1963 404 Refresh / Refurb
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Thread: 1963 404 Refresh / Refurb

  1. #1
    Tadpole Dave404's Avatar
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    Default 1963 404 Refresh / Refurb

    Hello all,

    New owner of a 1963 404 sedan. The car has been sitting for a few months so I am now in the process of recommissioning it and getting everything in tip top order with the view to eventually sell it (doing this on behalf of a mate).

    Here she is as of yesterday:









    The interior is near perfect, the seats, carpets and headliner have all been redone at some stage. Nothing in here really needs doing apart from a general clean and detail.



    I binned the old aftermarket radio cassette that was in here and fitted a retro look radio/mp3/bluetooth unit. It's only a cheapy but it suits the car well!







    Sofar I've removed the front plenum grille to clean it out. The radiator was leaking badly from the top tank so I've taken it to be repaired/rebuilt. The engine runs very well, no smoke and the brief drive home went fine. I'm going to have to get used to the shift pattern though, as my other column shift cars are the complete opposite and I'm not a fan of having reverse opposite first with no lock-out!!!! But I suppose I'll get used to it.

    There are a few minor electrical gremlins to sort out - none of the dash lights work and the gauges seem a bit dodgy, I think this may just be connection/earthing issues.

    I was worried that the battery wasn't getting charge as the ammeter on the dash was showing a discharge but it looks like an aftermarket alternator has been fitted by the previous owner - this alternator has an internal regulator and is then connected straight to the battery so it is putting out 14.4 volts when the car is running, it's just not wired through the original loom.

    Apart from the radiator I can't find any other mechanical issues, but it needs a thorough service including all fluids changed, grease points etc.

    The body is very good and has been resprayed in a lovely silver-blue metallic at some stage in the past. There are a few minor rust spots showing through as you'd expect on an older resto, but nothing scary. It's not perfect but will clean up very nicely.

    Hopefully this weekend I can give the car a very thorough wash and polish while I'm waiting on the radiator to be re-done.

    As mentioned previously, the car will eventually be offered for sale, so if anyone is interested, please send me a message! The car is located in Clapham, 8km south of the Adelaide CBD.

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    DAVE - 1963 404 SEDAN
    Plus a 1964 Mini and numerous Fintail Benzes

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts Dano's Avatar
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    Dave,

    Before you dig to far into the wiring, there is an earth strap that goes from the dash to the mounting bolt. Make sure it is in place first.

    To get to it, you have to lie on your back on the floor under the cluster and look up. There should be a bakelite butterfly wing nut on the upper portion of the cluster. The earth wire goes between the cluster and the mounting flange. Without it (the cluster) being earthed nothing works.

    Cheers,

    Dan

    PS nice looking car

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    Tadpole Dave404's Avatar
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    Thanks Dan, I've removed the wing nut in preparation to remove the dash but I couldn't feel a wire, I will check. It's not just the lights, gauges seem to be dodgy which makes me think a bad earth (or no earth) may be an issue. Will let you know how I go.

    On the topic of gauges, can someone please confirm what warning lights are on the dash? The oil warning light behind the temp gauge works, but I have no idea what the two lights on either side of the speedo are? One is green and one is red. I'm guessing maybe indicator and high beam?

    DAVE - 1963 404 SEDAN
    Plus a 1964 Mini and numerous Fintail Benzes

  4. #4
    1000+ Posts Peter C's Avatar
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    Back in the year dot, my family had an early '60s 404 wagon with the older style instrument cluster, but memory fails me. The owners manual doesn't, though, and it says that the one on the right (the green one) is the direction indicator - for both right and left. According to the book, the one on the left has no connection.

  5. #5
    Tadpole Dave404's Avatar
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    Thanks Peter! I downloaded the owners manual from the US Peugeot 404 site but that's for a late 60's model with the triple round gauges.
    DAVE - 1963 404 SEDAN
    Plus a 1964 Mini and numerous Fintail Benzes

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    This car was well known to Club Automobile Francais. It had a full restoration a decade or so back hence the near perfect interior and paintwork. I inspected it last year and was very tempted, but -too many other cars! I would love to see it stay in SA.
    Don
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  7. #7
    1000+ Posts Dano's Avatar
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    Dave,

    I have found an early wiring diagram amongst my manuals, I will email it to you.

    Cheers,

    Dan

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    1000+ Posts Peter C's Avatar
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    That explains why the car looks so good.

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    Thanks guys! I was on the Shannons club website today and discovered a previous owner by accident! Check out some of the photos from a few years back: https://www.shannons.com.au/club/ent...2-peugeot-404/

    Fingers crossed it will clean up well and I can get it looking as good as it it does in those pics!

    Dan - I got your message, PM sent.

    Just had a call this afternoon and the radiator is done! So should be back in and running again next week.
    DAVE - 1963 404 SEDAN
    Plus a 1964 Mini and numerous Fintail Benzes

  10. #10
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    And some more old pics. Pretty much nothing has changed, it even has the same grille badges on. Also, the front passenger side indicator was cracked - in the photo you can just make out the duct tape that's on the edge of the lens which I peeled off yesterday!



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    DAVE - 1963 404 SEDAN
    Plus a 1964 Mini and numerous Fintail Benzes

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts Peter C's Avatar
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    I couldn't help but notice the non-original device atop the air cleaner, which appears to be an inline fuel filter. Do know of the story behind it?

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    That Peugeot was apparently delivered by Champions in Adelaide back in 1963, hopefully the history has been retained with the car.

    The cylinder on the air cleaner is one of those Fuelstar "magic" canisters.
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    Unfortunately I have no documentation with the car, but I do have a couple previous owners' details so I may be able to track them down.

    Simon is correct - the 'device' is a fuelstar 'catalyst' - apparently so you can run it on unleaded. I've been using flashlube and BP ultimate 98 in all my old cars for 20+ years with no issues. Apparently the fuelstar has been mythbusted: https://www.smh.com.au/national/fuel...0223-p04a.html

    Not sure whether I'll remove it (would be nice if it wasn't installed by drilling into the air cleaner ) - I can't imagine having that large loop of fuel hose running over the top of the engine would be good for vapour lock in summer either.

    Dano thanks for emailing me the wiring diagram - you were spot on, I earthed the cluster and everything came back to life. The instrument lights are still a bit dodgy but I got them to work by jiggling the dimmer rheostat, I'll take that out and give it a clean and that should sort it out. There was no bulb holder behind the red warning light, maybe that's for an extra warning light for another market (or for the glow plug warning light on the diesel models?).
    DAVE - 1963 404 SEDAN
    Plus a 1964 Mini and numerous Fintail Benzes

  14. #14
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    Rheostat can be bypassed too- a) diagnostically and b) therapeutically

    The other thing that happens with the instrument lights is dry/cracked solder connections on the printed circuit. Those competent in matters electrical deal with this by remelting the solder at strategic points with a soldering iron.

    I have yet to summon the necessary testicular fortitude, to say nothing of the competence, but now have a few spare boards, so will shortly give it a go so as to have a fully functioning array.

    Best Wishes

    Andrew

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave404 View Post
    Unfortunately I have no documentation with the car, but I do have a couple previous owners' details so I may be able to track them down.

    Simon is correct - the 'device' is a fuelstar 'catalyst' - apparently so you can run it on unleaded. I've been using flashlube and BP ultimate 98 in all my old cars for 20+ years with no issues. Apparently the fuelstar has been mythbusted: https://www.smh.com.au/national/fuel...0223-p04a.html

    Not sure whether I'll remove it (would be nice if it wasn't installed by drilling into the air cleaner ) - I can't imagine having that large loop of fuel hose running over the top of the engine would be good for vapour lock in summer either.

    Dano thanks for emailing me the wiring diagram - you were spot on, I earthed the cluster and everything came back to life. The instrument lights are still a bit dodgy but I got them to work by jiggling the dimmer rheostat, I'll take that out and give it a clean and that should sort it out. There was no bulb holder behind the red warning light, maybe that's for an extra warning light for another market (or for the glow plug warning light on the diesel models?).
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    Get a really good quality soldering iron Andrew and maybe one of those big head-mounted magnifying lenses..... You can sometimes see a tiny circumferential crack around the blob where the wire contacts the board. Citroen Xantia instrument panels do this in four precise places.....
    JohnW

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    That Peugeot was apparently delivered by Champions in Adelaide back in 1963, hopefully the history has been retained with the car. The cylinder on the air cleaner is one of those Fuelstar "magic" canisters.
    "Magic" indeed....

    That looks like Torrens Parade Ground with a high rise crane, perhaps for the big hotel beside the railway station?
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    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1950 (R1062)
    Renault R8 1965 (R1130)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2006 (daughter's)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2007 (mine)

    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980 (moved on to new custodian)

    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

  17. #17
    Tadpole Dave404's Avatar
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    Well spotted JohnW, yes that's Torrens Parade ground, my guess is that the crane was probably there for the convention centre extension a few years back.

    Work has been progressing, radiator is back – the guys at Parkside radiators did a brilliant job and it’s been fully rebuilt with a new core. Despite telling them I was not in a hurry and happy to pick it up in a week they called me the next day saying it was done. Highly recommend them for any radiator work in Adelaide – when I walked in carrying the radiator to drop it off the bloke said to me “that’s off a Peugeot isn’t it?” – they are proper old school radiator guys who really know their stuff!



    Cleaned engine bay yesterday and flushed out cooling system. I used CT18 truckwash on the painted surfaces and just a few sprays of export degreaser on the engine block and it came up beautifully.









    I love how well CT18 also removes the staining and residue from painted surfaces – check out the underside of the bonnet:


    Fixed the dimmer rheostat – the plastic had partially popped out of the housing so I pushed it back in and crimped the housing tight. With some contact cleaner and electrolube it’s rotating smoothly and dash lights are all good again.
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    DAVE - 1963 404 SEDAN
    Plus a 1964 Mini and numerous Fintail Benzes

  18. #18
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    Fixed the speedometer (cable loose under car) and also replaced the heater hoses as they were starting to weep.

    Car now listed for sale! More details here:

    For Sale: 1963 Peugeot 404 Sedan - Adelaide
    DAVE - 1963 404 SEDAN
    Plus a 1964 Mini and numerous Fintail Benzes

  19. #19
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    Managed to extract a bit more smoothness from the engine by replacing the dizzy cap and rotor - the rotor and cap were very badly burned / pitted inside. They were genuine Ducellier 'made in france' parts so god knows how old they were.





    FWIW I've found rockauto in the USA to be amazing in terms of the variety of items they stock - especially for older cars. I've bought parts for old VW's and benzes from them on numerous occasions. Some parts they stock are stunningly cheap - even after taking into account the exchange rate and shipping/freight costs. Was better when the dollar was near parity a few years back

    New rotor and cap came to $30 AUD fed-exed to my door within 7 days.
    DAVE - 1963 404 SEDAN
    Plus a 1964 Mini and numerous Fintail Benzes

  20. #20
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    So today I braved the peak hour traffic and the wild weather and drove the car into work (Adelaide CBD). It is driving nicely and seems to be running smoother now that the fresh tank of 98 has had a chance to work through the system. Brakes were a bit squealy at first but this might have been some water in the drums (I had pressure washed under the car the other day). Only other issue was a non functioning indicator bulb, but that was just loose in the housing.





    DAVE - 1963 404 SEDAN
    Plus a 1964 Mini and numerous Fintail Benzes

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