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Chitty Chitty bang bang

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    Originally posted by Graham View Post
    Fascinating read Jeff, thanks for all the updates, I've shared this on our Facebook page for people to read, its inspiring.
    Good Call Graham.


      Any update on the MOT?


        Well that's looking splendid! Good luck with the MOT! Hopefully there won't be too much left to do!


          Originally posted by Jeff Brown View Post
          I looked through the rear view mirror but couldn't see my daughter or any traffic through the back door, she was travelling behind me just to help out in case I needed any help, don't forget this was chitty's first drive after a major engine build and major body repairs.


          Rear view mirror on C15 not a lot of use while driving but useful when reversing - I got used to using wing mirrors.


            Really enjoying this thread - they are such fabulous little vans in many ways - I don't think later versions have improved on the habitation layout . Do hope this little van rewards you with lots of great weekends/holidays


              Sorry everyone I'm away until the 25th of this month and not much time to get online. here is the update on chitty and her MOT

              As I expected she did fail on the welding and the inspector even found a hole hidden at the O/S rear high up on the chassis, she failed on, again the expected corroded brake pipe, she failed on headlight alignment again expected as I replaced the N/S one but the shock I had was a broken front O/S suspension spring, Now I've had both wings off over the time I even wire brushed both springs and both springs were intact, my eyebrows raised a little when he told me but before I could say anything else, he said hang on I'll put it back on the ramps to show you and this he did and we went from front to rear and him showing me the items of interest.
              I can only think that the spring snapped on the 10 minute journey to the garage but I heard nothing of concern like a clunk or a bang but I'm happy she snapped now rather than later far from home. At least she past on her brakes apart from that pipe and the steering was also all ok. I asked how much it would cost to do this work while I'm away and I want both front springs replaced not just the broken one. He will contact me around Tuesday with a price but left Chitty at the garage and I will have that MOT on my return.

              I've found a spot for our first trip and it's not a million miles from my daughters home in Shepton Mallet. Our first stop over will be at a farm called Castle Farm campsite in Wedmore and my main view will be the Glastonbury tor and on site the farmer has a harrier Jump Jet, so I'll be taking my telescope for photographing the Tor from the site and a couple of my camera's for that harrier and also my infrared camera for the views around. hope the link works?
              This harrier is close to my heart as I probably seen it flying overhead in the Falklands.

              Sorry this is short and sweet but having to grab the time here and there.

              Will keep you updated as soon as I can. Thank you for everyone's kind comments it does mean a lot to me. Take care everyone.
              Last edited by Jeff Brown; 16-10-2016, 21:42.
              "Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time"


                Popped into the hospital today to check on Chitty's progress and the welder is there working between the car on the left and mine. See how easy it must be to weld stood up rather than laying on your back trying to do it?. I felt it far to dangerous to even try and weld on my back with very little or no room to move. They told me that she'll be ready by the end of the week with a MOT.
                chitty on ramps (Medium).jpg
                Last edited by Jeff Brown; 04-09-2017, 00:08.
                "Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time"


                  We wild-camp most of the time and whist doing this hardly ever put the steadies down (dont want to give the idea we are there for the long haul) unless its on a real slope that the leveling chocks cannot cope. And i suspect a lot of peoples steadies seize up from lack of use for this reason.
                  The trick is to keep them greased. and wind them up & down ocastionally.

                  The plus side for us is that as our Romahome is a Demountable and comes off at home, after nearly every tri,p so the steadies get wound down every time to hold up the rear end of the pod. Then equally important...they get wound up again at the start of the next trip.


                    Good idea and I know for sure even like yourself when I do wild camping then I will be winding the steady legs up and down on a regular basis because believe me you don't want them to seize up, not so bad if you can get to the nuts holding the steady in place and you can replace them cheaply but the C15 you can't get to them without major cutting work to the body, one reason why I used stainless steel rod.
                    "Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time"


                      Hi Peeps

                      So sorry for the late update on Chitty

                      Well from a campervan destined for the scrap yard to a fully Mot'd no advisories Chitty, Chitty is now back on the road......

                      The garage had real difficulty with the brakes, Although she failed her first MOT on a brake line the brakes actually passed but a new brake pipe was replaced by the garage and the system bled, she was then given another MOT after all the work had been carried out and it passed on everything but the brakes saying unbalanced across the rear axle, The garage contacted me and asked if they could put a new rear cylinder on and I told them to just go ahead and replace what ever is needed for the brakes, eventually they replaced brake cylinders and shoes on the rear and new callipers and pads on the front along with a new master cylinder, I suppose I could have argued that everything was fine before they replaced the brake pipe but do you know what? I couldn't be bothered because I was so happy that she finally after 3 years standing, got her MOT. The brakes are still rubbish compared to my car but I now know the braking system is new.

                      She still needs a re-spray but tomorrow I'll be spending the day installing her new sat-nav radio/tv system, I still have a few jobs left to do on her myself but I think in 2 weeks time I shall be off to a farm close by (20 mins away) that is open all the year round with electric hook up and I get to stay in the same field with Jeffrey the Alpaca lol how apt.....

                      One thing I am desperate for and cannot get hold of is a bonnet release cable, so if anyone has a spare one or know where I can purchase one, then I'm all ears.....

                      Thank you everyone of you for help and advice that I I have received on here, especially Ant for all his technical advice. Also thank you to everyone who has followed my adventure from start to end.

                      P.S. I'm hoping that my very first trip I can park next to a harrier Jump Jet in the field where I'll be staying and take her very first photo sat next to the harrier, so fingers crossed for me, if I can do this then I will post the photo.
                      "Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time"


                        Fantastic to follow the thread. Suspect many MOT testers have problems with C15 brakes but am not techincal enough to explain the details. The brakes are fine if you drive within the capabilities and don't expect them to behave like ABS.. Suspect many MOTs done by rather young mechanics who do not understand older vehicles ---- sorry just in bad mood just now as took my van to change tyre and it came out with plastic wheel trims cracked -- someone tried to remove them thinking the "fake plastic bolts" needed to be screwed off.

                        One of the great disadvantages of living up here and knowing everybody is you feel bad about shouting and screaming when someone makes a boo boo. Ah well there is a good side to that coin too:-)


                          Thank you.
                          The mechanic working on this was middle aged and looked on the specs for the vehicle, I suppose they have to check something for the braking efficiency or I don't think a C15 would ever pass the brake test.....If they had broken my wheel trims then they would have had to replace them because I just fitted new ones myself and they weren't cheap. I did however find a small ding in my rear bumper that was done in the garage and I know it was them because I'd Just finished repairing and spraying the bumpers white but as it's only a small ding about the side of a 5p piece I don't think I'm going to shout about it, Just happy to have the MOT after 3 years off the road and ready for the scrap yard...
                          "Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time"


                            The rear brakes on some cars, not the C15 I expect, are discs for the foot brake and drums for the parking brake. Mine are like that. At one MOT I went for the tester said the parking brake is rubbish, but they are all like that on this car. The reason, apart from the shoes being quite small, is that they never get bedded into the drum because you only ever apply the parking brake when you are already stopped. The thing to do when you fit new shoes is to drive down the road and stop the car using the parking brake, about 20 times which might hopefully bed them in. Thereafter the only time the shoes ever rub on the drum is during the MOT test. I have just fitted new discs (with drums as part of the casting) to my car, rubbed down the shoes and went down the road repeatedly applying the parking brake. When I had it MOT'd, the efficiency of the parking brake was 23%. The efficiency of the foot pedal brake on the discs was 84%.
                            So your experienced mechanic would probably know which cars have good brakes and which are rubbish. I remember my Citroen BX had proper power brakes, where the engine ran a high pressure hydraulic pump, and when you pressed the brake button it released the high pressure into the braking system. They were phenomenal brakes.
                            We're here for a good time, not a long time.


                              Pretty sure he knew what he was doing, just the C15 brakes are rubbish and like has been mentioned to me, you have to take this into account when on the road. My car has an electronic brake so I have no idea how that works but probably as you mentioned, disks on the rear with a small drum for shoes, the C15 is just shoes. The handbrake he did mention saying it was excellent it's just the hydraulic side but as long as it came within specs it passes. Taxed it this morning so Chitty is now fully legal to be out on the road.

                              My wife no longer thinks I'm nuts, well were chitty is concerned she doesn't lol.

                              I pop up to my daughters while chitty was in the garage and I have to admit that I felt totally lost not having a camper in the garage for me to tinker about on but she's back in there now, so time to tinker around again, it's been a real enjoyable project, had it's down sides but well worth it in the end....

                              Almost there, just a re-spray and the decals.

                              "Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time"


                                Great job Jeff, well done.
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