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Citroën Mehari 4 Places 1971

© Copyright: J.Cats.

This car was thought a good idea because it has easy mechanics, great summer driving, very special body and they're not that common. A few were found rotting away in a field not very far from home. There was a crashed one and some sound ones, one with a GS engine, but the owner only wanted to sell the crashed one. He did give the address of someone who should be able to help with the necessary parts of the body work that needed replacing. The car was bought and towed back home.

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First the engine was started to asses the wear. It was then cleaned and a new oil cooler fitted. The chassis was replaced and painted. The subframe needed some new tubes welded in and damaged body panels were replaced or repaired with polyester (they're ABS plastic). A previous owner had fitted small bucket seats and these were retained and retrimmed. All body panels were sanded and sprayed. A part of the shed was separated with plastic from the rest and the painting done in there. The whole shed was covered with a layer of very thin dried yellow paint particles. Good thing the other cars had been covered with old sheets! It was a lot of work but it came out nicely. The car was then pop riveted back together. A special hood was made for driving with two people only.

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After some time the clutch started giving problems. It wouldn't disengage any more so the engine had to be taken out. In order to do this, the whole front of the car had to be removed! This meant drilling an awful lot of pop rivets. After taking out engine and gearbox the problem was revealed. The release bearing had seized and had started to eat its way into the lever. The top of the lever had snapped after the metal had become too thin and therefore it wouldn't disengage any more. New clutch, bearing and lever were fitted, after which everything was put back together and tested before the front of the car was refitted. The only other problem that occurred was when the car suddenly stopped for no apparent reason. This happened not far from home and after towing it back the ignition was checked. The points had closed and seized which indicates a broken capacitor. This was replaced and everything has been going smooth ever since.

The car is used daily during hot summer days and has also been driven to France and back with great success.


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