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2CVGB News article – SPOG November 2017

King of the pins Taffy now tells of an additional tactic I adopt when fitting new pins. If metal expands as it gets hotter then surely the opposite occurs when things cool down, namely contraction. Therefore before I fit a new king pin, I always put it in the deep freezer for a few days. Any reduction in the pin’s diameter will theoretically help it pass through the knuckle of the front arm more easily when being pressed/knocked into position.

Attention to detail by fitting a thin fibre washer underneath the Welch plug, having previously removed its lower sharp edge as described last month, does effectively seal the top of the king pin housing. Similarly winding PTFE tape to the threads of the bottom before insertion helps to ensure that lubricant only appears immediately above and below the arm when the grease gun is applied the hub.

I carefully carried out the above procedure back in 1996 when my Acadiane failed its MOT on a worn right-hand king pin.  Twenty-one years on and 60k miles later this pin is still as tight as the day after I fitted it with grease still only emerging from where I want it to. As they say “proof of the pudding” perhaps.

The recent 2cv Camp at Silloth was as good as ever. Thanks Keith for all your organising efforts with the 2018 date already available for our diaries. About one mile away from the holiday camp grounds where we pitch is the annual Beer Festival Tent on the sea front. This year I was privileged to go inside and listen plus enjoy samples of the real ales available, some even from Yorkshire! The Lancashire Hotpots were up on stage with their distinctive style of folk/rock music, a red rose alternative to Jake Thackray perhaps? This lively party band is well worth a look if you’ve never heard them before.

Just North of Silloth is Bowness on Solway where the Roman Emperor Hadrian built a wall across the country to Wallsend, a few miles east of Newcastle. It did surprise me how narrow England is at this point also explaining why so many hikers walk this 84 mile ancient route from coast to coast. Indeed one German lady arrived during our visit with the customary photo of success taken on her camera. It would appear that once walkers have finished this jaunt they discard the boots only for them to become flower pots on a cottage boundary wall nearby. Wonderful.

Recently at TROY Club Night a subject came up of which I was previously unaware. But before I tell of our discussions some background information is needed. Early A Series vehicles had front drum brakes incorporating DOT 3 brake fluid with all the seals etc. coded red. Front disc brakes, designed to increase the vehicle’s stopping power, appeared on our cars in the mid ‘70’s using LHM brake fluid with the colour code amended to green.

The design of the rear brake slave cylinders altered too. The original concept of cup-shaped brake fluid seals behind the pistons with a spring in-between changed to be replaced by an O ring attached around the girth of the piston. However with this later LHM “green” system, the spring between the pistons was no longer thought necessary and thus disappeared. But was that the right decision?

One TROY member had recently tried to fit replacement LHM rear wheel brake cylinders to his 2cv during an ongoing restoration project. However, try as he might Kieron could not bleed the brakes to give an adequate pedal. The pedal would travel fully down to the floor first push with the brakes only operating after a series of pedal strokes. Not good.  Thinking that the problem lay elsewhere Kieron investigated other components within the braking system changing the master cylinder/callipers etc. all to no avail.  He then isolated/tested the rear brakes only to discover that the fault was here all along. But what was it?

The wise heads of TROY recognised the problem immediately. Apparently some new LHM rear brake wheel cylinders allegedly had unforgiving dust cap covers, or was it the nature of the actual O ring seal itself? Whatever, once foot pressure is removed from the pedal, the pistons in these particular wheel cylinders are drawn back into the housing from whence they came. Therefore the system is impossible to bleed properly in order to achieve a satisfactory pedal.

But I personally have new LHM rear brake cylinders in the loft ready for when needs be … so I asked how do I know before fitting these items whether or not Kieron’s problems would be repeated? You don’t, it’s only after everything has been assembled that the brake bleeding difficulty arises came the reply. But that’s unhelpful I pointed out. Agreed, however you could split the neck of the dust cover as a precaution although this does defeat the object of a rubber shroud.  Receiving this advice I queried if there was an alternative.

Oh yes. You know the small springs in the bulb holders of Dyane and 2cv rear-lights. Well one of these will fit nicely inside the cylinder of the rear LHM brake unit between the two pistons thus replicating the DOT 3 system. Such a spring in the set up would tend to counteract the rigidity of any rubber components thereby allowing the bleeding procedure to proceed normally. Brilliant news, indeed I’ll follow this principle as a matter of routine when I next fit my new old stock LHM rear brake wheel cylinders. Don’t want to suffer Kieron’s experiences.

And lastly as I said at the recent 2CVGB AGM during my annual SPOG Report “Time and tide waits for no man”. I’m due for re-election as your SPOG Coordinator next year 2018 although if I do continue then I’ll be seventy by the end of such further tenure. Sorry, but I think the time has come for me to walk off the pitch and finally hang my boots up.  Indeed I think I’ve taken SPOG as far as I can with the formation of the new company and web-site etc. much in line with the wishes of my dear friend, the late Vic Moran. The time has come for a younger more business-like person to take over the helm as I will not be re-standing next year.

David Eden