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2CVGB News article – SPOG October 2016

Show me please Taffy any new information which has recently appeared regarding 2cv head-lights. However, before I get into some elec-trickery, a quick update on SPOG as you’ll remember it was decided to split this off from the main body of 2cvGB Ltd. Our new trading arm, 2CVGB Parts Ltd is now “live” within Company’s House, its two Directors coming from the Committee of 2cvGB. Likewise, the Company has its own separate Bank Account with work now underway to build a web-site for this new venture including a “shop”. So many of the photographs which have entertained you over the years in our Magazine are hopefully to be seen again soon on the netty, towards the end of the year.

Now I turn to headlights as we were recently warned over the Tannoy during our North Sea Ferry crossing to the ICCCR. On the parking deck, whilst engines were being started up for disembarkation at Rotterdam, there was a flurry of activity fitting Head-light Benders to avoid financial penalty by the Dutch Police. Not me though, this being on my “check list” for attention before departure.  Indeed a little scissor work with some black tape on the headlights has regularly worked well when motoring overseas.

And lastly, in some detail, a response to Simon “Old Goat” Mackett’s words which recently graced the Disc-ussions pages of August’s 2016 2cvGB News. Simon remarks “originality has possibly gone too far with the awful Dim-dip System still connected”. Also owning a 1987 2cv with this mechanism likewise in situ (well it was until these photographs were taken) I remember the discussions we TROY folk had under the bonnet of a car at our Breighton Ferry Camp last May. And here I must give thanks to fellow 2cvGB Members Mike Phelan and John Wood for their expert knowledge and guidance.

Apparently it seems that back in the mid/late 1980s motor manufacturers were under obligation to improve the quality of front side-lights, the 2cv’s lighting system being similarly upgraded. This was all before the now common-place perennial driving lights found on all today’s modern cars. Back then I’m told that Citroen jiggered around with the connections on the steering column’s mounted switch plus fitted a Resistor with two wires attached on the front of the Chassis. The object of the exercise meant that when the front side lights were turned on, the “brightness” was intensified by the addition of a diminished glow from the dip aspect of the main head-light bulb.  Clever stuff … but was it?

Since then many of us have learnt to our cost the disadvantages of this Dim-dip mechanism with the need to return to the ordinary side-light arrangement of earlier cars. So why, in Simon’s opinion and mine too, was this not the best idea? Firstly the Dip-dip Resistor being positioned on the front of the chassis, is totally vulnerable to road conditions, rain, snow, salt etc. And because the main cylindrical body is made from aluminium, corrosion is inevitable although some of us have tried to fight the weather with oceans of Waxoyl.

Corrosion causes this unit to fail (mine did, Waxoyl no use). Indeed there is always the attendant risk of internal electrical shortage, blown fuses and potentially a fire in the wiring loom.  Likewise, the light switch on the steering column gets very hot when this system is operating with the likelihood of destroying integral electrical contacts and ultimately burning out the whole switch unit itself…..not good and reason enough for the demonstration at Breighton Ferry with me taking written details.

If I can bypass the Dim-dip Resistor on my car as per my notes taking a few photographs for guidance, then you can do this too. Firstly open the bonnet and disconnect the battery. Look for the two relays plus associated sockets attached to the gear-lever side of the battery support bracket on the bulkhead. Disconnect both the sockets from their corresponding relays. One socket has four female spade receivers, this unit now to be totally redundant being no longer in use. The other one (the uppermost on my car) has five female spade receivers in the layout as I’ve depicted. This is the one needing your attention.

Next make a bypass wire of suitable strength about 12 – 13 cm long with male spade connectors at either end… NOT the skinny Bell Chime stuff that was previously used in my Romahome causing it to catch fire and internally burn out!! I used heat shrink tubing over the crimp connectors for added electrical safety. Fit this bypass wire (in effect a jumper lead that bridges Connectors 1 to 5 on the socket plug) into the two female slots I have indicated and finally tidy up the wiring with a tie or two … job done.

To check if you’ve been successful reconnect the battery and try the light switch. With “O” facing you nothing should happen. Turn one notch “V” with the switch up and only front side-lights will shine. Down will bring on the dipped head-light. Further round “R” and its dipped/main-beam operation as per usual. You’ve “cracked it” just like I have without having to understand the intricacies of the 2cv wiring loom since there are far more intelligent chaps than me in 2cvGB land. Thanks again Mike and John. After all, if you have a headache, who needs to know how Paracetamol works if it takes the pain away? Ditto for the Dim-dip Resistor.

David Eden