What I wish I'd known before I Started

The title says it all..what I wish I'd known before I started...
If I was to build another Burton, would I do it differently? Yes!

0..Welding
1..Chassis
2..Hinges
3..Engine cowl
4..Sheet Metal
5..Fastenings
6..Handbrake
7..Body Tub
8..Tools and consumables


Welding
Technically, you could build the car without having to weld anything, by buying already modified parts from Burton. I ended up welding the gear lever, seatbelt anchors and bumper brackets. I don't know what I would have done about the seatbelt anchors if I didn't access to welding technology. Had I access to a TIG welder at the time, I would have fabricated the under-dash stainless brackets in that manner. As it is, they're all bolted together and do the job adequately. Be prepared to either weld yourself or have some parts welded for you.

Chassis
The 2CV City chassis is ideal for this job, but will have to be shortened at the rear by 10mm or so. Also, it would be prudent to modify the rear bump stops before fitting the body tub. The stops should be raised so that they're 1 inch above the chassis arm. This height allows the swinging arm to drop significantly, but not too low to prevent a tyre change or hitting the rear wing.

Hinges
The Burton supplied bonnet and bootld hinges are not of the 'best' quality, and indeed a number of breakages have been reported. I'm in the process of sourcing some replacements here in the UK and will update this as and when information becomes available.

Engine Cowl
Having spent ages sourcing a Dyane type engine cowl with the air take-off, I now know that it won't fit inside the Burton nose section and so will have to be removed and repaced further up the cowl. Next time, use a standard 2CV engine cowl and make a hole in it to suit your own air take-off.

Sheet Metal
Quite a lot of metal fabrication will be required depending on your gear-change arrangements etc. I was lucky to pick up a 1.6mm stainless sign from a skip at work which was used to make all of the support brackets and gear-change triangle. The items manufactured were as follows:
Throttle support bracket (Bodytub end)
Gear-change support triangle
Handbrake support bracket
Heater support bracket
Gear change bobbin support bracket
Pedal box upper support bracket
Fog light bracket
Throttle return spring bracket (cowl end)

In addition, I bought a quantity of mild steel from my local fabricator for the bumper mounts and the seat belt anchors. This all cost less than a tenner for the entire car.

Fastenings
I bought a number of stainless (usually A2) fastenings from ebay before finding a local supplier. My local supplier allows me to wander around their stockroom and fill up a polythene bag of fastenings before charging me a couple of quid for the lot. I would advise trying to find a local suppler such as mine! Buying off ebay is an expensive option. Most of the stuff needed was M6 and M5 stainless hex and socket-head cap screws with stainless washers and stainless nylocs.
The Burton supplied fastenings kit is useful to have, but expensive for what it is.

Handbrake
If you have altered the castor angle of the front wheels, then dependnig on the chassis you use, you may have difficulties with the steering rods fouling the handbrake mechanism. The recent 2CVCity chassis are reported to have been changed to move the handbrake support further forwards to eliminate this problem. This is only an issue if the castor angle has been changed, as it moves the top of the front wheel hubs forwards somewhat. If this is the case, it is easy enough to remove the handbrake support and re-drill the mounting holes 10mm further back, allowing the whole handbrake to move forward in the car. Obviously, it is better to do this before final adjustment of the handbrake pads!

Bodytub
The build manual suggests that you drill all of the holes in the body tub before mounting it. That's all very well for a LHD car, as most of the holes are marked in the gelcoat. For a RHD car, you really need to fit the body tub first to determine where the holes have to be! (the body tub is not symetrical!). The only problem with this is that there is usually insufficient room to get an electric drill in the engine area to drill the pilot holes. A right-angle drive attachment for the elctric drill would be a good investment.

Tools and consumables
I managed to get away with buying very little in the way of tools to build the car. The main workhorse was a Bosch battery drill which was used for most jobs. Other useful tools are:
Dremmel type tool for grinding/sanding polyester (I broke two during the build)
Adjustable hole cutter (for large holes)
Selection of hand files and needle files (for adjusting hole sizes)
Sanding drum (dremmel size) for widening small holes (dashboard instrumentation etc)
Flap wheel for widening large holes
M5 and M6 taps and tap wrench

In addition, a number of consumables were regularly purchased...
50mm Masking tape (from B&Q)
Fibreglass bridger (Isopon P40 from Halfords)
Clear and black silicon sealant (from ironmongers)
Black Polyurethane sealant (sika-flex alternative from ironmongers)
Sanding drums for dremmel type tool (from B&Q)
Wet & Dry paper (up to 2000 grade)
Baby wipes. The only thing that could remove fibre-glass resin and hammerite from my hands!

It was also useful to have a lathe to make bespoke parts and fastenings.