Here are some pics of the work on a DS that Rob Murdock in Waynesville, NC has been doing for over the last year. So far, he has put in 500 hours performing the following:
- Complete removal of ALL Ziebart undercoating from frame inside and out
- Weld new metal panels on the frame
- Complete overhaul of all hydraulic components to include revision from LHS to LHM
- Change exhaust header from single to double
- Removal of cylinder head
- Install 8 new lifters (cam looked fine)
- Install new valve seals
- Install one new exhaust valve (as it was bent)
- Milling of head
- New head gasket
- New Valeo starter
- New alternator with internal voltage regulator
- New suspension boots front and rear
- All new drive shaft boots
- Replaced the stub axle nuts with more heavy duty nuts and replaced one entire stub axle
- New gas tank
The above is just a sampling of work done thus far.
Rob notes that; “The entire frame has been stripped of Ziebart and old fuzzy insulation on the inside as well. I believe there was a thick coating of Ziebart in the cabin too. At any rate all but about 20% of this is done, primed and repainted with an epoxy time permanent paint. All done by hand and incidentally, and this black paint (similar but I think better to POR-15) will not come off of your hands thus gloves are a necessity.”
Ziebart is particularly difficult to fully remove. Rob de-Ziebarted an SM many years ago and recalls what a pain that was. (Here in Canada, Ziebart proved to be the kiss of death to any cars that were done. The stuff would dry out and crack, then salty water from the tons of salt that was applied to winter roads mixed with the snow to became slush, and crept in the Ziebart cracks and under it, creating a haven for the rust gremlins to do their work. Nasty!!!)
In the wiring there was much corrosion — almost to the point of a fire hazard!
He did not rebuild the steering rack, high-pressure pump or pressure regulator. He did install new accordion boots and other new steering components external to the rack though. (Installation of the boots is real fun by yourself as you probably already know!)
Rob also rebuilt the brake calipers, suspension cylinders, height correctors, brake pressure unit and priority valve. He had an extra LHM steering rack so he did a rebuild on it and has the original LHS rack for a rebuild if anyone is interested.
Rob and a friend made a new tool to disassemble the suspension spheres. As Rob wanted to use the rebuildable type suspension spheres rather than the “pineapple type” (as some refer to them) that cannot be opened to replace the diaphragms, he and a friend made a new tool to disassemble the spheres.
Rob also installed a DS heat shield behind the engine, (not easy, but easier with the head off). His goal is complete silence inside the cabin and is anxious to see how successful he will be on that issue!
Of course new carpets and all the other ancillary items necessary for completion of the interior are also on the agenda.
Rob’s Citroën habit started about 1963 when his dad first bought an ID19 and conscripted Rob and his ten year-old twin brother to work on it in the cold Missouri winters. Rob says that; “It was the best thing his dad could have ever done for us!”
Rob’s intuition about Citroëns continued and over the last fifty years he ventures to say that he and his brother have had at least 30 DS’s and or SM’s. The SM’s were fewer (Rob thinks the total was five) and all were sold at that time as they had small children and just could not afford to continue with them.
Rob has spent about 20 years in the aviation business as a commercial pilot and sales agent for all types of general aviation aircraft. He has also spent 48 years as an avid musician and considers that the preponderance and focus of his career. Both of these paths, and his love of Citroëns, have been the primary motivators in his life.
Aside from working on this DS, Rob offers to help other Citroën owners in the North Carolina area keep their cars in good repair. You can reach Rob at: email@example.com.
Update from Rob — Sept 1, 2021:
I just took inventory of the passenger side front floorboard frame repair and the drivers side floorboard repair. I did most but not all of the repair on the passenger side and counted up 52 hours. Right now we are a total of 27 hours on the drivers side X 2 or 54 hours total as both Johnnie (my expert welder) and I both were on this constantly. It takes less time with two but by myself it could have easily consumed 50 hours.
We are almost done and this type of work. Its ALWAYS more than anyone thinks!
I’m sure you have seen this type of repair before but I didn’t know it would be this extensive or time consuming. So just a word to the wise for anyone buying a car. This frame rust was not known by the previous owner but I did suspect it and made it my business to uncover.