Project 2CV: It begins!

Yes, work has commenced. I managed to find a couple of hours to do some ‘easy’ bits, as I try to get Elly stripped down to the bare shell. Before I could start, the XM was called up for a tip run.

Dead things

Stage One was clear some space for dismantled 2CV. Tip run!

With that done, I could turf the Dyane out of the garage, and insert a certain 2CV.

Let the restoration commence!

Let the restoration commence!

Things began badly when I realised that I’d left most of my tools in the boot of the Dyane, which was now hiding in the garage that has been the 2CV’s home for many months now. Fortunately, you can remove the bonnet, bootlid and rear doors with no tools at all. So I did. Then the XM got another quick run out on a tool mission. With tools, things came apart pretty quickly, bar one incredibly rotten spot. I really don’t remember parking in the sea, but perhaps I did at some point.

This was horrible!

This was horrible! Rotten wing mount.

The nut, which holds the wing in place, was seized. Lots of penetrating oil, a hammer and a ruddy great breaker bar eventually had it turning – albeit it twisted the headlamp bar! No great loss, as it’s clearly too rotten to use again, and I do have a spare…

By now, Elly looked like this.

First stage of panel removal.

First stage of panel removal.

Still quicker than a Dyane! 2CVs do have their advantages. Next to come off were the headlamp bar and front bumper. The same rusty spot proved a problem though, with one of the bolts rounded and seized in place. I had a quick play around with molegrips, penetrating oil and brute force, but nowt was doing. It was angle grinder time!

With the bolt head off, I could remove bumper and headlamp bar. The front doors put up no fight (four 11mm-headed set screws between them0, and nor did the hood (two crosshead screws and two 8mm-headed set screws).

Close of play for today. Good progress.

Close of play for today. Good progress.

I decided to call things a day there, as emails were starting to stack up. Not bad progress for a couple of hours. I still need to disconnect the pedals, the gearlever, the exhaust, fuel tank wiring, brake lines and some other bits I’ve probably forgotten. Ooh, like the speedometer cable. I may strip more of the bodyshell while it’s still in-situ though. I did examine a few crusty areas with a hammer, and it’s confirmed just how big a job this is going to be. The hammer just pushed through in a few places! However, things are moving, so watch this space! Or, watch this 26-second timelapse of today’s progress.

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