Now it is clear that the original chassis cannot be repaired, I have no choice in the matter, I have to get another chassis.
The first thought is to buy a new chassis. Very high quality galvanized replacements are available from companies like SLC, 2CV City, and Cassis for around $1,000 Cdn. But unfortunately that is not where it ends. With shipping, duties, brokerage fees, and GST that $1000 chassis is closer to $2,250, plus about a two-month delay while it sits in customs waiting approval all the while accumulating storage fees that are added to the top the $2,250.
Given the cost, and a small pocket book, that leaves only building a new chassis and there are two ways to do that: by manually folding a new one out of sheet steel or by building one out of rectangular tubing.
The original chassis is folded out of what multiple layers of 20-22 AWG sheet metal. Replicating that complex structure without special tools is almost impossible. So rectangular tubing is the way to go. Metal suppliers here can provide 2″ by 4″ x ,125 cold rolled but nothing thinner. The penalty of using this ubing is weight. The original chassis weighs about 60 lbs., but the replacement rails along weigh about 1oo lb. Yikes!
So, how thick should the material be? A bit of research shows that the original 2CV chassis metal was 0.8 mm medium carbon steel, the Ami-6 and Mehari used 1.2 mm medium carbon steel, and many of the after-market frames use 3mm mild steel, some of it galvanized. Given that medium carbon is not readily available here and rusts like crazy because of that, mild steel is the order of the day and I would rather err on the side of strength, for safety sake. So 3mm should do it (0.120″ or about 11 guage USS).
Still there are ways to lighten this considerably without sacrificing strength and I will cover all that off in a later blog entry.