The final item I had left on my to-do list from the re-chassis was to replace the axle bolts. Whilst doing the re-chassis we re-used the old bolts but they were showing signs of necking (although TomB engineering assessed they were within tolerance).
The bolts are held in place with lock washers which are bent over at the ends to prevent them working loose so the first step is to bend these back to get access to the bolt heads. As the bolts are what’s holding the axle to the chassis removing both at once could allow the axle to move relative to the chassis which would mean it’s no longer possible to get the thread to engage in the axle mount and, given the forces from the weight of the car and the spring tension in the suspension, it is very difficult to re-align things if they move (thus spake the voice of experience).
To avoid this it is best to replace them one at a time. To do this first loosen off both bolts just enough to free the lock washer, then take one bolt out, rotate the old lock washer out of the way then insert one new bolt and the lock washer ensuring the threads are fully engaged in the axle.
Now take out the remaining old bolt and lock washer before fitting the remaining new bolt through the lock washer.
The bolts are then tightened up to 50 N m and, using a persuadatron and a cold chisel, the lock washers are bent around them to… well… lock them in.
When replacing Judith’s chassis we had to go with the front bump stocks that were on the shelf. These use hold the rubber onto the mount with folded metal [shown on the left below] which isn’t the best method (although it’s cheap). The better option are the bonded bump stops from ECAS [shown on the right].
This borne out by the fact that the near side (why is it always the near side) rubber had fallen out on the old bump stop.
Access to the bump stops is pretty easy, with the front of the car jacked up the swing arm clears a reasonable amount of space and, once you’ve worked out the best angles of attack, I found they came out with minimal persuasion – although a small pry bar was really helpful with this.
With them coming out so easily, fitting was the reverse of removal: finagel the bump stop bolt into the hole in the chassis plate and do the nut up to the standard torque setting of FT.
The 2CV’s boot is spacious but the floor isn’t very flat which makes it a bit impractical to use.
To improve this I’ve added a boot floor. This is a piece of 680mm x 940mm plywood with a notch cut in the back edge to fit round the central support for the back seats and a couple of notches in the front corners to allow it to slide forward through the boot opening thus allowing the back edge to clear the back seat and lift out. There’s also a small block of wood glued and screwed into the middle of the front edge to stop it sliding forward.
With the basic shape fitted I covered it with some bluegrey automotive carpet which provides a nice usable boot floor and the tools and spare wheel live happily under it and out of the way.
On Sheriff Muir a few miles North East of Dunblaine there is a section of reinforced concrete wall in the middle of the moorland visible from the road.
It was built to emulate a sea wall with a characteristic overhang on the road or “seaward” side and an anti-tank ditch at the base. The front face is pockmarked with numerous impact craters characteristic of shell fire. Significant sections have the facing completely broken away down to the thinner (1/2″) reinforcing rods. Larger (1″) reinforcing rods from the core are also visible in places.
The Northern end of the wall is three meters thick but at the Southern end it steps down to a final width of about one meter. I assume these different thicknesses were to assess the effect of shell fire on different thicknesses of concrete found on sea walls.
In the three meter section there are several significant partial breaches in the structure, probably as a result of demolitions charges – possibly from the Churchill AVRE 290mm petard mortar with it’s “flying dustbin” 12kg demolition charge. These breaches are adequate for infantry to be able to cross the obstacle.
The northernmost of these is a full breach of the wall that’s 4m wide – enough for a Churchill or Sherman to pass through.
On the “landward” side there are large pieces of concrete that have been deposited some distance back from the wall which suggests a significant quantity of explosives were employed.
Being a relatively short section of wall, and with the various thicknesses, it’s unlikely this was used for troop training. The most likely explanation seems to be that this was used for testing the effects of different artillery shells and engineering equipment on a section of sea wall similar to that found at the landing beaches.
As the hop has started growing the stems have fairly quickly reached the point where they need support.
There had been a satellite dish on the side of the house above where the hop planter is now so I was able to re-use a couple of the mounting points for that to put up a wood batten into which I had screwed four eyelets with long stems to hold them clear of the wall.
I also added four eyelets to the inside of the planter and then ran coir string between them using clove hitches to tie it off.
The coir string is good for climbers as it has a rough texture that gives them plenty to take hold of. Rather than the tendrils used by peas and beans the hop stems have very small hooks on the stems that feel almost like velcro and it’s these that hold them onto the strings.