Checking out a 2CV. Advice needed
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Checking out a 2CV. Advice needed

    Hi everyone,

    As time passes, I realise that I would like to own the wonderful Citroen 2CV.

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    I would like to get one that is in very good condition, with minimum work required.

    So far, there is one that I have seen that I like but before checking it out in person, I wanted to get your thoughts on it.

    There seem to oil from the the suspension and an oil leak developing. I have attached the pictures. Plus there seems to be a little rust in the front floor. Are these any cause for concern?

    Your guidance is much appreciated and as a novice, I am willing to learn. Thanks!!!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Checking out a 2CV. Advice needed-image.jpg   Checking out a 2CV. Advice needed-image.jpg   Checking out a 2CV. Advice needed-image.jpg  

  2. #2
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    And here are two more pictures for your reference. Thanks.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Checking out a 2CV. Advice needed-image.jpg   Checking out a 2CV. Advice needed-image.jpg  
    Last edited by gsowner84; 31st August 2015 at 01:48 AM. Reason: Additional photo

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    Contact David Gries and see if he can look at it for you. You have pictured the interconnecting spring. The way to stop it squeaking is to add oil into that tube.

    The important bit is the cars structure. engine oil leaks etc.... simply shouldn't be relevant. You can whip a 2cv engine out in your lunch hour and throw it under one arm to carry inside and work on

    Chassis rust is far more important. David will know how to check the chassis and make sure it doesn't need a new chassis fitted (not a big deal, but it will be very expensive to pay someone to do it).

    The chassis will rust from the inside out... so you can't readily check it unless you know how.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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    That is a late car pictured. Looks like it is time for new shocks. Takes longer to smoke a cigarette than it does to change one out.

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    Thank you for the replies Daffy duck and Shane. The car is interstate and I am deciding whether to see it in person. I heard David Gries was away but I will try and contact him in relation to a 2CV I saw in Melbourne.

    Any other replies will be greatly appreciated. ��

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    Your pictures show the tires. While good looking, (they are) a 2cv with the Michelin 125/15 drives better than any modern replacement tire. A car shod with Michelin also shows that the owner cared a bit more about the car and the driving characteristics than he did about saving a dollar.
    I see plenty of A series cars. I drive them a lot. There is no comparison.

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    I would prefer a 2CV with Michelin tyres. Out of the three I have seen, only one has the 125/15s. The body on that one had rust on the exterior panels and was a Portugese model. Really liked it though. Will post pictures later.

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    The leaks under the engine are normal. With age, the seals on the pushrod tubes to the crankcase don't seal too well. As Daffy Duck said, not a problem. Replacing the pistons/rings/barrels is a fairly common event with 2CVs. Two cylinders running at 5,800 RPM don't last forever, but are relatively cheap and easy to replace.

    The chassis tends to rust on imported 2CVs. On a RHD one, have a look under the passenger's side towards the front. Often there will be a crescent of rust. Because the 2CV sits bum up and because a RHD one is parked on the left hand side of the road, the passenger front floor (underneath) is where the serious signs of rust appear, as any water that gets into the box chassis congregates there. A new chassis cost me $2500 in 2008. I put it in myself. Although it is straight forward to do, you will spend more money and do more work because it is a once in a lifetime chance to really do a good job and refurbish the suspension at the same time. One would only have to do that exercise once in a car that is kept in Australia.

    I agree with Shane that the best person to give an opinion on the car is David Gries. He has most likely worked on that car at some stage. He is probably in Poland at the World 2CV meet at the moment, but money doesn't last forever so he will be back soon.

    If the car is currently registered, and it seems to drive OK and the condition looks reasonable, then depending upon price, I would buy it. There are only two types of cars - 2CVs and others. If you want a driver's car, a 2CV will challenge you. If you want a fun car - a 2CV is a joke on 4 wheels. You laugh, other people laugh, kids laugh and girls wet their pants. You will get to meet and talk to a lot of strangers. Everyone, it seems, is your friend. If you want to spread peace and goodwill throughout the land, the 2CV is the way to go.

    John

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    Hi John.

    i think your last paragraph sums up why I want a 2CV. I have a fantastic new car, but in the stresses of life, there is something exhilarating about driving a 2CV as a way of relaxing and doing things that put a huge smile on your face.

    Te last few years have made me appreciate how hard life can be, and to enjoy life. I think a 2CV is for me, like Prisig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

    Thanks to you, Shane and Daffy Duck for your guidance so far.

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    Default Second 2CV [in Melbourne]

    So, here is the second 2CV that I have inspected.

    I really like this car, and has full service history from London to Melbourne. I love the look of the Dolly in Plum and Custard. This car has not been restored, but maintained.

    My concerns area the rust areas forming on the doors and edges of the body. But the motor looks more original and has many invoices from Citro Motors and Paris Motors. New alternator, and yes, 125/15 Michelin X tyres.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Checking out a 2CV. Advice needed-image.jpg   Checking out a 2CV. Advice needed-image.jpg   Checking out a 2CV. Advice needed-image.jpg   Checking out a 2CV. Advice needed-image.jpg   Checking out a 2CV. Advice needed-image.jpg   Checking out a 2CV. Advice needed-image.jpg  

    Checking out a 2CV. Advice needed-image.jpg   Checking out a 2CV. Advice needed-image.jpg   Checking out a 2CV. Advice needed-image.jpg   Checking out a 2CV. Advice needed-image.jpg  

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    That looks good to me. The panel surface rust is not a real problem compared to floor / chassis rust.(all fixable as mentioned)
    Big bonus is it appears to have a compliance plate (On fire wall)
    1950 Light 15 - Blanche 'Claude'
    1949 Light 15 - Noir 'Emilie'
    1982 2CV Special - Lagune Bleu 'Daffie'
    2007 C4 HDI EGS - Rouge Lucifer
    1968 Velo Solex 3800 - Noir

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    I'll second Bobsie's comments. The quality of the paintwork on 2CVs is always poor. If you have ever done any rust removal, paint preparation and touch up, you can fix a lot of those problems yourself. The colours are Rouge Delage and Jaune Rialto. Get an auto paint supplier to have those mixed in acrylic. Buy one of their touch up spray guns that have a small container for the paint and use a pressure can for the propulsion. They are quite cheap. Convenient like a aerosol spray can but you can get the paint match that you want. The front bumper is hopeless as it is made from two pieces of metal which overlap and are spot welded together. This results in a soggy sandwich that rusts. Clean off the rust, paint if appropriate and spray penetrating oil into the seam between the two bits of metal. Clean off the penetrating oil after a few days and that may make it look better for a while. I had my bumpers chromed. Rear is still good 20 years on. Front has peeling chrome because of the crap construction.

    The first 2CV I bought was a 1989 Plums & Custard Dolly. I reckon that is a great colour combo. The second 2CV I bought was a 1986 Red & White Dolly, last of the French built ones, full owner history but the red & white was too Mickey Mouse for me. Had it repainted in Plums & Custard but in a Charleston style.


    Checking out a 2CV. Advice needed-2cv-loaded-1.jpg

    PS: The 2CV is a great utility vehicle. The longer lengths are 3.6 metres, the shorter ones are 3.0 metres. Most blokes at Bunnings that own dual cab utes, watch in amazement with one hand over their mouth and the other in their pocket playing with themselves.

    John

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    my vision on what working on a 2CV would be like:


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    Hi John,

    Your 2CV looks sensational. The plum and custard combination (with Charleston pattern) shows the beauty of the 2CV.

    I am happy trying to fix the rust in the bumper myself. I looked at 2CV Vikings shop and replacement bumpers aren't too expensive. Glad to hear the paint shops being able to get a colour match.

    Hi Bobsie, thank you for your considered opinion. I think it is a tidy car, and has been looked after.

    If David Gries is overseas, is there anyone else who one could recommend to see if the car's chassis is rusted out? This car has been in Melbourne since 1996 and has been serviced by Citro Motors and Paris Motors in Richmond.

    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    I'll second Bobsie's comments. The quality of the paintwork on 2CVs is always poor. If you have ever done any rust removal, paint preparation and touch up, you can fix a lot of those problems yourself. The colours are Rouge Delage and Jaune Rialto. Get an auto paint supplier to have those mixed in acrylic. Buy one of their touch up spray guns that have a small container for the paint and use a pressure can for the propulsion. They are quite cheap. Convenient like a aerosol spray can but you can get the paint match that you want. The front bumper is hopeless as it is made from two pieces of metal which overlap and are spot welded together. This results in a soggy sandwich that rusts. Clean off the rust, paint if appropriate and spray penetrating oil into the seam between the two bits of metal. Clean off the penetrating oil after a few days and that may make it look better for a while. I had my bumpers chromed. Rear is still good 20 years on. Front has peeling chrome because of the crap construction.

    The first 2CV I bought was a 1989 Plums & Custard Dolly. I reckon that is a great colour combo. The second 2CV I bought was a 1986 Red & White Dolly, last of the French built ones, full owner history but the red & white was too Mickey Mouse for me. Had it repainted in Plums & Custard but in a Charleston style.


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2CV loaded 1.jpg 
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ID:	73944

    PS: The 2CV is a great utility vehicle. The longer lengths are 3.6 metres, the shorter ones are 3.0 metres. Most blokes at Bunnings that own dual cab utes, watch in amazement with one hand over their mouth and the other in their pocket playing with themselves.

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by gsowner84 View Post
    Hi John,

    Your 2CV looks sensational. The plum and custard combination (with Charleston pattern) shows the beauty of the 2CV.

    I am happy trying to fix the rust in the bumper myself. I looked at 2CV Vikings shop and replacement bumpers aren't too expensive. Glad to hear the paint shops being able to get a colour match.

    Hi Bobsie, thank you for your considered opinion. I think it is a tidy car, and has been looked after.

    If David Gries is overseas, is there anyone else who one could recommend to see if the car's chassis is rusted out? This car has been in Melbourne since 1996 and has been serviced by Citro Motors and Paris Motors in Richmond.
    Not wanting to frighten you, but have you had a good look over this thread?

    2CV Chassis Replacement

    Sadly much of the text and images were lost when our forum crashed a few years back. The car is Plum and Custard and Gerry documents the colour codes.

    Good luck in your search

    Cheers
    Chris
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsowner84 View Post
    Hi John,

    Your 2CV looks sensational. The plum and custard combination (with Charleston pattern) shows the beauty of the 2CV.

    I am happy trying to fix the rust in the bumper myself. I looked at 2CV Vikings shop and replacement bumpers aren't too expensive. Glad to hear the paint shops being able to get a colour match.

    Hi Bobsie, thank you for your considered opinion. I think it is a tidy car, and has been looked after.

    If David Gries is overseas, is there anyone else who one could recommend to see if the car's chassis is rusted out? This car has been in Melbourne since 1996 and has been serviced by Citro Motors and Paris Motors in Richmond.
    2cv bumpers are a joke .... see if you can get some aftermarket tube type bumpers made up

    I'd probably assume any 2cv that hasn't had a chassis replacement ........................ will need one. Are the chassis seems "growing apart" if you look under it ? I remember many years ago David Gries jacking up an immaculate 2cv .... and lifting the nose of it up and down like it wasn't connected to the car. That must be one of his standard checks for a rotten 2cv chassis.

    My father bought a rusty 2cv in the UK many years ago. He pulled it to bits and found he couldn't get a spanner onto the rear gearbox mount .... If you look at the back of the gearbox, there should be enough room between the firewall to get a spanner on the bolts. IF there isn't, the chassis is rotten.... it sags slightly closing up the gap between the firwall (or is it chassis) and gearbox.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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    Hi Chris,

    Thank you for the link. I have read and re-read the amount of work you and Gerry put into that 2CV. It is absolutely sensational. But to be honest, slightly frightening.

    I definitely do not have the expertise to do body work like you guys did, but I know a spray painter / panel beater who does good work and the labour costs are not too bad.

    I would like to work on the mechanical side of things first, as I have the space to do that.

    Ideally, I would like a 2CV where all of the work has been done. And therefore I can maintain it and ensure it is properly looked after.

    Thank you Shane and Chris and all who have contributed so far. I will try and contact David on Friday (if he has returned), I will keep asking questions, and posting pictures.

    And if there is a nice 2CV for sale, please let me know

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenBlood View Post
    Not wanting to frighten you, but have you had a good look over this thread?

    2CV Chassis Replacement

    Sadly much of the text and images were lost when our forum crashed a few years back. The car is Plum and Custard and Gerry documents the colour codes.

    Good luck in your search

    Cheers
    Chris

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    Don't be put off. I brought a 1989 Portuguese built 2CV from the UK as well as a French built 1986 one (the one in the photo painted like a Charleston). The French car still has its original chassis. The guy who owned it was mates with a 2CV mechanic who occasionally emptied the old sump oil into the chassis.

    The Portuguese 2CV's (post 1987) were even more badly built than the French ones. The chassis was particularly poor. I removed the chassis in a day with the help of two friends. You need 4 twenty gallon drums and two lengths of 4 X 2. Lift the body off the chassis, sliding the two bits of lumber underneath and rest the lumbar on the 4 drums. Push the chassis and engine away. Remove the chassis. With mine, the top looked ok, just the bottom showed rust. I had a local welding shop bring a truck down to pick it up. They removed the bottom, found that most of the U channels had turned into upside down L channels (the bottom of the U having rusted away). They added angle iron to rectify the problem and welded on a new sheet. After the fixed chassis was reunited with the body, we poured a litre or two of fish oil through the seat belt bolt holes. It slushed around for a month. I then drilled 1/2" holes on the low points of the underneath of the chassis, where the metal had slightly buckled after being welded. The holes were in the lowest part of the chassis, so any water getting into it, drained out immediately.

    I don't think I would go for a galvanised chassis for a 2CV that spends its time in Australia. I would always go for a pattern chassis that is similar to the original. Some of the German chassis would suit a Mercedes truck but lack the flexibility of the original chassis.

    One thing that you need to be on the lookout for is if the steering rod touches the body. There is a hole for the rod and it should be central. When it touches, it means that the front floor needs replacing. That gets rotted with rust and the car body sags down, touching the steering rod. It is a very important body component as it holds up the sides of the body, whilst resting on the much narrower chassis. In the rear of the car, the hump that the rear seats sit on does the same. Because it is more open, it rarely rusts.

    It is easy to get scared when people's eyes widen and they talk of the horrors of a rusty chassis or front foot board. What would be the death knell for most cars is just another Meccano exercise for a 2CV owner (or their mechanic). It is a substantial cost that will be covered by appreciation of a unique car. Remember, 2CVs are completely different to all others. All parts are available. Most jobs can be carried out at home by a competent person.

    John

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    Hi John,

    I think that if I become friends with owners of 2CVs, then I think I can do this.

    In all seriousness, the appeal of the car is helped knowing that there are plenty of parts, and lots of well-wishers. I have a very close friend who is a mechanic, and I think I deal with many of the potential issues.

    I am a little afraid of spending circa $20K only to find out the chassis is stuffed. 2CVs are not getting cheaper it seems.

    Thanks for the guide on how to remove the body and what to look out. I did not pay much attention to the steering rod, so next time I inspect it, I will definitely see if it is touching the body.

    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    Don't be put off. I brought a 1989 Portuguese built 2CV from the UK as well as a French built 1986 one (the one in the photo painted like a Charleston). The French car still has its original chassis. The guy who owned it was mates with a 2CV mechanic who occasionally emptied the old sump oil into the chassis.

    The Portuguese 2CV's (post 1987) were even more badly built than the French ones. The chassis was particularly poor. I removed the chassis in a day with the help of two friends. You need 4 twenty gallon drums and two lengths of 4 X 2. Lift the body off the chassis, sliding the two bits of lumber underneath and rest the lumbar on the 4 drums. Push the chassis and engine away. Remove the chassis. With mine, the top looked ok, just the bottom showed rust. I had a local welding shop bring a truck down to pick it up. They removed the bottom, found that most of the U channels had turned into upside down L channels (the bottom of the U having rusted away). They added angle iron to rectify the problem and welded on a new sheet. After the fixed chassis was reunited with the body, we poured a litre or two of fish oil through the seat belt bolt holes. It slushed around for a month. I then drilled 1/2" holes on the low points of the underneath of the chassis, where the metal had slightly buckled after being welded. The holes were in the lowest part of the chassis, so any water getting into it, drained out immediately.

    I don't think I would go for a galvanised chassis for a 2CV that spends its time in Australia. I would always go for a pattern chassis that is similar to the original. Some of the German chassis would suit a Mercedes truck but lack the flexibility of the original chassis.

    One thing that you need to be on the lookout for is if the steering rod touches the body. There is a hole for the rod and it should be central. When it touches, it means that the front floor needs replacing. That gets rotted with rust and the car body sags down, touching the steering rod. It is a very important body component as it holds up the sides of the body, whilst resting on the much narrower chassis. In the rear of the car, the hump that the rear seats sit on does the same. Because it is more open, it rarely rusts.

    It is easy to get scared when people's eyes widen and they talk of the horrors of a rusty chassis or front foot board. What would be the death knell for most cars is just another Meccano exercise for a 2CV owner (or their mechanic). It is a substantial cost that will be covered by appreciation of a unique car. Remember, 2CVs are completely different to all others. All parts are available. Most jobs can be carried out at home by a competent person.

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by gsowner84 View Post
    Hi John,

    I think that if I become friends with owners of 2CVs, then I think I can do this.


    Careful those 2cv owners are a bunch of weirdos .................................................. ...............

    seeya
    Shane L.
    PS: Yes I'm just jealous 'cos I can't afford one
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post


    Careful those 2cv owners are a bunch of weirdos .................................................. ...............

    seeya
    Shane L.
    PS: Yes I'm just jealous 'cos I can't afford one
    I'll second that. But remember, nutcases are happy people. Shades of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

    The mechanic you need is David Gries, both before purchase and forever after purchase. A great guy with a great reputation regarding 2CV matters. He will introduce you to other similarly afflicted people and there are quite a number in Melbourne and environs.

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by gsowner84 View Post
    Hi Chris,

    Thank you for the link. I have read and re-read the amount of work you and Gerry put into that 2CV. It is absolutely sensational. But to be honest, slightly frightening.

    I definitely do not have the expertise to do body work like you guys did, but I know a spray painter / panel beater who does good work and the labour costs are not too bad.

    I would like to work on the mechanical side of things first, as I have the space to do that.

    Ideally, I would like a 2CV where all of the work has been done. And therefore I can maintain it and ensure it is properly looked after.

    Thank you Shane and Chris and all who have contributed so far. I will try and contact David on Friday (if he has returned), I will keep asking questions, and posting pictures.

    And if there is a nice 2CV for sale, please let me know
    David Gries was on the 2CV pre RAID route inspection in THE nORTHERN tERRITORY
    He should be back now but ultra busy catching up on work!! my 2CV included!!
    ph David on 9890 3266
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  23. #23
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    Hi John and Shane,


    David sounds like a fantastic contact. I will give him a call on Friday to discuss all things 2CV. Hopefully he has returned to Melbourne.

    There is a Blue 2CV in NSW that looks really nice. I may have to check that one out as well...

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    Hi Dogboy,

    Thanks for David's telephone number. I would love to participate in a Raid but first, try and find that 2CV.

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    gsowner84

    If you want to stand under a 2cv and look at all the bits..ie. chassis/engine etc and see where it all goes together...
    My 2cv (van-602cc) is sitting on my garage hoist with the sump-guard plate off...so you can get a good look at where things fit etc.

    You are welcome to visit my factory in the northern suburbs/Melbourne.. if that is anywhere convenient?
    Just send me a PM

    Cheers
    Bob

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