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Thread: DS Pallas Restoration

  1. #1
    1000+ Posts michaelr's Avatar
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    Default DS Pallas Restoration

    This will probably be a tale of many frustrations and skinned knuckles!

    I had a previous post on Aussie Frogs called “So many questions” and several members contributed many useful answers before the thread was lost in the Great Calamity of 2010.


    This is not my first Citroen D model. I had several second hand ID19’s in the late sixties and early seventies. At that time parts (and hydraulic fluid!) were not always readily available but somehow I managed to keep them on the road and did a fair bit of work including a clutch change but in those days the cars were still quite low mileage and not much went wrong. The DS was still being sold new! Rust was certainly never something that worried me.

    I loved the cars because I was doing a lot of country miles and there was really nothing on the road that would match the D’s long distance, rough road capabilities together with safety, economy and comfort. I was also in the antique trade and a Safari would carry immense amounts of stock.

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    Anyway, now I am 59 years old and decided I needed “something to do” so I looked for a DS to restore. I looked at many that looked OK cosmetically but clearly were heading for the time when they would need a full strip down. I also saw cars where someone else had already done all the work.

    Here is the car I
    found.... I think the previous owner had bought it as a parts car and then decided that it was too good to wreck having partly dismantled it. At least it had most of the specs I was looking for... 1973 DS23 Pallas carburetor model with 5 speed manual. The car has been off the road for ten years. It runs and rises but clearly needs a lot of work. Strangely it has at some time been fitted with a DS21 motor but maybe that is no bad thing?

    So, I started work in earnest on this car a month ago. Any bets on how long it will take to get back on the road? It would be nice to finish before I am sixty next June


    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DS Pallas Restoration-dsc0001hl_1195x800.jpg   DS Pallas Restoration-dsc0013o_1195x800.jpg   DS Pallas Restoration-03072010200_1280x401.jpg  

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    Nice bit of corporate synergy in the last photo. Do AussieFroggers get a discount at the restaurant?

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    1000+ Posts michaelr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    Nice bit of corporate synergy in the last photo. Do AussieFroggers get a discount at the restaurant?
    Oops! I hope you don't think that that was in any way a crass attempt at cheap publicity!

    Actually I have just sold the business which is why I have too much time on my hands

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    Now go make me a sandwich Hotrodelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelr View Post
    This will probably be a tale of many frustrations and skinned knuckles!

    I had a previous post on Aussie Frogs called “So many questions” and several members contributed many useful answers before the thread was lost in the Great Calamity of 2010.

    This is not my first Citroen D model. I had several second hand ID19’s in the late sixties and early seventies. At that time parts (and hydraulic fluid!) were not always readily available but somehow I managed to keep them on the road and did a fair bit of work including a clutch change but in those days the cars were still quite low mileage and not much went wrong. The DS was still being sold new! Rust was certainly never something that worried me.

    I loved the cars because I was doing a lot of country miles and there was really nothing on the road that would match the D’s long distance, rough road capabilities together with safety, economy and comfort. I was also in the antique trade and a Safari would carry immense amounts of stock.

    Anyway, now I am 59 years old and decided I needed “something to do” so I looked for a DS to restore. I looked at many that looked OK cosmetically but clearly were heading for the time when they would need a full strip down. I also saw cars where someone else had already done all the work.
    Here is the car I found.... I think the previous owner had bought it as a parts car and then decided that it was too good to wreck having partly dismantled it. At least it had most of the specs I was looking for... 1973 DS23 Pallas carburetor model with 5 speed manual. The car has been off the road for ten years. It runs and rises but clearly needs a lot of work. Strangely it has at some time been fitted with a DS21 motor but maybe that is no bad thing?

    So, I started work in earnest on this car a month ago. Any bets on how long it will take to get back on the road? It would be nice to finish before I am sixty next June


    A 21 motor is no bad thing, it's just a bit down on power compared to a 23 is all.

    I guess what you'll need to do is ask away again, see if we can answer you again. The D is pretty well documented, so whatever you need there should be an answer somewhere.

    Length of restoration is entirely dependent on you- how far you want to go and how active you're feeling. I just finished wiring a 69 ID for a friend, and one of the things he was doing as I was working was he would clean up, paint, detail, and repair dash parts. Not a 'true resto' mind you, but the result was quite nice once everything was back in place.
    The measure of your character isn't what you do when people are watching- it's what you do when they aren't watching.

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    1000+ Posts daffyduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelr View Post
    Any bets on how long it will take to get back on the road?


    I did one some time back that took 1000 cigarettes, 2000 beers, one year, and 2000 US dollars.

    And I had a blast doing it.

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    1000+ Posts michaelr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daffyduck View Post
    I did one some time back that took 1000 cigarettes, 2000 beers, one year, and 2000 US dollars.

    And I had a blast doing it.
    Well, I gave up the smokes, and have few US$ (Though they are getting a good deal cheaper!) but I may try the 2,000 beers!
    I have rented a bit of space in a friends factory where I can get on with stripping and repairing the structure of this DS. The outer panels all came off first. The roof looked pretty awful but most of the roof frame is sound, rust being confined to the outer gutter sections. However, water has attacked the rear “D” pillars and rotted fist sized holes in inner and outer skins though fortunately the parcel shelf is all intact and the lower pillars are fine except for some rubber retaining bits.
    I am also fortunate that the bonnet hinge platforms are sound and “A” and “B: pillars need no work save the base of the passenger side “A” where the bottom plate has almost disappeared though the lower door hinges have been saved. There was also some deep pitting at the base of the windscreen where what looks like acid cure silicon had been used.
    Box sections along both sills are sound as a bell despite the accumulation of rubbish behind the cover plates. Jacking points are good but passenger side rear floor has been rusted away in the rear corner.

    The steel outer panels have gone off to a blasters workshop on the central coast. The owner of the business restores Holdens as a hobby but was not too impolite about French cars so that is a good sign.
    The car came with some spare rear guards and doors so I have chosen the best, but the boot lid is not good. It is heavy with bog and previous welded repairs. I think it will be a sad sight when it is returned. The blasting shop will blow them over with a zinc rich primer as soon as the paint is off.
    I must now sand or strip back the fibreglass roof and aluminium bonnet.... and suggestions as to the best methods to do this and best subsequent primers to use? The polyester should be easy but zinc primer and aluminium probably make a good battery!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DS Pallas Restoration-ds-skeleton-1_800x600.jpg   DS Pallas Restoration-ds-skeleton-2_800x600.jpg   DS Pallas Restoration-13102010271_800x600.jpg   DS Pallas Restoration-20062010193_1067x800_800x552.jpg   DS Pallas Restoration-26102010354_800x600.jpg  

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    What do Austec use on aluminium? Ask George or Enzo; they do enough cars from the Italian coachbuilders. I'd put my money on 2K epoxy primer.

    For the roof, I'd be really inclined to give it a caustic wash and bloody good rinse before stripping. This would help the cleanliness and mould issues without contaminating the surface excessively.

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    1000+ Posts daffyduck's Avatar
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    Fiberglass boot lids are available and are comparable in cost, if not even cheaper than good used ones sometimes sell for.

    If you were over here, one of my buddies out near Palm Springs, California could hook you up with all kinds of D body parts.

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    1000+ Posts michaelr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    What do Austec use on aluminium? Ask George or Enzo; they do enough cars from the Italian coachbuilders. I'd put my money on 2K epoxy primer.
    I went to an auto paint specialist to ask about aluminium primers and they told me that "nothing" except a 2K would do the job. I had to ask them just what they thought was originally used in the fifties!

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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelr View Post
    I went to an auto paint specialist to ask about aluminium primers and they told me that "nothing" except a 2K would do the job. I had to ask them just what they thought was originally used in the fifties!
    Possibly a zinc chromate primer? That is what was used on aircraft before 2K paint systems came about.

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    You can use a chromate free acid etch (2K compatible); what is the point though in returning to the paints which comparatively did SFA to protect the metal below? Primers that actually contain chromates are well under control these days - no longer common shelf items.

    Biggest problem with a degraded fibreglass roof is that microporosity; it needs to be surgically clean and 110% dry when primed.

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    A quick comment re your 21 engine. Power not an issue,only a few horsepower less than a 23 but you wouldnt notice. What you would notice is that they run FAR COOLER ,same block,more water so are abetter motor;stick with it,Andy.

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    1000+ Posts michaelr's Avatar
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    I was told that I started this thread in the wrong place... it should be in Restoration Projects, but I have no way to move it, sorry.


    My metal forming and welding skills have advanced greatly! I started off with a simple floor repair and moved up to the more complex curves. I think I have been lucky in that the rusted areas were quite well defined. The locations were:


    1. Outer part of roof frame/gutter
    2. Both “C” pillars where they meet the parcel shelf
    3. Rubber retaining strips along top of rear guard supports
    4. Edges of boot floor where there are three layers of steel due to rear suspension sphere supports.
    5. Rear passenger floor left rear corner
    6. Front passenger floor left rear corner (where does the water run to?!)
    7. Base of A and C pillars passenger side


    Anyway, I am pleased that the rust removal is complete and I applied a good coating of KBS Rust Seal. (It really is tenacious stuff on hands, I hope it sticks so well to steel!)


    One modification I made was to install/modify a flange around the boot to take a conventional seal. I utilised the existing flange below the rear window and along the trailing edge with fabricated radiused corners as I have seen on other members’ cars. The seal, which incorporates a pinch weld with a soft rubber blade, is described as a “generic Japanese boot seal” by Clark Rubber but I got lucky at the local Auto One store bargain table. 4 meters for less than $30! I could check the fit by lying in the boot looking for daylight and I think it will be effective.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DS Pallas Restoration-04112010375_834x768.jpg   DS Pallas Restoration-22102010333_1024x564.jpg   DS Pallas Restoration-24122010517_1024x768.jpg   DS Pallas Restoration-24122010519_576x768.jpg   DS Pallas Restoration-24122010523_1024x768.jpg   DS Pallas Restoration-24122010521_1024x768.jpg  

    Michael
    Member, Citroen Car Club NSW

    DS23 Pallas 5 sp. "Francoise" , BX19TRi Auto "Jacques Dutronc" , Teardrop Trailer "The Toad", BMW R65 "Rosamund"
    In the past: Renault 750, Dauphine, R4, R8, R10, Peugeot 504 Familiale, ID 19 (x2), Safari (x2)

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    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelr View Post
    I was told that I started this thread in the wrong place... it should be in Restoration Projects, but I have no way to move it, sorry.
    Hi Michael, Thread is now in the Restoration Forum

    Congratulations on your progress so far, I wish I had your welding skills, very neat work. Look forward to many more posts and pics from you

    Cheers
    Chris
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    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

    (Umberto Eco [Ed], The History of Beauty, Rizzoli, NY, 2004)

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    Hi Michael,
    that looks like you are having a fantastic time fixing everything up on that D. That new boot seal looks like it will do the job.

    When I had a DS 21 about 20 years ago I found the boot floor was all rusted but had been hidden by the carpet. I spent a weekend removing all the rust , priming it and then covering everything with heavy Tar paint to waterproof it.
    I checked it a few weeks later after a few good rains and found that the boot was afloat under the carpet. At least this time all the metal was sealed but the 'now dried' tar paint was acting like a bucket. The boot floor was trapping the water like a reservoir.
    What had happened was the seals around the rear bumper bar brackets had failed, and so all the rainwater that ran over the back of the car ran down the boot channels and got delivered straight into the boot via the bumper-bar supports.
    Nice one.
    So if you ever have a boot that acts like a raintank check the rubbers where the rear bumper supports go through into the boot.

    ( I'm surprised I could remember all this, I sold the car 20 years ago.)

    Cheers....George 1/8th

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    Michael,

    To check the fit of any rubber to body seal place strips of 1 inch wide copy paper across the sealing faces, close and pull the strips of paper. you will easily determine how effective the fit is without pretending to be a contortionist to climb into difficult places.

    Makes it easier for us old b----bs.

    Regards,

    Fento

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    1000+ Posts michaelr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fento View Post
    Michael,

    To check the fit of any rubber to body seal place strips of 1 inch wide copy paper across the sealing faces, close and pull the strips of paper. you will easily determine how effective the fit is without pretending to be a contortionist to climb into difficult places.

    Makes it easier for us old b----bs.

    Regards,

    Fento
    Who are you calling an "Old B... d" ??

    Actually with the back seat out it is quite easy and I appreciate the opportunity to lie down occasionally. This work is so tiring for an old B...d like me.

    Also with the guards, bumper and rear window removed a good deal of the seal is also accessible/visible from outside the car.
    Michael
    Member, Citroen Car Club NSW

    DS23 Pallas 5 sp. "Francoise" , BX19TRi Auto "Jacques Dutronc" , Teardrop Trailer "The Toad", BMW R65 "Rosamund"
    In the past: Renault 750, Dauphine, R4, R8, R10, Peugeot 504 Familiale, ID 19 (x2), Safari (x2)

  18. #18
    1000+ Posts michaelr's Avatar
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    The panels came back from the blasters looking great. They were done at a reasonable cost by Konigsmark Blasting Services in Kanwal on the NSW Central Coast.

    Immediately after blasting they were sprayed with a matt black etch primer so at first glance they looked factory fresh. However there were a number of areas where removal of both paint and old filler exposed some rusty lacework and previous battle scars. Inevitably under the headlights was bad as were the rubber retaining strips on the doors. The bottoms of the doors were however very solid. Major areas needing attention on the door outer skins were behind where the bump strips had been.

    I also found fatigue cracks around the top hinges of both front doors... is this usual?

    The boot lid came back much lighter! The filler had been up to 5mm thick over 50% of its surface to disguise an otherwise well made rust repair section welded to the trailing edge.
    The matt black paint is great for hiding dings and scars but a touch with a sanding block quickly showed numerous depressions and grinding marks from previous repairs. The rear guards, which I had thought were pretty good, are very badly rippled from old repairs all previously hidden by a skim of filler. Some hammer and dolly work has reduced the problem but still not perfect.

    A trial fit of the panels show pretty good alignment so the next stage is to finish the fairing and get them undercoated.

    As they were bare steel I will be painting inside and out so will make a colour change.. only 50% of the panels were originally on this car... Verte Argent, not my favourite. I have decided to go to Beige Tholonet, which was also on the chart for a ‘73 Pallas.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DS Pallas Restoration-panels.jpg   DS Pallas Restoration-boot.jpg   DS Pallas Restoration-rear-guards.jpg   DS Pallas Restoration-hinge-fatigue.jpg   DS Pallas Restoration-front-guard-1.jpg   DS Pallas Restoration-trial-fit.jpg  

    Michael
    Member, Citroen Car Club NSW

    DS23 Pallas 5 sp. "Francoise" , BX19TRi Auto "Jacques Dutronc" , Teardrop Trailer "The Toad", BMW R65 "Rosamund"
    In the past: Renault 750, Dauphine, R4, R8, R10, Peugeot 504 Familiale, ID 19 (x2), Safari (x2)

  19. #19
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    My experiance has been they usually get rusty around the lower hinge and break the whole area away from the door. The doors usually crack on the top edges where they are brazed. You can't MIG weld the area without removing all of the brazing first I'm not sure if welding these cracks would work, as the area is then brittle. Possibly a brace tacked in behind the fatique cracks would help.

    DS door are lighweight peices of junk aren't they . It's because they have no intrusion bars (this is what makes the CX doors so heavy, the railway girders in them pretending to be intrusion bars).

    How did you prep behind the patch on the front guard under the headlamps. I'm wondering how you would prevent the two layers of metal causing corrosion in the future

    That's looking really nice... I can't wait to do some bodywork on a DS again

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/citro%EBn-forum/90325-best-project-car-you-have-ever-seen.html
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


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    Wow wow wow !!!! it looks awesome!!!

    You got me into tne mood to tackle the rust on my DS21!! Cpillars cut away and new pieces welded in and 3 spots on the roofrail and ofcoursr the boot at the same spot you described the bloody rear suspension support!!

    Cheers
    Corne
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    1973 DS pallas Metallic red. "Rusty"

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    1000+ Posts michaelr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post

    How did you prep behind the patch on the front guard under the headlamps. I'm wondering how you would prevent the two layers of metal causing corrosion in the future

    That's looking really nice... I can't wait to do some bodywork on a DS again

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    I plan to simply fill that double skinned area under the headlights with a cavity wax or similar after the painting is finished. It needs a product with creep to be sure of coverage.Does anyone have suggestions of best products for this and also inside doors and box sections?


    And here is my biggest, and maybe most controversial question! I am looking for suggestions as to the best adhesive/sealer for re-fixing a formerly bonded roof. I think there were some good suggestions on AF before the crash.

    My car was looking like a Galah last week but now the heat and humidity has dropped a little I can get on with some painting.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DS Pallas Restoration-galah.jpg   DS Pallas Restoration-galah-2.jpg  
    Michael
    Member, Citroen Car Club NSW

    DS23 Pallas 5 sp. "Francoise" , BX19TRi Auto "Jacques Dutronc" , Teardrop Trailer "The Toad", BMW R65 "Rosamund"
    In the past: Renault 750, Dauphine, R4, R8, R10, Peugeot 504 Familiale, ID 19 (x2), Safari (x2)

  22. #22
    UFO
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    Sikaflex

  23. #23
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UFO View Post
    Sikaflex
    Sikaflex will be great .... If no-one ever intends removing the roof ever agian

    Ask JackAfrica about the ribbon mastic he used. That's probably a better option if the roof is ever going to be removed again

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  24. #24
    1000+ Posts michaelr's Avatar
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    Hmm, yes thanks, but there are dozens of different Sikaflex products.

    I think it is a matter of finding the right balance of flexibility and adhesion. The ability to remove would be good too.

    I am thinking there are many adhesives manufactured for windscreen fitting which have probably the right properties plus the ability to be removed, a definite advantage with windscreens. The only problem is that many of them seem to have very fast cure times which the windscreen fitters demand especially when cars are fitted with airbags.

    A little more leeway would be handy when fitting a DS roof.
    Michael
    Member, Citroen Car Club NSW

    DS23 Pallas 5 sp. "Francoise" , BX19TRi Auto "Jacques Dutronc" , Teardrop Trailer "The Toad", BMW R65 "Rosamund"
    In the past: Renault 750, Dauphine, R4, R8, R10, Peugeot 504 Familiale, ID 19 (x2), Safari (x2)

  25. #25
    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Icon3 Bolt on roof?

    Quote Originally Posted by michaelr View Post
    A little more leeway would be handy when fitting a DS roof.
    Hi Michael,
    I'm not going to be of much help, but I am interested in your outcome. I guess the thermal seal is no longer available? I remember these being used way back, attach a 12v volt power supply for about an hour.

    The other option might be to convert to a bolt on roof, seems these are more forgiving?

    Have a look at this by Tony Jackson, there is a drawing for manufacture of the required clips, (if you do go down this path a group buy of the clips may help allay some of your costs, I'd put my name in the hat).

    http://www.agua.nu/ds-files/tony-jac...of%20Leaks.pdf

    Cheers
    Chris
    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
    08 C5 X7 HDi very Noir



    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

    (Umberto Eco [Ed], The History of Beauty, Rizzoli, NY, 2004)

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