Operation wake up GT! (no one has 56k anymore, right?!)

Tell us about life with your BX, or indeed life in general!
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Re: Operation wake up GT! (no one has 56k anymore, right?!)

Post by Tinkley » Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:20 pm

Your welcome to borrow it - the manual. Also have some 12mm studding if you want to make the draw in/out tool.

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Re: Operation wake up GT! (no one has 56k anymore, right?!)

Post by Kitch » Sat Jun 18, 2016 11:40 pm

Tinkley wrote:Your welcome to borrow it - the manual. Also have some 12mm studding if you want to make the draw in/out tool.
Sorry I missed that one! Thanks for the offer, think I'm good but will report back if not :)

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Re: Operation wake up GT! (no one has 56k anymore, right?!)

Post by Kitch » Sat Jun 18, 2016 11:43 pm

So, work is slowly progressing on the BX GT! The original plan was to have it mobile and driving by this time this year. Nope, not gonna happen! Business got very busy, life got in the way - the usual BS. So we still don't have a working GT.

That said, there has been some progress, however slight. It has now moved from the dolly to the 2-post ramp:

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The main reason for this is that I needed the dolly it was sitting on for another TVR job! This way, I am now pressured into making progress with it, as it's holding up a ramp we need for servicing and repairs in the workshop.

First job was to bolt on the remainder of the front suspension, and see if the clutch was working. The old-style BE1 (reverse up next to 1st gear in the gate) uses a cable-operated clutch, but no adjuster on the cable itself. All you get is a pushrod with an adjustable cup the seats it against the release arm. Having fitted a NOS genuine Peugeot clutch, and a NOS Citroen cable, I was expecting a veritable world of clutch pleasure. Instead, what I've got is a click. You push the clutch pedal down, and there is a big click from the release bearing area. Not good. I found it was happening when the pedal is near the end of its travel, and the old clutch had done many, many miles, so the adjuster had been wound out to compensate for the thinning clutch plate. 'Fine', thinks I. I'll just adjust it back down again. I finally get rid of the click, but find the pedal now sitting lower than the brake pedal height. 'Bugger' thinks I. So, I clag on all the suspension, build up the driveshafts, hook it all up and get someone to press what's left of the clutch pedal while I try and rotate a wheel. And I can, easily. Let go of pedal, no dice - wheel stays locked. So the clutch is working, at least. I decide I really need to have it running and see how it behaves before going further with it, so my plans to complete the front end cease and I move to the back end instead.

It's no bad thing, having it on here though. It means access to the back, and the biggest elephant still sitting in the room (rust.....lots of lovely old French rust) is easier to try and tackle.
Those who've been following from the start will remember I found loads of rot hiding for me in the rear chassis legs. I made a start at the time cleaning, plating and sorting the offside, which was the better of the two sides in terms of condition. Looking back, I'm a bit disappointed with how I left it, as I think I could have done a neater job. That said, the offside is now solid, if ugly, and the nearside is totally unsorted, so it's the nearside I'm going to town on.

The main area of concern on any BX these days, is the forward rear subframe mounts. They nestle up behind the back of the inner sill, and pick up the rear chassis legs through a big, thick L-shaped plate, which also lends itself as the rear jacking point. BXs like to rot here! One guy I know has actually had a subframe detach here (there are three other mounts, so it didn't result in a crash. I still think new pants were needed though). The GT is as bad as I've seen in this respect, even though the shell is galvanised.

So the first thing to do is to gain access to the mounts, which are underneath the rear seat bench:

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The nearside looked ugly with the flash on:

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Looked ALOT worse with the flash off:

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From underneath the rot was obvious:

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Some of that was already cut out as I planned the previous repair, but the area for the mount was a bigger concern. There was also an MoT-pass patch (on top of another patch) on the outer sill, which I was keen to lose:

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So the first thing I did was cut out some metal....

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I had a mate stop by, and he advised me I'd got the shape totally wrong!:

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But then I showed him what I was up to:

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It's a jig for realigning the rear subframe mounting holes. It dawned on me that I was going to hack all this lot out completely, and would have no way of knowing where it was meant to go back. I didn't want to give my Dad back a car that crabbed its way down the road, so made this. Took HOURS! We'll see if it actually works when I go to put the axle back on!

Then it was time to drill out some spot-welds (the ones still actually connected to metal):

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And then remove the mounting plate:

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So that wasn't really connected to much, then! And the mad thing is that it would have passed an MoT, as none of that would have been visible.

The plate itself looks bad, but is actually still pretty strong. I managed to buy a new set that a company called Chevronics have had fabricated, but they're not a perfect OE match, and while these look rough, I think they're actually still pretty strong, so will shot blast them later and see how they come out. I can keep the ones I bought for a later job where the mounts are totally shot.

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As we can see, now the plate has gone, there isn't much left of the chassis leg at all! The subframe bolts should pass through the plate AND the chassis leg, which has gone!

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So I begin removing weight from the BX:

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Straight away, another issue:

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"Hey Rich, that's a nice grinder you've got there. Be a shame if some rust was.....OUT OF REACH:

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Yup, totally out of reach. To get to that and sort it properly is a 1/4 panel off job. Am I doing that? No. No I am not doing that! So I'll grind out what I can, rust treat, lather in 2k mastic paint and then smother with sealant. it's not structural, it won't be visible, and if I can stop that in its tracks and make sure it never gets worse, I'll be happy. Or, I'll take the 1/4 off again in 10 years! Sometimes, you have to admit defeat, in a manner of speaking.

So, I cheered myself up by chopping out the shitty MoT repair.

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Then I started making new sections and welding them in. Before I made this section, I rust treated and painted all the areas above it (except the ones the welder will get near - the original cavity wax will have to do!) That plate is to replace two overlapping plates, which I don't really need to bother with, so now the whole side section there is 2mm plate steel top the bottom. That's actually heavier duty than what was there before.

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The more visually astute of you will have spotted that I didn't measure twice, cut once on that section!

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No matter, that's the beauty of welding metal!:

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Seaming to improve.....

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Then I put a base back on the chassis leg:

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Next week I'll go back in, finish the remainder of the chassis leg off, clean up and refit the subframe mount and make a new end section for the sill. Then I'll take off all the underseal at the back of the car, treat it all and paint it all. Then I'll make sure the offside is all well and rebuild the back end.

Easy as that......

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Re: Operation wake up GT! (no one has 56k anymore, right?!)

Post by Kitch » Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:36 pm

Some more progress on the BX. Picking up from where I left off, I finished rebuilding the NSR chassis leg. Firstly by tacking bits on:

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Then stitching everything up:

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Then linishing off to try and make it look like it was never done in the first place!:

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Then I took the subframe mount to the grit blaster to get it ready for fitting:

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And it was after that, that there were two OH COCK moments. The first came when I realised I had the angle of the chassis leg slightly wrong:

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The gap on the left, though not as bad as the shadow makes out, it's supposed to be there. Combination of me cocking up the measurements, and the top of the plate had rusted away a bit, as can be evidenced here:

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(The second 'oh cock' moment came when I accidentally slipped with a grinder and took a chunk out of a high-pressure suspension line. A perfectly good, high-pressure suspension line too. Now I've got to make a new pipe front to back, just because of that!) :furious:

Anyway, I couldn't do much with the chassis leg, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone, and beef up the mounting plate:

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Then I worked at it with a linished and more layers of plate until I got the right profile:

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I opened up a locating hole, using the jig I made:

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Before painting it, and the back faces of the subframe mount in high-temp POR15 black. Reasoning being that once it's welded on, I can't get to the back of it to paint/seal it again. I went high-temp paint, and just accepted that there will be some bits around the welds that I won't be able to get it. I can't easily dip-galv the shell like Citroen did in 1985!:

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Then I using some massive puddle welds to refit it to the shell:

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I also doubled the thickness of the jacking point, which in turn seam welded the bottom of that plate to the inner sill (which is now 2mm thick at that rear section - should be stronger than from the factory!

Once all that was taken care of, I moved onto prepping the rest of the wheel arches and floor pan from the rear footwell backwards, for paint. Spent 30mins on it, ended up with a pile 10mm thick on the floor, and more up my nose:

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Not looking forward to finishing that!

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Re: Operation wake up GT! (no one has 56k anymore, right?!)

Post by Defender110 » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:08 am

Stunning work as usual =D> =D>
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Re: Operation wake up GT! (no one has 56k anymore, right?!)

Post by Kitch » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:11 am

Thanks mate, very kind!

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Re: Operation wake up GT! (no one has 56k anymore, right?!)

Post by sdelasal » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:43 am

Yes, very very impressive up-side down welding.

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Re: Operation wake up GT! (no one has 56k anymore, right?!)

Post by Kitch » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:59 am

sdelasal wrote:Yes, very very impressive up-side down welding.
Ah well there's a trick to that......I stood upside down!

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Re: Operation wake up GT! (no one has 56k anymore, right?!)

Post by Kitch » Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:07 am

Some brief progress today. Rust-hunting underneath the original underseal is very time consuming......and mucky!

Today I kept myself busy with finishing off the sill on the NSR. I fitted one of the rear axle bumpstop brackets (there are two, a big one and a small one - the small one is a regular bumpstop, the bigger one is there for when the car sinks, so it basically rests on it). They often rot, but Chevronics were on hand having had some replacements re-manufactured from scratch:

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One of my woes from last week:

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That'll be a new pipe needed from the security valve, right at the front of the car all the way to the back. Bollocks!

So I started painting the inside of the repaired subframe mounting section while it was still accessible in the sill:

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Then I got a piece of scrap tin and started making a new sill bit:

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And welded it in:

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Then I dressed it down flush to (hopefully) look like I never did it!:

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Then I cut out a little slither of metal found in the bin:

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....And made the little end lip for the sill:

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Then, just as with an operation on your leg, it was time to try and put some weight on the repaired pieces:

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(to be honest, I could easily lift the back of the car at the moment, what with everything off it. Not much of a test!)

Then it was time to begin the extremely fun (read relentless tedium) task of going over all the original underseal to look for rust. It's a no brainer while the tank is out to go to town above it so that I don't have to worry again. You could pick three sq. ft of shell and find 1sq. cm of rust underneath it, but if you never went looking you'd end up with a sq. ft of rust in 5-10 years time of course, so it's well worth doing. Just REALLY REALLY REALLY boring!:

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I'm not going to the trouble of removing all the underseal. If I was going all out show-winner, then it'd all be smoothed, POR15'd and then painted like the bodywork. But it's not going to be show winner, it's going to be driven through puddles (it's a car, afterall), so I'm leaving all the decent underseal on there, and then covering it along with the exposed rust sections with 2k epoxy mastic. That's once the rust has been treated of course:

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I'll probably still prime and spray it body colour under here, but it won't be bodywork-smooth, just the right colour. Looking forward to finishing up on the back end, and I'm only about half way through :(

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Re: Operation wake up GT! (no one has 56k anymore, right?!)

Post by deltic » Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:15 am

That's incredible work!
1991 BX GTi Auto, grey, 132,000 miles (2015 & 2017 Citroen Classic Challenge veteran)
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Re: Operation wake up GT! (no one has 56k anymore, right?!)

Post by DLM » Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:18 pm

Great and serious stuff, and so good to see it being done exhaustively to ensure a BX lives on. Many congratulations on your fine work, Kitch. Heads Down, No Nonsense, anything but mindless. Hope that's not too ancient a reference, but I am an old git.

Some of the pics make me feel a little more justified about a couple of gut decisions I took some years back on when to let a BX go (at a time when they were still loads around). Your pics of rear subframe mount rot and the remedies should be required viewing for anyone considering a BX as a long term proposition as a reality check and a worst-case scenario, but also to show that repair is possible , though time-consuming and not always straightforward.
Relying on two wheels and musclepower since the last BX (or any car) had to go.

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Re: Operation wake up GT! (no one has 56k anymore, right?!)

Post by Kitch » Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:45 pm

DLM wrote:Great and serious stuff, and so good to see it being done exhaustively to ensure a BX lives on. Many congratulations on your fine work, Kitch. Heads Down, No Nonsense, anything but mindless. Hope that's not too ancient a reference, but I am an old git.

Some of the pics make me feel a little more justified about a couple of gut decisions I took some years back on when to let a BX go (at a time when they were still loads around). Your pics of rear subframe mount rot and the remedies should be required viewing for anyone considering a BX as a long term proposition as a reality check and a worst-case scenario, but also to show that repair is possible , though time-consuming and not always straightforward.
Hi Dave (long time!)

Yeah I think the rear chassis legs, along with the inner front wings and A-pillars are probably the key BX areas now. People get hung up on things like exhaust clamp hangers, but those are easily sorted. I can see me having to do similar work to the 16v and the mk1 TRS one day, but hopefully it'll be more a prevention-over-cure affair. Wouldn't be too hard to do one again now though, now that I've devised a system for it. I mean it's a big job, but no longer one to run away from, or scrap a car over (if the car is viewed as a resto). For a daily driver, maybe not, but then who can really say BXs make good daily drivers anymore? I love them to bits, and for their era they're still very capable, but I wouldn't run one daily again I don't think. More modern cars can handle the abuse better, and I don't care where I park the Saab! :lol:

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Re: Operation wake up GT! (no one has 56k anymore, right?!)

Post by Kitch » Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:38 pm

Once again, apologies if some of it is obvious to you - it's lifted from Pistonheads!

Mini-update on the BX GT today. Not a huge amount of progress, but it's got to be done. Things will have to speed up a bit as I need the ramp back at work, as one of our 'fleet' (hate that word, but can't think of what else to call it) has broken down, and needs a 2-post ramp. And no, it's not the AX either (it's the newest, most modern car we own that has performed the automotive equivalent of soiling its own pants.

Morale is hard enough to manage at the best of times, well for me anyway. And R.M.S. Morale is struggling against the tide at the moment, as the job I'm in the middle of is piss-boring and tedious, not to mention filthy. So yes, we're still grinding away removing underseal and re-painting the bits of the shell you will never actually see! Last time I'd applied the rust-treatment, and now it was time to apply the paint, which in this instance is 2k Rustbuster (epoxy mastic):

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The beauty of this paint is, being 2k, you can mix it differently for different effects. I go quite thick on the underside stuff, and once I've brushed (read spread it like Lurpak, or some other crap butter that doesn't spread) I can go over it with a brush and 'stipple' it, giving the same OE finish the factory underseal has. This is especially handy on the sills, and doubly so because it happens to be the right colour too!

The grinding and stripping of the underseal just takes forever. It's really, really boring. It's also bastard hot, as I have to use Halogen lamps in the workshop, where there is no air flow and it's nudging 24deg C outside. Not nice, but worth it as you often find panels that looked fine, yet concealed stuff like this:

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Eventually I'd treated more of the underside:

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And, as per the 'Stones suggestion, I painted it black:

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It's not staying black underneath though. No, that's far too un-masochistic for me. I'm going to torture myself by trying to achieve a decent body colour finish, as per the factory. Well, why not.

Inbetween waiting for rust treatment to change colour, and paint to go off, I set about doing something even more pointless. He's the BX's fuel tank:

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For those of you who aren't fuel tank enthusiasts, it's plastic. There's an alloy heat shield underneath, as the exhaust runs through the cross-section of it. Only one face of it is visible when it's fitted, as the body blocks two sides, and the rear axle blocks the third.

Still, why not waste an hour of my life, eh?:

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Whoever decided to waxoyl the plastic fuel tank will find themselves removed from my Christmas card list as soon as I catch up on my correspondence.

Lastly, some of you may remember I managed to angle grind one of the rear suspension pipes. These pipes are metal, 3.5mm in diameter and are used to convey around 1400psi of green oil to all four corners of the car. It is not advisable to kiss them with angle grinder cutting discs.
I'd actually bought in a load of Kunifer pipe to re-pipe my red BX (oh shit, I forgot I still had that one!) along with various unions and rubber seals. I had the tool too, so it could be asserted that I had all the gear, but no idea.
No idea, until now:

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A flare I made on an old offcut of pipe came out remarkably well. Easier than normal single and double flare brake pipe unions, if I'm honest. On the Citroens, the flare is about 10mm up as you can see, and the rubber seal sildes on the end, thus:

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You then insert all that into whatever it is that you're trying to supply LHM to, and boom. Hydraulics yo! Now I just need to make a pipe....

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Re: Operation wake up GT! (no one has 56k anymore, right?!)

Post by sdelasal » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:49 pm

...and remembering to put the ferrel on the pipe, on the correct side of and, before making the flare!

Sent from my HTC Desire S using Tapatalk 2

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Re: Operation wake up GT! (no one has 56k anymore, right?!)

Post by Kitch » Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:54 pm

Continuing the theme, I did some more work on the BX GT! And for some serious continuity attention to detail, I also got very little done in what seemed like 3 days worth of effort!

So, with half the rear end painted in the undercoat mastic paint, my attentions had to turn away from rubber underseal off with wire brushes. I decided to stay a bit cleaner and make some stuff.

Here is a rear quarter panel bracket, removed from a BX (I know! Who'd have thought?!):

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There is one mounted each side, mirror-image style. Here, in fact:

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....or at least, that's where it was!

The bumper slider posts through them too, so it kind of reinforces the rear bodywork. The problem with said brackets is that they get pelted with muck, debris, salt, shit (lots of horses round here) and other stuff that metal doesn't like interacting with. Inevitably, they rust. Can you buy new ones? Can you duck (I'm running with 'duck' now, it makes things easier on my phone's autocorrect). You have to make them, which means you need a pattern.
So, I laid out the best one of the two I had like a bearskin rug, and got artistic with a sharpy:

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And then bent it:

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And then swore like a drunk nun when I made the second:

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Once I'd rectified this 'oversight', I had two brackets:

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Then I fitted them:

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Once they were in, I went over some of the previous 'repairs' as best I could, and it was time to get the rest of it painted up. I didn't take any pictures of the underseal being removed and rust being treated, as I'd lost the ducking will to live.

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Tomorrow, I'll whip out the primer and the paint, and do the whole underside in body colour. Then, at the end of the day....axle goes back on and it should *hopefully* sit on its own wheels for the first time in 2.5 YEARS!

Wish me luck! I'll ducking need it.