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2CVGB News article – SPOG April 2017

At this time of the year Spring flowers appear heralding the end of winter and fun times ahead with our cars. As I explain to my six year old granddaughter as we walk home together from Infants School, all these flowers grow from bulbs in the ground and appear in sequence. Snowdrops first, then crocuses followed by daffodils, tulips and hyacinths etc.

The same is true with the natural progression of head-light bulbs for our cars. From new, our treasures were fitted with standard 40/45 Watt head-light bulbs. Then some of us have upgraded to use Halogen 55/60 Watt examples with or without relays, the latter used to protect the lights’ control switch on the steering column. From the letter in last month’s Magazine this would appear to have sparked controversy. Before ever working on my own car I had heard of many other 2cv enthusiasts who had fitted relays as part of this head-light bulb upgrade (some employing the paid services of professional Auto Electricians) and thought this matter needed publicity to a wider audience. Indeed I cannot understand folk spending money on additional relays if there is no actual need.

When buying the necessary items for fitting relays (not reliable? Then why did Citroen fit two to my ’87 Dolly as standard alongside the dim/dip resistor??) I talked to an Auto-Electrical Cable Supplier about my forthcoming intent. That’s why I used the cable strengths I did. No point in going to the Doctors if you are not going to heed any relevant medical advice given.

So with the car we regularly use to travel across Europe to the various 2cv World Meetings I know, after relay/Halogen bulb conversion, that the light switch is now relatively safe and the head-lights are fused. All the better when some countries demand head-lights being on throughout day-light hours. That doesn’t mean to say I will not, as ever, carry a spare light switch but will now add a double relay to the list since I actually bought two at the beginning of all this. Life is always about choice and here’s another one.

You may recall I asked if anybody knew of the availability of LED head-light bulbs for our cars. And one of you did, many thanks Peter for supplying the information. On eBay, if you search LED light bulb cold white 6000K 6V-12V R2 P45t, you will find they are being sold in Poland. Not cheap circa £17 apiece plus postage (with a convertor needed for 6V cars) however I’m told that this price is not unusual for a modern day car’s head-light bulb. I ordered two which, after having arrived safely, were fitted to my ’81 2cv drummer’s square head-lights where the reflectors have sadly seen better days.

Wow! The lights are much brighter now (remember the 1964 Petula Clark Hit Song “Down Town”) being cleaner/whiter than the yellowy effect I get from putting in Halogens for the MOT. Indeed such LEDs (without the need for relays) could well prolong the functioning life of my rhd square head-lights when new ones are no longer available. But my MOT Tester has yet to sanction these “new” bulbs with a pass, there also being warm white LED alternatives to consider. However opinions between Testers have already differed on the LED side-light bulbs I have previously fitted to these globes. So buyer please beware.

Next a recap on SPOG product 900109 slotted round head 5 mm screws for attaching the leading edge of a 2cv’s rear wing to the captive nuts in the body-shell. Since manufacture we’ve now had these fixings Zinc coated as an anti-corrosion measure although the heads can still be individually painted the same colour as the wing to mimic originality if that’s your preference. The thread pitch with our example is the standard 0.80 mm with a thread length of 15mm. Early cars used this type of screw “all over” (indeed up to seventy with some particular vehicles) with a slightly lesser thread pitch of 0.75 mm. However if a modern 5 x 0.8 mm tap is gently run through all the associated captive nuts, then using our product should not be a problem on early cars.

Besides having lately fitted LED head-light bulbs to my runabout 2cv in preparation for the MOT, I always check the condition of the front drum brakes. So off with the A panels, front wings and drive shafts to then back off the brake adjusters behind the drums,. This allows the drums to be removed easily and here I use a long (330 mm or 13 inches in old money) Laser 14 mm ring spanner providing ample leverage.

Once “inside” I dust down the brake shoes checking the depth/wear of the linings and wheel cylinders for leaks. Deglaze the shoe surfaces and drum’s friction surface with medium sand-paper before checking that things are still correctly centred. Having to regularly strip down these brakes over the years I’ve found it easier to secure the castellated eccentric tightening nuts (measured 8 ft/lbs torque) with R clips rather than the original split pins. These are awkward to fit firmly, even harder still to remove. R clips seem to work equally well, those you see in my photograph have been in position for over two years to no detrimental effect.

And finally the web-site for is finished and soon to go live to you, the Membership. As you know the web-site to 2cvGB is undergoing changes. The plan is for SPOG’s new domain to be a link from here initially. By the time you read this, such access will hopefully be secured. More details will be revealed during the NEC Restoration Show. After a couple of months, when you’ve all had a look and are happy with everything, SPOG being as much yours as it is mine, we go live to the World.

David Eden