23/09/14. I was contacted by the cars owner a couple of years ago as he was looking to sell his collection and I was asked to help. The moment I seen the Berlina I fell for its charm. It may not be the prettiest car ever made but there is something that really endears you to it, specially the little quirks it has.
So last week I made the decision to go and see the owner to see if he still had the car as it hadn't left my mind. Long story short he did and a deal was struck for me to become the new and very proud owner.
04/10/14. My friend Graham came with me to help load the car as its not driving at the moment. and with no drama's, well apart from me going down a dead end road with the transporter proving fun to get back out of off we set for the cars new home.
Home safe and sound and just time for a few photos since the weather is good. The paint is a bit faded and I can see a few bubbles in the paint but hopefully they won't be to bad as the plan is to use the car as my daily driver, yes I'm going to use a 48 year old car as my daily runner, unless the weather's really bad, then I'll use the Landy.
The seats are in very good condition.
The dash is beautifully simple. The chrome ring on the steering wheel is the horn push and the centre that you would think is the horn is actually for flashing the headlights. Cool. Oh and it has a 4 speed column gear change.
All was going quite well until I pulled the rubber flooring back to reveal holes in the floor both on the passenger side and the drivers side!
11/10/14. Got started into the car and first I'm doing is the floor starting with the passenger side. Got the cutter out and finished cutting out all the bad bits.
Part of the middle inner sill had started to go as well so it was tight getting the bad bit cut out and then fitting in new metal.
While I was working round that area I noticed the subframe mounting area looked a bit crusty so set to it with the grinder and more holes appeared. Worse than that though was the subframe itself has a hole. The only way I was going to get to it to sort it was to lose off the entire subframe and lift the car a few inches to allow me access. Thankfully all the bolts came off easily and I'm glad I went the trouble because it had a bigger hole than I thought.
Cut all the bad stuff out and welded in new metal but I went a little further and strengthened both the frame end and the floor mount since I had the access. I'll do the same on the drivers side when i get round to it.
Next was the inner piece for the mount. This was actually double skinned, the ruff welding being ground back first before letting in the outside metal.
14/10/14. I got an email today from a very kind man telling me the whole history of my car as he has known it for over 20 years. It turns out the car is one of only 3 RHD Fulvia Berlina's left and not only that it is the oldest of the 3! amazing. Now I really have to take care of it.
I got the floor welded up and finished.
The bottom of the passenger side front wing is also rusting through so same again, all the bad stuff cut out and new metal put in.
Nice new piece of metal cut and shaped to fit perfectly.
And finally for today a brush up of all the stuff that either fell off or was cut off.
A quick look at the drivers side wheel arch shows me that I'll have the same issues as the passenger side.
29/10. I cut out the drivers side inner sill to get access to the subframe mount area so I can repair it first.
Once I had that cut away I could see the same issues as the passenger side. The subframe mount was eaten away and so was some of the box section. The sill looked a bit bubbly to so I hit it and the bottom of the drivers door with the grinder and sure enough they need reared to.
I decided to repair the sill first as I am a little concerned about the car losing strength if I cut to many areas in one go. As you can see I've already repaired the subframe mount. Again the inner sills still need a slight repair.
New inner piece now fitted.
And a nice new piece made to fit the outer sill.
01/11. Started the day getting the subframe mount sorted. It doesn't look the tidiest in the photo but I was only half way through sorting it when a cup of tea was offered so I took a quick photo and off I toddled. I did come back and cut those holes above it out and let in new metal.
Once all the inner pieces were sorted it was an easy job to weld in a new outer piece to finish the wheel arch off.
Drivers side footwell next. There was really only one large ish area and I cut it all out as one piece so I could weld in one patch which is better for strength.
New piece fitted however as you can see (where the screwdriver is) there is a bit of a step.
This worked in my favour as it allowed me to weld in another piece of metal which will really strengthen the area where the throttle pedal goes and of course finishes the floor properly.
Underneath was welded to too double up the seam and you can just see that I made a new little piece of metal that folds over the brake and fuel pipe, its in exactly the same place the old one was.
Below the rear door on the sill had a large bubble and of course once I hit it with the grinder another hole appeared. There's also one under the sill in the same area so a new piece will be made for it to.
I got bored welding so started on one of the brake callipers. Its an unusual setup and it has 2 piston but they bolt to the calliper frame independently and a pipe runs between the 2.
The first piston I took off is ceased solid so no doubt they all will be the same. Oh and the bolts are really old school being a 3/8th head.
07/11. Got the first piston freed up and out. You can see in the photo a bit of surface rust on the top of the barrel. 2000 grade wet and dry was used to take this off and bring the piston back to working condition.
Thankfully I don't think I'm going to need to renew the seal on the piston as after I cleaned it and put it back in I tested the sealing with the airline and it is making an excellent seal. If anything does change though it will immediately be a new seal kit.
08/11. So with the front brake callipers sorted apart from new piping which I can't do until I get new end nipples that are imperial and of course not readily available these days, it was back to chasing rust. Thankfully the last of the rust I found was on the underneath of the drivers side sill at the rear door. 3 decent holes. I cut the full section out and shaped new metal to fit in place.
With all the welding underneath the car now complete it is ready for a few coats of protective sealer. I put the car up on axle stands so I can get a decent go at everything.
Before I coat the underneath I want to remove all the pipework so no areas are blocked and I will be renewing all the pipework to, starting with the fuel line.
During the day a lovely little parcel arrived for me from my new friend Brian who owns one of the other 2 Berlina's. It was workshop manuals and brochures for the 2C on CD and of course these are going to be incredibly important in keeping the car on the road. Also in the pack was a photo of the car from a few years ago at a show, looking well to.
10/11. One calliper finished and only 3 more to do. All the piping and nipples will be replaced at the same time.
11/11. The car was restored about 8 years ago and the last owner kept the photo's. They are not great but do give an idea as to the work it had.
The final result must have been good at the time but unfortunately the pint hasn't stood the test of time and will need a complete respray in the summer.
26/11. Back to the brakes and the rear callipers are a brilliant setup. The hanbrake is a seperate system and has its own pads which are well worn and need replaced.
The entire system was seized so had to be stripped and cleaned.
20/12. Well so far the exhaust mounts have been replaced, the bodywork is sorted for now apart from blowing in a little paint, one headlight is away to be chrome powder coated to see if that would work (there is nowhere in this country that does re-chroming) brakes are done but there is still a little air in the system which I'm not worrying about as I am going to replace all the pads after xmas. So I started to clean the rear seat to see how it is going to come up and well pleased at the result.
24/12. My good friend Mark at Canavans exhaust centre does powdercoating and he took one of the cars headlights to see if he could chrome powder it. It came out a treat and should do the job brilliantly specially since the headlights are so hard to get.
I put the light back together and wired the bulb back in to see what the reflection is like. I don't actually see a difference from standard so job well done and all the lights will now be getting the same treatment.