Testing phone post

Test

more work

A quick clean up in the engine bay, and that received a lick of paint too

Engine bay painted

Engine bay painted

Now, Saxo’s are renowned for rust, and a little investigating found a hole in the rear arch

Drivers side

Drivers side

and then some in the other side

Passenger side

Passenger side

It was at this point we decided we would remove all the factory underseal in the arches, AND underneath the car. First the arches were stripped back to bare metal, then the rot removed followed up by a trip to R-Timmis to have the welding done.

Once done it was time for two coats of red oxide, two coats of undercoat, and two coats of top coat for added protection. (Sadly no photos of this stage.)

Then, it was time to tackle underneath. There were two options, crawl under the car on my back and work underneath the shell, or buy a roll over jig and work with the car on it’s side. It was a no brainer after finding out about Handling Solutions they offer a cost effective solution to what can be an expensive piece of equipment for the job. So with that, one was ordered and a week off work booked. The jig arrived and was erected with ease, fixing to the car was simple as Handling Solutions discuss the mounting options on a car-by-car basis and make the mounting kit specific to the car you want to use the jig with. A bit of leveling up and we were in business!

mounted

mounted

Spun

Spun

Half Done!

Half Done!

Unfortunately, photos of progress from here to present have dried up a little, but the whole of the under carriage of the car was cleaned off, two coats of red oxide, one coat of undercoat and two coats of top coat, then it was put on to the sill stands to harden off for a week or so.

Preparation continues …

So, with the car home from Beaniesport it was time to carry on getting the car ready.

We stripped out all the tar paper from the footwells, and felt from the rear arches.

Painted!

Painted!

Painted!

Painted!

Whilst collecting the car from BeanieSport, Dad came with me for a day out. Whilst at the workshop we were shown around the collection of cars they were working on, they have some really interesting projects on the go and are a genius at custom wiring looms. Dad commenting that all the cars they had looked better with the cage painted the same colour as the cars interior, I told him if he liked it so much, he can paint the cage himself … which he did!

Rear Cross Painted

Rear Cross Painted

Front Half Painted

Front Half Painted

and then it was just a matter of fitting it in the car!

Fitted!

Fitted!

Rally converting

The original plan was to do ALL the work ourselves with the help of my good friend Kev. I bought a welder and we set to fitting the cage, unfortunately, a combination of a crap welder, and Kev not being in his comfort zone of material thickness, plus the fact I wanted loads more bits and bobs doing, the decision was made to send the car to have the work done by somebody experienced welding thin French tin.

Beaniesport were churning out some fantastic work, and a quick call to Chris and the car was booked in. Work to be done was – Completed cage install, non-sunroof skin installed, sill stands, a few holes repairing, sump guard fitting, seat rails installing (including harness eyelet plates) and hand brake reinforcement of the tunnel.

I’ll let a few photos do the talking.

New roof skin

New roof skin

Saxo(107)

Seat Rails

Saxo(111)

Sill Stands

All ready to come home

All ready to come home

I’ll try and remember to carry on updating this to the current date status over the next week.

I’ll get the hang of keeping this up to date one day …

Sorry for the radio silence! Progress has been huge since the last up date though.

With the car progressing well I decided to thin the wiring loom out.

Wiring loom in 'thinning out mode'

Wiring loom in ‘thinning out mode’

and then I decided to look at how bad the rust on the shell was … it was pretty bad and looked like it was going to cost to get all the work done. At this point I looked on E-Bay for secondhand shells and found one for £20! Bargain! and it looked in decent condition, so Dad and I went and collected it.

On the trailer at work

On the trailer at work

and then the work started on transferring everything between shells.

I won’t bore you with every detail and photo, but first off was make the new shell watertight (as shell one was still in the garage,) and a few hours on a Saturday morning saw the sunroof, boot, doors and windows on shell two. Next up was to remove everything that wasn’t needed – sound deadening, old heater matrix, a selection of pipe work and a butchered wiring loom. The shell was ready for preparation to be ‘Rally-fied’

whoops, I’ve been a bit slack with the updates …

So, to get you up to speed with where I am with the car, I’ll just type a load of words about what has happened.

So I bought a Safety Devices Cup Car Cage for a 106, these fit a Saxo the same, bar a bit of cutting to the dash, but have the benefit of fitting to the boot floor rather than the rear wheel arches. Much better in my opinion.

Cage ‘dry’ fitted

I then found out about micro heaters, so the decision was made to take out the heater matrix and replace with a micro heater from T7 Designs. This involved making a fibreglass “funnel” to fit the Saxo dash converting the windscreen vent to a round fitting that would connect to the heater.

Heater Fitted

Whilst the dash was out to fit the heater, I took the onerous task of cutting all the redundant wiring out of the entire wiring loom inside the car. There was loads of it! All the electric window wiring came out, central locking, rear heated screen, stereo & speaker wiring, complete airbag module and the seat belt pre-tensioners. I’ve still got a bit of tidying to do, and the heater needs wiring in as I’m hoping to use the standard Saxo heater controls with my micro heater, but I’m not far off putting the dash back in and getting the cage fully fitted (plates need welding in)

I have also bought a new roof skin which hasn’t got the sunroof hole in, this came attached to the top half of the 106 it came off, so I spent a couple of days drilling spot weld out. I have been informed that the works S1600 cars pop-riveted the roof skin of with a bead of sikoflex, so this is how I shall be fitting mine, myself! after the cage is fully fitted though!

I’m also keeping my eye out for a secondhand Motordrive seat cheaply to allow me size up and locate comfortably for weld in seat rails, I’m also going to be buying a welder so hopefully with the help of one of my best friends we shall be doing all the work ourselves.

more developments

so with work to the front of the car finished for the time being, it was time to turn my attention to the rear, and the wonderful Citroen rear torsion bar beam.

Now, the car had been sat in Neil’s garage for four years, so we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. The brake unions were jammed solid, so I cut the brake lines, I was originally hoping to keep the standard lines, but this forced my hand. re-plumb or braided lines to come, but they could wait!

I had the rear of the car on axle stands, so placed a Saxo jack under each end of the rear beam, undid the four fixing bolts, and let the beam down to the ground. It was ready to go home for surgery! (It wasn’t that easy, but I won’t bore you with all the details!)

Slowly does it

and it’s off!

Now anybody who knows about French Torsion beams will know they are a sod to dismantle, and this was no different! We ended up letting the torsion bars soak in WD-40 for over a week, with litte difference. I borrowed a slide hammer, which broke, and then tried the socket, washer and bolt ‘puller’ method, that stripped the bolt threads (luckily the torsion bar threads were ok.) Then after being told to ‘batter the hell out of the bars’ felt this was the only way to make progress.

Soaking in releasing agent

So Dad & I got the burner out, we threaded a bolt all the way in the torsion bar to clout, heated the trailing arm up, rested the whole beam on the kerb outside the house, and proceeded to hammer like never before … and it eventually came away in to two pieces! We repeated this process with every bit where the torsion bar was lodged solid and it eventually all came apart … with the help of the lump hammer!

The whole beam was stripped of paint and rust, re-painted, and with new bushes, spacers and seals bought from my local Citroen dealership, the beam was put back together.

Beam painted

Whilst the beam was off the car I decided to clean all the surface rust off from underneath, clean it up, remove the spare wheel cage (the spare wheel will be relocated inside the car,) remove the extra exhaust hanger and remove all te ABS gubbins. I also wanted to give underneath a good painting and decided on POR-15 chassis black from Frost, two coats of base coat and one coat of top coat, this stuff dries seriously hard! so hard that the paint brush was useless inbetween each coat and I went through six! brushes doing the boot floor and rear beam.

boot floor done!

and with the painting done, it was time to put the beam back on the car, new poly bushes put in at this point.

the petrol tank patiently waits it’s turn for re-fitting

Whilst the petrol tank was off the car, you need to move it to ease removal of the beam, I removed all the probably stagnant fuel and gave it a swill out.

stage 2

Sorry for the delay in updating this …

Saxo safe in the garage

So with the Saxo in the garage, it was time to start work getting it ready to be used and abused. I wanted to go over everything to make sure it was ok, replaced where needed, and tarted up if it looked scruffy.

As the car was ‘nose out’ in the garage it made sense to start with the front suspension, which after some drilling, drilling and a little more drilling, was soon off.

Suspension Leg off

Then to take them home, strip down, paint and swap the springs to standard VTS versions.

Strut at home partially dismantled

I also took the Anti-Roll bar off the front whilst I was on, again, the plan was to clean up, paint and replace the mount bushes.

Anti-Roll bar painted with Red Oxide Paint

Once all the planed cleaning and painting was done, it was time to rebuild the struts with standard height VTS springs, I wanted to return the car to standard height so I could a) have a reference point for all suspension changes, and b) make sure the car was lowered evenly and correctly in the first place. It was also a good excuse to dismantle all the suspension components, front and back.

Painted and rebuilt Strut

and back on the car

I also replace the drop links and tie rods when putting the struts back on the car.

I left the driveshafts out at this point to make it easier when it was time for the engine to come out, and then it was time to turn the car round …

and so it begins …

So for a long time I’ve wanted a project car, either to be built for a purpose, or for a bit of a laugh but with a finished project I could drive. The thing was, I didn’t want to pay much, and I didn’t want a wreck. A post was seen on Facebook by an old forum buddy of Saxo Sports Club, Neil Wood, who had a Saxo VTS in his garage that he was thinking of scrapping, all he wanted for it was the scrap value £150!

I went over to look at it, and it was stuck in the garage, it turns out Neil had bought the car 4 years prior to me purchasing it from him as a project car too, but when he got it home, the gearbox let go, so it got put in the garage till he had time to sort it out. Four years later, the brakes had seized on, the battery was flat, and so were the tyres, there was no way we could push the car out. A quick look round, under the bonnet and in the boot, and I’d decided that it fitted the bill perfectly, and that threw up a few further issues.

We live on a sloped drive, so parking a car on there was a no no, our garage was full of bikes, tools and other associated ‘garage clutter’ so that was ruled out. Hmm. A friend from work mentioned that the local council offered empty garages for a nominal fee per fortnight, so I gave them a call, they had a garage local, excellent!

Problem two, the car had no tax, MOT or insurance, I didn’t have a trailer, and didn’t have a clue how I was going to get the car home … After asking around, it looked like I was going to have to hire a car transport trailer from a local hire company, when Garry at work heard about the dilemma and said a friend of his had a couple of car trailers he lent out, so I gave John of www.vindicator.co.uk a bell and he said we could borrow the trailer for the day, and he had some ratchet straps to fix the car to the trailer. Result!

A bit of discussion between dad and Neil, and we had arranged a mutually agreed date for collection of the Saxo. We picked the trailer up on a Saturday morning, drove to Stafford, and met up with Neil. Now, the Saxo remember is stuck in the garage, and the three of us couldn’t push it out, thankfully, Dad was able to pull it out using his car, and with a puff of dust the brake pads released their grip of the brake disks and the Saxo saw daylight for over 4 years! Now, we thought it would be a simple case of push the now free running car on to the trailer, strap it down, and make our way home … nope, the tyres were still flat making it difficult to push, I’d pre-thought this and had my foot pump in the car, so we put some air in the tyres, and tried again to push the Saxo on to the trailer, we got it half way up on the ramp (I say we, I was sat in the car steering (being the lightest) whilst Neil and Dad pushed like mad) no joy, so we rolled it back as far as possible, and tried again, a little further on the trailer, but not quite there.

Then Dad, in a moment of genius said he could pull the car on to the trailer with his car, we dropped the jockey wheel, choked the wheels and put a jack under the back end to stop the trailer tipping up, and … bingo! the Saxo was on the trailer, but I couldn’t get out! The Saxo had stopped on the trailer with the doors perfectly placed to hit the mud guard of the trailer, so I had to climb out the boot! We strapped the car down, swapped papers with money, and the Saxo was mine, and so we left with a pretty clean example of an S reg Saxo VTS bound for Kidderminster.

We got the car home, and gave it a quick wash before dropping it up to my newly acquired garage.

Outside home after a quick wash

from the other side

Then all that was left was to get the car off the trailer, which we struggled with initially, then drop the trailer back to John, in all, this took us all day!

More to follow …

Hello world!

Hello, and welcome to my wordpress blog. Following the build of my Saxo VTS from road car, to track toy, and hopefully ending up as a full blown stage rally car.

I have a lot of pictures and text to put up to get you all up to date with how the build has gone so far, and will obviously keep you up to date with future work.

Please feel free to contact me to offer advise, or just comment on the site. I’m not a perfectionist, so any errors or omissions will be gratefully pointed out to me.

Simon