As some of you are aware my current private email is closing down its email services in the next few weeks. No, this is not a scam, fake news etc but for real. Indeed after having had this email address since I started working with computers, sadly much now has to change. So everybody from the 1st of June, kindly delete my current private contact details and replace with email@example.com please.
2018 Drive it Day from York ended with me happily parking up at the Airfield in Sherburn in Elmet alongside an E Type Jaguar convertible and a 1992 Ferrari, the owner having bought the number plate before he actually found the car, most illustrious company where the 2CV fits in perfectly. However my 2CV was not beautiful by any means since it was alarmingly spewing oil everywhere. In fact on the run (a mere 80 miles) it used up nearly a litre of engine oil.
Yes this car had been gently losing oil for some months although not on this grand scale, oh dear, something drastically wrong that needed urgent attention. Therefore after coming home, the front wings were removed to find abundant old oil residue scattered throughout the engine bay. Not nice. Where to begin? I detached the lower fibre cylinder head shroud on the near-side (left) expecting to see the oil pressure switch or push rod seals leaking. However when I started the car, no problem here, the oil seemed to be coming from behind the fan somewhere.
Off with the grille, fan and the point box rubber cover. Ah here it is, oil pouring out from the off-side (right) oil cooler union where it fits into the crankcase. Probably the pipe seal has perished/split I thought. Now it’s very difficult to get at these unions with the fan housing in situ. Therefore after having slackened off the gearbox engine mount, I unscrewed the front engine mount bolts and jacked up the engine thereby managing to remove the fan cowling from out under the light bar. As an aside, one of the front engine mounts had completely disintegrated, something to replace with new when putting everything back together again.
I removed the oil cooler, disappeared into the loft for a pair of new pipe seals and refitted everything accordingly. No different. Off with the oil cooler again (I do have a 16 mm pipe spanner which does make this task much easier) and looked at the pipe ending on the offending side. A distinct ridge had developed over time on the pipe where it enters and vibrates within the crankcase. The seal cannot seat properly because of this ridge, that’s the problem I thought. So delicately with fine sand-paper, I removed this blemish along with any other surface imperfections. Oil cooler returned to find the copious leak was still present. I’m getting cross now!
I have “used” oil coolers in the loft but they are of an unknown quality and time was pressing since this car was needed for the TROY Camp in a few days time. A quick journey to Bradford, with 2CV City being open on a Saturday morning (thanks Ash) to buy a new Valeo oil cooler and seals. With the replacement oil cooler fitted the leak had vanished … yippee … I’m happy now. Therefore I must presume that there has to be a crack at the swage against which the pipe union nut presses, this defect opening up when the nut is tightened … something to check for at a later date.
Whilst fiddling around at the front of the engine I couldn’t help but notice that the Cylinder Head’s oil feed pipes on both sides were rather scabby, indeed I’ve been told that the oil pressure within this pipe is over 90 psi. Having already seen what such a force can do to an oil cooler union … as they say … “never spoil a ship for a ha’porth of tar”. I’ve carried a new Citroen Cylinder Head oil feed pipe within my spares for our European travels for many years knowing that if this pipe were to snap or leak (and they do because of age/corrosion etc.) a replacement will be needed immediately, particularly if the pipe sheers off at the banjo union. Why wait for an overseas disaster to strike? Change the pipe now when everything is suitably exposed.
For access to the right cylinder head oil feed pipe union the lower fibre engine shroud has also to be taken off on this side. Following its detachment, the oil feed pipe was removed and found to be in dire state with distinct craters like the surface of the moon. This job really did need doing. I’ve also learnt over the years from fellow 2CVGB Members that when fitting any oil feed pipe, it is very easy to get the union banjo bolts cross-threaded thereby causing the need for special thread inserts etc. Not a good idea! So every care was taken with this procedure also ensuring that the banjo bolts were returned as per removal, their different drain holes being specific for location.
Alas my Citroen oil feed pipe was made of steel and very reluctant to bend as its shape was nothing like what it should have been. However nowadays there are new copper nickel alternatives (one soon to be bought as replacement for my loft stores) which should prove more pliable and easier to fit. Whatever, after a lengthy struggle with the steel pipe, I managed to get the banjo bolts in position along with new copper washers for hand tightening before the application of my “baby” torque wrench set to 8 ft lbs. As you can see in the relevant photograph, everything looks much better than it did. And to finish, all the shrouds etc were returned to include two new front engine mounts. Job done with the under-car oil drip tray now put away for another day.
But the above is nothing in comparison with the Dyane restoration work currently underway in Holland. Marcel has kindly sent me some wonderful pictures from across the North Sea of his treasure being restored using SPOG’s Dyane rear inner wing panels. Indeed this is what SPOG is all about … having parts manufactured to keep our cars on the road. And with more cars in use rather than being broken or crushed to oblivion, such restored vehicles will inevitably require all the usual servicing spares etc. Hence there is a big enough market for standard trade sources to keep on producing such items. SPOG helps us all.
And finally there will be a SPOG presence at Registers weekend with all the usual “little” bits for sale in the display cabinets. If you want any of the larger panels, Dyane front door window sliding channels etc. then please kindly get in touch beforehand and I’ll bring these along for you. There is only so much stuff you can get into a 2CV.
2CVGB Parts (SPOG) supplying specialised, rare or obsolete 2CV parts