As they say, one can wait at the bus stop for ages and then “hey presto”, two come along at once. And so it is with cracked fan pulleys. Here’s another one with serious damage that was recently discovered at TROY’s “No Expectations” Camp. Have you checked your car’s fan pulley yet?
And whilst we’re talking about 2cvGB meetings, I plan to be at Registers Weekend in the grounds of Princethorpe College along with the customary SPOG stand on the Sunday although it is not practical to bring along examples of all the bigger bits. Therefore if you want something specific, such as SPOG’s Dyane boot floor or a pair of rear inner wings, then please get in touch with me beforehand and I will try to fulfil your request.
Sorry to all that Gill and I were not “down South” at the 2cvGB National Meeting near Chichester this year. Sadly family matters do sometimes have to take precedence over A Series fun and games. However by all accounts (I expect there will be plenty of tales within the pages of this Magazine) those who attended had a great time. Plus there were some good second-hand bargains to be had at the Flea Market, examples of which I’ve already seen at TROY Club night.
Also I missed the opportunity to look over a wonderful, recently restored Dyane from Bremen, Germany. Axel Huebener (bless him) regularly attends 2cvGB Events this side of the English Channel with this time appearing in his Dyane. Indeed two years ago, shortly after our National at Princethorpe College, Axel called by Thorne on his way back to mainland Europe in order to purchase a multitude of SPOG parts for this car including a pair of SPOG’s rear inner wings. You can see the magnificent results of such restoration efforts in the photographs included. Terrific stuff, thanks Nigel for camera work.
And another Dyane, belonging to Ian Pacey in Yorkshire, has really undergone the “full Monty” regarding restoration work courtesy of Alan Rogers at Citwins. I’m told that this Dyane’s back-end had been regularly patched over the years to obtain an MOT Certificate. However there comes a time when precious little “good” metal is left for the welding torch. So here we have a Dyane with not only SPOG’s rear inner wings, but a rear valance too plus “hot off the press” a boot floor panel to complete the task. Another car realistically saved by SPOG.
And that is what SPOG is all about, keeping our vehicles on the road where they belong. However some aspects of SPOG are about prevention rather than cure. Therefore I now turn to nippled castle screws giving enthusiasts the opportunity to keep their car’s track rod ends regularly lubricated. The track rod end joint is not adjustable. When the track rod lever arm’s ball wears oval through lack of maintenance to cause a sloppy joint at the MOT, the only solution is to replace it. Remember the condition of the track rod end rubber dust cover now also falls within the jurisdiction of the MOT Tester.
That’s all fine and dandy for 2cv/Dyane/Mehari owners if you want to spend £60 each for a new track rod lever arm to replace part number 95569500 or 01 depending on side left or right (please see accompanying parts list). This amount compared with just over £7 per side enabling the ball joint to be regularly greased minimising wear.
However if you own an Ami 8, Acadiane, AK 400 or other van built after 1970 then you (likewise me also owning an Acadiane) have a problem. The track rod lever arms for these vehicles (AM 4134 or 4A) are no longer available. So unless you keep good second hand spares … you’re stuffed when this ball joint fails the MOT because of excess wear.
And please don’t think you can simply use a track rod lever arm from a 2cv/Dyane on your Ami/Acadiane etc … that’s not an option. As my pictures show, the angle of the steering lever arms fitted to these vehicles is totally different with specific associated joint housings to include smaller castle screws along with shorter lengths of the actual track rod. Simply swapping the track rod arm alone throws the steering completely out of alignment for the car to become dangerously undriveable.
One might possibly be able (but I certainly wouldn’t recommend it) to change the whole track rod system on both sides (lever arms, housings and rods etc. from Ami/Acadiane to 2cv/Dyane to solve the problem. But this is a steering modification which I suspect insurance companies must be made fully aware of in view of the fact that the Ami/Acadiane/AK 400 version is a much stronger “beefed up” affair compared to the 2cv/Dyane system because of the extra weight and carrying capacity of such vehicles. You have been warned.
So why risk all this if you own an Ami etc. just for the sake of a few pounds and the little effort required replacing the original track rod end castle screws with nippled versions to permit regular grease application? But as always life is about choice. However, guess what you’ll find in the track rod ends of all my vehicles on the road? And a little tip from experience. Run a cylindrical wire brush (using an electric drill helps) down the track rod end housing to clean out the internal threads as these often become full of rust. This way the new nippled castle screw doesn’t tend to run tight.
And lastly age or “getting old” doesn’t spare any of us. Like the tree I saw recently, we are all suffering from terminal decay (I know, speak for yourself etc.) with memory often the first to “go”. In a recent SPOG article I said that SPOG was nearly twenty years old. NOT SO as a bright spark amongst you kindly pointed out. Indeed SPOG was formed in 1994 and is thus well OVER twenty years old. Sorry about that. Now where did I put my glasses and what did I just go downstairs for? It’s not good is it??