2CV windscreen heater duct refurbishment

The 2CV’s heater system is predictably simple:  air used for extracting heat from the engine is passed through cardboard tubes into the cabin.  As cardboard isn’t the most long lived of materials and the original ones were showing their age I purchased a set of replacements.  Thinking this would be a 15 minute job and a good one to cross off the list in order to give myself the illusion of being productive I set about replacing them.

The lower set from the heat exchangers to the diverter on the bulkhead was simple enough but when I removed the upper set from the diverter to the screen demister ducts that protrude through the bulkhead I found the end of the ducts were rusty.  This is when it became apparent that the 15 minute job was going to take somewhat longer than expected…

2CV windscreen header duct with surface rust

Going over the ducts with a wire wheel on the drill cleaned back the visible rust but as I progressed more and more of the paint came away which indicates that rust had got under it and it was only a matter of time before the tin worm had infested the whole thing.

2CV windscreen header ducts (back)

2CV windscreen header ducts (front)

After cleaning back as far as they needed to go the exposed metal was liberally treated with rust remedy prior to painting.

There now followed an extended period of cold and damp weather which meant that painting wasn’t going to be an option:  as I don’t have a walk in spray booth this would have to be done outside which meant dry weather with a temperature sufficient to allow the solvents in the paint to evaporate.

Once climatic conditions improved the ducts were painted with etch primer followed by several coats of generic car colour (satin back).

2CV windscreen header ducts etch primed

2CV windscreen header ducts painted satin black

At one point in the course of the 2CV’s history there would have been a flap mounted in these ducts and, as the tooling wasn’t changed, they still feature the holes for this.  Originally there would have been a white rubber bung in them but these had long since perished and disappeared so I acquired some 5.5mm black silicone bungs from a popular online auction site which fitted them perfectly.

2CV windscreen header ducts with 5.5mm sillicone bungs

Refitting is the reverse of removal, that’s to say the ducts fit through the bulkhead and are secured with the factory self tapping screws before the dashboard is replaced over the top of them.

2CV windscreen header duct (passenger's side)

It’s notable that, whilst the passenger’s side duct is fitted into a moulded section of the dash, the driver’s side simply has a cutout to allow it to pass through.  This is presumably because on the original left hand drive version of the car there is no duct on this side.

2CV windscreen header ducts (driver's side)

The ducts protrude through the bulkhead and have rubber grommets to seal them.2CV windscreen header ducts through bulkhead

Two months and change after starting this 15 minute job the new heater hoses were now fully fitted.

2CV header ducts under bonet



2CV exhaust cross box studs

The 2Cv’s exhaust cross box is hung off bolts that go into the gearbox casing.

2CV exhaust cross box bolt

This does the job of holding the cross box in place – as well as the brake “cooling” ducts – but it is somewhat awkward to assemble everything together. As with the fuel pump and engine breather, the SPOG make a set of studs to replace the bolts to make assembly of parts easier. Fitting is “simply” a case of removing the old bolts and screwing in the new studs. The catch being access, even with the wings removed it’s hard to get to this area – especially to fit the studs – with the exhaust still in place.

Access to the 2CV exhaust cross box studs

With patience, perseverance (and some swearing) the studs went in and the exhaust cross box and brake ducts were secured with the supplied nut and washers.

2CV exhaust cross box stud

Of course, the real key to the operation was the supervision of the car’s owner.

The owner of a 2CV inspecting the tools carried



Olav’s Wood walk

Olav’s Wood is a cultivated woodland on Orkney that was started by Olav Dennison in the 1970s and is still being developed.

Entrance to Olav's Wood

There are a variety of trees, especially in the upper part of the wood near the entrance, and there a numerous paths that wander round this area.

Path in Olav's Wood

The path continues down alongside and over Oback burn.

Bridge over Oback Burn in Olav's Wood

Further down is an area of evergreen trees.

Path in Olav's Wood

The path then rejoins the burn.

Walkway in Olav's Wood

Oback Burn in Olav's Wood

Next to the south end of the woodland is an area that has been planted with dog roses.

Dog roses at Olav's Wood

Rose hips in Olav's Wood

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Yesnaby Cliffs Walk

The Yesnaby cliffs are a popular tourist spot on Orkney, probably because there’s a road that leads up to it and a decent sized car park that is the firing point of the World War II anti-aircraft firing range.

Yesnaby carpark showing AA gun mounting points

The circular mounting points for the AA guns can clearly be seen in the concrete and crews from ships moored in Scapa Flow would come here to practice firing at targets towed by aircraft (including Defiants, Skuas, Martinets and Cheaspeaks) based at H.M.S. Tern (R.N.A.S. Twatt).

Yesnaby carpark showing AA gun mounting points

Near the carpark is the Brough of Bigging which is a promontory which has views from Hoy to Marwick Head.

Panorama from Brough of Bigging showing Hoy to Marwick Head

Further on there is the Castle of Qui Ayre, an arch that is still – just – attached to the cliffs.

Castle of Qui Ayre

On the other side of this is the stack known as Yesnaby Castle.

Yesnaby Castle

Waking further round this back the path heads up hill along the edge of Inga Ness and becomes significantly less trafficked, it’s obvious that the vast majority of visitors don’t venture much past Yesnaby Castle.

Yesnaby Castle and Garthna Geo

Further along the cliffs past Inga Ness is Harra Ebb where the cliff tops slope down more gently to the sea.  There were a number of seals round the rocks here.

Harra Ebb

Next is the point of Lyregeo which features an impressive cave.  This coast line is a great example of a school geography lesson with the tag line “cracks, caves, arches, stacks and stumps” which are the stages of erosion on this kind of coast.

Point of Lyre Geo

At the furthest point we walked to (and had our lunch before turning back) is North Gaulton Castle which was used for a Rover advert.

North Gaulton Castle

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Brough of Birsay walk

The Brough of Birsay is an island that is reached via a tidal causeway from the Point of Buquoy on Mainland.  The name derives from the Norse Byrgisey meaning “fortress island”.

Brough of Birsay and causeway

Arriving on the island from the causeway there is a Norse settlement dating from the 10th and 11th centuries and a church and monastery from the 12th century.

Birsay settlement and church

Walking round the edge of the islands there are some vertiginous cliffs with deep clefts home to many seabirds.

Cliffs on the Brough of Birsay Cliffs on the Brough of Birsay Cliffs on the Brough of Birsay Cliffs on the Brough of Birsay Cliffs on the Brough of Birsay

There were plenty of seals visible from the cliffs and I’m beginning to suspect my companion is a selkie as she even managed to spot one swimming under the surface.

At the north west of the island is the lighthouse on Brough Head.   This was built by David Alan Stephenson in 1925.

Birsay lighthouse

Views from here go from Marwick Head to Rousay

Marwick Head and Atlantic Brough Head and lighthouse

Returning back towards the causeway the rest of the panorama can be viewed.

Point of Buquoy to Marwick Head

Back on mainland the walk continues round the coast to Skiba Geo and its boat nousts, recesses dug into the in the cliff tops where fishing boats were stored over winter.

Skiba Geo boat nousts

At the headland on the far side of the bay is a whale’s vertebrae mounted on a rib at the end of the 19th century, possibly as a fisherman’s marker.  It is known simply as The Whalebone.

Skiba Geo

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