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I can I can't? Acadiane!


Surface Rust
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Been meaning to document this for about a year, the usual Christmas / New Year limbo and miserable weather mean I finally have no more excuses (plus it's useful prevarication from repairing my other heaps).

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I have owned this peasant / artisan transport for about 6 years using it in all weathers for practical* transport requirements. It rewarded my cavalier approach to 40 year old Citroen rustproofing by comprehensively failing its MoT on rot in the floors.

The MoT place quoted the GDP of a small African nation for the repair so this was the motivator behind the following tale of woe and re-education in the art of sticking metal together and setting fire to clothing.

On getting it home from the garage I was quickly able to discern where the problem was:

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I swear the hole wasn't there during my thorough* pre MoT checks!

Anyway, from inside it didn't look too bad;

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So I ordered up some genuine Citroen repair panels:

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And dragged my faithful Clarke 151 Mig out from its 15 year slumber. This might give you an idea of how often I tackle this kind of job, and a forewarning of the quality of work you can expect to see shortly...

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6 minutes ago, barrett said:

Is that hole within 30cm of the seat belts? Shouldn't be an MoT fail if not on a separate-chassis car as it's not technically structrual... Not that I'm advising you to leave it, but it does seem like a harsh fail to me!

You are on the right lines, they actually failed it on being within 30cms of the shock mounting, however as it's separate chassis that's clearly incorrect. Anyway, when I bought it I knew the floorpans were original and slightly crispy so rather than dispute it I thought I'd pull my finger out and sort it.

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So in the words of VGG, I thought I'd do the right thing and make it as good as new (not a high benchmark judging from how it appears the bored Spanish at Vigo had thrown these together in the first place).

Since I'd last attempted some metalwork, some improvements had occurred in the industry, the most significant in my opinion being the advent of the 1mm slitting disc. I immediately put them to use to assess the situation:

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Grim. Any floor within 100mm of the cleverly* positioned foam Citroen had installed between the chassis and body had disappeared.

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The seam sealer lovingly applied at the factory was nearly 25mm thick in places and was definitely structural.

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More choppy chop ensued. This was escalating quickly...

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I finally got bored picking holes in the driver's side and decided I couldn't put off the welding any longer.

To my immense surprise, my first attempt went quite well:

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Frankly I was amazed. At this stage I should admit to having scrapped a 2cv after biting of more than I could chew with a previous restoration attempt, but this time the gods of welding looked benignly at my feeble efforts and chose not to smite me down.

Buoyed by this success*, I pressed forward with gluing more and bigger bits in place. I was so excited I forgot to take enough pics as I went along so you'll have to trust me that its not just been stuck down with a big snotter of tigerseal.

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At this stage the driver's side was solid again so in pursuit of that 'factory' look I even splashed out on a can of 'peasant bleu'.

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I wasn't taking any chances with having to do this again in my lifetime so I sunk about a gallon of wax into any cavities I could find and any other hidden surfaces:

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I also took the opportunity of easy* access to tackle the list of other maladies that the classic motorist is accustomed to call 'character', i.e. cracked exhausts, warped discs, collapsed engine mount, holed CV boot, dodgy handbrake etc....

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Due to the unique way these are designed, any task in this area immediately descends into a right swear fest, and if anyone ever tries to tell about superior Citroen engineering, they'll be on the receiving end of one of these. Sideways.

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Once the last echoes of swearing and tools being thrown around had died down, I had a mid project mojo boost by driving it out of the garage to turn around so I could get access to the passenger side. It took a lot of self restraint not to go and bez around the town centre like this;

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Time to start probing the other side. This was immediately obviously worse:

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A leaky screen seal had meant the lower three inches of inner wing and front of the sill had disappeared. I was glad I'd started on the other side at this stage as it would have been pretty demotivating to start with discovering this.

Still, a couple more Chinese takeaways and I had enough steel stock to do this;

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Fortunately none of this is visible once the panels are back on!

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Final installment, for now!

Got the floors fitted, for some reason it was much harder going on this side, lots of blowing through and splatter, still everything looks better in primer (apart from new Aldis).

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All done, or so I thought! 

I decided to replace the original seam sealer due to the problems it had caused (shrinks and wicks water in to sit next to unpainted steel). In removing the old stuff I found a last spot of grot next to the lower seatbelt mount.IMG_20210428_214155843.thumb.jpg.8dbc4ee6d03f7bb086180083a3d1cdc1.jpg

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Before it could throw any more surprises I smothered everything in more bleu and put it in for test....

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It failed, but NOT on the welding thank Christ!

A bit of handbrake tweaking and back on the road in time to meet up with it's brethren this summer.

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I really enjoyed getting stuck into this so just want to say to all those who think that welding and bodywork is beyond them to just give it a go. Buy a welder, practice and get stuck in, if I can do it anyone can!

Right I'm off to browse for LR Discoverys on eBay - nothing* can stop me now!

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10 hours ago, bangernomics said:

The best colour too. I do like how modular these are and how everything is still available. How have you found the sides and load bed have survived?

When I first got it the rear bump stop brackets were entirely absent so I had them replaced by Chevronics and the double skinned panel behind them was also patched. Nothing else has ever been welded on it which isn't bad going for a cheap 40 year old commercial. It was somewhere in the Languedoc region of France until the last owner imported it in 2010 which probably saved it.

That said the whole underside including all box sections were packed with pale yellow clay from whatever farm it spent its life on. You can see it inside the toe board in this pic, and that was after I chipped most of it out!

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20 hours ago, Surface Rust said:

Final installment, for now!

Got the floors fitted, for some reason it was much harder going on this side, lots of blowing through and splatter, still everything looks better in primer (apart from new Aldis).

IMG_20210424_160227946.thumb.jpg.45b1d84a5dbc278911572507fbdc897f.jpg

IMG_20210424_160223521.thumb.jpg.ba622d74fd66fa9b7465b38d9c89d25f.jpg

IMG_20210424_171320664.thumb.jpg.cfed4afd12e5dafe3c5ef9cd9ab867bb.jpg

All done, or so I thought! 

I decided to replace the original seam sealer due to the problems it had caused (shrinks and wicks water in to sit next to unpainted steel). In removing the old stuff I found a last spot of grot next to the lower seatbelt mount.IMG_20210428_214155843.thumb.jpg.8dbc4ee6d03f7bb086180083a3d1cdc1.jpg

IMG_20210430_135630077.thumb.jpg.710cbf879247b0e701ae7367c1d14b50.jpg

Before it could throw any more surprises I smothered everything in more bleu and put it in for test....

IMG_20210427_205908741.thumb.jpg.915a379833f5f737be30208ba33a5579.jpg

It failed, but NOT on the welding thank Christ!

A bit of handbrake tweaking and back on the road in time to meet up with it's brethren this summer.

IMG_20210724_134719517_HDR.thumb.jpg.d703f361db51b862f14e6c61f2248499.jpg

I really enjoyed getting stuck into this so just want to say to all those who think that welding and bodywork is beyond them to just give it a go. Buy a welder, practice and get stuck in, if I can do it anyone can!

Right I'm off to browse for LR Discoverys on eBay - nothing* can stop me now!

Great, please do email me the story for the column in the Citroenian.

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