2CV three bar grill bonnet chevrons

Having fitted a three bar grill I needed to fit some chevrons to the bonnet to complete the look.  I hadn’t been able to track down any that were designed to fit over the curve but had sourced two options: a pair of modern plastichrome ones for sprucing up number 4 grills and a pair of new-old-stock AX era chevrons.

I preferred the look of the older chevrons and they had the added bonus of being genuine Citroën parts.  For reference they are 75mm across the tips and 35mm between the mounting pins.

Citroën chevrons - part number 95 560 449

Citroën chevrons - part number 95 560 449

Having got the measurements of 120mm from the tip of the top chevron to the top edge of the grill and 10mm spacing between the two chevrons I made up a cardboard jig to figure out the correct placement for the holes.

Citroën chevrons on card jig

The notches are to help align the jig on the centreline of the bonnet which is hard to see if the jig is covering it.  (The lower pair of holes here are from “measure once”, the upper quad are the holes from “measure twice”.)

Chevron card jig on bonnet

The location of the holes were then transcribed onto some masking tape on the bonnet.  This has the added advantage of protecting the paint from the drilling and leaves a clean hole.

Drilling marks for chevrons on a 2CV bonnet

Then the bit I was least looking forward to:  drilling holes in my bonnet.  The masking tape is useful again here as it helps stop the drill bit sliding on the paint – even when centre punched this is a real risk.  Once the drill had started a high speed and gentle pressure were the order of the day to slowly and evenly get through the bodywork.  The chevron mounting pins have plastic barbs which compress as they go through the holes and expand to grip the bonnet.  After measuring the size of the pins at the base a 3.5mm drill bit was needed.

drilled holes for chevrons on a 2CV bonnet

After some treatment with paint applied with cotton buds to provide some kind of rust delaying effect on the edges of the holes, the chevrons pressed in.  This was a bit nervy as the force required to get the barbs through the holes was – I felt – very close to the braking strength of 20 odd year old plastic.

Bonnet chevrons and three bar grill on a 2CV

Bonnet chevrons and three bar grill on a 2CV

Once fitted they complete the look of the three bar grill.

Bonnet chevrons and three bar grill on a 2CV

Not being shaped to fit the curve of the bonnet they do stand slightly proud but this is only noticeable up close and from certain angles.

Head of Faraclett walk

The Head of Faraclett is on the north east corner of the island of Rousay which lies across the narrow Einhallow sound from the north coast of Mainland.

The first half of the walk crosses farmland round the back and side of the headland.

Start of Head of Faraclett walk

Coming round the headland there is a view out to the Atlantic via Wastray Firth which lies between Rousay and Westray to the north.

View West from the Head of Faraclett between Rousay and Westray

Further round is the tip of the headland with spectacular 270° views round from Saviskaill Head round the bay on Rousey; past the northern islands of Westray, Eaday, Sanday, Stronsay; with Fair Isle a dark line on the horizon.  Close to Rousay are Egilsay and Wire, with Shapinsay and Girsay slightly further out on the approaches to Kirkwall bay and a direct line of sight to Kirkwall itself.

West to north panarama from the Head of Faraclett

North to east panorama from the Head of Faraclett

East to south panorma from the Head of Faraclett

Continue reading “Head of Faraclett walk”

Markwick Head walk

We start at Marwick Choin, a bay that has a lagoon when the tide goes out.

Choin - Marwick

On the beach is the remains of the boiler from the tramp steamer Monomoy which was wrecked in 1896. As boilers were built to withstand enormous pressures even 124 years later there is still a significant amount of metal remaining.

The boiler of the steamship Monomoy, wrecked in 1896

Some of the internal structures are still visible.

The boiler of the steamship Monomoy, wrecked in 1896

The boiler of the steamship Monomoy, wrecked in 1896

Further out there is a large sheet still mostly intact.  From here you can see across the lagoon to the Kitchener memorial on the headland to the north.

View across the Choin to the Kitchener memorial

Continuing around the southern coast line there are some fishermens’ huts at Sand Geo.  These were built after the Monomoy ran aground and blocked access to the beach meaning the fishermen had to relocate their boats.  The fishermen were local farmers who would fish using hand lines for cod and haddock that they would consume themselves rather than sell.  The huts were restored in 1984.

Fishermens' huts at Sand Geo

Sand Geo

At the top of the inlet is the winch they would have used to haul in their boats.  It is said to have been salvaged from the wreck of the Monomoy.

Winch at Sand Geo

Returning past the Choin and continuing up the path along the cliff tops we come to the Kitchener memorial.  Secretary of War, Lord Kitchener was on the HMS Hampshire with a delegation to Russia on 5 June 1916 when at 8:45 it hit a mine laid by U-75 and sank off Marwick Head in a force 9 gale with the loss of 737 souls – there were only 12 survivors.  The memorial was built by public subscription and unveiled in 1926.

Kitchener Memoral

In 2016, again by public subscription, a memorial wall was added listing the names of the other 736 people who lost their lives.

Names of crew lost on HMS Hampshire

There now follows a brief interlude for lunch on the cliff tops.

Lunch of champions

The path continues around the cliff tops with some fine views of the Atlantic.

Kitchener Memorial and Markwick head

Marwick head cliffs

Continue reading “Markwick Head walk”

Replacing 2CV axle bolts

The final item I had left on my to-do list from the re-chassis was to replace the axle bolts. Whilst doing the re-chassis we re-used the old bolts but they were showing signs of necking (although TomB engineering assessed they were within tolerance).

Old 2CV axle bolt showing necking

The bolts are held in place with lock washers which are bent over at the ends to prevent them working loose so the first step is to bend these back to get access to the bolt heads. As the bolts are what’s holding the axle to the chassis removing both at once could allow the axle to move relative to the chassis which would mean it’s no longer possible to get the thread to engage in the axle mount and, given the forces from the weight of the car and the spring tension in the suspension, it is very difficult to re-align things if they move (thus spake the voice of experience).

To avoid this it is best to replace them one at a time. To do this first loosen off both bolts just enough to free the lock washer, then take one bolt out, rotate the old lock washer out of the way then insert one new bolt and the lock washer ensuring the threads are fully engaged in the axle.

2CV axle bolts and lock washers mid-replacement

Now take out the remaining old bolt and lock washer before fitting the remaining new bolt through the lock washer.

2CV axle bolts

The bolts are then tightened up to 50 N m and, using a persuadatron and a cold chisel, the lock washers are bent around them to… well… lock them in.

2CV axle bolt with bent lock washer

For comparison, the new high tensile axle bolts and lock washers with the original bolts and washers that were used during the re-chassis.

Old and new 2CV axle bolts and lock washers

Of course, someone wasn’t too happy about the disturbance to his afternoon snooze.

Cat looking suspicious on top of a 2CV

Sheriff Muir Atlantic Wall test site revisited

In my first trip to the Sheriff Muir Atlantic Wall test site I didn’t explore the bunkers on either side of the sea wall section.

To the south of the wall is a blockhouse.

Blockhouse at Sheriff Muir Atlantic Wall test site viewed from the front Blockhouse at Sheriff Muir Atlantic Wall test site viewed from the rear

This is a fairly crude blockhouse, presumably because one of the quality found on the real Atlantic Wall would have been very costly to build – especially on the side of a Scottish hill – and it’s only going to be blown up anyway. The front (“seaward”) side has been extensively damaged.

Blockhouse at Sheriff Muir Atlantic Wall test site showing damage

The interior is where the crudeness of the construction is most evident.

Interior of blockhouse at Sheriff Muir Atlantic Wall test siteInterior of blockhouse at Sheriff Muir Atlantic Wall test site

Behind this there is a well concealed sunken bunker that, with a thick grass covering, looks like little more than an undulation in the ground.

Front of sunken bunker at Sheriff Muir Atlantic Wall test site

It is only when you are passed it that the rear entrance gives away its position.

Entrance to sunken bunker at Sheriff Muir Atlantic Wall test siteEntrance to sunken bunker at Sheriff Muir Atlantic Wall test siteEntrance to sunken bunker at Sheriff Muir Atlantic Wall test site

There may well have been other structures in this area as well given that there are tussocks of grass with rebar sticking out of them.

Rebar sticking out of some grass at Sheriff Muir Atlantic Wall test site

To the north of the sea wall section there is another sunken bunker, this time with a trench system leading to the rear entrance.

Access trench to bunker with Tobruk pits at Sheriff Muir Atlantic Wall test siteRear of bunker with Tobruk pits at Sheriff Muir Atlantic Wall test site

The defining feature of this bunker is the two Tobruk pits on the top. On the Atlantic Wall the Germans used these to mount turrets from captured tanks – predominantly French models – to create gun emplacements.

Tobruk pits at Sheriff Muir Atlantic Wall test siteTobruk pit at Sheriff Muir Atlantic Wall test site

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

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

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.

Number 3 grill

Of the four variants of 2CV grills the third (number 3) is my favourite – this is the three bar aluminium version (1965-1974). As the bonnet opening was the same shape for grills number 2 to 4 was the same they are interchangeable and the plastic number 4 grill on Judith was broken I picked up reproduction number 3 grill to replace it.
Reproduction aluminium three bar 2CV grill
After taking off the old grill, the mesh stone shield that sits behind it and the numberplate I was faced with the old enemy: iron oxide. Round the edges of the bonnet opening the paint had been chipped, the numberplate rubs on the central fold of the bonnet and had gone back through the wafer thin paint, and the mesh was starting to pick up some surface rust. There was also a slight dent in the bonnet at the offside top corner of the opening. Still, an initial dry fit of the new grill looked good.
Three bar grill fitted to a 2CV
After a somewhat inexpert bit of panel beating on the dent, a clean-up of the rust, some rust remedy, etch primer on the bare metal and a keying of the old paint, the bonnet opening was ready for a re-spray.
2CV numberplate and grill mouth ready for respray
My rattle can technique needs some work as there were a few runs in the paint (holding the can too close and trying to put too much paint on in one go) and it was quite cold so it dried a bit matt. However, it’s going to be hidden behind the grill and numberplate so a good place to practice.
2CV numberplate and grill mouth after respray
After the paint had been left for at least a week to cure (another learning moment) and the final touch ups had been done (and left to cure) the grill could be fitted. The plastic number 4 grill clips in but the number 3 needs bolting in at the top: for this I used countersunk, 16mm, M6, stainless, hex socket bolts with nylock nuts and a broad washer. It has two tabs on the bottom that need bending over to secure it against the lower lip of the opening. The mesh had been coated with the trusty satin black and is held in at the top with the new bolts and at the bottom with the original screws and washers. Finally the grill surround needed a bit of gentle bending to conform properly to the bonnet.
Three bar grill fitted to a 2CV, no numberplate
The last thing before re-fitting the numberplate was a strip of anti-rub “helecopter” tape down the centre line fold of the bonnet to protect the paint from rubbing off again.
2Cv with three bar grill
All that’s missing now is a set of chevrons for the bonnet.