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

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.

Replacing 2CV rear wing retaining screws

Although someone had painted the heads silver, the original rear wing retaining screws were rusty – to the point one had seized fast and had to be cut out when we took the wings off during the rechassis.

Original 2CV rear wing retaining screws

SPOG do replacement stainless screws for these so I picked up a pack.

SPOG and original 2CV rear wing retaining screws compared

As we’d done the hard work when we took the wings off, and had reassembled using copper grease, the old screws came out one at at time to be replaced with a new one.

SPOG 2CV rear wing retaining screws

As the rivnut at the bottom of the offside wing had been seized to the screw and had come out I used a flanged stainless nylock nut for that screw.  (Standard M5 0.8 thread.)