2CV Bump Stop Replacement

When replacing Judith’s chassis we had to go with the front bump stocks that were on the shelf. These use hold the rubber onto the mount with folded metal [shown on the left below] which isn’t the best method (although it’s cheap). The better option are the bonded bump stops from ECAS [shown on the right].

2CV friction fit bump stop on the left, bonded bump stop on the right.

This borne out by the fact that the near side (why is it always the near side) rubber had fallen out on the old bump stop.

2CV friction fit bump stop on the left - missing the rubber, bonded bump stop on the right.

Access to the bump stops is pretty easy, with the front of the car jacked up the swing arm clears a reasonable amount of space and, once you’ve worked out the best angles of attack, I found they came out with minimal persuasion – although a small pry bar was really helpful with this.
2CV front near side bump stop mount on the chassis

With them coming out so easily, fitting was the reverse of removal: finagel the bump stop bolt into the hole in the chassis plate and do the nut up to the standard torque setting of FT.



Replacing a 2CV’s oil feed pipes

Being an air/oil cooled engine the pipes that feed oil to the 2CV’s cylinder heads are a key part of the system. They take oil fresh from the cooler and distribute it to the cylinder heads where it passes round the exhaust valve sleeve to cool it before entering the rocker covers to keep that area well lubricated, then returning down the push rod tubes to the sump.

The factory fitted steel pipes which, as they carry hot oil and are right at the front of the engine immediately behind the cooling fan, are somewhat susceptible to rust. When carrying out previous work I had noticed that there was a lot of surface rust on them but there’s no way of knowing how structurally compromised they were – and the consequences of a failure would be spraying high pressure oil onto the hot cylinder barrels, a situation that would be classed as far from ideal. A preemptive replacement with new, corrosion resistant, pipes was thus in order.

New copper-nickel 2CV oil feed piples

Whilst replacing them “only” involves three bolts, those bolts are located behind the tinware, which in turn is secured through the front engine mounts. And it’s behind the headlight mounting frame for good measure.

2CV with bonnet and wings removed showing engine

Removing all that lot falls into the category of “not technically difficult but laborious and time consuming”. However, once it’s done, access to the feed pipes is very good.

2CV oil feed pipes highlighted on an engine with the tinware removed 2CV oil feed pipe cylinder head mounting

Removing the three banjo bolts (taking care to track which one came from which location as the one on the block is different to the ones on the heads) allows the pipes to lift off cleanly. Some new copper crush washers that came with the pipes were fitted, these are one – folded – spectacle type piece which are much easier to fit than individual washers that were used on the original.

The banjo bolts were refitted and tightened to a torque of 11 Nm (8 ft lbs) – being steel bolts going into lumps of aluminum this torque is both low and very important to observe. (It’s also less than the lie of 13 Nm printed in the book of lies Haynes manual.)

Whilst you’re here…

Bolts and nuts

With the tinware off it was a good time to do another job whilst the access was good: replace the manifold seals. (TL;DR: unbolt the manifold, lift it up, replace the seals, then bolt back on.)

In order to do that the manifold had to come off which made it a good time to do another job: re-torque the heads. (TL;DR: slacken off the head bolts then re-torque per the manual.)

In order to do that the rocker covers had to come off which made it a good time to do another job: replace the rocker retaining bolts.

After doing that it was a good time to do another job: adjust the valve rocker clearances.

Thanks

Thanks to TomB engineering and the Kung-Fu Panda for their invaluable help with this job.



2CV boot board

The 2CV’s boot is spacious but the floor isn’t very flat which makes it a bit impractical to use.

2CV boot

To improve this I’ve added a boot floor. This is a piece of 680mm x 940mm plywood with a notch cut in the back edge to fit round the central support for the back seats and a couple of notches in the front corners to allow it to slide forward through the boot opening thus allowing the back edge to clear the back seat and lift out. There’s also a small block of wood glued and screwed into the middle of the front edge to stop it sliding forward.

Bare 2CV boot board

With the basic shape fitted I covered it with some bluegrey automotive carpet which provides a nice usable boot floor and the tools and spare wheel live happily under it and out of the way.

Carpeted 2CV boot board


2CV ride height adjustment

To set the ride height on a 2CV you really need two things: a flat and level surface and a 9-22mm tie rod adapter. When changing the chassis we had the former but not the latter and when I subsequently acquired the latter I didn’t have the former. Now I have both…

To make measurement easier I cut two bits of wood to the lengths of the required chassis height as measured between the axle bolts, 195mm at the front and 280mm at the rear (±2.5mm).

Cutting bits of wood for 2CV ride height measurement

To adjust the ride height the tie rods need to be screwed into, or out of, the eyes that connect to the suspension arms via the knife edges. To facilitate this, the tie rods have 9mm flats on them. Whilst you can use a 9mm spanner you need the shock absorbers off in order to address the flat – which is what we did when we were putting it back together after changing the chassis. The right tool for the job is a 22m hex that has a 9mm slot cut in it.

2CV tie rod 9-22mm adaptor

Whilst access to the tie rods is still a bit restricted, with the adapter on the tie rods the 22m spanner can address it in 12 possible ways which, whilst a bit fiddly, is adequate for the job.

2CV tie rod adapter on a tie rod

Ensure the tire pressures are correct and the car is unladen (except 5l of fuel if you’re being precise). Using the appropriate wooden measuring stick you can see how far off the ride height is. Then, with one side of the car jacked up to take the weight off the suspension and hence the tie rods, you can screw the tie rods in to raise the car or out to lower the car – a rule of thumb is one turn of the tie rods is about 5mm. After making an adjustment, let the car sit back down on the suspension, give it a bounce to settle it, and re-measure. Then, if needed, jack up and re-adjust. As I needed to raise Judith I put a bit of WD40 on the tie rods where they entered the eyes as that made them a bit easier to turn.

When you’re done the wooden sticks should just fit under the chassis between the axle bolts.

2CV front ride hight measurement

2CV rear ride hight measurement


Sheriff Muir Atlantic Wall test site

On Sheriff Muir a few miles North East of Dunblaine there is a section of reinforced concrete wall in the middle of the moorland visible from the road.

Sheriff Muir Atlantic Wall

It was built to emulate a sea wall with a characteristic overhang on the road or “seaward” side and an anti-tank ditch at the base.  The front face is pockmarked with numerous impact craters characteristic of shell fire.  Significant sections have the facing completely broken away down to the thinner (1/2″) reinforcing rods.  Larger (1″) reinforcing rods from the core are also visible in places.

Sheriff Muir Atlantic Wall -

The Northern end of the wall is three meters thick but at the Southern end it steps down to a final width of about one meter.  I assume these different thicknesses were to assess the effect of shell fire on different thicknesses of concrete found on sea walls.

Sheriff Muir Atlantic Wall showing different thicknesses

In the three meter section there are several significant partial breaches in the structure, probably as a result of demolitions charges – possibly from the Churchill AVRE 290mm petard mortar with it’s “flying dustbin” 12kg demolition charge.  These breaches are adequate for infantry to be able to cross the obstacle.

Sheriff Muir Atlantic wall showing breaching attempts

The northernmost of these is a full breach of the wall that’s 4m wide – enough for a Churchill or Sherman to pass through.

Breach in the Sheriff Muir Atlantic Wall from the

On the “landward” side there are large pieces of concrete that have been deposited some distance back from the wall which suggests a significant quantity of explosives were employed.

Breach in the Sheriff Muir Atlantic Wall from the

Being a relatively short section of wall, and with the various thicknesses, it’s unlikely this was used for troop training.  The most likely explanation seems to be that this was used for testing the effects of different artillery shells and engineering equipment on a section of sea wall similar to that found at the landing beaches.

Several hundred meters to the South there is a blockhouse which I went back to explore later.


Strung up hops

As the hop has started growing the stems have fairly quickly reached the point where they need support.

There had been a satellite dish on the side of the house above where the hop planter is now so I was able to re-use a couple of the mounting points for that to put up a wood batten into which I had screwed four eyelets with long stems to hold them clear of the wall.

Hop strings against side of house

I also added four eyelets to the inside of the planter and then ran coir string between them using clove hitches to tie it off.

Hops in container showing strings

The coir string is good for climbers as it has a rough texture that gives them plenty to take hold of.  Rather than the tendrils used by peas and beans the hop stems have very small hooks on the stems that feel almost like velcro and it’s these that hold them onto the strings.

Hooks on stem of Golden Tassel hops


2CV rear wheel arch rust treatment

The rust proofing – or rather lack thereof – that came from the Citroen factory is well known to 2CV owners and mine was no exception. One of the areas that this manifests is the rear wheel arches as they’re hard to get to with the wings on and they get whatever’s on the road effectively deposited over them by the rear wheels. When we changed the chassis I had a look at them and there was a suspiciously iron oxide tinge to some of the mud brown so I put this job on my list.

With the rear wings off the wheel arches are easy to work on. The first step was a thorough clean of the clart to see what was going on. Mostly the surface was OK and the paint, although not great quality, was still holding. There was still some underseal in evidence but not uniform as evidenced by the areas of surface rust.  The main areas were the bump stop mountings and the seat belt reinforcement panels (that had been replaced in 2004).

2CV off side wheel arch with rust

2CV near side wheel arch with rust

Treatment for this was a wire brush in a drill to take it back to good metal followed by rust remedy.  A top coat of blue hammerite finished it off, this turned out to be much lighter blue than I was anticipating but it’s in an area that doesn’t show, will be covered in underseal and when the rust returns I’ll be able to see if it’s in a new area or the same place which would indicate a deeper problem.

2CV off side wheel arch with rust treated

2CV near side wheel arch with rust treated

With the rust treated it was time for a decent coat of underseal, not very pleasant stuff to work with but when it’s been warmed up it at least goes on easy enough.

Undersealed 2CV off side wheel arch

Undersealed 2CV near side wheel arch

The final part was the leading edges where the wings are affixed.  There were a few places where the tin worm had established colonies so these were attacked with the wire brush followed by rust remedy.  After some creative masking they were treated to etch primer, primer and two top coats.

2CV wheel arch leading edge maked up and undercoated

With all of that done, this area is now much better protected than when it left the factory, hopefully that should put a crimp in the style of the tin worm which was close to getting established in places.

2CV near side wheel arch

2CV off side wheel arch


Hop planted

We have a space by the back door that’s south facing and an ideal spot for a climber. Being from Kent I decided to try and see if I could grow a hop in this spot. As a bonus I found a nursery that sells hops a few miles up the valley from where I grew up.

Planter at the corner of the house by the back door

Hops are a rhizome so need space for the roots, from what I’ve read they will grow in containers – provided they are big enough. As this is by the access to the back door space was at a premium so I got two narrow planters, took the bottom off one, and fixed them on top of each other to create more volume. Growing in a container will probably dwarf them and reduce the crop but as I don’t want it growing onto the roof of the house and as I’ve selected an ornamental variety I think it’ll be fine.

The hop comes as a bare root wrapped in moss for protection.

Bare root Golden Tassels hop with moss protection along side

The planter was lined with a bin bag to help protect the wood and the bottom half was filled with topsoil I had for the lawn and the top half with garden centre compost. Then I hollowed out a space for the roots and filled that with compost from the bin.

Golden Tassels hop planted with the crown under the surface of the soil.

Following the hop planting guide, the crown is below the surface of the soil which was then well soaked from the rain water butt.

Now to wait until around April when it should start sending up shoots.