Potential DS resto(s) - parts availability?
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! Mungous's Avatar
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    Default Potential DS resto(s) - parts availability?

    Hi all.

    I am currently considering what to do with my elderly father's 1970 DS21 Safari. He has had it since 1979 and is the second owner (I clearly remember the day he traded up to it from his previous '66 ID Safari - even though I was but a tiny wee nipper consigned to the dickie seats in the boot).

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    I've already upgraded it to a 23 motor and 5-speed box (the 21 motor was in need of a rebuild, and the diff whine in the old 4-speed was horrendous). The car was resprayed in its original Aegean Blue back in 1995, but there's now a few spots of rust that are showing through (these are currently being cut out and replaced with fresh metal).

    After being in the family for almost 35 years, the interior is showing a few signs of wear (including where a 9yo Mungous discovered the effects of the car's cigarette lighter on the vinyl upholstery, and the carpets are pretty much stuffed). I'm not sure dad has too much enthusiasm to do a lot more to it (he has a Xantia and a new C5 for daily use), but there's no way he'll sell it.

    There's also a fairly tidy '74 DS23 Pallas BVH in one of his sheds which I have promised to fix up one day.

    So my question is this - what parts are people finding are no longer available for Safaris and Pallases? Are there some specific bits that I should be scouring the earth for now, in anticipation of getting these cars fixed up and looking their best? I'm thinking mainly interior trim items could be a problem? I see there's a lot of new stuff available out of Europe, but I guess there's some parts that can't be replaced with new ones.

    Also, which of these is the one I should focus my energies on first? The BVH Pallas is obviously the more desirable model, but there seem to be very few Safaris left these days. And I do love that Safari look!

  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger
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    In general, NOS or good used is usually better than repro. Some of the repro parts are not very good, but there is a wide range of most of the consumables and overhaul parts. I think you would find new gearbox parts relatively difficult to obtain compared to most of the engine parts. The plastic bush in the alloy housing on the chassis rail to support the gear selection mechanism is apparently not made as a repro part, but it may be too hard as a separate part given that the housing and sliding shaft both wear too.

    Repro rubber and bright trim are often not up to the standard of the original. Some repro rubber parts can stink so much you wouldn't have them in your garage or they split and crumble after a few years. I doubt you can buy repro Pallas rear guard reflector housings although the actual reflector is common to a number of makes. The repro taillamp lenses are rather different to the original items and not as good, so see them as a fallback option. Expect repro parts to be a letdown and you will not be too disappointed most of the time!

    If either are EFI cars, some D-Jet parts are horribly expensive to overhaul or replace. The thermotime switch is $500+ as a new part, so looking for those as used or snapping up the odd eBay bargain can be worthwhile. It's worth remembering that other makes used D-Jet and share some parts.

    How much is missing from these cars?
    Last edited by David S; 28th January 2014 at 09:40 PM.

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! Mungous's Avatar
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    Both are complete and run well (or, in the case of the Safari, it did when it was driven to the shop to have the rust removed a couple of years ago).

    Neither are EFI, mercifully.

    Shame the repro stuff is not great quality - I had high hopes of new replacement indicator lenses and interior trim!

    I have a few random spare parts from other cars I've owned, but it sounds like finding a donor car or two would be ideal - but they're getting damn thin on the ground these days as well.

  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger
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    A donor car is useful for missing small parts, especially correct original nuts, bolts and washers, but three's a good chance it will have the same worn and broken parts as the car you wish to restore.

    Some repro is fine, but not all of it, so you can expect a letdown if you buy enough parts. There could be more than one manufacturer of repro front indicators, but the examples I've seen have a stainless cover plate rather than the original bright aluminium layer that ages quickly. A set I have used are not quite the same shape as the original items and a hole for the right one was a little too high in the moulding, but they solve a problem and look fine when fitted. Again NOS would be preferable, but they would have almost all been used many years ago. A necessary evil to satisfy the rego requirements. Rear indicator lenses and assemblies are available and I think they'd be OK. Lots of arts, especially repair panels seem to need a bit of fiddling to get right.

    Interior trim varies, but you will find many vendors apparently resell trim items made by Citron Pieces. Have a look around the various online listings, remembering that not all Euro vendors include about 20% VAT in the prices, so check how they are listed. If you just need to perform a repair, Citron Pieces do list the materials separately, but it's probably more sensible to buy the pre-made covers.

  5. #5
    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David S View Post
    Have a look around the various online listings, remembering that not all Euro vendors include about 20% VAT in the prices, so check how they are listed.
    I was a little irked last week when I was charged VAT on a rather expensive item, but pleased when they under-quoted the shipping price. I guess it all evens out.

    It definitely pays to shop around - NOS or otherwise.
    1972 SM
    1989 BX 16 Valve

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! Mungous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David S View Post
    A donor car is useful for missing small parts, especially correct original nuts, bolts and washers, but three's a good chance it will have the same worn and broken parts as the car you wish to restore.
    I am a stickler for correct fasteners too, so I will have to keep my eyes peeled!

    Interior trim varies, but you will find many vendors apparently resell trim items made by Citron Pieces. Have a look around the various online listings, remembering that not all Euro vendors include about 20% VAT in the prices, so check how they are listed. If you just need to perform a repair, Citron Pieces do list the materials separately, but it's probably more sensible to buy the pre-made covers.
    The Safari will definitely need new seat covers and door cards - they've been looking shabby for years! Do the Citron Pieces items look good once fitted?

  7. #7
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    A donor could also be useful if it has suspension arms without grooves worn into the bearing surfaces. All of the arms and the rear bearing housings have one or more of the cups machined into the arms, so you can't simply replace a worn cup. Given the small angle of movement, the rollers tend to wear grooves into the cup faces. Something of a problem and also found with the steering relays, although Franzose list new parts to address that now.

    The seat foams were a foamed latex and they eventually rot and shrink. If they feel hard, you will want to look at replacing them or the seat covers will not fit properly. The front seat foams are available as a repro set, but not for the rear seats as far as I know. The rear backrest foam is likely to be rotten, while the seat cushion might seem OK and support the cover very well, but provide little resistance once you sit on it. The Citron Pieces trim I've encountered fits well and looks correct, but it's obviously not the only option. If you use a local trimmer, then try to find one wiling and able to run two rows of stitching for the seat facings.

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