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Days 14-16.

The final stages of the project proved to be fairly time consuming.

I had spent a lot of time protecting the inside of the bodyshell, and when it was back on the car there were some additional bits of bodywork that needed attention. I had once foolishly drilled the windscreen pillar to fit a bracket for a radio aerial. This hole had, of course, spread corrosion, so I cleaned it, filled it and sprayed it. I then fitted the plastic aerial bracket a little lower down using Araldite - quite strong enough, and I wish I had done that in the first place.

The sills also needed some attention. Again, corroded sections were cut out, filled and painted. I had repainted the sills with white Hammerite a while ago and I decided to stick with this paint. The white does not match the Citroën 'Alpine White' too well and I will probably go over the Hammerite with a spray can after a month or so when the Hammerite has cured.

Seats, doors, bonnet, wings, boot-lid, and exhaust system were all replaced, and all the underbonnet connections checked and adjusted. The job was virtually complete.

The remaining task was final suspension height adjustment. The tie rod adjustment is made more difficult once the body shell and exhaust are in place, but it is possible with patience - the sort of job where spanners with different head angles have to be used, and several spanner changes or repositionings are necessary for each turn of the rod. With patience it can be done. I did this with the car on the ground, and it was only after I had done it that I realised why the Haynes manual tells you to do it with the weight off the suspension. As you turn the suspension tie-rods they bear against the springs which bear against the insides of the suspension cylinders. This causes a lot of friction which will be greatly reduced with the weight off the suspension.

The rebuilt car ran well from the start. After a week or so I checked the suspension heights and re-adjusted them. In fact this possibly wasn't necessary as the height changes quite a lot with the amount of petrol in the tank. The heights that Haynes give assume one gallon in the tank, but it is not always possible to arrange this. The large suspension nuts were checked at the same time; it proved possible to tighten one or two a very small amount, so they will be checked again soon.

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