Today, the 2CV project took a big leap forward, which was nothing to do with the 2CV.
Yes, I’ve finally got the trailer sorted! What follows is a lengthy form of therapy.
The trailer has been out of action since before Christmas, as one of the wheels had rotted so badly that air was leaking from it. Not much of an issue really. I mean, it’s not hard to find another pair of wheels is it?
Turns out, it’s really bloody hard! The trailer’s origins lie in some long defunct company called Cardesk Ltd, which seems a bit improbable, but there you go. Wherever it was conceived, it was built in China. For some reason, it was built with the American market in mind. So, the tow hitch is the wrong size (it used to rattle around a fair bit) and the wheels are IMPOSSIBLE to find in the UK. They just do not exist.
I know, because I spent bloody hours searching for the sodding things. Confirming the size took long enough, thanks to the fact that 4×4″ PCD is very similar to 4x100mm PCD. The design of the trailer meant the wheels had to be 4J width, with zero offset. That’s very annoying, as skinny 12″ wheels are not in short supply. They’re fitted to Minis, and Peroduas. Oh, and the centre hole required is a funny size too. FFS.
Eventually, I gave in to the fact that Ebay was trying to steer me to America to buy American sized wheels. I ordered a pair. The order entered some sort of “Really? You want us to ship to the UK? Er, we’d better try and work out how to do it then” state, which mainly seemed to result in no action at all. Other people warned me that customs would chuck a load of duty on the top of the already-quite-scary postage. Sod it. Order cancelled, back to square one.
Then, after yet more searching, I found a company in Cornwall that claimed to have wheels that would fit! I carefully double-checked the width, the offset, the centre hole, the PCD. Yes, this looked good. They were ordered, and they arrived the next day with no custom charges. Ace!
Until I trial-fitted one on the trailer. Well, I didn’t really. The one measurement I’d overlooked was the stud hole size. It was too small by about 2mm. AAAAAAARGH!
At this point, I took my lovely, shiny new wheels to a garage and asked them to drill the stud holes out. This doesn’t go down as ideal, but I was fast running out of options. They then fitted the old tyres. This was a stupid thing to do, as one of them is quite perished – probably because it kept going flat. Do I have a spare? No, I do not. Guess I’ll have to find some new tyres – at least they’re a sensible size!
Anyway, I feel better for a good rant. The next plan is to get the 2CV’s body off the chassis (it’s ready to lift off), strap it onto the trailer, and then head off for The North, hopefully on Monday. It won’t be the first time that the 2CV has been spread over different counties! Stay tuned for more as it happens. Or not very long after. Probably. Twitter is probably the best way to follow what I’m up to in something approaching realtime – hunt for @dollywobbler and #Project2CV.
By the way, after a major invoice got paid, I’ve been able to shove a chunk of cash into the project kitty, while donations have still been coming in too! We’re now over the £1700 mark, though I suspect this project will be munching more than that yet. An expensive business! Thanks for your help.