took the bodyshell to Jons house and had to push his daily driving car out of the way (it wouldn't start - Oh dear!). Deposit the body in its new resting place in his back garden. Get the impression that his wife's not cxactly enamoured by having yet another 2cv in the garden! As I need to remove the handbrake bracket from the parcel shelf, and I don't want to destroy the dolly shell, Jon has offered me his bracket from the rotten body. I have to cut it out with an angle grinder - I'll tidy it up at a later date.

11th Dec 2004

Back at home the chassis goes back into the garage to be stripped. Everything comes off easily with a bit of WD40. All the books and advice say that you'll need to cut things, or use heat. Not so on this car. Even the bump stops come off the chassis without rotating the captive bolts!

12th Dec 2004

Removed the petrol tank bridge and tank then emptied the petrol tank, sealed the opening and put it away - I'll wash it out prior to refilling it.

14th Dec 2004

Had some problems getting the engine off the gearbox as one of the bellhousing studs was slightly corroded. eventually managed to free it with a lot of persuasion. When taking the brake cooling ducts off, I found one of the supporting arms had sheared - I'll have to learn how to weld! Also noticed that someone has put a non-standard bolt into the offside gearbox threaded hole for the cooling duct. Turns out that the threaded hole has been stripped and re-tapped with a 1/4 BSW!!!

16th Dec 2004

Had trouble sourcing an open-ended 8mm brake spanner, so bought a single-hex ring spanner from the local motor factors and angle-ground a slot in the end - works a treat. Removed the brake callipers and stripped and cleaned them. Used a footpump to push the brake pistons out. Got a lovely shower of LHM for my troubles. One of the pistons has corrosion around the sealing rings, so will be replaced. All brake pipes and seals will be replaced throughout.

17th Dec 2004

Disconnected the drive-shafts from the gearbox and took the gearbox out. Many hours of toothbrushes and Gunk finally made an impact. I'll lacquer the box when it's cleaned up decently.

Undid the front hub drive-shaft nuts with a small adjustable wrench! These should have been very tight - but they're not!!! Looking through the cars history, I found that the previous owner replaced all drive-shaft gaiters - obviously not doing the hub-nuts up to the required torque. Knocked the drive-shafts out with a wooden mallet.

Borrowed some king-pin tools and large sockets from the Citroen Specials Club (Thanks Peter) and proceeded to take the rear hubs off. I cheated. I got a 10 foot scaffold pole and used that as a lever. The job is very easy with 10 feet of heavy steel tube to help. The rear brakes are in reasonable condition - I'll re-use them as they are.

Both track rod ends are knackered beyond belief and will have to be replaced. I'll investigate putting grease nipples into the end caps on these.

20th Dec 2004

Removed the front swinging arms from the axle. There were relatively easy to remove using a small bicycle spanner which I ground to fit. The outer bearings are labelled and stored with their seals. I'll leave the inner bearings on the axle and cover them up in latex gloves when working on it. I noticed that the front-offside swinging arm castellated nut had been 'worked on' before. There's no history of that ever being off. I'd better check the steering rack if this is the case.

Removed the track rods from the steering rack. This involved cutting the rubber flap and using a cheap ball-joint extractor from Screwfix (Part 16021) which fitted perfectly. Took the steering rack to bits completely to check for wear and possible bodging. No sign of it every having been apart.

Flushed the rear brakes using a footpump on the front end of the front-to-rear pipe. Removed the rear three-way connector and both curlies. Struggled to undo the rear-swing arm castellated nuts as these are a slightly different size to the front ones. Used a small chisel to free them up and then tapped them round. The rear swinging arms were harder to get off as the outer bearings are tight on the axle. Avoid twisting the arm as this can damage the seal on the inner bearing (my rear seals are of felt construction, whilst the fronts are rubber!)

22nd Dec 2004

Cleaned, stripped and painted the petrol tank bridge a lovely shade of smootherite yellow. This will not be visible on the car, so I may as well use up all the odd-coloured Hammerite that I've got.

Cleaned, stripped and painted the left heat exchanger. Sprayed the exposed exhaust pipe with VHT primer then topcoat. I'll have to attach it to the engine and fire it up to cure it. Painted heat exchanger bright red! Looks like I've got enough red Hammerite to do all of the engine cowling throughout the car, Just hope it doesn't burn off around the exhaust!

29th Dec 2004

Finally, removed both axles. The rear one was as expected - but the bolts came out easily. The front ones were different! On the front axle, the locking tabs had already been bent back to unlock the bolt heads. Undoing the bolts was very easy - too easy. Someone's had these off before.

January 2005
2nd Jan 2005
Tidied the garage and put the chassis up on its side.

stripped the king-pins from both front arms using a large hardwood log on the patio with a suitable hole bored into it. This is a lot easier than I remember when doing this on my Dyane all those years ago. I only had to use a 2.5lb lump hammer, not a 4lb lump hammer as expected.

7th Jan 2005

Read the Haynes manual and proceeded to knock the nearside front hub out of the swivel. I turned up a brass drift on the lathe to do this. Was a bit temperamental, but came out in the end. Turned a couple of plywood covers which are bolted together through the front wheel bearing so that I can clean and paint it without contaminating the bearing.

Stripped both axles using a wire brush on a drill. Covered the bearings with latex surgical gloves to avoid contamination.

Painted front swinging arm with white spirit to get rid of the waxoyl then brushed with Gunk to get rid of the tarry deposits and grease. Finally stripped using a wire brush in an angle grinder - much more efficient than a drill-powered brush.

The processes I'm using for repainting the suspension components are:
1) Soak in white spirit and scrub to remove the old waxoyl
2) De-grease in Gunk and wash off in water
3) Wire brush to remove all unsound paint and rust.
4) Clean with white spirit and leave to air dry
5) Paint with Hammerite Kurust and leave 24 hours
6) Paint with Primer and leave 24 Hours
7) Paint 2 coats with either Hammerite (non road stressed areas) or Chassis Black Enamel. I've been warned off using Hammerite on any areas subject to stone chipping as it's too brittle for this application.

15th Jan 2005

Proceeded to knock the offside front hub out of the swivel. I used the drift that I used for the nearside. The hub came half-way out of the bearing and then refused to budge. After hours of swearing at it and walloping it with a large hammer, as I had a spare, I resigned myself to taking the bearing apart.

16th Jan 2005

I drilled through one of the cut-outs on the bearing retaining ring, and carefully drilled through the peened areas securing it. I could then turn it and slowly unscrew it. The top half of the bearing comes out easily enough with its nylon race, but I still couldn't get the bottom half out. After shaking it up and down in frustration, the bottom half of the bearing dropped out with the ball-bearings ending up all over the floor. The hub could then be pulled out by hand taking the outer oil seal with it and the inner race securely stuck on the hub.

Turns out that the drift I was using very slightly splayed the tapered section of the hub and the bearing shell took a slight bite into the hub, preventing it from moving. All that was required was to knock the inner race down the hub, skim the outside diameter of the hub in the lathe to remove the splay, and then pull the inner race off. Needless to say, the bearing will be destined for the scrap box and a new one fitted. In future, I need to use a drift with a 20 degree taper - should have checked that driveshafts taper before starting!!!

Stripped and painted two of the old shock absorbers. They appear to be perfectly functional if a bit rusty. Also cleaned, primed and painted two replacement track-rod ends. Got some M6 grease nipples off eBay which I'll use for the track-rod ends and knife edges.

February 2005
3rd Feb 2005

After talking to some people (Thanks Malcolm) at a CSC meeting, I have decided to alter the castor angle of the front hubs to lighten the steering when lowering the car. I've found a local engineering company who will TIG weld the arms for beer money so I've cut the first one and rotated it 5mm about its axis. I'm currently practising with the MIG welder before tacking it place for the TIG welder to finish.

Used the scrap outer race of the front wheel bearing to make a tool to insert the new bearing retaining ring. Firstly, heated the outer race until it was cherry red, and allowed it to cool slowly. This should make it workable. Used an angle grinder and cutting disk to remove material around the rim of the shell leaving two protrusions which fit into the cut-outs on the new retaining ring. Finally cut some slots in the back and welded a steel bar to the ring to act as a handle.

10th Feb 2005

Rebuilt the steering rack with all existing parts. The guide bush is showing signs of wear, but not nearly enough to warrant replacement. Had fun judging what was 'tight enough' when adjusting the rack retaining plug, but hopefully have got it somewhere near right. The manual claims that the retaining plug is held in by the spring pressure. Hmmm - mine had half a split-pin inserted through the side of the housing to retain the plug. I've replaced it with similar as I don't fancy losing my steering at any time in the future.

Inserted the new front wheel bearing into the troublesome swivel using home-made tool - need to attach it to the swinging arm and chassis in order to torque it up. Pushed front hub into swivel using drive-shaft to finally pull it all tight.

13th Feb 2005

Stripped and degreased the final rear swinging arm, the remaining shock absorbers, handbrake mechanism, front axle covers, heat exchanger and brake cooling duct. Will need to weld a new tab onto the cooling duct to replace one which has sheared off. Will also have to weld a new break pipe retaining tab onto the swinging arm as one of the existing ones looks as if it's about to shear off.

I appear to be getting through a fair number of wire bushes in this project - still, I've only got the suspension cans left to do now. Haven't decided if I'm going to bother doing the drive-shafts or track-rods.

16th Feb 2005

Chopped my remaining front swinging arm and tacked the spigot on 5mm round from its original position. Took them to the welders who should have them done by tomorrow. Primed and top-coated the last suspension arm, shocks, donut covers, heat exchanger and axle end-plates. I'm finally starting to run out of things to clean.

Bought a Dyane front cowl from eBay along with the replacement lower-cylinder cowls to replace the rubber efforts on my current donor engine. All I need now is Dyane pistons and I've got another 5bhp!

17th Feb 2005

Picked up front arms from welders - proper job! Cleaned them up and re-primed them. Did the final topcoat on the last rear arm, donut covers, heat exchanger, front axle covers and handbrake mechanism. I've finally got more cleaned and painted bits than dirty oily bits!.

20th Feb 2005

Degreased, cleaned and prepared both suspension cans and got a first coat of primer on them. Started to degrease and de-rust some of the replacement engine cowling. My donor engine has got rubberised cowls around the cylinders which have cracked severely. Also de-rusted, primed and hammerited all four can adjusters. recovered all fittings from the old exhaust and saved re-usable tail pipe.

22nd Feb 2005

Recorded and stripped the chassis of fuel and brake lines.

Put first topcoat on suspension cylinders and final topcoat on adjusters.

28th Feb 2005

Disposed of a few car batteries down the council tip, along with containers of used engine oil etc etc. Appear to have far more room in which to work now!!! Haven't done too much more on the car, but did manage to repair the welder and weld a new tab onto the last brake cooling duct. This has now been primed along with one of the the lower engine cowls and the gearbox rear mounting bracket.

Had an email from John (UK Agent) to say that my body and kit are now here in the UK. I'll have to get cracking...

March 2005
2nd Mar 2005

Finished off painting the engine cowls that have been stripped and cleaned. Put a final topcoat on the suspension cylinders and the rear gearbox mount.

14th Mar 2005

Fitted new kingpin into offside axle arm.

Cleaned and stripped the one remaining engine cowling and the Dyane fan cowling before kurusting, priming and painting them.

20th Mar 2005

Fitted new kingpin into nearside axle arm.

Had a look at the rear seat and how I'm going to modify it to have a cable release mechanism for the rear end.
Went to to the Burton Agent this week and went through my delivery checking to see what had been delievered with the body. I'm still missing a few items, but have got all the bits I need to get the rolling chassis built.

April 2005
4th Apr 2005

Went to the Detling show this weekend and bought a couple of bits I'll need to finish the build. Lots of nice cars there as well as both RHD Burtons. Nice day, tempting to spend a lot of money, but my daughter spent it all on ice-cream and bouncy rides!

15th Apr 2005

Been a bit busy with family holidays and being too ill to contemplate stepping into the garage. Bought a spare engine and gearbox off eBay which I'll start to rebuild when I get the time. I've started to strip and rebuild my main engine and have found it pretty much as expected. Whipped a cylinder head off to inspect the condition of the inside of the bore to find it OK, but the head needs a decoke and I'll take this chance to re-lap the valve seats. Fitted new front and rear crankshaft seals and polished and laquered the rocker covers.

18th Apr 2005

Took the valves out of RHS head and cleaned and inspected them. Will lap them back in and fit new valve-stem seals whilst I'm at it. The spark-plug thread has been crossed at some point - Hmm. I'll see how it goes.

Stripped and cleaned the manifold and gave it a coat of VHT paint. Don't know how well this is going to last, but I'll stick it in the oven when the wife is absent to try to part cure it.

As my wife will be driving my car, I've taken to painting the Dipstick handle and oil filler cap in bright yellow hammerite (They needed painted anyway). As long as she doesn't try to put antifreeze in anywhere, I should be alright.

20th Apr 2005

Took my new tyres and hubs to the local tyre fitter who found a couple of pinpricks in two of the tyres. Decided to fit tubes to these as the tyres are brand new. I now have 5 good road wheels with good tyres.

30th Apr 2005

Rebuilt both cylinder heads with new seals etc. Swapped the head with a cross-threaded plug hole with one from my spare engine. Cleaned the heads with scotchbright pads and Solvol, cleaned the valves with a nylon abrasive brush in my electric drill.

I lapped the valves into the valve seats, but this was easy as there is very little wear to the engine. The spare engine is an unknown quantity, not knowing its history, but the cylinder head and valves which I took off it appear to be in very good condition. The inlet port was extremely clean and shiny, showing no signs of burning or carbonisation. This head had a perfect plug hole with no signs of cross-threading or wear.

Fitted the flywheel with new bolts, re-assembled both heads and fitted to engine. Fitted the cooling ducts before fitting the manifold and torqued everything up before setting the valve clearences.

Spent an evening putting everything back onto the engine that came off when I stripped it. Took me while to realise what the 6 clutch bolts were for (I haven't fitted the new clutch yet).

August 2005
12th Aug 2005

Not a lot has happened since April due to moving house to Inverness. Our current rental house only has a single garage and there's no chance of doing any work on the car.

I went to the Kelso 2CV World meeting and picked up the roof components and windscreen, collected by Tony of 2CV City when he was over in Holland the week before - thanks! All of my car bits are now in the UK and I'm almost ready to start putting it all together.

We move house in the first week of September into our new permanent house, with double garage and workshop space, so should start putting the rolling chassis together before picking up the body from East Sussex. Hopefully I'll get the body in Mid October and still be on track to get the car on the road for Spring of 2006.

October 2005
1st Oct 2005

After months of waiting, I'm finally ready to start putting the chassis together. The workshop has enough in it to do most tasks, and I'd like to get the chassis rolling before picking up the crate with the body parts. Lots of boxes to unwrap and bits to find!

3rd Oct 2005

A full weekend of work and I'm almost there. Only the exhaust left to fit before the body arrives. Has made some mods to the chassis by the inclusion of grease nipples on the tie-rod ends and track-rod end covers. Will need to invest in another two grease-guns for servicing, but should make greasing an easy task, perhaps encouraging me to do it more often.

19th Oct 2005

1450 miles later, I've got the body. It'll just fit in a Renault Master if anyone else is contemplating doing the same. Have to figure out how the exhaust fits at the back of the torpedo section as Burton have changed their fixing method here.

26th Oct 2005

Having spent a full week of fettling and trial fits, I'm getting to the bottom of this task. The chassis needs some modification to fit the body tub. Firstly, the rear arms are marginally too long, and need their lower rear face ground down to allow the body tub to fit far enough forwards on the chassis.

I've also had to drill holes in the rear of the chasis floor area for the rear-most fixing holes in the body tub - they're simply not there in the chassis. Likewise, I've had to trial fit the tub and mark and drill holes in the rear chassis arms to allow the tub to be secured through the holes in the boot floor.

I made a ride height adjuster which allows me to easily wind the rear suspension up and down to check for clearance around the rear arms. I prefer to have the chassis as high as possible when I'm working on it, but will wind it down to set the final ride height. This was made my milling a 9mm slot in a bit of 3/4" mild steel hex bar.

I Then found out that the holes pre-drilled in the tub floor don't all line-up with the the body fixing strips - Specifically the forward most holes. This was easily remedied. Having then trial-fixed the body in place with the pre-drilled holes in the tub floor, I noticed that the front of the tub doesn't align centrally on the chassis!!! I've had to slide the holes in the tub floor to allow the tub to sit perfectly central on the chassis!

Brake pipes. The Armacune pipes from Bonapart come preformed for the rear arms. If left like they were, the brake pipes loop forward of the rear arms behind the brake back plate, and will foul the 'slots' cut into the rear of the tub. Without wanting to enlarge the holes on the tub, I had to disconnect and re-bend the brake pipes so that the pipe bends upwards rather than forwards.

I've got a problem when it comes to fitting the nose to the tub. If I sit the nose on the top of the chassis at the front, it's too high and gives a bad 'fit' to the front of the main body tub. I'm going to have to find a way of lowering the nose of the chassis slightly (brute force?)

30th Oct 2005

Got this picture from Burton showing how to use the new central exhaust mounting bracket. Fairly obvious if you think about it! So, no fancy bendy hanger to construct after all.

Fitted the steering column and pedal box. The steering column 'bulges' in the top of the scuttle are NOT symetrical! In the end, I attached the lower column, attached the upper column and marked the dashboard where the upper column was most perpindicular to it. I then drilled a 40mm hole at this position, the same distance up from the bottom of the dash as the 'pip' marked for the LHD version. The dash will have to flex slightly to fit the column snugly without making an angled shim to go in.

The pedal box went in simply enough by putting a piece of paper over the LHD holes and marking them before transferring the whole lot over to the RHS. This gives you two holes in the front of the scuttle to drill out and join for the master cylinder to poke out. I had to extend the holes in the top of the pedal bracket a little bit in order to get it as far forward as I could in the tub. This is to ensure that the master cylinder reservoir does not touch the tub at any point. Burton supply a pedal fixing 'set' of nuts and bolts in their fastenings set. I wondered what the extra large nuts and bolts were for until it dawned on me that if you put the pedals in the rear-most set of holes, you'll need these bolts to fix them in, as the master cylinder MUST be in the forward set of holes.

Putting the pedal brace in using Johns diagram means that the throttle pedal linkage needs bent and re-modelled a bit to clear the top of the scuttle and poke into the area where the throttle cable will enter the body.

Fitted a new clutch and installed the engine into the car. Now I can get the exhaust fitted. As a result of the engine installation, the nose section no longer fits due to the air off-take from the front cowl. I'll need to cut this down and make a fibreglass elbow for my 'Power Tube'.

Jobs to do - Form and fit front brake pipes, fill system and bleed to test all joints. I'll be a lot happier knowing that the rear brake-pipe connector is not leaking, and I don't need to consider taking the body tub off again.

November 2005
5th Nov 2005

Pedal brace and steering column are fitted, master cylinder filled and bled. Happy to report no leaks on the brake pipe unions, so I can now fix the body tub down and silicon it in to the chassis. Slight problem in that the steering wheel adaptor plate supplied by Burton doesn't actually fit the steering column. Steering column fixings are an M8 x 1.25 whereas the holes in the plate are an M6 or M7 at the wrong spacing. Burton said they'd send me a new one in the post.

Cut the front engine mounting bolts down to size and finished them on the lathe. This is a result of not having a box section on the front of the chassis.

Fitted the heat exchangers and the rest of the exhaust. The swan pipe is a bit close to the front of the main tub, so will probably need a bit of adjusting to stop it knocking. The central bobbin (rear ofthe torpedo) will interfere with the seat mounting frame if using the original 2cv rear seat (read further below).

Fitted the seat frame and the seat. It would appear that the pedals are too far forwards even for my legs (I'm 6'2"). I suspect that the seat is so knackered, that I'm almost sitting on the floor. I'll leave it as it is for the time being until the seat is recovered. I can always move the pedals back with the minimum of fuss.

I tried using a cardboard template for the seat frame, but in the end just laid the seat in the car with the frame attached, positioned it where I thought it should go and drew around the ends of the frame. It was then a case of drilling the necessary holes in the floor and fitting the frame before checking the seat. I only drilled two holes per side, which is just as well as the frame needs to be moved slightly outwards at one side.

The new method of fixing the exhaust central mounting (rear torpedo) puts the end of the rubber bobbin directly under the seat frame of the LHS. I had to drill a hole in the LHS seat frame for this fixing. Still, it saves me having to use a plate or large washer here, and means that I don't have to cut the bobbin thread down any.

I'll have to come up with some kind of seat release mechanism for the rear corners. Also suspect that I need to weld a section onto the central rear support.

December 2005
4th Dec 2005

No updates for a while as my PC has been rebuilt countless times over the last few weeks. I've done a lot on the car, but hasn't appeared to change much.

I've sorted out a temporary seat release mechanism using two pieces of string. A bit Heath-Robinson, but it appears to work for the time being.

Sorted out the 'front' and the bonnet and trial fitted them before commiting to drilling holes etc. In order to be able to remove the front easily, I've glassed in some M6 machine screws from the inside of the car, with wing nuts being used to hold the front panel in place.

Finally got a round to putting oil in the gearbox and engine, so that's one thing I can stop being paranoid about. I had visions of starting her up having forgotten to do both!

Fabricated the under-dash components to allow the handbrake and gearlever to be mounted. This was all done in some stainless sheet which I had lying around. My metalwork skills are very basic, but as long as no-one looks at them too closely, they'll pass muster.

Mounted the handbrake mechanism which finally allowed me to adjust the handbrake calipers on the front brakes. I wanted to do this when engine access was good, as I remember what a pig it was to do 20 years ago on a complete intact engine bay!

Fitted the gear lever bracket and glassed in a bracket support to the back of the dash. Once everything is bolted in and tightened up, then it all becomes very rigid. Still haven't worked out how and where to mount the heater control - perhaps John can come up with a suggestion.

After much deliberation, I built a throttle bracket to allow the throttle cable to exit the bulkhead in a more horizontal manner. This took some time and a bit of engineering to get right, but I now have something which is almost 'standard' 2CV.

Adjusted both of the rear brake shoes and torqued up (as well as you can) the offside rear drum using my trusting 10' scaffold pole. Must remember to do the nearside as well...

22nd Dec 2005

Quite a bit of progress to date. Have finished and fitted all of the under-dash components, bolting them all together stiffens everything up. The gear change tube was reversed and fitted through the stainless plate with a 20mm gasket (Maplins). A bit of angle-iron running vertically from the back of the scuttle attaches to the fixing point on the gear-change tube, making everything nice and rigid.
I machined a couple of brass spigots and extended the gear lever with a spare bit of chromed tubing which I had lying around (used to be a towel rail I think). This allowed me to play around with the length of the gear lever until it looked about right for mating with the lever coming out the gearbox.

The gearbox lever was removed, scribed and then cut down before being spigotted back together again to get the height of the lever level with the end of the upturn of the gear shift coming out of the car. Everything is currently split-pinned together with a view to welding them up when I find a local friendly welder.

The front end of the gear lever has a tendancy to wander about making shifting less than precise. To get around this, I machined up an aluminium clamp with a nylon bobbin to sleeve the front end of the tube before it exits through the heater throughput plate.

I had to drill and enlarge a hole in the top of the heater throughput plate for the lever to emerge - the Burton designated hole if far too low for a dash-change gear lever.

The assembled clamp can be adjusted to increase or decrease the amount of 'float' of the end of the gearlever.

Thinking ahead to trying to start the engine, I fitted the offside rear wing and petrol filler pipe. This was a bit of a faff, trying to find a position where the flange on the petrol filler fitted most 'flat' with the inside of the rear wing. in the end, I drilled a small pilot hole in the position indicated by Burton, and fitted a cardboard cover over the end of the petrol filler. Aligning the hole in the wing with a hole in the middle of the cardboard allowed me to mark and drill the positions for the six fixing bolts. After that, it was fairly straight-forwards to fit the filler pipe (with the flange under the wing) and the aero cap on the outside. A bit of silicone sealant firmed everything up, and the flange ended up as flush to the inside of the wing as I could expect.

Also got around to getting the nearside rear hub nut torqued up and hub-cap fitted. Fitted the pedal-brace reinforce plate and a similar one for the gear-change bobbin.

I couldn't put it off any longer. I got the wiring loom out from its year-long slumber and sat on the garage floor for a couple of evenings trying to make sense of it all. My car had a dim-dip headlamp system fitted which I intended to replicate on the fnished Burton. However, after much reading, I have decided to ditch this and revert to a simpler wiring scheme. I'll re-use the two dim-dip relays in the new headlamp harness to minimise voltage drop at the headlamps.

Having satified myself that I understood all of the wiring, I then set about cutting all of the ignition and starting circuits out of the loom so that I could hot-wire the car. Having charged the battery for 24 hours (came free with a spare engine) I had a go at getting the engine to turn over. I could only get the solenoid on the starter to click. Time to charge the second battery (came free with the first free battery) and this time, I could get the motor to spin.

I wasn't really planning to get here so quickly, so I just fitted the original spark plugs from the car (which should have been gapped correctly), an old coil and two old HT leads which I got with a spare engine.
A quick wire of a dolly ignition switch (my key-operated switch has got lost in the post I think), starter button and oil-pressure warning lamp, saw me trying to fire up the engine for the first time (Jam jar full of petrol for a fuel tank) - no luck, not even a cough!.

I left it overnight to think, then started tracing the fault. Power to the coil was OK, but there was no earth from the coil to the engine when the cam-shaft was turning. Rather than muck about trying to 'fix' the points (I don't have a new set), I spent an hour replacing them with my 123 electronic ignition. Back to the cockpit, Full choke and turn it over - the engine fired on the first beat and ran fine. Not bad having not been run since 1994!

LHS tappits are a bit noisy and both rocker covers leaked slightly before I realised that I have never really pinched them up after the rebuild. The high temperature paint on the exhaust manifold started smoking a bit (part of the curing process) and the engine soon warmed up with no apparent problems. It was too tempting not to reverse the car out of the garage (remove the wheel chocks first next time!), up and the drive and back into the garage again. This car hasn't moved under its own power for a long time.

Next job is to adjust the tappits and fix the exhaust blow on the output from the cross-box. I also need to think about securing the front-rear brake pipe where it enters the engine bay and torque up both fron wheel hub nuts. After that it will be deciding on a dash layout and wiring the car from scratch. This should keep me busy over Christmas!

January 2006
23rd Jan 2006

I've been busy over Christmas, mostly putting wings on, taking them off, putting them on, taking them off....etc What's been achieved? I fitted the bonnect grill and the bonnet catch so that I could finish the nose section of the car. Also glued in the side vent meshes using a polyurethane sealant sold in the local ironmongers - proper job.

Having run the engine, I removed the rocker covers and adjusted the tappits - they seemed to be almost correct, so the ticking noise is obviously just part of the charm of this engine! While I was at it, I fire-puttied the swan pipe to the cross box and that seemed to cure the blow.

Both front wings have been fitted (and removed) ad infinitem and are now finally attached permanently to their respective sides of the 'nose' having split it down the front between the two bolts of the bonnect catch. So far, all wings have fitted closely enough to not have to use any piping anywhere. The rear wings are sealed in with silicone as are the front wings where they attach to the nose section.

Both front wings needed some fettling to remove blemishes in the gel coat around the join between the wing and the body/nose. This was achieved by using ever finer grades of wet&dry paper with a final polish using a loose-leaf mop spinning in my electric drill with 'Brasso' as the final polishing compound.

The front->rear brake pipe was nagging me, so it's now attached firmly to the chassis and reconnected the master brake cylinder. Turned out to be an easier job than expected. Whilst I was at it, I used one of the holes in the chassis which bolts the nose down to hold a clamp to secure the petrol pipe of the other side of the car (as it crosses over the chassis on its way to the petrol pump)

Before I wire the car, I have to decide on a dashboard layout. This involved photographing all of the gauges, switches and lamps ect before printing them out full size and sticking them to the dash on the car. I don't want to utilise the top part of the dash, as I intend to have a hard-wood surround up there. A simple layout was decided upon and I went to work on cutting a piece of exterior birch ply (3.6mm) as the dashboard. My dash has to be thin enough to allow me to use all of the switches and lamps which I've been collecting for the car.

Having glued the dash in (polyurethane glue again) I set about drilling and wiring the lighting bar. It's possible to dis-assemble the bulb connectors to allow the entire loom to be fed through the grommit in the headlamp shell, which means that I can minimise the number of connections in the wiring.

The gear arrangement has been fettled a bt to give a smoother gear change. I bought another complete gear-stick off ebay and will cut this up to minimise the number of 'joints' in the current gear change arrangement.

With the rear wings completed, I sealed the bottom of the chassis with silicon and lowered the back of the car right down as low as I dare go. There's 140mm between the 'ring' on the suspension rod and the end of it's thread, and I've got it screwed in 20mm only. I daren't go any lower or they pull out of the elongated eye-bolts! One problem which has coe to light, is with the car lowered that much, when you jack the rear up, the rear wheels drop down and forward and the tyres foul the front of the rear mudguards. The solution I'm proposing is to fit bump stops to the body to act of the front of the rear arms, allowing easier changing of tyres etc. They will be ideally placed to be added to the seat-belt re-enforcing bracket.

Bootlid - what can I say? The holes marked on the bootlid are not in the correct place. I had to grind some material off the inside of the bootlide in order to fit washers and nuts to the back of the hinges. Next time, I'll drill the critical inside hole first! I say next time, because the fit of my bootlid as poor. With the top and bottom edges flush with the body, the centre of the bootlid sits 16mm above the rest of the body - it doesn't even sit on the seal. Burton have acknowledged this problem and will send me an entire new bootlid in the near future.

What's left to do? I need to decide ona location for the coil (probably on top of the front cowl), torque up the front hub nuts, adjust the track rod ends properly, grease the king pins and suspension knife edges, Align the tracking of the front wheels, fit the wiper mechanism (so I can see what space is left for wiring components), wire the dashboard, fit the boot bulkhead, fit the seatbelts, fabricate the seat-belt mounts and bump stops for the rear suspension, fir the windscreen.

February 2006
7th Feb 2006

The dash is in and I've started wiring things up. Lots of browsing through electrical wiring catalogues to select fuse boxes and relays etc. I need to get the wiring diagram straight in my head before I get it down on paper. Glued a split conduit in from the front left of the air filter, back onto the tub outboard of the battery, along the 'slot' under the scuttle and across under the front of the windscreem. This terminates on the right hand side of the dashboard next to the ignition, starter and fuses boxes etc.

I wired headlamp bar with a four-way connector to connect to the front loom. This will make it easy to remove in one peice if need be for maintenance etc. The indicator/sidelight torpedoes are wiring independently with 3-way mini connectors.

Having spent time thinking about coil location, I've mounted it up front on top of the engine cowl directly behind the front grill. I drilled some holes in the top of the cowl so that the coil will have cool air washing over it whilst the engine is running. Having it up under the bonnet as per Burton, seems to be a recipe for cooked coil!

Fitted a 12v flourescent tube light to the boot on a piece of ali angle running between the two boot hinge fixing on the body. This will allow me to have an interior light in the boot switched from the dash.

The fuse box (10-way) has been fitted to a stainless plate above the steering column (using the steering column bracket bolts). This is a fairly accessable location and is neatly tucked out of the way of the wiper mechanism. Similarly, I've fitted the relay bracket to the back side of the bolts holding the bonnect stay bracket on. I've gone for a relay for high-beam, one for low-beam and one for the horn.

I stripped the old cover of the rear seat with a view to welding some seat-belt anchors in. The seat-belt mounting is causing me some concern. I'm not happy fixing the end of the belts to the seat frame, but I do like the ability to lift the seat forward to access the rear storage area. I've come up with an alternative design which will lock the seat to the chassis centrally, and provide a very strong anchor point for the belts. Watch this space...

fitted the windscreen and wiper mechanism - mainly to see how much room I've got under the dash for the wiring and fuse box etc.

Finally got around to welding and painting the gear lever.

Built a power-tube on front cowl. This was done by putting carpet tape and a cardboard tube on the cowl and glassing directly onto this. One good layer of glass was enough to remove the fabrication and lay it up a bit thicker on the workbench. The result is a power-tube take-off which fits very snugly to the cowl. All it needs is bolting down and an alternative throttle spring bracket made.

Fully wired up the rear end of the car. No problems here.

March 2006
13th Mar 2006

The wiring is finally finished! It took the best part of a month working a few hours at a time, going through each fuse and completing it before moving on to the next one. Everything worked first time and no fuses blown to date. Even got around to fitting the rear fog lamp having made a new bracket for it.

I've finished the mods to the rear set which pin the seat centrally through the chassis rather than relying on the outside edge sprung pins. This has been achieved by welding some plates vertically onto the seat frame around the central rear 'foot' and using a sprung pin through these plates which locates through a bracket protruding up from the floor. This bracket is fixed front and back through the floor and through a chassis member underneath. To release the seat, all I need to do is pull a string which retracts the pin and allows the seat to lift and swing forward as before.

I've welded the original seat belt anchors from the dolly donor onto these vertical plates which when strained transfers all of the energy onto the central pin and thus onto the chassis bracket. Time will tell (or hopefully not) whether this is sufficiently safe!

Now that the seat frame is finished, I've recovered it in the Burton supplied vinyl cover. One thing I did discover, is that the canvas for the seat base can be replaced with the Burton supplied 'mesh', but the seat back 'meshes' are tapered, and the Burton supplied mesh wasn't a good fit. I've re-used the dolly donor ones here as well as reusing the padding foam from the donor seat. The front edge on the seat base on my cover had just a flap of material hanging down which didn't appear to be of any use, and made the fit of that cover very untidy. I expect that this flap should have been sewn up into a 'sleeve' for the front metal rod to run through. I spent an evening in front of the T.V sewing this up and it now fits a treat and makes the front edge of the seat look very professional.

Other jobs done include adjusting the tracking - easy to do if you jack both front wheels off the ground at the same time, fitting the front wing stays and making and fitting brackets to hold the nose down at the front of the chassis. What I noticed was that when the front wing stays are fitted, they change the shape of the associated nose section and improve the clearance around the alternator area.

Also fitted washers and wipers - easy enough to do, although I will have to experiment to find a good position for the washer nozzle (bonnet or scuttle?). I've tucked the horn up under the front of the nose on the chassis front member. It seemed the most obvious place to put it, running the wiring down the same path as the ignition wiring etc.

Changed my gear shift by sawing a second shift (off ebay) in half and replacing the front end of mine. I now only have one join in the entire setup, which can be taken apart for maintenance purposes. This has transformed the gear change and made it very positive and smooth.

Sent off my paperwork to the local DVLA office to get the V5C changed to reflect the changes to the vehicle. It was duly returned with a note saying that I need to provide an insurance document, a valid MOT and a payment for road tax!!!!. I've spoken to them on the phone and they're adamant that they are correct. I popped into my recommended MOT station and explained things to them. They seem OK with the setup and will even try to change to details held on the computer when I take it in for testing!. Hmmm - time will tell

Jobs left to do: refit the windscreen and offside wing mirror (nearside will be on the door), fit rear-view mirror, finish tidying the wiring so that none of hangs down in sight, fit the rear bulkhead and seat belts, fit the rear bump stops, fit the wiper arms and washer nozzle, source a suitable jack, drill through-wing holes for heat dump from the engine, make an adaptor to fit the power tube to the air intake and put some more petrol in it!, sort out some insurance and book an MOT test!

31st Mar 2006

March has been a busy month, and I'm almost ready for a MOT. I've worked through my list of remaining jobs and only now have a few odds and sods to sort out before booking an MOT.

Bought some MGA demister vents off ebay and fitted those inside the windscreen. They look good and hopefully will help with clearing the screen on frosty mornings.

Finally got around the tidying the rear wiring loom. In the end I taped it up and stuck it at regular intervals with ployurethane adhesive. Even managed to get the wiring under the dash tidied up a bit and out of the way of the wiper motor arms.

The central seat mount went in for the final time followed by the seat. All seems to fit snugly and the release mechanism is working well. The end of the seat belts were connected up and their action checked.

Modified a jack from our old Cavalier by welding a U-shaped cradle to the top. This has got enough lift in it to now get the rear wheels off the ground (with bump stops fitted).

Having experimented with placing bump stops under the 'step' in the body (acting on the knife-edge brackets), I've scrapped this idea and gone back to the original thought. I glued in a couple of steel blocks behind the ali shim on the chassis top rail using some polyurethane adhesive. If the blocks are long enough, they reach the side of the subframe over the fuel tank which helps hold them in place. I cut a 35mm length of 1" square MS bar and beveled one corner to clear a weld on the top of the chassis. These work superbly and stop the rear wheels dropping far enough to hit the font of the rear mudguard.

As I'm currently doing a college course in welding, I decided to knock up some front bumper brackets for my Dyane stainless bumper. After making a wooden pattern part, these were constructed from 30mm square steel box section and 3mm plate. So far, they fit fine and hold the dyane bumper at just the right height. I'm going to have to make a number plate bracket to mount on the bumper now.

Fitted the bulkhead between boot and cockpit which also doubles as a seatbelt mount. This is a bit of 18mm plywood sheet and is shaped to fit the opening very snugly. This also provides strength to the top of the body behind the rear seat, as I'm sure that people will lean on this when gettng into and out of the car. Also a handy place to mount speakers for the radio (if I ever get around to fitting one). Note - I had to remove both seat mounts to enable me to get a single sheet 'panel' into place.

What else did I do? Fitted the windscreen and wipers. The instructions from Burton told me to bend the very end of the wiper arms using a bench vice. This I duly did and the end snapped off (the arm is double-ended and can be reversed). Next time, heat it up to cherry red first! Other than that, the wipers are a bit of a fiddle to get in the right place on the bottom edge of the windscreen, but work well. I had to fettle the wiper arms a bit to stop one of the tension springs from catching on a bit of protruding steel - they're not of the highest quality!

Laminated a connector to allow the 'power tube' from the fan cowl to be directly connected into the air filter inlet. This should provide more oomph! (marginally)

The GS fuel gauge was always meant to work with no mods, but I had never seen the needle move from its lower stop. I checked the earth on the sender and metered out the gauge and sender unit. The sender unit was showing an open circuit, leading me to suspect a bad earth. I checked everything that I could short of dropping the tank out and getting to the sender directly. In the end I poured another gallon of fuel into the tank and the needle finally moved up to show the tank filled just above the 'empty' mark!

Fitted the boot lid stay according to the Burton instructions (from their website in Dutch only). Not rocket science, but a bit fiddly with having to glue the bracket on.

Adjusted the turning circle limiters on both front wheels to find that the turning circle on going 'left' is somewhat limited by the steering rod hitting the handbrake mechanism. I'll have to look carefully at what's going on here. I suspect that the handbrake bracket is mounted too far back, which would explain more than a few things......

Starting marking the scratches on the body with bits of yellow insulating tape. When I get time, I'll run around them all with a polishing mop and a chromomax polishing soap, which seems to take them out gently enough.

So, March finishes with only a couple of jobs to do. I must site the window washer nozzle and connect it all up to the pump, make a boxed 'boot tidy' to house the spare wheel and jack etc to stop them sliding back into the rear lights, book myself an MOT and arrange insurance. So far, the quotes for insurance have ranged from �160 to well over �400 - for the same level of cover. It pays to shop around.

April 2006
6th Apr 2006

The car is finished...for the time being! It passed its MOT today with no problems. All I have to do now is take all of my paperwork to the local DVLA office and get it taxed. I suspect it will be significantly harder than that!!!!

19th Apr 2006

The car was inspected last Wednesday and after faxing the local DVLA office, I picked up the tax disk today. I'm finally legal and let loose of the roads of Inverness!

One minor mishap is that I've broken one of the bonnet hinges. I've made a temporary part whilst looking for a suitable replacement set of hinges.

When filling up with fuel tonight, I had trouble getting out of the petrol station due to poor left-hand steering lock. I'll have to investigate what can be done with the handbrake bracket setup.

I've finsihed the boot tidy and boot lid. Now the spare wheel, jack and spares can all live in a compartmentised box under the new boot floor. Shame the carpet supplied by Burton doesn't have a cut-out for the boot lock bracket!

24th Apr 2006

Turned a steering wheel boss from a lump of hardwood together with a new gear knob. That's one nimor job out of the way.

Started construction of the hard-top, but haven't got very far due to lack of good instructions in English. I want to get this right - first time, so am currently awaiting and English language translation from Burton. I have managed to build the rear section of the roof, which was fairly straight-forward, apart from fitting the filler strip nto the rear window seal. I strugged with wooden pegs and managed to get about two inches done in as many hours. After a bit of a think, I made a diamond-shaped tool out of a bit of spring wire, gripped it in a tap wrench and used that to insert the filler strip. Using this tool only took ten minutes to do the entire job.

I've had to take both front wings off to properly glue the steering column gaiter into the hole in the floor - it was getting draughty at high speeds. Also attached the Dolly VIN plate to the scuttle and the nose brackets to the inside of the nose since I had the Polyurethane glue out!.

I also took the chance to investigate the lack of left-lock on the steering. As suspected, the handbrake bracket on the chassis cross-member is stopping the steering rod when putting the wheel hard over the the left. This is a result of modifying the castor angles of the front swinging arms during the initial stages of the refurb. I removed the handbrake bracket and drill new holes approx 10mm back from the original ones. Now the bracket sits more centrally on the chassis cross-member and doesn't foul the steering arms.

I've been driving the car. Whenever the weather looks good and the chance is there, I've been out in the car. It seems to pull well above 5000 revs and has no trouble keeping up with the traffic around here. The steering is as light as a feather and very positive. The whole car drives nicely with no untoward bumps, rattles or creaks. The suspension is a little hard and does rattle over the bumps occasionally, but overall I'm really pleased with the whole thing. I'm even getting used to people waving and bikes flashing at me!

May 2006
9th May 2006

Got the V5C back this week and it's all been updated to reflect the car as a Burton Sports etc.

Got the bonnet badge from Brian (Thanks) and fitted it with the updated grille. Played with the TIG welder on my welding course and have now got brushed stainless chevrons behind the grille in the style of the early traction avants. Also finished the bumper brackets and did a bit of welding on the stainless bumper finally allowing me to fit it securely. I've been for chips, and it didn't fall off!

Did a bit of scratch removal and polishing. Bought some polishing compound for use in a loose-leaf mop. Will try it on a bit of inconspicuous bodywork next sunny day.

Currently working on the hard-top and will have this finshed by the end of this week. Painted up one of the spare wheels with a view to putting a tyre on it and swapping it with one of the current road wheels.

To Do: Finish the hard-top, Modify the tachometer, rebuild the carburettor.

26th May 2006

Finished the hard-top with help from Burton and got it ready just in time for a trip to the CSC camp at Kilin on Loch Tay on the 21st. Spent quite a bit of time waterproofing the hood and stopping the rain coming in, as it is prone to do here. Also rebuilt the tachometer with bits from Maplin. 24p well spent, although modifying the circuit board is easier said than done. It's very fiddly, and it's not easy to get access to the components. If I was able to remove the needle from the spindle, the job would have been a lot easier!

Did a 400-mile round trip down to Fife via the CSC camp at Kilin last weekend. Nothing appeared to fall off, and performance was good. I'll postpone the carburettor work until it's needed!. Something that was apparent, was that the valve clearances are a bit loose on the RHS pot, and will need to be checked.

A good turn-out of cars with a couple of rag-tops, two Lomax, a Grasshopper and me. Thanks to Bert for organising an event so far North - shame about the rain!

Took the front of the car off and re-did the valve clearances. One was a bit loose on the RHS exhaust pot, so tightened everything up and checked the condition of the plugs. With everything put back together, the car started nicely and went well...to begin with, but as things warmed up, it started to hesitate and misfire when pulling in third gear. I had to strip the front of the car back down and recheck everything including the plugs and leads. Also took the chance to refit one of the exhaust clamps which had been leaking a little bit.

To Do: Fit the radio (somewhere) and the associated wiring and then fit the interior trim to the cockpit.

30th May 2006

Having replaced the coil, blown out the carb jets, setting the valve clearances bigger and investigated the petrol pump, I finally got around the replacing both plugs (1993 vintage) and the misfire problem went away.

I replaced the mild steel M7 bolts holding the front bumper together with some turned from Stainless hex bar. No more rusty dribbles from the front of my car! I'm now in the middle of wiring the radio into the car (under the seat) and some cockpit storage boxes.

August 2006
4th Aug 2006

It's been quite a while since my last update. This is due to the car going well and very little to report, and a lack of broadband connection due to my provider going bust!

I've since bought a new coil and am testing this at present. All seems well so far. I've replaced the bootlid with one sent by Burton and it now looks far better and closes more flush to the body.

The radio is fully installed under the seat and a new battery has been purchased to replace the 'unknown' one which came free with a spare engine.

I've been to a few events, and there's been quite a lot of interest in the car. I've spent lots of time driving it and generally enjoying being out and about in the Highland countryside. There's not much more I can do to it to make it better.

The interior trim is in and looks good, and I'm in the middle of making a badge-bar for the front bumber.

My noisy starter motor turned out to be a missing nose bearing (probably worn away) on the original starter which came with my car. Cleaned up a replacement unit and swapped it to solve the problem.

I've been investigating some new 'wire wheel' look hub caps, and making fittings for them. They snap onto the wheel rims but are also fixed through the centre hole in the standard Citroen steel wheels. So far, they look passable and will probably stay.

January 2007
9th Jan 2007

It's been a long time since my last update. I've been making some changes to the car to make it more comfortable and useable.

I originally had the radio mounted on the floor under the seat, but found this to be a bit awkward if you're not familiar with braile! I also discovered that the radio was drawing 120ma when turned off! This had flattened my battery a number of times if the car was left for 10 days or so. The answer was to move the radio to the dash, and have an isolator switch for it so that it could be turned off at the end of each day. I didn't want to have the radio visible, so I built a glovebox into which the radio is mounted.

The glovebox also contains a 12v cigarette lighter socket and a switch to isolate the socket and radio when not in use for a long time. I can now charge my mobile phone in the glovebox and lock it up when I'm away from the car. The drinks holders haven't been finished yet, but the whole thing has worked out as expetced and doesn't look out of place in the dashboard.

I've been experiencing some carburettor icing problems recently (sub-zero temperatures), so a grill muff had to be fabricated. This was made out of a scrap sheet of 0.6mm steel (recycled Dyane bonnet) and the edges rolled to produce a neat finish. Two durable-dot fasteners secure it at the bottom and a couple of lugs slide up and under the bonnet at the top. Cheap to make, and hopefully the chevrons will allow enough cool air in to not cook my engine!

I recently had the unhappy experience of running out of fuel, and carb icing in the same evening. I found that I was getting petrol dripping from the tank after the engine was turned off. Investigations meant that the fuel tank had to be dropped out and the rubber fuel hose from the tank pick-up unit to the fuel pipe was replaced (it had split). This will hopefully cure the 'smell of petrol in the garage' after using the car. Whilst I was doing this, I found that the rear exhaust bobbin had seperated and the tail pipe was dangling around in space. I guess that this is just a faulty part. Soon fixed with a replacement.

September saw the Burton on its longest journey to the Slekirk Rally. This is now the biggest rally in Scotland, and a great weekend event. A good turn out from the Citroen Specials Club ensured a steady stream of visitors to our stand.

I had a bit of free time, so got busy building a badge bar to fit the front bumper. I don't have tube bending technology, and I needed a 'cranked' bar to match the shape of the front of the car. My other requirement, was to spend minimal money on it. I rooted around in my scrap bin and came up with two chromed brass towel rails and end fittings which after a bit of lathe work were made to function and look presentable. To disguise the join in the centre, I hand-made a brass 'B' for Burton with an angled spigot on either side. This is securely plugged into the 'bars' and the whole thing is fastened to the bumper with stainless M6 bolts.

October saw the last 'outing' of the year to Grantown with two days of glorious weather and fine motoring. During this run, we were approached by a chap who had a 2CV in dire need of some TLC. To cut a long story short, I ended up towing it home with a view to restoring it and putting it back on the road. After a few weeks of dis-assembly, it was obvious that the body shell had finally had it. There were holes where there ought not to be holes, and the cost of replacement panels heavily outweighed the value of the finshed restored car. So it was another trip to the tip with a hacksawed bodyshell. I've now got quite a good rolling chassis (galvanised) although someone put some dot4 brake fluid in with the LHM, so all the brake rubbers will have to be replaced at some time in the future!

In september, I won a Dyane on ebay and brought it home. It was bought for its gearbox as the rest of the car was totally rotten. I managed to give some of the good bits away to a local Dyane owner, and I managed to recover the cost of the car by selling some other bits on ebay. This car looked as if it had spent some time in a pond, judging by the amount of duckweed and silt in the offside of the car. The front wings had been welded on and the welsh plugs on the kingpins, similarly afixed!. The engine has been stripped and ready for rebuilding whilst the gearbox is waiting to give up its crownwheel and pinion to a 2CV box! Most other bits were scrapped.

I'm now the Scottish agent for the Burton Motor Company, and as such now have a lot of info on building a Burton in the UK on my new Burton Scotland website: www.burton.bevs.org. Lots of useful build diagrams and wiring schematics etc.

Having been caught out in the rain a couple of times, I investigated the cost of a Burton tonneau cover for the car. One minor snag was that I had fitted demister escutcheons inside the windscreen exactly where the tonneau cover should have been fastened on. I also heard comments about water running in from the back of the car, under the cover, as well as problems 'storing' the cover when in the drivers seat. What I needed was a bespoke cover with the following attributes:

1..Must fasten to the dash either side of the demisters
2..Should be longer at the back and thus reuse the existing holes for the hard-top
3..Should have flaps over all of the zips to make them more waterproof
4..Should have zipped compartments for driver and passenger
5..Should have a way of storing the 'flap' without sitting on it.
6..Should be cheaper than the Burton supplied cover

The solution was to buy some exterior quality leathercloth, some rugged zips (tent zips), durable dot fasteners and 200 yards of 'top stitching' thread and make it myself to fit my requirements. About 3 nights in front of the sewing machine produced a three-zip tonneau which so far stays on when doing 85mph down a big hill on the A9. I can also roll the flaps up and secure them behind the seat so that the occupants don't have to sit on them or lean against them. Mission accomplished.

May 2007
30th May 2007

Four months since my last update, and little to report regarding reliability of the car. I did have one incident of non-starting which was quickly resolved with a change of coil. Strangely, however, the original coil is still going strong. It may have been down to water ingres.

The tonneau cover has performed well, although I had to make some modifcations to the fastening system. I have replaced some of the more strategic pop-stud fasteners with Tenax fasteners. This was after a trip over the Kessock Bridge in a gale when the cover decided to part company with the car. I only just managed to catch it and hold it under my arm until I could pull over somewhere safe. One bonus with the cover, is that with the passenger side zipped up, the car is lovely and warm even in the dead of Winter. The driver sits in a bubble of hot air - cosy! .

April saw me and the car travel down the the CSC AGM in Harrogate with no technical problems to speak of. I did have some strange noises from the engine area which turned out to be a rattly heater flap in the heat exchanger. A fix with an elastic band quietened that one.

After Harrogate, I got round to fittng an oil temperature gauge to the engine. Having explored lots of options, I ended up going for the simplest (and cheapest) method of putting a sender unit into a modified engine sump plug. Having done a few long trips, the temperature usually sits about 50 degrees but can rise as high as 80 degrees when belting down the motorway. .

At the start of May, I drove 1,100 miles to the National Kit Car Show at Stoneleigh in Warwickshire. The car performed perfectly and even managed a detour to visit Mike Ryder in Birmingham and look at his Burton. Nicely built with a half-height windscreen. Lots of interest in my car and loads of Burton enquiries - I'm still dealing with them two months later!

Over the winter, I had stripped and painted four more steel wheels to replace my current road wheels. These were eventually fitted in May with a set of good used tyres which I've also had for months.

Eventually got around to fitting a new horn - a very nice Klaxon from the autojumble at Harrogate - thanks Peter. I now have an 'old car' sound to go with the looks!

June 2007
27th Jun 2007

After Stoneleigh, it was apparent that although the car is happy to cruise at 70mph on the motorways and can sprint faster than that for overtaking etc, the engine is running at 6000 revs to achieve this. It was always my intention to build a 'long legged' gearbox to allow the car to cruise more effortlessly at motorway speeds.

To this effect, I bought a complete Dyane last Autumn and now decided that it was time to get acquainted with the inner workings of the A-series gearboxes.

I started by stripping my Dyane box, cleaning and examining each part. I then stripped a 2CV box similarly and used a combination of bits from both boxes to build a 'long'box. I used the housing from the Dyane box along with the crownwheel and pinion, and the rest of the internals from the 2CV box. This was in an attempt to not have to re-shim the transaxle bearings which would be neccessary if I used a new housing for the diff! As it turns out, re-shimming the diff is not all that tricky, but best avoided if possible.

The overhall included a new input bearing, diff output seals, 3 new synchro rings and output housing paper gaskets. I replaced the rear housing of the gearbox as the original one was broken, having been knocked severely sometime in the past. Getting the input shaft bearing off was more than a little tricky and I eventually resorted to machining it off. Even then, it took some doing.

Another job was to adjust the endfloat of the laygear, which neccessitated turning a new thrust bearing washer. This was easy enough to do with access to a lathe, resorting to supergluing the washer to a freshly faced piece of stock and facing the washer down to the required thickness. A blowtorch was then used to free the washer off.

Putting the gearbox back together should be a task set for contestants on the Krypton Factor, as it's the sort of job where you need five hands, all differing sizes! Eventually it all went in, and I re-shimmed the selector forks using feeler gauges only.

Not wanting to put a newly built box into the car without testing, I built a gearbox testbed with the front of an old chassis, front axle and spare engine. I spent a few hours running the box in all gears and listening to it with an ear trumpet. Apart from a bit of noise in reverse, all seemed well.

I couldn't justify putting it off any longer, so on Monday, I started taking the front off the car, and by Tuesday morning, I only had the original gearbox left in the car with all the brakes removed. By Wednesday night, I had swapped the gearbox and put the engine back in. By Thursday night, I had the car put back together again ready for the road.

On the Friday, I went out for a test-drive. All the gears worked well, with a noticeable improvement in all gear changes. No more notchy changes into first or reverse! One problem arose though! I couldn't get the car to do more than 65mph in 4th gear, although the rev counter was indicating 6,500 revs! What's going on? Have I built a 'short' box by mistake? I spent the rest of the day checking things over in my mind and making some gearbox ratio calculations on paper. I had built a 'long' box, and on paper it should be doing what I expected of it. The only possible answer was that the speedo reading was now reading wildly under what it should have been!

That evening, I had the chance to go out for a drive with a TomTom GPS unit which gives an accurate speed reading when driving at a steady speed. What I found was that at 5,200 revs, I was doing 65mph, whereas in the past, I would be pulling 6000 revs for the same speed. 40mph on the speedo was more 46mph, and 30 mph was more like 35mph in reality. So the box conversion has worked, but I need to recalibrate the speedo and keep the speed down in town for the time being!

The rebuild of the engine bay was an ideal opportunity to fit a new coil under the air filter housing. I had been given a 'Supercoil' as a present, so that was fitted to a fabricated bracket which bolts under the air filter. The HT leads simply drape over the heat exchangers and do not come into contact with the exhaust headers. So far, there has been no noticeable change in performance, but hot starting seems to have improved.

Another job which has always been in the back of my mind, was to build a mildly tuned engine to drive my new 'long' box. With the gearbox build out of the way, the engine build could get started in earnest. I'm in the middle of putting the 'frankenmotor' back together with a few modifications. I'll run it up on my gearbox testbed and have a play about with timing etc. Hopefully, I'll have it in the car before the end of summer.

The modications I've done so far are as follows:
Fitting 9:1 pistons with new rings.
Boring the gudgeon pins to reduce weight
Using modified rockers to reduce weight
Replacing the rocker spring washers with machined plain washers.
Modifing the valve-spring collet retainers to remove excess weight.
Shortening the valve clearance adjusters to reduce weight.
Removing all sharp corners from the inlet tract on the cylinder heads.
Gas-flowing the union between cylinder heads and inlet manfold.
Gas-flowing the union between cylinder heads and exhaust manfold.

This is all in addition to a complete engine strip and rebuild with new seals and washers etc. All joints have been reground and components cleaned and polished where necessary.

The pistons came from various sources - one from my recently scrapped Dyane, and one from a paperweight which I've had for 20 years, originally from my old Dyane. Both pistons were in good condition and were cleaned and polished before fitting new rings. One slight problem was that they both had a slightly different mass, and so I bored out one of the gudgeon pins to ensure that the crankshaft remains balanced. I managed to find a very nice set of rcokers with all excess material already removed. These are to be used in preference to the standard cast rockers which have flash lines and more material than they need. The collet retainers have been shortened with their bases chamfered and their edges scalloped. This should have a dramatic effect on the performance of the engine, allowing it to rev higher than normal. Of course, it may all blow up on the testbed!

Jobs to do:
Finish engine build and test
Fit the oil pressure gauge and sender unit

September 2007
25th Sep 2007

My modified engine is in the testbed and is running sweetly. So far, no unexpected noises and it starts and runs with no untoward surprises. I've finished the oil pressure manifold which involved getting a hose made up by Pirtek which had a M12x1.5 thread on one end and an 1/4" BSP on the other. The M12 end was not ideal, as it's meant to seal internally with a cone fitting. I put the entire hose in the lathe and machined a square shoulder on the M12 thread so that it would seal on a copper washer.

The manifold is made from a bit of brass bar which is turned and bored to the correct size. A M12x1.5 thread was cut in one end for the original oil pressure switch, a M10x1.0 thread in the side for the oil pressure sender, and a 1/4" BSP thread in the other end for the hose. The hose is necessary as there's very little room next to the engine block due to the brake cooling ducts still being present. Oil pressure starts off at 7 bar then drops to between 5 and 6 bar when the engine has warmed up.

I also go around to making and fitting some 'enterstrips' to the side of the cockpit to protect the gel-coat finish here. Over the last 18 months, the sides were gettng quite scratched and I'd always meant to do something about them. I ended up using the same plywood that I used in the dash and cut and bent it to fit the cockpit edge with smooth curves.

With a view to fitting the oil pressure gauge, I've made a housing for an electronic voltmeter gauge and installed it into the glovebox. This is an old Maplin kit project which I've had kicking around in various cars over the last 15 years. I need the dashboard space which the current GS voltmeter is taking up.

The CSC Ireland trip in September threw up a number of issues that needed to be addressed. Whilst I was over there, I encountered a number of problems:
1..The back of the car was too low and I slapped the tank a couple of times on small roads with steep cambers.
2..Following the tank slapping incident, the fuel gauge would no longer read beyond the half-way mark, even with a full tank
3..The car developed a severe steering shake at about 40 mph on bumpy roads
4..No 6 fuse was rattled loose!
5..One of the connections on the back of the ignition switch was working loose and causing the engine to cut out.

On return home, I dropped the tank out of the car and found that the earth connection on the sender unit was not a very good fit. I've soldered a wire directly onto the sender so that this is not an issue in the future. The tank is a bit scraped, but otherwise intact.

The steering shake was down to a combination of worn king pins and track-rod ends. All have now been replaced and I've changed the original steel cups in the track-rod end housing for home-made ones made out of Delrin. These should wear in preference to the track-rod end balls and allow some adjustment in the future. The steering and front suspension are now better than ever.

I also turned down a new steering wheel boss as the previous one was badly finished in an exterior wood stain which I was never happy with. The new one is shellaced and waxed.