Save the 2CV

Dismantling and disgfiguring

   posted on Saturday 29th of January 2005 by Mark Warner

Our second weekend spent at the workshop, and the first goal was to get that rear bumper off. After more drilling the final rusted screws gave way and the bumper was free. The brackets for bumper on the back of the chassis quickly followed.

the defiant bumper is removed the offending screws

A lesson had been learned and in the last couple of visits WD40 had been administered to troublesome looking bolts so that, in an effort to get on, we didn't prematurely attack any more rusted bolts. The exhaust was next - taking off all the supporting brackets along the length of the car and disconnecting the engine end from the expansion box behind the front tyre.

i bring you... fire

The exhaust joints were pretty rusted up and Ross attacked one with some fire to try and free it up. A new exhaust was planned anyway some satisfying violence was dispatched to the rust.

this bracket WILL come off

Next came the fuel tank (still about 1/4 full). We supported it underneath with a cardboard box and removed the bolts from above - the two inside the car, and then those underneath the body but above the tank. Lowering the tank we disconnected the fuel line and gauge electric from the top and the filler tube from the wing. The tank was then free and was gently taken out and emptied into a barrel. Empty it seemed rather light, and very small.

supporting the tank from underneath

The steering column followed, after some tricky spanner work on the collar where it attaches at its base to the rest of the steering mechanism. There was little room to get into the area around the collar and this was made worse by the chassis collapsing under the driver/ passenger footwell bringing both the front and the back of the car up.

the collar is tight to get to

We had to put the jack under the driver-side mounting point to stop further collapse as we worked and it became very evident why the steering had become so bad towards the end.

trying to get into the base of the steering column

The rows of bolts attaching the body to the chassis along were removed along with all the seat brackets and seatbelt fixings.

fittings come out

Once all the bolts were out we decided to see if the body would come away. At the back of the car we lifted the body and at first the chassis and wheels came as well. Then after waiting a fantastic "peeling" noise started and the chassis slowly came away and fell back to the floor.

While we were in and out of the car doing the work the chassis's collapse had accelerated to the point that the spindle where the base of the steering column attached to had began to damage the bodywork because it no longer aligned with the hole in the body it was supposed to come through. We got some strapping and used it to take the weight of the body by running the straps through the front door frames and over the winch hook in the ceiling.

fear the gloves