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Old 13-01-2017   #1
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Work Begins... Finally. 94 Panda CLX

Hello all,
So finally after buying the car in March to allow a year to fix it up and drive it to iron out any faults before our planned road trip I have now spent a day actually working on the car!

A few bits and pieces parts wise have started to arrive, I've got new shocks all round on the way, new tyres, new rear brake cylinders, hand brake cable, brake shoes, rear springs and I' ve spoken with Big Mick regards getting some rear trailing arms sorted, just need to see what else I'll need from him so I can save on postage (same price for anything up to 20kg and I know I'll need some more bits as I head forward).

Apologies if the photos don't work out initially, this is the first time I've uploaded photos on to any forum let alone this one so if it has worked first time then that would be quite a suprise.

Starting with one of the known faults, having removed the rear axle this is how the spring cups appeared...



Other repairs required include new shocks & springs, I think to test a damper you press down, it should offer up resistance and then return to it's original length... well the image below is the shock about half an hour after compressing it and leaving it on the bench!



Also the brake pipes are corroded, so I intend to swap them out for copper/nikel pipes, any tips on this would be greatly appreciated as I've never done car brake lines before. I take it the flares are DIN and it looks as if the thread on the unions is pretty tight so I think they are M10x1.25?



So on to the task for the day, fabricate and fit new spring cups. I had a good look through the forum to see what others had done and got a load of useful info. Looking at what was left of the original spring cups the 'top hat' parts themselves had rusted through, the actual main pressed steel part on the axle was only lightly rusted so I recon they have gone where water has become trapped between the spring mounting rubber and the top hats. Thinking about the best way to avoid this in the future all I could work out was thicker steel and as good a paint job as possible (more on the latter later). I didn't really want to drill the top hat parts themselves as one hole would probably achieve very little, as once the weight of the car is on the spring I doubt water trapped could work it's way around the brim of the hat and many holes would clearly weaken it. I initially planned to fabriacate a cone at the correct angle, then I realised this would be fiddly and seriously limit the thickness of steel I could use. Instead I decided for the bottom part I would just forge a piece of 25x5mm flat bar into a ring the correct diameter (so as to be snug in the rubber spring mount) then fabriacate a little cone on top of that. When I measured the height of the original 'top hat' (or what was left of it) I realised that the cone section would be pretty pointless, so instead just forged another ring slightly smaller to fit on top. Stupidly I forgot my measurements and forged this one out of 20x3mm flat bar so the overall height was 10mm shorter than the original. Unsure as to how critical I angrily forged yet another ring 10x3mm and welded that on too... it soon started to look a bit like a wedding cake rather than a top hat . Still eventually I was happy the dimensions were correct, welded convex tops on them (with 8mm hole drilled in the centre as per the originals) and plasma cut the polo shaped bases out of 3mm mild steel (again thicker the better for rust I recon).





I was originally going to keep all the bits I'd taken off the car until it was finished as a record of how much has been replaced but I think these bits can probably go straight into the bin, loads more of it all over the workshop floor!



Now clearly at this point I've got masses of work to do but any pointers from the Panda Pro's on here would be great. Two things coming up which I really could do with some help on are:
a) Brake lines, any Panda specific info on what I need to buy in and any tips on getting the flares right etc.

b) Rust removal and paints. The axle has quite a bit of mostly surface rust on it. While it's off the car (and before I put the new brake components on) I'd like to get the rust off/treated and some new paint on. There are a few bits (around the spring cups for example) where I won't be able to get the flap disc on the grinder, what's the best way for getting the rust/muck out of there ready for painting? Do people recommend using Kurust or a rust nutralising primer? Should I finish this in hammerite or is there something tougher?

Thanks in advance for any advice/tips, hopefully I'll get some more work done soon (brake pipes and axle painting hopefully) and can post some updates.

Cheers


Phiz
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Last edited by Phiz; 13-01-2017 at 23:42.
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Old 13-01-2017   #2
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Re: Work Begins... Finally. 94 Panda CLX

Just on the dampers, they should offer resistance both ways (stiffer on compression than rebound I think) and feel even both sides. They will only re-extend themselves if they are gas shocks which the Panda ones aren't as standard so staying put after you've compressed them is perfectly normal.
Having said that they're not pricey and freshening them up along with the bushes probably isn't a bad idea anyway while you're on down there.
Cleaning up the back axle you've just got to do the best you can and get a lot of paint back on there as it lives a hard life down there. I just used Hammerite for mine and it's held up OK. Other than the bit you've already repaired it's pretty heavy gauge metal on there so rust is only likely to be a cosmetic issue for the foreseeable anyway.
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Old 14-01-2017   #3
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Re: Work Begins... Finally. 94 Panda CLX

Great job
Keep it up and post more pics
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Old 14-01-2017   #4
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Re: Work Begins... Finally. 94 Panda CLX

Ah so maybe the shocks are not so bad! Still it was last MOT'd about 2 years ago and got an advisory on a front shock, I got what I think/hope was a good deal on a set of four and as you say while I'm there might as well get it back to spec :-) I've not had a look at the front ones yet but can see over the wheel that one of the rubber bump stops on the front has duck tape around it! Got new springs for the back too as the ones on it are heavily pitted and again not too pricey.

I'll lather on a fair amount of paint once I've cleaned it up as best I can, still under the spring cups it's near impossible even to get my wire brush in, pulled out a few leaves already! I was thinking about stripping it right back and getting it degreased, electro-plated then powder coated but, firstly it'd be cheaper to buy a new axle and secondly I don't want to damage the central bush getting it out, so figured I'd just paint it up.

Does anyone have any experience with cheap shot blasting gear? A mate of mine who has a mk1 polo and a mk2 golf which are really doted over uses a cheap lidl one which he managed to do a lot of parts with, he can't remember what he put in it though (recycled glass perhaps?). We've got a little compressor for the plasma cutter, it'd be slow going but might be worth setting up for the fiddly bits, then flap disc/fleece disc on the grinder for all the easy bits!

Brakes wise the pipes look shot and the cylinders are very cheap so thought I'd do a proper job. I guess it's a 94 car and was road worthy up until about 2 years ago, everything I get as good as new should be good until 2038! With copper/nickel brake pipes even longer!

Quite a few little bits to source though, even the cable tie/brake pipe clips on the axle etc.

I'll try and keep the camera at work so I can track progress as I go, once the axle is back on I'll be taking the tank off to weld the inner wheel arch and seat belt mounting.

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Old 14-01-2017   #5
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Re: Work Begins... Finally. 94 Panda CLX

Check out Amazon for shocks! i managed to grab a pair for 7 odd!

the brake pipes are actually quite nice to do. dare i say it but i actually enjoy it.

i have replaced all of the breaking system on my 2 pandas, its pretty easy.. believe me.. working on the panda is a DREAM compared to working on a Citroen BX!

the unions are standard "used on everything" (except citroen bx) M10. the brake line is standard "used on everything" (except citroen bx) 7/16 of an inch line. both can be got on ebay as a kit for about 10. you can get a flare tool on ebay again for 10 and surprisingly they work quite well, all the flares i did on my 2 panda and none of them leaked!

i recommend replacing things like the master brake cylinder and 2 rear slaves just because of age and because for the price of them its nice to have new.

also for what it takes i'd also give the car interior a dragon man special.. complete strip out, jetwash/vax clean and reinstall. doing so you get a great look at the floor pan of the car and it just makes it so you know where everything is. it does not take long to strip out a panda. it makes the car smell loads better. like for my Fallout panda, it was used to carry sheep around a farm. it smelled pretty bad and the.. organic deposits.. left behind had many of mushroom growing in it.

i can also recommend adding sound proofing to the boot floor and all along the rear wheel arches, under the carpets and if you can that water proof stuff behind the rear quarter panels. it makes an insanely huge difference to road noise. you can also get it all from car scrap yards too and normally they dont charge you for it.

all the best with the project, looks like a good one!
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Old 14-01-2017   #6
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Re: Work Begins... Finally. 94 Panda CLX

You got a pair of shocks for 7 on amazon??!! I recon I got a good price but nothing even in the region of that, already bought and in the post. I've ordered a pair of new slave cylinders, as you say so cheap it'd be stupid not too. Master cylinder is a little more pricey though so had not planned on swapping it out unless it had any signs of weaping etc.

I'm quite looking forward to the brake lines (more than bleeding it all afterwards), what flaring tool did you use? I've seen a few options, the mechanic on the industrial estate has said I can take my old lines and some new pipe down to him and he'll make some pipes up to match (I assume for free as we do welding jobs for him and then borrow his ramps/tools a bit!), I'd ideally just like to borrow his kit but if not buy my own as I really would like to do it myself.

Interior wise it's not really too shabby, no organic deposits from a previous existance! Certainly worth doing so I can get a proper look at all the floor pan but might have to wait, I really need to get this car back on the road and take it out for some runs prior to the Russia trip :-) As such finishing the axle is job one, then I need to take the fuel tank off and weld up the rear inner wheel arch and seat belt mounting point. Once that's done I'll check it over, MOT it and then start working through all the reliability jobs etc.

Sound proofing wise, would it be as bad in a 4x2 panda? Not no.1 priority but if you've got recommendations on the best spots and I'll see where I am at once I've got all the essentials covered :-) Waterproof stuff behind the quarter panels, like the black square stuff that sticks to the inside of the panels to stop vibrations? I've come across a few of your videos on line, glad there are so many people putting handy info out there, guess the jobs I'll be doing have all be done countless times before!
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Old 15-01-2017   #7
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Re: Work Begins... Finally. 94 Panda CLX

Apparently the shocks you could find super cheap (sub 10) before but I can't find them cheaper than 20 per shock now! Shame as I was thinking of going for lowering springs and brand new shocks. Prices at the minute aren't as nice as they have been before though by the sound of it, don't mind waiting though as insurance won't like me if I declare lowered suspension!
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Old 17-01-2017   #8
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Re: Work Begins... Finally. 94 Panda CLX

Just trying to source all the little bits I need for the minute, any ideas on the cable ties with wedges built in to keep the brake pipe just off the surface of the axle?

Parts wise so far, I've got shocks all round and rear springs (on route), rear trailing arms lined up but will be a month before they come in, new brake shoes and rear brake cylinders, shopping list continues, just need to source all the brake pipes and connectors then head forward!

Change of plan on the Russia dates. We had originally planned to go this spring, we went to apply for our Russia Visa's today... in short as we run our own company we need to show we have money in our accounts (by way of three months bank statements) equal to 100 for each day of our visa. Well that is not going to happen in time for March this year! Plan now is to fix the Panda in time for a shorter 1 week trip to Northern Spain end of March/early April and then turn it in to a full on adventure Panda in time for Spring 2018 :-)

Pity I've just got a set of matching winter tyres, not sure they'll be much use in Spain!

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Old 25-01-2017   #9
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Re: Work Begins... Finally. 94 Panda CLX

So not much on the photo front I'm afraid, need to get myself one of these new fangled smart phones! Still, I have had a few deliveries coming through...



Got a couple more bits too now but no camera, only the handbrake cable and a load of kunifer brake pipe (next task on the list).

Bit of a strange issue has come up though, there is a small rubber grommet/blanking plate thing on the back of each brake back plate... least there should be. One of them was nearly in one piece, the other one I've only found half of! I spoke to Big Mic at Euro parts and he checked and Fiat only sell them in packs of 5 (despite the car only needing 2) which are about 18 for the pack!





So does anyone know anywhere anything suitable can be purchased (Mini's might have the same thing??)?
Has anyone bought a pack of five and might have a couple to sell on?
Does anyone need any, might want to split a pack?

Finally alternatives to the elusive grommet:
-My mechanic friend said just leave it off, it'll do no harm if a little muck gets in or if I'm really fussed stick some tape over the hole (surely it'll get a bit warm for duck tape there??).
-I could weld it up but then do I need the hole for any reason, plus the paint around there is not that bad so I don't really want to mess it up and have a potential rust spot.
-Fill it with high temp. silicone and effetively make a new blanking plate, to be replaced whenever I next need to remove it.

Since these photo's I have spent a fair amount of time with a wire brush and half a 1" hacksaw (as a chisel) removing any loose rust. I then spent some time with white spirit cleaning the whole thing up as it had quite a bit of wax applied to it, which seems to have done a fairly good job as none of the rust was that bad. Finally I coated it in a load of Kurust on Saturday, with the intention of starting painting Monday. I failed to take in to consideration the fact that our workshop is currently averaging 3 degrees, it was just about dry when I left work this afternoon!

On to painting, my plan at the moment is to spray the entire axle with a zinc primer, before hitting it with a top coat of either spray hammerite or plasticoat (welcome views on best paint here as I've not bought any in yet). I do have some zinc primer left from another job (might need to buy more in), I have sanded all the painted parts I could get to to get a key. One reason I figured I'd do the whole thing in primer first is that at the moment the axle is pretty well black, I figured it would be hard to tell if I'd missed any bits spraying more black on top of that. At least going grey and then black again I know I'll have good coverage.

One final thing, I did notice when I took the car out in the industrial estate to get it on my mates ramps to loosen the bolts the brakes were dragging a little. Where the handbrake cable connects there is a pivot between two metal components that was very stiff. I did loosen them off a little but have dropped one off with the electro platers today. He'll pickle it in acid to shift the rust and muck before replating it with zinc. He'll barrell plate the part so most should get a good covering but it wont get right in between the pieces where the rivet is. Figured that's not so bad as looking at the rust I don't think there was any of the original coating there so I'll just have to make sure I get some grease right in there and it'll be a vast improvement .

Any thoughts and advice from those more knowledgable greatly appreciated as always, I'm sure as I go along I'll make plenty of mistakes, some time consuming and some expensive and I certainly wont take offence to anyone putting me right on anything I've done/am doing wrong!

Cheers


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Old 25-01-2017   #10
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Re: Work Begins... Finally. 94 Panda CLX

Quote Originally Posted by Phiz View Post

So does anyone know anywhere anything suitable can be purchased (Mini's might have the same thing??)?
Has anyone bought a pack of five and might have a couple to sell on?
Does anyone need any, might want to split a pack?


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Old 26-01-2017   #11
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Re: Work Begins... Finally. 94 Panda CLX

Thanks Kolza but I've tried googling it and it seems if I wanted a thousand importing from China I'd be sorted or if I was in the USA or Australia they would only be a few pence but I can't find anywhere in the UK that are actually selling them
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Old 26-01-2017   #12
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Re: Work Begins... Finally. 94 Panda CLX

Quote Originally Posted by Phiz View Post
I can't find anywhere in the UK that are actually selling them

http://deeh10136.de.plus.compute.iho...ement/grommets

try Item Code: 498054

What are the opening dims (x, y) and panel thickness? I'm sire I can find some at my place.
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Old 26-01-2017   #13
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I can get you them ones, will fit hole 23x7mm panel up to 3mm
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Old 28-01-2017   #14
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Re: Work Begins... Finally. 94 Panda CLX

Thanks Kolza, the hole is about 10x23mm. I emailed Essentra and they basically said they only sell in bulk so no glory there. I guess I've got a little time to source something as clearly got a bit of work to do before I have to worry about road grit getting in .

Managed to pick absoutely the worst conditions imaginable for painting, freezing, damp and dusty but think I've done a reasonable job! Got a tip off the web to sit the spray paints in warm water for 30 minutes before using, definitely the way to go, I missed a bit of primer and went to spray a little extra on about half an hour later, by which point the can was cool and it splattered paint all over the place! Not sure anyone will ever notice once it is under the car though! I did manage to get a few photo's and have then left my camera there so sadly nothing to report image wise just yet. We've still got no internet at home but we'll be joining the 20th Century in about a week with fibre broadband etc.

So most of the axle is now painted (left the brakes assembled on one side so I can refer to it while sorting the brakes on the other side) and just started cutting and bending the new brake pipe today.

While the paint was drying I thought I'd take a look at what is left of the straps for the fuel tank, not pretty, made entirely of rust and the strap running front to back had completely snapped. Thought I'd take them off to use as a template to make some new ones but they seem to be attached to the tank where the bolts go?? Not sure if the washer which holds them on goes through them and into the tank, didn't want to be too forceful in case I damaged the tank but this is one of the last tasks I can do before we get the axle back on and start work on the bodywork!

Anyhow will keep you posted and hopefully will have photo's with the next update!

Cheers again

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Old 30-01-2017   #15
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Re: Work Begins... Finally. 94 Panda CLX

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