Random 2CV questions...

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spider
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Random 2CV questions...

Post by spider »

... From the curious (that will be me then)

OK, a very brief 'history' is parents had two of these around 1985/86 , the first was (even at that time) a very rough R plate and then this was traded in for a "perfick" mid blue 'V' plate. I can still remember the registration. :D , its long gone though :( "Tax due: 01 February 1991"

Given I was 12/13 at that time, it was a bit beyond me. However my questions are:

1. The 'traffic' clutch. I know this is a centrifugal device (probably not too dissimilar to the way the Honda 'cub's have it actually) , is the transmission 3 speed because of this ? I'd expect slightly less ratios are needed at a guess 2/3/4 or 1.5/3/4 may be more appropriate.

2. Talking of this 'semi auto' unit. I'm assuming they can 'creep' for convenience of parking ? Although slightly off topic I do not like any of the modern MMT units as they are quite annoying to park having no creep facility and some appear to be a vicious on/off switch.

3. When was this option stopped (rough year?) and were they actually reliable units ?

4. I understand the last few years (86 onwards?) the build quality was not brilliant or the material used was not. I'm not sure which. I have heard this although some form of confirmation would be great from someone who knows.

5. I keep hearing about the cardboard heater tubes rotting and falling onto the manifold = potential fire. This is going to sound really obvious but why not use aluminium ones ? Air cooled beetles originally had paper / card tubes although the metal ones are readily available so is there a compelling reason why ally ones could not be used on a 2CV to reduce risk ?

6. I heard the transmission is easily broken if you reverse up steep inclines. I read as to why but although it makes partial logical sense, I'd sort of expected if that was true then the transmission would fall apart within 50K anyway.

7. We never really had any reliability issues with ours (but dad was a tractor mechanic anyway in his earlier years) , I recall he made a manifold to fit a single SU carb actually in an attempt to improve economy. It did not get fitted (or if it did, it was not for long) , the points look a bit of work to get to, but "in reality" is it actually difficult ? I'd guess if you can get at them within say 15-20 minutes its not too bad as they appear well protected from the elements anyway.

8. Talking of economy, I see 30mpg being quoted. I do (think) ours gave slightly better than that, nearer 40 I think. Is this realistic ? I know its only a little engine but it does have to work quite hard...

9. Is the heating adequate ? Bear in mind the sentence below this question. The bug heating was very strong once I'd 'fixed' it.

As a random sidenote, in the dim and distant past I have owned a couple of Beetles (yes I know) so I am aware of general air cooled principles and the importance of cooling shrouds being fitted correctly as well as things like unclogged oil cooler.

I guess this is partly my thoughts as I wrote the questions but I'm really just after info to fill the gaping holes in my knowledge.

Thank you for anyone who is still awake after reading this and can answer any questions. :) :)

RichardW
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Re: Random 2CV questions...

Post by RichardW »

I'm no expert....

1,2,3 looks like it was available until '79. My understanding was that it only added a centrif clutch that allowed clutchless progression in traffic / at take off. Later changes were the std manual.
4 No idea
5 I recall they are foam lined, perhaps to reduce noise transmission from the engine. Alul ones would work, but might be noisy; they also may loose too much heat.
6. I heard you can 'unwind' the transmission if you stand on the brakes in reverse with the 'power' on - don't know about reversing up hill. It can't be that common.
7. Never done it, seen my Dad do it a few times - if the fan will come off not too bad. Easy enough to convert to electronic ignition these days
8. I thought more than that, but no experience
9. I never remember it being any good, but then ours were always old bangers!

A description of why the box unwinds: http://www.veloce.co.uk/shop/graphics/pdf/V244.pdf
And a preventative fix: http://www.thepembleton.org.uk/techpages/GW.shtml

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spider
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Re: Random 2CV questions...

Post by spider »

Thanks Richard for your input. :)

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spider
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Re: Random 2CV questions...

Post by spider »

Well this was something I was not expecting to find...

http://autopassionfr.canalblog.com/arch ... 01137.html

... Having said that, there are plenty(ish) small 'industrial' engines available. Gearing might be an issue not to mention twisting the transmission internals with the torque output.

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van ordinaire
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Re: Random 2CV questions...

Post by van ordinaire »

S'far as I know the "trfficlutch" was mated to the standard 4 speed

The later, Portuguese ones rotted faster than even the last of the French ones

The heater tubes rely on the foam lining to keep them on the stubs, so when that degrades, they can come off but most have the security of strategically positioned cable ties.

My recollection about gearboxes unwinding was it can happen if you reverse too fast - but ant 2CV forum will be full of stuff on this topic.

Seem to recall there was a period SU conversion - but I think it died a death. Mine did a constant 40mpg how/wherever it was driven. Given its era, that's going to be hard to beat.

The worst part of doing the points CAN be getting the fan free. Even more of a problem when it comes to changing the fanbelt on a car with electronic ignition, because it won't have been off for so long. Also belt failure & (to an extent) clogged oil coolers is prevalent on converted cars, simply because they tend to be neglected. That said, the electronic ignitions are good - especially in conjunction with a Harley-Davidson coil.

Heating's not brilliant, there are fans to fit in the tubes (as there were for Beetles) but have no experience of them - I took mine to Scotland in the Winter & didn't suffer unduly.

Popular engine swaps are Visa (probably not now they have become collectable) or at least their barrels & pistons, GSA (easier in a Dyane - 'cos they'll go under the bonnet) & BIG BMW bike engines.

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spider
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Re: Random 2CV questions...

Post by spider »

Great info there, thank you. :) :)