Monthly Archives: June 2012

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 …